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Chapter 42
One other short call in Harley Street, in which Elinor received her brother's
congratulations on their travelling so far towards Barton without any expense,
and on Colonel Brandon's being to follow them to Cleveland in a day or two,
completed the intercourse of the brother and sisters in town;--and a faint
invitation from Fanny, to come to Norland whenever it should happen to be in
their way, which of all things was the most unlikely to occur, with a more warm,
though less public, assurance, from John to Elinor, of the promptitude with which
he should come to see her at Delaford, was all that foretold any meeting in the
It amused her to observe that all her friends seemed determined to send her to
Delaford;--a place, in which, of all others, she would now least choose to visit, or
wish to reside; for not only was it considered as her future home by her brother
and Mrs. Jennings, but even Lucy, when they parted, gave her a pressing
invitation to visit her there.
Very early in April, and tolerably early in the day, the two parties from Hanover
Square and Berkeley Street set out from their respective homes, to meet, by
appointment, on the road. For the convenience of Charlotte and her child, they
were to be more than two days on their journey, and Mr. Palmer, travelling more
expeditiously with Colonel Brandon, was to join them at Cleveland soon after
their arrival.
Marianne, few as had been her hours of comfort in London, and eager as she
had long been to quit it, could not, when it came to the point, bid adieu to the
house in which she had for the last time enjoyed those hopes, and that
confidence, in Willoughby, which were now extinguished for ever, without great
pain. Nor could she leave the place in which Willoughby remained, busy in new
engagements, and new schemes, in which she could have no share, without
shedding many tears.
Elinor's satisfaction, at the moment of removal, was more positive. She had no
such object for her lingering thoughts to fix on, she left no creature behind, from
whom it would give her a moment's regret to be divided for ever, she was
pleased to be free herself from the persecution of Lucy's friendship, she was
grateful for bringing her sister away unseen by Willoughby since his marriage,
and she looked forward with hope to what a few months of tranquility at Barton
might do towards restoring Marianne's peace of mind, and confirming her own.
Their journey was safely performed. The second day brought them into the
cherished, or the prohibited, county of Somerset, for as such was it dwelt on by
turns in Marianne's imagination; and in the forenoon of the third they drove up to
Cleveland was a spacious, modern-built house, situated on a sloping lawn. It had
no park, but the pleasure-grounds were tolerably extensive; and like every other
place of the same degree of importance, it had its open shrubbery, and closer
wood walk, a road of smooth gravel winding round a plantation, led to the front,
the lawn was dotted over with timber, the house itself was under the