sense and sensibility chapter 26


Willoughby stopped speaking and turned away. He looked so unhappy that Elinor felt sorry for him.

‘Marianne will be happy one day, but I shall never be,’ the young man added sadly. ‘Goodbye.’

After saying these words, Willoughby left the room. In a few minutes, he was in his carriage and he was driving away from Cleveland.

Willoughby’s visit had upset Elinor very much and it was some time before she could go upstairs again. When Elinor did go into Marianne’s room, she found that her sister was much better. Elinor was delighted.

Thirty minutes later, Elinor heard the sound of another carriage outside the house. Mrs Dashwood and Colonel Brandon had arrived at last! When the Colonel had reached Delaford, he had gone in his own carriage to Barton Cottage to bring Mrs Dashwood to Cleveland. The Colonel and Mrs Dashwood had travelled for many hours. Mrs Dashwood was now at the side of her dear daughter and she stayed with her all night.

Elinor went to bed, but she could not sleep. She had too much to think about. But she felt happier than she had been for some time.

A week passed and the Palmers returned to their home. Mrs Dashwood was happy to see Marianne get stronger every day. But she had another reason to be happy.

‘Colonel Brandon loves our dear Marianne,’ she told Elinor. ‘He told me this as we travelled from Barton. I once thought that he would marry you, Elinor. But now I believe that he will suit Marianne better. He truly loves her. He loves her more than Willoughby ever could, I am sure of that.’

‘Colonel Brandon is a good man,’ Elinor replied. ‘He has shown great kindness to all his friends. What did you say to the Colonel? Did you give him any hope for a future with Marianne?’

‘I could not give him hope, because I thought that Marianne was dying,’ Mrs Dashwood said. ‘But in time, Marianne will understand that he is a far better man than Willoughby. It will take her some time to forget that young man, I know. But Colonel Brandon is patient — he will wait until Marianne grows fond of him. He has told me so.’

Marianne got better and stronger every day. Soon she was well enough to come out of her room and sit downstairs, in the drawing-room.

Colonel Brandon sat beside her and held her thin hand. He looked sadly at her thin, pale face as she thanked him for bringing her mother on the long journey from Barton.

A few days later, Mrs Dashwood said that Marianne was strong enough to leave Cleveland.

The Dashwoods thanked the Palmers and Mrs Jennings for all their kind help. Then they travelled home to Barton Cottage in the Colonels carriage and Colonel Brandon rode back to Delaford on his horse.


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