‘You like him!’ Marian repeated. ‘You are cold-hearted Elinor, where are your feelings of love for Edward Ferris? Does he not love you?’
‘I hope that Edward loves me,’ Elinor replied quietly, ‘but I cannot be sure, he has no profession and very little money of his own. No one can live without money. Edward and his brother are depended on their mother. Mrs Ferris will expect her sons to choose rich woman when they fell in love.’
‘If Edward loves you, and he is sensible, he will choose you, he will not care about money!’ Marian cried. ‘My mother and I hope that you will soon be engaged then I should love Edward as a brother.’
Elinor did not answer. She had noticed that Edward often looked unhappy. Perhaps there was something that he was hiding from her. Did Edward Ferris have a secret? Elinor did not know. Although she was very fond of Edward, Elinor could not be completely sure of his true feelings for her. Fanny Dashwood had noticed the friendship between her brother and Elinor and it did not please her at all. Elinor Dashwood had very little money and Fanny thought that she was unsuitable in every way. Fanny believed that Elinor was not good enough for her brother. Fanny wanted to make Mrs Dashwood to understand this.
‘If my brothers behave well and do not upset our mother they will both be rich man,’ Fanny said. ‘My mother expects Edward and Robert to marry suitable young women. I’m sure that you understand me, Mrs Dashwood. My mother will be very angry if my brothers are a tricked into unsuitable marriages.’
Mrs Dashwood was very upset by this words, but she was too angry to answer. She understood Fanny very well. Fanny was saying that Elinor was too poor to marry Edward Ferris. And she not must make him love her.
‘We must leave Norland Park at once,’ Mrs Dashwood told her daughters. ‘We must find a home of our own. I will not leave is the same house with Fanny Dashwood any longer.’
A few days letter Mrs Dashwood received a letter from one of her relations, a wealthy gentleman who lived in Barton Park at Devon. The gentleman’s name was John Middleton and he owned a lot of land and property. But a cottage, one of the little houses on his land was empty.
So John suggested that Mrs Dashwood and her daughters could rent the cottage and live there.
Sir John’s letter was so kind and friendly that Mrs Dashwood decided to move to Devon at once. After Fanny’s unkind words, Mrs Dashwood wanted to live as far away from Norland Park as possible. Elinor agreed with her mother, and they sent a letter to Sir John the same day.
John Dashwood was a little embarrassed when he heard this news. His stepmother and sisters were going to live far away because of Fanny’s behaviour. He offered to pay the rent for the first six months himself. Mrs Dashwood was delighted. She decided to rent Barton Cottage for a year.
‘Our new home is called Barton Cottage,’ she told all her friends and neighbours. ‘It is in the county of Devon, about four miles north of the town of Exeter.’
Edward Ferrars looked very sad when he heard the news. ‘Devon!’ he said. ‘That is so far away.’
Mrs Dashwood smiled at the young man kindly. ‘Barton Cottage is not large,’ she said. ‘But our friends will always be welcome to stay there.’
The cottage already had some furniture in it. The Dashwoods were taking with them some china and a few- pieces of furniture from Norland, their books, Marianne’s piano and Elinor’s pictures. The lives of Mrs Dashwood and her daughters would now be completely different. They were going to live simply, in a much smaller house. Mrs Dashwood sold her husband’s carriage and horses, because she did not have enough money to keep them. There were very many servants at Norland Park, but she would only need three at Barton Cottage. As soon as the arrangements were made, three servants went to Devon. They were going to clean the cottage before the Dashwoods arrived.
‘Dear, dear Norland, how sad I am to leave you!’ Marianne said on their last evening in Norland Park, I love every room in this wonderful house! Every tree in the park is beautiful. Shall I ever be happy again?’