Sense and Sensibility Quotes

"It is enough," said she; "to say that he is unlike Fanny is enough. It implies everything amiable. I love him already." (Elinor Dashwood, Volume I, Chapter 3, p. 31)

Elinor Dashwood is comparing Edward Ferrars to his sister Fanny Dashwood. Fanny does not like the Dashwood family and has no trouble letting them know about her feelings. While her brother Edward is kind, shy, and desirous of a quiet life. These attributes have allowed Elinor to fall in love with Edward.

"But I see what you mean. I have been too much at my ease, too happy, too frank. I have erred against every commonplace notion of decorum; I have been open and sincere where I ought to have been reserved, spiritless, dull and deceitful: had I talked only of the weather and the roads, and had I spoken only once in ten minutes, this reproach would have been spared." (Marianne Dashwood, Volume I, Chapter 10, p.56 -p.57)

Elinor has scolded Marianne for being too open with Willoughby on their first meeting, after he rescued her from her fall. She in rebuttal to her sister, tells her that instead of talking about books, music, and dancing she should have talked only about the weather and roads. This way she would not have seemed too talkative to him and they would have more to talk about the next time they meet. Elinor is only trying to get her sister to behave in a more sensible way towards this new man in their lives.

"This was all overheard by Miss Dashwood; and in the whole of the sentence, in his manner of pronouncing it, and in his addressing her sister by her Christian name alone, she instantly saw an intimacy so decided, a meaning so direct, as marked a perfect agreement between them. From that moment she doubted not of their being engaged to each other; and the belief of it created no other surprise than that she, or any of their friends, should be left by tempers so frank to discover it by accident." (Narrator, Volume I, Chapter 12, p. 65)

Marianne is forced to refuse a gift of a horse from Willoughby, because her mother cannot afford to keep a horse and also she has not known Willoughby long enough, to accept such an expensive gift from him.

As Elinor listens to the two of them talk about her refusal of the gift, she hears Willoughby call her sister by her first name. At the time period the book takes place, calling a woman by her first name means you have a very close relationship with her. In this case, it can only mean the two of them are engaged and have not yet told the family. Elinor's assumption is strengthened by Willoughby telling Marianne he will keep the horse for her until she has a home of her own.

"We have been engaged these four years." (Lucy Steele, Volume I, Chapter 22, p. 120)

Elinor has just been given news which shakes her to her very core. The man she thinks is in love with her, Edward Ferrars, is actually engaged to Lucy Steele. To make matters worse she finds out he has been engaged to her for four years, which means the whole time he has been seeing Elinor he has been engaged to Lucy. Elinor though shaken manages to converse with Lucy and not show her true feelings. She finds out the two met while Edward was living with Lucy's uncle and were engaged a year after he left her uncle, but the engagement is a secret, because Edward's mother has not been told about it.

"It is too much! Oh! Willoughby, Willoughby, could this be yours! Cruel, cruel-nothing can acquit you." (Marianne Dashwood, Volume II, Chapter 7, p. 165)

Marianne is upset by a letter she has just received from Willoughby telling her he is engaged to another woman. He explains he is sorry if she misunderstood his intentions toward her, but he thought of her as a friend. She doubts he could be so cruel to her, but then acknowledges he is responsible for her broken heart.

"Aye, it is but too true. He is to be married very soon-a good-for-nothing fellow! (Mrs. Jennings, Volume II, Chapter 8, p. 167)

Mrs. Jennings has gone out to find out if Willoughby's letter is true. She returns with the unfortunate news that he is, indeed, engaged to be married. She sides with Marianne against Willoughby, who has behaved badly towards the unsuspecting girl. He is now regarded by their friends and associates as someone to be shunned, because of his behavior towards Marianne.

"I am sorry to say, ma'am, in a most unhappy rupture. Edward is dismissed forever from his mother's notice." (John Dashwood, Volume III, Chapter 1, p. 226)

John Dashwood has brought the news of Edward Ferrars disinheritance to Mrs. Jennings's home. She and the Dashwood sisters are eager to learn what has happened, after Mrs. Ferrars found out about Edward and Lucy's secret engagement.

It seems after being given the chance to end the engagement and staying in the good graces of his mother; Edward chose to honor his engagement. This led to his mother banishing him from her presence forever and disinheriting him. This means he has nowhere to live and no money to live on, which is an unfortunate circumstance to be in.

"Tell her of my misery and my penitence. Tell her that my heart was never inconstant to her, and if you will that at this moment she is dearer to me than ever." (Willoughby, Volume III, Chapter 8, p. 275)

Willoughby has come to Cleveland house to see Marianne, because he has heard she is dying. He wants her to know he is sorry for how he treated her in the past and that he has always loved her. He entrusts this message to Elinor, who does not tell her sister for some time the message. She waits for her sister to recuperate from her illness and to become emotionally stronger, before she gives her the message. Willoughby, who married a woman for her money, is not at this point in the book, happy with his marriage.

"But you, above all, above my mother, had been wronged by me." (Marianne Dashwood, Volume III, Chapter 10, p. 288)

Marianne has had time to think while she was ill and realizes she could have treated people more compassionately. She especially realizes how hard her sister tried to be there for her during her heart break and her illness. She tries to apologize to her sister for the harsh words and the stubbornness which marked her behavior during those times. She also admits to being very selfish, especially after she found out about Edward's engagement. She regrets how she treated her sister, who only tried to show her friendship during her moments of distress.

"This only need be said: that when they all sat down to table at four o'clock, about three hours after his arrival he had secured his lady, engaged her mother's consent, and was not only in the rapturous profession of the lover, but in the reality of reason and truth, one of the happiest of men." (Narrator, Volume III, Chapter 13, p. 300)

Edward has at last fulfilled his desire of becoming engaged to Elinor. It took him some time to gather his courage to ask her, but after it was done, he was extremely happy. Her mother gave her permission for them to marry and Elinor is able to also fulfill her dream of being Edward's wife. This is the beginning of the two of them accomplishing the goals they have set for themselves he will be ordained, they will have a home, and they will be together always.

Related Links:

Sense and Sensibility Summary
Sense and Sensibility Quiz
Sense and Sensibility Volume III Chapters 10 - 14 Summary
Sense and Sensibility Volume I Chapters 1 - 9 Summary
Sense and Sensibility Volume I Chapters 10 - 16 Summary
Sense and Sensibility Important Characters
Literature Summaries
Jane Austen Facts

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