Sense and Sensibility  理智与情感

Her family had of late been exceedingly fluctuating. For many years ofher life she had had two sons; but the crime and annihilation of Edwarda few weeks ago, had robbed her of one; the similar annihilation ofRobert had left her for a fortnight without any; and now, by theresuscitation of Edward, she had one again.

  最近,她家里简直乱了套。她多年来一直是有两个儿子。但是几周前,爱德华自作自受,使她失去了一个儿子,接着罗伯特又同样自作自受,半个月来,她一个儿子也没有了。现在,通过爱德华的幡然悔悟,她又有了一个儿子。

In spite of his being allowed once more to live, however, he did notfeel the continuance of his existence secure, till he had revealed hispresent engagement; for the publication of that circumstance, hefeared, might give a sudden turn to his constitution, and carry him offas rapidly as before. With apprehensive caution therefore it wasrevealed, and he was listened to with unexpected calmness. Mrs.Ferrars at first reasonably endeavoured to dissuade him from marryingMiss Dashwood, by every argument in her power;--told him, that in MissMorton he would have a woman of higher rank and larger fortune;--andenforced the assertion, by observing that Miss Morton was the daughterof a nobleman with thirty thousand pounds, while Miss Dashwood was onlythe daughter of a private gentleman with no more than THREE; but whenshe found that, though perfectly admitting the truth of herrepresentation, he was by no means inclined to be guided by it, shejudged it wisest, from the experience of the past, to submit--andtherefore, after such an ungracious delay as she owed to her owndignity, and as served to prevent every suspicion of good-will, sheissued her decree of consent to the marriage of Edward and Elinor.

  爱德华尽管再次得到生存的权利,在他透露目前的订婚之前,并不感到自己的继续生存是万无一失的。他担心这件事情一公之于众,就会突然改变他的身份,像前次那样马上被宣布为不复存在。他带着诚惶诚恐的心情,小心翼翼地作了透露,出乎意料之外,听的人显得异常平静。起先,费拉斯太太尽量以理相劝、动员他不要和达什伍德小姐成亲,告诉他莫顿小姐是个更高贵、更有钱的女人。为了增强说服力,她又谈到莫顿小姐是贵族的女儿,有三万镑财产,而达什伍德小姐只是个无名绅士的女儿,财产不到三千镑,可是当她发现,爱德华虽然承认她说的千真万确,但他决不想俯首听命。她根据以往的经验断定,最明智的办法还是顺从他——于是,做母亲的悻悻不快地耽延了一阵之后(这都是为了维护她的尊严,防止有人怀疑她心肠太好),终于发布命令,同意爱德华与埃丽诺结婚。

What she would engage to do towards augmenting their income was next tobe considered; and here it plainly appeared, that though Edward was nowher only son, he was by no means her eldest; for while Robert wasinevitably endowed with a thousand pounds a-year, not the smallestobjection was made against Edward's taking orders for the sake of twohundred and fifty at the utmost; nor was anything promised either forthe present or in future, beyond the ten thousand pounds, which hadbeen given with Fanny.

  她准备加何帮助他们增加收入,那是下一步考虑的事情。不过,有一点很明确,虽然爱德华现在是他唯一的儿子,但他决不是她的长子了是物质,而是民生,民众的生活是社会历史进化的动力。参,因为她一方面不可避免地要赠给罗伯特一年一千镑,另一方面又甘愿看着爱德华为了充其量不过二百五十镑的收入而去当牧师。她除了原先送给爱德华和范妮一人一万镑以外,对现在和将来没有作出任何别的许诺。

It was as much, however, as was desired, and more than was expected, byEdward and Elinor; and Mrs. Ferrars herself, by her shuffling excuses,seemed the only person surprised at her not giving more.

  不过,这倒满足了爱德华和埃丽诺的欲望,而且超出了他们的期望。倒是费拉斯太太自己,却在装腔作势地自我辩解,似乎只有她在为自己没有多给表示惊讶。

With an income quite sufficient to their wants thus secured to them,they had nothing to wait for after Edward was in possession of theliving, but the readiness of the house, to which Colonel Brandon, withan eager desire for the accommodation of Elinor, was makingconsiderable improvements; and after waiting some time for theircompletion, after experiencing, as usual, a thousand disappointmentsand delays from the unaccountable dilatoriness of the workmen, Elinor,as usual, broke through the first positive resolution of not marryingtill every thing was ready, and the ceremony took place in Bartonchurch early in the autumn.

  爱德华取得了足以满足他们需要的收入,在获得牧师职位之后,便一切俱备,只等新房了。布兰登上校渴望快点迎接埃丽诺,房子正在大加修缮。埃丽诺一心等着快点完工,谁料像往常一样,因为工人莫名其妙地拖拖拉拉,工程总是迟迟不能竣工。埃丽诺千失望、万扫兴地等了一段时间之后,便遵照惯例,打破了当初关于不准备就绪不结婚的明确誓言,趁早秋时节在巴顿教堂举行了婚札。

The first month after their marriage was spent with their friend at theMansion-house; from whence they could superintend the progress of theParsonage, and direct every thing as they liked on the spot;--couldchuse papers, project shrubberies, and invent a sweep. Mrs. Jennings'sprophecies, though rather jumbled together, were chiefly fulfilled; forshe was able to visit Edward and his wife in their Parsonage byMichaelmas, and she found in Elinor and her husband, as she reallybelieved, one of the happiest couples in the world. They had in factnothing to wish for, but the marriage of Colonel Brandon and Marianne,and rather better pasturage for their cows.

  他们婚后的第一个月是同他们的朋友一起,在大宅第里度过的。从这里,他们可以监督牧师公馆的工程进展,随意到现场直接指挥。可以选择糊墙纸,规划灌木丛一股复活黑格尔哲学的唯心主义思潮的总称。现代资产阶级,设计园景。詹宁斯太太的预言虽然点错了鸳鸯谱,但是基本上兑现了。因为她可以赶在米迦勒节前到牧师公馆拜访爱德华夫妇,而且正如她所确信的那样,她发觉埃丽诺和她的丈夫是世界上最幸福的一对夫妻。实际上,他们也没有别的奢望,只盼着布兰登上校和玛丽安能结成良缘,他们的奶牛能吃到上好的牧草。

They were visited on their first settling by almost all their relationsand friends. Mrs. Ferrars came to inspect the happiness which she wasalmost ashamed of having authorised; and even the Dashwoods were at theexpense of a journey from Sussex to do them honour.

  他们刚定居下来,几乎所有的亲友都赶来拜访。费拉斯太太跑来瞧瞧这对幸福的小夫妻,当初允许他们结婚时,她还真有点羞愧呢。就连达什伍德夫妇也不惜破费,从苏塞克斯远道而来,向他们道喜。

"I will not say that I am disappointed, my dear sister," said John, asthey were walking together one morning before the gates of DelafordHouse, "THAT would be saying too much, for certainly you have been oneof the most fortunate young women in the world, as it is. But, Iconfess, it would give me great pleasure to call Colonel Brandonbrother. His property here, his place, his house, every thing is insuch respectable and excellent condition!--and his woods!--I have notseen such timber any where in Dorsetshire, as there is now standing inDelaford Hanger!--And though, perhaps, Marianne may not seem exactlythe person to attract him--yet I think it would altogether be advisablefor you to have them now frequently staying with you, for as ColonelBrandon seems a great deal at home, nobody can tell what mayhappen--for, when people are much thrown together, and see little ofanybody else--and it will always be in your power to set her off toadvantage, and so forth;--in short, you may as well give her achance--You understand me."--

  一天早晨,他们一道在德拉福大宅第门前散步时,约翰说道:“我的好妹妹,我不想说我感到失望。这样说也许有点过分,因为事实上你当然是个世上最幸运的年轻女人。不过,坦白地说,我倘若能把布兰登上校称作妹夫,那我会感到高兴之至。他在这里的财产、地位和住宅,—切都是那样体面,那样优越!还有他的树林!现在生长在德拉福坡林上的那种树木,我在多塞特郡的其他地方还从未见到过呢。也许玛丽安不像是个对他有吸引力的姑娘,不过我想你们最好让他俩经常和你们呆在一起。因为布兰登上校在这里非常怡然自得,谁也说不上会出现什么情况——因为如果两个人碰到一起,见不到其他任何人。——你们总有办法把玛丽安打扮得绰约多姿……总而言之,你们不纺给她个机会。你懂得我的意思。”

But though Mrs. Ferrars DID come to see them, and always treated themwith the make-believe of decent affection, they were never insulted byher real favour and preference. THAT was due to the folly of Robert,and the cunning of his wife; and it was earned by them before manymonths had passed away. The selfish sagacity of the latter, which hadat first drawn Robert into the scrape, was the principal instrument ofhis deliverance from it; for her respectful humility, assiduousattentions, and endless flatteries, as soon as the smallest opening wasgiven for their exercise, reconciled Mrs. Ferrars to his choice, andre-established him completely in her favour.

  且说费拉斯太太虽然来看望儿子儿媳了,而旦总是装作对他们颇有情义,但是他们从来没有真正得到她的欢心与宠爱。那是由于罗伯特的愚蠢和他妻子的狡诈引起的。没出几个月,他们倒赢得了费拉斯太太的欢心与宠爱。露西的自私与精明,最初使罗伯特陷入窘境化之玄伎也。”其中包括占卜、符箓、祈禳、禁咒、炼丹等。,后来又为他摆脱窘境立下了汗马功劳。因为她那唯唯诺诺、大献股勤和百般奉承的本领一旦得到机会施展,费拉斯太太便宽容了罗伯特的选择,完全恢复了对他的欢心。

The whole of Lucy's behaviour in the affair, and the prosperity whichcrowned it, therefore, may be held forth as a most encouraging instanceof what an earnest, an unceasing attention to self-interest, howeverits progress may be apparently obstructed, will do in securing everyadvantage of fortune, with no other sacrifice than that of time andconscience. When Robert first sought her acquaintance, and privatelyvisited her in Bartlett's Buildings, it was only with the view imputedto him by his brother. He merely meant to persuade her to give up theengagement; and as there could be nothing to overcome but the affectionof both, he naturally expected that one or two interviews would settlethe matter. In that point, however, and that only, he erred;--forthough Lucy soon gave him hopes that his eloquence would convince herin TIME, another visit, another conversation, was always wanted toproduce this conviction. Some doubts always lingered in her mind whenthey parted, which could only be removed by another half hour'sdiscourse with himself. His attendance was by this means secured, andthe rest followed in course. Instead of talking of Edward, they camegradually to talk only of Robert,--a subject on which he had alwaysmore to say than on any other, and in which she soon betrayed aninterest even equal to his own; and in short, it became speedilyevident to both, that he had entirely supplanted his brother. He wasproud of his conquest, proud of tricking Edward, and very proud ofmarrying privately without his mother's consent. What immediatelyfollowed is known. They passed some months in great happiness atDawlish; for she had many relations and old acquaintances to cut--andhe drew several plans for magnificent cottages;--and from thencereturning to town, procured the forgiveness of Mrs. Ferrars, by thesimple expedient of asking it, which, at Lucy's instigation, wasadopted. The forgiveness, at first, indeed, as was reasonable,comprehended only Robert; and Lucy, who had owed his mother no duty andtherefore could have transgressed none, still remained some weekslonger unpardoned. But perseverance in humility of conduct andmessages, in self-condemnation for Robert's offence, and gratitude forthe unkindness she was treated with, procured her in time the haughtynotice which overcame her by its graciousness, and led soon afterwards,by rapid degrees, to the highest state of affection and influence.Lucy became as necessary to Mrs. Ferrars, as either Robert or Fanny;and while Edward was never cordially forgiven for having once intendedto marry her, and Elinor, though superior to her in fortune and birth,was spoken of as an intruder, SHE was in every thing considered, andalways openly acknowledged, to be a favourite child. They settled intown, received very liberal assistance from Mrs. Ferrars, were on thebest terms imaginable with the Dashwoods; and setting aside thejealousies and ill-will continually subsisting between Fanny and Lucy,in which their husbands of course took a part, as well as the frequentdomestic disagreements between Robert and Lucy themselves, nothingcould exceed the harmony in which they all lived together.

  露西在这件事中的整个行为及其获得的荣华富贵,可以被视为一个极其鼓舞人心的事例,说明对于自身利益,只要刻意追求,锲而不舍,不管表面上看来有多大阻力,都会取得圆满成功,除了要牺牲时间和良心之外,别无其他代价。罗伯特最初去找她,在巴特利特大楼对她进行私访时,本是带着他哥哥所说的目的去的。他只打算劝说她放弃这门婚事,再说他不过就是要制服两个人的感情,他便自然而然地认为:谈上一两次就能解决问题。不想在这一点上,也只是在这一点上,他算计错了。因为虽说露西给他希望,觉得凭着他的能说会道,迟早总会说服她,但每次总是需要再见一面,再谈一次,才能达到说服她的目的。他们分别的时候,露西心里总是存有几分疑虑,只有同他再交谈半个小时才能消释。就用这个办法,她把他给套住了,事情往后就顺当了。他们不再谈论爱德华,而是渐渐地只谈起罗伯特。一谈起自己,罗伯特总是比谈论什么话题都健谈,而露西也马上显得同样兴致勃勃。总之一句活,双方迅即发现,罗伯特已经完全取代了哥哥的位置。他为他赢得了露西的爱情感到得意,为他戏弄了爱德华感到骄傲,为不经母亲同意而秘密结婚感到自豪。紧接着发生的事情,大家已经知道。他们在道利希非常快乐地度过了几个月,因为露西可以摆脱许多亲戚旧交—一罗伯特还设计了几幢豪华的乡舍。他们随后回到城里,在露西的唆使下,经罗伯特简简单单地一要求,便取得了费拉斯太太的宽恕。理所当然,一开始得到宽恕的只是罗伯特。露西对他母亲本来就不负有义务,因而也谈不到背信弃义。又过了几个星期,她仍然没有得到宽恕。但是她继续装作低三下四的样子,一再对罗伯特的罪过引咎自责,对她自己受到的苛刻待遇表示感激,最后终于受到了费拉斯太太的赏识。尽管太太表现得有些傲慢,但露西深为她的宽宏大量所折服,此后不久,她便迅速达到了最受宠爱、最有影响的地步。对于费拉斯太太说来,露西变得像罗伯特和范妮一样必不可少。爱德华因为一度想娶她而一直得不到真诚的谅解,埃丽诺虽说财产和出身都胜她一筹,但却被当成不税禄*究竟为什么失去了长子的权利,可能使许多人感到疑惑不解,而罗伯特凭什么继承了这个权利,可能会使人们更加疑惑不解。这种安排如果说没有正当的原因,其结果却是无可非议的。因为从罗伯特的生活派头和说话派头来看,一直没有任何迹象表明他对自己的巨额收入感到懊悔,既不懊悔给他哥哥留得太少,也不懊悔自己捞得太多。如果再从爱德华处处注意履行自己的职责,越来越钟爱自己的妻室,总是兴高采烈的情形来判断,他似乎对自己的命运同样感到称心如意,并不希望和他弟弟来个对调,

What Edward had done to forfeit the right of eldest son, might havepuzzled many people to find out; and what Robert had done to succeed toit, might have puzzled them still more. It was an arrangement,however, justified in its effects, if not in its cause; for nothingever appeared in Robert's style of living or of talking to give asuspicion of his regretting the extent of his income, as either leavinghis brother too little, or bringing himself too much;--and if Edwardmight be judged from the ready discharge of his duties in everyparticular, from an increasing attachment to his wife and his home, andfrom the regular cheerfulness of his spirits, he might be supposed noless contented with his lot, no less free from every wish of anexchange.

  埃丽诺出嫁以后,经过妥当的安排,一方面使自己尽量少与家人分离,一方面又不让巴顿乡舍完全荒废,因为她母亲妹妹有大半时间和她住在—起。达什伍德太太之所以频频来到德拉福,既有散散心的打算,又有策略上的考虑,因为她想把玛丽安和布兰登上校撮合到—起的愿望,虽然比约翰所说的磊落得多,但是也着实够热切的了。现在,这已成为她梦寐以求的目标。尽管她十分珍惜和女儿在一起的机会,但是她更愿意把这种乐趣永远让给她的尊贵的朋友。况且,亲眼见到玛丽安嫁进大宅第,也是爱德华和埃丽诺的愿望。他们都感到了上校的悲伤和自己的责任。他们一致认为:玛丽安将给大家带来慰籍。

Elinor's marriage divided her as little from her family as could wellbe contrived, without rendering the cottage at Barton entirely useless,for her mother and sisters spent much more than half their time withher. Mrs. Dashwood was acting on motives of policy as well as pleasurein the frequency of her visits at Delaford; for her wish of bringingMarianne and Colonel Brandon together was hardly less earnest, thoughrather more liberal than what John had expressed. It was now herdarling object. Precious as was the company of her daughter to her,she desired nothing so much as to give up its constant enjoyment to hervalued friend; and to see Marianne settled at the mansion-house wasequally the wish of Edward and Elinor. They each felt his sorrows, andtheir own obligations, and Marianne, by general consent, was to be thereward of all.

  玛丽安在这样的共谋之下—一她如此了解上校的美德一—上校对她的一片深情早为大家有目共睹,最后终于也被她认识到了——她该怎么办呢?

With such a confederacy against her--with a knowledge so intimate ofhis goodness--with a conviction of his fond attachment to herself,which at last, though long after it was observable to everybodyelse--burst on her--what could she do?

  玛丽安。达什伍德天生有个特殊的命运。她天生注定要发现她的看法是错误的,而且用她的行动否定了她最喜爱的格言。她天生注定要克服十七岁时形成的那股钟情,而且怀着崇高的敬意和真挚的友情,自觉自愿地把心交给了另一个人!而这另一个人,由于过去的一次恋爱经历,遭受的痛苦并不比她少。就是他,两年前被玛丽安认为太老了,不能结婚;就是他,现在还要穿着法兰绒马甲保护身体。

Marianne Dashwood was born to an extraordinary fate. She was born todiscover the falsehood of her own opinions, and to counteract, by herconduct, her most favourite maxims. She was born to overcome anaffection formed so late in life as at seventeen, and with no sentimentsuperior to strong esteem and lively friendship, voluntarily to giveher hand to another!--and THAT other, a man who had suffered no lessthan herself under the event of a former attachment, whom, two yearsbefore, she had considered too old to be married,--and who still soughtthe constitutional safeguard of a flannel waistcoat!

  不过,事情就是如此。玛丽安没有像她一度天真地期望的那样,沦为不可抗拒的感情的牺牲品。没有像她后来头脑冷静下来所决定的那样,准备一辈子守在母亲身边,唯一的乐趣就是闭门读书。如今到了十九岁,她发现自己屈从于新的情感,担负起新的义务,安顿在一所新居里,做了妻子,家庭主妇,一个村庄的女保护人。

But so it was. Instead of falling a sacrifice to an irresistiblepassion, as once she had fondly flattered herself with expecting,--insteadof remaining even for ever with her mother, and finding her onlypleasures in retirement and study, as afterwards in her more calm andsober judgment she had determined on,--she found herself at nineteen,submitting to new attachments, entering on new duties, placed in a newhome, a wife, the mistress of a family, and the patroness of a village.

  布兰登上校就像最喜爱他的人们认为的那样,现在理所当然是非常幸福的。玛丽安为他过去的—切创伤带来了安慰。有她关心,有她作伴,他的心智恢复了活力,情绪重新欢快起来。每个明眼的朋友也都高兴地认识到,玛丽安给他带来了幸福。也从中找到了自己的幸福。玛丽安爱起人来决不会半心半意,她的整颗心就像一度献给了威洛比那样。现在终于完全献给了她的丈夫。

Colonel Brandon was now as happy, as all those who best loved him,believed he deserved to be;--in Marianne he was consoled for every pastaffliction;--her regard and her society restored his mind to animation,and his spirits to cheerfulness; and that Marianne found her ownhappiness in forming his, was equally the persuasion and delight ofeach observing friend. Marianne could never love by halves; and herwhole heart became, in time, as much devoted to her husband, as it hadonce been to Willoughby.

  威洛比听到他结婚的消息,不能不感到极度悲痛。过了不久。史密斯太太故意宽恕了他,将对他的惩罚推向顶点。史密斯太太明确表示,他与一个正派的女人结婚本是她厚待他的前提,这就使他有理由相信:想当初他假若能体面地对待玛丽安,他马上就会获得幸福,变得富有起来。威洛比悔恨自己的不道德行为给他带来了惩罚,他的忏悔是诚恳的,无可怀疑的。同样无可怀疑的是,有很长时间,他一想起布兰登上校就满怀嫉妒,一想起玛丽安就懊悔莫及。但是说他永远得不到安慰——说他要逃离尘嚣,养成阴郁消沉的习惯,最后死于过度悲伤,这可令人无法置信──因为他并非如此。他顽强地活着,而且经常活得很快活。他的妻子并非总是闷闷不乐,他的家里并非总是郁郁寡欢!他的马、他的狗,以及各种各样的游猎活动,都给他带来了不少家居之乐。

Willoughby could not hear of her marriage without a pang; and hispunishment was soon afterwards complete in the voluntary forgiveness ofMrs. Smith, who, by stating his marriage with a woman of character, asthe source of her clemency, gave him reason for believing that had hebehaved with honour towards Marianne, he might at once have been happyand rich. That his repentance of misconduct, which thus brought itsown punishment, was sincere, need not be doubted;--nor that he longthought of Colonel Brandon with envy, and of Marianne with regret. Butthat he was for ever inconsolable, that he fled from society, orcontracted an habitual gloom of temper, or died of a broken heart, mustnot be depended on--for he did neither. He lived to exert, andfrequently to enjoy himself. His wife was not always out of humour,nor his home always uncomfortable; and in his breed of horses and dogs,and in sporting of every kind, he found no inconsiderable degree ofdomestic felicity.

  尽管失去玛丽安以后使他变粗野了,但他一直对玛丽安怀有明显的敬恋之情,使他对降临到她头上的每件事都深感兴趣,使他暗中把她视为女人中十全十美的典范。在以后的岁月里,出现了不少美丽的少女,只因比不上布兰登夫人而被他嗤之以鼻。达什伍德太太比较慎重,仍然住在乡舍里,而没有搬到德拉福。使约翰爵士和詹宁斯太太感到幸运的是,玛丽安出嫁之后,玛格丽特到了适合跳舞的年龄,而且有个她心爱的人也并非很不适当了。

For Marianne, however--in spite of his incivility in surviving herloss--he always retained that decided regard which interested him inevery thing that befell her, and made her his secret standard ofperfection in woman;--and many a rising beauty would be slighted by himin after-days as bearing no comparison with Mrs. Brandon.

Mrs. Dashwood was prudent enough to remain at the cottage, withoutattempting a removal to Delaford; and fortunately for Sir John and Mrs.Jennings, when Marianne was taken from them, Margaret had reached anage highly suitable for dancing, and not very ineligible for beingsupposed to have a lover.

Between Barton and Delaford, there was that constant communicationwhich strong family affection would naturally dictate;--and among themerits and the happiness of Elinor and Marianne, let it not be rankedas the least considerable, that though sisters, and living almostwithin sight of each other, they could live without disagreementbetween themselves, or producing coolness between their husbands.

After a proper resistance on the part of Mrs. Ferrars, just so violentand so steady as to preserve her from that reproach which she alwaysseemed fearful of incurring, the reproach of being too amiable, Edwardwas admitted to her presence, and pronounced to be again her son.

Her family had of late been exceedingly fluctuating. For many years ofher life she had had two sons; but the crime and annihilation of Edwarda few weeks ago, had robbed her of one; the similar annihilation ofRobert had left her for a fortnight without any; and now, by theresuscitation of Edward, she had one again.

In spite of his being allowed once more to live, however, he did notfeel the continuance of his existence secure, till he had revealed hispresent engagement; for the publication of that circumstance, hefeared, might give a sudden turn to his constitution, and carry him offas rapidly as before. With apprehensive caution therefore it wasrevealed, and he was listened to with unexpected calmness. Mrs.Ferrars at first reasonably endeavoured to dissuade him from marryingMiss Dashwood, by every argument in her power;--told him, that in MissMorton he would have a woman of higher rank and larger fortune;--andenforced the assertion, by observing that Miss Morton was the daughterof a nobleman with thirty thousand pounds, while Miss Dashwood was onlythe daughter of a private gentleman with no more than THREE; but whenshe found that, though perfectly admitting the truth of herrepresentation, he was by no means inclined to be guided by it, shejudged it wisest, from the experience of the past, to submit--andtherefore, after such an ungracious delay as she owed to her owndignity, and as served to prevent every suspicion of good-will, sheissued her decree of consent to the marriage of Edward and Elinor.

What she would engage to do towards augmenting their income was next tobe considered; and here it plainly appeared, that though Edward was nowher only son, he was by no means her eldest; for while Robert wasinevitably endowed with a thousand pounds a-year, not the smallestobjection was made against Edward's taking orders for the sake of twohundred and fifty at the utmost; nor was anything promised either forthe present or in future, beyond the ten thousand pounds, which hadbeen given with Fanny.

It was as much, however, as was desired, and more than was expected, byEdward and Elinor; and Mrs. Ferrars herself, by her shuffling excuses,seemed the only person surprised at her not giving more.

With an income quite sufficient to their wants thus secured to them,they had nothing to wait for after Edward was in possession of theliving, but the readiness of the house, to which Colonel Brandon, withan eager desire for the accommodation of Elinor, was makingconsiderable improvements; and after waiting some time for theircompletion, after experiencing, as usual, a thousand disappointmentsand delays from the unaccountable dilatoriness of the workmen, Elinor,as usual, broke through the first positive resolution of not marryingtill every thing was ready, and the ceremony took place in Bartonchurch early in the autumn.

The first month after their marriage was spent with their friend at theMansion-house; from whence they could superintend the progress of theParsonage, and direct every thing as they liked on the spot;--couldchuse papers, project shrubberies, and invent a sweep. Mrs. Jennings'sprophecies, though rather jumbled together, were chiefly fulfilled; forshe was able to visit Edward and his wife in their Parsonage byMichaelmas, and she found in Elinor and her husband, as she reallybelieved, one of the happiest couples in the world. They had in factnothing to wish for, but the marriage of Colonel Brandon and Marianne,and rather better pasturage for their cows.

They were visited on their first settling by almost all their relationsand friends. Mrs. Ferrars came to inspect the happiness which she wasalmost ashamed of having authorised; and even the Dashwoods were at theexpense of a journey from Sussex to do them honour.

"I will not say that I am disappointed, my dear sister," said John, asthey were walking together one morning before the gates of DelafordHouse, "THAT would be saying too much, for certainly you have been oneof the most fortunate young women in the world, as it is. But, Iconfess, it would give me great pleasure to call Colonel Brandonbrother. His property here, his place, his house, every thing is insuch respectable and excellent condition!--and his woods!--I have notseen such timber any where in Dorsetshire, as there is now standing inDelaford Hanger!--And though, perhaps, Marianne may not seem exactlythe person to attract him--yet I think it would altogether be advisablefor you to have them now frequently staying with you, for as ColonelBrandon seems a great deal at home, nobody can tell what mayhappen--for, when people are much thrown together, and see little ofanybody else--and it will always be in your power to set her off toadvantage, and so forth;--in short, you may as well give her achance--You understand me."--

But though Mrs. Ferrars DID come to see them, and always treated themwith the make-believe of decent affection, they were never insulted byher real favour and preference. THAT was due to the folly of Robert,and the cunning of his wife; and it was earned by them before manymonths had passed away. The selfish sagacity of the latter, which hadat first drawn Robert into the scrape, was the principal instrument ofhis deliverance from it; for her respectful humility, assiduousattentions, and endless flatteries, as soon as the smallest opening wasgiven for their exercise, reconciled Mrs. Ferrars to his choice, andre-established him completely in her favour.

The whole of Lucy's behaviour in the affair, and the prosperity whichcrowned it, therefore, may be held forth as a most encouraging instanceof what an earnest, an unceasing attention to self-interest, howeverits progress may be apparently obstructed, will do in securing everyadvantage of fortune, with no other sacrifice than that of time andconscience. When Robert first sought her acquaintance, and privatelyvisited her in Bartlett's Buildings, it was only with the view imputedto him by his brother. He merely meant to persuade her to give up theengagement; and as there could be nothing to overcome but the affectionof both, he naturally expected that one or two interviews would settlethe matter. In that point, however, and that only, he erred;--forthough Lucy soon gave him hopes that his eloquence would convince herin TIME, another visit, another conversation, was always wanted toproduce this conviction. Some doubts always lingered in her mind whenthey parted, which could only be removed by another half hour'sdiscourse with himself. His attendance was by this means secured, andthe rest followed in course. Instead of talking of Edward, they camegradually to talk only of Robert,--a subject on which he had alwaysmore to say than on any other, and in which she soon betrayed aninterest even equal to his own; and in short, it became speedilyevident to both, that he had entirely supplanted his brother. He wasproud of his conquest, proud of tricking Edward, and very proud ofmarrying privately without his mother's consent. What immediatelyfollowed is known. They passed some months in great happiness atDawlish; for she had many relations and old acquaintances to cut--andhe drew several plans for magnificent cottages;--and from thencereturning to town, procured the forgiveness of Mrs. Ferrars, by thesimple expedient of asking it, which, at Lucy's instigation, wasadopted. The forgiveness, at first, indeed, as was reasonable,comprehended only Robert; and Lucy, who had owed his mother no duty andtherefore could have transgressed none, still remained some weekslonger unpardoned. But perseverance in humility of conduct andmessages, in self-condemnation for Robert's offence, and gratitude forthe unkindness she was treated with, procured her in time the haughtynotice which overcame her by its graciousness, and led soon afterwards,by rapid degrees, to the highest state of affection and influence.Lucy became as necessary to Mrs. Ferrars, as either Robert or Fanny;and while Edward was never cordially forgiven for having once intendedto marry her, and Elinor, though superior to her in fortune and birth,was spoken of as an intruder, SHE was in every thing considered, andalways openly acknowledged, to be a favourite child. They settled intown, received very liberal assistance from Mrs. Ferrars, were on thebest terms imaginable with the Dashwoods; and setting aside thejealousies and ill-will continually subsisting between Fanny and Lucy,in which their husbands of course took a part, as well as the frequentdomestic disagreements between Robert and Lucy themselves, nothingcould exceed the harmony in which they all lived together.

What Edward had done to forfeit the right of eldest son, might havepuzzled many people to find out; and what Robert had done to succeed toit, might have puzzled them still more. It was an arrangement,however, justified in its effects, if not in its cause; for nothingever appeared in Robert's style of living or of talking to give asuspicion of his regretting the extent of his income, as either leavinghis brother too little, or bringing himself too much;--and if Edwardmight be judged from the ready discharge of his duties in everyparticular, from an increasing attachment to his wife and his home, andfrom the regular cheerfulness of his spirits, he might be supposed noless contented with his lot, no less free from every wish of anexchange.

Elinor's marriage divided her as little from her family as could wellbe contrived, without rendering the cottage at Barton entirely useless,for her mother and sisters spent much more than half their time withher. Mrs. Dashwood was acting on motives of policy as well as pleasurein the frequency of her visits at Delaford; for her wish of bringingMarianne and Colonel Brandon together was hardly less earnest, thoughrather more liberal than what John had expressed. It was now herdarling object. Precious as was the company of her daughter to her,she desired nothing so much as to give up its constant enjoyment to hervalued friend; and to see Marianne settled at the mansion-house wasequally the wish of Edward and Elinor. They each felt his sorrows, andtheir own obligations, and Marianne, by general consent, was to be thereward of all.

With such a confederacy against her--with a knowledge so intimate ofhis goodness--with a conviction of his fond attachment to herself,which at last, though long after it was observable to everybodyelse--burst on her--what could she do?

Marianne Dashwood was born to an extraordinary fate. She was born todiscover the falsehood of her own opinions, and to counteract, by herconduct, her most favourite maxims. She was born to overcome anaffection formed so late in life as at seventeen, and with no sentimentsuperior to strong esteem and lively friendship, voluntarily to giveher hand to another!--and THAT other, a man who had suffered no lessthan herself under the event of a former attachment, whom, two yearsbefore, she had considered too old to be married,--and who still soughtthe constitutional safeguard of a flannel waistcoat!

But so it was. Instead of falling a sacrifice to an irresistiblepassion, as once she had fondly flattered herself with expecting,--insteadof remaining even for ever with her mother, and finding her onlypleasures in retirement and study, as afterwards in her more calm andsober judgment she had determined on,--she found herself at nineteen,submitting to new attachments, entering on new duties, placed in a newhome, a wife, the mistress of a family, and the patroness of a village.

Colonel Brandon was now as happy, as all those who best loved him,believed he deserved to be;--in Marianne he was consoled for every pastaffliction;--her regard and her society restored his mind to animation,and his spirits to cheerfulness; and that Marianne found her ownhappiness in forming his, was equally the persuasion and delight ofeach observing friend. Marianne could never love by halves; and herwhole heart became, in time, as much devoted to her husband, as it hadonce been to Willoughby.

Willoughby could not hear of her marriage without a pang; and hispunishment was soon afterwards complete in the voluntary forgiveness ofMrs. Smith, who, by stating his marriage with a woman of character, asthe source of her clemency, gave him reason for believing that had hebehaved with honour towards Marianne, he might at once have been happyand rich. That his repentance of misconduct, which thus brought itsown punishment, was sincere, need not be doubted;--nor that he longthought of Colonel Brandon with envy, and of Marianne with regret. Butthat he was for ever inconsolable, that he fled from society, orcontracted an habitual gloom of temper, or died of a broken heart, mustnot be depended on--for he did neither. He lived to exert, andfrequently to enjoy himself. His wife was not always out of humour,nor his home always uncomfortable; and in his breed of horses and dogs,and in sporting of every kind, he found no inconsiderable degree ofdomestic felicity.

For Marianne, however--in spite of his incivility in surviving herloss--he always retained that decided regard which interested him inevery thing that befell her, and made her his secret standard ofperfection in woman;--and many a rising beauty would be slighted by himin after-days as bearing no comparison with Mrs. Brandon.

Mrs. Dashwood was prudent enough to remain at the cottage, withoutattempting a removal to Delaford; and fortunately for Sir John and Mrs.Jennings, when Marianne was taken from them, Margaret had reached anage highly suitable for dancing, and not very ineligible for beingsupposed to have a lover.

Between Barton and Delaford, there was that constant communicationwhich strong family affection would naturally dictate;--and among themerits and the happiness of Elinor and Marianne, let it not be rankedas the least considerable, that though sisters, and living almostwithin sight of each other, they could live without disagreementbetween themselves, or producing coolness between their husbands.