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浙江11选5一天有多少期:Sense and Sensibility(理智與情感) V3-C4

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CHAPTER IV

ell, Miss Dashwood,” said Mrs. Jennings,

sagaciously smiling, as soon as the gentleman

had withdrawn, “I do not ask you what the

Colonel has been saying to you; for though, upon my honour, I

tried to keep out of hearing, I could not help catching enough to

understand his business. And I assure you I never was better

pleased in my life, and I wish you joy of it with all my heart.”

“Thank you, ma’am,” said Elinor. “It is a matter of great joy to

me; and I feel the goodness of Colonel Brandon most sensibly.

There are not many men who would act as he has done. Few

people who have so compassionate a heart! I never was more

astonished in my life.”

“Lord! my dear, you are very modest. I an’t the least astonished

at it in the world, for I have often thought of late, there was

nothing more likely to happen.”

“You judged from your knowledge of the Colonel’s general

benevolence; but at least you could not foresee that the

opportunity would so very soon occur.”

“Opportunity!” repeated Mrs. Jennings―“Oh! as to that, when

a man has once made up his mind to such a thing, somehow or

other he will soon find an opportunity. Well, my dear, I wish you

joy of it again and again; and if ever there was a happy couple in

the world, I think I shall soon know where to look for them.”

“You mean to go to Delaford after them I suppose,” said Elinor,

with a faint smile.

“Aye, my dear, that I do, indeed. And as to the house being a

bad one, I do not know what the Colonel would be at, for it is as

good a one as ever I saw.”

“He spoke of its being out of repair.”

“Well, and whose fault is that? why don’t he repair it?―who

should do it but himself?”

They were interrupted by the servant’s coming in to announce

the carriage being at the door; and Mrs. Jennings immediately

preparing to go, said,―

“Well, my dear, I must be gone before I have had half my talk

out. But, however, we may have it all over in the evening; for we

shall be quite alone. I do not ask you to go with me, for I dare say

your mind is too full of the matter to care for company; and

besides, you must long to tell your sister all about it.”

Marianne had left the room before the conversation began.

“Certainly, ma’am, I shall tell Marianne of it; but I shall not

mention it at present to any body else.”

“Oh! very well,” said Mrs. Jennings rather disappointed. “Then

you would not have me tell it to Lucy, for I think of going as far as

Holborn to-day.”

“No, ma’am, not even Lucy if you please. One day’s delay will

not be very material; and till I have written to Mr. Ferrars, I think

it ought not to be mentioned to any body else. I shall do that

directly. It is of importance that no time should be lost with him,

for he will of course have much to do relative to his ordination.”

This speech at first puzzled Mrs. Jennings exceedingly. Why

Mr. Ferrars was to have been written to about it in such a hurry,

she could not immediately comprehend. A few moments’

reflection, however, produced a very happy idea, and she

exclaimed;―

“Oh, ho!―I understand you. Mr. Ferrars is to be the man. Well,

so much the better for him. Ay, to be sure, he must be ordained in

readiness; and I am very glad to find things are so forward

between you. But, my dear, is not this rather out of character?

Should not the Colonel write himself?―sure, he is the proper

person.”

Elinor did not quite understand the beginning of Mrs.

Jennings’s speech, neither did she think it worth inquiring into;

and therefore only replied to its conclusion.

“Colonel Brandon is so delicate a man, that he rather wished

any one to announce his intentions to Mr. Ferrars than himself.”

“And so you are forced to do it. Well that is an odd kind of

delicacy! However, I will not disturb you (seeing her preparing to

write.) You know your own concerns best. So good bye, my dear. I

have not heard of any thing to please me so well since Charlotte

was brought to bed.”

And away she went; but returning again in a moment,

“I have just been thinking of Betty’s sister, my dear. I should be

very glad to get her so good a mistress. But whether she would do

for a lady’s maid, I am sure I can’t tell. She is an excellent

housemaid, and works very well at her needle. However, you will

think of all that at your leisure.”

“Certainly, ma’am,” replied Elinor, not hearing much of what

she said, and more anxious to be alone, than to be mistress of the

subject.

How she should begin―how she should express herself in her

note to Edward, was now all her concern. The particular

circumstances between them made a difficulty of that which to

any other person would have been the easiest thing in the world;

but she equally feared to say too much or too little, and sat

deliberating over her paper, with the pen in her band, till broken

in on by the entrance of Edward himself.

He had met Mrs. Jennings at the door in her way to the

carriage, as he came to leave his farewell card; and she, after

apologising for not returning herself, had obliged him to enter, by

saying that Miss Dashwood was above, and wanted to speak with

him on very particular business.

Elinor had just been congratulating herself, in the midst of her

perplexity, that however difficult it might be to express herself

properly by letter, it was at least preferable to giving the

information by word of mouth, when her visitor entered, to force

her upon this greatest exertion of all. Her astonishment and

confusion were very great on his so sudden appearance. She had

not seen him before since his engagement became public, and

therefore not since his knowing her to be acquainted with it;

which, with the consciousness of what she had been thinking of,

and what she had to tell him, made her feel particularly

uncomfortable for some minutes. He too was much distressed; and

they sat down together in a most promising state of

embarrassment.―Whether he had asked her pardon for his

intrusion on first coming into the room, he could not recollect; but

determining to be on the safe side, he made his apology in form as

soon as he could say any thing, after taking a chair.

“Mrs. Jennings told me,” said he, “that you wished to speak

with me, at least I understood her so―or I certainly should not

have intruded on you in such a manner; though at the same time, I

should have been extremely sorry to leave London without seeing

you and your sister; especially as it will most likely be some time―

it is not probable that I should soon have the pleasure of meeting

you again. I go to Oxford tomorrow.”

“You would not have gone, however,” said Elinor, recovering

herself, and determined to get over what she so much dreaded as

soon as possible, “without receiving our good wishes, even if we

had not been able to give them in person. Mrs. Jennings was quite

right in what she said. I have something of consequence to inform

you of, which I was on the point of communicating by paper. I am

charged with a most agreeable office (breathing rather faster than

usual as she spoke.) Colonel Brandon, who was here only ten

minutes ago, has desired me to say, that understanding you mean

to take orders, he has great pleasure in offering you the living of

Delaford now just vacant, and only wishes it were more valuable.

Allow me to congratulate you on having so respectable and well-

judging a friend, and to join in his wish that the living―it is about

two hundred a-year―were much more considerable, and such as

might better enable you to―as might be more than a temporary

accommodation to yourself―such, in short, as might establish all

your views of happiness.”

What Edward felt, as he could not say it himself, it cannot be

expected that any one else should say for him. He looked all the

astonishment which such unexpected, such unthought-of

information could not fail of exciting; but he said only these two

words,

“Colonel Brandon!”

“Yes,” continued Elinor, gathering more resolution, as some of

the worst was over, “Colonel Brandon means it as a testimony of

his concern for what has lately passed―for the cruel situation in

which the unjustifiable conduct of your family has placed you―a

concern which I am sure Marianne, myself, and all your friends,

must share; and likewise as a proof of his high esteem for your

general character, and his particular approbation of your

behaviour on the present occasion.”

“Colonel Brandon give me a living!―Can it be possible?”

“The unkindness of your own relations has made you

astonished to find friendship any where.”

“No,” replied be, with sudden consciousness, “not to find it in

you; for I cannot be ignorant that to you, to your goodness, I owe it

all.―I feel it―I would express it if I could―but, as you well know,

I am no orator.”

“You are very much mistaken. I do assure you that you owe it

entirely, at least almost entirely, to your own merit, and Colonel

Brandon’s discernment of it. I have had no hand in it. I did not

even know, till I understood his design, that the living was vacant;

nor had it ever occurred to me that he might have had such a

living in his gift. As a friend of mine, of my family, he may,

perhaps―indeed I know he has, still greater pleasure in bestowing

it; but, upon my word, you owe nothing to my solicitation.”

Truth obliged her to acknowledge some small share in the

action, but she was at the same time so unwilling to appear as the

benefactress of Edward, that she acknowledged it with hesitation;

which probably contributed to fix that suspicion in his mind which

had recently entered it. For a short time he sat deep in thought,

after Elinor had ceased to speak;―at last, and as if it were rather

an effort, he said,

“Colonel Brandon seems a man of great worth and

respectability. I have always heard him spoken of as such, and

your brother I know esteems him highly. He is undoubtedly a

sensible man, and in his manners perfectly the gentleman.”

“Indeed,” replied Elinor, “I believe that you will find him, on

farther acquaintance, all that you have heard him to be, and as you

will be such very near neighbours (for I understand the parsonage

is almost close to the mansion-house,) it is particularly important

that he should be all this.”

Edward made no answer; but when she had turned away her

head, gave her a look so serious, so earnest, so uncheerful, as

seemed to say, that he might hereafter wish the distance between

the parsonage and the mansion-house much greater.

“Colonel Brandon, I think, lodges in St. James-street,” said he,

soon afterwards, rising from his chair.

Elinor told him the number of the house.

“I must hurry away then, to give him those thanks which you

will not allow me to give you; to assure him that he has made me a

very―an exceedingly happy man.”

Elinor did not offer to detain him; and they parted, with a very

earnest assurance on her side of her unceasing good wishes for his

happiness in every change of situation that might befall him; on

his, with rather an attempt to return the same good will, than the

power of expressing it.

“When I see him again,” said Elinor to herself, as the door shut

him out, “I shall see him the husband of Lucy.”

And with this pleasing anticipation, she sat down to reconsider

the past, recall the words and endeavour to comprehend all the

feelings of Edward; and, of course, to reflect on her own with

discontent.

When Mrs. Jennings came home, though she returned from

seeing people whom she had never seen before, and of whom

therefore she must have a great deal to say, her mind was so much

more occupied by the important secret in her possession, than by

anything else, that she reverted to it again as soon as Elinor

appeared.

“Well, my dear,” she cried, “I sent you up the young man. Did

not I do right?―And I suppose you had no great difficulty―You

did not find him very unwilling to accept your proposal?”

“No, ma’am; that was not very likely.”

“Well, and how soon will he be ready?―For it seems all to

depend upon that.”

“Really,” said Elinor, “I know so little of these kind of forms,

that I can hardly even conjecture as to the time, or the preparation

necessary; but I suppose two or three months will complete his

ordination.”

“Two or three months!” cried Mrs. Jennings; “Lord! my dear,

how calmly you talk of it; and can the Colonel wait two or three

months! Lord bless me!―I am sure it would put me quite out of

patience!―And though one would be very glad to do a kindness by

poor Mr. Ferrars, I do think it is not worth while to wait two or

three months for him. Sure somebody else might be found that

would do as well; somebody that is in orders already.”

“My dear ma’am,” said Elinor, “what can you be thinking of?―

Why, Colonel Brandon’s only object is to be of use to Mr. Ferrars.”

“Lord bless you, my dear!―Sure you do not mean to persuade

me that the Colonel only marries you for the sake of giving ten

guineas to Mr. Ferrars!”

The deception could not continue after this; and an explanation

immediately took place, by which both gained considerable

amusement for the moment, without any material loss of

happiness to either, for Mrs. Jennings only exchanged one form of

delight for another, and still without forfeiting her expectation of

the first.

“Aye, aye, the parsonage is but a small one,” said she, after the

first ebullition of surprise and satisfaction was over, “and very

likely may be out of repair; but to hear a man apologising, as I

thought, for a house that to my knowledge has five sitting rooms

on the ground-floor, and I think the housekeeper told me could

make up fifteen beds!―and to you too, that had been used to live

in Barton cottage!―It seems quite ridiculous. But, my dear, we

must touch up the Colonel to do some thing to the parsonage, and

make it comfortable for them, before Lucy goes to it.”

“But Colonel Brandon does not seem to have any idea of the

living’s being enough to allow them to marry.”

“The Colonel is a ninny, my dear; because he has two thousand

a-year himself, he thinks that nobody else can marry on less. Take

my word for it, that, if I am alive, I shall be paying a visit at

Delaford Parsonage before Michaelmas; and I am sure I sha’nt go

if Lucy an’t there.”

Elinor was quite of her opinion, as to the probability of their not

waiting for any thing more.
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