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CHAPTER SUMMARIES AND NOTES
Edward goes to meet Lucy after thanking Colonel Brandon. Mrs. Jennings is grateful to both Elinor and Brandon for helping Lucy to settle down. Elinor decides to visit her brother before the departure for Cleveland. Since Marianne refuses to accompany her, she goes alone to meet Lady Dashwood and her brother. John Dashwood welcomes her. He shows his surprise at Colonel Brandon's generosity towards Edward. He then informs her of Robert's plans to get married to Miss Morton. When John goes to inform his wife of Elinor's visit, Robert comes to meet her and keeps her company. He is amused at Edward's choosing to become a clergyman and takes pity on him for having to marry Lucy. Shortly afterwards, Fanny Dashwood comes forward to meet Elinor. She talks politely and expresses regret at their departure to Cleveland.
Most of the scenes in which Mrs. Jennings and John Dashwood are present evoke humor. In this chapter John Dashwood amuses the readers through his conversation with Elinor. Obsessed with money and miserly in his attitude, he fails to believe that the Colonel has been so kind as to offer a position at Delaford to Edward. He assumes that the Colonel must have an ulterior motive. He dubs Brandon as unthinking and strange. However, he is happy at the thought that the wealthy Colonel may soon marry Elinor.
A hen-pecked and indulgent husband, John Dashwood is afraid to hurt the feelings of his cunning wife. Thus he requests Elinor to refrain from mentioning the Colonel's benevolence to her. He is happy to see his wife talking politely to Elinor and appreciates Fanny's gesture.
John Dashwood's views and ideas shock Elinor. Referring to the marriage of Robert Ferrars to Miss Morton, he voices his opinion that Miss Morton should not mind getting married to any one of the brothers (indicating that Edward is now out of the picture) as long as he inherits the family property. His line of argument appalls Elinor thoroughly: her brother considers money superior to emotion.
In early April the two families from Hanover Square and Berkeley Street set out on their journey to Cleveland. Passing through Somerset, they take three days to reach their destination. The Palmers' house is modern and spacious, and the surrounding flora and fauna enhance its beauty. Marianne is excited at the idea of being able to explore the countryside. However, she is forced to stay indoors due to rain. Mr. Palmer and Colonel Brandon arrive shortly afterwards. Elinor finds both Mr. and Mrs. Palmer charming and friendly hosts. Brandon talks to her about Delaford. He suspects that Marianne has caught a cold, and in fact, she falls ill with the flu a few days later.
Marianne and Elinor have different reactions to the departure for Cleveland. Marianne becomes emotional, recollecting the pleasures and pains she has experienced while in London. Elinor is quite content to leave the place, as she is not at all sentimental about it. In fact, she is relieved to be spared the company of Lucy Steele. She also hopes that a change of scene will help Marianne to regain her health. Jane Austen once again highlights Marianne's sensibility in contrast to Elinor's good sense.
Mr. Palmer reveals himself to be a gentleman beneath his tough exterior. Elinor is at first apprehensive about living under his roof. However, she finds him refreshingly different at Cleveland. Austen writes, "She found him, however, perfectly the gentleman in his behaviour to all his visitors, and only occasionally rude to his wife and her mother; she found him very capable of being a pleasant companion." Elinor is arguably the mouthpiece of the author, and therefore her renewed assessment of Mr. Palmer is important.
John Dashwood is still under the impression that Colonel Brandon is in love with Elinor. Therefore he informs his sister that he will be making a visit to Delaford in the future. Elinor is merely amused at his remark, as she is well aware of the true object of the Colonel's desire: her sister, Marianne.
This entire chapter deals with Marianne's illness. Her cold develops into influenza and then into a mysterious illness. The doctor administers medication and predicts her recovery, but Marianne's health turns from bad to worse. Mrs. Palmer, fearing an infection that could be caught by her new-born baby, moves to a friend's house near Bath. Mr. Palmer follows her after a few days. After four days, when Marianne's health shows no improvement, Elinor decides to consult with the Colonel before calling her mother to Cleveland. Colonel Brandon willingly offers to fetch Mrs. Dashwood from Barton and leaves immediately on this errand. Both Mrs. Jennings and Elinor are anxious after the doctor gives up hope, since the medication fails to cure Marianne. However, after a few more days, Marianne recovers miraculously. As Elinor waits for her mother to arrive, she gets a surprise visitor. It is Willoughby, who makes an appearance at the cottage.
Jane Austen throws light on the attitude of the different characters through their distinct reactions to Marianne's illness. When Marianne's condition worsens, Elinor is quite disturbed, but she does not panic. She thinks calmly and arrives at the decision to summon her mother from Barton. The Colonel is concerned about Marianne's health. He sensibly offers to fetch Mrs. Dashwood and undertakes his mission without delay. Both Elinor and the Colonel use their sense to the best advantage in order to improve the situation.
Mrs. Jennings is highly emotional. She thinks of the worst when Marianne's health deteriorates. She feels sorry for the girl, as she is afraid that she may succumb to her illness. However, when Marianne recovers miraculously, she is overjoyed. Mrs. Jennings displays the extremes of emotion. Mr. Palmer conducts himself in a stable manner. When his wife panics about a possible threat to her baby's health, he chides her. As a host, he considers Marianne his responsibility and therefore shows reluctance to leave Cleveland.