The Sense and Sensibility: Screenplay & Diaries : Bringing Jane Austens Novel to Film

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Val Waring formerly Stort Books Professional seller. New York, Newmarket Press, Pages: Movie Photographs Throughout. Vintage Books Professional seller. New York, Newmarket Press. Catalogue: Austen,Jane. New York: Newmarket Press, Later prt.. Square 8vo, pp.. Fine copy in fine dust jacket. Abacus Bookshop Professional seller. Newmarket Press, Gekartonneerd met stofomslag. Bringing Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility" to the screen has been a labor of love. Vividly described by the producer, Lindsay Doran, in her Introduction, the process has taken fifteen years to come to fruition.

In Emma Thompson, Doran found her ideal scriptwriter, since Emma Thompson already had a lifelong passion for the novels of Jane Austen and a natural gift for writing, which Doran first recognized when she caught reruns of a comic British television series that Thompson had written. I will run as fast as I can, Marianne. She dashes off. As she goes into the mist we hear the thunder of hooves. CU Margaret's terrified expression. They seem to be coming from all around.

She wheels and turns and then - Crash! Through the mist breaks a huge white horse. Astride sits an Adonis in hunting gear. The horse rears. Its rider controls it and slides off. Decorous, perhaps faintly impish. With great delicacy, he feels her ankle. Now, can you put your arm about my neck?

He lifts her effortlessly and calls to his horse: 'Bedivere! But we can see she is trying to conceal her anxiety from her mother. There are noises in the hall. She fell down - and he's carrying her! This is no time for introductions. Margaret, open the door wider. Please, sir, lay her here.

Marianne, are you in pain? They move into the parlour. They look straight into each other's eyes. I took the liberty of feeling the bone and it is perfectly sound. I am honoured to be of service. But permit me to call tomorrow afternoon and enquire after the patient? She smiles back gloriously. He bows, and sweeps out of the room. His name! And he gallops off into the mist - we almost expect Bedivere to sprout wings.

Margaret, ask Betsy to make up a cold compress, please. He expressed himself well, did he not? Help me, Elinor. The rain has cleared. His passions? His pursuits? He is to inherit it from an elderly relative - Lady Allen is her name. Now they are getting somewhere. Everyone is electrified. I shall go outside and keep watch.

Dear me, poor Brandon. You will none of you think of him now. He is carrying a large bunch of hothouse flowers. If I were you, I would not give him up to my younger sister in spite of all this tumbling down hills. Everyone starts to move at once. Come, Brandon - we know when we are not wanted. Let us leave him to the ladies! Sir John and the Colonel are leaving. Thank you for the flowers.

How do you do, more like. Go on in, they're waiting for you! He bows. What a pleasure to see you again! I trust Miss Marianne has not caught cold? The neighbourhood is crawling with my spies. These are not from the hothouse. I see mine is not the first offering, nor the most elegant. I am afraid I obtained these from an obliging field. I have often passed this cottage and grieved for its lonely state - and then the first news I had from 96 Lady Allen when I arrived was that it was taken.

I felt a peculiar interest in the event which nothing can account for but my present delight in meeting you. He is merry, spirited, voluble - a breath of fresh air. Everyone answers at once. Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove then how does it go? Clearly, their contribution to this conversation will be minimal. Let me find it. It is a miniature copy of the sonnets. MARIANNE is delighted, and, mutually astonished at this piece of synchronicity, they proceed to look up other favourites, chatting as though they were already intimates.

And my pocket sonnets are yours, Miss Marianne! A talisman against further injury! Thank you! He gallops off. They all wave. You have covered all forms of poetry; another meeting will ascertain his views on nature and romantic attachments and then you will have nothing left to talk about and the acquaintanceship will be over. I should have been dull and spiritless and talked only of the weather, or the state of the roads.

Why should I hide my regard? Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other and seven days are more than enough for others. If I had weaker, more shallow feelings perhaps I could conceal them, as you do Then she realises what she's said. Do not trouble yourself, Marianne. Why does she never mention Edward? I have never even seen her cry about him, or about Norland. But Elinor is not like you or I, dear. She does not like to be swayed by her emotions.

We can see the monogram ECF clearly. Tears stand in her eyes but she presses the handkerchief to them before they fall. After dinner. Tea has been served. She looks up and stops, gazing, bewitched, at his beauty. The lips move - a whisper: Marianne. Then, louder: Haven't you finished? He moves out from behind the screen, eyes full of laughter. They look at each other. Clearly, he is already part of the family. We have to economise.

Just not to eat beef. She snaps her head back to her sums and is astonished to find that she has written 'Edward' at the top of the sheet. Hastily she rubs it out and writes 'Expenses'. The argument has evidently started indoors and is being continued here. Miss Marianne! A picnic on my estate at Delaford - if you would care to join us on Thursday next. Mrs Jennings's daughter and her husband are travelling up especially.

I understand you have a particularly fine pianoforte, Colonel. The undercurrents of this conversation are decidedly tense. Then I shall really be able to play for you! They drive off, waving their farewells. Marianne does not approve of hiding her emotions. In fact, her romantic prejudices have the unfortunate tendency to set propriety at naught. The sooner she becomes acquainted with the ways of the world, the better.

Jane Austen Week: Sense and Sensibility

The result was only ruination and despair. People and carriages fill the drive, the sun shines and the atmosphere is pleasantly expectant. The last person I expected to see! It was the Misses Dashwood she wanted to see, not Delaford, Mamma! And what do you think of them now you do see them, Lucy? My mother has talked of nothing else in her letters since you came to Barton, Mrs Dashwood. Mr Palmer - are they not the very creatures she describes? Do you know you are quite rude today? Don't palm all your abuses of the language upon me. Now you shall see, Charlotte. LUCY bobs demurely.

Your sister is monstrous lucky to get him. Mamma says Colonel Brandon is in love with her as well, which is a very great compliment for he hardly ever falls in love with anyone. I have so longed to make your better acquaintance! I have heard nothing but the highest praise for you. But Sir John and Mrs Jennings are too excessive in their compliments. I am sure to disappoint. LUCY speaks in a knowing, confidential undertone, as though not wanting anyone else to hear.

Everyone turns to face the new arrival. There is a murmur of disappointment from the party. We cannot picnic at Delaford without our host! Go up to town tomorrow. As he speaks, he is mounting his horse. His grave urgency silences all protest and he gallops off, leaving everyone stunned and, of course, deeply curious. Then they all start to talk at once. Just when I was to have the opportunity of speaking with you.

The weather is sublime. I think he wrote the letter himself as a trick for getting out of it. When he is the kind of man that everyone speaks well of and no one wants to talk to. He gives a little shriek and waddles about the garden doing her walk. Let's have no secrets between friends!

Let me winkle them out of you! If it will be of any satisfaction to you, however, to be told I believe his character to be in all other respects irreproachable, I am ready to confess it. The tension is broken. Not a stone must be added to its walls. Were I rich enough, I would instantly pull down Combe Magna and build it up again in the exact image of that cottage! There is something about his formal tone that makes her feel shy. I shall ask Mamma if I may stay behind from church. Until tomorrow then - Miss Marianne. He mounts Bedivere and leaves. He is coming to propose.

He dismounts and looks up at one of the windows. The rags hanging there twitch as if someone is watching for him. He strides inside. He enters a bare room partitioned with filthy rags hung from the ceiling and lit with stinking tallow lamps. She turns. We see her silhouette. She is heavily pregnant. She bursts into tears and runs into his arms. Their excitement mounts. They all enter the cottage, talking nonsense loudly in order to signal their presence.

What is the matter? I am sent - that is to say, Lady Allen has exercised the privilege of riches upon a dependent cousin and is sending me to London. He cannot look any of them in the eye. But your business will not detain you from us for long, I hope? I am seldom invited to Allenham more than once a year. Can you wait for an invitation from Barton Cottage?

I will not torment myself further. He rushes past them and out of the cottage. They follow him to the door. They all rush back into the parlour. Please do not ask me questions! She runs off upstairs and we hear her bedroom door slamming. There is a moment of stunned silence. Perhaps this — Lady Allen — disapproves of his regard for Marianne and has invented an excuse to send him away? It is not like Willoughby to be secretive. Did he think Marianne was richer than she is? But why was his manner so guilty? That he has been acting a part to your sister for all this time? Cannot you ask her if he has proposed?

I cannot force a confidence from Marianne and nor must you. We must trust her to confide in us in her own time. He deserves no less. From all of us. She stalks out of the room and starts up the stairs. The rain has settled in. The cottage looks cold and bleak. She looks at the food and tuts in anxiety. What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen! What old December's bareness everywhere! Smoke issues from every chimney in the place. If only this rain would stop! The heavy silence behind the paper attests to the unhappy truth of this statement. Looking out at the weather will not bring him back.

London has swallowed all our company. LUCY There is a particular question I have long wanted to ask you, but perhaps you will think me impertinent? LUCY But it is an odd question. Forgive me, I have no wish to trouble you She looks away coyly as if deciding whether to speak. For we live but half a mile away. Is it really five and a half miles? I cannot believe it. LUCY Thank you. I wonder, are you at all acquainted with your sisterin-law's mother?

Mrs Ferrars? No, I have never met her. LUCY Oh! I am certainly nothing to Mrs Ferrars at present - but the time may come when we may be very intimately connected. Do you have an understanding with Fanny's brother Robert? LUCY The youngest? No, I never saw him in my life. No, with Edward. LUCY nods. LUCY You may well be surprised. I should never have mentioned it, had I not known I could entirely trust you to keep our secret. Edward cannot mind me telling you for he looks on you quite as his own sister. Disbelief has set in. Has he never spoken of it? Yes, I believe he has.

LUCY I was very unwilling to enter into it without his mother's approval but we loved each other with too great a passion for prudence. Though you do not know him so well as I, Miss Dashwood, you must have seen how capable he is of making a woman sincerely attached to him. I cannot pretend it has not been very hard on us both. We can hardly meet above twice a year. She sniffs and produces a large handkerchief which she holds to her eyes so that the monogram is clearly visible. ELINOR, seeing the copy of the handkerchief she has held so dear, moves quickly to a chair and sits down.

LUCY I have not offended you? Now she rises, unable to contain herself. Miss Dashwood is quite engrossed! LUCY whispers with real urgency. Edward says you would not break your word to save your life! Promise me! Can J go? I'm twelve soon. LUCY Indeed, the loss would be too great. I like her more than I can say. Oh, Elinor! I shall see Willoughby. Think how surprised he will be! And you will see Edward!

I will never sleep tonight! Oh, what were you and Miss Steele whispering about so long? Secrecy is vital - he will never be able to call. LUCY It is so hard. I believe my only comfort has been the constancy of his affection. I am of rather a jealous nature and if he had talked more of one young lady than any other. The strain around her eyes is pronounced. LUCY Imagine how glad he will be to learn that we are friends! Establishing shot of a handsome town house.

He will take care of it. We can see a large W in the address. LUCY A letter! So they are definitely engaged! Mrs Jennings says your sister will buy her wedding clothes here in town. She marches firmly upstairs. I think we shall be forced to see them. There is a faint knocking from somewhere.

She sits down with a rueful smile. Suddenly a much louder rap is heard and they both jump. We hear a bustling downstairs. She goes to the drawing-room door, opens it, goes out, comes back in. We hear a MAN's voice. It is Willoughby, indeed it is! Excuse me, Colonel She leaves the room hastily. Have you been in London all this while? How is your dear mother? Tell me once and for all, is everything finally resolved between your sister and Mr Willoughby? To your sister I wish all imaginable happiness. To Mr Willoughby, that he. His tone is heavy with some bitter meaning. But he recollects himself.

He bows and leaves abruptly. Additional wealth has evidently encouraged FANNY sartorially and she sprouts as much fruit and feathers as a market stall. We expect to see him daily. FANNY stiffens. LUCY's sharp eyes dart hither and thither. FANNY smiles glacially. Is that Ferrars with an F? No cards? I have very little acquaintance in town. The flickering of a candle has disturbed her. Go back to sleep. He bows and goes, highly disgruntled. I am told that this good weather is keeping many sportsmen in the country at present, but the frost will drive them back to town very soon, depend upon it.

I had not thought of - thank you, Mrs Jennings! She runs back upstairs. So many carriages have entered the crescent to deliver the GUESTS that gridlock has occurred and people are forced to walk to the entrance. The great ballroom is crammed with GUESTS all determined to enjoy themselves despite the considerable inconveniences caused by noise, heat and overcrowding. MEN are sweating profusely, WOMEN dab their brows, rack punch is being swallowed by the gallon, flirting is conducted at fever pitch and all conversation is inordinately loud.

Goodness, how hot it is, Mrs Dashwood. You are not alone, I trust? John is just gone to fetch my brother - he has been eating ices. I declare, that is good news indeed. At long last! There is someone behind him. LUCY preens. JOHN bows to them. He turns to reveal a good-looking young MAN with a vacuous smile. There is a general bowing and shaking of hands. LUCY drops a low curtsy. Is Mr Edward not here? Miss Dashwood here was counting on him! He is far too busy for such gatherings - and has no special acquaintance here to make his attendance worthwhile. He turns to LUCY and bows.

If I had any money to spare, I should build one myself. She wheels round to face her new partner. A traffic jam starts and they are forced to take hands and resume the steps. At the same moment the music pauses. In the brief moment of relative quiet, her great cry rings across the room. As the noise of the room builds again and PEOPLE change their partners, we are aware that many are surreptitiously watching.

Will you not shake hands with me? Why have you not come to see me? Were you not in London? Have you not received my letters? If you will excuse me, I must return to my party. Come away! LUCY Oh, are we leaving so soon? LUCY How very kind! You, who confide in no one. We have neither of us anything to tell.

I because I conceal nothing and you because you communicate nothing. A silent breakfast.

The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries: Bringing Jane Austen's Novel to Film

She seizes it and runs out of the room. Lovers' quarrels are swift to heal! That letter will do the trick, mark my word. She goes to the door. I hope he won't keep her waiting much longer, Miss Dashwood. It hurts to see her looking so forlorn. And Mr Robert - all so affable! Excuse me. My esteem for your family is very sincere but if I have given rise to a belief of more than I felt or meant to express, I shall reproach myself for not having been more guarded. My affections have long been engaged elsewhere and it is with great regret that I return your letters and the lock of hair which you so obligingly bestowed upon me.

I am etc. John Willoughby. Dearest, think of what you would have felt if your engagement had carried on for months and months before he chose to put an end to it. I thought then that he must have left you with some kind of understanding? Did he tell you that he loved you? No — never absolutely. Forgive me. Believe my feelings to be stronger than I have declared - but further than that you must not believe. FANNY is standing by the window looking out.

He is a dear boy and we are all very fond of him. FANNY does a bit of quick thinking. She is determined that both he and Robert will marry well. But I hope she desires them to marry for love, first and foremost? I have always felt that, contrary to common wisdom, true affection is by far the most valuable dowry. FANNY Love is all very well, but unfortunately we cannot always rely on the heart to lead us in the most suitable directions. FANNY lowers her voice confidingly. FANNY You see, my dear Mrs Dashwood, Edward is entirely the kind of compassionate person upon whom penniless women can prey and having entered into any kind of understanding, he would never go back on his word.

He is quite simply incapable of doing so. But it would lead to his ruin. I worry for him so, Mrs Dashwood. My mother has always made it perfectly plain that she will withdraw all financial support from Edward, should he choose to plant his affections in less. She is appalled and furious. She sweeps off. Frocks fly hither and thither. She looks at it, suddenly concerned and anxious. The entire family is present. He is devastated. FANNY is thrilled. What is his situation?

He must be a man of property. He lives with his mother-in-law at Barton Park and it is Barton Cottage that he offers us. How charming. A little cottage is always very snug. We must leave as soon as possible. Remember that you are always welcome. She strokes the soft face sadly. I must talk to you. It was less. Do you know it? You are needed in London this instant! Family affairs are in chaos owing to your absence. Mother is quite adamant that you should leave at once. FANNY is determined. The mood is very sombre.

Well, I will wager he will do so in less than a fortnight! The carriage rolls on. In comparison to Norland, Barton Cottage has the air of a damp shoebox. It sits low and bleak in the grey lonely countryside. From the other, a much grander vehicle, from which loud whooping can be heard, is approaching. She starts up the stairs, expressionless. And you know you are to dine at Barton Park every day. She sits on the bed. Then she goes to the window and opens it.

Voices float up. She sighs and turns back down the stairs. Cannot you get them married, Mrs Dashwood? You must not leave it too long! We served in the East India Regiment together. If we can persuade him out to meet you! But you are fatigued. I can see that you are fatigued. Now he is pushing her into the carriage. They take off, waving wildly. I am surprised they did not offer us their clothing. It's very cold. They keep their underclothing on and get in, shivering at the bony chill of the linen.

BETSY is pinning out laundry. Her petticoats snag and tear. Unconsciously, one hand plays up and down on the sill as though it were a keyboard. BETSY enters to clean out the fire. She notices the money. CLOSE on the mother's anxious expression - what is to become of them? I hope he has not lamed his horse. CLOSE on an empty chair and place setting.

Mind, he is a better age for Miss Dashwood - but I dare say she left her heart behind in Sussex, eh? I see you, Miss Marianne! I think I have unearthed a secret! Have you sniffed one out already, Mother? You are worse than my best pointer, Flossie! They both laugh immoderately. Is he butcher, baker, candlestick-maker? I shall winkle it out of you somehow, you know! A gentleman, then! There is! And his name begins with an F!

A very promising letter. Let me - F, F, Fo, Fa. We do not stand on ceremony here, my dear. His head snaps up to the windows. An expression of pained surprise comes into his melancholy, brooding eyes. But he stays in the shadow of the door and no one notices him. CLOSE on his face. He breathes in deeply. After a few moments, she turns back, slightly puzzled.

The song finishes. Everyone claps. Where have you been? Come, come and meet our beautiful new neighbours! You have missed the most delightful singing! They fall about. A row is in progress. You told me. She talks about things. We never talk about things. If you cannot think of anything appropriate to say, you will please restrict your remarks to the weather.

A heated pause. He's been to places. Her knife is blunt and she saws impatiently. She turns back to the rushes and cuts them with ease. No answer. BRANDON strides along in hunting gear, a gun slung under one arm, his dog trotting behind him with a duck clamped between its jaws. The bulrushes catch his eye and he slows, then stops.

He stands for a moment deep in thought. Then he takes his hunting knife, cuts one and walks off contemplatively. An outdoor luncheon is in progress. Excellent match, for he is rich and she is handsome. His estate at Delaford is but four miles hence and he and John are very thick. He loved a girl once - twenty years ago now - a ward to his family, but they were not permitted to marry. Eliza was poor. When the father discovered their amour, she was flung out of the house and he packed off into the army. I believe he would have done himself a harm if not for John. When Brandon got back from India he searched for heaven knows how long, only to find her dying in a poorhouse.

You have seen how it has affected him. Once I thought my daughter Charlotte might have cheered him up, but she is much better off where she is. So attentive. I shall try an experiment on him. Let us see you both side by side! Forgive me, Colonel. She moves away. Are we never to have a moment's peace? The rent here may be low but I think we have it on very hard terms.

BETSY pokes her head out from the dining room. When is a man to be safe from such wit if age and infirmity do not protect him? There is a letter on top of the atlas. Alas, business in London does not permit me to accompany it, although this is likely to hurt me far more than it hurts you.

For the present my memories of your kindness must be enough to sustain me, and I remain your devoted servant always.

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I've been a walk. We hear the front door slam behind them. There is a short silence. She speaks slowly, choosing her words with care. She clears her throat, rises determinedly, picks up the accounts book and opens it. It has started to rain. Mists are gathering around the two figures walking against the wind. There is some blue sky! Let us chase it! She tries to get up, but the pain in her ankle is too great. She sinks back to the ground. The mists have thickened. They can no longer see where they are. I will run as fast as I can, Marianne. She dashes off. As she goes into the mist we hear the thunder of hooves.

CU Margaret's terrified expression. They seem to be coming from all around. She wheels and turns and then - Crash! Through the mist breaks a huge white horse. Astride sits an Adonis in hunting gear. The horse rears. Its rider controls it and slides off. Decorous, perhaps faintly impish. With great delicacy, he feels her ankle. Now, can you put your arm about my neck?

He lifts her effortlessly and calls to his horse: 'Bedivere! But we can see she is trying to conceal her anxiety from her mother. There are noises in the hall. She fell down - and he's carrying her! This is no time for introductions. Margaret, open the door wider. Please, sir, lay her here.

Marianne, are you in pain? They move into the parlour. They look straight into each other's eyes. I took the liberty of feeling the bone and it is perfectly sound. I am honoured to be of service. But permit me to call tomorrow afternoon and enquire after the patient? She smiles back gloriously. He bows, and sweeps out of the room. His name! And he gallops off into the mist - we almost expect Bedivere to sprout wings.

The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay & Diaries by Emma Thompson

Margaret, ask Betsy to make up a cold compress, please. He expressed himself well, did he not? Help me, Elinor. The rain has cleared. His passions? His pursuits? He is to inherit it from an elderly relative - Lady Allen is her name. Now they are getting somewhere. Everyone is electrified. I shall go outside and keep watch. Dear me, poor Brandon. You will none of you think of him now. He is carrying a large bunch of hothouse flowers. If I were you, I would not give him up to my younger sister in spite of all this tumbling down hills.

Everyone starts to move at once. Come, Brandon - we know when we are not wanted. Let us leave him to the ladies! Sir John and the Colonel are leaving. Thank you for the flowers. How do you do, more like.

Go on in, they're waiting for you! He bows. What a pleasure to see you again! I trust Miss Marianne has not caught cold? The neighbourhood is crawling with my spies. These are not from the hothouse. I see mine is not the first offering, nor the most elegant. I am afraid I obtained these from an obliging field. I have often passed this cottage and grieved for its lonely state - and then the first news I had from 96 Lady Allen when I arrived was that it was taken.

I felt a peculiar interest in the event which nothing can account for but my present delight in meeting you. He is merry, spirited, voluble - a breath of fresh air. Everyone answers at once. Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove then how does it go? Clearly, their contribution to this conversation will be minimal. Let me find it. It is a miniature copy of the sonnets. MARIANNE is delighted, and, mutually astonished at this piece of synchronicity, they proceed to look up other favourites, chatting as though they were already intimates.

And my pocket sonnets are yours, Miss Marianne! A talisman against further injury! Thank you! He gallops off. They all wave. You have covered all forms of poetry; another meeting will ascertain his views on nature and romantic attachments and then you will have nothing left to talk about and the acquaintanceship will be over. I should have been dull and spiritless and talked only of the weather, or the state of the roads. Why should I hide my regard?

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Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other and seven days are more than enough for others. If I had weaker, more shallow feelings perhaps I could conceal them, as you do Then she realises what she's said. Do not trouble yourself, Marianne. Why does she never mention Edward? I have never even seen her cry about him, or about Norland. But Elinor is not like you or I, dear. She does not like to be swayed by her emotions. We can see the monogram ECF clearly. Tears stand in her eyes but she presses the handkerchief to them before they fall.

After dinner. Tea has been served. She looks up and stops, gazing, bewitched, at his beauty. The lips move - a whisper: Marianne. Then, louder: Haven't you finished? He moves out from behind the screen, eyes full of laughter. They look at each other. Clearly, he is already part of the family. We have to economise. Just not to eat beef. She snaps her head back to her sums and is astonished to find that she has written 'Edward' at the top of the sheet.


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Hastily she rubs it out and writes 'Expenses'. The argument has evidently started indoors and is being continued here. Miss Marianne! A picnic on my estate at Delaford - if you would care to join us on Thursday next. Mrs Jennings's daughter and her husband are travelling up especially. I understand you have a particularly fine pianoforte, Colonel. The undercurrents of this conversation are decidedly tense. Then I shall really be able to play for you! They drive off, waving their farewells. Marianne does not approve of hiding her emotions.

In fact, her romantic prejudices have the unfortunate tendency to set propriety at naught. The sooner she becomes acquainted with the ways of the world, the better. The result was only ruination and despair. People and carriages fill the drive, the sun shines and the atmosphere is pleasantly expectant. The last person I expected to see! It was the Misses Dashwood she wanted to see, not Delaford, Mamma! And what do you think of them now you do see them, Lucy? My mother has talked of nothing else in her letters since you came to Barton, Mrs Dashwood.

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Mr Palmer - are they not the very creatures she describes? Do you know you are quite rude today? Don't palm all your abuses of the language upon me. Now you shall see, Charlotte. LUCY bobs demurely. Your sister is monstrous lucky to get him. Mamma says Colonel Brandon is in love with her as well, which is a very great compliment for he hardly ever falls in love with anyone. I have so longed to make your better acquaintance! I have heard nothing but the highest praise for you. But Sir John and Mrs Jennings are too excessive in their compliments.

I am sure to disappoint. LUCY speaks in a knowing, confidential undertone, as though not wanting anyone else to hear. Everyone turns to face the new arrival. There is a murmur of disappointment from the party. We cannot picnic at Delaford without our host! Go up to town tomorrow. As he speaks, he is mounting his horse. His grave urgency silences all protest and he gallops off, leaving everyone stunned and, of course, deeply curious. Then they all start to talk at once.

Just when I was to have the opportunity of speaking with you. The weather is sublime. I think he wrote the letter himself as a trick for getting out of it. When he is the kind of man that everyone speaks well of and no one wants to talk to. He gives a little shriek and waddles about the garden doing her walk. Let's have no secrets between friends!

Let me winkle them out of you! If it will be of any satisfaction to you, however, to be told I believe his character to be in all other respects irreproachable, I am ready to confess it. The tension is broken. Not a stone must be added to its walls. Were I rich enough, I would instantly pull down Combe Magna and build it up again in the exact image of that cottage! There is something about his formal tone that makes her feel shy. I shall ask Mamma if I may stay behind from church.

Until tomorrow then - Miss Marianne. He mounts Bedivere and leaves. He is coming to propose. He dismounts and looks up at one of the windows. The rags hanging there twitch as if someone is watching for him. He strides inside. He enters a bare room partitioned with filthy rags hung from the ceiling and lit with stinking tallow lamps. She turns. We see her silhouette. She is heavily pregnant. She bursts into tears and runs into his arms.

Their excitement mounts. They all enter the cottage, talking nonsense loudly in order to signal their presence. What is the matter? I am sent - that is to say, Lady Allen has exercised the privilege of riches upon a dependent cousin and is sending me to London. He cannot look any of them in the eye. But your business will not detain you from us for long, I hope? I am seldom invited to Allenham more than once a year. Can you wait for an invitation from Barton Cottage? I will not torment myself further.

He rushes past them and out of the cottage. They follow him to the door. They all rush back into the parlour. Please do not ask me questions! She runs off upstairs and we hear her bedroom door slamming. There is a moment of stunned silence. Perhaps this — Lady Allen — disapproves of his regard for Marianne and has invented an excuse to send him away? It is not like Willoughby to be secretive. Did he think Marianne was richer than she is? But why was his manner so guilty? That he has been acting a part to your sister for all this time? Cannot you ask her if he has proposed?

I cannot force a confidence from Marianne and nor must you. We must trust her to confide in us in her own time. He deserves no less. From all of us. She stalks out of the room and starts up the stairs. The rain has settled in. The cottage looks cold and bleak. She looks at the food and tuts in anxiety. What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen! What old December's bareness everywhere!

Smoke issues from every chimney in the place. If only this rain would stop! The heavy silence behind the paper attests to the unhappy truth of this statement.