No sooner was her answer dispatched, than Mrs. Dashwood indulged herself i_he pleasure of announcing to her son-in-law and his wife that she wa_rovided with a house, and should incommode them no longer than till ever_hing were ready for her inhabiting it. They heard her with surprise. Mrs.
John Dashwood said nothing; but her husband civilly hoped that she would no_e settled far from Norland. She had great satisfaction in replying that sh_as going into Devonshire.—Edward turned hastily towards her, on hearing this,
and, in a voice of surprise and concern, which required no explanation to her,
repeated, "Devonshire! Are you, indeed, going there? So far from hence! And t_hat part of it?" She explained the situation. It was within four mile_orthward of Exeter.
"It is but a cottage," she continued, "but I hope to see many of my friends i_t. A room or two can easily be added; and if my friends find no difficulty i_ravelling so far to see me, I am sure I will find none in accommodatin_hem."
She concluded with a very kind invitation to Mr. and Mrs. John Dashwood t_isit her at Barton; and to Edward she gave one with still greater affection.
Though her late conversation with her daughter-in-law had made her resolve o_emaining at Norland no longer than was unavoidable, it had not produced th_mallest effect on her in that point to which it principally tended. T_eparate Edward and Elinor was as far from being her object as ever; and sh_ished to show Mrs. John Dashwood, by this pointed invitation to her brother,
how totally she disregarded her disapprobation of the match.
Mr. John Dashwood told his mother again and again how exceedingly sorry he wa_hat she had taken a house at such a distance from Norland as to prevent hi_eing of any service to her in removing her furniture. He really fel_onscientiously vexed on the occasion; for the very exertion to which he ha_imited the performance of his promise to his father was by this arrangemen_endered impracticable.— The furniture was all sent around by water. I_hiefly consisted of household linen, plate, china, and books, with a handsom_ianoforte of Marianne's. Mrs. John Dashwood saw the packages depart with _igh: she could not help feeling it hard that as Mrs. Dashwood's income woul_e so trifling in comparison with their own, she should have any handsom_rticle of furniture.
Mrs. Dashwood took the house for a twelvemonth; it was ready furnished, an_he might have immediate possession. No difficulty arose on either side in th_greement; and she waited only for the disposal of her effects at Norland, an_o determine her future household, before she set off for the west; and this,
as she was exceedingly rapid in the performance of everything that intereste_er, was soon done.—The horses which were left her by her husband had bee_old soon after his death, and an opportunity now offering of disposing of he_arriage, she agreed to sell that likewise at the earnest advice of her eldes_aughter. For the comfort of her children, had she consulted only her ow_ishes, she would have kept it; but the discretion of Elinor prevailed. HE_isdom too limited the number of their servants to three; two maids and a man,
with whom they were speedily provided from amongst those who had formed thei_stablishment at Norland.
The man and one of the maids were sent off immediately into Devonshire, t_repare the house for their mistress's arrival; for as Lady Middleton wa_ntirely unknown to Mrs. Dashwood, she preferred going directly to the cottag_o being a visitor at Barton Park; and she relied so undoubtingly on Si_ohn's description of the house, as to feel no curiosity to examine it hersel_ill she entered it as her own. Her eagerness to be gone from Norland wa_reserved from diminution by the evident satisfaction of her daughter-in-la_n the prospect of her removal; a satisfaction which was but feebly attempte_o be concealed under a cold invitation to her to defer her departure. Now wa_he time when her son-in-law's promise to his father might with particula_ropriety be fulfilled. Since he had neglected to do it on first coming to th_state, their quitting his house might be looked on as the most suitabl_eriod for its accomplishment. But Mrs. Dashwood began shortly to give ove_very hope of the kind, and to be convinced, from the general drift of hi_iscourse, that his assistance extended no farther than their maintenance fo_ix months at Norland. He so frequently talked of the increasing expenses o_ousekeeping, and of the perpetual demands upon his purse, which a man of an_onsequence in the world was beyond calculation exposed to, that he seeme_ather to stand in need of more money himself than to have any design o_iving money away.
In a very few weeks from the day which brought Sir John Middleton's firs_etter to Norland, every thing was so far settled in their future abode as t_nable Mrs. Dashwood and her daughters to begin their journey.
Many were the tears shed by them in their last adieus to a place so muc_eloved. "Dear, dear Norland!" said Marianne, as she wandered alone before th_ouse, on the last evening of their being there; "when shall I cease to regre_ou!—when learn to feel a home elsewhere!—Oh! happy house, could you know wha_ suffer in now viewing you from this spot, from whence perhaps I may view yo_o more!—And you, ye well-known trees!—but you will continue the same.—No lea_ill decay because we are removed, nor any branch become motionless althoug_e can observe you no longer!—No; you will continue the same; unconscious o_he pleasure or the regret you occasion, and insensible of any change in thos_ho walk under your shade!—But who will remain to enjoy you?"