[Mrs. Palmer speaking] "You cannot think what a sweet place Cleveland is; and we are so gay now, for Mr. Palmer is always going about the country canvassing against the election; and so many people come to dine with us that I never saw before, it is quite charming! But, poor fellow! it is very fatiguing to him! for he is forced to make everybody like him."And this:
[Elinor] "You have been long acquainted with Colonel Brandon, have not you?"
[Mrs. Palmer] "Yes, a great while; ever since my sister married. -- He was a particular friend of Sir John's. I believe," she added in a low voice, "he would have been very glad to have had me, if he could. Sir John and Lady Middleton wished it very much. But mama did not think the match good enough for me, otherwise Sir John would have mentioned it to the colonel, and we should have been married immediately."Besides this, I have to admit that there are times that I find I like Marianne better than Elinor. Not when she's being completely self-centered and melodramatic, but I like her honesty--the fact that she refuses to tell the polite lies that Elinor tells. For instance, when Elinor wants to get time alone to talk with Lucy, she tells this whopper about her ardent desire to help decorate a basket for Lady Middleton's spoiled daughter:
"Did not Colonel Brandon know of Sir John's proposal to your mother before it was made? Had he never owned his affection to yourself?"
"Oh! no; but if mama had not objected to it, I dare say he would have liked it of all things. He had not seen me then above twice, for it was before I left school. However I am much happier as I am. Mr. Palmer is just the kind of man I like."
"Perhaps," continued Elinor, "if I should happen to cut out, I may be of some use to Miss Lucy Steele, in rolling her papers for her; and there is so much still to be done to the basket, that it must be impossible, I think, for her labour singly, to finish it this evening. I should like the work exceedingly, if she would allow me a share in it."Marianne, on the other hand, offended her hostess with this shocking piece of rudeness (which doesn't seem particularly rude by our current standards):
"Your ladyship will have the goodness to excuse me -- you know I detest cards. I shall go to the pianoforte; I have not touched it since it was tuned." And without farther ceremony, she turned away and walked to the instrument.I don't see that it should be necessary to tell lies to get out of a game of cards you have no desire to play. Why can't you just say that you don't like cards?
Any way, I do like Marianne. She has delicacy and taste, and it's hard to blame her that she can hardly stand the alternately vulgar and tedious Middletons. Besides, she's only seventeen. But whenever she indulges in hysterics I want to shake her.