I wish, said Margaret, striking out a novel thought, that somebody would give us all a large fortune apiece!
Oh that they would! cried Marianne, her eyes sparkling with animation, and her cheeks glowing with the delight of such imaginary happiness.
We are all unanimous in that wish, I suppose, said Elinor, in spite of the insufficiency of wealth.
Oh dear! cried Margaret, how happy I should be! I wonder what I should do with it!
Marianne looked as if she had no doubt on that point.
I should be puzzled to spend so large a fortune myself, said Mrs. Dashwood, if my children were all to be rich my help.
You must begin your improvements on this house, observed Elinor, and your difficulties will soon vanish.
What magnificent orders would travel from this family to London, said Edward, in such an event! What a happy day for booksellers, music-sellers, and print-shops! You, Miss Dashwood, would give a general commission for every new print of merit to be sent youand as for Marianne, I know her greatness of soul, there would not be music enough in London to content her. And books!Thomson, Cowper, Scottshe would buy them all over and over again: she would buy up every copy, I believe, to prevent their falling into unworthy hands; and she would have every book that tells her how to admire an old twisted tree. Should not you, Marianne? Forgive me, if I am very saucy. But I was willing to shew you that I had not forgot our old disputes.
I love to be reminded of the past, Edwardwhether it be melancholy or gay, I love to recall itand you will never offend me by talking of former times. You are very right in supposing how my money would be spentsome of it, at leastmy loose cash would certainly be employed in improving my collection of music and books.
And the bulk of your fortune would be laid out in annuities on the authors or their heirs.
No, Edward, I should have something else to do with it.
Perhaps then you would bestow it as a reward on that person who wrote the ablest defence of your favorite maxim, that no one can ever be in love more than once in their lifeyour opinion on that point is unchanged, I presume?
Undoubtedly. At my time of life opinions are tolerably fixed. It is not likely that I should now see or hear any thing to change them.
Marianne is as steadfast as ever, you see, said Elinor, she is not at all altered.
She is only grown a little more grave than she was.
Nay, Edward, said Marianne, you need not reproach me. You are not very gay yourself.
Why should you think so! replied he, with a sigh. But gaiety never was a part of my character.
Nor do I think it a part of Mariannes, said Elinor; I should hardly call her a lively girlshe is very earnest, very eager in all she doessometimes talks a great deal and always with animationbut she is not often really merry.
I believe you are right, he replied, and yet I have always set her down as a lively girl.
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