فصل 15

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فصل 15

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CHAPTER FIFTEEN

Engagements and Marriages

Edward’s visit to his mother went well. At first, Mrs Ferrars told her elder son about her anger and unhappiness. But then she forgave him.

Mrs Ferrars had given birth to two sons. Most of the Ferrars family’s money should have been inherited by her elder son, Edward. But when Mrs Ferrars heard about Edward’s secret engagement to Lucy Steele - an unsuitable woman with no money of her own - Mrs Ferrars refused to know Edward. She made arrangements for all the family’s money to be inherited by Robert.

For a few months, Robert was her only son. Then Robert had married Lucy Steel and Mrs Ferrars refused to know either of her sons. Now she was friends with Edward and she had a son again.

Edward told his mother that Elinor Dashwood was soon going to be her daughter-in-law. He expected Mrs Ferrars to be angry once more, but he was surprised. Mrs Ferrars was not angry at all. Neither did she tell her son that Miss Morton - the rich daughter of a lord - would be a far better wife than Elinor Dashwood. Instead, she agreed to the marriage of Edward and Elinor. And she also said that she would give them a wedding gift of $10,000!

Elinor and Edward were married in Barton church, early in the autumn. Then they travelled to Delaford in Dorset.

For the first month of their marriage, Edward and Elinor stayed with Colonel Brandon. While they were guests in his home, Edward and Elinor were able to plan all the changes to their little house beside the church. They moved into their new home as soon as the extra rooms had been built and the house had been decorated with new paint. In a short time, they were able to welcome their friends and family.

Mrs Dashwood and Margaret, Colonel Brandon, Mrs Jennings, and Sir John and Lady Middleton came to see them. John and Fanny Dashwood travelled from Sussex to Dorset to see them. Mrs Ferrars was also a visitor.

Although they warmly welcomed Mrs Ferrars to their new home, Edward and Elinor did not flatter her. However, Robert and Lucy did flatter her. They tried to make the old lady like them. Mrs Ferrars was soon friends with Robert again, and she gave them money too.

Shortly after this, Robert and Lucy went to live in Harley Street, in London. They became the neighbours of John and Fanny Dashwood. Lucy and Fanny often argued, but apart from that, they all lived in great happiness.

John Dashwood visited Colonel Brandon’s home at Delaford. He thought that the house and its grounds were nearly as good as his own property, Norland Park. He told Elinor that the Colonel would make a fine husband for her sister, Marianne.

Marianne’s family also thought that the Colonel should marry Marianne. Mrs Dashwood, Marianne and Margaret were often invited to Delaford. While they were there, the Colonel did everything to show his love for Marianne.

Marianne’s opinion about Colonel Brandon had now changed.

When she was seventeen, she had thought that Colonel Brandon was too old to be married. But now, two years later, Marianne loved him with all her heart and she agreed to become his wife. They were married in the church at Delaford where Edward Ferrars was the curate.

Marianne was kind, loving and thoughtful. She worked hard in her new home. Very soon everyone loved the young wife of the owner of Delaford.

Willoughby was sorry that he had lost Marianne, but his own marriage was not always unhappy. And, after a time, old Mrs Smith forgave him and she made him her heir again.

After Elinor and Marianne’s happy marriages, Mrs Dashwood lived at Barton Cottage with Margaret. Sir John Middleton invited Margaret to parties and dances at Barton Park where she met many suitable young men. Mrs Jennings was often a visitor in her son-in-law’s house. And as in the past, the cheerful, kind-hearted old lady continued to tease the young people and talk about love and lovers.

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