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Sneaking a Peek at Sense & Sensibility Entry 13



People: Mrs. Jennings

Text: Although Mrs. Jennings is not overtly significant to the tale of Sense and Sensibility, she’s been noted as a great wonderer, but as the author points out, it’s because she takes a “lively interest in all the comings and goings of her acquaintance.”

               In the particular case of Colonel Brandon being taken away so unexpectedly, Mrs. Jennings was particularly both interested and anxious. She took the time to wonder about it a lot.

               The sudden termination of Colonel Brandon’s visit at the park, with his steadiness in concealing its cause, filled the mind, and raised the wonder of Mrs. Jennings for two or three days; she was a great wonderer. She wondered with little intermission what could be the reason of it; was sure there must be some bad news and thought over every kind of distress that could have befallen him, with a fixed determination that he should not escape them all.

               “Something very melancholy must be the matter I am sure. I could see it in his face. Poor man! I am afraid his circumstances may be bad. The estate at Delaford was never reckoned more than two thousand a year, and his brother left everything sadly involved. Perhaps it is about Miss Williams. And, by the bye, I dare say it is, because he looked so conscious when I mentioned her. Maybe, she is ill in town. I wonder what it can be! Maybe, his sister is worse at Avignon and has sent for him. Well, I wish him out of all his trouble with all my heart and a good wife into the bargain.”


Emotion: concern

Insight: Galatians 6:2 reminds, “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

               Often, someone like Mrs. Jennings would be teased or belittled as acting like a busybody. But in her case, all the “wondering” was really the indications of a good heart. She genuinely cared for everyone around her. She wanted to see them happy. And she desired to do everything in her power to make them happy.

               Although we may not desire the reputation of Mrs. Jennings, may we always possess the heart and genuinely care for the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of those in our circle. By loving and caring for those around us, we are really fulfilling Christ’s law to love one another. Loving others, “wondering” about them, remembering them in prayer, and acting on their behalf is a beautiful way to live.

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