People: Elinor, Marianne, Mrs. Dashwood, and Edward Ferrars
Text: Elinor said, “I think him really handsome. What say you, Marianne?”
“I shall very soon think him handsome, Elinor, when you tell me to love him as a brother; I shall no more see imperfection in his face, than I do now in his heart.”
Elinor started at this declaration and was sorry at the warmth she had betrayed into it, in speaking of him. She felt that Edward stood very high in her opinion. She believed the regard to be mutual. But she knew what Marianne and her mother conjectured one minute, they believed the next-with them to wish was to hope, and to hope was to expect.
Marianne laughed when Elinor said that thought very highly of Edward, that she esteemed him, that she liked him. “But I am no more assured of his regard for me,” Elinor said. “In my heart I feel scarcely any doubt of his preference. But there are other points to be considered. He is far from being financially independent. From Fanny’s occasional mention of Edward’s mother, we have never been disposed to think her amiable. I believe that there would be many difficulties in his way if he were to wish to marry a woman who had not either great fortune or high rank.”
Marianne was astonished to find out how much the imagination of her mother and herself had outstripped the truth. “And you are really not engaged to him! Yet it certainly will happen soon.”
Insight: In their opinions about Edward and Elinor, both Marianne and her mother leaned too heavily on their own understanding. Proverbs 3:5 reminds, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” This sister and mother had crafted their own version of the nature of the relationship between Elinor and Edward. In this particular case, no one was hurt by the surmising of family, but may we be careful to form our opinions based on God’s wisdom and insight