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Sneaking a Peek at Sense & Sensibility Entry 7

People: Marianne Dashwood and Mrs. Jennings

Text: In marrying all the rest of the world, Mrs. Jennings was zealously active. She pronounced that Colonel Brandon was very much in love with Marianne Dashwood. It would be an excellent match, for he was rich, and she was handsome. Mrs. Jennings was anxious to see Colonel Brandon well married as she was always anxious to get a good husband for every pretty girl.

               When Marianne learned of this, she hardly knew whether most to laugh at its absurdity or censure its impertinence. To her mother Marianne said, “He is old enough to be my father; and if he were ever animated enough to be in love, it must have long outlived every sensation of the kind. It is too ridiculous! He is infirm. Did you not hear him complain of rheumatism? Is not that the commonest infirmity of declining life?”

               “My dearest child,” Mrs. Dashwood exclaimed, “at this rate you must be in continual terror of my decay; and it must seem to you a miracle that my life has been extended to the advance age of forty. If you think Colonel Brandon infirm, what must you think of me?”

Emotion: irritation

Insight: Marrianne Dashwood thinks that the good deal that her family was receiving on renting Barton Cottage came at the high price of putting up with the residents of Barton Park, especially Mrs. Jennings. But Marianne should employ wisdom to control her reactions. Proverbs 19:20 offers, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.” Accepting the insight of Mrs. Jennings into the quality of the nature of Colonel Brandon could positively influence Marianne’s life and future. May we be wiser in our reactions than she was.

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