Rich Mr. Dashwood dies, leaving his second wife and her three daughters poor by the rules of inheritance. The two eldest daughters are the titular opposites.

Edward Ferrars: I-I've come here with no expectations, only to profess, now that I am at liberty to do so, that my heart is, and always will be, yours.
Charlotte Palmer: Oh, if only this rain would stop!
Mr. Palmer: If only you would stop.
Marianne: Always resignation and acceptance. Always prudence and honour and duty. Elinor, where is your heart?
Elinor Dashwood: What do you know of my heart? What do you know of anything but your own suffering. For weeks, Marianne, I've had this pressing on me without being at liberty to speak of it to a single creature. It was forced on me by the very person whose prior claims ruined all my hope. I have endured her exultations again and again whilst knowing myself to be divided from Edward forever. Believe me, Marianne, had I not been bound to silence I could have provided proof enough of a broken heart, even for you.
Elinor Dashwood: I do not attempt to deny that I think very highly of him, that I... greatly esteem him... I like him.
Marianne: "Esteem him?" "Like him?" Use those insipid words again and I shall leave the room this instant.
Marianne: "Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove. Oh no! It is an ever fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken." Willoughby. Willoughby. Willoughby.
[after Marianne has first met Willoughby]
Elinor Dashwood: Marianne, you must change. You will catch a cold.
Marianne: What care I for colds when there is such a man.
Elinor Dashwood: You will care very much when your nose swells up.
Marianne: You are right. Help me, Elinor.
Elinor Dashwood: You talk of feeling idle and useless. Imagine how that is compounded when one has no hope and no choice of any occupation whatsoever.
Edward Ferrars: Our circumstances are therefore precisely the same.
Elinor Dashwood: Except that you will inherit your fortune. We cannot even earn ours.
Edward Ferrars: Perhaps Margaret is right.
Elinor Dashwood: Right?
Edward Ferrars: Piracy is our only option.
Charlotte Palmer: She'll be wet through when she returns.
Mr. Palmer: Thank you for pointing that out, my dear.
Edward Ferrars: Your friendship has been the most important of my life.
Elinor Dashwood: You will always have it.
Elinor Dashwood: Marianne, can you play something else? Mamma has been weeping since breakfast.
[Elinor exits; Marianne switches to a dirge]
Elinor Dashwood: [from the other room] I meant something LESS mournful, dearest.
[Edward and Elinor are baiting Margaret, who is playfully hiding]
Edward Ferrars: I, eh, wish to check the position of the Nile. My sister tells me it is in South America.
Elinor Dashwood: Oh. No. No, um, she's quite wrong, um, for I believe it is in Belgium.
Edward Ferrars: Belgium. Surely not, I think you must be thinking of the Volga.
Margaret: [under the table] The Volga?
Elinor Dashwood: Of course, the Volga, which, as you know, starts in...
Edward Ferrars: Vladivostock, and ends in...
Elinor Dashwood: Wimbledon.
Edward Ferrars: Precisely. Where the coffee beans come from.
Margaret: [coming out] Ugh! The source of the Nile is in Abyssinia.
Elinor Dashwood: Marianne, please try... I... I cannot... I cannot do without you. Oh, please, I... I-I have tried to bear everything else... I will try... Please, dearest, beloved Marianne, do not leave me alone.
Colonel Brandon: What can I do?
Elinor Dashwood: Colonel, you have done so much already...
Colonel Brandon: Give me an occupation, Miss Dashwood, or I shall run mad.
Elinor Dashwood: You have no confidence in me.
Marianne: This reproach from you. You who confide in no-one.
Elinor Dashwood: I have nothing to tell.
Marianne: Nor I. Neither of us have anything to tell. I because I conceal nothing and you because you communicate nothing.
Margaret: Have you really been to the East Indies, Colonel?
Colonel Brandon: I have.
Margaret: What's it like?
Sir John Middleton: Like? Hot.
Colonel Brandon: [mysteriously] The air is full of spices.
Marianne: Good morning, Fanny.
Fanny: Good morning, Miss Marianne.
Marianne: How did you find the silver? Was it all genuine?
Marianne: Is love a fancy or a feeling... or a Ferrars?
[after a reading of Spenser's The Faerie Queen]
Marianne: Shall we continue tomorrow?
Colonel Brandon: No, for I must away.
Marianne: Away? Where?
Colonel Brandon: That I cannot tell you. It is a secret.
Colonel Brandon: Miss Dashwood, Miss Marianne - I come to issue an invitation. A picnic on my estate at Delaford if you would care to join us on Thursday next. Mrs. Jennings daughter and her husband are traveling up especially.
Elinor Dashwood: We should be delighted, Colonel.
Colonel Brandon: I will of course be including Mr. Willoughby in the party.
Marianne: I shall be delighted to join you, Colonel.
Elinor Dashwood: Poor Willoughby. He will always regret you.
Marianne: But does it follow that, had he chosen me, he would have been content? He would have had a wife he loved, but no money, and might soon have learned to rank the demands of his pocketbook far above the demands of his heart. If his present regrets are half as painful as mine, he will suffer enough.
Elinor Dashwood: Do you compare your conduct with his?
Marianne: No, I compare it with what it ought to have been. I compare it with yours.
Edward Ferrars: All I want - all I have ever wanted - is the quiet of a private life, but, eh, my mother is determined to see me distinguished.
Colonel Brandon: Your sister seems very happy.
Elinor Dashwood: Yes. Marianne does not approve of hiding her emotions. In fact, her romantic prejudices have the unfortunate tendency to set propriety at naught.
Colonel Brandon: She is wholly unspoilt.
Elinor Dashwood: Rather too unspoilt, in my view. The sooner she becomes acquainted with the ways of the world, the better.
Colonel Brandon: I knew a lady very like your sister - the same impulsive sweetness of temper - who was forced into, as you put it, a better acquaintance with the world. The result was only ruination and despair. Do not desire it, Miss Dashwood.
Marianne: I'm taking you for a walk.
Margaret: No, I've been a walk.
Marianne: You need another.
Margaret: It's going to rain.
Marianne: It is NOT going to rain.
Margaret: You ALWAYS say that and then it ALWAYS does.
Mrs. Dashwood: My youngest is not to be found this morning. She's a little shy of strangers at present.
Edward Ferrars: N-n-naturally. I'm sh-shy of strangers myself and I have nothing like her excuse.
John Willoughby: Are you hurt?
Marianne: Only my ankle.
John Willoughby: May I have your permission to ascertain if there are any breaks?
Elinor Dashwood: Margaret has always wanted to travel.
Edward Ferrars: I know. She's, eh, heading an expedition to China shortly. I am to go as her servant, but only on the understanding that I am to be very badly treated.
Elinor Dashwood: What will your duties be?
Edward Ferrars: Sword fighting, obviously, administering rum and swabbing.
Elinor Dashwood: Which of those duties will take precedence?
Edward Ferrars: Swabbing, I imagine.
Mrs. Dashwood: Why so grave? You disapprove her choice?
Marianne: By no means. Edward is very amiable.
Mrs. Dashwood: Amiable? But...?
Marianne: But there is something wanting. He's too sedate. His reading last night...
Mrs. Dashwood: But Elinor has not your feelings. His reserve suits her.
Marianne: Can he love her? Can the soul really be satisfied with such polite affections? To love is to burn - to be on fire, like Juliet or Guinevere or Eloise.
Mrs. Dashwood: They made rather pathetic ends, dear.
Marianne: Pathetic? To die for love? How can you say so? What could be more glorious?
Mrs. Dashwood: I think that would be taking your romantic sensibilities a little far.
John Willoughby: Frailty, thy name is Brandon.
Marianne: There are some people who can't bear a party of pleasure.
Mrs. Dashwood: You're a very wicked pair. Colonel Brandon will be sadly missed.
John Willoughby: Why? When he is the sort of man that everyone speaks well of and no one remembers to talk to?
Fanny: Mrs. Dashwood, Miss Dashwood, Miss Marianne - my brother, Edward Ferrars.
[Everyone bows or curtsies]
Fanny, Mrs. Dashwood: [together] Do sit down.
[There's an embarrassed pause as Mrs. Dashwood realises she is no longer the mistress of the house]
Sir John Middleton: Now, Miss Dashwood, it's your turn to entertain us.
Elinor Dashwood: Oh no, Sir John, I don't...
Sir John Middleton: And I believe I know what key you will sing in. "F" major.
Mrs. Dashwood: You must miss him, Elinor.
Elinor Dashwood: We are not engaged, Mamma.
Mrs. Dashwood: But he loves you, dearest, of that I am certain.
Elinor Dashwood: I am by no means assured of his regard, and even were he to feel such a preference, I think we should be foolish to assume that there would not be many obstacles to his marrying a... a woman of no rank who cannot afford to buy sugar.
Mrs. Dashwood: But Elinor, your heart must tell you...
Elinor Dashwood: In such a situation, Mamma, it is perhaps better to use one's head.
Marianne: When is a man to be safe from such wit if age and infirmity do not protect him?
Elinor Dashwood: Infirmity?
Mrs. Dashwood: If Colonel Brandon is infirm then I am at death's door.
Elinor Dashwood: It is a miracle your life has extended this far.
Marianne: Did you not hear him complain of a rheumatism in his shoulder?
Elinor Dashwood: "A slight ache" I believe was his phrase.
Marianne: Fanny wishes to know where the key to the silver cabinet is kept.
Elinor Dashwood: Betsy has it, I think. What does Fanny want with the silver?
Marianne: One can only presume she wants to count it. What are you doing?
Elinor Dashwood: Presents for the servants. Have you seen Margaret, by the way? I'm worried about her. She's taken to hiding in the oddest places.
Marianne: Fortunate girl. At least she can escape Fanny, which is more than any of us is able.
Elinor Dashwood: You do your best. You've not said a word to her for a week.
Marianne: I have. I've said "yes" and "no".
Edward Ferrars: I trust I find you all well?
Marianne: Thank you, Edward, we are all very well.
Margaret: We've been enjoying very fine weather.
[Marianne nudges her]
Margaret: Well, we have.
Edward Ferrars: Well, I-I'm glad to hear it. The roads were very... dry.
Elinor Dashwood: [making painstaking conversation] How is Mrs Ferrars?
Fanny: My mother is always in excellent health, thank you. My brother Robert is in town with her this season and quite the most popular bachelor in London. He has his own barouche.
Elinor Dashwood: Oh. You have two brothers, have you not?
Fanny: Indeed yes. Edward is the elder and Mamma quite depends upon him. He's traveling up from Plymouth shortly and will break his journey here.
John Dashwood: If that is agreeable to you.
Mrs. Dashwood: My dear John, this is your home now.
Sir John Middleton: You know what they're saying, of course. Hm? Word is, you've developed a taste for certain company. And why not, say I. A man like you in your prime... she'd be a very fortunate young lady.
Colonel Brandon: Marianne Dashwood would no more think of me than she would of you, John.
Sir John Middleton: Brandon, my boy, do not think of yourself so meanly.
Colonel Brandon: And all the better for her.
Charlotte Palmer: Miss Dashwood, if only Mr Willoughby had gone home to Combe Magna, we could have taken Miss Marianne to see him, for we live but half a mile away.
Mr. Palmer: Five and a half.
Charlotte Palmer: No, I cannot believe it is that far, for you can see the place from the top of our hill. Is it really five and a half? No. I cannot believe it.
Mr. Palmer: Try.
Elinor Dashwood: Did he tell you that he loved you?
Marianne: Yes. No. Never absolutely. It was everyday implied but never declared.
Marianne: Colonel Brandon.
[Though trying to slip out, he eases slowly back into the room, almost afraid to speak]
Marianne: Thank you.
[a fleeting look of mild gratitude crosses his face from these first sincerely kind words she's ever spoken to him]
Margaret: [in church] Do you think he'll kneel down when he asks her?
Elinor Dashwood: Shh!
Margaret: [from the pulpit] The fear of Him is the beginning of wisdom.
Margaret: They always kneel down.
Marianne: Did you see him? He expressed himself well, did he not?
Mrs. Dashwood: With great decorum and honour.
Marianne: And spirit and wit and feeling!
Elinor: And economy - ten words at most.
Elinor Dashwood: Mama,
[deep sigh]
Elinor Dashwood: there is a painful difference between the expectation of an unpleasant event and its final certainty.
Edward Ferrars: Miss Dashwood... Elinor, I must speak to you. There is something of great importance that I need to, eh... t-tell you... a-about my, eh, education.
Elinor Dashwood: Your education?
Edward Ferrars: Yes. It w-was conducted, eh, oddly enough, in Plymouth.
Elinor Dashwood: Indeed?
Edward Ferrars: Yes. Do you know it?
Elinor Dashwood: Plymouth?
Edward Ferrars: Yes.
Elinor Dashwood: No.
Edward Ferrars: Ah.
Mrs. Dashwood: [feeling Marianne's ankle after she sprains it, Marianne being enraptured with Willoughby] Tell me if I hurt you.
Elinor: She feels no pain, mama.
Mrs Jennings: There you are, Pigeon. Have you missed me?
Pigeon: Very much, ma'am.
Mrs Jennings: Ah, you always say so and I never believe you.
Charlotte Palmer: To think! We can see his insufferable house from the top of our hill. I shall ask Jackson to plant some very tall trees.
Mr. Palmer: You will do nothing of the sort.
Mrs. Dashwood: Surely you're not going to deny us beef as well as sugar.
Elinor Dashwood: There is nothing under 10 pence a pound, Mamma. We must economise.
Mrs. Dashwood: Do you want us to starve?
Elinor Dashwood: No. Just not to eat beef.
Margaret: Oh, please don't say anything important.
Mrs. Dashwood: We're so happy that you chose to invite Edward to Norland. He's a dear boy. We're all very fond of him.
Fanny: We have great hopes for him. Much is expected of him by our mother with regard to his profession.
Mrs. Dashwood: Naturally.
Fanny: And in marriage. She's determined that both he and Robert will marry well.
Mrs. Dashwood: Of course. But I hope she desires them to marry for love.
Fanny: Love is all very well, but unfortunately we cannot always rely on the heart to lead us in the most suitable directions. You see, my dear Mrs. Dashwood, Edward is entirely the kind of compassionate person upon whom penniless women can prey. And having entered into any understanding, he would never go back on his word. He's simply incapable of doing so, but it would lead to his ruin. I worry for him so, Mrs. Dashwood. My mother has made it perfectly plain that she would withdraw all financial support from Edward should he choose to plant his affections in less... exalted ground than he deserves.
Elinor Dashwood: [as her mother and sisters rant about Willoughby's many qualities] Is he human?
Mrs Jennings: Lovers' quarrels are swift to heal.
Elinor Dashwood: Whatever his past actions, whatever his present course... at least you may be certain that he loved you.
Marianne: But not enough. Not enough.
Marianne: And as for you, you have no right, no right at all, to parade your ignorant assumptions...
Margaret: They're not assumptions, you told me.
Marianne: I told you nothing.
Margaret: They'll meet him when he comes, anyway.
Marianne: Margaret, that is not the point. You do not speak of such things before strangers.
Margaret: But everyone else was.
Marianne: Mrs Jennings is not everyone.
Margaret: I like her. She talks about things. We never talk about things.
Mrs. Dashwood: Hush, please. That is enough, Margaret. If you cannot think of anything appropriate to say, you will please restrict your remarks to the weather
Thomas: I fetched those beef fillets for you ma'am.
Mrs. Dashwood: It was far less expensive in Exeter. Anyway, it's for Marianne.
Lucy: It is a very great secret. I've told nobody in the world for fear of discovery.
Fanny: [greedily] I am the soul of discretion.
Lucy: If I dared tell...
Fanny: I can assure you, I'm as silent as the grave.
[Lucy whispers in Fanny's ear; Fanny's kindly disposition changes abruptly]
Fanny: [turning against Lucy, enraged and horrified] Viper in my bosom!
Margaret: He must like you very much.
Marianne: It is not just for me. It is for all of us.
Fanny: Oh, a cottage! How charming. A little cottage is always very snug.
Marianne: I was never so grateful in all my life as I am to Mrs. Jennings. Oh, Elinor, I shall see Willoughby and you will see Edward. Are you asleep?
Elinor Dashwood: With you in the room?
Marianne: I do not believe you feel as calm as you look, Elinor. Not even you. Oh, I will never sleep tonight. And what were you and Miss Steele talking about so long?
Elinor Dashwood: Nothing of significance.
Edward Ferrars: Colonel Brandon must be a man of great worth and respectability.
Elinor Dashwood: Yes, he is the kindest and best of men.
Marianne: Is there any felicity in the world superior to this?
Margaret: I told you it would rain.
Marianne: There's some blue sky! Let us chase it!
Mrs Jennings: [hoping to cheer up Marianne who is grieving her loss of Willoughby] Does she care for olives?
Marianne: Are we never to have a moment's peace? The rent here may be low but I believe we have it on very hard terms.
Elinor Dashwood: Mrs Jennings is a wealthy woman with a married daughter. She has nothing to do but marry off everyone else's.
Mrs Jennings: [to Pigeon] Don't talk to me of coals.
Mrs Jennings: [to the parrot] Ah, there you are Pooter. Still alive I see.
Margaret: Edward promised he'd bring the atlas to Barton for me?
Marianne: Did he? Well, I'll wager he will do so in less than a fortnight.
Marianne: Sir John, might I play your pianoforte?
Sir John Middleton: Yes, yes, of course. My goodness. Yes, we do not stand upon ceremony here, my dear.
Mrs Jennings: I don't want to hear another word about the ham bone, Pigeon. You and Cartwright must sort that out between you.
Mrs Jennings: I declare, they are the loveliest girls I ever set eyes on. Can you not get them married, Mrs. Dashwood?
Mrs. Dashwood: [watching Brandon court Marianne] He certainly is not so dashing as Willoughby, but he has a far more pleasing countenance. There always was a something, if you remember, in Willoughby's eyes at times that I did not like.
Mrs Jennings: I think I've unearthed a secret.
Sir John Middleton: Oh, no, have you sniffled one out already, Mother? You're worse than my best pointer Flossie!
Elinor Dashwood: John and Fanny are in town. I think we shall be forced to see them.
Elinor Dashwood: Would you have him treat her even worse than Willoughby has treated you?
Marianne: No, but nor would I have him marry where he does not love.
Mrs Jennings: An entertainment, I declare. I cannot remember when's the last we had a songbird in the house.
Fanny: People always live forever when there is an annuity to be paid them.
Mrs. Dashwood: To be reduced to the condition of visitor in my own home. It is not to be borne, Elinor.
Elinor Dashwood: Consider, Mamma, we have nowhere to go.
Mrs. Dashwood: John and Fanny will be descending from London at any moment. Do you expect me to be here to welcome them? Vultures.
Fanny: They're all exceedingly spoilt, I find. Miss Margaret spends all her time up trees and under furniture. I've barely had a civil word from Marianne.
Edward Ferrars: My dear Fanny, they've just lost their father. Their lives will never be the same again.
Lucy: We were talking of London, ma'am, and of all its... diversions.
[as Mrs. Dashwood sees off Marianne's dashing rescuer]
Marianne: [whispering] His name! His name!
Mrs. Dashwood: Oh, his name!
[runs back]
Mrs. Dashwood: Please, could you tell us to whom we are so much obliged?
Fanny: My only real concern is how long it will take them to move out.
[a large box has arrived at Barton cottage]
Margaret: It's for us!
Mrs. Dashwood: What is it, Thomas?
Thomas: I'm not sure, ma'am, but it's right heavy.
Mrs Jennings: Ah, now, do not fret, my dear. I have been told that this good weather is keeping many of our sportsmen in the country at present, but the frost will soon drive them to town. Depend on it.
Mrs Jennings: I will brook no refusal, Miss Dashwood. Let us strike hands on the bargain. And if I do not have the three of you married by michaelmas, it will not be my fault.

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