Elinor now realized, by how much Edward’s wedding upset her, that she had always held an unlikely hope that Edward and Lucy’s marriage would be prevented and he would still marry Elinor. Now, she imagined Lucy had prudently sought to marry Edward quickly, before anything came between them. She waited for some letter or announcement of the marriage, but none came.
Despite her good sense, Elinor always held onto a sentimental hope that she would be able to marry Edward. She imagines that Lucy schemed to marry Edward as quickly as possible.
Colonel Brandon was due to visit soon, and Elinor looked forward to his arrival, as he might have news of Edward. Just when Elinor was expecting Brandon, a gentleman came to the cottage. But it was not Colonel Brandon; Elinor looked and saw that it was Edward. She was greatly distressed, but told herself to remain calm.
Elinor looks forward to any news or even rumors she might be able to learn of about Edward. She struggles to maintain her outward calm when Edward shockingly shows up.
Edward entered the cottage, “white with agitation,” as the Dashwoods nervously waited for him to say something. After an awkward silence, Mrs. Dashwood inquired after “Mrs. Ferrars,” and Edward said his mother was doing well. Elinor said that she had meant his wife, but Edward was confused, and asked if she meant his brother’s wife.
The Dashwoods attempt to be polite and make conversation, despite the tenseness of the situation. As Edward’s confusion shows, Elinor appears to have been misinformed by popular rumor.
Edward explained that Lucy had married his brother Robert. On hearing this news, Elinor had to leave the room and “burst into tears of joy.” Edward “fell into a reverie” when he saw Elinor’s reaction and he left the cottage to go into the village.
At this moment, even Elinor is unable to restrain her emotions, and bursts out into tears of joy. Just as Marianne has tempered her sensibility with sense, Elinor now shows that beneath her sense she has a deep well of sensibility.