But wow, Austen's sarcasm is in beast mode here. She says that Mrs. Ferrars "was not a woman of many words: for, unlike other people in general, she proportioned them to the number of her ideas" (p. 434). Way to sock it to both Mrs. Ferrars and people in general, eh? And then she says, of the display of wealth that John and Fanny put on, that "no poverty of any kind, except of conversation, appeared (p. 436). Wow. You can almost hear that one sizzle.
Austen's authorial gloves also come off regarding Lucy Steele. She outright says that Lucy "believed herself to be inflicting a severe disappointment" (432) on Elinor when she tells her that Edward won't be at the dinner party. And then she says that Lucy "hoped at least to be an object of irrepressible envy to Elinor" (p. 434) over how uncomfortable she is about meeting Edward's mother. No more conjecturing about whether or not Lucy is a villainess here, eh?
1. Do you think Col. Brandon catches on that John thinks he's interested in Elinor?
2. Did you laugh aloud when Elinor snarks at her half-brother John that "assisted by [Mrs. Ferrars'] liberality, I hope you may yet live to be in easy circumstances," like I did?