I had to chuckle over John Dashwood saying, "I am convinced that there is a vast deal of inconsistency in almost every human character (p. 548). Um, yeah, way to describe yourself there, dude. But at least he's been friendly and polite to Elinor and Marianne all along, not shunning them while Elinor had a chance with Edward, only to try to make friends with them now. I guess his greatest inconsistency is in not being able to see how unfair his wife and mother-in-law have been, and thinking he's been totally fair and generous himself.
Also, Elinor makes some very icily sarcastic remarks to her half-brother that go way over his head, which makes me laugh too.
Anyway, off we go to Cleveland, as in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Palmer, not the city in Ohio. Where you will probably be shocked to discover that Marianne does not catch a terrible cold by wandering off in a storm to recite poetry while staring at Willoughby's home. She also does not get carried home in a downpour by a heroic Colonel Brandon. That's one of the biggest deviations from the book that Emma Thompson did in her screenplay for the 1995 film, but since it makes such a nice parallel to Willoughby's first entrance in the story and gives Brandon something very manly to do, I never mind it at all. But here, Marianne just gets chilled sitting around in the damp grass while indulging her passion for dead leaves.
I'm struck by Austen's description of Marianne once again insisting on being unhappy. She writes, "In such moments of precious, of invaluable misery, she rejoiced in tears of agony to be at Cleveland" (p. 564). Oh, come on, Marianne, stop making yourself miserable on purpose!!!
1. Are you starting to lose patience with Marianne's rejoicing in self-perpetuated agony?
2. Are you like Marianne in that she "had the knack of finding her way in every house to the library" (p. 566)?
3. Are you surprised that Mr. Palmer is "very capable of being a pleasant companion" (p. 568)?