I’ve been reading my favorite Jane Austen novel, once again. Sense and Sensibility. There is something about this one story that rings more true to me. I relate to multiple characters. I find the story both heartbreaking and hopeful. Jane brings me to laughter and tears, even after reading the book again and again. And, each time, I find something new. Something different strikes me.
This quote is from Chapter 18. Edward visits his favorite gal and favorite family at their little humble cottage in Devonshire. Edward holds a secret, and is greatly conflicted. All that he exposes to his hosts is that he is sad, distracted and heavily critical of himself and his decisions. In this moment he has just finished describing his future children, “They will be brought up,” said he, in a serious accent, “to be as unlike myself as is possible. In feeling, in action, in condition, in every thing.”
He’s preparing to walk out the door. Edward has lost hope. He’s giving up on himself, as he finds himself in the most impossible position, of loving someone but being bound by honor to another.
Mrs. Dashwood, in a moment of wisdom, responds to him, “Come, come; this is all an effusion of immediate want of spirits, Edward. You are in a melancholy humour, and fancy that any one unlike yourself must be happy. But remember that the pain of parting from friends will be felt by every body at times, whatever be their education or state. Know your own happiness. You want nothing but patience—or give it a more fascinating name, call it hope.”