Elinor Dashwood
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Quotes for
Elinor Dashwood (Character)
from Sense and Sensibility (1995)

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Sense and Sensibility (1995)
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.

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".

Elinor Dashwood: Did he tell you that he loved you?
Marianne: Yes. No. Never absolutely. It was everyday implied but never declared.

[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: 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Edward Ferrars: Your friendship has been the most important of my life.
Elinor Dashwood: You will always have it.

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.

[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.

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: Whatever his past actions, whatever his present course... at least you may be certain that he loved you.
Marianne: But not enough. Not enough.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Edward Ferrars: Colonel Brandon must be a man of great worth and respectability.
Elinor Dashwood: Yes, he is the kindest and best of men.

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.

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.

Elinor Dashwood: [as her mother and sisters rant about Willoughby's many qualities] Is he human?

Elinor Dashwood: Mama,
[deep sigh]
Elinor Dashwood: there is a painful difference between the expectation of an unpleasant event and its final certainty.

Elinor Dashwood: John and Fanny are in town. I think we shall be forced to see them.

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.

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.


"Sense and Sensibility: Episode #1.1" (1981)
Fanny Dashwood: [to Edward Farras, her brother] Edward, don't stand there like a dummy.
Elinor Dashwood: [to Edward, who has just been insulted by his sister] Mr Farras, please sit down.