Study Guide

Sense and Sensibility Chapter 43

By Jane Austen

Chapter 43

  • Marianne gets up the morning and tries to act like she's OK, but she's clearly still really sick. Elinor nurses her calmly, but Colonel Brandon is worried.
  • After another night of illness, Elinor, following Mrs. Jennings's advice, calls the Palmers' doctor. He examines the patient, and says that she should recover from her "infection" in a few days.
  • This freaks out Mrs. Palmer for her baby's sake, though, and she and the baby go to stay with a relative for a while, just to be safe. Mr. Palmer is set to join her in a couple of days.
  • Mrs. Jennings, however, staunchly says that she will stay with Marianne and Elinor until Marianne is better again. Elinor finds her very helpful.
  • Marianne doesn't get any better, but fortunately doesn't get too much worse. However, her illness lasts long enough for Mr. Palmer to have to leave to meet up with his wife, as promised. Colonel Brandon also wonders if he should leave, but he's encouraged to remain by Mr. Palmer and Mrs. Jennings.
  • Two more days pass, and Marianne doesn't mend. Colonel Brandon is extremely worried – he's obviously still in love with her.
  • On the third day, Marianne seems better – but she gets even sicker as evening falls. That night, Marianne is at her worst; she's clearly delirious, and asks for her mother to come. Colonel Brandon goes immediately to Barton to fetch Mrs. Dashwood. Things aren't looking good for Marianne.
  • That morning, Mrs. Jennings awakes to find out that everything has grown worse. She feels incredibly bad for everyone – she's truly concerned about Marianne herself, Elinor, and Mrs. Dashwood.
  • The doctor, Mr. Harris, returns to check on his ailing patient. His medicines didn't work, but he has one last thing to try.
  • This desperate, last-ditch solution, whatever it may be, seems to work; Marianne revives somewhat, and Elinor, despite Mrs. Jennings's advice to be prudent, feels hopeful. By that afternoon, she seems much better, and the doctor says she's out of danger.
  • Mrs. Jennings cheers up instantly, but Elinor can't – she's relieved and full of gratitude, but she can't express it. Instead, she stays with Marianne all afternoon, calming down.
  • That evening, Elinor awaits the arrival of her mother and Colonel Brandon, who are expected around ten o'clock that night. A carriage pulls up around eight instead – and in it is Willoughby!