Sense and Sensibility





  Produced by Fritz Ohrenschall and Sankar Viswanathan (Thisbook was produced from scanned images of public domainmaterial from the Google Print project.)

  Transcriber's Note:

  The Table of Contents is not part of the original book. The illustrationon page 290 is missing from the book. The Introduction ends abruptly.Seems incomplete.

  _Mr. Dashwood introduced him._--P. 219.]

  SENSE & SENSIBILITY

  BY

  JANE AUSTEN

  WITH AN INTRODUCTION

  BY

  AUSTIN DOBSON

  ILLUSTRATED

  BY

  HUGH THOMSON

  LONDON: MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED

  NEW YORK: THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

  1902

  _First Edition with Hugh Thomson's Illustrations_ 1896

  * * * * *

  CONTENTS

  INTRODUCTIONLIST OF ILLUSTRATIONSCHAPTER ICHAPTER IICHAPTER IIICHAPTER IVCHAPTER VCHAPTER VICHAPTER VIICHAPTER VIIICHAPTER IXCHAPTER XCHAPTER XICHAPTER XIICHAPTER XIIICHAPTER XIVCHAPTER XVCHAPTER XVICHAPTER XVIICHAPTER XVIIICHAPTER XIXCHAPTER XXCHAPTER XXICHAPTER XXIICHAPTER XXIIICHAPTER XXIVCHAPTER XXVCHAPTER XXVICHAPTER XXVIICHAPTER XXVIIICHAPTER XXIXCHAPTER XXXCHAPTER XXXICHAPTER XXXIICHAPTER XXXIIICHAPTER XXXIVCHAPTER XXXVCHAPTER XXXVICHAPTER XXXVIICHAPTER XXXVIIICHAPTER XXXIXCHAPTER XLCHAPTER XLICHAPTER XLIICHAPTER XLIIICHAPTER XLIVCHAPTER XLVCHAPTER XLVICHAPTER XLVIICHAPTER XLVIIICHAPTER XLIXCHAPTER L

  * * * * *

  INTRODUCTION

  With the title of _Sense and Sensibility_ is connected one of those minorproblems which delight the cummin-splitters of criticism. In the _Cecilia_of Madame D'Arblay--the forerunner, if not the model, of Miss Austen--is asentence which at first sight suggests some relationship to the name ofthe book which, in the present series, inaugurated Miss Austen's novels.'The whole of this unfortunate business'--says a certain didactic Dr.Lyster, talking in capitals, towards the end of volume three of_Cecilia_--'has been the result of PRIDE and PREJUDICE,' and looking tothe admitted familiarity of Miss Austen with Madame D'Arblay's work, ithas been concluded that Miss Austen borrowed from _Cecilia_, the title ofher second novel. But here comes in the little problem to which we havereferred. _Pride and Prejudice_ it is true, was written and finishedbefore _Sense and Sensibility_--its original title for several years being_First Impressions_. Then, in 1797, the author fell to work upon an olderessay in letters _a la_ Richardson, called _Elinor and Marianne_, whichshe re-christened _Sense and Sensibility._ This, as we know, was her firstpublished book; and whatever may be the connection between the title of_Pride and Prejudice_ and the passage in _Cecilia_, there is an obviousconnection between the title of _Pride and Prejudice_ and the _title ofSense and Sensibility_. If Miss Austen re-christened _Elinor andMarianne_ before she changed the title of _First Impressions_, as she wellmay have, it is extremely unlikely that the name of _Pride and Prejudice_has anything to do with _Cecilia_ (which, besides, had been published atleast twenty years before). Upon the whole, therefore, it is most likelythat the passage in Madame D'Arblay is a mere coincidence; and that in_Sense and Sensibility_, as well as in the novel that succeeded it inpublication, Miss Austen, after the fashion of the old morality plays,simply substituted the leading characteristics of her principal personagesfor their names. Indeed, in _Sense and Sensibility_ the sense of Elinor,and the sensibility (or rather _sensiblerie_) of Marianne, are markedlyemphasised in the opening pages of the book But Miss Austen subsequently,and, as we think, wisely, discarded in her remaining efforts the cheapattraction of an alliterative title. _Emma_ and _Persuasion, NorthangerAbbey_ and _Mansfield Park_, are names far more in consonance with thequiet tone of her easy and unobtrusive art.

  _Elinor and Marianne_ was originally written about 1792. After thecompletion--or partial completion, for it was again revised in1811--of _First Impressions_ (subsequently _Pride and Prejudice_),Miss Austen set about recasting _Elinor and Marianne_, then composedin the form of letters; and she had no sooner accomplished this task,than she began _Northanger Abbey_. It would be interesting to know towhat extent she remodelled _Sense and Sensibility_ in 1797-98, for weare told that previous to its publication in 1811 she again devoted aconsiderable time to its preparation for the press, and it is clearthat this does not mean the correction of proofs alone, but also apreliminary revision of MS. Especially would it be interesting if wecould ascertain whether any of its more finished passages, _e.g._ theadmirable conversation between the Miss Dashwoods and Willoughby inchapter x., were the result of those fallow and apparently barrenyears at Bath and Southampton, or whether they were already part ofthe second version of 1797-98. But upon this matter the records aremute. A careful examination of the correspondence published by LordBrabourne in 1884 only reveals two definite references to _Sense andSensibility_ and these are absolutely unfruitful in suggestion. InApril 1811 she speaks of having corrected two sheets of 'S and S,'which she has scarcely a hope of getting out in the following June;and in September, an extract from the diary of another member of thefamily indirectly discloses the fact that the book had by that timebeen published. This extract is a brief reference to a letter whichhad been received from Cassandra Austen, begging her correspondent notto mention that Aunt Jane wrote _Sense and Sensibility._ Beyond theseminute items of information, and the statement--already referred to inthe Introduction to _Pride and Prejudice_--that she considered herselfoverpaid for the labour she had bestowed upon it, absolutely nothingseems to have been preserved by her descendants respecting her firstprinted effort. In the absence of particulars some of her critics havefallen to speculate upon the reason which made her select it, and not_Pride and Prejudice_, for her debut; and they have, perhapsnaturally, found in the fact a fresh confirmation of that traditionalblindness of authors to their own best work, which is one of thecommonplaces of literary history. But this is to premise that she_did_ regard it as her masterpiece, a fact which, apart from thisaccident of priority of issue, is, as far as we are aware, nowhereasserted. A simpler solution is probably that, of the three novels shehad written or sketched by 1811, _Pride and Prejudice_ was languishingunder the stigma of having been refused by one bookseller without theformality of inspection, while _Northanger Abbey_ was lying _perdu_ inanother bookseller's drawer at Bath. In these circumstances it isintelligible that she should turn to _Sense and Sensibility_, when, atlength--upon the occasion of a visit to her brother in London in thespring of 1811--Mr. T. Egerton of the 'Military Library,' Whitehall,dawned upon the horizon as a practicable publisher.

  By the time _Sense and Sensibility_ left the press, Miss Austen wasagain domiciled at Chawton Cottage. For those accustomed to theswarming reviews of our day, with their Babel of notices, it may seemstrange that there should be no record of the effect produced, seeingthat, as already stated, the book sold well enough to enable itsputter-forth to hand over to its author what Mr. Gargery, in _GreatExpectations_, would have described as 'a cool L150.' Surely Mr.Egerton, who had visited Miss Austen at Sloane Street, must have laterconveyed to her some intelligence of the way in which her work hadbeen welcomed by the public. But if he did, it is no longerdiscoverable. Mr. Austen Leigh, her first and best biographer, couldfind no account either of the publication or of the author's feelingsthereupon. As far as it is possible to judge, the critical verdictsshe obtained were mainly derived from her own relatives