Sense and Sensibility Chapter 33
Elinor finally gets Marianne out of the house, where she had secluded herself. They go to a jewelry store, which they find very crowded. There is a fashionable man at the counter, and Elinor tries to catch his eye in the hope he will step aside, or hurry his business for the two waiting ladies. But he takes no notice of anything other than what is currently occupying his interest--the particulars of his new tooth-pick case, which he debates over for fifteen minutes. Elinor sees in his face nothing significant or praiseworthy, though his clothes are stylish.
Elinor finally gets her turn, and is nearly done with her business when her brother enters the shop. John is polite and happy to see them, though he has been in town for two days and has not called on them. He promises to call tomorrow, and is excited to meet Mrs. Jennings and the Middletons, whom he hears have large fortunes. He then tells Elinor how glad he was that the cottage was wonderful, and that they needed nothing.
John calls on Mrs. Jennings, and after his visit, he goes on a walk with Elinor. He wants to know if Colonel Brandon has a large fortune. He thinks the Colonel and Elinor are attached. Elinor tells him he is wrong, but John imagines it is her small fortune that holds the Colonel back, not affection for another woman. He thinks this would be a much better match than one with Edward, though he does not say it directly. He expects Edward to marry soon to a Miss Morton, with a very large fortune.
John speaks about the generous heart of his mother-in-law, telling Elinor how she gave them some money once they got into town. He tells her how little money they have, since he has just bought East Kingham Farm, and is making many improvements there and at Norland. He also comments on how they had to buy all new china and linen, because the Dashwoods took theirs from Norland. All this is intended to make him seem poor, so that he does not have to buy his sisters a present. Once satisfied, John changes the topic of conversation. He asks about Mrs. Jennings, and comments that she will likely leave much of her fortune to Elinor and Marianne. Elinor does not believe so, but John likes the idea of someone else fulfilling his promise to his father.
John tells Elinor how terrible it is that Marianne has lost her looks, and certainly won't marry well now. He is still hopeful that Elinor will. When he leaves, he reveals that his wife and her mother did not want to visit Mrs. Jennings until they found out her class, since they knew her husband was a workman. But John assures Elinor he can carry back the message that the rich Mrs. Jennings is certainly someone they could comfortably meet.