Sense and Sensibility Chapter 34
Fanny visits Mrs. Jennings and her daughters the next day, and finds an especially good acquaintance in the Lady Middleton. "There was a kind of cold-hearted selfishness on both sides, which mutually attracted them; and they sympathized with each other in an insipid propriety of demeanour, and a general want of understanding." Chapter 34, pg. 194 Elinor learns from Lucy that Edward is in town, but she expects that he is keeping his distance from them both.
Fanny invites the group to dine at her house, and Mrs. Ferrars will be there. Lucy is very nervous, and complains to Elinor. Unlike Lucy, Elinor is glad that she will be meeting Mrs. Ferrars now that her opinion no longer matters; she has no control over her happiness. Elinor pities Lucy and her situation, but Lucy was hoping more for Elinor's jealousy.
At the dinner, Mrs. Ferrars is as mean as Elinor anticipated. Elinor is amused by how nice Mrs. Ferrars is to Lucy, while she ignores Elinor. If only she knew, how different her behavior would have been! The conversation is dull, and only the appearance of little Harry Dashwood brings on conversation. They all argue over whether Harry, or Lady Middleton's child, who was not present, was taller. This topic was heatedly argued, and everyone was expected to have an answer.
Fanny passes around some screens Elinor had painted before leaving Norland. Mrs. Ferrars is very interested in them, until she learns they were done by Elinor. Upon hearing this, she shoves them aside, and starts to talk about how wonderful Miss Morton can paint. Marianne, who doesn't know who Miss Morton is, is very offended. Elinor only wishes Marianne would be quiet.