Sense and Sensibility Chapter 47
Mrs. Dashwood was happy, relieved, and forgiving, at the story of Willoughby. That evening, Marianne wants to talk about Willoughby. She acknowledges that she could never have been happy with him, knowing all she knows now. Elinor agrees, and suggests that though Willoughby now regrets choosing money over love, he may have soon tired of being poor, and grown annoyed with efforts at economy. Such a mismatch, she suggests, would have doomed the marriage from the start. A selfish man, Elinor believes he is only now regretful because his bad action has not made him happy. Though hard to hear Willoughby called selfish, Marianne must admit that it was never she he wanted to make happy.
Some time later, the Dashwood's servant returns from town with knowledge of the marriage of Mr. Ferrars. All are shocked and disbelieving, Elinor most of all, who becomes hysterical. The servant tells them he saw Mr. Ferrars and Miss Steele in a carriage, and she told him of their marriage. They forget dinner, appetites lost. Mrs. Dashwood regrets now how little attention was paid to Elinor, who suffered much less publicly than Marianne.