Now everyone knows that there are three things you should never break:
But I guess not everyone got that memo. Especially one in particular, John Dashwood.
But I am getting ahead of myself, let me back up just a bit.
So when we last left off on Sense and Sensibility, Mr. Henry Dashwood’s rich uncle had died and left his state entailed. That means the money and estate gets passed on only to the male heirs. When Mr. Henry Dashwood dies everything goes to his son John, leaving his second wife and three daughters out in the cold. Yep, entailment sucks.
But all is not yet lost. Mr. Henry Dashwood is not that old of a man. He is sure to live a long life and squirrel away enough money for his daughters. Everything is going to be just fine.
I know, that’s what you think. Within a year of having the riches, Mr. Henry Dashwood fell gravely ill, and soon death was knocking on his door.
As soon as Henry Dashwood discovers that he has no chance of surviving, he calls his son John for a meeting. He makes John promise to take care of his sisters. And John does promise.
“[John] promised to do every thing in his power to make them comfortable.”
So John isn’t a complete monster. In fact his biggest fault is that he tends to think of himself more than others. And this would have been easily fixed, if he had married a nice woman. The problem is, he married this.
This horrible, horrible woman.
So John decides to give them £1000 a piece. And that is perfectly generous (he could easily give more). After all, he has the rest of his mother’s fortune, and then he will be given £4000 a year. All is good. Only one problem:
As soon as the body is in the ground, she comes to the house and starts cataloguing everything. And when she heard the plans John had she was like no way!
She thinks that by removing £3000; their boy is going to the poorhouse. So she wheedles John into decreasing that amount.
“[Henry Dashwood] did not know what he was talking of, I dare say, ten to one he was light-headed…”
So John decides that he is giving too much and that he will instead give each sister £500. £1500 in all. It could be better, but at least it’s not nothing. But “Oh too much”, Fanny exclaims again, after all they are only half-siblings. It’s not like they are actually blood.
Did you just say what I think you said?
You girl are horrible and wrong. Half-siblings are real siblings! I know as I have one. It doesn’t change a thing. Fanny you make me so ANGRY!
I feel better now.
Anyways, as I was saying, Fanny thinks the amount is still too much. So John decides again to knock the amount down. Now they get £100. £300! That’s all!? Come on man. That’s horrid.
And still, this is far too much for Fanny.
“I am convinced within myself that your father had no idea of your giving them any money at all. The assistance he thought of, I dare say, was only such as might be reasonably expected of you; for instance, such as looking out for a comfortable small house for them, helping them move their things, and sending them presents of fish and game…I’ll lay my life he meant nothing farther; indeed, it would be very strange and unreasonable…”
You know that is exactly what the dad wanted. Oh you, you are
Now those girls have hardly anything to live off on. And they will be unable to get married. If you thought the Bennet situation was bad, this one is much, much, much, much, much worse. At least they had a chance to marry off one of their girls to Mr. Collins, but here they have nothing.
Oh that Fanny! Curse You!
And you know what, she doesn’t even need it. Not only does John have a ton of money from his mother and now the entailment; but she comes from money too. Her mom’s loaded. And still, she has to begrudge these girls a few dollars.
Just goes to show you:
And that some people do not know how to keep their promises.
For more on Sense and Sensibility, go to A Family Affair
For more on Beauty & the Beast, go to Heaven on Earth
For more great quotes, go to It’s Fantastico!