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Sense and Sensibility (1995) script

by Emma Thompson,
based on the novel by Jane Austen
 
EXT. OPEN ROADS - NIGHT - TITLE SEQUENCE

A series of traveling shots. A well-dressed, pompous-looking 
individual (JOHN DASHWOOD, 35) is making an urgent journey 
on horseback. He looks anxious.

EXT. NORLAND PARK - ENGLAND - MARCH 1800 - NIGHT

Silence. Norland Park, a large country house built in the 
early part of the eighteenth century, lies in the moonlit 
parkland.

INT. NORLAND PARK - MR DASHWOOD'S BEDROOM - NIGHT


In the dim light shed by candles we see a bed in which a MAN 
(MR DASHWOOD, 52) lies his skin waxy, his breathing laboured. 
Around him two silhouettes move and murmur, their clothing 
susurrating in the deathly hush. DOCTORS. A WOMAN (MRS 
DASHWOOD, 50) sits by his side, holding his hand, her eyes 
never leaving his face.

       MR DASHWOOD
	(urgent)
          Is John not yet arrived?

       MRS DASHWOOD
          We expect him at any moment, dearest.

MR DASHWOOD looks anguished.

       MR DASHWOOD
          The girls--I have left so little.

       MRS DASHWOOD

          Shh, hush, Henry.

       MR DASHWOOD
          Elinor will try to look after you 
          all, but make sure she finds a good 
          husband. The men are such noodles 
          hereabouts, little wonder none has 
          pleased her.

They smile at each other. MRS DASHWOOD is just managing to 
conceal her fear and grief

       MRS DASHWOOD
          But Marianne is sure to find her 
          storybook hero.

       MR DASHWOOD
          A romantic poet with flashing eyes 
          and empty pockets?

       MRS DASHWOOD
          As long as she loves him, whoever he 
          is.


       MR DASHWOOD
          Margaret will go to sea and become a 
          pirate so we need not concern 
          ourselves with her.

MRS DASHWOOD tries to laugh but it emerges as a sob. An older 
MANSERVANT (THOMAS) now enters, anxiety written on every 
feature.

       THOMAS
          Your son is arrived from London, 
          sir.

MR DASHWOOD squeezes his wife's hand.

       MR DASHWOOD
          Let me speak to John alone.

She nods quickly and he smiles at her with infinite 
tenderness.

       MR DASHWOOD
          Ah, my dear. How happy you have made 
          me.

MRS DASHWOOD makes a superhuman effort and smiles back. She 
allows THOMAS to help her out. She passes JOHN DASHWOOD as 
he enters, presses his hand, but cannot speak. JOHN takes 
her place by the bed.

       JOHN

          Father...

MR DASHWOOD summons his last ounces of energy and starts to 
whisper with desperate intensity.

       MR DASHWOOD
          John you will find out soon enough 
          from my will that the estate of 
          Norland was left to me in such a way 
          as prevents me from dividing it 
          between my families.

JOHN blinks. He cannot quite take it in.

       JOHN
          Calm yourself, Father. This is not 
          good for you.

But MR DASHWOOD continues with even greater determination.

       MR DASHWOOD
          Norland in its entirety is therefore 
          yours by law and I am happy for you 
          and Fanny.

JOHN looks torn between genuine distress and unexpected 
delight.

       MR DASHWOOD
          But your stepmother my wife and 
          daughters are left with only five 
          hundred pounds a year, barely enough 
          to live on and nothing for the girls' 
          dowries. You must help them.

JOHN's face is a picture of conflicting emotions. Behind 
them is the ominous rustling of parchments.


       JOHN
          Of course

       MR DASHWOOD
          You must promise to do this.

A brief moment of sincerity overcomes JOHN's natural 
hypocrisy.

       JOHN
          I promise, Father, I promise.

MR DASHWOOD seems relieved. Suddenly his breathing changes. 
JOHN looks alarmed. He rises and we hear him going to find 
the DOCTOR.

       JOHN
          Come! Come quickly!

But it is we who share the dying man's last words.

       MR DASHWOOD

          Help them.

EXT. JOHN AND FANNY'S TOWN HOUSE - LONDON - DAY

Outside the house sits a very well-to-do carriage. Behind it 
waits another open carriage upon which servants are laying 
trunks and boxes.

       FANNY (V.O.)
          'Help them?'

INT. JOHN AND FANNY'S TOWN HOUSE - DRESSING ROOM - DAY

JOHN is standing in mourning clothes and a traveling cape. 
He is watching, and obviously waiting for, a pert WOMAN (FANNY 
DASHWOOD) who is standing by a mirror looking at him keenly.

       FANNY

          What do you mean, 'help them'?

       JOHN
          Dearest, I mean to give them three 
          thousand pounds.

FANNY goes very still. JOHN gets nervous.

       JOHN
          The interest will provide them with 
          a little extra income. Such a gift 
          will certainly discharge my promise 
          to my father.

FANNY slowly turns back to the mirror.

       FANNY
          Oh, without question! More than 
          amply...

       JOHN
          One had rather, on such occasions, 
          do too much than too little.

A pause as FANNY turns and looks at him again.


       JOHN
          Of course, he did not stipulate a 
          particular sum.

INT. LAUNDRY - NORLAND PARK - DAY

A red-eyed MAID (BETSY) plunges a beautiful muslin frock 
into a vat of black dye.

INT. NORLAND PARK - MRS DASHWOOD'S BEDROOM - DAY

MRS DASHWOOD is rushing about, mourning ribbons flapping, 
putting her knick-knacks into a small valise. The room is in 
chaos. A young WOMAN (ELINOR DASHWOOD) looks on helplessly.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          To be reduced to the condition of 
          visitor in my own home! It is not to 
          be borne, Elinor!


       ELINOR
          Consider, Mamma! We have nowhere to 
          go.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          John and Fanny will descend from 
          London at any moment, followed no 
          doubt by cartloads of relatives ready 
          to turn us out of our rooms one by 
          one do you expect me to be here to 
          welcome them? Vultures!

She suddenly collapses into a chair and bursts into tears.

       ELINOR
          I shall start making inquiries for a 
          new house at once. Until then we 
          must try to bear their coming.

INT. JOHN AND FANNY'S CARRIAGE - DAY

JOHN and FANNY are on their way out of London.


       JOHN
          Fifteen hundred then. What say you 
          to fifteen hundred?

       FANNY
          What brother on earth would do half 
          so much for his real sisters--let 
          alone half-blood?

       JOHN
          They can hardly expect more.

       FANNY
          There is no knowing what they expect. 
          The question is, what can you afford?

INT. NORLAND PARK - DRAWING ROOM - DAY


A beautiful young WOMAN (MARIANNE DASHWOOD) is sitting at 
the piano playing a particularly sad piece. ELINOR enters.

       ELINOR
          Marianne, cannot you play something 
          else? Mamma has been weeping since 
          breakfast.

MARIANNE stops, turns the pages of her music book and starts 
playing something equally lugubrious.

       ELINOR
          I meant something less mournful, 
          dearest.

EXT. ROADSIDE INN - DAY

JOHN and FANNY are waiting as the OSTLERS make the final 
adjustments to their carriage. The LANDLORD hovers, waiting 
for a tip.

       JOHN

          A hundred pounds a year to their 
          mother while she lives. Would that 
          be more advisable? It is better than 
          parting with the fifteen hundred all 
          at once.

He displays some coins in his hand. FANNY removes one and 
nods.

       FANNY
          But if she should live longer than 
          fifteen years we would be completely 
          taken in. People always live forever 
          when there is an annuity to be paid 
          them.

JOHN gives the coins to the LANDLORD.

EXT. NORLAND PARK - MARGARET'S TREE-HOUSE - DAY

ELINOR comes to the foot of a large tree from which a small 
staircase issues.

       ELINOR
          Margaret, are you there? Please come 
          down. John and Fanny will be here 
          soon.

A pause. ELINOR is about to leave when a disembodied and 
truculent young voice stops her.

       MARGARET (V.O.)

          Why are they coming to live at 
          Norland? They already have a house 
          in London.

       ELINOR
          Because houses go from father to 
          son, dearest not from father to 
          daughter. It is the law.

Silence. ELINOR tries another tack.

       ELINOR
          If you come inside, we could play 
          with your atlas.

       MARGARET (V.O.)
          It's not my atlas any more. It's 
          their atlas.

CLOSE on ELINOR as she ponders the truth of this statement.

INT. JOHN AND FANNY'S CARRIAGE - DAY


JOHN and FANNY joggle on.

       JOHN
          Twenty pounds now and then will amply 
          discharge my promise, you are quite 
          right.

       FANNY
          Indeed. Although to say the truth, I 
          am convinced within myself that your 
          father had no idea of your giving 
          them money.

       JOHN
          They will have five hundred a year 
          amongst them as it is--

       FANNY
          --and what on earth can four women 
          want for more than that? Their 
          housekeeping will be nothing at all 
          they will have no carriage, no horses, 
          hardly any servants and will keep no 
          company. Only conceive how comfortable 
          they will be!


INT. NORLAND PARK - SERVANTS' HALL - DAY

The large contingent of SERVANTS who staff Norland Park are 
gathered in gloomy silence as ELINOR addresses them.

       ELINOR
          As you know, we are looking for a 
          new home. When we leave we shall be 
          able to retain only Thomas and Betsy.

CAM holds on THOMAS and BETSY, a capable woman.

       ELINOR
          We are very sorry to have to leave 
          you all. But we are certain you will 
          find the new Mrs Dashwood a fair and 
          generous mistress.

EXT. NORLAND PARK. DRIVE - DAY

JOHN and FANNY's carriage approaches Norland.


       FANNY (V.O.)
          They will be much more able to give 
          you something.

INT. JOHN AND FANNY'S CARRIAGE - DAY

JOHN and FANNY are about to get out.

       JOHN
          So we are agreed. No money but the 
          occasional gift of game and fish in 
          season will be very welcome.

       FANNY
          Your father would be proud of you.


INT. NORLAND PARK - DINING ROOM - EARLY EVE

The entire family, with the exception of MARGARET, is present. 
BETSY is serving food in an atmosphere of stiff silence. 
Cutlery clinks. JOHN chews loudly. MARIANNE is rigid with 
resentment. MRS DASHWOOD maintains a cool, removed dignity. 
ELINOR tries to play hostess.

       ELINOR
          How is Mrs Ferrars?

       FANNY
          My mother is always in excellent 
          health, thank you. My brother Robert 
          is in town with her this season and 
          quite the most popular bachelor in 
          London! He has his own barouche.

In the brief silence which follows this, FANNY surreptitiously 
checks the hallmark on her butterknife.

       ELINOR
          You have two brothers, have you not?


       FANNY
          Indeed, yes. Edward is the eldest 
          Mamma quite depends upon him. He is 
          traveling up from Plymouth shortly 
          and will break his journey here.

MRS DASHWOOD looks at ELINOR pointedly. JOHN notices.

       JOHN
(to MRS DASHWOOD)
          If that is agreeable to you, of 
          course.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          My dear John this is your home now.

FANNY looks about, barely able to conceal her satisfaction.

INT. NORLAND PARK - ELINOR'S BEDROOM - DAY

ELINOR is sitting with a little pile of parcels. She puts a 
shawl into some paper and ties it with ribbon as MARIANNE 
thunders in, looking mutinous.


       MARIANNE
          Fanny wishes to know where the key 
          for the silver cabinet is kept.

       ELINOR
          Betsy has it, I think. What does 
          Fanny want with the silver?

       MARIANNE
          I can only presume she wants to count 
          it. What are you doing?

       ELINOR
          Presents for the servants. Have you 
          seen Margaret? I am worried about 
          her. She has taken to hiding in the 
          oddest places.

       MARIANNE

          Fortunate girl. At least she can 
          escape Fanny, which is more than any 
          of us is able.

       ELINOR
          You do your best. You have not said 
          a word to her for a week.

       MARIANNE
(truculently)
          I have! I have said 'yes' and 'no'.

INT. NORLAND PARK - BREAKFAST ROOM - DAY

FANNY, MRS DASHWOOD, ELINOR and JOHN are at breakfast. 
MARIANNE enters. ELINOR catches her eye and indicates FANNY 
with a slight motion of her head. MARIANNE makes a face.

       MARIANNE

(very polite)
          Good morning, Fanny.

FANNY is rather startled.

       FANNY
          Good morning, Marianne.

ELINOR is relieved.

       MARIANNE
(to Fanny)
          How did you find the silver? Is it 
          all genuine?

ELINOR rushes in before MARIANNE gets any further.

       ELINOR
          Pray, when may we expect the pleasure 
          of your brother's company?

       FANNY
          Edward is due tomorrow. And my dear 
          Mrs Dashwood, in view of the fact 
          that he will not be with us for long, 
          I wondered if Miss Margaret would 
          mind giving up her room to him the 
          view is quite incomparable from her 
          windows and I should so much like 
          Edward to see Norland at its best.

MARIANNE slams her cup down and throws a furious look at 

ELINOR.

INT. NORLAND PARK - MARGARET'S BEDROOM - DAY

ELINOR and MARIANNE are removing MARGARET's toys.

       MARIANNE
          Intolerable woman!

       ELINOR
          There is but one consolation if Edward 
          is anything like Fanny, we shall be 
          only too happy to leave.

EXT. NORLAND PARK - DRIVE - DAY


A very capable HORSEMAN (EDWARD FERRARS) canters up the gravel 
drive.

CLOSE on his face as he gazes up at the elegant fašade.

INT. NORLAND PARK - DRAWING ROOM - DAY

Everyone except MARGARET is present. EDWARD has just shaken 
bands with ELINOR. He behaves with great respect to the 
DASHWOODS and seems embarrassed by FANNY's pro prietorial 
air.

       FANNY
          But where is Miss Margaret? I declare, 
          Mrs Dashwood, I am beginning to doubt 
          of her existence! She must run 
          positively wild!

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Forgive us, Mr Ferrars. My youngest 
          is not to be found this morning. She 
          is a little shy of strangers at 
          present.

       EDWARD

          Naturally. I am also shy of strangers 
          and I have nothing like her excuse.

       MARIANNE
(dangerous)
          How do you like your view, Mr Ferrars?

ELINOR glances at her warningly but EDWARD replies with 
careful consideration.

       EDWARD
          Very much. Your stables are very 
          handsome and beautifully kept, Mrs 
          Dashwood.

       FANNY
          Stables! Edward--your windows overlook 
          the lake.

       EDWARD
          An oversight, Fanny, led me to the 
          wrong room. I have rectified the 
          situation and am happily settled in 
          the guest quarters.

MARIANNE and ELINOR look at each other in surprise. FANNY 
looks furious.

MRS DASHWOOD smiles warmly at EDWARD.

CLOSE on ELINOR. She is impressed.


INT. NORLAND PARK - STAIRCASE - DAY

FANNY is walking with EDWARD, who looks at the pictures with 
interest.

       FANNY
          They are all exceedingly spoilt, I 
          find. Miss Margaret spends all her 
          time up trees and under furniture 
          and I have barely had a civil word 
          from Marianne.

       EDWARD
          My dear Fanny, they have just lost 
          their father their lives will never 
          be the same again.

       FANNY
          That is no excuse.


INT. NORLAND PARK - LIBRARY - DAY

FANNY leads EDWARD in. She sniffs with distaste.

       FANNY
          I have never liked the smell of books.

       EDWARD
          Oh? No. The dust, perhaps.

As they speak, EDWARD notices a large atlas retreating 
apparently all by itself across the floor. Someone is 
obviously under the table, pulling it out of sight. He 
registers it and immediately moves in such a way as to shield 
it from FANNY. He turns back, searching for something to 
divert her.

       EDWARD
          I hear you have great plans for the 
          walnut grove.


       FANNY
          Oh yes! I shall have it pulled down 
          to make room for a Grecian temple.

There is a stifled wail from under the table, which EDWARD 
covers with a cough.

       EDWARD
          How picturesque. Will you show me 
          the site?

And he ushers FANNY out, flicking a quick glance over his 
shoulder at the fugitive's foot.

INT. NORLAND PARK - VELVET ROOM - DAY

ELINOR, MRS DASHWOOD and MARIANNE are sitting round a table 
with a pile of letters. ELINOR is handing one back to her 
mother.

       ELINOR
          Too expensive. We do not need four 
          bedrooms, we can share.


       MARIANNE
          This one, then?

ELINOR reads the letter quickly.

       ELINOR
          Marianne, we have only five hundred 
          pounds a year. I will send out more 
          inquiries today.

There is a knock on the door. Hesitantly, EDWARD appears.

       EDWARD
          Pardon my intrusion, but I believe I 
          have found what you are looking for.

MARIANNE and MRS DASHWOOD are puzzled by his elliptical manner 
but ELINOR immediately understands and rises, in smiling 
relief.

INT. NORLAND PARK - ENTRANCE HALL OUTSIDE LIBRARY - DAY

EDWARD is standing outside keeping a discreet lookout. The 
door is half open and he can hear ELINOR trying to coax 
MARGARET out. FANNY walks by with a BUTLER to whom she is 
giving instructions. EDWARD pretends to examine the mouldings 
and she passes on unsuspecting.


       ELINOR (V.O.)
          Won't you come out, dearest? We 
          haven't seen you all day. Mamma is 
          very concerned.

More silence. EDWARD thinks hard. He makes a decision.

INT. NORLAND PARK - LIBRARY - DAY

EDWARD walks in loudly.

       EDWARD
          Oh, Miss Dashwood! Excuse me I was 
          wondering do you by any chance have 
          such a thing as a reliable atlas?

ELINOR looks up at him in astonishment.

       ELINOR
          I believe so.


       EDWARD
          Excellent. I wish to check the 
          position of the Nile.

EDWARD appears to be utterly sincere.

       EDWARD
          My sister says it is in South America.

From under the table we hear a snort. ELINOR looks at him in 
realisation.

       ELINOR
          Oh! No, no indeed. She is quite wrong. 
          For I believe it is in--in Belgium.

       EDWARD
          Belgium? Surely not. You must be 
          thinking of the Volga.

       MARGARET

(from under the table)
          The Volga?

       ELINOR
          Of course. The Volga, which, as you 
          know, starts in...

       EDWARD
          Vladivostok, and ends in...

       ELINOR
          St Albans.

       EDWARD
          Indeed. Where the coffee beans come 
          from.

They are having such a good time that it is rather a pity 
the game is stopped by the appearance from under the table 
of MARGARET who reveals herself to be a disheveled girl of 
eleven. She hauls the atlas up and plonks it in front of 

EDWARD.

       MARGARET
          The source of the Nile is in 
          Abyssinia.

       EDWARD
          Is it? Good heavens. How do you do. 
          Edward Ferrars.

       MARGARET
          Margaret Dashwood.

EDWARD shakes MARGARET's hand solemnly and looks over her 
head at ELINOR. They smile at each other, a connection made.

INT. NORLAND PARK - DRAWING ROOM - ANOTHER DAY


JOHN is reading a newspaper. MRS DASHWOOD sits across from 
FANNY, who thumbs through a fashion-plate magazine. ELINOR 
is at a desk by the window writing a letter we see the words 
'of course we should like to leave as soon as possible'. 
Suddenly she hears a commotion outside. MARGARET runs past 
the window brandishing a stick. EDWARD follows, and proceeds 
to teach her the first principles of sword-fighting. They 
feint and parry, EDWARD serious and without a hint of 
condescension, MARGARET concentrating furiously. EDWARD 
suddenly turns, as though feeling ELINOR's gaze. She smiles 
but looks away quickly.

INT. NORLAND PARK - VELVET ROOM - ANOTHER DAY

EDWARD comes into the doorway and sees ELINOR who is listening 
to MARIANNE playing a concerto. ELINOR stands in a graceful, 
rather sad attitude, her back to us. Suddenly she senses 
EDWARD behind her and turns. He is about to turn away, 
embarrassed to have been caught admiring her, when he sees 
she has been weeping. Hastily she tries to dry her eyes. He 
comes forward and offers her a handkerchief, which she takes 
with a grateful smile. We notice his monogram in the corner: 
ECF.

       ELINOR
(apologetic)
          That was my father's favourite.

EDWARD nods kindly.

       ELINOR

          Thank you so much for your help with 
          Margaret, Mr Ferrars. She is a changed 
          girl since your arrival.

       EDWARD
          Not at all. I enjoy her company.

       ELINOR
          Has she shown you her tree-house?

       EDWARD
          Not yet. Would you do me the honour, 
          Miss Dashwood? It is very fine out.

       ELINOR
          With pleasure.

They start to walk out of shot, still talking.


       ELINOR
          Margaret has always wanted to travel.

       EDWARD
          I know. She is heading an expedition 
          to China shortly. I am to go as her 
          servant but only on the understanding 
          that I will be very badly treated.

       ELINOR
          What will your duties be?

       EDWARD
          Sword-fighting, administering rum 
          and swabbing.

       ELINOR

          Ah.

CAM tilts up to find MRS DASHWOOD on the middle landing of 
the staircase, smiling down at them. CAM tilts up yet further 
to find FANNY on the landing above, watching EDWARD and ELINOR 
with a face like a prune.

EXT. NORLAND PARK - GARDENS - DAY

EDWARD and ELINOR are still talking as they walk arm in arm 
in the late afternoon sun.

       EDWARD
          All I want--all I have ever wanted 
          is the quiet of a private life but 
          my mother is determined to see me 
          distinguished.

       ELINOR
          As?

       EDWARD

          She hardly knows. Any fine figure 
          will suit a great orator, a leading 
          politician, even a barrister would 
          serve, but only on the condition 
          that I drive my own barouche and 
          dine in the first circles.

His tone is light but there is an underlying bitterness to 
it.

       ELINOR
          And what do you wish for?

       EDWARD
          I always preferred the church, but 
          that is not smart enough for my mother 
          she prefers the army, but that is a 
          great deal too smart for me.

       ELINOR
          Would you stay in London?

       EDWARD
          I hate London. No peace. A country 
          living is my ideal a small parish 
          where I might do some good, keep 
          chickens and give very short sermons.


EXT. FIELDS NEAR NORLAND - DAY

EDWARD and ELINOR are on horseback. The atmosphere is 
intimate, the quality of the conversation rooted now in their 
affections.

       ELINOR
          You talk of feeling idle and useless 
          imagine how that is compounded when 
          one has no choice and no hope 
          whatsoever of any occupation.

EDWARD nods and smiles at the irony of it.

       EDWARD
          Our circumstances are therefore 
          precisely the same.

       ELINOR
          Except that you will inherit your 
          fortune.

He looks at her slightly shocked but enjoying her boldness.


       ELINOR
          We cannot even earn ours.

       EDWARD
          Perhaps Margaret is right.

       ELINOR
          Right?

       EDWARD
          Piracy is our only option.

They ride on in silence for a moment.

       EDWARD

          What is swabbing exactly?

INT. NORLAND PARK - DRAWING ROOM - EVE

Dinner is over. JOHN and FANNY are examining plans of the 
Norland estate, looking for somewhere to build a hermitage. 
EDWARD is reading out loud. ELINOR embroiders and listens. 
MRS DASHWOOD and MARIANNE make up the rest of the audience, 
the latter in a state of high impatience.

       EDWARD
          No voice divine the storm allayed No 
          light propitious shone, When snatched 
          from all effectual aid, We perished 
          each alone: But I beneath a rougher 
          sea, And whelmed in deeper gulfs 
          than he.

MARIANNE jumps up and goes to him.

       MARIANNE
          No, Edward! Listen.

She takes the book from him and reads the stanza with 
passionate brio.

       MARIANNE

          Can you not feel his despair? Try 
          again.

Rather mortified, EDWARD starts again, but not before 
receiving a sympathetic look from ELINOR which seems to 
comfort him a little.

INT. NORLAND PARK - MORNING ROOM - DAY

MRS DASHWOOD is ruminating sadly. MARIANNE rushes in holding 
a letter.

       MARIANNE
          Mamma, look. This has just arrived.

       MRS DASHWOOD
(reading from the 
letter)
          'I should be pleased to offer you a 
          home at Barton Cottage as soon as 
          ever you have need of it' why, it is 
          from my cousin, Sir John Middleton!

       MARIANNE

          Even Elinor must approve the rent.

MRS DASHWOOD looks at the letter again and thinks.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Has Elinor not yet seen this?

       MARIANNE
          No I will fetch her.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Wait. No. Let us delay.

       MARIANNE
          Why?


       MRS DASHWOOD
          I think--I believe that Edward and 
          Elinor have formed an attachment.

Marianne nods, a little reluctantly.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          It would be cruel to take her away 
          so soon and Devonshire is so far.

MRS DASHWOOD makes her decision. She takes the letter and 
hides it in the pocket of her gown. MARIANNE looks on 
frowningly.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Why so grave? Do you disapprove her 
          choice?

       MARIANNE
          By no means. Edward is very amiable.

       MRS DASHWOOD

          Amiable but?

       MARIANNE
          But there is something wanting. He 
          is too sedate his reading last night.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Elinor has not your feelings, his 
          reserve suits her.

MARIANNE thinks for a little.

       MARIANNE
          Can he love her? Can the ardour of 
          the soul really be satisfied with 
          such polite, concealed affections? 
          To love is to burn to be on fire, 
          all made of passion, of adoration, 
          of sacrifice! Like Juliet, or 
          Guinevere or Heloise.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          They made rather pathetic ends, dear.


       MARIANNE
          Pathetic! To die for love? How can 
          you say so? What could be more 
          glorious?

       MRS DASHWOOD
          I think that may be taking your 
          romantic sensibilities a little far.

       MARIANNE
          The more I know of the world, the 
          more I am convinced that I shall 
          never see a man whom I can truly 
          love.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          You require so much!

       MARIANNE

          I do not! I require only what any 
          young woman of taste should a man 
          who sings well, dances admirably, 
          rides bravely, reads with passion 
          and whose tastes agree in every point 
          with my own.

INT. NORLAND PARK - ELINOR'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

ELINOR is in bed, deep in thought. MARIANNE enters in her 
nightclothes, carrying a book of poetry. She reads, teasingly.

       MARIANNE
          Is love a fancy, or a feeling? No It 
          is immortal as immaculate truth 'Tis 
          not a blossom shed as soon as Youth 
          Drops from the stem of life for it 
          will grow In barren regions, where 
          no waters flow Nor ray of promise 
          cheats the pensive gloom--

She jumps onto the bed. ELINOR smiles somewhat suspiciously.

       MARIANNE
          What a pity it is that Edward has no 
          passion for reading.

       ELINOR

          It was you who asked him to read and 
          then you made him nervous.

       MARIANNE
          Me?

       ELINOR
          But your behaviour to him in all 
          other respects is perfectly cordial 
          so I must assume that you like him 
          in spite of his deficiencies.

       MARIANNE
(trying hard)
          I think him everything that is amiable 
          and worthy.

       ELINOR
          Praise indeed!


       MARIANNE
          But he shall have my unanswering 
          devotion when you tell me he is to 
          be my brother.

ELINOR is greatly taken aback and does not know how to reply. 
Suddenly MARIANNE hugs her passionately.

       MARIANNE
          How shall I do without you?

       ELINOR
          Do without me?

MARIANNE pulls away, her eyes full of tears.

       MARIANNE
          I am sure you will be very happy. 
          But you must promise not to live too 
          far away.

       ELINOR

          Marianne, there is no question of 
          that is, there is no under standing 
          between...

ELINOR trails off. MARIANNE looks at her keenly.

       MARIANNE
          Do you love him?

The bold clarity of this question discomforts ELINOR.

       ELINOR
          I do not attempt to deny that I think 
          very highly of him that I greatly 
          esteem that I like him.

       MARIANNE
          Esteem him! Like him! Use those 
          insipid words again and I shall leave 
          the room this instant!

This makes ELINOR laugh in spite of her discomfort.

       ELINOR
          Very well. Forgive me. Believe my 
          feelings to be stronger than I have 
          declared but further than that you 
          must not believe.

MARIANNE is flummoxed but she rallies swiftly and picks up 
her book again.


       MARIANNE
          'Is love a fancy or a feeling?' Or a 
          Ferrars?

       ELINOR
          Go to bed!

ELINOR blushes in good earnest. MARIANNE goes to the door.

       MARIANNE
(imitating Elinor)
          'I do not attempt to deny that I 
          think highly of him greatly esteem 
          him! Like him!'

And she is gone, leaving ELINOR both agitated and amused.

INT. NORLAND PARK - BREAKFAST ROOM - DAY

FANNY is standing by the window looking out. We see her POV 
of ELINOR and EDWARD walking in the garden.

MRS DASHWOOD enters, pauses for a moment and then joins FANNY 
at the window. FANNY pretends not to have been watching but 
MRS DASHWOOD looks down at the lovers and then smiles sweetly 
at her.


       MRS DASHWOOD
          We are all so happy that you chose 
          to invite Edward to Norland. He is a 
          dear boy and we are all very fond of 
          him.

FANNY does a bit of quick thinking.

       FANNY
          We have great hopes for him. Much is 
          expected of him by our mother with 
          regard to his profession

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Naturally.

       FANNY
          And in marriage. She is determined 
          that both he and Robert will marry 
          well.

       MRS DASHWOOD

          Of course. But I hope she desires 
          them to marry for love, first and 
          foremost? I have always felt that, 
          contrary to common wisdom, true 
          affection is by far the most valuable 
          dowry.

       FANNY
          Love is all very well, but 
          unfortunately we cannot always rely 
          on the heart to lead us in the most 
          suitable directions.

FANNY lowers her voice confidingly.

       FANNY
          You see, my dear Mrs Dashwood, Edward 
          is entirely the kind of compassionate 
          person upon whom penniless women can 
          prey--and having entered into any 
          kind of understanding, he would never 
          go back on his word. He is quite 
          simply incapable of doing so. But it 
          would lead to his ruin. I worry for 
          him so, Mrs Dashwood. My mother has 
          always made it perfectly plain that 
          she will withdraw all financial 
          support from Edward, should he choose 
          to plant his affections in less... 
          exalted ground than he deserves.

It is impossible for MRS DASHWOOD not to get the point. She 
is appalled and furious.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          I understand you perfectly.

She sweeps off.

INT. NORLAND PARK - MRS DASHWOOD'S DRESSING ROOM - DAY


MRS DASHWOOD, breathless with rage, is searching through her 
wardrobe for the gown which contains SIR JOHN's letter. Frocks 
fly hither and thither. Finally MRS DASHWOOD plunges her 
hand into the right pocket and withdraws the letter. She 
looks at it, suddenly concerned and anxious.

INT. NORLAND PARK - DINING ROOM - EVE

The entire family is present. Everyone is watching MRS 
DASHWOOD, who has just made her announcement.

       EDWARD
          Devonshire!

He is devastated. FANNY is thrilled. MRS DASHWOOD looks at 
him with compassion and then at ELINOR, who is trying to 
keep calm.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          My cousin Sir John Middleton has 
          offered us a small house on his 
          estate.

       JOHN

          Sir John Middleton? What is his 
          situation? He must be a man of 
          property.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          He is a widower. He lives with his 
          mother-in-law at Barton Park and it 
          is Barton Cottage that he offers us.

       FANNY
          Oh, a cottage! How charming. A little 
          cottage is always very snug.

       EDWARD
          But you will not leave before the 
          summer?

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Oh, my dear Edward, we can no longer 
          trespass upon your sister's good 
          will. We must leave as soon as 
          possible.


       MARGARET
          You will come and stay with us, 
          Edward!

       EDWARD
          I should like that very much.

       FANNY
          Edward has long been expected in 
          town by our mother.

MRS DASHWOOD ignores FANNY.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Come as soon as you can, Edward. 
          Remember that you are always welcome.

INT/EXT. NORLAND PARK - STABLES - DAY


ELINOR has come to say goodbye to her HORSE. She strokes the 
soft face sadly. Then she senses someone and turns to find 
EDWARD standing nearby.

       EDWARD
          Cannot you take him with you?

       ELINOR
          We cannot possibly afford him.

       EDWARD
          Perhaps he could make himself useful 
          in the kitchen?

ELINOR tries to smile. EDWARD looks at her for a long moment 
and then comes closer.

       EDWARD

          Miss Dashwood--Elinor. I must talk 
          to you.

The use of her Christian name--and in such a loving tone--
stops ELINOR's breath altogether.

       EDWARD
          There is something of great importance 
          I need... to tell you--

He comes closer still. The HORSE breathes between them. ELINOR 
is on fire with anticipation but EDWARD looks troubled and 
has less the air of a suitor than he might.

       EDWARD
          --about--about my education.

       ELINOR
(after a beat)
          Your education?

       EDWARD
          Yes. It was less... successful than 
          it might have been.

EDWARD laughs nervously. ELINOR is completely bewildered.


       EDWARD
          It was conducted in Plymouth--oddly 
          enough.

       ELINOR
          Indeed?

       EDWARD
          Yes. Do you know it?

       ELINOR
          Plymouth?

       EDWARD

          Yes.

       ELINOR
          No.

       EDWARD
          Oh--well--I spent four years there--
          at a school run by a--a Mr Pratt--

       ELINOR
          Pratt?

ELINOR is beginning to feel like a parrot.

       EDWARD
          Precisely--Mr Pratt--and there, I--
          that is to say, he has a--

As EDWARD flounders, a familiar voice cuts through this 
unexpected foray into his academic past.


       FANNY
          Edward! Edward!

They turn to find FANNY powering down upon them, waving a 
letter. EDWARD steps back, glancing almost guiltily at ELINOR, 
who is as confused as we are.

       FANNY
          I have been all over for you! You 
          are needed in London this instant!

       EDWARD
          Fanny, I am leaving this afternoon 
          as it is--

       FANNY
          No, no, that will not do. Family 
          affairs are in chaos owing to your 
          absence. Mother is quite adamant 
          that you should leave at once.

FANNY is determined. She obviously has no intention of leaving 
him alone with ELINOR. EDWARD turns to ELINOR, frustration 
in every muscle, his jaw set tight.

       EDWARD

          Excuse me, Miss Dashwood.

FANNY drags EDWARD off, leaving ELINOR to gaze sadly after 
them.

INT. THE LADIES' CARRIAGE - OPEN ROAD - RAIN - EVE

The DASHWOODS are on their way. The mood is very sombre.

       MARGARET
          Edward promised he would bring the 
          atlas to Barton for me.

MARIANNE looks at ELINOR, pleased.

       MARIANNE
          Did he? Well, I will wager he will 
          do so in less than a fortnight!

MRS DASHWOOD looks at ELINOR with satisfaction.

EXT. THE LADIES' CARRIAGE - OPEN ROAD - EVE


The carriage rolls on.

       MARGARET (V.O.)
          Are we there yet?

EXT. ROAD TO AND FROM BARTON COTTAGE - DAY

In comparison to Norland, Barton Cottage has the air of a 
damp shoebox. it sits low and bleak in the grey lonely 
countryside.

From one side we can see the DASHWOODS' carriage drawing up 
at the gate. From the other, a much grander vehicle, from 
which loud whooping can be heard, is approaching.

EXT. BARTON COTTAGE - GARDEN PATH - DAY

As the exhausted DASHWOODS alight, they converge with a ruddy- 
complexioned MAN in a redingote (SIR JOHN MIDDLETON) and a 
rotund, equally roseate LADY (MRS JENNINGS) who have fallen 
over each other in their haste to get out of their carriage.


       MRS DASHWOOD
          Sir John!

SIR JOHN clasps her hands and starts to help her up the path, 
followed by ELINOR, MARIANNE and MARGARET, who is clearly 
fascinated by his bouncy companion.

       SIR JOHN
          Dear ladies, dear ladies, upon my 
          word, here you are, here you are, 
          here you are!

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Sir John, your extraordinary kindness--

       SIR JOHN
          Oh, none of that, hush, please, none 
          of that, but here is my dear mamma-
          in-law Mrs Jennings.

       MRS JENNINGS

          Was the journey tolerable, you poor 
          souls?

       SIR JOHN
          Why did you not come up to the Park 
          first and take your ease? We saw you 
          pass--Like many people who live rather 
          lonely lives together.

SIR JOHN and MRS JENNINGS talk incessantly, interrupt each 
other all the time and never listen.

       MRS JENNINGS
          --but I would not wait for you to 
          come to us, I made John call for the 
          carriage--

       SIR JOHN
          She would not wait, you know.

       MRS JENNINGS
          --as we get so little company.

They reach the front door and BETSY's smiling welcome. In 
the confusion of milling people and THOMAS carrying the 
lighter luggage, MARIANNE contrives to slip into the house 
alone. We follow her but hear the conversation continuing in 
V.O. MARIANNE looks about the parlour, where a dismal fire 
is smoking. She starts up the stairs, expressionless.


       MRS JENNINGS (V.O.)
          But I feel as if I know you already--
          delightful creatures!

       SIR JOHN (V.O.)
          Delightful! And you know you are to 
          dine at Barton Park every day.

       MRS DASHWOOD (V.O.)
          Oh, but dear Sir John, we cannot--

       SIR JOHN (V.O.)
          Oh, no no no no no no no, I shall 
          not brook refusals. I am quite deaf 
          to 'em, you know--

       MRS JENNINGS (V.O.)

          --deaf--

MARIANNE enters a small bedroom. She sits on the bed. Then 
she goes to the window and opens it. Voices float up.

       SIR JOHN (V.O.)
          But I insist!

       ELINOR (V.O.)
          Let us only settle in for a few days, 
          Sir John, and thank you--

       SIR JOHN (V.O.)
          Oh, no thankings, no, please, can't 
          bear 'em, embarrassing, you know--

MARIANNE closes the window and crosses the corridor to another 
bed room--similarly stark. She sighs and turns back down the 
stairs.

       SIR JOHN (V.O.)
          We will send game and fruit as a 
          matter of course--


       MRS JENNINGS (V.O.)
          --fruit and game--

       SIR JOHN (V.O.)
          --and the carriage is at your beck 
          and call--

MARIANNE joins the group, who are now in the parlour.

       MRS JENNINGS
          --call--and here is Miss Marianne!

       SIR JOHN
          Where did you disappear to?

       MRS JENNINGS

          I declare you are the loveliest girl 
          I ever set eyes on! Cannot you get 
          them married, Mrs Dashwood? You must 
          not leave it too long!

       SIR JOHN
          But, alas, there are no smart young 
          men hereabouts to woo them--

       MRS JENNINGS
          --not a beau for miles!

The strain of exhibiting joy and gratitude is beginning to 
tell on MRS DASHWOOD who is sagging visibly.

       SIR JOHN
          Come, Mother, let us leave them in 
          peace.

       MRS JENNINGS
          But there is Colonel Brandon!

SIR JOHN is dragging her down the path.


       SIR JOHN
          Excellent fellow! We served in the 
          East India Regiment together.

       MRS JENNINGS
          Just wait till he sees you! If we 
          can persuade him out to meet you!

       SIR JOHN
          Reclusive individual. But you are 
          fatigued. I can see that you are 
          fatigued.

Now he is pushing her into the carriage.

       MRS JENNINGS
          Of course she is fatigued!

       SIR JOHN

          Come along, Mother, we really must 
          leave them to themselves.

       MRS JENNINGS
          You must get your maidservant to 
          make you up some camphor--it is the 
          best tonic for the staggers!

       SIR JOHN
          Send Thomas to us for the carriage 
          when you are ready!

They take off, waving wildly. MARGARET goes down the path to 
watch them and turns back to her slightly stunned family.

       MARGARET
          I like them.

       MRS DASHWOOD
(weakly)
          What generosity.


       ELINOR
          Indeed. I am surprised they did not 
          offer us their clothing.

INT. BARTON COTTAGE - ELINOR AND MARIANNE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

MARIANNE and ELINOR are getting undressed for bed. it's very 
cold. They keep their underclothing on and get in, shivering 
at the bony chill of the linen.

EXT. BARTON COTTAGE - KITCHEN GARDEN - DAY

BETSY is pinning out laundry.

EXT. BARTON COTTAGE - GARDEN - DAY


MARGARET tries to climb an impossible tree. Her petticoats 
snag and tear.

INT. BARTON COTTAGE - ELINOR AND MARIANNE'S BEDROOM - DAY

MARIANNE looks out of the window at the wild countryside. 
Uncon sciously, one hand plays up and down on the sill as 
though it were a keyboard.

INT. BARTON COTTAGE - PARLOUR - DAY

ELINOR sits at a little desk counting money and making notes. 
BETSY enters to clean out the fire. She notices the money.

       BETSY
          Sugar is five shilling a pound these 
          parts, Miss Dashwood.

       ELINOR

(lightly)
          No more sugar then.

INT. BARTON COTTAGE - PARLOUR - EVE

CLOSE on MRS DASHWOOD looking out of the window, thinking. 
She remembers MRS JENNINGS's words:

       MRS JENNINGS (V.O.)
          Not a beau for miles.

MRS DASHWOOD turns into the room to look at her brood. ELINOR 
and MARIANNE are mending MARGARET's petticoats. CLOSE on the 
mother's anxious expression--what is to become of them?

EXT. BARTON PARK - EVE

Establishing shot of SIR JOHN's house--a very comfortable-
looking country seat with fine grounds.

       SIR JOHN (V.O.)

          Where can Brandon be, poor fellow? I 
          hope he has not lamed his horse.

INT. BARTON PARK - DINING ROOM - EVE

CLOSE on an empty chair and place setting. Pull out to reveal 
the DASHWOODS at their first dinner with SIR JOHN and MRS 
JENNINGS.

       MRS JENNINGS
          Colonel Brandon is the most eligible 
          bachelor in the county--he is bound 
          to do for one of you. Mind, he is a 
          better age for Miss Dashwood--but I 
          dare say she left her heart behind 
          in Sussex, eh?

MARIANNE flashes an unmistakable glance of alarmed concern 
at her sister, which MRS JENNINGS notices.

       MRS JENNINGS
          Aha! I see you, Miss Marianne! I 
          think I have unearthed a secret!


       SIR JOHN
          Oho! Have you sniffed one out already, 
          Mother? You are worse than my best 
          pointer, Flossie!

They both laugh immoderately. ELINOR tries to stay calm.

       MRS JENNINGS
          What sort of man is he, Miss Dashwood? 
          Is he butcher, baker, candlestick-
          maker? I shall winkle it out of you 
          somehow, you know!

       SIR JOHN
          She's horribly good at winkling.

       MRS JENNINGS
          You are in lonely country now, Miss 
          Dashwood, none of us has any secrets 
          here--

       SIR JOHN

          --or if we do, we do not keep them 
          for long!

ELINOR tries to smile. MARIANNE looks furious. MARGARET is 
staring at MRS JENNINGS as if she were some particularly 
thrilling form of wildlife.

       MRS JENNINGS
          He is curate of the parish, I dare 
          say!

       SIR JOHN
          Or a handsome lieutenant!

       MRS JENNINGS
          Give us a clue, Miss Dashwood--is he 
          in uniform?

ELINOR starts to change the subject, but MARGARET interrupts 
her.

       MARGARET
          He has no profession!

SIR JOHN and MRS JENNINGS turn on her with screams of delight. 
ELINOR, MARIANNE and MRS DASHWOOD look at each other 
helplessly.


       SIR JOHN
          No profession! A gentleman, then!

       MARIANNE
(with daggers)
          Margaret, you know perfectly well 
          there is no such person.

       MARGARET
          There is! There is! And his name 
          begins with an F!

ELINOR looks hard at her plate.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Margaret!

MRS DASHWOOD is appalled at her youngest's relish for such a 
vulgar game. SIR JOHN and MRS JENNINGS are cock-a-hoop.

       SIR JOHN

          F indeed! A very promising letter. 
          Let me--F, F, Fo, Fa... Upon my word, 
          but I cannot think of a single name 
          beginning with F--

       MRS JENNINGS
          Forrest? Foster? Frost? Foggarty?

MARIANNE suddenly stands up. SIR JOHN and MRS JENNINGS are 
so surprised they stop talking. Everyone stares at MARIANNE.

       MARIANNE
(controlled fury)
          Sir John, might I play your 
          pianoforte?

       SIR JOHN
          Of course, yes--my goodness. We do 
          not stand on ceremony here, my dear.

For once, ELINOR is grateful for her sister's rudeness as 
everyone rises and follows MARIANNE out.

EXT. BARTON PARK - FRONT STEPS - EVE


A soldierly MAN of about forty (COLONEL BRANDON) is 
dismounting from his horse. From within we hear MARIANNE's 
song begin. His head snaps up to the windows. An expression 
of pained surprise comes into his melancholy, brooding eyes.

INT. BARTON PARK - MUSIC ROOM - EVE

Everyone watches MARIANNE as she plays and sings. Behind 
them we see BRANDON entering. But he stays in the shadow of 
the door and no one notices him. CLOSE on his face. He gazes 
at MARIANNE with an unfathomable look of grief and longing. 
He breathes in deeply. Suddenly, ELINOR feels his presence 
and looks around at him. After a few moments, she turns back, 
slightly puzzled. The song finishes. Everyone claps. The MAN 
ventures out into the light and SIR JOHN springs from his 
seat.

       SIR JOHN
          Brandon! Where have you been? Come, 
          come and meet our beautiful new 
          neighbours!

       MRS JENNINGS
          What a pity you are late, Colonel! 
          You have missed the most delightful 
          singing!

BRANDON bows to the company and smiles slightly.

       COLONEL BRANDON

          A great pity, indeed.

ELINOR looks at him, even more puzzled.

       SIR JOHN
          Mrs Dashwood, may I present my dear 
          friend Colonel Brandon? We served 
          together in the East Indies and I 
          assure you there is no better fellow 
          on earth--

       MARGARET
          Have you really been to the East 
          Indies, Colonel?

       COLONEL BRANDON
          I have.

       MARGARET
          What is it like?

MARGARET is quivering with fascination.


       SIR JOHN
          Like? Hot.

But COLONEL BRANDON knows what MARGARET wants to hear.

       COLONEL BRANDON
(mysteriously)
          The air is full of spices.

MARGARET smiles with satisfaction.

       SIR JOHN
          Come, Miss Dashwood--it is your turn 
          to entertain us!

       ELINOR
          Oh no, Sir John, I do not--

       SIR JOHN

          --and I think we can all guess what 
          key you will sing in!

SIR JOHN and MRS JENNINGS are bursting with their new joke.

       SIR JOHN/MRS JENNINGS
          F major!

They fall about.

INT. SIR JOHN'S CARRIAGE - NIGHT

The DASHWOODS are returning home. A row is in progress.

       MARIANNE
(to Margaret)
          As for you, you have no right, no 
          right at all, to parade your ignorant 
          assumptions--

       MARGARET

          They are not assumptions. You told 
          me.

ELINOR stares at MARIANNE. MARIANNE colours and attacks 
MARGARET again.

       MARIANNE
          I told you nothing--

       MARGARET
          They'll meet him when he comes, 
          anyway.

       MARIANNE
          That is not the point. You do not 
          speak of such things before strangers--

       MARGARET
          But everyone else was--


       MARIANNE
          Mrs Jennings is not everyone.

       MARGARET
          I like her! She talks about things. 
          We never talk about things.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Hush, please, now that is enough, 
          Margaret. If you cannot think of 
          anything appropriate to say, you 
          will please restrict your remarks to 
          the weather.

A heated pause.

       MARGARET
          I like Colonel Brandon too. He's 
          been to places.

EXT. POND NEAR BARTON PARK - DAY


In the background, SIR JOHN, ELINOR and MRS JENNINGS pack 
the remains of a picnic into a basket. MRS DASHWOOD and 
MARGARET examine a foxhole. In the foreground, MARIANNE is 
cutting bulrushes for basketwork. Her knife is blunt and she 
saws impatiently.

COLONEL BRANDON materialises at her side and wordlessly offers 
her his hunting knife. Oddly nervous, MARIANNE takes it. She 
turns back to the rushes and cuts them with ease. The 
COLONEL's gaze follows her movements as if held by a magnet.

INT. KEEPER'S LODGE - BARTON PARK - DAY

SIR JOHN and BRANDON are cleaning their guns in companionable 
silence--a habit left over from army days. SIR JOHN eyes 
BRANDON roguishly.

       SIR JOHN
          You know what they're saying, of 
          course...

No answer.

       SIR JOHN
          The word is that you have developed 
          a taste for--certain company.

BRANDON stays resolutely silent. SIR JOHN is emboldened.

       SIR JOHN

          And why not, say I. A man like you--
          in his prime--she'd be a most 
          fortunate young lady--

BRANDON cuts across him.

       COLONEL BRANDON
          Marianne Dashwood would no more think 
          of me than she would of you, John.

       SIR JOHN
          Brandon, my boy, do not think of 
          yourself so meanly--

       COLONEL BRANDON
          And all the better for her.

SIR JOHN subsides. BRANDON is clearly as angry with himself 
as he is with SIR JOHN.

EXT. POND NEAR BARTON PARK - ANOTHER DAY


BRANDON strides along in hunting gear, a gun slung under one 
arm, his dog trotting behind him with a duck clamped between 
its jaws. The bulrushes catch his eye and he slows, then 
stops. He stands for a moment deep in thought. Then he takes 
his hunting knife, cuts one and walks off contemplatively.

EXT. BARTON PARK - GARDENS - DAY

An outdoor luncheon is in progress. COLONEL BRANDON is talking 
to MRS DASHWOOD. Occasionally he looks over towards MARIANNE, 
who is playing bilboquet with SIR JOHN and MARGARET. MRS 
JENNINGS nudges ELINOR hard and gestures to BRANDON.

       MRS JENNINGS
(stage whisper)
          Besotted! Excellent match, for he is 
          rich and she is handsome.

       ELINOR
          How long have you known the Colonel?

       MRS JENNINGS

          Oh, Lord bless you, as long as ever 
          I have been here, and I came fifteen 
          years back. His estate at Delaford 
          is but four miles hence and he and 
          John are very thick. He has no wife 
          or children of his own, for--

MRS JENNINGS lowers her voice to a stentorian whisper.

       MRS JENNINGS
          --he has a tragic history. He loved 
          a girl once--twenty years ago now--a 
          ward to his family, but they were 
          not permitted to marry...

ELINOR is intrigued.

       ELINOR
          On what grounds?

       MRS JENNINGS
          Money. Eliza was poor. When the father 
          discovered their amour, she was flung 
          out of the house and he packed off 
          into the army. I believe he would 
          have done himself a harm if not for 
          John...

       ELINOR
          What became of the lady?


       MRS JENNINGS
          Oh, she was passed from man to man--
          disappeared from all good society. 
          When Brandon got back from India he 
          searched for heaven knows how long, 
          only to find her dying in a poor 
          house. You have seen how it has 
          affected him. Once I thought my 
          daughter Charlotte might have cheered 
          him up, but she is much better off 
          where she is.

ELINOR is silent with amazement at this unexpected history.

       MRS JENNINGS
          Look at him now, though. So attentive. 
          I shall try an experiment on him.

       ELINOR
          Oh no, please, dear Mrs Jennings, 
          leave the poor Colonel alone.

       MRS JENNINGS
          No, no, it is just the thing--all 
          suitors need a little help, my dear

MRS JENNINGS winks at ELINOR and rubs her hands as though 
about to perform a magic trick.

       MRS JENNINGS

(trillingly)
          Colonel Brandon!

BRANDON looks up.

       MRS JENNINGS
          We have not heard you play for us of 
          late!

       COLONEL BRANDON
          For the simple reason that you have 
          a far superior musician here.

He indicates MARIANNE, who smiles absently.

       MRS JENNINGS
          Perhaps you did not know, Miss 
          Marianne, that our dear Brandon shares 
          your passion for music and plays the 
          piano forte very well.

MARIANNE looks at BRANDON in some surprise.

       MRS JENNINGS
          Play us a duet!

BRANDON looks at MRS JENNINGS warningly but she ignores him.


       MRS JENNINGS
          I'll trow you know quite as many 
          melancholy tunes as Miss Marianne!

Her tone is so knowing that MARIANNE frowns uncomfortably.

       MRS JENNINGS
          Come! Let us see you both side by 
          side!

MARIANNE rises impatiently.

       MARIANNE
          I do not know any duets. Forgive me, 
          Colonel.

She moves away. MRS JENNINGS chuckles.

INT. BARTON COTTAGE - PARLOUR - LATE AFTERNOON

The DASHWOODS returning. MARIANNE is taking her bonnet off 
so furiously that she simply gets the knot tighter and 
tighter. Despite them selves, ELINOR and MRS DASHWOOD are 
amused.


       MARIANNE
          Oh! Are we never to have a moment's 
          peace? The rent here may be low but 
          I think we have it on very hard terms.

       ELINOR
          Mrs Jennings is a wealthy woman with 
          a married daughter--she has nothing 
          to do but marry off everyone else's.

BETSY pokes her head out from the dining room.

       BETSY
          There's a parcel arrived for you, 
          Miss Dashwood!

       MARGARET
          A parcel!

They all crowd into the dining room to find a large package 
on the table, which MARGARET is permitted to open. In the 
meantime ELINOR comes to the rescue with the bonnet and 
MARIANNE stands shifting like a spirited mare as ELINOR 
patiently unravels the knot.

       MARIANNE

          It is too ridiculous! When is a man 
          to be safe from such wit if age and 
          infirmity do not protect him?

       ELINOR
          Infirmity!

       MRS DASHWOOD
          If Colonel Brandon is infirm, then I 
          am at death's door.

       ELINOR
          It is a miracle your life has extended 
          this far...

       MARIANNE
          Did you not hear him complain of a 
          rheumatism in his shoulder?


       ELINOR
          A slight ache' I believe was his 
          phrase...

MARIANNE smiles and ELINOR laughs at her. Then MARGARET opens 
the parcel to reveal--her atlas. The atmosphere alters 
immediately as MRS DASHWOOD and MARIANNE look at ELINOR in 
consternation.

       MARGARET
          But Edward said he would bring it 
          himself.

There is a letter on top of the atlas. CLOSE on the address 
'To the Dashwoods'. MRS DASHWOOD picks it up, looks at ELINOR, 
and opens

       MRS DASHWOOD
          'Dear Mrs Dashwood, Miss Dashwood, 
          Miss Marianne and Captain Margaret--
          it gives me great pleasure to restore 
          this atlas to its rightful owner. 
          Alas, business in London does not 
          permit me to accompany it, although 
          this is likely to hurt me far more 
          than it hurts you. For the present 
          my memories of your kindness must be 
          enough to sustain me, and I remain 
          your devoted servant always. E. C. 
          Ferrars.'

A silence greets this brief epistle. ELINOR struggles to 
contain her bitter disappointment.

       MARGARET
          But why hasn't he come?

       MRS DASHWOOD

          He says he is busy, dear.

       MARGARET
          He said he'd come.

MARGARET is genuinely upset. ELINOR quietly hangs up 
MARIANNE's bonnet.

       MARGARET
          Why hasn't he come?

MRS DASHWOOD looks beseechingly at MARIANNE, who nods and 
grasps MARGARET's hand.

       MARIANNE
          I am taking you for a walk.

       MARGARET
          No! I've been a walk.


       MARIANNE
          You need another.

       MARGARET
          It is going to rain.

MARIANNE shoves her bonnet back on and drags MARGARET out.

       MARIANNE
          It is not going to rain.

       MARGARET
          You always say that and then it always 
          does.

We hear the front door slam behind them. There is a short 
silence.

       MRS DASHWOOD

          I fear Mrs Jennings is a bad 
          influence.

She approaches ELINOR.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          You must miss him, Elinor.

ELINOR looks very directly at her mother.

       ELINOR
          We are not engaged, Mamma.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          But he loves you, dearest, of that I 
          am certain.

ELINOR looks down. She speaks slowly, choosing her words 
with care.

       ELINOR
          I am by no means assured of his regard 
          for me.


       MRS DASHWOOD
          Oh, Elinor!

       ELINOR
          But even were he to feel such a... 
          preference, I think we should be 
          foolish to assume that there would 
          not be many obstacles to his choosing 
          a woman of no rank who cannot afford 
          to buy sugar...

       MRS DASHWOOD
          But Elinor--your heart must tell you--

       ELINOR
          In such a situation, Mamma, it is 
          perhaps better to use one's head.

She clears her throat, rises determinedly, picks up the 
accounts book and opens it. MRS DASHWOOD is silenced.

EXT. FIELDS NEAR BARTON COTTAGE - DAY


MARIANNE walks very briskly, dragging an unwilling MARGARET 
behind her.

EXT. DOWNS NEAR BARTON COTTAGE - DAY

It has started to rain. Mists are gathering around the two 
figures walking against the wind.

       MARIANNE
          Is there any felicity in the world 
          superior to this?

       MARGARET
          I told you it would rain.

       MARIANNE

          Look! There is some blue sky! Let us 
          chase it!

       MARGARET
          I'm not supposed to run.

MARIANNE runs off down the hill into the heart of the mist. 
MARGARET stumbles after her, grumbling. We follow MARIANNE 
in her headlong descent and suddenly, dramatically, she trips 
and sprawls to the ground, letting out a sharp cry of pain.

       MARGARET
          Marianne!

       MARIANNE
          Help me!

She tries to get up, but the pain in her ankle is too great. 
She sinks back to the ground. MARGARET is very alarmed.

       MARIANNE
          Margaret, run home and fetch help.

The mists have thickened. They can no longer see where they 
are. Despite her rising fear, MARGARET squares her shoulders 
bravely and tries to sense the direction.


       MARGARET
          I think it is this way. I will run 
          as fast as I can, Marianne.

She dashes off. As she goes into the mist we hear the thunder 
of hooves.

CU Margaret's terrified expression. They seem to be coming 
from all around. She wheels and turns and then--Crash! Through 
the mist breaks a huge white horse. Astride sits an Adonis 
in hunting gear. MARGARET squeals. The horse rears. Its rider 
controls it and slides off. He rushes to MARIANNE's side.

       THE STRANGER
          Are you hurt?

       MARIANNE
(transfixed)
          Only my ankle.

       THE STRANGER
          May I have your permission to--

He indicates her leg. Decorous, perhaps faintly impish.

       THE STRANGER

          --ascertain if there are any breaks?

MARIANNE nods speechlessly. With great delicacy, he feels 
her ankle. MARGARET's eyes are out on chapel-hooks. MARIANNE 
almost swoons with embarrassment and excitement mixed.

       THE STRANGER
          It is not broken. Now, can you put 
          your arm about my neck?

MARIANNE does not need any encouragement. He lifts her 
effortlessly and calls to his horse: 'Bedivere!' It trots 
obediently forward. The STRANGER smiles down at MARIANNE.

       THE STRANGER
          Allow me to escort you home.

INT. BARTON COTTAGE - DINING ROOM - DAY

Rain is thudding against the window from which MRS DASHWOOD 
turns, looking very worried.

       MRS DASHWOOD

          Marianne was sure it would not rain.

       ELINOR
          Which invariably means it will.

But we can see she is trying to conceal her anxiety from her 
mother. There are noises in the hall.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          At last!

MARGARET runs into the room dripping wet.

       MARGARET
          She fell over! She fell down--and 
          he's carrying her!

INT. BARTON COTTAGE - FRONT DOOR - DAY


MRS DASHWOOD and ELINOR rush to the front door. They see the 
STRANGER carrying MARIANNE up the garden path, his scarlet 
coat staining the monochrome rain.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Marianne!

The STRANGER reaches the door. This is no time for 
introductions.

       ELINOR
          In here, sir--this way. Margaret, 
          open the door wider. Please, sir, 
          lay her here. Marianne, are you in 
          pain?

They move into the parlour.

INT. BARTON COTTAGE - PARLOUR - DAY

MARIANNE is carried in, surrounded by ELINOR, MRS DASHWOOD 
and MARGARET.

       THE STRANGER

          It is a twisted ankle.

       MARIANNE
          Do not be alarmed, Mamma.

The STRANGER deposits MARIANNE on the sofa. They look straight 
into each other's eyes. Electric.

       THE STRANGER
          I can assure you it is not serious. 
          I took the liberty of feeling the 
          bone and it is perfectly sound.

ELINOR raises her eyebrows at MARIANNE, who blushes to her 
roots.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Sir, I cannot even begin to thank 
          you.

       THE STRANGER
          Please do not think of it. I'm 
          honoured of be of service.


       MRS DASHWOOD
          Will you not be seated?

       THE STRANGER
          Pray excuse me--I have no desire to 
          leave a water mark! But permit me to 
          call tomorrow afternoon and inquire 
          after the patient?

       MRS DASHWOOD
          We shall look forward to it!

He turns to MARIANNE and smiles. She smiles back gloriously. 
He bows, and sweeps out of the room.

       MARIANNE
(hissing)
          His name! His name!

MRS DASHWOOD silences her with a gesture and follows him out 
with all the solicitous charm she can command while MARGARET 
pokes her head around the door to watch. ELINOR is removing 
MARIANNE's boot and trying not to laugh at her.

EXT. BARTON COTTAGE - FRONT DOOR - DAY


MRS DASHWOOD calls out after him.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Please tell us to whom we are so 
          much obliged?

The STRANGER mounts Bedivere and turns to her.

       THE STRANGER
          John Willoughby of Allenham--your 
          servant, ma'am!

And he gallops off into the mist--we almost expect Bedivere 
to sprout wings. CLOSE on MRS DASHWOOD's excited expression.

INT. BARTON COTTAGE - PARLOUR - DAY

MRS DASHWOOD runs back into the parlour, jittering with 
excitement and anxiety.

       MARIANNE

          Mr John Willoughby of Allenham!

       MRS DASHWOOD
          What an impressive gentleman!

       MARIANNE
          He lifted me as if I weighed no more 
          than a dried leaf!

       ELINOR
          Is he human?

MARIANNE hits ELINOR. MRS DASHWOOD tends to her ankle.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Tell me if I hurt you.


       ELINOR
(regarding Marianne's 
ecstatic expression)
          She feels no pain, Mamma. Margaret, 
          ask Betsy to make up a cold compress, 
          please.

       MARGARET
(leaving reluctantly)
          Did you see him? He expressed himself 
          well, did he not?

       MRS DASHWOOD
          With great decorum and honour.

       MARIANNE
          And spirit and wit and feeling.

       ELINOR

          And economy--ten words at most.

From below stairs we can hear MARGARET wailing Wait for me!

       MARIANNE
          And he is to come tomorrow!

       ELINOR
          You must change, Marianne--you will 
          catch a cold.

       MARIANNE
          What care I for colds when there is 
          such a man?

       ELINOR
          You will care very much when your 
          nose swells up.


       MARIANNE
          You are right. Help me, Elinor.

MARGARET comes back with the bandages.

       MARGARET
          What has happened?

       ELINOR
          We have decided to give you to the 
          Gypsies.

ELINOR and MARIANNE go upstairs. MARGARET whispers to MRS 
DASHWOOD.

       MARGARET

          Will they be married before Edward 
          and Elinor, do you think, Mamma?

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Margaret, you are worse than Mrs 
          Jennings.

EXT. BARTON COTTAGE - MORNING

The rain has cleared. SIR JOHN's horse munches grass 
contentedly by the side of the road.

       SIR JOHN (V.O.)
          Mr Willoughby is well worth catching, 
          Miss Dashwood--Miss Marianne must 
          not expect to have all the men to 
          herself!

INT. BARTON COTTAGE - PARLOUR - MORNING


The DASHWOODS are having a frustrating time winkling 
information about WILLOUGHBY out of SIR JOHN, who is in turn 
only anxious to protect BRANDON's interest. MARIANNE has her 
bandaged foot up on the sofa and is fast losing patience.

       MARIANNE
          But what do you know of Mr Willoughby, 
          Sir John?

       SIR JOHN
          Decent shot--and there is not a bolder 
          rider in all England.

       MARIANNE
          But what is he like?

       SIR JOHN

          Like?

       MARIANNE
          What are his tastes? His passions? 
          His pursuits?

       SIR JOHN
(mystified)
          Well, he has the nicest little bitch 
          of a pointer--was she out with him 
          yesterday?

MARIANNE gives up. MRS DASHWOOD takes over.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Where is Allenham, Sir John?

       SIR JOHN
          Nice little estate three miles east. 
          He is to inherit it from an elderly 
          relative--Lady Allen is her name.

Now they are getting somewhere. MARIANNE is about to ask 
another question when they hear a horse galloping up. Everyone 
is electrified. MARGARET runs to the window and turns back 
in disappointment.


       MARGARET
          It is Colonel Brandon. I shall go 
          outside and keep watch.

MARGARET runs out of the room.

       SIR JOHN
          You are all on the lookout for 
          Willoughby, eh? Dear me, poor Brandon. 
          You will none of you think of him 
          now.

BRANDON is admitted by BETSY. He is carrying a large bunch 
of hothouse flowers.

       COLONEL BRANDON
          How is the invalid?

He hands MARIANNE the flowers with a smile.

       MARIANNE
          Thank you so much, Colonel.

She rather absently hands the flowers to ELINOR, who goes 
for a vase. SIR JOHN gestures at BRANDON with bluff 
insensitivity.

       SIR JOHN

          Miss Marianne, I cannot see why you 
          should set your cap at Mr Willoughby 
          when you have already made such a 
          splendid conquest!

       MARIANNE
          I have no intention of 'setting my 
          cap' at anyone, Sir John!

       COLONEL BRANDON
          Mr Willoughby--Lady Allen's nephew?

BRANDON's light tone betrays no emotion. ELINOR comes back 
in with the flowers and puts them on the table next to 
MARIANNE.

       SIR JOHN
          Aye, he visits every year for he is 
          to inherit Allenham--and he has a 
          very pretty estate of his own, Miss 
          Dashwood, Combe Magna in Somerset. 
          If I were you, I would not give him 
          up to my younger sister in spite of 
          all this tumbling down hills.

Suddenly MARGARET runs in screaming 'Marianne's preserver!' 
at the top of her voice. Everyone starts to move at once. 
MARGARET is silenced. BRANDON looks at MARIANNE, whose 
incandescent expression makes her feelings all too clear.


       SIR JOHN
          Here is the man himself. Come, Brandon--
          we know when we are not wanted. Let 
          us leave him to the ladies!

       ELINOR
          Marianne! Sir John and the Colonel 
          are leaving.

MARIANNE looks up, suddenly self-conscious.

       MARIANNE
          Goodbye, Colonel. Thank you for the 
          flowers.

ELINOR sees them out. We hear WILLOUGHBY's voice outside. 
CLOSE on MARIANNE's radiant anticipation.

EXT. BARTON COTTAGE - FRONT DOOR - DAY

WILLOUGHBY is shaking hands with COLONEL BRANDON and SIR 

JOHN.

       WILLOUGHBY
          How do you do, Colonel?

       SIR JOHN
          How does he do? How do you do, more 
          like. Go on in, they're waiting for 
          you!

BRANDON looks at WILLOUGHBY for a moment. He bows. WILLOUGHBY 
bows. Then BRANDON and SIR JOHN exit.

INT. BARTON COTTAGE - PARLOUR - DAY

ELINOR leads in WILLOUGHBY. MRS DASHWOOD greets him with 
outstretched arms.

       MRS DASHWOOD

          Mr Willoughby! What a pleasure to 
          see you again!

       WILLOUGHBY
          The pleasure is all mine, I can 
          asstire you. I trust Miss Marianne 
          has not caught cold?

       MARIANNE
          You have found out my name!

       WILLOUGHBY
          Of course. The neighbourhood is 
          crawling with my spies.

He suddenly produces a bunch of wild flowers from behind his 
back and offers them to MARIANNE with a courtly, humorous 
bow.

       WILLOUGHBY
          And since you cannot venture out to 
          nature, nature must be brought to 
          you!


       MARIANNE
          How beautiful. These are not from 
          the hothouse.

WILLOUGHBY sees BRANDON's flowers.

       WILLOUGHBY
          Ah! I see mine is not the first 
          offering, nor the most elegant. I am 
          afraid I obtained these from an 
          obliging field.

       MARIANNE
          But I have always preferred wild 
          flowers!

       WILLOUGHBY
          I suspected as much.

ELINOR takes the delicate flowers from WILLOUGHBY.

       ELINOR

          I will put these in water.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Our gratitude, Mr Willoughby, is 
          beyond expression--

       WILLOUGHBY
          But it is I who am grateful. I have 
          often passed this cottage and grieved 
          for its lonely state--and then the 
          first news I had from Lady Allen 
          when I arrived was that it was taken. 
          I felt a peculiar interest in the 
          event which nothing can account for 
          but my present delight in meeting 
          you.

He is merry, spirited, voluble--a breath of fresh air. ELINOR 
brings back WILLOUGHBY's flowers and places them next to 
BRANDON's on the side table.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Pray sit down, Mr Willoughby.

She indicates a chair but WILLOUGHBY sees a book lying on 
MARIANNE's footstool, picks it up and--to her great delight--
sits down on the stool at her feet.

       WILLOUGHBY
          Who is reading Shakespeare's sonnets?

Everyone answers at once.


       MARIANNE/ELINOR/MRS DASHWOOD
          I am. / We all are. / Marianne.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Marianne has been reading them out 
          to us.

       WILLOUGHBY
          Which are your favourites?

It is a general question but MARIANNE gaily commandeers it.

       MARIANNE
          Without a doubt, mine is 116.

       WILLOUGHBY

          Let me not to the marriage of true 
          minds Admit impediments. Love is not 
          love Which alters when it alteration 
          finds, Or bends with the remover to 
          remove--then how does it go?

       MARIANNE
          '0, no! it is an ever-fixed mark.'

WILLOUGHBY joins in the line halfway through and continues. 
ELINOR and MRS DASHWOOD exchange glances. Clearly, their 
contribution to this conversation will be minimal.

       WILLOUGHBY
          'That looks on storms'--or is it 
          tempests? Let me find it.

WILLOUGHBY gets out a tiny leatherbound book.

       WILLOUGHBY
          It is strange you should be reading 
          them--for, look, I carry this with 
          me always.

It is a miniature copy of the sonnets. MARIANNE is delighted, 
and, mutually astonished at this piece of synchronicity, 
they proceed to look up other favourites, chatting as though 
they were already intimates.

MRS DASHWOOD smiles at ELINOR with satisfaction. ELINOR, 
amused, picks up her sewing. MARGARET stares. WILLOUGHBY and 
MARIANNE are oblivious to everything but each other.

EXT. BARTON COTTAGE - GARDEN PATH - DAY


WILLOUGHBY is leaving. He has a flower from MARIANNE's bunch 
in his buttonhole and is on his horse, looking about as virile 
as his horse. Everyone has come out to say goodbye, MARIANNE 
supported by ELINOR and MRS DASHWOOD.

       WILLOUGHBY
          Till tomorrow! And my pocket sonnets 
          are yours, Miss Marianne! A talisman 
          against further injury!

       MARIANNE
          Goodbye! Thank you!

He gallops off. They all wave. MARGARET follows him down the 
road for a while.

       ELINOR
          Good work, Marianne! You have covered 
          all forms of poetry; another meeting 
          will ascertain his views on nature 
          and romantic attachments and then 
          you will have nothing left to talk 
          about and the acquaintanceship will 
          be over.

       MARIANNE
          I suppose I have erred against 
          decorum. I should have been dull and 
          spiritless and talked only of the 
          weather, or the state of the roads.


       ELINOR
          No, but Mr Willoughby can be in no 
          doubt of your enthusiasm for him.

       MARIANNE
          Why should he doubt it? Why should I 
          hide my regard?

       ELINOR
          No particular reason, Marianne, only 
          that we know so little of him--

       MARIANNE
          But time alone does not determine 
          intimacy. Seven years would be 
          insufficient to make some people 
          acquainted with each other and seven 
          days are more than enough for others.

       ELINOR

          Or seven hours in this case.

       MARIANNE
          I feel I know Mr Willoughby well 
          already. If I had weaker, more shallow 
          feelings perhaps I could conceal 
          them, as you do--

Then she realises what she's said.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Marianne, that is not fair--

       MARIANNE
          I am sorry, Elinor, I did not mean

       ELINOR
          I know. Do not trouble yourself, 
          Marianne.

ELINOR turns back into the house.


       MARIANNE
          I do not understand her, Mamma. Why 
          does she never mention Edward? I 
          have never even seen her cry about 
          him, or about Norland.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Nor I. But Elinor is not like you or 
          I, dear. She does not like to be 
          swayed by her emotions.

INT. BARTON COTTAGE - ELINOR AND MARIANNE'S BEDROOM - DAY

CLOSE on Edward's handkerchief. We can see the monogram ECF 
clearly.

CLOSE on ELINOR staring out of the window. Tears stand in 
her eyes but she presses the handkerchief to them before 
they fall.

INT. BARTON PARK - DRAWING ROOM - EVE

After dinner. Tea has been served. ELINOR, COLONEL BRANDON, 
MRS DASHWOOD and MRS JENNINGS play at cards. In a far corner 
of the room, MARIANNE is concentrating as she draws a 
silhouette.

WILLOUGHBY's profile glows behind the screen in front of 
her, She looks up and stops, gazing, bewitched, at his beauty. 
The lips move--a whisper: Marianne. Then, louder: Haven't 
you finished? He moves out from behind the screen, eyes full 
of laughter. They look at each other.


INT. BARTON COTTAGE - PARLOUR - DAY

ELINOR and MRS DASHWOOD are at the accounts. WILLOUGHBY and 
MARIANNE are on the other side of the room in the window 
seat, whispering together. Clearly, he is already part of 
the family.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Surely you are not going to deny us 
          beef as well as sugar?

       ELINOR
          There is nothing under tenpence a 
          pound. We have to economise.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Do you want us to starve?


       ELINOR
          No. Just not to eat beef.

MRS DASHWOOD is silenced but sighs crossly. ELINOR looks 
over to the lovers and sees WILLOUGHBY in the act of cutting 
off a lock of MARIANNE's hair, which he kisses and places in 
his pocket-book. ELINOR is transfixed by this strangely erotic 
moment. WILLOUGHBY senses her gaze and looks over. She snaps 
her head back to her sums and is astonished to find that she 
has written 'Edward' at the top of the sheet. Hastily she 
rubs it out and writes 'Expenses'.

EXT. BARTON CHURCH. DAY.

MRS JENNINGS is talking to the elderly CURATE. Other 
PARISHIONERS exit the church as WILLOUGHBY's curricle (the 
eighteenth-century equivalent of a sports car) goes flying 
by. MARIANNE sits by his side, the picture of happiness. MRS 
JENNINGS nudges the CURATE and whispers. The PARISHIONERS 
stare after them and comment to each other.

EXT. BARTON COTTAGE - GARDEN PATH - DAY

MARIANNE and ELINOR are coming down the path together. 
MARIANNE is dressed to go out. The argument has evidently 
started indoors and is being continued here.

       MARIANNE
          If there was any true impropriety in 
          my behaviour, I should be sensible 
          of it, Elinor--


       ELINOR
          But as it has already exposed you to 
          some very impertinent remarks, do 
          you not begin to doubt your own 
          discretion?

       MARIANNE
          If the impertinent remarks of such 
          as Mrs Jennings are proof of 
          impropriety, then we are all offending 
          every moment of our lives--

The conversation is halted by the arrival of COLONEL BRANDON 
on horseback.

       COLONEL BRANDON
(dismounting)
          Miss Dashwood! Miss Marianne!

       ELINOR
          Good morning, Colonel!

       COLONEL BRANDON

          I come to issue an invitation. A 
          picnic on my estate at Delaford--if 
          you would care to join us on Thursday 
          next. Mrs Jennings's daughter and 
          her husband are traveling up 
          especially.

       ELINOR
          Thank you, Colonel, we shall be 
          delighted.

At that moment, WILLOUGHBY's curricle hoves into view and 
MARIANNE's face lights up.

       COLONEL BRANDON
(to Marianne)
          I will of course be including Mr 
          Willoughby in the party.

Even MARIANNE is a little embarrassed and recollects her 
manners. She smiles kindly at BRANDON.

       MARIANNE
          I should be delighted to join you, 
          Colonel!

The COLONEL helps her into the curricle, exchanging nods 
with WILLOUGHBY, who is regarding him with some suspicion.

       WILLOUGHBY
          Good morning, Miss Dashwood; good 
          morning, Colonel.


       MARIANNE
          The Colonel has invited us to 
          Delaford, Willoughby!

       WILLOUGHBY
          Excellent. I understand you have a 
          particularly fine pianoforte, Colonel.

The undercurrents of this conversation are decidedly tense.

       COLONEL BRANDON
          A Broadwood Grand.

       MARIANNE
          A Broadwood Grand! Then I shall really 
          be able to play for you!

       WILLOUGHBY

          We shall look forward to it!

MARIANNE smiles her perfect happiness at him and he whips up 
the horses. They drive off, waving their farewells.

BRANDON looks after them for a silent moment, and then 
collects himself and turns to ELINOR, who is less than 
satisfied with their behaviour.

       COLONEL BRANDON
          Your sister seems very happy.

       ELINOR
          Yes. Marianne does not approve of 
          hiding her emotions. In fact, her 
          romantic prejudices have the 
          unfortunate tendency to set propriety 
          at naught.

       COLONEL BRANDON
          She is wholly unspoilt.

       ELINOR
          Rather too unspoilt, in my view. The 
          sooner she becomes acquainted with 
          the ways of the world, the better.

COLONEL BRANDON looks at her sharply and then speaks very 
deliberately, as though controlling some powerful emotion.


       COLONEL BRANDON
          I knew a lady like your sister--the 
          same impulsive sweetness of temper--
          who was forced into, as you put it, 
          a better acquaintance with the world. 
          The result was only ruination and 
          despair.

He stops, and briskly remounts his horse.

       COLONEL BRANDON
          Do not desire it, Miss Dashwood.

EXT. BARTON PARK - DRIVE - DAY

People and carriages fill the drive, the sun shines and the 
atmosphere is pleasantly expectant. SIR JOHN is organising 
the provision of blankets and parasols and COLONEL BRANDON 
is busy furnishing the DRIVERS with their routes. There are 
three new faces a pretty, blowsy WOMAN (CHARLOTTE PALMER), a 
stony-faced MAN (MR PALMER) and an exceedingly good-looking 
GIRL (LUCY STEELE), who are standing with ELINOR, MARIANNE, 
MARGARET, MRS JENNINGS and MRS DASHWOOD.

MARIANNE is standing slightly apart, looking out along the 
road, impatient for WILLOUGHBY.

       MRS JENNINGS
          Imagine my surprise, Mrs Dashwood, 
          when Charlotte and her lord and master 
          appeared with our cousin Lucy! The 
          last person I expected to see! 'Where 
          did you pop out from, Miss?' says I. 
          I was never so surprised to see anyone 
          in all my life!

LUCY STEELE smiles shyly and looks at the ground. MRS JENNINGS 
continues sotto voce to MRS DASHWOOD.


       MRS JENNINGS
          She probably came on purpose to share 
          the fun, for there are no funds for 
          such luxuries at home, poor thing.

       LUCY
          I had not seen you for so long, dear 
          Mrs Jennings, I could not resist the 
          opportunity.

       CHARLOTTE
          Oh, you sly thing! It was the Misses 
          Dashwood she wanted to see, not 
          Delaford, Mamma! I have heard nothing 
          but 'Miss Dashwood this, Miss Dashwood 
          that' for I don't know how long! And 
          what do you think of them now you do 
          see them, Lucy? My mother has talked 
          of nothing else in her letters since 
          you came to Barton, Mrs Dashwood. Mr 
          Palmer--are they not the very 
          creatures she describes?

MR PALMER regards his wife with a less than enchanted 
expression.

       MR PALMER
          Nothing like.

       CHARLOTTE

(laughing gaily)
          Why, Mr Palmer! Do you know you are 
          quite rude today? He is to be an MP, 
          you know, Mrs Dashwood, and it is 
          very fatiguing for him for he is 
          forced to make everybody like him--
          he says it is quite shocking--

       MRS PALMER
          I never said anything so irrational. 
          Don't palm all your abuses of the 
          language upon me.

       MRS JENNINGS
(to Mrs Dashwood)
          Mr Palmer is so droll--he is always 
          out of humour.

MR PALMER does indeed have the air of a man under siege. 
WILLOUGH BY suddenly appears in his curricle. MARIANNE waves 
to him with a radiant smile. MRS JENNINGS nudges CHARLOTTE 
and points to MARIANNE.

       MRS JENNINGS
          Here he is! Now you shall see, 
          Charlotte.

WILLOUGHBY drives up as close to MARIANNE as possible, making 
her laugh.

       MRS JENNINGS
          How now, Mr Willoughby! You must 
          greet my daughter Charlotte, and Mr 
          Palmer--


       WILLOUGHBY
          How do you do?

       MRS JENNINGS
          And my little cousin, Miss Lucy 
          Steele.

       WILLOUGHBY
          Welcome to our party, Miss Steele!

LUCY bobs demurely. WILLOUGHBY inclines his head politely, 
leaps from the curricle and hands MARIANNE in. MRS JENNINGS 
coos and chuckles at them. CHARLOTTE nudges ELINOR.

       CHARLOTTE
          I know Mr Willoughby extremely well--
          not that I ever spoke to him but I 
          have seen him forever in town. Your 
          sister is monstrous lucky to get 
          him. Mamma says Colonel Brandon is 
          in love with her as well, which is a 
          very great compliment for he hardly 
          ever falls in love with anyone.

ELINOR smiles politely. WILLOUGHBY moves the curricle out to 
the front of the drive. CHARLOTTE points after them and laughs 
with MRS JENNINGS. LUCY edges up beside ELINOR.

       LUCY

          May I beg a seat beside you, Miss 
          Dashwood? I have so longed to make 
          your better acquaintance! I have 
          heard nothing but the highest praise 
          for you.

ELINOR is relieved to change the subject.

       ELINOR
          I would be delighted. But Sir John 
          and Mrs Jennings are too excessive 
          in their compliments. I am sure to 
          disappoint.

       LUCY
          No, for it was from quite another 
          source that I heard you praised and 
          one not at all inclined to 
          exaggeration.

LUCY speaks in a knowing, confidential undertone, as though 
not wanting anyone else to hear. At that moment a HORSEMAN 
thunders up the drive towards them. Everyone turns to face 
the new arrival.

       SIR JOHN
          What can this be?

It is a MESSENGER who has obviously had a long, hard ride. 
He asks for COLONEL BRANDON and hands him a letter, which 
BRANDON tears open. MRS JENNINGS is puce with suppressed 
curiosity.

       COLONEL BRANDON
          My horse! Quickly!


       SIR JOHN
          What is the matter, Brandon?

       COLONEL BRANDON
          I must away to London.

       SIR JOHN
          No! Impossible!

Everyone gathers round BRANDON, who is, naturally, mortified. 
A SERVANT brings up the COLONEL's horse.

       COLONEL BRANDON
          Imperative.

There is a murmur of disappointment from the party. SIR JOHN 
is embarrassed and protests again.

       SIR JOHN

          But Brandon, we are all assembled. 
          We cannot picnic at Delaford without 
          our host! Go up to town tomorrow.

       WILLOUGHBY
          Or wait till we return and start 
          then--you would not be six hours 
          later.

       COLONEL BRANDON
          I cannot afford to lose one minute.

As he speaks, he is mounting his horse. His grave urgency 
silences all protest and he gallops off, leaving everyone 
stunned and, of course, deeply curious. Then they all start 
to talk at once. LUCY is still next to ELINOR.

       LUCY
          Oh, Miss Dashwood, I cannot bear it! 
          Just when I was to have the 
          opportunity of speaking with you.

EXT. MEADOW NEAR BARTON COTTAGE - DAY


Having been denied their trip, the DASHWOODS and WILLOUGHBY 
have set out an impromptu picnic. WILLOUGHBY is wandering 
restlessly about.

The weather is sublime.

       WILLOUGHBY
          Frailty, thy name is Brandon!

       MARIANNE
          There are some people who cannot 
          bear a party of pleasure. I think he 
          wrote the letter himself as a trick 
          for getting out of it.

       MRS DASHWOOD
(indulgently)
          You are a very wicked pair, Colonel 
          Brandon will be sadly missed.

       WILLOUGHBY
          Why? When he is the kind of man that 
          everyone speaks well of and no one 
          wants to talk to.


       MARIANNE
          Exactly!

       ELINOR
          Nonsense.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Colonel Brandon is very highly 
          esteemed at the Park.

       WILLOUGHBY
          Which is enough censure in itself.

       ELINOR

(half laughing)
          Really, Willoughby!

       WILLOUGHBY
(imitating Mrs Jennings 
perfectly)
          Come, come, Mr Impudence--I know you 
          and your wicked ways--oh!

He gives a little shriek and waddles about the garden doing 
her walk. He comes up to ELINOR and puts his head on her 
shoulder.

       WILLOUGHBY
          Come, Miss Dashwood, reveal your 
          beau, reveal him, I say! Let's have 
          no secrets between friends! Let me 
          winkle them out of you!

ELINOR hits him on the nose with her teaspoon and he waddles 
off to MARIANNE.

       WILLOUGHBY
(as Mrs Jennings)
          I declare, Miss Marianne, if I do 
          not have you married to the Colonel 
          by teatime, I shall swallow my own 
          bonnet.

MARIANNE laughs. WILLOUGHBY drops the parody suddenly.

       WILLOUGHBY
          As if you could marry such a 
          character.


       ELINOR
          Why should you dislike him?

There is indeed an edge to WILLOUGHBY's raillery. He flicks 
ELINOR an almost alarmed glance and then sweeps MARIANNE to 
her feet and starts to dance around the garden with her.

       WILLOUGHBY
          Because he has threatened me with 
          rain when I wanted it fine, he has 
          found fault with the balance of my 
          curricle and I cannot persuade him 
          to buy my brown mare. If it will be 
          of any satisfaction to you, however, 
          to be told I believe his character 
          to be in all other respects 
          irreproachable, I am ready to confess 
          it. And in return for an 
          acknowledgement that must give me 
          some pain.
(he is slowing down)
          You cannot deny me the privilege...
(slower still)
          of disliking him...
(and stopping)
          as much as I adore...

He and MARIANNE are standing looking at each other. The 
expression on WILLOUGHBY's face is heart-stopping. MARGARET 
has stopped eating and is staring with her mouth open.

ELINOR glances at MRS DASHWOOD but she is gazing up at them 
with almost as many stars in her eyes as MARIANNE.

Suddenly WILLOUGHBY breaks the mood by swinging away from 
MARIANNE and gesturing to the house.

       WILLOUGHBY
          --this cottage!

The tension is broken. MARGARET starts to chew again.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          I have great plans for improvements 
          to it, you know, Mr Willoughby.

       WILLOUGHBY

          Now that I will never consent to. 
          Not a stone must be added to its 
          walls. Were I rich enough, I would 
          instantly pull down Combe Magna and 
          build it up again in the exact image 
          of that cottage!

       ELINOR
          With dark, narrow stairs, a poky 
          hall and a fire that smokes?

       WILLOUGHBY
          Especially the fire that smokes! 
          Then I might be as happy at Combe 
          Magna as I have been at Barton.

He looks at MARIANNE, who has gone to sit at her mother's 
feet.

       WILLOUGHBY
          But this place has one claim on my 
          affection which no other can possibly 
          share.

MARIANNE is so irradiated with happiness that she looks like 
an angel.

       WILLOUGHBY
          Promise me you will never change it.


       MRS DASHWOOD
          I do not have the heart.

       ELINOR
          Or the money.

EXT. BARTON COTTAGE - GARDEN PATH AND GATE - DUSK

MARIANNE is seeing WILLOUGHBY off.

       WILLOUGHBY
          Miss Marianne, will you--will you do 
          me the honour of granting me an 
          interview tomorrow--alone?


       MARIANNE
          Willoughby, we are always alone!

       WILLOUGHBY
          But there is something very particular 
          I should like to ask you.

There is something about his formal tone that makes her feel 
shy.

       MARIANNE
          Of course. I shall ask Mamma if I 
          may stay behind from church.

       WILLOUGHBY
          Thank you. Until tomorrow then--Miss 
          Marianne.

He mounts Bedivere and leaves. MARIANNE looks after him, her 
eyes shining. He is coming to propose.

EXT. LONDON TENEMENTS - NIGHT


A district of extreme poverty, populated by the LOWLIFE of 
LONDON: FOOTPADS, dogs, rats and SCAVENGERS of all kinds. In 
the distance a tavern belches forth drunken REVELLERS who 
sway and reel into the night.

A hooded HORSEMAN pulls up his exhausted steed at the entrance 
to a slum. He dismounts and looks up at one of the windows. 
The rags hanging there twitch as if someone is watching for 
him. He strides inside.

INT. TENEMENT STAIRS - NIGHT

Stepping over a supine BEGGAR at the foot of the stairs, the 
HORSEMAN flings back his hood--it is BRANDON, hollow-eyed 
and dropping with weariness. We follow him up the stairs to 
a door which is opened by an OLDER WOMAN.

INT. TENEMENT ROOM - NIGHT

He enters a bare room partitioned with filthy rags hung from 
the ceiling and lit with stinking tallow lamps. At the window 
stands the slight figure of a VERY YOUNG WOMAN. She turns. 
BRANDON reacts with a tender smile which stiffens into an 
expression of deep shock. We see her silhouette. She is 
heavily pregnant. She bursts into tears and runs into his 
arms.

INT. BARTON CHURCH - DAY

Amongst the small CONGREGATION listening to the sermon drone 
on, we see the excited faces of ELINOR, MARGARET and MRS 

DASHWOOD.

       MARGARET
          Do you think he will kneel down when 
          he asks her?

       ELINOR
          Shhh!

       MARGARET
(with satisfaction)
          They always kneel down.

EXT. BARTON COTTAGE - GARDEN PATH - DAY


The DASHWOODS return from church to find THOMAS grooming 
Bedivere at the garden gate. Their excitement mounts.

INT. BARTON COTTAGE - FRONT DOOR - DAY

They all enter the cottage, talking nonsense loudly in order 
to signal their presence. MARGARET giggles. Suddenly, MARIANNE 
bursts out of the parlour sobbing, and disappears into the 
room opposite. ELINOR and MARGARET stand by the door in utter 
consternation, while MRS DASH- WOOD goes to MARIANNE.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          What is wrong, my dearest?

MARIANNE shakes her head and waves them away.

INT. BARTON COTTAGE - PARLOUR - DAY

ELINOR, MARGARET and MRS DASHWOOD enter to find WILLOUGHBY 
standing in a frozen attitude by the fireplace.


       MRS DASHWOOD
          Willoughby! What is the matter?

       WILLOUGHBY
          I--forgive me, Mrs Dashwood. I am 
          sent--that is to say, Lady Allen has 
          exercised the privilege of riches 
          upon a dependent cousin and is sending 
          me to London.

He cannot look any of them in the eye.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          When--this morning?

       WILLOUGHBY
          Almost this moment.

       MRS DASHWOOD

          How very disappointing! But your 
          business will not detain you from us 
          for long, I hope?

       WILLOUGHBY
          You are very kind--but I have no 
          idea of returning immediately to 
          Devonshire. I am seldom invited to 
          Allenham more than once a year.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          For shame, Willoughby! Can you wait 
          for an invitation from Barton Cottage?

       WILLOUGHBY
          My engagements at present are of 
          such a nature--that is--I dare not 
          flatter myself--

The atmosphere is thick with tension. WILLOUGHBY flicks a 
glance at the three WOMEN staring at him in mute astonishment.

       WILLOUGHBY
          It is folly to linger in this manner. 
          I will not torment myself further.

He rushes past them and out of the cottage. They follow him 
to the door.


EXT. BARTON COTTAGE - FRONT DOOR - DAY

The DASHWOODS cluster round the door.

       MARGARET
          Willoughby, come back!

She is silenced by ELINOR as WILLOUGHBY seizes Bedivere's 
reins from THOMAS, mounts up and rides off at a furious pace.

INT. BARTON COTTAGE - PARLOUR - DAY

They all rush back into the parlour.

       ELINOR
          Meg, dearest, please ask Betsy to 
          make a cup of hot tea for Marianne.

MARGARET nods dumbly and goes. MRS DASHWOOD has her arms 
around MARIANNE.


       MRS DASHWOOD
          What is wrong, my love?

       MARIANNE
          Nothing! Please do not ask me 
          questions!

MARIANNE struggles free.

       MARIANNE
          Please let me be!

She runs off upstairs and we hear her bedroom door slamming. 
There is a moment of stunned silence.

       ELINOR
          They must have quarreled.

       MRS DASHWOOD

          That is unlikely. Perhaps this--Lady 
          Allen--disapproves of his regard for 
          Marianne and has invented an excuse 
          to send him away?

       ELINOR
          Then why did he not say as much? It 
          is not like Willoughby to be 
          secretive. Did he think Marianne was 
          richer than she is?

       MRS DASHWOOD
          How could he?

She gestures to the room and then looks at ELINOR with a 
frown.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          What is it you suspect him of?

       ELINOR
          I can hardly tell you. But why was 
          his manner so guilty?


       MRS DASHWOOD
          What are you saying, Elinor? That he 
          has been acting a part to your sister 
          for all this time?

MRS DASHWOOD is getting defensive. ELINOR pauses to think.

       ELINOR
          No, he loves her, I am sure.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Of course he loves her!

       ELINOR
          But has he left her with any assurance 
          of his return? Cannot you ask her if 
          he has proposed?

       MRS DASHWOOD

          Certainly not. I cannot force a 
          confidence from Marianne and nor 
          must you. We must trust her to confide 
          in us in her own time.

       ELINOR
(shaking her head)
          There was something so underhand in 
          the manner of his leaving.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          You are resolved, then, to think the 
          worst of him.

       ELINOR
          Not resolved--

       MRS DASHWOOD
(cold)
          I prefer to give him the benefit of 
          my good opinion. He deserves no less. 
          From all of us.

She stalks out of the room and starts up the stairs. ELINOR 
follows her.


       ELINOR
          Mamma, I am very fond of Willoughby--

MRS DASHWOOD goes into her bedroom and shuts the door. ELINOR 
is halfway up the stairs. She meets a wet-eyed MARGARET coming 
down with a cup of tea.

       MARGARET
          She would not let me in.

ELINOR takes the cup and MARGARET runs out into the garden 
in tears.

The sound of sobbing also comes from MARIANNE's room, and 
now from MRS DASHWOOD's as well. ELINOR sits down helplessly 
on the stairs and drinks the tea.

EXT. BARTON COTTAGE - RAIN - DAY

The rain has settled in. The cottage looks cold and bleak.

INT. BARTON COTTAGE - UPSTAIRS CORRIDOR - DAY

BETSY carries another uneaten meal from MARIANNE's room. She 
looks at the food and tuts in anxiety.


INT. BARTON COTTAGE - ELINOR AND MARIANNE'S BEDROOM - DAY

MARIANNE is sitting by the window looking out at the rain 
through tear-swollen eyes. WILLOUGHBY's sonnets are on her 
lap.

       MARIANNE
          How like a winter hath my absence 
          been from thee, the pleasure of the 
          fleeting year! What freezings have I 
          felt, what dark days seen! What old 
          December's bareness everywhere!

EXT. BARTON PARK - RAIN - EVE

Smoke issues from every chimney in the place.

INT. BARTON PARK - DRAWING ROOM - EVE


Dinner is over. MARIANNE sits listlessly by the window. MR 
PALMER is hiding behind a newspaper. SIR JOHN and MARGARET 
are looking at a map and discussing routes through China. 
LUCY, CHARLOTTE, MRS DASHWOOD and MRS JENNINGS are at cards. 
ELINOR is reading.

       CHARLOTTE
          Oh! If only this rain would stop!

       MR PALMER
(from behind the paper)
          If only you would stop.

MRS JENNINGS and CHARLOTTE laugh at him.

       MRS JENNINGS
          'Twas you took her off my hands, Mr 
          Palmer, and a very good bargain you 
          made of it too, but now I have the 
          whip hand over you for you cannot 
          give her back!

The heavy silence behind the paper attests to the unhappy 
truth of this statement.

       MRS JENNINGS
          Miss Marianne, come and play a round 
          with us! Looking out at the weather 
          will not bring him back.


       CHARLOTTE
(sotto voce)
          She ate nothing at dinner.

       MRS JENNINGS
          Mind, we are all a little forlorn 
          these days. London has swallowed all 
          our company.

CHARLOTTE and MRS JENNINGS start to gossip about the 
disappearances of BRANDON and WILLOUGHBY. LUCY walks over 
and sits by ELINOR, who politely puts aside the book.

       LUCY
(low)
          Dear Miss Dashwood, perhaps now we 
          might have our--discussion.

       ELINOR
          Our discussion?

LUCY looks around at MRS JENNINGS and lowers her voice still 
further, so that ELINOR is obliged to move her chair nearer.

       LUCY

          There is a particular question I 
          have long wanted to ask you, but 
          perhaps you will think me impertinent?

       ELINOR
          I cannot imagine so.

       LUCY
          But it is an odd question. Forgive 
          me, I have no wish to trouble you--

She looks away coyly as if deciding whether to speak.

       ELINOR
          My dear Miss Steele--

       CHARLOTTE
(interrupting)
          Miss Dashwood, if only Mr Willoughby 
          had gone home to Combe Magna, we 
          could have taken Miss Marianne to 
          see him! For we live but half a mile 
          away.


       MR PALMER
          Five and a half.

       CHARLOTTE
          No, I cannot believe it is that far, 
          for you can see the place from the 
          top of our hill. Is it really five 
          and a half miles? No! I cannot believe 
          it.

       MR PALMER
          Try.

       ELINOR
          You have my permission to ask any 
          manner of question, if that is of 
          any help.

       LUCY

          Thank you. I wonder, are you at all 
          acquainted with your sister-in-law's 
          mother? Mrs Ferrars?

ELINOR sits back in deep surprise.

       ELINOR
          With Fanny's mother? No, I have never 
          met her.

       LUCY
          I am sure you think me strange for 
          inquiring--if I dared tell--

       MRS JENNINGS
(shouting over)
          If she tells you aught of the famous 
          'Mr F', Lucy, you are to pass it on.

ELINOR tries to ignore MRS JENNINGS, who is keeping a curious 
eye on them.

       LUCY
          Will you take a turn with me, Miss 
          Dashwood?

LUCY rises and takes ELINOR's arm. She guides her as far 
away as possible from MRS JENNINGS and CHARLOTTE.


       ELINOR
          I had no idea at all that you were 
          connected with that family.

       LUCY
          Oh! I am certainly nothing to Mrs 
          Ferrars at present--but the time may 
          come when we may be very intimately 
          connected.

       ELINOR
(low)
          What do you mean? Do you have an 
          understanding with Fanny's brother 
          Robert?

       LUCY
          The youngest? No, I never saw him in 
          my life. No, with Edward.

       ELINOR

          Edward?

ELINOR stops walking.

       ELINOR
          Edward Ferrars?

LUCY nods.

       LUCY
          Edward and I have been secretly 
          engaged these five years.

ELINOR is frozen to the spot.

       LUCY
          You may well be surprised. I should 
          never have mentioned it, had I not 
          known I could entirely trust you to 
          keep our secret. Edward cannot mind 
          me telling you for he looks on you 
          quite as his own sister.

ELINOR walks on mechanically. Disbelief has set in.

       ELINOR
          I am sorry, but we surely--we cannot 
          mean the same Mr Ferrars?


       LUCY
          The very same--he was four years 
          under the tutelage of my uncle Mr 
          Pratt, down in Plymouth. Has he never 
          spoken of it?

       ELINOR
(awareness dawning)
          Mr Pratt! Yes, I believe he has.

       LUCY
          I was very unwilling to enter into 
          it without his mother's approval but 
          we loved each other with too great a 
          passion for prudence. Though you do 
          nor know him so well as I, Miss 
          Dashwood, you must have seen how 
          capable he is of making a woman 
          sincerely attached to him. I cannot 
          pretend it has not been very hard on 
          us both. We can hardly meet above 
          twice a year.

She sniffs and produces a large handkerchief which she holds 
to her eyes so that the monogram is clearly visible. ECF.

ELINOR, seeing the copy of the handkerchief she has held so 
dear, moves quickly to a chair and sits down.

       LUCY
          You seem out of sorts, Miss Dashwood--
          are you quite well?

       ELINOR

          Perfectly well, thank you.

       LUCY
          I have not offended you?

       ELINOR
          On the contrary.

MRS JENNINGS has been watching. Now she rises, unable to 
contain herself.

       MRS JENNINGS
          I can stand it no longer, I must 
          know what you are saying, Lucy! Miss 
          Dashwood is quite engrossed!

MRS JENNINGS starts to bear down on them. LUCY whispers with 
real urgency.

       LUCY
          Oh, Miss Dashwood, if anyone finds 
          out, it will ruin him--you must not 
          tell a soul! Edward says you would 
          not break your word to save your 
          life! Promise me!

ECU on ELINOR's face.


       ELINOR
          I give you my word.

MRS JENNINGS looms over them.

       MRS JENNINGS
          Well, what can have fascinated you 
          to such an extent, Miss Dashwood?

       CHARLOTTE
          Tell us all!

ELINOR cannot speak but LUCY glides smoothly in.

       LUCY
          We were talking of London, ma'am, 
          and all its--diversions.

       MRS JENNINGS

          Do you hear, Charlotte?

MRS JENNINGS claps her hands delightedly.

       MRS JENNINGS
          While you were so busy whispering, 
          Charlotte and I have concocted a 
          plan!

       CHARLOTTE
          It is the best plan in the world.

       MRS JENNINGS
          I make for London shortly and I invite 
          you, Lucy, and both the Misses 
          Dashwood to join me!

ELINOR cannot hide her dismay. MARIANNE springs from her 
seat.

       MARIANNE
          London!


       MARGARET
          Oh, can I go! Can I go?

       MRS DASHWOOD
          You know perfectly well you are too 
          young, dearest.

       MRS JENNINGS
          I shall convey you all to my house 
          in Berkeley Street and we shall taste 
          all the delights of the season--what 
          say you?

       MARGARET
          Oh, please can I go? I'm twelve soon.

       CHARLOTTE

          Mr Palmer, do you not long to have 
          the Misses Dashwood come to London?

       MR PALMER
          I came into Devonshire with no other 
          view.

ELINOR exerts herself.

       ELINOR
          Mrs Jennings, you are very kind, but 
          we cannot possibly leave our mother...

LUCY's calculating eyes turn to MRS DASHWOOD with alacrity.

       LUCY
          Indeed, the loss would be too great.

A chorus of objections goes up, particularly from MRS 
DASHWOOD, who is both delighted and relieved to see MARIANNE 
with a smile on her face.

       MRS JENNINGS
          Your mother can spare you very well.


       MRS DASHWOOD
          Of course I can!

       CHARLOTTE
          Of course she can!

       SIR JOHN
          And look at Miss Marianne--it would 
          break her heart to deny her!

       MRS JENNINGS
          I will brook no refusal, Miss 
          Dashwood!

MARIANNE claps her hands, her eyes ablaze with joy. MRS 
JENNINGS takes ELINOR's hand.

       MRS JENNINGS

          Let you and me strike hands upon the 
          bargain--and if I do not have the 
          three of you married by Christmas, 
          it will not be my fault!

INT. BARTON COTTAGE - ELINOR/MARIANNE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

We are in ELINOR and MARIANNE's bedroom. ELINOR is in bed. 
She is lying on her side with her back to MARIANNE. We are 
CLOSE on her face. MARIANNE is running around excitedly, 
pulling out ribbons, looking at dresses, etc.

       MARIANNE
          I was never so grateful in all my 
          life as I am to Mrs Jennings. What a 
          kind woman she is! I like her more 
          than I can say. Oh, Elinor! I shall 
          see Willoughby. Think how surprised 
          he will be! And you will see Edward!

ELINOR cannot reply.

       MARIANNE
          Are you asleep?

       ELINOR

          With you in the room?

MARIANNE laughs.

       MARIANNE
          I do not believe you feel as calm as 
          you look, not even you, Elinor. I 
          will never sleep tonight! Oh, what 
          were you and Miss Steele whispering 
          about so long?

CLOSE on ELINOR's expression as she struggles with the 
impossibility of unburdening herself to her sister without 
breaking her promise to LUCY. After a pause--

       ELINOR
          Nothing of significance.

MARIANNE looks at ELINOR curiously, then returns to her 
packing.

EXT. BARTON COTTAGE - GARDEN GATE - DAY

MRS DASHWOOD and MARGARET are waving MRS JENNINGS's carriage 
off. MARIANNE waves back with such exuberance that she 
practically falls out.

INT. MRS JENNINGS'S CARRIAGE - ROAD TO LONDON - DAY


MRS JENNINGS is chattering about London to MARIANNE, who 
listens with new-found tolerance. LUCY is whispering into 
ELINOR's ear.

       LUCY
          I have written to Edward, Miss 
          Dashwood, and yet I do not know how 
          much I may see of him. Secrecy is 
          vital--he will never be able to call.

       ELINOR
          I should imagine not.

       LUCY
          It is so hard. I believe my only 
          comfort has been the constancy of 
          his affection.

       ELINOR

          You are fortunate, over such a lengthy 
          engagement, never to have had any 
          doubts on that score.

LUCY looks at ELINOR sharply, but ELINOR is impassive.

       LUCY
          Oh! I am of rather a jealous nature 
          and if he had talked more of one 
          young lady than any other... but he 
          has never given a moment's alarm on 
          that count.

We can see from ELINOR's expression that she understands 
LUCY perfectly. The strain around her eyes is pronounced.

       LUCY
          Imagine how glad he will be to learn 
          that we are friends!

EXT. LONDON STREET - DAY

MRS JENNINGS's carriage trundles along.

EXT. MRS JENNINGS'S HOUSE - LONDON - DAY


Establishing shot of a handsome town house. MRS JENNINGS's 
carriage comes into shot and stops in front of it.

INT. MRS JENNINGS'S HOUSE - HALL - DAY

They enter the grand hallway under the supercilious gaze of 
a powdered FOOTMAN (MR PIGEON). ELINOR is haggard after two 
days of close proximity with LUCY. MRS JENNINGS is all 
officious bustle and MARIANNE is feverish with anticipation. 
She whispers to MRS JENNINGS, who laughs heartily.

       MRS JENNINGS
          To be sure, my dear, you must just 
          hand it to Pigeon there. He will 
          take care of it.

MARIANNE hands a letter to the sphinx-like FOOTMAN. We can 
see a large W in the address. ELINOR looks at MARIANNE 
inquiringly but MARIANNE moves away from her.

       MRS JENNINGS
          Lord above, you do not waste any 
          time, Miss Marianne!

MARIANNE glances self-consciously at ELINOR and follows MRS 
JENNINGS upstairs. LUCY goes up to ELINOR and whispers.

       LUCY

          A letter! So they are definitely 
          engaged! Mrs Jennings says your sister 
          will buy her wedding clothes here in 
          town.

       ELINOR
          Indeed Miss Steele, I know of no 
          such plan.

But ELINOR does not know what else to say. She marches firmly 
upstairs.

INT. MRS JENNINGS'S HOUSE - DRAWING ROOM - DAY

MARIANNE and ELINOR have changed from their traveling clothes 
and are having a cup of tea. At least, ELINOR is. MARIANNE 
is pacing up and down in front of the window.

       ELINOR
          John and Fanny are in town. I think 
          we shall be forced to see them.

There is a faint knocking from somewhere. MARIANNE jumps.

       ELINOR

          I think it was for next door.

MARIANNE looks out of the window.

       MARIANNE
          Yes, you are right.

She sits down with a rueful smile. Suddenly a much louder 
rap is heard and they both jump. We hear a bustling 
downstairs. MARIANNE can hardly breathe. She goes to the 
drawing-room door, opens it, goes out, comes back in. We 
hear a MAN's voice.

       MARIANNE
          Oh, Elinor! It is Willoughby, indeed 
          it is!

She turns and almost throws herself into the arms of COLONEL 
BRANDON.

       MARIANNE
          Oh! Excuse me, Colonel--

She leaves the room hastily. ELINOR is so ashamed of 
MARIANNE's rudeness that she does not at first notice 
BRANDON's mood of tense distress.


       ELINOR
          Colonel Brandon, what a pleasure to 
          see you! Have you been in London all 
          this while?

       COLONEL BRANDON
          I have. How is your dear mother?

       ELINOR
          Very well, thank you.

Silence.

       ELINOR
          Colonel, is there anything--

But BRANDON interrupts her.

       COLONEL BRANDON

          Forgive me, Miss Dashwood, but I 
          have heard reports through town... 
          is it impossible to--but I could 
          have no chance of succeeding--indeed 
          I hardly know what to do. Tell me 
          once and for all, is everything 
          finally resolved between your sister 
          and Mr Willoughby?

ELINOR is torn between discomfiture and compassion.

       ELINOR
          Colonel, though neither one has 
          informed me of their under standing, 
          I have no doubt of their mutual 
          affection.

BRANDON stands very still.

       COLONEL BRANDON
          Thank you, Miss Dashwood. To your 
          sister I wish all imaginable 
          happiness. To Mr Willoughby, that 
          he... may endeavour to deserve her.

His tone is heavy with some bitter meaning.

       ELINOR
          What do you mean?

But he recollects himself.

       COLONEL BRANDON
          Forgive me, I--forgive me.

He bows and leaves abruptly. ELINOR is deeply troubled.


EXT. GREENWICH ARCADE - LONDON - DAY

The PALMERS, MRS JENNINGS, JOHN, FANNY, LUCY, ELINOR and 
MARIANNE are walking through the arcade. Additional wealth 
has evidently encouraged FANNY sartorially and she sprouts 
as much fruit and feathers as a market stall. LUCY is holding 
ELINOR's arm in a pinionlike grip. MRS JENNINGS is gossiping 
with CHARLOTTE.

MARIANNE's good looks are heightened by her feverish 
expectation of seeing WILLOUGHBY at every step, and many 
young men raise their hats to her and turn as she passes.

       MARIANNE
          Where is dear Edward, John? We expect 
          to see him daily.

FANNY stiffens. LUCY's sharp eyes dart hither and thither. 
MRS JENNINGS senses gossip. ELINOR steels herself.

       MRS JENNINGS
          And who is 'dear Edward'?

       CHARLOTTE
          Who indeed?

FANNY smiles glacially.


       FANNY
          My brother, Mrs Jennings--Edward 
          Ferrars.

MRS JENNINGS looks at ELINOR in sly triumph.

       MRS JENNINGS
          Indeed! Is that Ferrars with an F?

She and CHARLOTTE chuckle to each other. LUCY looks at ELINOR.

INT. MRS JENNINGS'S HOUSE - HALL - EVE

MRS JENNINGS, LUCY, ELINOR and MARIANNE return from their 
outing. MARIANNE immediately assails PIGEON.

       MARIANNE
          Are there any messages, Pigeon?


       PIGEON
          No, ma'am.

       MARIANNE
          No message at all? No cards?

       PIGEON
(affronted)
          None, ma am.

MARIANNE sighs with disappointment and starts up the stairs. 
MRS JENNINGS looks archly at ELINOR.

       MRS JENNINGS
          I note you do not inquire for your 
          messages, Miss Dashwood!

       ELINOR

          No, for I do not expect any, Mrs 
          Jennings. I have very little 
          acquaintance in town.

And she follows MARIANNE firmly upstairs. LUCY watches her 
go, and MRS JENNINGS chuckles and turns to her.

       MRS JENNINGS
          She is as sly as you, Lucy!

INT. MRS JENNINGS'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT

ELINOR wakes up. The flickering of a candle has disturbed 
her. She sits up in bed and sees MARIANNE sitting at the 
desk in her nightgown, writing another letter.

       ELINOR
          Marianne, is anything wrong?

       MARIANNE

          Nothing at all. Go back to sleep.

INT. MRS JENNINGS'S HOUSE - MORNING ROOM - NIGHT

MARIANNE, in her nightclothes and dressing gown, paces 
restlessly, her letter in her hands. A slight knock at the 
door heralds a much-ruffled PIGEON, wig askew. MARIANNE hands 
him the letter. He bows and goes, highly disgruntled.

INT. MRS JENNINGS'S HOUSE - HALL - MORNING

MRS JENNINGS is giving PIGEON his instructions for the day. 
MARIANNE comes running downstairs. PIGEON regards her drily.

       PIGEON
          No messages, ma am.

MARIANNE looks so dejected that MRS JENNINGS takes her hand.

       MRS JENNINGS

          Do not fret, my dear. I am told that 
          this good weather is keeping many 
          sportsmen in the country at present, 
          but the frost will drive them back 
          to town very soon, depend upon it.

MARIANNE brightens.

       MARIANNE
          Of course! I had not thought of--
          thank you, Mrs Jennings!

She runs back upstairs. MRS JENNINGS calls after her.

       MRS JENNINGS
          And Miss Dashwood may set her heart 
          at rest, for I overheard your sister-
          in-law say that she was to bring the 
          elusive Mr F to the ball tonight!

EXT. GRAND CRESCENT LEADING TO BALLROOM ENTRANCE - NIGHT

So many carriages have entered the crescent to deliver the 
GUESTS that gridlock has occurred and people are forced to 
walk to the entrance. We see MRS JENNINGS, MARIANNE, ELINOR 
and LUCY alighting from their carriage and picking their way 
through the mud, their skirts raised above their ankles. 
ELINOR nearly trips and is obliged to grab onto LUCY in order 
not to slip into the dirt.


INT. GRAND BALLROOM - EVE

The great ballroom is crammed with GUESTS all determined to 
enjoy themselves despite the considerable inconveniences 
caused by noise, heat and overcrowding. MEN are sweating 
profusely, WOMEN dab their brows, rack punch is being 
swallowed by the gallon, flirting is conducted at fever pitch 
and all conversation is inordinately loud. Only the DANCERS 
have a modicum of space in which to perform their mincing 
steps. MRS JENNINGS and her brood bump into the PALMERS.

       CHARLOTTE
(screeching)
          This is very merry!

MRS JENNINGS then spots FANNY, who is conducting a desultory 
conversation with an overpowdered ACQUAINTANCE. She drags 
ELINOR, MARIANNE and LUCY over to her.

       MRS JENNINGS
          There you are! Goodness, how hot it 
          is, Mrs Dashwood. You are not alone, 
          I trust?

       FANNY
          Indeed not. John is just gone to 
          fetch my brother--he has been eating 
          ices.

LUCY clutches at ELINOR's sleeve.


       MRS JENNINGS
          Your brother! I declare, that is 
          good news indeed. At long last!

And she beams her approval upon ELINOR.

       LUCY
(whispering)
          Miss Dashwood, I declare I shall 
          faint clean away.

FANNY has seen JOHN threading his way towards them and waves 
at him. There is someone behind him. LUCY preens. JOHN bows 
to them.

       JOHN
          Mrs Jennings, may I present my brother-
          in-law?

He turns to reveal a good-looking young MAN with a vacuous 
smile.

       JOHN
          Mr Robert Ferrars!

       ROBERT

          My dear ladies--we meet at last!

There is a general bowing and shaking of hands. ELINOR is 
relieved. LUCY drops a low curtsy.

       MRS JENNINGS
          So you must be the younger brother? 
          Is Mr Edward not here? Miss Dashwood 
          here was counting on him!

ROBERT looks ELINOR up and down. He exchanges glances with 
FANNY before he speaks.

       ROBERT
          Oh! He is far too busy for such 
          gatherings--and has no special 
          acquaintance here to make his 
          attendance worthwhile.

MRS JENNINGS looks at ELINOR in puzzlement.

       MRS JENNINGS
          Well, I declare, I do not know what 
          the young men are about these days--
          are they all in hiding?

ELINOR looks down, agonised with embarrassment.

       MRS JENNINGS
          Come, Mr Robert, in the absence of 
          your brother, you must dance with 
          our lovely Miss Dashwood!


       ROBERT
(not best pleased)
          It would be my honour.

He turns to LUCY and bows.

       ROBERT
          And perhaps Miss Steele might consider 
          reserving the allemande?

LUCY curtsies again. ROBERT escorts a most unwilling ELINOR 
onto the dance floor.

       ROBERT
          You reside in Devonshire, I b'lieve, 
          Miss Dashwood?

       ELINOR
          We do.

       ROBERT

          In a cottage?

       ELINOR
          Yes.

       ROBERT
          I am excessively fond of a cottage. 
          If I had any money to spare, I should 
          build one myself.

Luckily for ELINOR the set changes and she is obliged to 
turn away from ROBERT. She wheels round to face her new 
partner. It is WILLOUGHBY! They both stop dancing and stare 
at each other aghast. A traffic jam starts and they are forced 
to take hands and resume the steps.

       WILLOUGHBY
(stiff)
          How do you do, Miss Dashwood?

ELINOR does not know quite how to respond.

       ELINOR
          I am well, thank you, Mr Willoughby.

She looks about for MARIANNE, instinctively wanting to keep 
her away from WILLOUGHBY.


       WILLOUGHBY
          How is your--family?

       ELINOR
(cold)
          We are all extremely well, Mr 
          Willoughby--thank you for your kind 
          inquiry.

WILLOUGHBY is shamed into silence. Then he sees MARIANNE. At 
the same moment the music pauses. MARIANNE looks up. In the 
brief moment of relative quiet, her great cry rings across 
the room.

       MARIANNE
          Willoughby!

Everyone turns to look as MARIANNE rushes towards him with 
both arms outstretched, her face luminous with joy. As the 
noise of the room builds again and PEOPLE change their 
partners, we are aware that many are surreptitiously watching. 
MARIANNE reaches him but WILLOUGHBY stands with his arms 
frozen at his side. MARIANNE gives a little confused laugh.

       MARIANNE
          Good God, Willoughby! Will you nor 
          shake hands with me?

WILLOUGHBY looks extremely uncomfortable and glances towards 
a group of very smart PEOPLE who are watching him closely. 
Central to this group is a SOPHISTICATED WOMAN who frowns at 
him proprietorially.

WILLOUGHBY shakes MARIANNE's hand briefly. Behind her, MRS 
JENNINGS is giving an animated commentary to FANNY and JOHN, 
while LUCY whispers in ROBERT's ear as they go past to join 
the set.

       WILLOUGHBY

(strangled)
          How do you do, Miss Marianne?

       MARIANNE
          Willoughby, what is the matter? Why 
          have you not come to see me? Were 
          you not in London? Have you nor 
          received my letters?

WILLOUGHBY is sweating with tension.

       WILLOUGHBY
          Yes, I had the pleasure of receiving 
          the information which you were so 
          good as to send me.

       MARIANNE
(piteously)
          For heaven's sake, Willoughby, tell 
          me what is wrong!

       WILLOUGHBY
          Thank you--I am most obliged. If you 
          will excuse me, I must return to my 
          party.

He bows, white to the teeth, and walks away to join the 

SOPHISTICATED WOMAN.

       MARIANNE
          Willoughby!

He is drawn away by his PARTY, some of whom look back at 
MARIANNE with a mixture of curiosity and condescension. 
MARIANNE almost sinks to her knees. ELINOR supports her.

       ELINOR
          Marianne! Come away!

       MARIANNE
          Go to him, Elinor--force him to come 
          to me.

MRS JENNINGS has come up, full of concern.

       ELINOR

          Dearest, do not betray what you feel 
          to everyone present! This is not the 
          place for explanations--

       MRS JENNINGS
          Come along, dear.

They almost have to drag MARIANNE away. MRS JENNINGS turns 
back to the DASHWOOD party. FANNY and JOHN have practically 
imploded with embarrassment and are distancing themselves as 
much as possible from the source. LUCY and ROBERT are dancing 
nearby.

       MRS JENNINGS
          Will you come, Lucy?

       LUCY
          Oh, are we leaving so soon?

       ROBERT
          If I might be so bold, Mrs Jennings, 
          it would be our pleasure to escort 
          your young charge home.


       LUCY
          How very kind!

       MRS JENNINGS
          That is very handsome--

She rushes off to follow MARIANNE and ELINOR. We stay for a 
moment with LUCY and ROBERT who have left the set.

       ROBERT
          She actually sent him messages during 
          the night?

CAM rises to show the DASHWOODS exiting past the whispering, 
sneering faces of the CROWD.

INT. MRS JENNINGS'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT

MARIANNE sits scribbling a letter at the desk.


       ELINOR
          Marianne, please tell me--

       MARIANNE
          Do not ask me questions!

       ELINOR
          You have no confidence in me.

       MARIANNE
          This reproach from you! You, who 
          confide in no one.

       ELINOR

          I have nothing to tell.

       MARIANNE
          Nor I. We have neither of us anything 
          to tell. I because I conceal nothing 
          and you because you communicate 
          nothing.

INT. MRS JENNINGS'S HOUSE - BREAKFAST ROOM - DAY

A silent breakfast. MARIANNE is red-eyed from crying and 
limp from lack of sleep. MRS JENNINGS is dressed to go out, 
pulling on her gloves and bustling as usual. PIGEON enters 
with a letter on a salver. He offers it to MARIANNE. She 
seizes it and runs out of the room. MRS JENNINGS chuckles.

       MRS JENNINGS
          There now! Lovers' quarrels are swift 
          to heal! That letter will do the 
          trick, mark my word.

She goes to the door.

       MRS JENNINGS

          I must be off. I hope he won't keep 
          her waiting much longer, Miss 
          Dashwood. It hurts to see her looking 
          so forlorn.

She leaves and ELINOR finds herself alone with LUCY, who 
loses no time in sharing her new-found happiness.

       LUCY
          What a welcome I had from Edward's 
          family, Miss Dashwood--I am surprised 
          you never told me what an agreeable 
          woman your sister-in-law is! And Mr 
          Robert--all so affable!

       ELINOR
          It is perhaps fortunate that none of 
          them knows of your engagement. Excuse 
          me.

ELINOR rises and leaves.

INT. MRS JENNINGS'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - DAY

ELINOR finds MARIANNE sitting on the edge of the bed. She 
does not acknowledge ELINOR but merely lifts the letter and 
reads out, with deadly calm:

       MARIANNE

          'My dear Madam--I am quite at a loss 
          to discover in what point I could be 
          so unfortunate as to offend you. My 
          esteem for your family is very sincere 
          but if I have given rise to a belief 
          of more than I felt or meant to 
          express, I shall reproach myself for 
          not having been more guarded. My 
          affections have long been engaged 
          elsewhere and it is with great regret 
          that I return your letters and the 
          lock of hair which you so obligingly 
          bestowed upon me. I am etc. John 
          Willoughby.'

       ELINOR
          Oh, Marianne.

MARIANNE gives a great howl of pain and flings herself across 
the bed as though in physical agony.

       ELINOR
          Marianne, oh, Marianne--it is better 
          to know at once what his intentions 
          are. Dearest, think of what you would 
          have felt if your engagement had 
          carried on for months and months 
          before he chose to put an end to it.

       MARIANNE
          We are not engaged.

       ELINOR
          But you wrote to him! I thought then 
          that he must have left you with some 
          kind of understanding?


       MARIANNE
          No--he is not so unworthy as you 
          think him.

       ELINOR
          Not so unworthy! Did he tell you 
          that he loved you?

       MARIANNE
          Yes. No--never absolutely. It was 
          every day implied, but never declared. 
          Sometimes I thought it had been, but 
          it never was. He has broken no vow.

       ELINOR
          He has broken faith with all of us, 
          he made us all believe he loved you.

       MARIANNE

          He did! He did--he loved me as I 
          loved him.

MRS JENNINGS bursts through the door in her hat and coat, 
panting.

       MRS JENNINGS
          I had to come straight up--how are 
          you, Miss Marianne?

MARIANNE begins to sob uncontrollably.

       MRS JENNINGS
          Poor thing! She looks very bad. No 
          wonder, Miss Dashwood, for it is but 
          too true. I was told here in the 
          street by Miss Morton, who is a great 
          friend: he is to be married at the 
          end of the month--to a Miss Grey 
          with fifty thousand pounds. Well, 
          said I, if 'tis true, then he is a 
          good-for-nothing who has used my 
          young friend abominably ill, and I 
          wish with all my soul that his wife 
          may plague his heart out!

She goes round the bed to comfort MARIANNE.

       MRS JENNINGS
          But he is not the only young man 
          worth having, my dear, and with your 
          pretty face you will never want for 
          admirers.

MARIANNE sobs even harder.

       MRS JENNINGS
          Ah, me! She had better have her cry 
          out and have done with it. I will go 
          and look out something to tempt her--
          does she care for olives?


       ELINOR
          I cannot tell you.

MRS JENNINGS leaves. MARIANNE seizes the letter again.

       MARIANNE
          I cannot believe his nature capable 
          of such cruelty!

       ELINOR
          Marianne, there is no excuse for him--
          this is his hand--

       MARIANNE
          But it cannot be his heart! Oh, Mamma! 
          I want Mamma! Elinor, please take me 
          home! Cannot we go tomorrow?

       ELINOR

          There is no one to take us.

       MARIANNE
          Cannot we hire a carriage?

       ELINOR
          We have no money--and indeed we owe 
          Mrs Jennings more courtesy.

       MARIANNE
          All she wants is gossip and she only 
          likes me because I supply it! Oh, 
          God! I cannot endure to stay.

       ELINOR
          I will find a way. I promise.


INT. COFFEE-HOUSE - COVENT GARDEN - DAY

FANNY, JOHN and ROBERT are drinking chocolate together.

       ROBERT
          Apparently they never were engaged.

       FANNY
          Miss Grey has fifty thousand pounds. 
          Marianne is virtually penniless.

       JOHN
          She cannot have expected him to go 
          through with it. But I feel for 
          Marianne--she will lose her bloom 
          and end a spinster like Elinor. I 
          think, my dear, we might consider 
          having them to stay with us for a 
          few days--we are, after all, family, 
          and my father.

He trails off. FANNY exchanges an alarmed glance with ROBERT. 
She thinks fast.


       FANNY
          My love, I would ask them with all 
          my heart, but I have already asked 
          Miss Steele for a visit and we cannot 
          deprive Mrs Jennings of all her 
          company at once. We can invite your 
          sisters some other year, you know, 
          and Miss Steele will profit far more 
          from your generosity--poor girl!

       JOHN
          That is very thoughtful, Fanny. We 
          shall ask Elinor and Marianne next 
          year, then... Certainly!

EXT. JOHN AND FANNY'S TOWN HOUSE - LONDON STREET - DAY

MRS JENNINGS's carriage stands outside. A livened FOOTMAN 
opens the door and LUCY steps out brandishing a new muff.

INT. MRS JENNINGS'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - DAY

MARIANNE sits alone on the bed. Around her lie her notes to 
Willoughby, her lock of hair and the pocket sonnets. In her 
hands is the creased and tear-stained letter from Willoughby 
which she is examining over and over.


INT. MRS JENNINGS'S HOUSE - DRAWING ROOM - DAY

ELINOR is seated at a desk writing a letter. There is a sudden 
rap at the front door. Footsteps are heard and as she turns, 
the maid enters with COLONEL BRANDON. ELINOR rises to greet 
him.

       ELINOR
          Thank you for coming, Colonel.

He bows. ELINOR is on edge. BRANDON looks haggard with 
concern.

       COLONEL BRANDON
          How does your sister?

       ELINOR
          I must get her home as quickly as 
          possible. The Palmers can take us as 
          far as Cleveland, which is but a day 
          from Barton--


       COLONEL BRANDON
          Then permit me to accompany you and 
          take you straight on from Cleveland 
          to Barton myself.

ELINOR takes his hands gratefully.

       ELINOR
          I confess that is precisely what I 
          had hoped for. Marianne suffers 
          cruelly, and what pains me most is 
          how hard she tries to justify Mr 
          Willoughby. But you know her 
          disposition.

After a moment BRANDON nods. He seems unable to remain still 
or calm and finds it difficult to begin speaking.

       COLONEL BRANDON
          Perhaps I--my regard for you all--
          Miss Dashwood, will you allow me to 
          prove it by relating some 
          circumstances which nothing but an 
          earnest desire of being useful--

       ELINOR
          You have something to tell me of Mr 
          Willoughby.

       COLONEL BRANDON

(nods)
          When I quitted Barton last--but I 
          must go further back. A short account 
          of myself will be necessary. No 
          doubt... no doubt Mrs Jennings has 
          apprised you of certain events in my 
          past--the sad outcome of my connection 
          with a young woman named Eliza.

ELINOR nods.

       COLONEL BRANDON
          What is not commonly known is that 
          twenty years ago, Eliza bore an 
          illegitimate child. The father, 
          whoever he was, abandoned them.

This is strong stuff. ELINOR's concern deepens.

       COLONEL BRANDON
          As she lay dying, she begged me to 
          look after the child. Eliza died in 
          my arms, broken, wasted away--ah! 
          Miss Dashwood, such a subject--
          untouched for so many years--it is 
          dangerous...

He paces about, barely able to conceal his distress.

       COLONEL BRANDON
          I had failed Eliza in every other 
          way--I could not refuse her now. I 
          took the child--Beth is her name--
          and placed her with a family where I 
          could be sure she would be well looked 
          after. I saw her whenever I could. I 
          saw that she was headstrong like her 
          mother--and, God forgive me, I 
          indulged her, I allowed her too much 
          freedom. Almost a year ago, she 
          disappeared.

       ELINOR
          Disappeared!


       COLONEL BRANDON
          I instigated a search but for eight 
          months I was left to imagine the 
          worst. At last, on the day of the 
          Delaford picnic, I received the first 
          news her. She was with child... and 
          the blackguard who had--

BRANDON stops and looks straight at ELINOR.

       ELINOR
          Good God. Do you mean--Willoughby?

BRANDON nods. ELINOR drops into a chair, utterly shocked.

       COLONEL BRANDON
          Before I could return to confront 
          him, Lady Allen learned of his 
          behaviour and turned him from the 
          house. He beat a hasty retreat to 
          London--

       ELINOR
          Yes! He left us that morning, without 
          any explanation!

       COLONEL BRANDON

          Lady Allen had annulled his legacy. 
          He was left with next to nothing, 
          and in danger of losing all that 
          remained to his debtors--

       ELINOR
          --and so abandoned Marianne for Miss 
          Grey and her fifty thousand pounds.

BRANDON is silent. ELINOR is breathless.

       ELINOR
          Have you seen Mr Willoughby since 
          you learned...?

       BRANDON
(nodding)
          We met by appointment, he to defend, 
          I to punish his conduct.

ELINOR stares at him, aghast.

       BRANDON
          We returned unwounded, so the meeting 
          never got abroad.

ELINOR nods and is silent for a moment.


       ELINOR
          Is Beth still in town?

       COLONEL BRANDON
          She has chosen to go into the country 
          for her confinement. Such has been 
          the unhappy resemblance between the 
          fate of mother and daughter, and so 
          imperfectly have I discharged my 
          trust.

A pause.

       COLONEL BRANDON
          I would not have burdened you, Miss 
          Dashwood, had I not from my heart 
          believed it might, in time, lessen 
          your sister's regrets.

BRANDON moves to the door and then stops. He turns to her 
and speaks with effort.

       COLONEL BRANDON
          I have described Mr Willoughby as 
          the worst of libertines--but I have 
          since learned from Lady Allen that 
          he did mean to propose that day. 
          Therefore I cannot deny that his 
          intentions towards Marianne were 
          honourable, and I feel certain he 
          would have married her, had it not 
          been for--for the money.

She looks up at BRANDON. Silence.

INT. MRS JENNINGS'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT


MARIANNE is sitting on the bed staring into space. ELINOR is 
kneeling by her, holding her hands.

       ELINOR
          Dearest, was I right to tell you?

       MARIANNE
          Of course.

       ELINOR
          Whatever his past actions, whatever 
          his present course, at least you may 
          be certain that he loved you.

       MARIANNE

          But not enough. Not enough.

INT. MRS JENNINGS'S HOUSE - STUDY - DAY

ELINOR sits alone with her head in her hands. Suddenly MRS 
JENNINGS hustles in looking pleased.

       MRS JENNINGS
          Here is someone to cheer you up, 
          Miss Dashwood!

She is followed in by LUCY. MRS JENNINGS leaves, busy as 
ever. LUCY plants an expression of ghastly concern on her 
face.

       LUCY
          How is your dear sister, Miss 
          Dashwood? Poor thing! I must say, I 
          do not know what I should do if a 
          man treated me with so little respect.

       ELINOR

          I hope you are enjoying your stay 
          with John and Fanny, Miss Steele?

       LUCY
          I was never so happy in my entire 
          life, Miss Dashwood! I do believe 
          your sister-in-law has taken quite a 
          fancy to me. I had to come and tell 
          you--for you cannot imagine what has 
          happened!

       ELINOR
          No, I cannot.

       LUCY
          Yesterday I was introduced to Edward's 
          mother!

       ELINOR
          Indeed?


       LUCY
          And she was a vast deal more than 
          civil. I have not yet seen Edward 
          but now I feel sure to very soon--

The MAID comes back.

       MAID
          There's a Mr Edward Ferrars to see 
          you, Miss Dashwood.

There is a tiny frozen silence.

       ELINOR
          Do ask him to come up.

ELINOR quite involuntarily sits down and then stands up again. 
EDWARD is admitted, looking both anxious and eager. As LUCY 
is sitting in the window seat, at first he sees only ELINOR.

       EDWARD
          Miss Dashwood, how can I--

But ELINOR cuts him off.

       ELINOR

          Mr Ferrars, what a pleasure to see 
          you. You... know Miss Steele, of 
          course.

EDWARD turns slowly and encounters LUCY's glassy smile. He 
all but blanches. Then bows, and clears his throat.

       EDWARD
          How do you do, Miss Steele.

       LUCY
          I am well, thank you, Mr Ferrars.

EDWARD has no notion of what to do or say. He swallows.

       ELINOR
          Do sit down, Mr Ferrars.

LUCY's eyes are sharp as broken glass. EDWARD remains on his 
feet, looking helplessly from one woman to the other.

       LUCY
          You must be surprised to find me 
          here, Mr Ferrars! I expect you thought 
          I was at your sister's house.

This is precisely what EDWARD had thought. He tries to smile 
but his facial muscles won't work. ELINOR decides to fetch 
help.


       ELINOR
          Let me call Marianne, Mr Ferrars. 
          She would be most disappointed to 
          miss you.

ELINOR goes to the door, thankful to escape, but MARIANNE 
prevents her by walking in at that moment. Despite her 
anguish, she is very pleased to see EDWARD and embraces him 
warmly.

       MARIANNE
          Edward! I heard your voice! At last 
          you have found us!

EDWARD is shocked by her appearance and momentarily forgets 
his own confusion.

       EDWARD
          Forgive me, Marianne, my visit is 
          shamefully overdue. You are pale. I 
          hope you have not been unwell?

       MARIANNE
          Oh, don't think of me--Elinor is 
          well, you see, that must be enough 
          for both of us!

MARIANNE gestures to ELINOR encouragingly but EDWARD seems 
unable to look at her.

       EDWARD

          How do you like London, Marianne?

       MARIANNE
          Not at all. The sight of you is all 
          the pleasure it has afforded, is 
          that not so, Elinor?

Again, MARIANNE endeavours to ignite the lovers. ELINOR tries 
to silence MARIANNE with her eyes but to no avail. MARIANNE 
puts their coolness down to the presence of LUCY, at whom 
she glances with a none too friendly air.

       MARIANNE
          Why have you taken so long to come 
          and see us?

       EDWARD
          I have been much engaged elsewhere.

       MARIANNE
          Engaged elsewhere! But what was that 
          when there were such friends to be 
          met?


       LUCY
          Perhaps, Miss Marianne, you think 
          young men never honour their 
          engagements, little or great.

ELINOR is appalled by this remark but MARIANNE does not notice 
it and turns back to LUCY earnestly.

       MARIANNE
          No, indeed--for Edward is the most 
          fearful of giving pain and the most 
          incapable of being selfish of anyone 
          I ever saw.

EDWARD makes an uncomfortable noise.

       MARIANNE
          Edward, will you not sit? Elinor, 
          help me to persuade him.

Now EDWARD can stand it no longer.

       EDWARD
          Forgive me but I must take my leave--

       MARIANNE

          But you are only just arrived!

ELINOR rises, desperate for them both to go.

       EDWARD
          You must excuse me, I have a 
          commission to attend to for Fanny--

LUCY jumps in like a shot.

       LUCY
          In that case perhaps you might escort 
          me back to your sister's house, Mr 
          Ferrars?

There is an extremely awkward pause.

       EDWARD
          I would be honoured. Goodbye, Miss 
          Dashwood, Miss Marianne.

He shakes hands with ELINOR and with MARIANNE, who is silent 
with dismay. LUCY takes EDWARD's arm and looks up at him 
proprietorially.

After a stiff bow and a muttered farewell from EDWARD, they 
leave. MARIANNE looks at her sister in astonishment.

       MARIANNE
          Why did you not urge him to stay?


       ELINOR
          He must have had his reasons for 
          going.

       MARIANNE
          His reason was no doubt your coldness. 
          If I were Edward I would assume you 
          did not care for me at all.

EXT. JOHN AND FANNY'S TOWN HOUSE - BACK GARDEN - DAY

A tranquil afternoon...

INT. JOHN AND FANNY'S TOWN HOUSE - DRAWING ROOM - DAY

LUCY is sitting with FANNY, who is doing some pointless 
basketwork. LUCY hands FANNY rushes.


       LUCY
          Poor Miss Marianne looked very badly 
          t'other day. When I think of her, 
          deserted and abandoned, it frightens 
          me to think I shall never marry.

       FANNY
          Nonsense. You will marry far better 
          than either of the Dashwood girls.

       LUCY
          How can that possibly be?

       FANNY
          You have ten times their sense and 
          looks.

       LUCY

          But I have no dowry.

       FANNY
          There are qualities which will always 
          make up for that, and you have them 
          in abundance. It would not surprise 
          me if you were to marry far and away 
          beyond your expectations.

       LUCY
          I wish it might be so. There is a 
          young man--

       FANNY
          Ah ha! I am glad to hear of it. Is 
          he of good breeding and fortune?

       LUCY
          Oh both--but his family would 
          certainly oppose the match.


       FANNY
          Tush! They will allow it as soon as 
          they see you, my dear.

       LUCY
          It is a very great secret. I have 
          told no one in the world for fear of 
          discovery.

FANNY looks up, curious to know more.

       FANNY
          My dear, I am the soul of discretion.

       LUCY
          If I dared tell...

       FANNY

          I can assure you I am as silent as 
          the grave.

LUCY leans forward to whisper in FANNY's ear.

EXT. JOHN AND FANNY'S TOWN HOUSE - DAY

We hold a long shot of the house for a moment of silence. 
Then from inside comes an almost inhumanly loud shriek.

       FANNY (V.O.)
          Viper in my bosom!

EXT. JOHN AND FANNY'S TOWN HOUSE - BACK GARDEN - DAY

FANNY is trying to drag LUCY out of the house. ROBERT and 
JOHN are trying to reason with her. FANNY loses her grip and 
falls backwards. LUCY flings herself into ROBERT's arms. 
ROBERT falls over.

EXT. LONDON STREET - DAY


MRS JENNINGS is running as fast as her fat little legs will 
carry her.

EXT. MRS JENNINGS'S HOUSE - BERKELEY STREET - DAY

MRS JENNINGS pants up the front steps.

INT. MRS JENNINGS'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - DAY

ELINOR and MARIANNE are packing. Their mood is gloomy and 
uncommunicative. MRS JENNINGS explodes into the room fighting 
for breath.

       MRS JENNINGS
          Oh, my dears! What a commotion! Mr 
          Edward Ferrars--the very one I used 
          to joke you about, Miss Dashwood--
          has been engaged these five years to 
          Lucy Steele!

MARIANNE lets out a gasp. She looks at ELINOR, who nods at 
her in swift confirmation.


       MRS JENNINGS
          Poor Mr Ferrars! His mother, who by 
          all accounts is very proud, demanded 
          that he break the engagement on pain 
          of disinheritance. But he has refused 
          to break his promise to Lucy. He has 
          stood by her, good man, and is cut 
          off without a penny! She has settled 
          it all irrevocably upon Mr Robert. 
          But I cannot stop, I must go to Lucy. 
          Your sister-in-law scolded her like 
          any fury--drove her to hysterics.

She leaves the room, still rabbiting on. There is a silence.

       MARIANNE
          How long have you known?

       ELINOR
          Since the evening Mrs Jennings offered 
          to take us to London.

       MARIANNE
          Why did you not tell me?

       ELINOR

          Lucy told me in the strictest 
          confidence.

MARIANNE looks at her in complete incredulity.

       ELINOR
          I could not break my word.

Clearly, there is no arguing this point.

       MARIANNE
          But Edward loves you.

       ELINOR
          He made me no promises. He tried to 
          tell me about Lucy.

       MARIANNE
          He cannot marry her.


       ELINOR
          Would you have him treat her even 
          worse than Willoughby has treated 
          you?

       MARIANNE
          No--but nor would I have him marry 
          where he does not love.

ELINOR tries hard to be controlled.

       ELINOR
          Edward made his promise a long time 
          ago, long before he met me. Though 
          he may... harbour some regret, I 
          believe he will be happy--in the 
          knowledge that he did his duty and 
          kept his word. After all--after all 
          that is bewitching in the idea of 
          one's happiness depending entirely 
          on one person, it is not always 
          possible. We must accept. Edward 
          will marry Lucy--and you and I will 
          go home.

       MARIANNE
          Always resignation and acceptance! 
          Always prudence and honour and duty! 
          Elinor, where is your heart?

ELINOR finally explodes. She turns upon MARIANNE almost 
savagely.

       ELINOR

          What do you know of my heart? What 
          do you know of anything but your own 
          suffering? For weeks, Marianne, I 
          have had this pressing on me without 
          being at liberty to speak of it to a 
          single creature. It was forced upon 
          me by the very person whose prior 
          claims ruined all my hopes. I have 
          had to endure her exultation again 
          and again while knowing myself to be 
          divided from Edward forever. Believe 
          me, Marianne, had I not been bound 
          to silence I could have produced 
          proof enough of a broken heart even 
          for you.

Complete silence. Then MARIANNE speaks in a whisper.

       MARIANNE
          Oh, Elinor!

MARIANNE bursts into sobs and flings her arms around ELINOR, 
who, almost impatiently, tries to comfort her.

EXT. PALMER RESIDENCE - LONDON STREET - DAY

LUCY and MRS JENNINGS are on the doorstep. LUCY looks rather 
lost and pathetic, with her little bundles, hastily packed. 
The door opens and CHARLOTTE precedes the SERVANT, ushering 
them in with shrill cries of sympathy.

       COLONEL BRANDON (V.O.)
          I have heard that your friend Mr 
          Ferrars has been entirely cast off 
          by his family for persevering in his 
          engagement to Miss Steele.

EXT. SQUARE IN FRONT OF MRS JENNINGS'S HOUSE - LONDON - DAY


ELINOR and BRANDON walk round the quiet square.

       COLONEL BRANDON
          Have I been rightly informed? Is it 
          so?

ELINOR is greatly taken aback by this unexpected query.

       ELINOR
          It is indeed so. Are you acquainted 
          with Mr Ferrars?

       COLONEL BRANDON
          No, we have never met. But I know 
          only too well the cruelty--the 
          impolitic cruelty of dividing two 
          young people long attached to one 
          another. Mrs Ferrars does not know 
          what she may drive her son to--

He pauses, frowning in remembrance. ELINOR waits in suspense.

       COLONEL BRANDON

          I have a proposal to make that should 
          enable him to marry Miss Steele 
          immediately. Since the gentleman is 
          so close a friend to your family, 
          perhaps you will be good enough to 
          mention it to him?

ELINOR is completely taken aback. She takes a moment to reply.

       ELINOR
          Colonel, I am sure he would be only 
          too delighted to hear it from your 
          own lips.

       COLONEL BRANDON
          I think not. His behaviour has proved 
          him proud--in the best sense. I feel 
          certain this is the right course.

INT. MRS JENNINGS'S HOUSE - STUDY - DAY

ELINOR is waiting. The MAID announces EDWARD and he walks in 
momentarily. They are alone for the first time in months and 
for a moment, neither speaks.

       ELINOR

          Mr Ferrars.

       EDWARD
          Miss Dashwood.

ELINOR indicates a seat for him but neither sits.

       ELINOR
          Thank you for responding so promptly 
          to my message.

       EDWARD
          I was most grateful to receive it. I--
          Miss Dashwood, God knows what you 
          must think of me...

       ELINOR
          Mr Ferrars--

He interrupts her, desperate to explain.


       EDWARD
          I have no right to speak, I know--

ELINOR has to stop him.

       ELINOR
          Mr Ferrars, I have good news. I think 
          you know of our friend Colonel 
          Brandon?

EDWARD looks completely bewildered.

       EDWARD
          Yes, I have heard his name.

ELINOR starts to speak rather faster than usual.

       ELINOR
          Colonel Brandon desires me to say 
          that, understanding you wish to join 
          the clergy, he has great pleasure in 
          offering you the parish on his estate 
          at Delaford, now just vacant, in the 
          hope that it may enable you--and 
          Miss Steele--to marry.

EDWARD cannot at first take it in. ELINOR sits down.

       EDWARD

          Colonel Brandon?

       ELINOR
          Yes. He means it as testimony of his 
          concern for--for the cruel situation 
          in which you find yourselves.

Now EDWARD sits--in shock.

       EDWARD
          Colonel Brandon give me a parish? 
          Can it be possible?

       ELINOR
          The unkindness of your family has 
          made you astonished to find friendship 
          elsewhere.

EDWARD looks at ELINOR, his eyes full of growing 
comprehension.

       EDWARD
          No. Not to find it in you. I cannot 
          be ignorant that to you--to your 
          goodness--I owe it all. I feel it. I 
          would express it if I could, but, as 
          you know, I am no orator.


       ELINOR
          You are very much mistaken. I assure 
          you that you owe it almost entirely 
          to your own merit--I have had no 
          hand in it.

But EDWARD clearly believes she has been instrumental in the 
offer. He frowns slightly before speaking with rather an 
effort.

       EDWARD
          Colonel Brandon must be a man of 
          great worth and respect ability.

ELINOR finds some relief in saying at least one thing that 
she truly means.

       ELINOR
          He is the kindest and best of men.

This makes EDWARD seem even more depressed. He sits silent 
for a moment but then rouses himself to action.

       EDWARD
          May I enquire why the Colonel did 
          not tell me himself?

       ELINOR

          I think he felt it would be better 
          coming from... a friend.

EDWARD looks at ELINOR, his eyes full of sadness.

       EDWARD
          Your friendship has been the most 
          important of my life.

       ELINOR
          You will always have it.

       EDWARD
          Forgive me.

       ELINOR
          Mr Ferrars, you honour your promises--
          that is more important than anything 
          else. I wish you--both--very happy.

They rise. She curtsies. He bows.


       EDWARD
          Goodbye, Miss Dashwood.

EDWARD leaves silently. ELINOR stands stock-still in the 
middle of the room.

EXT. MRS JENNINGS'S HOUSE - DAY

The PALMERS' carriage stands outside the house. COLONEL 
BRANDON helps MARIANNE in beside ELINOR before mounting his 
horse to ride alongside. MRS JENNINGS waves goodbye from the 
steps. The carriage moves off. MRS JENNINGS blows her nose, 
looks up and down the street in search of gossip and goes 
back indoors with a sigh.

INT. THE PALMERS' CARRIAGE - ON THE ROAD - DAY

MARIANNE is sitting back in her seat with her eyes closed. 
She does not look well. MR PALMER is behind his newspaper.

       CHARLOTTE
          What a stroke of luck for Lucy and 
          Edward to find a parish so close to 
          Barton! You will all be able to meet 
          very often. That will cheer you up, 
          Miss Marianne. I do declare I have 
          never disliked a person so much as I 
          do Mr Willoughby, for your sake. 
          Insufferable man! To think we can 
          see his insufferable house from the 
          top of our hill!

CLOSE on MARIANNE's eyes slowly opening.


       CHARLOTTE
          I shall ask Jackson to plant some 
          very tall trees.

       MR PALMER
(from behind the paper)
          You will do nothing of the sort.

EXT. THE PALMERS' CARRIAGE - OPEN ROAD - DAY

The carriage bowls along, with BRANDON riding next to it.

       CHARLOTTE (V.O.)
          I hear Miss Grey's bridal gown was 
          everything of the finest--made in 
          Paris, no less. I should have liked 
          to see it, although I dare say it 
          was a sorry affair, scalloped with 
          ruffles--but what do the French know 
          about fashion?


EXT. CLEVELAND - DRIVE - AFTERNOON

The carriage stands outside the PALMER residence, a 
resplendent affair with a great deal of land. BRANDON is 
helping MARIANNE and ELINOR out of the carriage.

       CHARLOTTE (V.O.)
          I am resolved never to mention Mr 
          Willoughby's name again, and 
          furthermore I shall tell everyone I 
          meet what a good-for nothing he is.

       MR PALMER (V.O.)
          Be quiet.

ELINOR and MARIANNE stand on the steps as the PALMERS debauch 
from the carriage amid a welter of SERVANTS.

       ELINOR
(sotto voce)
          I do not think she drew breath from 
          the moment we left London. It is my 
          fault--I should have found some other 
          way of getting home.


       MARIANNE
          There was no other way you said so 
          yourself.

       ELINOR
          We shall be home soon enough. Mamma 
          will comfort you, dearest.

       MARIANNE
          I am stiff from sitting so long. 
          Will you tell Charlotte that I am 
          going for a stroll? ELINOR glances 
          at the sky in concern.

       ELINOR
          I think it is going to rain.

       MARIANNE

          No, no, it will not rain.

ELINOR cannot help but smile at this return of the old 
MARIANNE.

       ELINOR
          You always say that and then it always 
          does.

       MARIANNE
          I will keep to the garden, near the 
          house.

MARIANNE walks off. ELINOR watches her go anxiously.

INT. CLEVELAND - DRAWING ROOM - DAY

MRS BUNTING, a rather baleful NANNY, looks on as MR PALMER 
holds up a screaming BABY in a frilly bonnet for everyone's 
inspection.


       CHARLOTTE
          We are very proud of our little 
          Thomas, Colonel--and his papa has 
          such a way with him...

BRANDON flicks a glance at MR PALMER for whom holding a baby 
comes as naturally as breathing underwater.

EXT. CLEVELAND - GARDEN - DAY

MARIANNE walks purposefully towards the garden wall, beyond 
which lies a hill.

INT. CLEVELAND - DRAWING ROOM - DAY

ELINOR enters to find CHARLOTTE alone with the now hysterical 
BABY THOMAS.


       CHARLOTTE
          There you are, Miss Dashwood! Mr 
          Palmer and the Colonel have locked 
          themselves up in the billiard room. 
          Come and meet little Thomas. Where 
          is Miss Marianne?

       ELINOR
          She is taking a little air in the 
          garden.

       CHARLOTTE
          Oh, very good. That is the great 
          advantage of the countryside--all 
          the fresh air and... and all the 
          fresh air...

CHARLOTTE's conversational difficulties are drowned out by 
her offspring.

EXT. CLEVELAND - GARDEN - DAY

MARIANNE comes to a gate in the wall and turns the handle. 
It opens. She throws a glance back to the house and passes 
through. There is a low rumble of thunder.


INT. CLEVELAND - DRAWING ROOM - DAY

BABY THOMAS is purple in the face but shows no signs of 
quietening.

CHARLOTTE joggles him about inefficiently.

       CHARLOTTE
(yelling)
          He is the best child in the world--
          he never cries unless he wants to 
          and then, Lord, there is no stopping 
          him.

EXT. THE HILL - DAY

MARIANNE, calm and determined, walks towards the top of the 
hill. The wind whips and plucks at her hair and skirts.

INT. CLEVELAND - DRAWING ROOM - DAY


ELINOR, traumatised by her new acquaintance with the shrieking 
BABY THOMAS, goes to look out of the window. She frowns.

EXT. CLEVELAND - GARDEN - DAY

ELINOR's POV. MARIANNE is nowhere in sight. Storm clouds 
have gathered on the bill.

INT. CLEVELAND - DRAWING ROOM - DAY

ELINOR turns from the window. BABY THOMAS stops crying for 
two seconds.

       ELINOR
          I cannot see Marianne.

There is a crack of thunder. BABY THOMAS starts again.

EXT. THE HILL - DAY


Rain has started to pour down. MARIANNE walks on regardless.

INT. CLEVELAND - DRAWING ROOM - DAY

CHARLOTTE shouts over BABY THOMAS to ELINOR.

       CHARLOTTE
          She has probably taken shelter in 
          one of the greenhouses!

EXT. THE HILL - DAY

MARIANNE has reached the top. Soaked to the skin, she stands 
with the storm raging around her, staring at the spires of 
Combe Magna, the place that would have been her home. Rain 
streaks her face and the wind whips her hair about her. 
Through frozen lips she whispers:


       MARIANNE
          Love is not love Which alters when 
          it alteration finds Or bends with 
          the remover to remove: 0, no! it is 
          an ever-fixed mark That looks on 
          tempests and is never shaken...

EXT. CLEVELAND - GREENHOUSES - DAY

BRANDON is looking for MARIANNE. He enters a greenhouse.

       COLONEL BRANDON
          Marianne!

EXT. THE HILL - DAY

MARIANNE stares at Combe Magna, a strange smile playing about 
her lips. Then she calls to WILLOUGHBY as though he were 
near. The effect is eerie, unworldly.


       MARIANNE
          Willoughby... Willoughby...

INT. CLEVELAND - DRAWING ROOM - DAY

CHARLOTTE, MR PALMER and ELINOR are waiting anxiously. BABY 
THOMAS has been removed. ELINOR is staring out of the window.

       CHARLOTTE
          One thing is certain--she will be 
          wet through when she returns.

       MR PALMER
          Thank you for pointing that out, my 
          dear. Do not worry, Miss Dashwood--
          Brandon will find her. I think we 
          can all guess where she went.


EXT. THE HILL - DAY

BRANDON runs up the hillside as though the devil were at his 
heels.

INT. CLEVELAND - DRAWING ROOM - DAY

CHARLOTTE is handing ELINOR a cup of tea. ELINOR turns back 
to look out of the window. She freezes.

EXT. CLEVELAND - GARDEN - DAY

ELINOR's POV of BRANDON walking up to the house with MARIANNE 
cradled in his arms. It is like seeing Willoughby's ghost.

INT. CLEVELAND - HALL - DAY


Everyone rushes out of the drawing room as the COLONEL enters 
with MARIANNE. He is exhausted and soaked. MARIANNE is dumb 
with cold and fatigue.

       COLONEL BRANDON
          She is not hurt--but we must get her 
          warm!

ELINOR and MR PALMER take MARIANNE from BRANDON and go 
upstairs, with CHARLOTTE in pursuit.

EXT. CLEVELAND - NIGHT - RAIN

The great house sits in darkness. A sense of foreboding.

INT. CLEVELAND - UPSTAIRS CORRIDOR - NIGHT

ELINOR is in her nightgown, knocking at a door. MR PALMER 
answers in his nightshirt, astonished to have been summoned 
out of bed.


       ELINOR
          I think Marianne may need a doctor.

INT. CLEVELAND - BREAKFAST ROOM - DAY

MR PALMER and CHARLOTTE are sitting at the breakfast table. 
BRANDON is pacing. The rain has stopped.

       CHARLOTTE
          You'll wear yourself out, Colonel! 
          Do not worry! A day or two in bed 
          will soon set her to rights!

       MR PALMER
          You can rely upon Harris, Colonel. I 
          have never found a better physician.

Enter ELINOR with DR HARRIS.


       COLONEL BRANDON
(urgent)
          What is your diagnosis?

       DR HARRIS
          It is an infectious fever that has 
          taken far more serious hold than I 
          would have expected in one so young. 
          I would recommend the hasty removal 
          of your child, Mr Palmer--

CHARLOTTE runs out of the room screaming.

       CHARLOTTE
          Mrs Bunting! Mrs Bunting!

EXT. CLEVELAND - FRONT STEPS - DAY

CHARLOTTE is getting into their carriage with MRS BUNTING 
and BABY THOMAS. MR PALMER is on the steps with ELINOR. He 
takes her hand and looks at her with real sympathy.


       MR PALMER
          My dear Miss Dashwood, I am more 
          sorry than I can say. If you would 
          prefer me to stay I am at your 
          service.

ELINOR is touched to find this warm heart beneath his frosty 
exterior.

       ELINOR
          Mr Palmer, that is very kind. But 
          Colonel Brandon and Dr Harris will 
          look after us. Thank you for 
          everything you have done.

MR PALMER nods, presses her hand, and walks down the steps 
to the carriage.

INT. CLEVELAND - DRAWING ROOM - DAY

BRANDON sits head in hands. His ghosts have come to haunt 
him.

INT. CLEVELAND - ELINOR AND MARIANNE'S BEDROOM - DAY

MARIANNE is tossing and turning in the bed. DR HARRIS is 
trying to take her pulse. He looks up at ELINOR, who is 
watching anxiously.


       DR HARRIS
          She is not doing as well as I would 
          like.

INT. CLEVELAND - UPSTAIRS CORRIDOR - DAY

ELINOR exits the bedroom to find BRANDON outside. She jumps.

       COLONEL BRANDON
          What can I do?

       ELINOR
          Colonel, you have done so much 
          already.


       COLONEL BRANDON
          Give me an occupation, Miss Dashwood, 
          or I shall run mad. He is dangerously 
          quiet.

       ELINOR
          She would be easier if her mother 
          were here.

       COLONEL BRANDON
          Of course. Barton is but eight hours 
          away. If I make no stop, you may see 
          us early tomorrow morning.

He takes ELINOR's hand and kisses it.

       COLONEL BRANDON
          In your hands I know she will be 
          safe.

EXT. CLEVELAND - DRIVE - EVE


BRANDON mounts his horse, turns to look at the house for a 
moment, and then spurs it violently forward.

INT. CLEVELAND - ELINOR AND MARIANNE'S BEDROOM - EVE

ELINOR is by the window, having watched BRANDON's departure. 
DR HARRIS is by MARIANNE's side. He turns to ELINOR.

       DR HARRIS
          Double the number of drops and I 
          will return as soon as I can.

EXT. CLEVELAND - NIGHT

The house stands in virtual darkness with only a dim light 
issuing from one of the upper rooms.


EXT. OPEN ROAD - NIGHT

BRANDON riding fast, his cape billowing out behind him.

INT. CLEVELAND - ELINOR AND MARIANNE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

MARIANNE's eyes glitter with the fever. ELINOR wipes her 
brow. Suddenly she speaks.

       MARIANNE
          Who is that?

She is looking at the end of the bed.

       MARIANNE
          Look, look, Elinor.


       ELINOR
          There is no one there, dearest.

       MARIANNE
          It is Papa. Papa has come.

ELINOR looks fearfully towards the end of the bed. MARIANNE 
tries to smile with her cracked lips.

       MARIANNE
          Dearest Papa!

The dead are coming for the dying.

      DISSOLVE:

INT. CLEVELAND - ELINOR AND MARIANNE'S BEDROOM - LATER


ELINOR, her eyes red from watching, wipes MARIANNE's temples. 
DR HARRIS takes her pulse and looks at ELINOR anxiously. His 
silence is worse than any utterance.

      DISSOLVE:

INT. CLEVELAND - ELINOR AND MARIANNE'S BEDROOM - LATER

The room is very still. MARIANNE is pale as wax. DR HARRIS 
puts on his coat. ELINOR looks at him fearfully.

       DR HARRIS
          I must fetch more laudanum. I cannot 
          pretend, Miss Dashwood, that your 
          sister's condition is not very 
          serious. You must prepare yourself. 
          I will return very shortly.

He leaves the room.

      DISSOLVE:


INT. CLEVELAND - ELINOR AND MARIANNE'S BEDROOM - LATER

MARIANNE lies in the grip of her fever. ELINOR sits watching 
her. Slowly she rises and walks to the bed. When she speaks, 
her tone is very practical.

       ELINOR
          Marianne, Marianne, please try--

Suddenly, almost unconsciously, she starts to heave with dry 
sobs, wrenched out of her, full of anguish and heartbreak 
and all the more painful for being tearless.

       ELINOR
          Marianne, please try--I cannot--I 
          cannot do without you. Oh, please, I 
          have tried to bear everything else--
          I will try--but please, dearest, 
          beloved Marianne, do not leave me 
          alone.

She falls to her knees by the bed, gulping for breath, taking 
MARIANNE's hand and kissing it again and again.

      DISSOLVE:


EXT. CLEVELAND - GARDENS - DAWN

A shimmer of light appears on the rim of the horizon. 
Somewhere a lark breaks into clear untroubled song.

INT. CLEVELAND - ELINOR AND MARIANNE'S BEDROOM - MORNING

DR HARRIS sits slumped in a chair. MARIANNE lies motionless. 
ELINOR rises with difficulty from the bedside and goes to 
the window. She is white as paper. The lark sings. Then, 
from behind, comes the faintest of whispers.

       MARIANNE (V.O.)
          Elinor?

ELINOR turns with a cry. DR HARRIS springs from his seat and 
examines MARIANNE. He then turns to ELINOR with a smile of 
relief and nods. At that moment the sound of carriage wheels 
is heard on the gravel.

       ELINOR
          My mother!


EXT. CLEVELAND - FRONT STEPS - MORNING

BRANDON helps MRS DASHWOOD, who is weak with exhaustion and 
distress, out of the carriage.

INT. CLEVELAND - STAIRCASE - MORNING

ELINOR hurls herself down the stairs. She reaches the door 
just as BRANDON and MRS DASHWOOD enter and practically swoons 
into her mother's arms.

       ELINOR
          Mamma! She is out of danger!

INT. CLEVELAND - ELINOR AND MARIANNE'S BEDROOM - MORNING


CLOSE on MARIANNE's face as MRS DASHWOOD kisses her.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          There, there, my love, my Marianne.

MARIANNE opens her eyes and smiles at her mother. MRS DASHWOOD 
takes her gently into her arms. MARIANNE suddenly looks 
anxious. She is too weak to move her head. She whispers with 
urgent effort.

       MARIANNE
          Where is Elinor?

       ELINOR
          I am here, dearest, I am here.

MARIANNE looks at her with deep relief. Behind the DASHWOODS, 
BRANDON stands at the door, unwilling to intrude on this 
intimacy. He wipes his eyes and turns away. MARIANNE sees 
and whispers to him.

       MARIANNE
          Colonel Brandon.

BRANDON turns back, his eyes full of tears. MARIANNE looks 
at him for a moment. Then, very quietly:


       MARIANNE
          Thank you.

EXT. BARTON COTTAGE - GARDEN AND SURROUNDINGS - DAY

The cottage nestles in the first buds of spring. A piece of 
rope hangs down from the branches of a tree in the garden. 
It starts to wave about wildly and we see MARGARET emerging 
and climbing down. She has built herself a new tree-house.

       COLONEL BRANDON (V.O.)
          What though the sea with waves 
          continuall Doe eate the earth, it is 
          no more at all.

INT. BARTON COTTAGE - PARLOUR - DAY

MARIANNE is on the sofa by the window. She is pale, 
convalescent and calm. Different somehow. She listens intently 
as BRANDON reads her the poem.


       COLONEL BRANDON
          Nor is the earth the lesse, or loseth 
          aught. For whatsoever from one place 
          doth fall, Is with the tide unto 
          another brought...

We move back to find MRS DASHWOOD and ELINOR at the other 
end of the room, sewing peacefully.

       MRS. DASHWOOD
          He certainly is nor so dashing as 
          Willoughby but he has a far more 
          pleasing countenance. There was always 
          a something, if you remember, in 
          Willoughby's eyes at times which I 
          did not like.

ELINOR listens patiently as her mother rewrites history. We 
cut back to BRANDON as he finishes reading.

       COLONEL BRANDON
          'For there is nothing lost, but may 
          be found, if sought...

He looks up at MARIANNE. A soul-breathing glance. She smiles 
as he closes the book.

       MARIANNE
          Shall we continue tomorrow?

       COLONEL BRANDON

          No--for I must away.

       MARIANNE
          Away? Where?

       COLONEL BRANDON
(teasing)
          That I cannot tell you. It is a 
          secret.

He rises to leave.

       MARIANNE
(impulsive)
          But you will not stay away long?

CLOSE on BRANDON's reaction.

EXT. FIELDS NEAR BARTON COTTAGE - DAY


ELINOR and MARIANNE are out on a walk. They go very slowly, 
MARIANNE leaning on ELINOR's arm. Their mood is loving, 
companion able.

EXT. DOWNS NEAR BARTON COTTAGE - DAY

ELINOR and MARIANNE walk on. Suddenly, MARIANNE stops.

       MARIANNE
          There.

She indicates a spot on the ground but ELINOR can see nothing 
and is momentarily alarmed. MARIANNE gazes at the ground and 
breathes in deeply.

       MARIANNE
          There I fell, and there I first saw 
          Willoughby.

       ELINOR

          Poor Willoughby. He will always regret 
          you.

       MARIANNE
          But does it follow that, had he chosen 
          me, he would have been content?

ELINOR looks at MARIANNE, surprised.

       MARIANNE
          He would have had a wife he loved 
          but no money--and might soon have 
          learned to rank the demands of his 
          pocket-book far above the demands of 
          his heart.

ELINOR regards MARIANNE admiringly. MARIANNE smiles sadly.

       MARIANNE
          If his present regrets are half as 
          painful as mine, he will suffer 
          enough.

       ELINOR
          Do you compare your conduct with 
          his?


       MARIANNE
          No. I compare it with what it ought 
          to have been. I compare it with yours.

       ELINOR
          Our situations were very different.

       MARIANNE
          My illness has made me consider the 
          past. I saw in my own behaviour 
          nothing but imprudence--and worse. I 
          was insolent and unjust to everyone--

ELINOR tries to stem the flow but MARIANNE continues.

       MARIANNE
          --but you--you I wronged above all. 
          Only I knew your heart and its sorrows 
          but even then I was never a grain 
          more compassionate. I brought my 
          illness upon myself--I wanted to 
          destroy myself. And had I succeeded, 
          what misery should I have caused 
          you?

ELINOR embraces her. They stand with their arms round one 
another in silence for a moment. Then MARIANNE breaks away 
and speaks with great good humour and energy.

       MARIANNE

          I shall mend my ways! I shall no 
          longer worry others nor torture 
          myself. I am determined to enter on 
          a course of serious study---Colonel 
          Brandon has promised me the run of 
          his library and I shall read at least 
          six hours a day. By the end of the 
          year I expect to have improved my 
          learning a very great deal.

EXT. ROAD NEAR BARTON COTTAGE - DAY

THOMAS is sitting on the back of a local wagon, holding a 
basket of food.

He jumps off near the cottage and waves a cheery farewell to 
the DRIVER.

INT. BARTON COTTAGE - PARLOUR - DAY

CLOSE on the accounts book, covered in blots and crossed-out 
sums. Pull up to reveal MARIANNE labouring over it. Her 
sickness has left her slightly short-sighted and she uses a 
pince-nez that makes her look like an owl.

ELINOR is sewing and MRS DASHWOOD is snoozing. MARGARET goes 
up and looks over MARIANNE's shoulder. She frowns at the 
spider's web of ink.

       MARGARET
          You'll go blind if you're not careful.

BETSY brings in coals for the fire. MRS DASHWOOD rouses 
herself.

       MRS DASHWOOD

          Is Thomas back from Exeter, Betsy?

       BETSY
          Yes, ma'am--he brung back two lovely 
          fillets for you.

MRS DASHWOOD looks nervously at ELINOR like a child who has 
been caught out.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Beef is far less expensive in Exeter, 
          and anyway they are for Marianne.

ELINOR laughs and rolls her eyes to heaven. BETSY turns on 
her way out to remark:

       BETSY
          Sixpence a piece, Miss Dashwood. Oh, 
          and he says Mr Ferrars is married, 
          but I suppose you know that, ma'am.

There is a stunned silence. Everyone looks at ELINOR.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Fetch Thomas to us, Betsy.

BETSY leaves. They all sit very still. MARGARET is about to 
talk to ELINOR about it but MARIANNE stops her. THOMAS enters.


       THOMAS
          Beg pardon, Miss Dashwood, but they 
          was the cheapest in the market--

       MRS DASHWOOD
          It was a very good price, Thomas, 
          well done. Would you be so kind as 
          to build up the fire a little?

       THOMAS
(relieved)
          Yes, ma'am.

There is a pause.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Who told you that Mr Ferrars was 
          married, Thomas?

THOMAS builds up the fire as he answers. He tells the story 
with pleasure.

       THOMAS

          I seen him myself, ma'am, and his 
          lady too, Miss Lucy Steele as was--
          they were stopping in a chaise at 
          the New London Inn. I happened to 
          look up as I passed the chaise and I 
          see it was Miss Steele. So I took 
          off my hat and she inquired after 
          you, ma'am, and all the young ladies, 
          especially Miss Dashwood, and bid me 
          I should give you her and Mr Ferrars's 
          best compliments and service and how 
          they'd be sure to send you a piece 
          of the cake.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Was Mr Ferrars in the carriage with 
          her?

       THOMAS
          Yes, ma'am--I just seen him leaning 
          back in it, but he did not look up.

ELINOR screws up her courage.

       ELINOR
          Did--

But she cannot continue. MARIANNE glances at her 
compassionately and takes over.

       MARIANNE
          Did Mrs Ferrars seem well?


       THOMAS
          Yes, Miss Marianne--she said how she 
          was vastly contented and, since she 
          was always a very affable young lady, 
          I made free to wish her joy.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Thank you, Thomas.

He nods and leaves, confused by the silent atmosphere. ELINOR 
sits for a moment, then gets up and walks out.

EXT. BARTON COTTAGE - GARDEN - EVE

ELINOR is standing by the gate, looking out. MRS DASHWOOD 
comes down the path to join her. She links arms with ELINOR 
and they stand in silence for a beat.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Your father once told me not to allow 
          you to neglect yourself. Now I find 
          that it is I who have neglected you 
          most.


       ELINOR
          No, Mamma.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Yes, I have. We all have. Marianne 
          is right.

       ELINOR
          I am very good at hiding.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Then we must observe you more closely.

A pause.

       ELINOR

          Mamma?

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Yes, my darling?

       ELINOR
          There is a painful difference between 
          the expectation of an unpleasant 
          event and its final certainty.

MRS DASHWOOD squeezes ELINOR's arm tightly.

EXT. OPEN ROAD NEAR BARTON - DAY

A horse and cart are jogging along. The cart contains a large 
object tied down and covered with canvas. The DRIVER whistles 
tunelessly.

INT. BARTON COTTAGE - KITCHEN - DAY


MARGARET is standing on the kitchen table while ELINOR and 
MARIANNE pin a piece of material around the bottom of her 
skirt to lengthen it.

Suddenly there is a commotion upstairs.

       MRS DASHWOOD (V.O.)
          Marianne! Marianne! Come and see 
          what is coming!

Everyone runs out of the kitchen.

EXT. BARTON COTTAGE - GARDEN - DAY

THOMAS and the CARTER are carrying a small piano up the path.

INT. BARTON COTTAGE - PARLOUR - DAY

They carry the piano into the parlour and to the DASHWOODS' 
joyful astonishment it fits perfectly. MRS DASHWOOD reads 
out the letter that has accompanied it.


       MRS DASHWOOD
          'At last I have found a small enough 
          instrument to fir the parlour. I 
          expect to follow it in a day or two, 
          by which time I expect you to have 
          learned the enclosed. Your devoted 
          friend, Christopher Brandon.'

MRS DASHWOOD hands MARIANNE the letter and a broadsheet song.

       MARGARET
          He must like you very much, Marianne.

       MARIANNE
          It is not just for me! It is for all 
          of us.

All the same, she looks conscious of the truth.

EXT. BARTON COTTAGE - GARDEN - DAY

MARGARET is up her tree. ELINOR is pulling weeds. MRS DASHWOOD 
is sitting on a stool working on MARGARET's dress and 
listening to the strains of the new song which MARIANNE is 
singing in the cottage. All of a sudden, MRS DASHWOOD rises, 
shielding her eyes with her hand. She walks down to the gate, 
looking out.


       MRS DASHWOOD
          Here is Colonel Brandon! Marianne!

The piano stops. MARIANNE comes out and they all gather at 
the gate to watch for the rider.

EXT. OPEN COUNTRY - DAY

Their POV of a HORSEMAN in the distance.

EXT. BARTON COTTAGE - GARDEN GATE - DAY

       ELINOR
          I do not think it is the Colonel.

       MRS DASHWOOD

          It must be. He said he would arrive 
          today. You must play him the new 
          song, Marianne.

Suddenly there is a yell from MARGARET's tree.

       MARGARET
          Edward!

MARGARET practically throws herself out of the tree onto the 
grass.

       MARGARET
          It is Edward!

The women look at each other in complete consternation.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Calm. We must be calm.

INT. BARTON COTTAGE - PARLOUR - DAY


Tense silence reigns. Everyone tries to busy themselves. 
BETSY enters.

       BETSY
          Mr Ferrars for you, ma'am.

EDWARD follows her in, looking white and agitated.

       MRS DASHWOOD
(rising)
          Edward! What a pleasure to see you.

       EDWARD
          Mrs Dashwood. Miss Marianne. Margaret. 
          Miss Dashwood. I hope I find you all 
          well.

He bows formally to each of them, lingering on ELINOR, who 
is looking firmly at her lap. He looks anxious.

       MARIANNE

          Thank you, Edward, we are all very 
          well.

There is a pause while they all search for an appropriate 
remark. Finally MARGARET decides to have a go at polite 
conversation.

       MARGARET
          We have been enjoying very fine 
          weather.

MARIANNE looks at her incredulously.

       MARGARET
          Well, we have.

       EDWARD
          I am glad of it. The... the roads 
          were very dry.

MRS DASHWOOD decides to bite the bullet.

       MRS DASHWOOD
(giving him her hand)
          May I wish you great joy, Edward.

He takes her hand somewhat confusedly and accepts her offer 
of a seat. There is an awful silence. MARIANNE tries to help.


       MARIANNE
          I hope you have left Mrs Ferrars 
          well?

       EDWARD
          Tolerably, thank you.

There is another bone-crunching pause.

       EDWARD
          I--But EDWARD cannot seem to find 
          any words.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Is Mrs Ferrars at the new parish?

EDWARD looks extremely confused.

       EDWARD

          No--my mother is in town.

He plucks up the courage to look at ELINOR again and is 
evidently not much comforted by what he sees.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          I meant to enquire after Mrs Edward 
          Ferrars.

EDWARD colours. He hesitates.

       EDWARD
          Then you have not heard--the news--I 
          think you mean my brother--you mean 
          Mrs Robert Ferrars.

They all stare at him in shock.

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Mrs Robert Ferrars?

ELINOR has frozen. EDWARD rises and goes to the window.

       EDWARD
          Yes. I received a letter from Miss 
          Steele--or Mrs Ferrars, I should say--
          communicating the... the transfer of 
          her affections to my brother Robert. 
          They were much thrown together in 
          London, I believe, and... and in 
          view of the change in my 
          circumstances, I felt it only fair 
          that Miss Steele be released from 
          our engagement. At any rate, they 
          were married last week and are now 
          in Plymouth.

ELINOR rises suddenly, EDWARD turns and they stand looking 
at one another.


       ELINOR
          Then you--are not married.

       EDWARD
          No.

ELINOR bursts into tears. The shock of this emotional 
explosion stuns everyone for a second and then MARIANNE makes 
an executive decision. Wordlessly, she takes MARGARET's hand 
and leads her and MRS DASHWOOD out of the room.

EXT. BARTON COTTAGE - GARDEN - DAY

The three DASHWOODS come into the garden, still holding hands.

INT. BARTON COTTAGE - PARLOUR - DAY

ELINOR cannot stop crying. EDWARD comes forward, very slowly.


       EDWARD
          Elinor! I met Lucy when I was very 
          young. Had I had an active profession, 
          I should never have felt such an 
          idle, foolish inclination. At Norland 
          my behaviour was very wrong. But I 
          convinced myself you felt only 
          friendship for me and it was my heart 
          alone that I was risking. I have 
          come with no expectations. Only to 
          profess, now that I am at liberty to 
          do so, that my heart is and always 
          will be yours.

ELINOR looks at him, her face streaked with tears of released 
emotion, of pain and of happiness.

EXT. BARTON COTTAGE - GARDEN

MARIANNE and MRS DASHWOOD are stamping about in the garden 
trying to keep warm. MARGARET has climbed into her tree-house. 
The branches rustle.

       MARGARET
          He's sitting next to her!

       MRS DASHWOOD/MARIANNE
          Margaret, come down!/Is he?


       MRS DASHWOOD
(scolding)
          Margaret! Will you stop--

       MARIANNE
          What's happening now?

       MRS DASHWOOD
          Marianne!

       MARGARET (V.O.)
          He's kneeling down!

MRS DASHWOOD can't help herself.

       MRS DASHWOOD

          Oh! Is he? Oh!

She and MARIANNE look at each other joyfully.

EXT. DOWNS NEAR BARTON - DAY

The figures of EDWARD and ELINOR can be seen walking, in 
deep conversation.

EXT. PATH NEAR BARTON COTTAGE - DUSK

Later. The lovers walk slowly, their heads almost touching, 
their words low and intimate.

       ELINOR
          Your mother, I suppose, will hardly 
          be less angry with Robert for marrying 
          Lucy.

       EDWARD

          The more so since she settled the 
          money upon him so irrevocably--

       ELINOR
          --no doubt because she had run out 
          of sons to disinherit.

       EDWARD
          Her family fluctuates at an alarming 
          rate. Then, in London, when you told 
          me of the Colonel's offer, I became 
          convinced that you wanted me to marry 
          Lucy and that--well, that you and 
          Colonel Brandon...

       ELINOR
          Me and Colonel Brandon!

       EDWARD
          I shall not forget attempting to 
          thank him for making it possible for 
          me to marry the woman I did not love 
          while convinced he had designs upon 
          the woman I did--do--love.

EDWARD stops walking. He looks at ELINOR and realises he can 
stand it no longer.


       EDWARD
          Would you--can you--excuse me--

He takes her face in his hands and kisses her.

EXT. PATH TO BARTON CHURCH - DAY

A group of VILLAGE CHILDREN run down the hillside towards 
the church waving ribbons and dressed in their Sunday best.

EXT. BARTON VILLAGE CHURCH - DAY

A large wedding party is gathered outside the church. The 
entire village is present--CHILDREN, FARMERS, LABOURERS, 
SHOPKEEPERS, and all our PRINCIPALS. We see MRS JENNINGS in 
a gigantic mauve bonnet, CHARLOTTE and MR PALMER, SIR JOHN, 
MRS DASHWOOD, MARGARET, THOMAS, JOHN and FANNY, who is dressed 
in a fantastically inappropriate concoction, and some MEN in 
regimental uniform.

The path to the church is strewn with wild flowers and 
everyone holds a bunch of their own. The church bells start 
to peal, and a great cheer goes up as the door opens and 
BETSY comes out holding the bridal cake aloft.

The bride and groom appear: MARIANNE, in white lawn, and 
COLONEL BRANDON in full uniform. Behind them come EDWARD in 
his parson's garb and, on his arm, ELINOR as matron of honour.

CLOSE on them as they watch the party moving away. MARIANNE 
and BRANDON make their way forwards, everyone throws their 
flowers over them, whooping and singing. An open carriage 
decked with bridal wreaths comes to meet them, and BRANDON 
lifts MARIANNE in. His melancholy air is all but gone and he 
radiates joyful life and vigour. MARIANNE also looks extremely 
happy - but there is a gravity to her joy that makes her 
seem much older.

According to the custom of the time, BRANDON throws a large 
handful of six pences into the crowd, and the VILLAGE CHILDREN 
jump and dive for them.

The coins spin and bounce, catching the sun like jewels. One 
hits FANNY in the eye. She reels and falls over backwards 
into a gorse bush. CAM pulls back as the wedding procession 
makes its glorious way from the church. We draw away into 
the surrounding countryside.

Then we see, on the far edge of frame, very small, a MAN 
sitting on a white horse, watching. It is WILLOUGHBY. As we 
draw back further still, he slowly pulls the horse around 
and moves off in the opposite direction.


 
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