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                                 "SENSE AND SENSIBILITY"

                                      Screenplay 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.

                                         THE END

Sense and Sensibility



Writers :   Jane Austen  Emma Thompson
Genres :   Drama  Comedy  Romance


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