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|Remedies for a broken heart… :D
Written by Robbin
(10/10/2006 2:13 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Home remedies, penned by Barbara
:D While reading the chapters this week I too found myself noticing little remedies which Elinor and Mrs. Jennings use to try and help Marianne through her loss of Willoughby after the party. Some of these remedies are herbal and some are very likely delicious and some are just silly considering Marianne’s disposition but I thought it might be interesting to look at them all squished together. Mrs. Jennings seems to concentrate on tasty morsels and amusing activities while Elinor relies on wine and various incarnations of lavender—Barbara this is what I found on lavender; maybe someone else has some better infomation.
Lavender: The whole lavender plant has a highly aromatick smell and taste, and is famous as a cephalick, nervous, and uterine medicine. Hill's Materia Medica And then again he turneth to his play, To spoil the pleasures of that paradise: The wholesome sage, and lavender still grey, Rank smelling rue, and cummin good for eyes. Spenser. (The Johnson Dictionary Project on line)
Cephalick (or cephalic, modern spelling): of or pertaining to the head. (dictionary.com)
While still at the party (Chapter 28) Elinor administers lavender water to relieve Marianne’s faintness and then after they return to Mrs. J’s Marianne is “in a silent agony, too much oppressed even for tears” so she is taken to their room where Hartshorn is given to her for relief.
Hartshorn: 1, the antler of a hart, formerly used as a source of ammonia and in smelling salts and 2, ammonium carbonate. (dictionary.com)
The next morning (Chapter 29) after receiving Willoughby’s letter Marianne is faint and giddy from want of proper rest and food but Elinor makes her more comfortable with a glass of wine. Marianne continues restless but some lavender drops were of use and she continued on the bed quiet and motionless for some time. When Mrs. J returns to the house (Chapter 30) after finding out about Willoughby on the street she is all compassion for Marianne suggesting that she had better have her cry out at once and informs Elinor that company that evening will amuse her. That evening Mrs. J tries to temp Marianne with food—a variety of sweetmeats, olives, wine, and dried cherries and amuse her with the news of the day and round games in front of a good fire.
Round game: a game, as of cards, in which each plays on his own account. (Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary)
Mrs. J also suggests, “Let her name her own supper, and go to bed.” My favorite is the finest old Constantia wine that helped Mr. Jennings old cholicky gout which Elinor decides to drink herself:
Mrs. Jennings, though regretting that she had not been five minutes earlier, was satisfied with the compromise; and Elinor, as she swallowed the chief of it, reflected that, though its good effects on a cholicky gout were at present of little importance to her, its healing powers on a disappointed heart might be as reasonably tried on herself as on her sister. (Chapter 30)
There are days, I must confess, when someone bringing me wine and goodies would do me a lot good—I think if ice cream and chocolate had been available to Mrs. J she might have had more success in improving Marianne’s spirits--well it would have done me some good. ;D
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