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|Ye well-known trees: Who will remain to enjoy you?
Written by Robbin
(10/3/2009 3:30 p.m.)
Many were the tears shed by them in their last adieus to a place so much beloved. "Dear, dear Norland!" said Marianne …And you, ye well-known trees! -- but you will continue the same. -- No leaf will decay because we are removed, nor any branch become motionless although we can observe you no longer! -- No; you will continue the same; unconscious of the pleasure or the regret you occasion, and insensible of any change in those who walk under your shade! -- But who will remain to enjoy you?" (5)
It appears the answer is no one. Marianne was more prescient than she knew in her tearful farewell to Norland. When one set of Dashwoods vacated the premises there really was no longer anyone to enjoy those amiable trees because John tells Elinor in Ch. 33 that Fanny’s green house will be:
"Upon the knoll behind the house. The old walnut trees are all come down to make room for it. It will be a very fine object from many parts of the park, and the flower-garden will slope down just before it, and be exceedingly pretty. We have cleared away all the old thorns that grew in patches over the brow."
Elinor kept her concern and her censure to herself; and was very thankful that Marianne was not present, to share the provocation. (Ch. 33)
In the highly unlikely event the Dashwoods of Barton should be invited to Norland I think they would find it a very changed place in character as well as appearance. Norland, under the guardianship of Gentleman Uncle and Henry Dashwood seems to have been a picturesque sort of place with an open common, thorn patches and old perhaps crooked, twisted, blasted trees. Fanny & John are improving it with an eye to profit and formality. John has enlarged the estate with the purchase of “East Kingham Farm” and is further taming the grounds with the “inclosure of Norland Common” probably in order to prevent it from being used by people unconnected with the estate. Johnson’s dictionary (1824) defines a common as “An open ground equally used by many persons”. Marianne’s Norland is slowly disappearing and assuming a character more in keeping with her new master and mistress. (:D)
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