Constantia wine

This is for Karen, who was wondering if this scene was in the book:

“I have just recollected that I have some of the finest old Constantia wine in the house that was ever tasted; so I have brought a glass of it for your sister.  My poor husband!  How fond he was of it!  Whenever he had a touch of old cholicky gout, he said it did him more good than anything else in the world.  Do take it to your sister.”

“Dear ma’am,” replied Elinor, smiling at the difference of the complaints for which it was recommended, “how good you are! But I have just left Marianne in bed, and, I hope, almost asleep; and as I think nothing will be of much service to her as rest, if you will give me leave, I will drink the wine myself.” . . .

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.

Elinor and Mrs. Jennings, shortly after Marianne’s disappointment with Willoughby
Sense & Sensibility, volume 2, chapter 8 (read it in context at Mollands)


Filed under Drink, Elinor, Heartbreak, Mrs. Jennings, Sense and Sensibility

3 Responses to Constantia wine

  1. karen

    Ha! This is a great quote! Thank you for finding it, Lori. It makes me think that perhaps the scenes of “Jane Austen” in “Miss Austen Regrets” drinking wine were not all that far off base! It comforts me to know that Elinor (and no doubt, Jane) would advocate a slug of wine as having “healing powers on a disappointed heart”. But of course, Jane would only suggest this in moderation–because we know how she feels about excesses of any kind!
    Ironically, gout (severe pain in the toe) was caused by too much wine (especially red) and red meat. So, the fact that wine would comfort the gouty foot of Mr. Jennings is actually quite funny. Hmmm.

  2. karen

    I just Googled “Constantia” wine and it seems Rimbaud Baudlaire and Dickens praised its merits, too. Napoleon and royalty would drink it. I wonder though, if Jane chose it because of its name, because the wine is also known as “Vin de Constance” in French.
    Okay, I’m going to bed now!

  3. Karen, regarding your first comment — the hair of the dog, perhaps? 🙂