Fanny sees William off in the morning and cries afterward. Edmund also leaves for his ordainment in Peterborough. Fanny tries to find someone to discuss the ball with, and settles for Lady Bertram, who is unsatisfactory. They then play cribbage together.
Fanny’s shining moment at the ball is soured by the fact that, now the only young person at Mansfield, she has no one to share the moment with afterward.
The next day, Fanny is in better spirits. She enjoyably discusses the ball with Mrs. Grant and Mary. The house is very quiet without the Bertram children and William, and Fanny expects that she will have to get used to it since Edmund will soon be moving away for good. Sir Thomas and Lady Bertram express sadness that all their children are leaving the nest. Julia, who was supposed to return home soon, decided instead to go to London with Maria. To each other, the Bertrams say how glad they are to have Fanny, who they doubt will ever marry and leave them.
This section shows how Julia and Maria, although doted upon by their parents as children, do not seem to have much loyalty to them. They leave them alone in Mansfield while they go off to London, despite the fact that they know their mother gets lonely. The fact that what pulls them away is the city of London further associates London and city spaces with irresponsibility and immorality.
Fanny and Mary experience Edmund’s absence differently. Fanny is relieved by it, but it makes Mary very sad. Mary regrets how she spoke to Edmund before he left, and it tortures her more as Edmund extends his absence to stay with his friend Mr. Owen. Mary, who has plans to go to London soon, is afraid they will not see each other before she leaves.
Fanny and Mary, once again contrasted, show how different they are through their responses to Edmund’s absence. Fanny, who is used to Edmund’s lack of attention, prefers to not have to see him flirt with Mary, while Mary suffers from the absence.
Mary and Fanny discuss Edmund’s absence, and Mary asks if she has any news of when he will be back. Fanny is unsure, saying she only heard part of the letter in which he explained his extended stay. Mary asks if Mr. Owen has pretty, accomplished sisters, and Fanny says she does not know. Mary then speaks of her upcoming departure for London, and Fanny tells her she will be missed. Mary worries again about Edmund marrying one of the Owen sisters, and then suggests that Fanny does not think Edmund is likely to marry anyone at all. Fanny agrees, and Mary changes the subject.
Mary’s jealousy of the Owens sisters, whom she has never met, is a role reversal, since Fanny is usually the one who is jealous, but she is jealous of Mary. Fanny, for her part, seems to enjoy the conversation somewhat, and Mary’s upset. This reveals Fanny’s hypocrisy and jealousy, as she is supposed to be Mary’s friend, but clearly harbors intense resentment towards Mary because of Edmund.