When Willoughby paid his visit to the cottage, Marianne learned that he was fond of music and dancing, which made her like him even more. They quickly learned that they shared many of the same tastes and preferences in music and literature. After Willoughby left, Elinor teased Marianne about learning Willoughby’s opinion on “almost every matter of importance” in one morning.
Willoughby seemed to be as fond of Marianne as she was of him, and he continued to visit the cottage often. He and Marianne would, read, talk, and sing together. For Marianne, he had “all the sensibility and spirit which Edward had unfortunately wanted.” Mrs. Dashwood began to hope that the two might marry and thought the marriage very likely.
Willoughby’s sensibility and spirit is even clearer when considered in relation to Edward’s more restrained character. Mrs. Dashwood is already thinking of marriage between Marianne and Willoughby.
Elinor gradually now realized that Colonel Brandon also liked Marianne, and, as Marianne and Willoughby grew closer, she felt bad for him, since she admired his serious, but mild manners and reserve.
Colonel Brandon’s love for Marianne appears to be hopeless. Elinor pities him because she shares his manners and sense, in contrast to Marianne and Willoughby.
One day, Willoughby and Marianne were discussing Colonel Brandon and Elinor defended him. Marianne teased Elinor at how concerned she seemed with Colonel Brandon. She said that she did not dislike Brandon, but thought he had “neither genius, taste, nor spirit.” Willoughby said that he was not very fond of Colonel Brandon, but nonetheless thought his character was “irreproachable.”
Willoughby, Marianne, and Elinor disagree and argue over the specificities of Brandon’s particular character. Marianne and Willoughby place great importance on matters of taste and spirit.