Mrs. Dashwood and her daughters soon found themselves busy with many social engagements at Barton Park. Marianne and Willoughby became closer and closer, and Elinor had to advise Marianne to restrain herself and not be so obvious in public about her love for him. Mrs. Dashwood was very pleased with the budding relationship.
In contrast to Marianne, Elinor was not feeling happy. She still missed Norland, and was fed up with the boringness of Lady Middleton and Mrs. Jennings. She enjoyed spending time only with Colonel Brandon, and developed compassion for him and his hopeless love for Marianne. Colonel Brandon asked Elinor whether Marianne believed in “second attachments,” which she generally did not.
Elinor and Colonel Brandon bond through their shared sense and restrained emotion. Brandon’s affections for Marianne seem hopeless, because her romanticized notion of love does not include marrying an old bachelor who has already loved and lost before.