Edward stayed for a week at the Dashwood’s cottage, and then said he had to go. Elinor assumed that his gloomy mood was due to his mother, who was displeased with his behavior. The morning of Edward’s departure, Mrs. Dashwood suggested that he would be happier if he had a profession to keep him busy. Edward agreed, and lamented that he had “no necessary business.”
Like her mother, Elinor assumes that Edward’s mood is due to his mother’s expectations of excellence and wealth for him, which he has no desire to fulfill.
Elinor felt sad when Edward left, but didn’t allow her emotions to show, in great contrast to how Marianne had behaved when Willoughby had left. Marianne was dismayed that Elinor did not appear more troubled.
One morning, Sir John and Lady Middleton, along with Mrs. Jennings came to Barton Cottage along with a gentleman and a lady they introduced as the Palmers. Mrs. Palmer, Lady Middleton’s sister, was younger than Lady Middleton and “totally unlike her in every respect.” She was pretty and kind. Mr. Palmer, on the other hand, was serious-looking and appeared to have more sense than his wife.
Sir John and Lady Middleton operate as social mediators for the Dashwoods, introducing them to new acquaintances and friends. As soon as the Palmers are introduced, their particular natures are specified.
Everyone sat and talked, as Mr. Palmer read a newspaper, not paying much attention to the conversation. Mrs. Jennings told the Dashwoods that Mrs. Palmer was expecting a child. Sir John invited the Dashwoods to come to Barton Park the next day. The Dashwoods attempted to find some excuse not to go, but in the end “were obliged to yield.”
Sir John continues to host many social events, wanting to bring people together. The Dashwoods are somewhat tired of the society they have entered into, but are obliged by politeness and propriety to accept Sir John’s invitation.