As January came around, Mrs. Jennings invited Elinor and Marianne to come stay with her in London. Elinor declined, saying she couldn’t leave her mother, but Mrs. Jennings insisted, and told her she would “get one of you at least well married before I have done with you.”
While well-intentioned, Mrs. Jennings takes an interest in meddling in the Dashwood sisters’ romantic affairs, trying to scheme for each of their marriages.
Elinor realized that Marianne would like to be in London so that she might be able to see Willoughby again, so she softened her resolve not to go, and said that it was up to her mother. Mrs. Jennings went to Mrs. Dashwood, who thought it would be good for Marianne and Elinor to go stay with Mrs. Jennings.
Elinor does not want to go to London, but relents in her objections because she knows her sister desperately wants to see her beloved Willoughby.
Elinor, Marianne, and Mrs. Dashwood discussed the proposed trip together. Elinor was reluctant to go, but Marianne wanted to go very much, even without Elinor. Elinor saw how much Marianne desired to go, and, knowing that Edward would be in London in February, hoped that they would be gone before then, so she wouldn’t risk running into him.
Elinor tries to plan her trip so that she won’t run into Edward among London high society. She is continually considerate toward her sister, thinking of Marianne’s desires, not only her own.
Trying to persuade Elinor to go, Mrs. Dashwood hinted that she might be able to spend time with Edward and the Ferrars family. Elinor said that she was indifferent toward the Ferrars family, which shocked Marianne. The Dashwoods finally decided to accept Mrs. Jennings invitation. Elinor was slightly dissatisfied, but Marianne was ecstatically happy.
Forced to keep her real feelings about Edward to herself, because she must keep the secret of Lucy and Edward’s engagement, Elinor can only say that she is indifferent toward the Ferrars family. Marianne finds Elinor’s apparent lack of feeling disturbing.