The next morning, Mrs. Jennings commented on the bad weather, and Marianne cheered up immediately, thinking that Willoughby might have been kept in the country by the weather. Elinor guessed that Marianne would probably now write to Willoughby at his country home.
Marianne continues to be entirely concerned with her relationship (or lack thereof) with Willoughby. She is so transparent that Elinor can guess exactly what she will do.
Mrs. Jennings was a kind, good hostess to the sisters, and Elinor began to become comfortable with her stay in London. Colonel Brandon visited them often, and Elinor noted that he had a “continued regard for her sister,” which worried her. About a week after they had come to London, Marianne came back to the apartment to find Willoughby’s card on a table, proof that he had stopped by while she was out in town.
While Mrs. Jennings often gossips and teases, she is still a kind person and a good host. Colonel Brandon is persistent in his apparently hopeless love for Marianne, who only has eyes for Willoughby.
The next day, Marianne stayed at home, waiting for Willoughby’s visit, but he never came. Nor did any letter come for Marianne. Elinor asked if she was expecting a letter, and hinted that Marianne was hiding something from her. Marianne denied it, saying she had “nothing to tell.”
Marianne does her best to arrange for a meeting with Willoughby, not wanting to leave home in case he should visit.
Marianne and Elinor were invited to go to dinner with Lady Middleton and Sir John, and accepted the invitation. When the night of the dinner came, though, Marianne was not in the mood to go, as she still had not heard from Willoughby. They went to the dinner nonetheless, along with Colonel Brandon, Mrs. Jennings, and the Palmers.
Marianne does not want to participate in social events, because she cannot restrain or conceal her sadness and anxiety regarding Willoughby. Nonetheless, she goes with Elinor to the dinner as a matter of politeness.
At the dinner, Marianne was unwilling to dance, and complained. Mrs. Jennings said she knew why Marianne was upset, and said that it was odd of Willoughby not to come to the dinner, when he had been invited. Marianne was hurt by this revelation, and Elinor resolved to write to their mother about the dubious relationship between Willoughby and Marianne.
Marianne cannot put forward a happy appearance or dance when she is feeling sad inside. Elinor wisely decides to take action and ask her mother to clarify how things stand between Marianne and Willoughby.
The next day, Elinor wrote to her mother, while Marianne paced anxiously around the apartment. Colonel Brandon came to the door, and talked with Elinor. He asked when Marianne and Willoughby were to be married, and said that their engagement was “universally talked of.” He asked if the engagement was “absolutely resolved upon.”
The engagement between Marianne and Willoughby is still widely talked about among the cloistered aristocratic society, even though Elinor knows it is actually very much in doubt.
Knowing Brandon’s feelings for Marianne, Elinor debated what it was proper for her to say, and ended up telling him that she did not know the terms of the engagement, but that she was sure of the “mutual affection” between Marianne and Willoughby. Brandon wished Marianne happiness with Willoughby and left. Elinor felt uncomfortable.
Elinor takes care to say the right thing to Brandon, as it is in her nature to be tactful and polite. She doesn’t want to falsely guarantee the engagement, but also doesn’t want to give Brandon false hopes of his own regarding Marianne.