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Summary Chapter 16

Marianne is unable to sleep, eat, or drink. She refuses to be comforted. She indulges her grief in playing songs and reading books she had enjoyed with Willoughby.

Willoughby does not write. Marianne doesn’t seem to expect him to, which makes Elinor uneasy. Mrs. Dashwood believes they do not write because Sir John fetches their posts, and it could jeopardize a secret engagement.

Elinor asks her mother to just ask Marianne if they are engaged. Mrs. Dashwood doesn’t want to force the confidence.

Elinor finally gets Marianne to walk with them, who has until then been avoiding them. They encounter a gentleman on horseback. Marianne is ecstatic, thinking it is Willoughby. However, when she gets closer, it turns out to be Edward Ferrars.

Edward doesn’t greet Elinor like a lover, and Elinor doesn’t show any regard to him. Marianne dislikes him for it and reflects on how different he is from Willoughby.

Edward asks about whether the Middletons are pleasant people. Marianne replies no, earning a reprimand from Elinor—who reminds her of all the good times they have had because of the Middletons.

Elinor is also very vexed by Edward’s cold reserve, but she treats him according to past affection.

Jane Austen