Edward only stays a week, despite Mrs. Dashwood’s entreaty that he prolong his visit. His spirits have improved, and he seems genuinely sorry to leave. Though he has no destination in mind, he insists he must go.
Elinor assumes it is due to his mother’s wishes. She gives him the benefit of the doubt, which she hadn’t been as willing to give to Willoughby. She consoles herself, despite his behavior, that Edward does care about her.
Mrs. Dashwood tells Edward he needs an occupation. It would give him independence. Edward dismisses the idea as impossible. He is a helpless person. He wanted to go into the church, but his family objected. He objected to their ideas of the profession he should go into—the law or the army. Therefore, he decided to become helpless.
Mrs. Dashwood is certain Mrs. Ferrars will eventually make Edward independent before his youth is wasted.
Elinor employs herself after he is gone to forget her pain. Unlike Marianne, she does not avoid her family. Though it doesn’t lessen her pain, it does keep it from multiplying. She often reflects about the situation with Edward.
Sir John, his wife, and Mrs. Jennings pay a visit. Mrs. Jennings introduces the couple with them, her other daughter Mrs. Palmer and her husband. Mrs. Palmer is very personable. Her morose husband is not.
Mrs. Jennings is glad to see her daughter, though she doesn’t approve of Mrs. Palmer traveling when she is pregnant.
Sir John invites the Dashwoods to dinner the next day. The girls try to get out of it, but he is insistent. They agree. They have begun to find the parties very dull.