Mrs. Jennings invites the Dashwood girls to her home in Portman Square. Elinor refuses, saying they don’t want to leave their mother. Mrs. Jennings repeats the invitation. She had her heart set on it. She is certain she could get them married if they come.
Sir John blames Elinor for keeping Marianne from accepting the invitation, for he believes she would accept it. Marianne would be glad to go but fears leaving their mother. Elinor sees that Marianne is willing to tolerate the company of someone she can’t stand so she can see Willoughby again. Mrs. Dashwood would no doubt agree to it.
Mrs. Dashwood insists that Elinor accept the invitation, as it will allow her to renovate their bedrooms. They’ll be able to see their brother. Elinor raises her objection that Mrs. Jennings, though kind, is not really a fit chaperon. Elinor finds it amazing that Marianne claims she can handle being with the woman since she normally cannot manage to be civil to her. Mrs. Dashwood wants Elinor to go, not trusting Marianne to go by herself or Mrs. Jennings to look after her carefully. She points out that Edward won’t be there, so Elinor has nothing to worry about.
The invitation is accepted. Elinor’s reluctance is lessened when she sees how please Marianne and her mother are.