The news about Willoughby does not make Marianne less unhappy. She believes it. She no longer avoids Colonel Brandon and talks to him with compassion and respect. She is less agitated in her mind. However, losing her esteem of Willoughby is just as painful as losing his love. She brood about what her fate could have been.
Mrs. Dashwood is furious when she hears the news. She wishes Marianne to remain in town, for she fears coming back to Barton will remind her of Willoughby too much. She believes Marianne will find more distractions in town to occupy her mind. Though Willoughby is in town, Mrs. Dashwood assumes all their friends will cease to see him—so Marianne will not be forced to endure his presence. She also wants the girls to have the opportunity of seeing their brother when he comes to town.
Marianne doesn’t care for her mother’s decision but accepts it. She thinks it will be good for Elinor to see Edward again. Elinor doesn’t want to see him but agrees with her mother that Barton may not be the best place at the moment for Marianne.
Their friends never mention Willoughby to Marianne, but Elinor has to listen to their anger. Lucy claims to hate Willoughby, but she is interested in all the details about his wedding preparations. Lady Middleton claims to be shocked but plans to call on Mrs. Willoughby, for she is a woman of fortune.
Elinor tells Marianne when Willoughby marries. Marainne still sheds tears over it and is unhappy that day. When the Willloughbys leave town, Elinor hopes Marianne will break her seclusion and go out.
Elinor is not pleased to see Lucy Steele, who is delighted to see Elinor when she comes to town. Lucy tries to find out if Elinor will be staying with her brother when he arrives. Elinor replies no. Anne is determined to see Marainne, who is avoiding company. Elinor claims she is ill, and Lucy prevents her sister from barging in on Marianne.