Sense and Sensibility Volume II Chapters 1 - 6 Summary

Elinor is still reeling from the news that Lucy Steele is engaged to Edward Ferrars. She looks at the evidence presented to her by Lucy and accepts the reality of the engagement. After some thought she also realizes Edward is in love with her, but he will not break the engagement. She is saddened by the thought, but takes comfort in knowing Edward's true love is her.

She decides she needs to find out more about the relationship between Edward and Lucy, so she endeavors to be in a position in which she can speak confidentially with Lucy. She finds this opportunity at a dinner party given by Lady Middleton.

Elinor lets Lucy know she is honored to have knowledge of Lucy's secret and her confidence. Lucy in turn tells Elinor she thought at first she was offended by her letting her in on the secret. Elinor asks Lucy if she is willing to wait until Edward's mother dies to marry him. Lucy states she is willing to wait, if that is what is required of her. She is trying to come up with schemes so they can marry sooner, but every one of them seems to fall apart.

She wonders if it would be best to end the engagement and would do so if Elinor tells her it would be best, but Elinor will not give her opinion. Lucy is sure of Edward's love and tells Elinor she would know if he had affections for another woman. Elinor thinks the young lady is wrong, but does not say anything.

As January comes closer, Mrs. Jennings begins to think of returning to her London home near Portman-square. She does not want to be there alone, so she asks Elinor and Marianne to go with her. Marianne is anxious to go to London, because Willoughby is there, but Elinor has no desire to stay in London with Mrs. Jennings. She turns down the invitation, but Mrs. Jennings presses the girls to accompany her. She even goes so far as to invite Marianne to come by herself with her.

After discussing the invitation with their mother, it is decided the girls will accept and plans are made for their departure. Elinor is grateful that Edward is not due in London until February and she expects to be back home by then. Elinor is also glad she can watch over her sister, who she fears will act improperly in London once she is reunited with Willoughby.

At last the two young ladies and Mrs. Jennings leave for London. The three-day journey is made a bit more unbearable by Marianne's silence, which leaves Elinor to entertain Mrs. Jennings. The day they arrive Marianne immediately sends a note to Willoughby telling him she is in London. She then begins her long wait in anticipation of his arrival at Mrs. Jennings's home. The entire evening, she is anxious and when at last there is a rap at the door she is disappointed to find it is Colonel Brandon. She rushes from the room, leaving Elinor to explain her strange behavior.

The next day as they are shopping with Mrs. Jennings and her daughter, Mrs. Palmer, Marianne is on constant look out for Willoughby, but to no avail. He doesn't even send a reply to her note. Elinor is distressed by his behavior and decides to talk to her mother about Marianne's romance, if Willoughby does not contact Marianne soon.

After a week of waiting for word from Willoughby, Marianne arrives with Mrs. Jennings and Elinor home, to find a calling card from Willoughby waiting on the table. Marianne is happy to find he is in London and hopes he will return that evening to see her. Unfortunately, he does not return and Marianne begins again her anxious waiting for her beloved.

Lady Middleton and Sir John arrive in London. Sir John decides to have a dance for about twenty people at his home. Marianne reluctantly attends in the hopes that Willoughby will attend, but he does not, even though he was invited. Marianne is despondent when she finds out he had been invited and stayed away from the festivities.

Marianne writes another letter to Willoughby, which Colonel Brandon sees on day as he is visiting. He asks Elinor if the rumors of Marianne's engagement are true. She tells him the engagement has not been announced to the family, but she feels the rumor is true. The colonel leaves giving the couple his best wishes; he is saddened by the news, as he is in love with Marianne.

Three or four days later Marianne and Elinor accompany Lady Middleton to a party. Marianne is still waiting to see Willoughby and is in no mood to go to a party, but she is obligated by social convention to attend. Once at the party the sisters see Willoughby in conversation with a young woman. He is standing very near them and sees them, he greets Elinor, but ignores Marianne. She is indignant at his behavior and asks him why he will not talk to her or give her his hand. He finally tells her he did call at Mrs. Jennings's house and left his calling card. He also takes her hand, but he acts as if doing so pains him. Marianne is devastated, she wants her sister to force Willoughby to explain himself to her. Elinor explains the party is not the place for such a conversation and she must wait till tomorrow. After Willoughby leaves, Elinor tells Lady Middleton Marianne is ill and needs to go home. Elinor is upset for her sister and the way Willoughby has treated her. It is obvious he no longer wishes to be engaged to her.

Elinor tries to come to terms with Edward being engaged to Lucy Steele, while Marianne is excited to visit London in hopes of seeing Willoughby. This all ends badly after seeing Willoughby at a party and realizing he no longer loves Marianne.

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