Anne visits Mrs. Smith the next morning. She tells her about the concert. Mrs. Smith, however, has already been told about it by a maid. Mrs. smith thinks that Anne must be in love with Mr. Elliot, and she asks Anne if he has ever mentioned her name. Anne assures Mrs. Smith that she has no romantic interest in Mr. Elliot. Mrs. Smith thinks that people must be trying to persuade Anne to marry Mr. Elliot, as it would be appropriate in so many ways.
Mrs. Smith explains to Anne how she knows Mr. Elliot. She describes him as being a man “without a heart or a conscience…a cold-blooded being.” Mr. Elliot had once been a friend of her late husband. She and her husband had helped him when he had financial problems. Mr. Elliot married his wife entirely for financial motives, as he wanted wealth and independence. Mrs. Smith had heard him declare that he would sell his eventual right to the baronetcy for fifty pounds if someone would take it. She lets Anne look at a letter written by Mr. Elliot in which he says he wishes to destroy Kellynch or get as much money for it as possible. After he got married, he pushed Mr. Smith to live in an extravagant way and get into a large amount of debt. In this way, he caused the Smiths to endure financial ruin but he refused to provide any assistance. When Mr. Smith died, Mr. Elliot was the executor of his will. He refused to carry out his duties, thereby causing Mrs. Smith to be burdened with debts and difficulties. Mrs. Smith tells Anne more about Mr. Elliot’s current schemes, which she has been told by servants. Mr. Elliot has changed his attitude towards the baronetcy, and now wants the title above all other things. When he heard the rumor that it was possible that Sir Walter could remarry, he was very angry. He knew that if Sir Walter were to have a son, that son would be the heir to the title and estate. Mr. Elliot came to Bath specifically to try to ruin any chance that Sir Walter could ever marry Mrs. Clay. Upon meeting Anne, he developed the additional plan of marrying her and making his position even safer. He had intended for the marriage contract to have the provision that Sir Walter never marry again.
Anne is disappointed and upset by what she learns about Mr. Elliot. She now knows how manipulative and cunning he really is, and she is happy to possess this new information so that she can protect her family. She knows she must inform Lady Russel of everything she has heard very quickly.
Mr. Elliot attempts to entertain and flatter Anne that evening, but she is not at all receptive. He says that he will be away from Bath for a few days and will be back on Saturday.
Anne plans to go to see Lady Russell the next morning, but Charles and Mary Musgrave suddenly arrive for a surprise visit. She welcomes them warmly. Mary provides news of the Musgrove family, who it seems has also come to Bath. Mrs. Musgrove, Charles, Mary, Henrietta, and Captain Harville are all in the city. Henrietta has come to Bath to buy wedding clothes. She is soon to marry Charles Hayter. Anne thinks it must be wonderful to have such caring parents who are more concerned with their children’s happiness than just propriety and appearances.
Anne visits the Musgroves at their accommodations, and she finds herself again enjoying being around them. While she is there, Mary happens to peer out of a window and see Mr. Elliot speaking to Mrs. Clay outside. Anne confirms that it is indeed them.
Charles and Mary argue about that evening’s plans. Charles has already booked a box for them to enjoy a play, but Mary wants them to attend Sir Walter’s evening party. She is eager for an introduction to the Dalrymples and Mr. Elliot. Anne communicates that she would vastly prefer to see a play than be around Mr. Elliot, and the Captain seems to notice this. Mary and Charles finally agree to go to the evening party.
Elizabeth and Sir Walter briefly visit to invite all the Musgroves to the party, as well. Captain Wentworth is also invited.