Chapter 2 Summary

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Mr. Shepherd, Sir Elliot’s lawyer, bows out of the discussion of how to budget the remaining Elliot fortune. Before leaving, he submits his full recommendation for Lady Russell.

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Upon reading Lady Russell’s proposal, Anne objects to it. She finds the changes too timid. Instead, Anne suggests streamlining the spending to a point that would disengage the family from all debts in seven years. All spending would be cut back, from the foods they eat to the purchase of new horses. Anne’s suggestions might have worked, but there is no opportunity for her father to read her budget. Sir Elliot looks over Lady Russell’s proposal first and turns it down. Sir Elliot is completely unwilling to give up any of his extravagancies.

The only other option remaining to them is to lease their manor, Kellynch Hall, but this must be done in a very contrived way. There will be no advertising, for Sir Elliot does not want it to appear that he is in need. It will have to seem as if Sir Elliot were graciously bowing out of his home for the benefit of someone else who needs it more than he does.

First the Elliot family must decide where to move. Three suggestions are made. They might go to London, but Mr. Shepherd does not like this choice because he does not trust Sir Elliot in the large city. There would be too many temptations there. Sir Elliot would be tempted to keep up appearances of the wealth to which he no longer has access.

The second option is to take a smaller place in Kellynch, but this would be too humiliating. Everyone would be aware of the family’s declining finances if they were to stay in the same neighborhood.

The third option, moving to Bath, is chosen by the process of elimination. Bath is close enough to Kellynch that a trip home can be arranged from time to time. Mary lives near Kellynch, and visiting her will also not provide a hardship. It is also more convenient for Lady Russell to travel to Bath than it would have been for her to travel to London. Mr. Shepherd also realizes that, in Bath, Sir Elliot can continue to enjoy the sense of a higher...

(The entire section contains 582 words.)

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