Miss Bingley and Mrs. Hurst condescend to visit the Bennets, though they dislike all but Jane Bennet. Jane is in love with Mr. Bingley, but it is well disguised under her composure.
Charlotte believes this is potentially a good way to lose the man Jane loves, for people generally need some sort of encouragement to pursue someone. She thinks Jane needs to encourage Bingley more. Elizabeth believes it is evident enough, but Charlotte points out that Mr. Bingley will not know Jane as well as her sister does and may not see it.
When Jane Bennet and Mr. Bingley meet, it is always in the company of others. There is not much opportunity for professions of love. Elizabeth thinks it is too early to decide whether there is a future in the relationship. They barely know each other. Charlotte believes people shouldn’t know each other that well when they marry. They tend to grow apart anyway, and being aware of defects only causes more turmoil.
Elizabeth is unaware that Mr. Darcy has begun to admire her. He begins to listen to conversations she is involved in to get to know her better.
Elizabeth is vexed that Charlotte always wants her to sing, for she isn’t the best singer. Her sister Mary, being the only one in her family who isn’t attractive, is always eager to show her accomplishments. She isn’t that talented but is more conceited about it.
William Lucas calls Elizabeth over to dance with Mr. Darcy. Mr. Darcy doesn’t like dancing. Elizabeth doesn’t wish to dance. Mr. Lucas tries to persuade her, but she walks away.
Miss Bingley comes up to Mr. Darcy, full of complaints about the company. She is hoping to hear his scathing criticisms. She is shocked to find out he has been admiring Elizabeth. He points out admiration isn’t marriage, but she still tells him he’ll have a wonderful mother-in-law.