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Summary Chapter 8

Elizabeth goes to dinner. She tells Mr. Bingley that Jane has not improved. The Bingley sisters don’t seem that concerned, and Elizabeth’s earlier dislike of them returns. Only Mr. Bingley seems worried. He doesn’t make her feel like an intruder.

The Bingley sisters cut her down when she leaves the room. They consider her proud and having terrible manners. They feel she is lacking in conversation, concepts of taste, and beauty. They cannot understand why she came when her sister merely has a cold, and snidely mention how she was covered in mud. Mr. Bingley dismisses it merely as her being fond of her sister.

Miss Bingley seems to hope Mr. Darcy will admire Elizabeth less, but this is not the case. Mrs. Hurst regards Jane highly and wishes she could be well married, but her family and bad connections will prevent it.

Elizabeth comes downstairs later, preferring to read than to play cards. Mr. Bingley regrets that his library is deficient. He praises Mr. Darcy for his library, and Mr. Darcy responds that he and his family have worked hard in adding to it. He can’t understand why people neglect their libraries.

Miss Bingley praises his accomplished sister and hopes to see the girl again. Mr. Bingley finds that all ladies are accomplished in the same areas. Mr. Darcy doesn’t find many that truly are deserving in being called accomplished. He talks about all the attributes of an accomplished woman. She must know music, singing, dancing, all the modern languages, and be graceful in every way. Elizabeth doubts such a woman exists, outraging the Bingley sisters. Miss Bingley later accuses Elizabeth (behind her back) of making herself look better to men by cutting down other women.

Elizabeth later informs them that Jane is worse. Mr. Bingley wants to send for the local physician, but his sisters want one from town. Elizabeth agrees with Mr. Bingley, and they plan to send for him in the morning if Jane doesn’t improve.

Jane Austen