Elizabeth spends the night in her sister’s room. The next morning, she requests her mother to come to Netherfield to give judgment on Jane’s condition.
Mrs. Bennet is relieved to see that Jane is in no immediate danger. Jane wants to go home, but Mrs. Bennet and the doctor do not believe this is a good idea. Mrs. Bennet’s motivation is more that she doesn’t want to remove Jane from Netherfield so quickly than for concerns for Jane's health.
Mrs. Bennet exaggerates Jane’s illness to Mr. Bingley and praises her daughter’s sweet temper. She praises Netherfield’s view and tells Mr. Bingley she can’t see him quitting it soon, despite his short lease. Mr. Bingley tells her that he always does things spontaneously, and he’d leave Netherfield in a minute if he were so inclined. Elizabeth isn’t surprised, and Mr. Bingley is sorry he is so transparent.
Mr. Darcy says there are few interesting people to study in the country, for they are very similar. Mrs. Bennet is offended and says there is plenty to observe. She believes the country is much pleasanter than London. Mr. Bingley says he is happy no matter where he is. The city and the country both have their merits.
Elizabeth stands up for Mr. Darcy, saying her mother misunderstood. He only met there isn’t a great variety of people found in the country as in the city, which is true. She tries to change the subject and asks about Charlotte Lucas.
Mrs. Bennet praises William Lucas, who always has something to say to everyone—unlike some sullen types who never open their mouths. William Lucas is a good example of good breeding. She is sorry the Lucas girls are not more attractive in appearance. She praises Jane’s beauty in comparison.
Elizabeth criticizes poetry for destroying love. Mr. Darcy believes it nourishes it. Elizabeth claims it does if it is true love and not just some fancy.
Mrs. Bennet apologizes for having two of her daughters intrude on Mr. Bingley’s kindness. He is gracious about it. Miss Bingley does what she is supposed to do but is less gracious.
Lydia reminds Mr. Bingley that he promised them a ball. She is her mother’s favorite child for the same reason she is popular with the officers. She is high-spirited and good-humored. Mr. Bingley tells her he’ll have the ball after Jane recovers.