Mr. Bennet does not say much during the meal but brings up Mr. Collins' patroness Lady de Bourgh afterwards. Mr. Colllins praises her. He has never met anyone like her. She approved of his sermons. He has been invited to dine at her home. Many people consider her proud, but she has always been pleasant to him. She didn’t object to him taking time to visit his relatives. She advised him to marry. She even visited the parish and approved of his renovations while making some suggestions of her own.
He is actually the Lady de Bourgh’s neighbor. She is a widow with one daughter. The daughter is very handsome, but she is unfortunately sickly. This keeps her from being very accomplished. The daughter has also been kind to him. Her health has kept her from being presented into society.
Mr. Bennet comments on Mr. Collins ability to flatter, and asks whether it is natural or developed. Mr. Collins admits that he has developed the art of flattery.
Mr. Bennet secretly finds his cousin ridiculous. When invited to read a book to the ladies, Mr. Collins refuses to read the book suggested to him. He says he doesn’t read that type of book. He chooses to read a book of sermons.
Lydia interrupts him to talk about one of the soldiers. Mr. Collins is offended, talking about how young ladies are never serious. He assures the family, when they apologize for Lydia’s behavior, that he bears no ill will and goes to play backgammon with Mr. Bennet.