Jane and Elizabeth discuss the Darcy-Wickham affair the next day. Jane refuses to think badly of either man and decides it must have been a misunderstanding between the two. Elizabeth thinks that Mr. Bingley must be deceived about his friend's true nature; she can't believe that Mr. Wickham would lie to her.
The Bingleys stop by to invite the ladies to a ball at Netherfield. Everybody is excited, including Elizabeth, who thinks that Mr. Darcy will confirm Mr. Wickham's story in some way through his behavior.
Elizabeth is also looking forward to spending the evening with Mr. Wickham and is so excited that she asks Mr. Collins if he intends to come and participate in the dancing.
He does intend to dance. Not only that, but he asks Elizabeth for the first two dances, and Elizabeth feels tricked. She had hoped to dance with Wickham for those first two dances, but now she's obligated to dance with her dreary and pompous cousin instead.
Elizabeth begins to notice Mr. Collins increasing attention, while Mrs. Bennet lets Elizabeth know that she would approve of her marrying Mr. Collins.