We are introduced to the Lucas family, who live close by and are close to the Bennet family.
Elizabeth in particular is very close to Charlotte Lucas, who is described as sensible, intelligent, and in her late twenties.
The day after the ball, the two families get together to gossip.
Mrs. Bennet fishes for compliments about her daughters.
Charlotte had overheard that Mr. Bingley thought Jane the prettiest young woman at the ball.
The conversation turns to Mr. Darcy and to his disagreeable behavior, especially the fact that he slighted Elizabeth. Jane informs the gossipers that Miss Bingley, Mr. Bingley's sister, told her that Mr. Darcy is very agreeable among his close friends.
Mrs. Bennet refuses to hear a good word said about Mr. Darcy.
They discuss the difference between pride and vanity, concluding that pride is acceptable, as it is only your opinion about yourself, whereas vanity is your concern about how others think about you.