Elizabeth's dislike for the Bingley sisters returns when she realizes that the only time they care about Jane is when she's present. They forget all about her while she's upstairs in bed, sick.
Miss Bingley is preoccupied with capturing Mr. Darcy's attention.
As soon as Elizabeth leaves the room to attend to her sister, Miss Bingley and Mrs. Hurst begin abusing her. They declare it is absurd that she would walk three miles to help her sister. On top of that – horror of horrors – her petticoat was dirty when she arrived because she walked all that way through the mud.
Mr. Bingley defends Elizabeth, saying she shows pluck, independence, and an admirable regard for her sister.
Mr. Darcy says the exercise brought out the brightness in her eyes.
Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley laugh at the fact that the Bennets have relatives who live in Cheapside, an unfashionable neighborhood in London. It makes them less than desirable spouses, the women say. Because of their relatives, the Bennet girls are doomed to marry men with little money.
When Elizabeth returns, they resume other conversation. Mr. Darcy's little sister is mentioned, especially her many accomplishments.
The conversation then moves to what it means for a woman to be "accomplished." Mr. Darcy suggests that very few women are truly accomplished – he himself knows of only about half a dozen that fit the definition. Miss Bingley defines such a woman as able to sing, draw, and dance, while Mr. Darcy adds that, on top of all of that, an accomplished woman should have a mind developed through reading.
Elizabeth states that he must not know any accomplished women then, for she does not know any women who combine capacity, taste, application, and elegance all together.