At five o'clock the two ladies retired to dress, and at half-past
six Elizabeth was summoned to dinner. To the civil inquiries
which then poured in, and amongst which she had the pleasure
of distinguishing the much superior solicitude of Mr. Bingley's,
she could not make a very favourable answer. Jane was by no
means better. The sisters, on hearing this, repeated three or four
times how much they were grieved, how shocking it was to have
a bad cold, and how excessively they disliked being ill
themselves; and then thought no more of the matter: and their
indifference towards Jane when not immediately before them
restored Elizabeth to the enjoyment of all her former dislike.
Their brother, indeed, was the only one of the party whom she
could regard with any complacency. His anxiety for Jane was
evident, and his attentions to herself most pleasing, and
they prevented her feeling herself so much an intruder as she
believed she was considered by the others. She had very little
notice from any but him. Miss Bingley was engrossed by Mr.
Darcy, her sister scarcely less so; and as for Mr. Hurst, by
whom Elizabeth sat, he was an indolent man, who lived only to
eat, drink, and play at cards; who, when he found her to prefer
a plain dish to a ragout, had nothing to say to her.