Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley both cried out against the injustice
of her implied doubt, and were both protesting that they knew
many women who answered this description, when Mr. Hurst
called them to order, with bitter complaints of their inattention
to what was going forward. As all conversation was thereby at
an end, Elizabeth soon afterwards left the room.
"Elizabeth Bennet," said Miss Bingley, when the door was
closed on her, "is one of those young ladies who seek to
recommend themselves to the other sex by undervaluing their
own; and with many men, I dare say, it succeeds. But, in my
opinion, it is a paltry device, a very mean art."
"Undoubtedly," replied Darcy, to whom this remark was chiefly
addressed, "there is a meanness in all the arts which ladies
sometimes condescend to employ for captivation. Whatever
bears affinity to cunning is despicable."
Miss Bingley was not so entirely satisfied with this reply as to
continue the subject.