The next morning, the Bennet women walk over to discuss the ball with their neighbors: Sir William Lucas, Lady Lucas, and Charlotte, who is their eldest daughter and is Elizabeth's close friend.
The Lucas family can sympathize with the Bennets because their daughters will also need husbands.
Everyone agrees that Bingley liked Jane. The conversation quickly shifts to Darcy. Apparently he offended everyone who tried to speak with him. Charlotte consoles Elizabeth about Darcy's insult and wishes he would have agreed to a dance, but she adds that Darcy's pride may be forgiven because of his high standing and fortune. Elizabeth responds that she could forgive his pride if he hadn't insulted her own.
Here Charlotte suggests that pride isn't always bad. Indeed, pride can help protect a family reputation, or can provide the motivation to help people. Charlotte also implies that sometimes men's faults have to be overlooked when you're on the hunt for a husband.
Mary pompously lectures the group about human nature. She clarifies that pride is self-regard while vanity concerns what others think of you.
Mary represents a very strict by-the-book type of morality that, Austen makes clear, needs to be tempered with experience.