Pride and Prejudice Volume 1, Chapter 15
The next day the Bennet girls walk to Meryton because Lydia and Kitty want to see the soldiers. Mr. Bennet sends Collins with them because the silly man is driving him crazy. "Mr. Collins was not a sensible man, and the deficiency of nature had been but little assisted by education or society," Volume 1, Chapter 15, pg. 48 and his manners were grating on the nerves. In town, Lydia and Kitty see that one of their soldier friends has a handsome, new friend, so they position themselves on the sidewalk so that the men will be forced to speak with them.
While the young Bennet women are talking to the soldier and his friend, Wickham, Bingley and Darcy ride up. Elizabeth notices that Darcy and Wickham seem to know each other, but they don't act like they're friends. Elizabeth doesn't know what to make of the situation. When the girls visit their aunt, Mrs. Phillips, she invites them and Mr. Collins to supper the next night because the soldiers and Wickham are coming over. Lydia and Kitty are excited because they want to socialize with the soldiers at every opportunity.
What Elizabeth and the other girls don't realize is that Mr. Collins has plans to choose a wife from among his cousins so that the entailment of Longbourn won't be such a difficult thing. Mrs. Bennet, learning his plan, warns him that Jane is practically almost engaged to Bingley, so Collins sets his sights on Elizabeth, but Elizabeth doesn't realize it yet.