The situation of your mother’s family, though objectionable, was nothing in comparison of that total want of propriety so frequently, so almost uniformly, betrayed by herself, by your three younger sisters, and occasionally even by your father.

– Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 35. Mr. Darcy, in a letter to Elizabeth, criticizes the behavior of the Bennet family at the Netherfield ball. It is not the position of the family that bothers him, he makes clear, but he is shocked by their bad manners. He accuses Elizabeth’s mother and her three younger sisters of a “total want of propriety.” In mentioning Mr. Bennet as one of the lesser offenders, Darcy is obviously blaming him for not keeping his daughters and their silliness in check on the night.