"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 meanness in all the arts which ladies sometimes condescend to employ for captivation. Whatever bears affinity to cunning is despicable."

– Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 8. After Elizabeth and Caroline Bingley debate about what makes "an accomplished woman," Caroline attempts to damage Elizabeth’s reputation by accusing her of employing a "very mean art." She falsely claims that Elizabeth tries to make herself look good in a man’s eyes by criticizing other women – but the irony is that we all know it is Caroline who is guilty of doing that. However, Mr. Darcy’s response shows that he sees through Caroline and is far from impressed by her ruse.