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|Chapter 4 (Vol. I, Chap. IV)|
|(Vol. I, Chap. 3)
||Table of Contents
||(Vol. I, Chap. 5)|
|Chapter 4 (Vol. I, Chap. IV)
|When Jane and Elizabeth were alone, the former, who had been
cautious in her praise of Mr. Bingley before, expressed to her
sister how very much she admired him.
|"He is just what a young man ought to be," said she, "sensible,
good humoured, lively; and I never saw such happy manners! --
so much ease, with such perfect good breeding!"
|"He is also handsome," replied Elizabeth, "which a young man
ought likewise to be, if he possibly can. His character is
|"I was very much flattered by his asking me to dance a second
time. I did not expect such a compliment."
|"Did not you? I did for you. But that is one great
difference between us. Compliments always take you by
surprise, and me never. What could be more natural than his
asking you again? He could not help seeing that you were about
five times as pretty as every other women in the room. No
thanks to his gallantry for that. Well, he certainly is very
agreeable, and I give you leave to like him. You have liked
many a stupider person."
|"Oh! you are a great deal too apt, you know, to like people in
general. You never see a fault in any body. All the world are
good and agreeable in your eyes. I never heard you speak ill
of a human being in my life."
|"I would wish not to be hasty in censuring any one; but I
always speak what I think."
|"I know you do; and it is that which makes the wonder.
With your good sense, to be honestly blind to the follies
and nonsense of others! Affectation of candour is common
enough; -- one meets it every where. But to be candid without
ostentation or design -- to take the good of every body's
character and make it still better, and say nothing of the bad
-- belongs to you alone. And so, you like this man's sisters
too, do you? Their manners are not equal to his."
|"Certainly not; at first. But they are very pleasing women
when you converse with them. Miss Bingley is to live with her
brother and keep his house; and I am much mistaken if we shall
not find a very charming neighbour in her."
|Elizabeth listened in silence, but was not convinced. Their
behaviour at the assembly had not been calculated to please in
general; and with more quickness of observation and less
pliancy of temper than her sister, and with a judgment, too,
unassailed by any attention to herself, she was very little
disposed to approve them. They were in fact very fine ladies,
not deficient in good humour when they were pleased, nor in the
power of being agreeable where they chose it; but proud and
conceited. They were rather handsome, had been educated in one
of the first private seminaries in town, had a fortune of
twenty thousand pounds, were in the habit of spending more than
they ought, and of associating with people of rank; and were
therefore in every respect entitled to think well of
themselves, and meanly of others. They were of a respectable
family in the north of England; a circumstance more deeply
impressed on their memories than that their brother's fortune
and their own had been acquired by trade.
|Mr. Bingley inherited property to the amount of nearly an
hundred thousand pounds from his father, who had intended to
purchase an estate, but did not live to do it. -- Mr. Bingley
intended it likewise, and sometimes made choice of his county;
but as he was now provided with a good house and the liberty of
a manor, it was doubtful to many of those who best knew the
easiness of his temper, whether he might not spend the
remainder of his days at Netherfield, and leave the next
generation to purchase.
|His sisters were very anxious for his having an estate of his
own; but though he was now established only as a tenant, Miss
Bingley was by no means unwilling to preside at his table, nor
was Mrs. Hurst, who had married a man of more fashion than
fortune, less disposed to consider his house as her home when
it suited her. Mr. Bingley had not been of age two years, when
he was tempted by an accidental recommendation to look at
Netherfield House. He did look at it and into it for half an
hour, was pleased with the situation and the principal rooms,
satisfied with what the owner said in its praise, and took it
|Between him and Darcy there was a very steady friendship, in
spite of a great opposition of character. -- Bingley was
endeared to Darcy by the easiness, openness, ductility of his
temper, though no disposition could offer a greater contrast to
his own, and though with his own he never appeared
dissatisfied. On the strength of Darcy's regard Bingley had
the firmest reliance, and of his judgment the highest opinion.
In understanding, Darcy was the superior. Bingley was by no
means deficient, but Darcy was clever. He was at the same time
haughty, reserved, and fastidious, and his manners, though well
bred, were not inviting. In that respect his friend had
greatly the advantage. Bingley was sure of being liked
wherever he appeared; Darcy was continually giving offence.
|The manner in which they spoke of the Meryton assembly was
sufficiently characteristic. Bingley had never met with
pleasanter people or prettier girls in his life; every body had
been most kind and attentive to him, there had been no
formality, no stiffness; he had soon felt acquainted with all
the room; and as to Miss Bennet, he could not conceive an angel
more beautiful. Darcy, on the contrary, had seen a collection
of people in whom there was little beauty and no fashion, for
none of whom he had felt the smallest interest, and from none
received either attention or pleasure. Miss Bennet he
acknowledged to be pretty, but she smiled too much.
|Mrs. Hurst and her sister allowed it to be so -- but still they
admired her and liked her, and pronounced her to be a sweet
girl, and one whom they should not object to know more of.
Miss Bennet was therefore established as a sweet girl, and
their brother felt authorised by such commendation to think of
her as he chose.
|(Vol. I, Chap. 3)
||Table of Contents
||(Vol. I, Chap. 5)|
Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice in English and Chinese