Mrs. Bennet, even with the help of her five daughters was unable to pursued Mr. Bennet to give a good description of Mr. Bingley. They asked him in several ways, straight out questions, small suggestions, and simple predictions, but he never answered them. They were at last forced to receive a second hand description from their neighbor Lady Lucas. Her report was highly favorable. Sir William (Lady Lucas's husband) had been delighted with him. He was quite young, wonderfully handsome, very outgoing and easy to talk to, and as icing on the cake, he meant to bring some friends to the next ball. Nothing could be more delightful! To like dancing was a certain step towards falling in love, and the hopes of Mr. Bingley's heart were thought of.
"If I can see one of my daughters married to Mr. Bingley and happily living at Netherfield" said Mr. Bennet to her husband, "and the others equally well married, I'll never want anything ever again!"
In a few days Mr. Bingley came to visit Mr. Bennet and talked with him for about ten minutes in his library. Mr. Bingley had secretly wished to see the daughters, as he had heard much of their beauty, but saw only the father. The daughters were more fortunate for they were able to see from the upper window that he wore a blue coat and rode a black horse.
Mr. Bennet invited Mr. Bingley to dinner, and Mrs. Bennet began planning the menu before his answer even arrived. When it did come, it informed that Mr. Bingley had to be in town the next day for a business trip and was unable to accept the honor of their invitation. Mrs. Bennet was quite concerned. She could not imagine what business he could have in town so soon after his arrival in Hentsfordshire; she began to fear that he might be always be flying about from one place to another, and never settled at Netherfield as he ought to be. Lady Lucas quieted her fears a little by started the idea that he left to London to get a large group of people for the ball, and a report soon followed, that Mr. Bingley was to bring twelve ladies and seven gentlemen with him to the assembly. The girls worried about the number of ladies, but were comforted the day before by hearing that instead of twelve he had brought only six with him from London, his five sisters and a cousin. When the party entered the assembly room it consisted of only five- Mr. Bingley, two of his sisters, the husband of the eldest sister, an another man.
Mr. Bingley was handsome and gentleman-like, he had a pleasant attitude, and easy and nice manners. His sisters were fashionable and fine women. His brother-in-law, Mr. Hurst, merely looked the part of a gentlemen; but his friend Mr. Darcy soon drew the attention because of his fine and handsome features, his height, which was rather tall. And the word that spread within five minutes of his entrance, of him having ten thousand pounds a year. The men declared he was a model of a man, the ladies claimed he was much handsomer than Mr. Bingley, and he was looked at with much admiration for half the evening, till his bad manners gave a disgust which quickly changed everybody's opinion of him. He was discovered to be proud, to be cross, and impossible to please; not even his large estate in Derbyshire could save him from having the worst reputation, most disagreeable attitude, and being declared unworthy to be compared to his pleasing friend.
Mr. Bingley had soon made himself acquainted with all the important people in the room, he was so lively and not shy, danced every dance, was angry the ball ended so soon, and talked about hosting a ball himself at Netherfield. Such amiable qualities must speak for themselves! What a contrast between him and his friend! Mr. Darcy danced only twice, once with Mrs. Hurst, and once with Miss Bingley. He declined being introduced to any other lady, and spent the rest of the evening walking about the room. Speaking occasionally to one of his own party. His attitude was decided. He was the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world, and everybody hoped he would would never come there again. Among those who hated him the most was Mrs. Bennet, whose dislike of his general behavior was sharpened into fierce resentment by him having dis-respected one of his daughters.
Because of the lack of gentlemen, Elizabeth Bennet had to sit down for two dances; and during that time, Mr. Darcy had been standing near enough for her to overhear a conversation between him and Mr. Bingley, who came from the dance for a few minutes to ask his friend to join it.
"Come Darcy," said he "I must have you dance, I hate seeing you standing about in this stupid manner, you should go out and dance."
"I should certainly shall not. You now I hate it, unless I know my partner. At a party like this it would be impossible, your sisters are busy, and their is another women in the room who it wouldn't be a punishment to dance with." Said Darcy.
"I would not be as judgmental as you are," cried Bingley, "Upon my honor, I have never met with so many beautiful girls in my life as I have this evening!; and there are several of them you see that are uncommonly pretty!"
"You are dancing with the only beautiful girl in the room" said Mr.Darcy looking at the oldest of the Miss Bennets.
"Oh! she is the most beautiful creature I have ever held! But there is one of her sisters sitting down just behind you, she is very pretty and very agreeable. let my partner, who is her sister, to introduce you."
"Which do you mean?" and turning around he he looked for a moment at Elizabeth, then met her eye, and looked back around and said coldly. "She is tolerable, but not pretty enough to tempt me, you had better return to your partner and enjoy her smiles, for you are wasting your time with me."
Mr. Bingley followed his advice. Mr. Darcy walked off; and Elizabeth remained with no very kind feelings toward him. She told the story, however, to her friends with a laugh; for she had a very lively and playful attitude, which delighted in anything ridiculous.
The evening passed off altogether pleasantly to the whole family. Mrs. Bennet had seen her eldest much admired by Mr. Bingley and his friends. He had danced with her twice, and she had been chosen from her sisters. Jane was just as excited about this as her mother was, though in a quieter way. Elizabeth could fell Jane's happiness. Mary had heard herself mentioned to Miss Bingley as the most accomplished girl in the neighborhood; and Catherine and Lydia had been fortunate enough to always have a dancing partner, which was all they cared about when it came to a ball. They returned in good spirits to Longborn, the village where they lived and were the main inhabitants. They found Mr. Bennet was still awake. With a book he was regardless of time; and on that night he was curious about the evening they all had such high hopes for. He had wanted his wife to be disappointed with the stranger, but soon found he had a very different story to hear
"Oh! my dear Mr. Bennet" as she entered the room "we have had a most delightful evening, a most excellent ball. I wish you had been there, Jane was so admired, nothing could be like it. Everybody said how good she looked; and Mr. Bingley thought her quite beautiful, and danced with her twice! Only think of that my dear! He actually danced with her twice! And she was the only soul in the room that he asked a second time. He asked Miss Lucas first and I was so vexed to see him dance with her! But, however, he did not admire her at all; indeed, nobody can, you know; and he seemed quite drawn to Jane as she was dancing. So he asked who she was, got introduced, and asked her for the next two dances. Then Miss King, then Maria Lucas, then Jane again, then Lizzy---"
"If he had any compassion for me" cried her husband impatiently "he would not have danced half so much! Please say no more of his partners! Oh that he had sprained his ankle in the first dance!"
"Oh! my dear" continued Mrs. Bennet "I'm quite delighted with him. He is so very handsome! And his sisters are charming women. I never in my life saw anything more elegant than their dresses. I dare say the lace upon Mrs. Hurst's gown---"
Here she was interrupted again. Mr. Bennet protested against any description of finery. She then had to fine another subject of which to speak, and turned, with much bitterness and some exaggeration, to the shocking rudeness of Mr. Darcy.
"But I can assure you" she added "Lizzy did not lose much not being liked by him; for he is a most disagreeable, horrid man, not at all worth pleasing. So high and vain and there is no goodness in being with him! He walked here, and he walked there, thinking himself so very great! Not pretty enough to tempt him! I wish you had been there, my dear, you would have given him one of your talks. I quite detest the man!"
YOU ARE READING
A Simplified Pride and PrejudiceHistorical Fiction
This is for those who wish to read Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice but find the old English it is written in to be too confusing and difficult to understand. This book contains the same story as a regular Pride and Prejudice book, but is 'transla...