Not all that Mrs. Bennet, however, with the assistance of her five daughters, could ask on the subject was sufficient to draw from her husband any satisfactory description of Mr. Bingley. They attacked him in various ways; with barefaced questions, ingenious suppositions, and distant surmises; but he eluded the skill of them all; and they were at last obliged to accept the second-hand intelligence of their neighbour Lady Lucas. Her report was highly favourable. Sir William had been delighted with him. He was quite young, wonderfully handsome, extremely agreeable,

Practically perfect in every way.
and, to crown the whole, he meant to be at the next assembly with a large party. Nothing could be more delightful! To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love; and very lively hopes of Mr. Bingley’s heart were entertained.

“If I can but see one of my daughters happily settled at Netherfield,” said Mrs. Bennet to her husband, “and all the others equally well married, I shall have nothing to wish for.”

To me this seems a little like, “If I had a million dollars, I shall have nothing to wish for. How realistic are Mrs. Bennet’s thoughts that all five of her daughters marry rich dudes when their dowries are so small? She’s a really silly woman!

In a few days Mr. Bingley returned Mr. Bennet’s visit, and sat about ten minutes with him in his library. He had entertained hopes of being admitted to a sight of the young ladies, of whose beauty he had heard much;

Interesting—Mrs. Bennet is sort of right, that he’s looking for pretty girls.
but he saw only the father. The ladies were somewhat more fortunate, for they had the advantage of ascertaining, from an upper window, that he wore a blue coat and rode a black horse.
Everything you could ever want in a husband, obviously. I’m doing a play on this in Emma + Elsie by having Emma meet Bingley in his blue truck, and wondering what that means about him.

An invitation to dinner was soon afterwards dispatched; and already had Mrs. Bennet planned the courses that were to do credit to her housekeeping, when an answer arrived which deferred it all. Mr. Bingley was obliged to be in town the following day, and consequently unable to accept the honour of their invitation, &c. Mrs. Bennet was quite disconcerted. She could not imagine what business he could have in town so soon after his arrival in Hertfordshire; and she began to fear that he might be always 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 starting the idea of his being gone to London only to get a large party 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 grieved over such a large number of ladies; but were comforted the day before the ball by hearing that, instead of twelve, he had brought only six with him from London, his five sisters and a cousin. And when the party entered the assembly room, it consisted of only five altogether; Mr. Bingley, his two sisters, the husband of the oldest, and another young man.

Mr. Bingley was good looking and gentlemanlike; he had a pleasant countenance, and easy, unaffected manners. His brother-in-law, Mr. Hurst, merely looked the gentleman;

I’m not 100% sure what this means—that he was ugly with mediocre manners?
but his friend Mr. Darcy soon drew the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mien; and the report which was in general circulation within five minutes after his entrance, of his having ten thousand a year.
Wow, that is awkward. No wonder Darcy is a bit standoffish—people are always mentioning his money. I’m going to incorporate this into the scene where he first meets Emma.
The gentlemen pronounced him to be a fine figure of a man, the ladies declared he was much handsomer than Mr. Bingley,
I didn’t realize this before. I always thought Bingley was the more handsome of the two, but Darcy is.
and he was looked at with great admiration for about half the evening, till his manners gave a disgust which turned the tide of his popularity; for he was discovered to be proud, to be above his company, and above being pleased; and not all his large estate in Derbyshire could then save him from having a most forbidding, disagreeable countenance, and being unworthy to be compared with his friend.
Proud, above his company, and above being pleased. This will be interesting to play with in the midst of Emma, especially because she’s also a bit of a snob. It would be even funnier to have him snobbing her! He is a little richer than her, after all.

Mr. Bingley had soon made himself acquainted with all the principal people in the room; he was lively and unreserved, danced every dance, was angry that the ball closed so early, and talked of giving one himself at Netherfield. Such amiable qualities must speak for themselves. What a contrast between him and his friend! Mr. Darcy danced only once with Mrs. Hurst and once with Miss Bingley, declined being introduced to any other lady, and spent the rest of the evening in walking about the room, speaking occasionally to one of his own party.

He’s actually just a little shy, right? It’s interesting that he’s only willing to dance with his friend’s sisters, especially Caroline.
His character was decided. He was the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world, and every body hoped that he would never come there again. Amongst the most violent against him was Mrs. Bennet, whose dislike of his general behaviour was sharpened into particular resentment by his having slighted one of her daughters.

Elizabeth Bennet had been obliged, by the scarcity of gentlemen, to sit down for two dances; and during part of 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 press his friend to join it.

“Come, Darcy,” said he, “I must have you dance. I hate to see you standing about by yourself in this stupid manner. You had much better dance.”

Bingley is trying to help Darcy come out of his shell at all turns. He kind of serves as Darcy’s wingman.

“I certainly shall not. You know how I detest it, unless I am particularly acquainted with my partner. At such an assembly as this, it would be insupportable. Your sisters are engaged, and there is not another woman in the room whom it would not be a punishment to me to stand up with.”

This is pretty awful of him to say.

“I would not be so fastidious as you are,” cried Bingley, “for a kingdom! Upon my honour I never met with so many pleasant girls in my life, as I have this evening; and there are several of them, you see, uncommonly pretty.”

“You are dancing with the only handsome girl in the room,” said Mr. Darcy, looking at the eldest Miss Bennet.

“Oh! she is the most beautiful creature I ever beheld! But there is one of her sisters sitting down just behind you, who is very pretty, and I dare say very agreeable. Do let me ask my partner to introduce you.”

“Which do you mean?” and turning round, he looked for a moment at Elizabeth, till catching her eye, he withdrew his own and coldly said, “She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me; and I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men.

Damn, he just called her desperate, I think. It would be interesting for Lizzy to actually do something that deserved this.
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 cordial feelings towards him. She told the story however with great spirit among her friends; for she had a lively, playful disposition, which delighted in any thing ridiculous.

I’ve never really bought this aside from it being a bit of an act. No girl gets slighted by a guy like this and turns it into a joke. The way I think I’m going to handle it in Emma + Elsie is to have Emma be the one she really confides in and what happens in the book to be the way she copes with it more publicly.

The evening altogether passed off pleasantly to the whole family. Mrs. Bennet had seen her eldest daughter much admired by the Netherfield party. Mr. Bingley had danced with her twice, and she had been distinguished by his sisters. Jane was as much gratified by this as her mother could be, though in a quieter way. Elizabeth felt Jane’s pleasure. Mary had heard herself mentioned to Miss Bingley as the most accomplished girl in the neighbourhood; and Catherine and Lydia had been fortunate enough to be never without partners, which was all that they had yet learnt to care for at a ball. They returned therefore, in good spirits to Longbourn, the village where they lived, and of which they were the principal inhabitants. They found Mr. Bennet still up. With a book, he was regardless of time; and on the present occasion he had a good deal of curiosity as to the event of an evening which had raised such splendid expectations. He had rather hoped that all his wife’s views on the stranger would be disappointed;

A little confusing; Mr. Bennet was hoping that Bingley wouldn’t live up to Mrs. Bennet’s fantasies, maybe?
but he soon found that 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. Every body said how well 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 creature in the room that he asked a second time. First of all, he asked Miss Lucas. I was so vexed to see him stand up with her; but, however, he did not admire her at all: indeed, nobody can, you know; and he seemed quite struck with Jane as she was going down the dance. So, he enquired who she was, and got introduced, and asked her for the two next. Then, the two third he danced with Miss King, and the two fourth with Maria Lucas, and the two fifth with Jane again, and the two sixth with Lizzy, and the Boulanger—”

“If he had had any compassion for me,” cried her husband impatiently, “he would not have danced half so much! For God’s sake, say no more of his partners. Oh! that he had sprained his ancle in the first dance!”

“Oh! my dear,” continued Mrs. Bennet, “I am quite delighted with him. He is so excessively handsome! and his sisters are charming women. I never in my life saw any thing 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 was therefore obliged to seek another branch of the subject, and related, with much bitterness of spirit and some exaggeration, the shocking rudeness of Mr. Darcy.

“But I can assure you,” she added, “that Lizzy does not lose much by not suiting his fancy; for he is a most disagreeable, horrid man, not at all worth pleasing. So high and so conceited that there was no enduring him! He walked here, and he walked there, fancying himself so very great! Not handsome enough to dance with!

I love that even Mrs. Bennet has limits. She is certainly a mother scorned here.
I wish you had been there, my dear, to have given him one of your set downs.
I doubt Mr. Bennet would have done anything even if he was there. He’s fairly passive throughout the book.
I quite detest the man.”

Notes From Monica:
1. Practically perfect in every way.
2. To me this seems a little like, "If I had a million dollars, I shall have nothing to wish for. How realistic are Mrs. Bennet's thoughts that all five of her daughters marry rich dudes when their dowries are so small? She's a really silly woman!
3. Interesting—Mrs. Bennet is sort of right, that he's looking for pretty girls.
4. Everything you could ever want in a husband, obviously. I'm doing a play on this in Emma + Elsie by having Emma meet Bingley in his blue truck, and wondering what that means about him.
5. I'm not 100% sure what this means—that he was ugly with mediocre manners?
6. Wow, that is awkward. No wonder Darcy is a bit standoffish—people are always mentioning his money. I'm going to incorporate this into the scene where he first meets Emma.
7. I didn't realize this before. I always thought Bingley was the more handsome of the two, but Darcy is.
8. Proud, above his company, and above being pleased. This will be interesting to play with in the midst of Emma, especially because she's also a bit of a snob. It would be even funnier to have him snobbing her! He is a little richer than her, after all.
9. He's actually just a little shy, right? It's interesting that he's only willing to dance with his friend's sisters, especially Caroline.
10. Bingley is trying to help Darcy come out of his shell at all turns. He kind of serves as Darcy's wingman.
11. This is pretty awful of him to say.
12. Damn, he just called her desperate, I think. It would be interesting for Lizzy to actually do something that deserved this.
13. I've never really bought this aside from it being a bit of an act. No girl gets slighted by a guy like this and turns it into a joke. The way I think I'm going to handle it in Emma + Elsie is to have Emma be the one she really confides in and what happens in the book to be the way she copes with it more publicly.
14. A little confusing; Mr. Bennet was hoping that Bingley wouldn't live up to Mrs. Bennet's fantasies, maybe?
15. I love that even Mrs. Bennet has limits. She is certainly a mother scorned here.
16. I doubt Mr. Bennet would have done anything even if he was there. He's fairly passive throughout the book.
17. Practically perfect in every way.
18. To me this seems a little like, “If I had a million dollars, I shall have nothing to wish for. How realistic are Mrs. Bennet’s thoughts that all five of her daughters marry rich dudes when their dowries are so small? She’s a really silly woman!
19. Interesting—Mrs. Bennet is sort of right, that he’s looking for pretty girls.
20. Everything you could ever want in a husband, obviously. I’m doing a play on this in Emma + Elsie by having Emma meet Bingley in his blue truck, and wondering what that means about him.
21. I’m not 100% sure what this means—that he was ugly with mediocre manners?
22. Wow, that is awkward. No wonder Darcy is a bit standoffish—people are always mentioning his money. I’m going to incorporate this into the scene where he first meets Emma.
23. I didn’t realize this before. I always thought Bingley was the more handsome of the two, but Darcy is.
24. Proud, above his company, and above being pleased. This will be interesting to play with in the midst of Emma, especially because she’s also a bit of a snob. It would be even funnier to have him snobbing her! He is a little richer than her, after all.
25. He’s actually just a little shy, right? It’s interesting that he’s only willing to dance with his friend’s sisters, especially Caroline.
26. Bingley is trying to help Darcy come out of his shell at all turns. He kind of serves as Darcy’s wingman.
27. This is pretty awful of him to say.
28. Damn, he just called her desperate, I think. It would be interesting for Lizzy to actually do something that deserved this.
29. I’ve never really bought this aside from it being a bit of an act. No girl gets slighted by a guy like this and turns it into a joke. The way I think I’m going to handle it in Emma + Elsie is to have Emma be the one she really confides in and what happens in the book to be the way she copes with it more publicly.
30. A little confusing; Mr. Bennet was hoping that Bingley wouldn’t live up to Mrs. Bennet’s fantasies, maybe?
31. I love that even Mrs. Bennet has limits. She is certainly a mother scorned here.
32. I doubt Mr. Bennet would have done anything even if he was there. He’s fairly passive throughout the book.

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