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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 immediately.
Between him and Darcy there was a very steady friendship, in
spite of great opposition of character. Bingley was endeared to
Darcy by the easiness, open-
ness, and 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 offense.
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; everybody 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
authorized by such commendation to think of her as he chose.