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THE ladies of Longbourn soon waited on those of Netherfield. The
visit was soon returned in due form. Miss Bennet’s pleasing
manners grew on the goodwill of Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley;
and though the mother was found to be intolerable, and the
younger sisters not worth speaking to, a wish of being better
acquainted with them was expressed towards the two eldest. By
Jane, this attention was received with the greatest pleasure; but
Elizabeth still saw superciliousness in their treatment of
everybody, hardly excepting even her sister, and could not like
them; though their kindness to Jane, such as it was, had a value as
arising in all probability from the influence of their brother’s
admiration. It was generally evident whenever they met, that he
did admire her; and to her it was equally evident that Jane was
yielding to the preference which she had begun to entertain for
him from the first, and was in a way to be very much in love; but
she considered with pleasure that it was not likely to be discovered
by the world in general, since Jane united, with great strength of
feeling, a composure of temper and a uniform cheerfulness of
manner which would guard her from the suspicions of the

She mentioned this to her friend Miss Lucas.
“It may perhaps be pleasant,” replied Charlotte, “to be able to
impose on the public in such a case; but it is sometimes a
disadvantage to be so very guarded. If a woman conceals her
affection with the same skill from the object of it, she may lose the
opportunity of fixing him; and it will then be but poor consolation
to believe the world equally in the dark. There is so much of
gratitude or vanity in al-
most every attachment, that it is not safe to leave any to itself. We
can all begin freely-a slight preference is natural enough: but there
are very few of us who have heart enough to be really in love
without encouragement. In nine cases out of ten a woman had
better show more affection than she feels. Bingley likes your sister,
undoubtedly; but he may never do more than like her, if she does
not help him on.” “But she does help him on, as much as her
nature will allow. If I can perceive her regard for him, he must be a
simpleton, indeed, not to discover it too.” “Remember, Eliza, that
he does not know Jane’s disposition as you do.” “But if a woman is
partial to a man, and does not endeavor to conceal it, he must find
it out.” “Perhaps he must, if he sees enough of her. But, though
Bingley and Jane meet tolerably often, it is never for many hours
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