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her manners were perfectly unassuming and gentle. Elizabeth, who
had expected to find in her as acute and unembarrassed an
observer as ever Mr. Darcy bad been, was much relieved by
discerning such different feelings.
They had not been long together before Darcy told her that Bingley
was also coming to wait on her; and she had barely time to express
her satisfaction, and prepare for such a visitor, when Bingley’s
quick step was heard on the stairs, and in a moment he entered the
room. All Elizabeth’s anger against him had been long done away;
but had she still felt any, it could hardly have stood its ground
against the unaffected cordiality with which he expressed himself
on seeing her
again. He inquired in a friendly, though general way, after her
family, and looked and spoke with the same good-humored ease
that he had ever done.
To Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner he was scarcely a less interesting
personage than to herself. They had long wished to see him. The
whole party before them, indeed, excited a lively attention. The
suspicions which had just arisen of Mr. Darcy and their niece
directed their observation towards each with an earnest though
guarded inquiry; and they soon drew from those inquiries the full
conviction that one of them at least knew what it was to love. Of
the lady’s sensations they remained a little in doubt; but that the
gentleman was overflowing with admiration was evident enough.
Elizabeth, on her side, had much to do. She wanted to ascertain the
feelings of each of her visitors; she wanted to compose her own,
and to make herself agreeable to all; and in the latter object, where
she feared most to fail, she was most sure of success, for those to
whom she endeavored to give pleasure were prepossessed in her
favor. Bingley was ready, Georgiana was eager, and Darcy
determined, to be pleased.
In seeing Bingley, her thoughts naturally flew to her sister; and oh!
how ardently did she long to know whether any of his were
directed in a like manner.
Sometimes she could fancy that he talked less than on former
occasions, and once or twice pleased herself with the notion that, as
he looked at her, he was trying to trace a resemblance. But, though
this might be imaginary, she could not be deceived as to his
behavior to Miss Darcy, who had been set up as a rival to Jane.
No look appeared on either side that spoke particular regard.
Nothing occurred between them that could justify the hopes of his
sister. On this point she was soon satisfied; and two or three little
circumstances occurred ere they parted, which, in her anxious
interpretation, denoted a recollection of Jane not untinctured by