What choice do I have, but to be simply incapable of putting last night’s Meryton Assembly into words? Such a vast array of different characters and finery. There was hardly any doubt that Jane had caught the eye of more than one potential suitor. Rosy cheeks and doe eyes tended to give a high opinion, especially with Mr. Bingley, whom she danced with twice. A rare occurrence indeed, with my dear sister being the only exception I have ever known. Mama was not the only approving figure.
The evening started off with a tentative atmosphere in the room. However, this applied not to Mama, who made no hesitation in getting down to a hearty gossip with the neighbours. Scheming and planning on various introductions to the Bingley entourage, I am sure. Their entrance was similar to the royal kind, might I say. All hushed voices and jostling for a good view of Mrs. Hurst’s fine lace.
Fine spirits soon kicked in, as Lydia and Kitty did not find themselves once without partners. As for myself, I preferred to stay out of it, and enjoyed the bird’s-eye view. There was hardly any question that Jane and Mr. Bingley were the main attraction in the room. As soon as Mama breathlessly introduced them, Bingley’s eyes clapped on Jane, and let us say that he was irredeemably smitten. Perhaps I understate myself, but there were plenty of envious witnesses behind fluttering fans to verify that.
Meanwhile, I found myself in more intriguing company. Mr. Bingley’s companion chose the option to sport an expression that can only be described as being arrogantly aloof. Mama had initially been impressed by his handsome countenance, the ten thousand a year and half of Derbyshire. However, then came the repellent – the combination of the arrogant refusal to dance and the unsmiling mask. My dear mother’s conclusion turned...