Pride and Prejudice: Novel Summary: Chapters 1-4
Chapter 1: Chapter one introduces Mr. and Mrs. Bennet of the Longbourn estate. Mrs. Bennet has been told that a "young man of large fortune from the north of England" is moving to Netherfield, an estate near theirs, and she has designs on marrying him to one of her daughters. Mrs. Bennet says that Mr. Bennet must go and see Bingley, the new neighbor, "as soon as he comes," and that he should think of his daughters and what a good marriage it would be. Mr. Bennet's preference for his daughter Elizabeth also becomes evident, when he says she "has something more of quickness than her sisters," whom he describes as "silly and ignorant like other girls." Mr. Bennet teasingly questions why his visit to Bingley could be so important.
Chapter 2: Elizabeth, as well as three of her four sisters, Kitty, Mary, and Lydia are briefly introduced in chapter two. While in Chapter one Mr. Bennet teases his wife saying he will not visit Bingley as soon as he arrives, in Chapter two we learn that indeed "Mr. Bennet was among the earliest of those who waited on Mr. Bingley." "The rest of the evening is spent in conjecturing how soon [Bingley] will return Mr. Bennet's visit, and determining when they should ask him to dinner."
Chapter 3: Bingley is invited to dinner when he returns Mr. Bennet's visit, but declines the offer, as he must go to town on business. He returns in time for a ball at Sir William and Lady Lucas' (neighbors of the Bennet's), and brings his sisters and his friend, Mr. Darcy. While all agree at first that Mr. Darcy is a good looking, rich man, soon he is thought to be proud, and all are disgusted by him. He says of Elizabeth, "She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me." Jane, the eldest of the Bennet's daughters dances with Bingley twice, and that joy is enough to make Mrs. Bennet "quite delighted" with him.
Chapter 4: When Jane and Elizabeth are alone, Jane admits how much she admires Bingley, and that she finds his sisters, Miss Bingley and Mrs. Hurst, charming. Elizabeth however, wonders at how her sister never finds fault with anybody, and how she can be "so honestly blind to the follies and nonsense of others." Elizabeth does not find Bingley's sisters charming, but rather proud and conceited. It is told that Bingley inherited money from his father, and that his sisters are anxious for him to have an estate of his own. Miss Bingley is going to live at Netherfield with Bingley, and despite the differences between Bingley and Darcy, theirs is a "very steady friendship," and Bingley thinks very highly of Darcy's judgement and regard.
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