Pride and Prejudice Volume 1, Chapter 3
Bingley is the source of all excitement for the Bennet household as they wait for him to return their father's visit, which is the polite custom. They fully expect Bingley to accept their mother's invitation to dine at their home in the next few days as well. Things don't follow that plan, however. Although the Bennet girls catch a glimpse of Bingley as he visits their father, they are unable to see him face to face before the ball because he has to return to London to bring some of his friends to their neighborhood for the ball. The women of the neighborhood are worried that perhaps Bingley is returning with his sweetheart, but it turns out only to be his sisters, a cousin, and his friend, Mr. Darcy. Mrs. Bennet has bright hopes that one of her daughters will land Bingley, and it is with this goal in mind that she takes her daughters to the ball. Darcy is far more handsome than Bingley and he is wealthier as well, but it escapes no one's notice that Darcy is a snob. Mr. Darcy refuses to dance with any of the ladies at the ball because he does not find any of them attractive enough to dance with. Elizabeth even overhears Darcy say that she, in particular, is not pretty enough for him to ask her to dance. Elizabeth, being a good natured girl, shakes off the insult, but her dislike for Darcy remains. Bingley, however, dances with Elizabeth's older sister, Jane, twice, and the evening is considered a success by the Bennet family.