Pride and Prejudice Volume 1, Chapter 6
The Bennet girls and their mother all leave their home at Longbourn to make a visit to the Bingley women at Netherfield. Bingley's sisters decide that the only people of the Bennet family worth knowing are Jane and Elizabeth. Elizabeth can tell that Jane's interest in Bingley is growing, but she is also pleased to note that Jane keeps her composure around him and doesn't act boy-crazy the way that other young women behave around handsome men. Charlotte points out to Elizabeth that it might be a mistake for Jane to seem so cool around Bingley because he might not realize that Jane likes him. Elizabeth, being practical, looks at the situation logically and thinks that Jane should guard her feelings until she knows Bingley better to make sure that Jane doesn't get hurt or humiliated in front of everyone they know.
Meanwhile, Mr. Darcy finds that after assuring all of his friends that he doesn't think Elizabeth Bennet is at all pretty, he actually does like her. But instead of talking to her, he listens in on her conversations with other people. Elizabeth notices and tells Charlotte that if Darcy eavesdrops anymore, she's going to bust him for it. No sooner does she make the statement than Darcy comes near to where she and Charlotte are talking. True to her word, Elizabeth asks Darcy what he thought of a conversation she saw him listening in on earlier in the evening. Before she can embarrass him further, Elizabeth is called away to play the piano and sing for the crowd. Her performance is good enough, but not spectacular. Then her younger sister, Mary, takes over the entertainment in a pathetic quest for attention. Since Mary is not quite equipped with the talent to be a pleasing entertainer, Mr. Bennet has to drag her away from the piano after she has completely humiliated herself and her sisters.
While the young people are dancing, Sir William Lucas, Charlotte's father, talks with Darcy who once again does not join the dancing. Darcy tells Sir William that he doesn't like to dance, but as Elizabeth approaches, Sir William tries to get them to dance together. Darcy would not mind dancing with Elizabeth, but she refuses. She does not like Darcy, and she does not want to be danced with out of pity or pressure. As Elizabeth walks away, Miss Bingley comes over to Darcy and tells him that she can tell that he's bored and that he hates Netherfield and the country society. But Darcy tells her that she's wrong. He's thinking about Elizabeth and "the very great pleasure which a pair of fine eyes in the face of a pretty woman can bestow." Volume 1, Chapter 6, pg. 18 Miss Bingley is unpleasantly surprised by Darcy's interest in Elizabeth, but Darcy ignores her comments and the rest of the evening passes without incident.