“[F]or a kingdom! Upon my honour, I never met with so many pleasant girls in my life as I have this evening; and there are several of them, you see, uncommonly pretty. 



This first introduction to Mr. Bingley sets him up as Darcy’s temporal opposite and introduces his friendly, agreeable nature. Bingley’s enthusiasm is endearing and the compliment, which includes Elizabeth and her sisters, makes the reader instantly like him. His delight at the ball also makes Darcy’s sour and prideful attitude all the more shocking by contrast. If Mr. Bingley, who is Darcy’s social equal, can enjoy himself so genuinely in this company, then Darcy’s distaste seems like snobbish stubbornness.

Oh, you are a great deal too apt, you know, to like people in general. You never see a fault in anybody. All the world are good and agreeable in your eyes.

Elizabeth makes this comment to Jane after the first Netherfield Ball, when Jane states that she believes Mr. Bingley’s sisters are just as pleasant as he is. This comment explains the primary difference between Elizabeth and Jane. Elizabeth has already, correctly, identified Miss Bingley as shallow and catty, whereas Jane’s desire to see the best in people hinders her judgment, at least in this case. In addition, Jane’s affable nature echoes Mr. Bingley’s, setting them up as well-matched.

“If they had uncles enough to fill all Cheapside,” cried Bingley, “it would not make them one jot less agreeable.”

Bingley’s response to Miss Bingley and Mrs. Hurst’s class snobbery emphasizes his unpretentious and genuinely kind character. He judges the Bennet sisters, and particularly Jane, on how much he enjoys being around them, not based on superficial trappings like how connected their family is. Furthermore, this statement strengthens the reader’s conviction that he is a good match for Jane because they both are almost stubbornly determined to see the good in people over any and all objections.

[I]f, as you were mounting your horse, a friend were to say, “Bingley, you had better stay till next week,” you would probably do it—you would probably not go—and, at another word, might stay a month.

Darcy’s comment on how easily Bingley is influenced by his friends is another reflection of Bingley’s agreeableness and foreshadows Bingley’s eventual sudden departure from Netherfield. Bingley’s natural humility means that he often relies on the opinions of his friends and family for guidance, signaling that he respects those he cares about greatly. However, just as Jane puts her feelings in danger by believing the Bingley sisters to be her friends, Bingley’s complete faith in others’ judgment keeps him from trusting his own feelings. His allowing his friends’ opinions to lead him almost destroys his relationship with Jane.

But when they see, as I trust they will, that their brother is happy with me, they will learn to be contented, and we shall be on good terms again: though we can never be what we once were to each other.

Jane’s comment to Elizabeth concerning Mr. Bingley’s sisters shows that she has grown wiser. While losing none of her kindness, Jane expresses that she recognizes that the Bingley sisters worked against her engagement to Mr. Bingley. Her comment that she will never feel as close to them shows that she will not instantly give back her trust, so different from earlier in the novel when she refuses to entertain the thought that they might wish her ill. However, her hope that they will be on good terms someday shows that she hasn’t lost her sweetness.