They gradually ascended for half-a-mile, and then found themselves at the top of a considerable eminence, where the wood ceased, and the eye was instantly caught by Pemberley House, situated on the opposite side of a valley, into which the road with some abruptness wound. It was a large, handsome stone building, standing well on rising ground, and backed by a ridge of high woody hills; and in front, a stream of some natural importance was swelled into greater, but without any artificial appearance. Its banks were neither formal nor falsely adorned. Elizabeth was delighted. She had never seen a place for which nature had done more, or where natural beauty had been so little counteracted by an awkward taste. They were all of them warm in their admiration; and at that moment she felt that to be mistress of Pemberley might be something!
For most of the novel, Elizabeth interacts with Darcy at balls and other people’s homes, but in this scene, she views his grand estate, Pemberley, for the first time. Now that Elizabeth knows the truth about the motivations behind Darcy’s actions, she is more prepared to regard him with an open mind, so when Darcy’s housekeeper brags about his generosity, Elizabeth readily believes this positive account of his character. This marks the point in the novel when Elizabeth’s feelings toward Darcy transform into love as she begins to see the real man buried under her misconceptions of him. Pemberley is a symbol for the man who calls the estate home. Both Pemberley and Darcy are impressive and intimidating just by their very nature. They don’t need decoration or artificial beauty to impress.