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|Bingley doing something rude?
Written by KateL
(1/22/2004 1:53 p.m.)
It seems impossible, but did Bingley commit a social gaffe during his ball? When the Bennets arrive the Bingley family is lined up to receive their guests. Caroline and Louisa are formally polite, Mr. Collins is introduced and starts gushing, and Kitty and Lydia ignore their hostesses and rush off to see the officers. So far, everyone's in character.
Then Jane gets as far as Bingley, they smile at each other, and he walks right out of the receiving line. You can hear Caroline greet the Forsters but he's paying no attention at all. Jane takes his arm, a moment later they come back for Elizabeth and he enters the ball with a Miss Bennet on each arm, leaving his sisters to welcome late-arriving guests on their own. No wonder the gossip is spreading.
Am I missing some detail of etiquette? Wasn't the host required to greet people as they came in? Somebody please defend him, I don't want to think ill of Bingley.
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