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Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen



IT is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in
possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be
on his first entering a neighborhood, this truth is so well fixed in
the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the
rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.

“My dear Mr. Bennet,” said his lady to him one day, “have you
heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?” Mr. Bennet replied that
he had not.

“But it is,” returned she; “for Mrs. Long has just been here, and she
told me all about it.” Mr. Bennet made no answer.

“Do not you want to know who has taken it?” cried his wife

“You want to tell me, and I have no objection to hearing it.” This
was invitation enough.

“Why, my dear, you must know, Mrs. Long says that Netherfield is
taken by a young man of large fortune from the north of England;
that he came down on Monday in a chaise and four to see the
place, and was so much delighted with it,
that he agreed with Mr. Morris immediately; that he is to take
possession before Michaelmas, and some of his servants are to be
in the house by the end of next week.” “What is his name?”
“Bingley.” “Is he married or single?” “Oh! single, my dear, to be
sure! A single man of large fortune; four or five thousand a-year.
What a fine thing for our girls!” “How so? how can it affect them?”
“My dear Mr. Bennet,” replied his wife, “how can you be so
tiresome! you must know that I am thinking of his marrying one of
them.” “Is that his design in settling here?” “Design! nonsense,
how can you talk so! But it is very likely that he may fall in love
with one of them, and therefore you must visit him as soon as he
comes.” “I see no occasion for that. You and the girls may go, or
you may send them by themselves, which perhaps will be still
better, for as you are as handsome as any of them, Mr. Bingley
might like you the best of the party.” “My dear, you flatter me. I
certainly have had my share of beauty, but I do not pretend to be
anything extraordinary now. When a woman has five grown-up
daughters, she ought to give over thinking of her own beauty.”

“In such cases, a woman has not often much beauty to think of.”
“But, my dear, you must indeed go and see Mr. Bingley when he
comes into the neighborhood.” “It is more than I engage for, I
assure you.” “But consider your daughters. Only think what an
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Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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