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  • CHAPTER 1

  • 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 neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding

  • families, that he is considered 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 you not want to know who has taken it?" cried his wife impatiently.

  • "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 may 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

  • neighbourhood." "It is more than I engage for, I assure

  • you."

  • "But consider your daughters. Only think what an establishment it would

  • be for one of them.

  • Sir William and Lady Lucas are determined to go, merely on that account, for in

  • general, you know, they visit no newcomers.

  • Indeed you must go, for it will be impossible for us to visit him if you do

  • not." "You are over-scrupulous, surely.

  • I dare say Mr. Bingley will be very glad to see you; and I will send a few lines by you

  • to assure him of my hearty consent to his marrying whichever he chooses of the girls;

  • though I must throw in a good word for my little Lizzy."

  • "I desire you will do no such thing.

  • Lizzy is not a bit better than the others; and I am sure she is not half so handsome

  • as Jane, nor half so good-humoured as Lydia.

  • But you are always giving her the preference."

  • "They have none of them much to recommend them," replied he; "they are all silly and

  • ignorant like other girls; but Lizzy has something more of quickness than her

  • sisters."

  • "Mr. Bennet, how can you abuse your own children in such a way?

  • You take delight in vexing me. You have no compassion for my poor nerves."

  • "You mistake me, my dear.

  • I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends.

  • I have heard you mention them with consideration these last twenty years at

  • least."

  • "Ah, you do not know what I suffer." "But I hope you will get over it, and live

  • to see many young men of four thousand a year come into the neighbourhood."

  • "It will be no use to us, if twenty such should come, since you will not visit

  • them." "Depend upon it, my dear, that when there

  • are twenty, I will visit them all."

  • Mr. Bennet was so odd a mixture of quick parts, sarcastic humour, reserve, and

  • caprice, that the experience of three-and- twenty years had been insufficient to make

  • his wife understand his character.

  • Her mind was less difficult to develop. She was a woman of mean understanding,

  • little information, and uncertain temper. When she was discontented, she fancied

  • herself nervous.

  • The business of her life was to get her daughters married; its solace was visiting

  • and news.

CHAPTER 1

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A2 UK bennet bingley lizzy neighbourhood visit replied

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - Chapter 01

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    羅致 posted on 2014/06/03
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