Chapter 1

Itisatruthuniversallyacknowledged,thatasinglemaninpossessionofagoodfortune,mustbeinwantofawife.

Howeverlittleknownthefeelingsorviewsofsuchamanmaybeonhisfirstenteringaneighbourhood,thistruthissowellfixedinthemindsofthesurroundingfamilies,thatheisconsideredtherightfulpropertyofsomeoneorotheroftheirdaughters.

“MydearMr.Bennet,”saidhisladytohimoneday,“haveyouheardthatNetherfieldParkisletatlast?”

Mr.Bennetrepliedthathehadnot.

“Butitis,”returnedshe;“forMrs.Longhasjustbeenhere,andshetoldmeallaboutit.”

Mr.Bennetmadenoanswer.

“Doyounotwanttoknowwhohastakenit?”criedhiswifeimpatiently.

“Youwanttotellme,andIhavenoobjectiontohearingit.”

Thiswasinvitationenough.

“Why,mydear,youmustknow,Mrs.LongsaysthatNetherfieldistakenbyayoungmanoflargefortunefromthenorthofEngland;thathecamedownonMondayinachaiseandfourtoseetheplace,andwassomuchdelightedwithit,thatheagreedwithMr.Morrisimmediately;thatheistotakepossessionbeforeMichaelmas,andsomeofhisservantsaretobeinthehousebytheendofnextweek.”

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