Pride and prejudice

1813
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

By Jane Austen

CHAPTER I

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
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 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 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
New-comers. 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



Pride and prejudice