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