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CHAPTER I (1)
IT is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man inpossession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
However little known the feelings or views of such a man may beon his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so wellfixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he isconsidered as the rightful property of some one or other oftheir daughters.
``My dear Mr. Bennet,'' said his lady to him one day, ``haveyou 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 beenhere, and she told me all about it.''
Mr. Bennet made no answer.
``Do not you want to know who has taken it?'' cried his wifeimpatiently.
``_You_ want to tell me, and I have no objection to hearingit.''
This was invitation enough.
``Why, my dear, you must know, Mrs. Long says that Netherfieldis taken by a young man of large fortune from the north ofEngland; that he came down on Monday in a chaise and four tosee the place, and was so much delighted with it that he agreedwith Mr. Morris immediately; that he is to take possessionbefore Michaelmas, and some of his servants are to be in thehouse by the end of next week.''
``What is his name?''
``Is he married or single?''