It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession ofa good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on hisfirst entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the mindsof the surrounding families, that he is considered the rightful propertyof some one or other of their daughters.
“My dear Mr. Bennet,” said his lady to him one day, “have you heard thatNetherfield 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 toldme 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 bya young man of large fortune from the north of England; that he came downon Monday in a chaise and four to see the place, and was so much delightedwith it, that he agreed with Mr. Morris immediately; that he is to takepossession before 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?”