Pride and Prejudice HTML version

Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
Chapter 1
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in posses-
sion 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 neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the
minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered 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 you not want to know who has taken it?” cried his wife impa-
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 imme-
diately; 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?”
“My dear Mr. Bennet,” replied his wife, “how can you be so tire-
some! You must know that I am thinking of his marrying one of them.”