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Pride And Prejudice- Part 1
Pride And Prejudice- Part 1
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Chapter One: A Newcomer at Netherfield

Everyone knows that a single man with a fortune must want a wife. His

feelings may be unknown, but when such a man first enters a neighbourhood,

all the families there immediately consider him the property of one of their

daughters.

'My dear Mr Bennet,' said his lady one day, 'have you heard that

Netherfield Park is let at last?'

Mr Bennet answered that he had not.

'But it is,' she said. 'Mrs Long has just been there and she told me all about

it.' Mr Bennet didn't answer.

'Do you not want to know who has taken it?' cried his wife.

'You want to tell me, and I have no objection to hearing it.'

This was invitation enough.

'Why, my dear, you must know that Mrs Long says that Netherfield is

taken by a rich young man from the north of England; that he came down on

Monday to see the place, and was so happy with it he agreed to take it. His

servants will be in the house by the end of next week.'

'What is his name?'

'Bingley.'

'Is he married or single?'

'Oh! single, my dear! A single man of large fortune. What a good thing for

our girls!'

'How so?'

'My dear Mr Bennet,' answered his wife. 'You must know that I am

thinking of his marrying one of them.'

'Is that why he is coming here?'

'Nonsense! But it is very probable that he will fall in love with one of them

so you must visit him as soon as he comes.'

'Why me? You and the girls can go, or you can send them alone, which

will be even better. You are as handsome as any of them. Mr Bingley might

like you best.'

'My dear, you flatter me. When a woman has five daughters she ought to

stop thinking of her own beauty. But you must go and see Mr Bingley when

he comes.'

'I cannot promise that.'

'But think of your daughters. Think of Jane and Elizabeth. Think of Mary,

Catherine and Lydia. Think what a fortune it would be for one of them. That

is why Sir William and Lady Lucas are going. You must go, for it will be

impossible for us to visit him if you do not.'

'I am sure Mr Bingley will be very glad to see you, and I will write to give

him my permission to marry one of the girls, though I must say a good word

for my little Lizzy.'

'I desire you will do no such thing. Lizzy is no better than the others. She

is not half as handsome as Jane nor half as good-ill-humoured as Lydia, but

you always prefer her.'

'They are all silly like other girls, but Lizzy is more intelligent than her

sisters.'

'Mr Bennet, how can you speak so of your own children? You have no

compassion on my poor nerves.'

'You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nervous. They

are my old friends. You have mentioned them with feeling for twenty years

at least.'

'Ah! You do not know what I suffer.'

I hope you will get over it and see many rich young men come into the

neighbourhood.'

'It will be no use since you will not visit them.'

'My dear, when there are twenty, I will visit them all.'

Mr Bennet was one of the first to visit Mr Bingley as he had always

planned. The surprise of his family when they heard was just what he had

wanted.

Not all the questions that Mrs Bennet and her five daughters asked could

get a description of Mr Bingley from her husband. They had to hear the

news from their neighbour Lady Lucas. Her report was very favourable. He

was young, handsome, friendly, and best of all he was coming to the next

ball with a party of friends. Nothing could be better! To like dancing was a

certain step to falling in love.

'If one of my daughters settles at Netherfield,' said Mrs Bennet to her

husband, 'and the others are equally well married, I shall have no more to

wish for.'

A few days later Mr Bingley returned Mr Bennet's visit. He had hoped to

meet the young ladies, but he saw only Mr Bennet. An invitation to dinner

was sent, but an answer soon arrived that Mr Bingley had to go to town the

next day. He was to return for the ball with his two sisters, the husband of

the oldest, and another young man.

At the ball they discovered that Mr Bingley was a handsome gentleman

with a simple, friendly manner and his sisters were elegant women. Mr

Hurst, his brother-in-law, was just a gentleman, but his friend Mr Darcy was

a tall, handsome man with a noble appearance. A report soon went round

that he had a very large fortune. Everyone looked at him with great

admiration for half the evening until he disgusted them all with his proud,

unfriendly manners. Not all his large estate in Derbyshire could save him

then. He could not be compared with his friend.

Mr Bingley soon met most of the people in the room. He was lively and

unreserved, danced every dance, and talked about giving a ball at

Netherfield. Mr Darcy danced once with Mrs Hurst and once with Miss

Bingley, refused to meet other ladies and spoke only to his friends all

evening. He was the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world, and

everybody hoped he would never come back. Mrs Bennet was particularly

angry with him for offending one of her daughters.

Because there were few gentlemen, Elizabeth Bennet had been obliged to

sit down for two dances. She had overheard a conversation between Mr

Bingley and his friend.

''Come, Darcy,' said he, 'you must dance.'

''Certainly not. You know how much I despise it when I do not know my

partner. Your sisters are not free and you are dancing with the only

handsome girl here.' Mr Darcy looked at Jane Bennet.

'Jane is the most beautiful girl I ever saw, but one of her sisters is very

pretty. I can ask my partner to introduce you.'

'Which one?' Darcy turned around and looked at Elizabeth.

'She is tolerable, but not handsome enough for me.'

When Darcy walked off, Elizabeth told her friends the story. She had a

playful character and enjoyed anything ridiculous.

Later, when the sisters were alone, Jane told Elizabeth how much she liked

Mr Bingley.

'He is just what a young man should be,' she said. 'Intelligent, agreeable,

lively. I never saw such a happy manner.'

'He is also handsome,' said Elizabeth, 'which a young man should be if he

possibly can.'

'I was surprised that he asked me to dance twice. I did not expect such a

compliment.'

'I did for you. It was natural. You were five times as pretty as every other

woman in the room.'

'Dear Lizzy!'

'You know you like people in general too much. You never see a fault in

anyone. And so, do you like this man's sisters too?'

'They are friendly women when you speak to them. I think they will be

good neighbours.'

Elizabeth was not convinced. The Bingleys were from a good family. The

sisters were handsome and well educated, but proud and conceited. They

liked to think well of themselves and badly of others.


Austen pride family single

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