A husband and wife are on the 9th green when suddenly she collapses.
::It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must** be in want of a wife.::
::This truth is so widely believed that, regardless of the feelings of such a man may be when he first enters a neighborhood,::
::he is at once considered the rightful (合法的) property of one of their daughters.::
“My dear Mr. Bennet,” his wife said to him one day,
“have you heard that Netherfield Park is taken at last? Mrs. Long has just been here, and she told me all about it.”
Mr. Bennet did not reply.
“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 enough of an invitation.
“Mrs. Long says that Netherfield is taken by a young man of large fortune from the north of England. He came down on Monday to see the place.
He was so delighted with it, that he is to move in before the end of September,
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?”
“Single, my dear, to be sure! A single man of large fortune; four or five thousand pounds a year. What a fine thing for our girls!”
“How so? How can it affect them?”
“My dear Mr. Bennet,” his wife replied, “how can you be so irritating (恼人的) ! You must know that I am thinking of his marrying one of them.
“Is that his plan in settling here?”
“His plan! Nonsense (胡说) , how can you talk so!
But it is very likely that he may fall in love with one of them, and therefore you must visit him as soon as he comes.
Consider your daughters. Only think what a benefit it would be for one of them. Sir William and Lady Lucas are determined to go,
and you know that they usually visit no newcomers. You must go, for it will be impossible for us to visit him if you do not.”
Mr. Bingley had inherited (继承) property worth nearly a hundred thousand pounds from his father,
who had intended to purchase a house and land, but did not live to do it.
At the age of twenty-three, two years after inheriting (继承) his father’s property, he heard about Netherfield House and came to see it. He looked for half an hour, was pleased with the rooms, satisfied with what the owner said in its praise, and took it immediately.
Mr. Bennet’s property consisted almost entirely of an inherited (继承的) income of two thousand pounds a year.
Unfortunately for his daughters, after his death it was to be inherited (继承) by a distant relation, since their family lacked a male heir (继承人) .
After their father died, their mother’s money would not be enough to live on. Her father had been an attorney（代理人） in Meryton, and had left her four thousand pounds.
Mr. Bennet was among the first to welcome Mr. Bingley.
He had always intended to visit Mr. Bingley, although he was always telling his wife that he would not go.
She had no knowledge of it till the evening after the visit was paid, when it was disclosed (公开) in the following manner.
Seeing his second daughter Elizabeth decorating a hat, Mr. Bennet suddenly said to her:
“When is your next ball to be, Lizzy?”
“Two weeks from tomorrow.”
“It is,” her mother said, “and Mrs. Long does not come back till the day before.
It will be impossible for her to introduce Mr. Bingley, for she will not know him herself.”
“Then, my dear,” Mr. Bennet said, “you can introduce Mr. Bingley to her.”
“Impossible, Mr. Bennet, impossible, when I am not acquainted with him myself. Oh, I am sick of Mr. Bingley!”
“I am sorry to hear that, but why did not you tell me that before? If I had known this morning I certainly would not have called on him.
It is very unfortunate, but as I have actually paid the visit, we cannot escape the acquaintance （一面之交）now.”
The astonishment of Mrs. Bennet was just what he wished, although she soon declared that it was what she had expected all along.
Neither Mrs. Bennet nor her five daughters could get her husband to give any satisfactory description of Mr. Bingley.
At last they had to accept the second-hand information of their neighbor, Lady Lucas. Her report was highly favorable.
He was quite young, very handsome, and extremely agreeable. Best of all, he meant to come to the next dance with a large group of friends and relatives.
Nothing could be more delightful! Being fond of dancing was a certain step toward falling in love, and the girls all had high hopes for winning Mr. Bingley’s heart.
“If I can only see one of my daughters happily settled at Netherfield,”
Mrs. Bennet said to her husband, “and all the others equally well married, I shall have nothing else to wish for.”
They soon heard that Mr. Bingley was to bring twelve ladies and seven gentlemen with him to the ball.
The girls were sorry that there would be so many ladies,
but on the day of the dance they were happy to see that his group consisted of only five altogether—
Mr. Bingley, his two sisters Louisa Hurst and Caroline Bingley, the husband of the elder sister, Mr. Hurst, and another young man, Mr. Darcy.
Mr. Bingley soon made himself acquainted with all the important people in the room. He was lively and friendly.
He danced every dance, was angry that the ball closed so early, and talked of giving one himself at Netherfield. Such amiable (友善的) qualities must speak for themselves.
What a contrast between him and his friend Mr. Darcy!
Mr. Darcy danced only once with Mrs. Hurst and once with Miss Bingley, and declined to be introduced to any other lady.
He spent the rest of the evening walking around the room, speaking only occasionally, and to those with whom he had come. His character was agreed upon.
He was the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world, and everybody hoped that he would never come there again.
Among the most strongly against him was Mrs. Bennet, whose dislike was made even stronger when he insulted (侮辱) one of her daughters.
Elizabeth Bennet had been forced to sit down for two dances because there were not enough gentlemen to dance with.
During part of that time, she had been standing near enough Mr. 达茜 to overhear (无意中听到) a conversation between him and Mr. Bingley.
“Darcy,” Mr. Bingley said, “You must dance. I hate to see you standing about by yourself in this stupid manner. You really must dance.”
“I certainly shall not. You know how I hate it, unless I am particularly acquainted with my partner.
At such a gathering as this it would be unthinkable. Your sisters are taken, and there is not another woman in the room whom I could stand to dance with.”
“I would not be as demanding as you are,” Mr. Bingley cried, “for a kingdom**（不管如何，天啊）! I never met so many pleasant girls in my life as I have this evening.
There are several of them here that are uncommonly pretty.”
“You are dancing with the only pretty girl in the room,” Mr. Darcy said, looking at the eldest Miss Bennet.
“Oh! She is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen!
But there is one of her sisters sitting down just behind you, who is very pretty, and probably very agreeable as well.
Do let me ask my partner to introduce you.”
"Help me dear," she groans to her husband.
- ** be in want of **：需求、缺乏
- have no objection to doing sth：不反对做有些事
- speak for themselves：不问可知
- for a kingdom ：不管怎么说（巩固语气）
The husband calls 911 on his cell phone, talks for a few minutes, picks up his putter and lines up his putt.
His wife raises her head off the green and stares at him.
"I'm dying here and you're putting?"
"Don't worry dear," says the husband calmly, "they found a doctor on the second hole and he's coming to help you."
"Well, how long will it take for him to get here?" she asks feebly.
"No time at all," says her husband. "Everybody's already agreed to let him play through."
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