Siguiendo con mi programa de páginas selectas de la Literatura Inglesa, le toca hoy el turno al arranque de la novela Pride and Prejudice de Jane Austen. He leído varias veces esta novela y visto algunas versiones cinematográficas y siempre me ha encantado. La página que hoy comparto con vosotros es realmente genial y es considerada por muchos como prototipo de ese fino humor inglés no exento de sarcasmo. Si os apetece, tras los banquetes de Nochebuena y Navidad, podéis dedicar unos minutos a leer o releer esta página e incluso contestar a las comprehension questions que incorporo:
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession 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 as the rightful property of someone 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 not you 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 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 immediately; 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 tiresome! You must know that I am thinking of his marrying one of them.'
'Is that his design in settling here?'
'Design! nonsense, how can you talk so! But is is very likely that he may fall in love with one of them, and therefore you must visit him as soon as he comes.'
'I see no occasion for that. You and the girls may go, or you may send them by themselves, which perhaps will be still better, for as you are as handsome as any of them, Mr Bingley might like you the best of the party.'
'My dear, you flatter me. I certainly have had my share of beauty, but I do not pretend to be anything extraordinary now. When a woman has five grown up daughters, she ought to give over thinking of her own beauty.'
'In such cases, a woman has not often much beauty to think of.'
'But, my dear, you must indeed go and see Mr Bingley when he comes into the neighbourhood.'
'It is more than I engage for, I assure you.'
'But consider your daughters. Only think what an establishment it would be for one of them. Sir William and Lady Lucas are determined to go, merely on that account, for in general you know they visit no newcomers. Indeed you must go, for it will be impossible for us to visit him if you do not.'
'You are over scrupulous, surely. I dare say Mr Bingley will be very glad to see you; and I will send a few lines by you to assure him of my hearty consent to his marrying whichever he chooses of the girls; though I must throw in a good word for my little Lizzy.'
'I desire you will do no such thing. Lizzy is not a bit better than the others; and I am sure she is no half so handsome as Jane, nor half so good-humoured as Lydia. But you are always giving her the preference.'
'They have none of them much to recommend them,' replied he; 'they are all silly and ignorant, like other girls; but Lizzy has something more of quickness than her sisters.'
'Mr Bennet, how can you abuse your own children in such a way? You take delight in vexing me. You have no compassion on my poor nerves.'
'You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these twenty years at least.'
'Ah! you do not know what I suffer.'
'But I hope you will get over it, and live to see many young men of four thousand a year come into the neighbourhood.'
'It will be no use to us, if twenty such should come, since you will not visit them.'
'Depend upon it, my dear, that when there are twenty, I will visit them all.'
Mr Bennet was so odd a mixture of quick parts, sarcastic humour, reserve and caprice, that the experience of three and twenty years had been insufficient to make his wife understand his character. Her mind was less difficult to develop. She was a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper. When she was discontented, she fancied herself nervous. The business of her life was to get her daughters married; its solace was visiting and news.
Mr Bennet was among the earliest of those who waited on Mr Bingley. He had always intended to visit him, though to the last always assuring his wife that he should not go; and till the evening after the visit was paid she had no knowledge of it.........
1.- How many daughters do Mr and Mrs Bennet have?
a.- 3; b.- 4; c.- 5
2.- How long had they been married?
a.- 23 years; b.- 40 years; c.- 33 years
3.- Who told Mrs Bennet that Netherfield had been let?
a.- Mrs Long; b.- Mr Morris; c.- Lady Lucas
4.- Why was Mrs Bennet so keen on Mr Bennet's visiting Mr Bingley?
a.- To welcome him into the neighourhood; b.- Because she wanted her family to be friends with Mr Bingley; c.- Because if Mr Bennet did not visit him first, it would be impossible for her and her daughters to visit him later
5.- Which of these three statements about Mr Bingley is true?
a.- He wants to get married; b.- He's well-off; c.- He's a widower
6.- Why does Mrs Bennet want Mr Bingley to meet her daughters?
a.- Because he's very handsome; b.- Because one of her daughters is in love with him; c.- Because she hopes he may fall in love with one of her daughters
7.- Which of his daughters does Mr Bennet prefer?
a.- Jane; b; Lizzy; c.- Lydia
a.- Because she's more handsome than her sisters; b.- Because she's wittier than her sisters; c.- Because she's the eldest
9.- What was Mrs Bennet's opinion about Lydia?
a.- That she was very pretty; b.- That she was rather good-humoured; c.- That she was very hard-working
10.- How do you think Mrs Bennet took her husband's commentary that Mr Bingley might like her better than her daughters?
a.- She thought that her husband was being jealous; b.- She was angry because she suspected her husband was pulling her leg; c.- She was pleased because she took her husband's commentary as a compliment
11.- What do you think was Mrs Bennet's main goal in life?
a.- That her children would go to university; b.- To rub shoulders with the nobility; c.- To get all her daughters suitably married.
12.- Do you think Mr Bennet did not really intend to visit Mr Bingley?
a.- No, he was only teasing his wife; b.-Yes, he never visited anybody. c.- Yes, he'd rather wait till other young men came into the neighbourhood to visit them all.
1.- c; 2.- a; 3.- a; 4.- c; 5.- b; 6.- c; 7.- b; 8.- b; 9.- b; 10.- c; 11.- c; 12.- a.
Going by the book
Hace 1 mes