You pretend to consider the matter; then you shake his hand warmly.
“You presume correctly, my dear Bingley, and I give my wholehearted consent. A happy prospect is now before you: your wife may be all you hope for, but your mother-in-law will eclipse every expectation of impropriety and general stupidity. Do not say that I have not warned you.”
Bingley beams at you, as if this is a huge joke, and runs out of the room. The house shakes with shrieking as Mrs Bennet hears the glad tidings; but for once this arouses a feeling other than contempt - something you vaguely recognise as happiness ...
As soon as Mr Bingley has taken his leave for the night, you say to your eldest daughter, "Jane, I congratulate you. You will be a very happy woman."
“Thank you, Papa, you are too kind.” Jane comes to you instantly and kisses you.
"You are a good girl;" you reply, "and I have great pleasure in thinking you will be so happily settled. I have not a doubt of your doing very well together. Your tempers are by no means unlike. You are each of you so complying, that nothing will ever be resolved on; so easy, that every servant will cheat you; and so generous, that you will always exceed your income."
She smiles. "I hope not so. Imprudence or thoughtlessness in money matters would be unpardonable in me."
"Exceed their income! My dear Mr Bennet," cries your wife, "what are you talking of? Why, he has four or five thousand a year, and very likely more." Then, addressing her daughter, "Oh! my dear, dear Jane, I am so happy! I am sure I shan't get a wink of sleep all night. I knew how it would be. I always said it must be so, at last. I was sure you could not be so beautiful for nothing! I remember, as soon as ever I saw him, when he first came into Hertfordshire last year, I thought how likely it was that you should come together. Oh! he is the handsomest young man that ever was seen!"
Wickham, Lydia, are all forgotten. Jane is beyond competition her favourite child; at that moment, she cares for no other. And the gossips of Meryton must be relieved of their suspense. Mrs Bennet is privileged to whisper the news to Mrs Phillips, and she ventures, without any permission, to do the same by all her neighbours in Meryton. The Bennets are speedily pronounced to be the luckiest family in the world, though only a few weeks before, when Lydia had first run away, they were generally proved to be marked out for misfortune.
End of Chapter 13.
Congratulations, you are becoming Mr Bennet! Chapter 14 is here.