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You pause, as if giving Lydia’s question much thought. Then at last you pronounce: “He would be perfect for any of you. He is my age, or a little younger, with a fine wig (I suspect he has lost most of his own hair) and a most becoming eye patch. A few of his teeth are missing, and I dare say he could dance only a few steps, as one leg is quite swollen with gout. But, girls, he has four thousand a year!”


Mrs Bennet shrieks. “What a fright he sounds! But you are quite right, my dear, four thousand a year makes him tolerable, at the very least. And it seems you have been one of the first to call on him, which puts us at an advantage at the assembly in two weeks’ time. Oh Mr Bennet, I wonder which of them he will choose?”


“Perhaps, papa, he has also lost the power of rational thought and will be unable to choose for himself?” Lizzy says innocently. “For who knows what other afflictions ail the poor creature!”


Your eyes meet hers. “Exactly,” you say gravely. “I shall look forward to your reports of him, since I will not be attending the assembly myself. The household accounts require my urgent attention, as I fear our financial situation will only get worse over the next fortnight. With such an eligible bachelor in our midst, and a dance in the offing, there will be even greater expenditure than usual on female frippery.”


End of Chapter 2. 


Congratulations, you are becoming Mr Bennet! Chapter 3 is here.

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