From Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (volume 1, chapter 4):

Mr. Bingley inherited property to the amount of nearly a hundred thousand pounds from his father, who had intended to purchase an estate, but did not live to do it. Mr. Bingley intended it likewise, and sometimes made choice of his county; but as he was now provided with a good house and the liberty of a manor, it was doubtful to many of those who best knew the easiness of his temper, whether he might not spend the remainder of his days at Netherfield, and leave the next generation to purchase.

What does this paragraph mean?


2 Answers 2


It means that that Mr. Bingley was content with renting Netherfield and probably never would get around to buying a house of his own. In other words, he would leave the purchase of a house to the next generation, just like his father.


The respectable thing to do was to buy land, and live off the income from it. Even a professional job was a less prestigious way to live, and as for manufacturing -- forget it.

Consequently, his father intended to buy land, to make his family more respectable. Mr. Bingley intends the same, but his easy-going nature would make it less likely.

(Part of this would entail buying a country house, but the lands were the vital part.)

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