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|The liberty of a manor, and other ramblings
Written by Elizabeth K
(4/13/2010 12:05 p.m.)
Firstly, in ch. 1 we have the "chaise and four": "'He [Mr. Bingley] came down on Monday in a chaise and four to see the place" - the fact that Mr. Bingley uses a chaise and four to travel tells us that he is rich enough to afford the extra pair of horses as a chaise, IIRC, can be pulled by two horses although obviously it would be faster with four.
The second phrase which is not commonly used is "the liberty of a manor" in ch. 4: "...as he was now provided with a good house and the liberty of a manor". This simply means that Mr. Bingley is able to shoot pheasants etc, at Netherfield, i.e. he has shooting rights there.
Finally, the entailment: "Mr. Bennet's property consisted almost entirely in an estate of two thousand a year, which, unfortunately for his daughters, was entailed in default of heirs male" (ch. 7). The OED definition of an entail is "the settlement of the succession of a landed estate so that it cannot be bequeathed at pleasure by any one possessor". In the Bennets' case, as we know, it is not possible for Longbourn to be passed to a female. The Jane Info Pages here at RoP have a more detailed and very interesting section on entailment and the possible reasons for an estate to be entailed. I have linked the entailment section for you here
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