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Written by Line
(4/29/2007 9:32 a.m.)
"[Bingley] 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".
I always thought Mr. Morris was the equivalent of a real estate agent, not the actual owner of Netherfield Park, but in ch.4 we learn that after looking around for only half an hour, Bingley was "satisfied with what the owner said in its praise" and signed the lease. (Likely the rules and regulations were less complicated in those days, and an owner could take care of the transaction himself, or perhaps Mr. Morris had some business/legal training?)
If you think about it, there is a whole back-story here: Why was Netherfield Park available for rent rather than for sale? Why had it been empty for so long? Had Mr. Morris perhaps grown up there (in which case he (or his family) would be fairly well known to the Bennets), moved away to further his career, and then had the house on his hands after his parents died, but was unwilling to sell it for sentimental reasons? You can bet it's a story everybody in a small country neighbourhood would have been familiar with, but JA left us merely knowing that there must *be* such a story, and got on with her own plot!
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