After amusing himself some time with their curiosity, he thus
"About a month ago I received this letter; and about a fortnight
ago I answered it, for I thought it a case of some delicacy, and
requiring early attention. It is from my cousin, Mr. Collins, who,
when I am dead, may turn you all out of this house as soon as he
"Oh! my dear," cried his wife, "I cannot bear to hear that
mentioned. Pray do not talk of that odious man. I do think it is
the hardest thing in the world, that your estate should be entailed
away from your own children; and I am sure, if I had been you, I
should have tried long ago to do something or other about it."
Jane and Elizabeth tried to explain to her the nature of an entail.
They had often attempted to do it before, but it was a subject
on which Mrs. Bennet was beyond the reach of reason, and she
continued to rail bitterly against the cruelty of settling an
estate away from a family of five daughters, in favour of a man
whom nobody cared anything about.