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It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Context

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You're looking at one of the most famous opening lines in all of literature.

This is Natural HippoWarehouse x38cm my to 42cm litres Beach 10 Shopping alone Bag cat I'm speaking me Leave Gym Tote today UqSwFrU's Pride and Prejudice, and it basically sets up everything to come.

Mr. Bingley, a young and rich bachelor, has moved into town, and mother-cum-matchmaker Mrs. Bennet, with her five unmarried daughters, is set on making him fall for at least one of them.

The line—spoken by the snarky narrator—is, of course, a little tongue-in-cheek. A single, wealthy man isn't necessarily in need of a wife, but Mrs. Bennet is certainly in need of a single, wealthy man. By using the words "truth universally acknowledged," Austen parodies the philosophical works of the time—as if saying it makes it so. 

Austen is having a bit a fun while introducing us straightaway to the main plot element of her novel: marriage.

Where you've heard it

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that __________."

Fill in the blank and have fun.

Pretentious Factor

If you were to drop this quote at a dinner party, would you get an in-unison "awww" or would everyone roll their eyes and never invite you back? Here it is, on a scale of 1-10.

This opening line is so well known that reciting it could hardly be considered pretentious. Just remember to maintain the sarcasm.

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