Pride and Prejudice: Quotes & Quips Chapters 50-56

Chapter 50

The marriage of a daughter, which had been the first object of her wishes since Jane was sixteen, was now on the point of accomplishment, and her thoughts and her words ran wholly on those attendants of elegant nuptials, fine muslins, new carriages, and servants. She was busily searching through the neighbourhood for a proper situation for her daughter, and, without knowing or considering what their income might be, rejected many as deficient in size and importance. The Narrator

“Mrs. Bennet, before you take any or all of these houses for your son and daughter, let us come to a right understanding. Into one house in this neighbourhood they shall never have admittance. I will not encourage the impudence of either, by receiving them at Longbourn.” Mr. Bennet

What a triumph for him (Mr. Darcy), as she (Elizabeth) often thought, could he know that the proposals which she had proudly spurned only four months ago, would now have been gladly and gratefully received! He was as generous, she doubted not, as the most generous of his sex; but while he was mortal, there must be a triumph. The Narrator

She began now to comprehend that he was exactly the man who, in disposition and talents, would most suit her. His understanding and temper, though unlike her own, would have answered all her wishes. It was an union that must have been to the advantage of both; by her ease and liveliness, his mind might have been softened, his manners improved; and from his judgment, information, and knowledge of the world, she must have received benefit of greater importance. The Narrator

How Wickham and Lydia were to be supported in tolerable independence, she could not imagine. But how little of permanent happiness could belong to a couple who were only brought together because their passions were stronger than their virtue.  The Narrator

Chapter 51

Elizabeth was disgusted, and even Miss Bennet was shocked. Lydia was Lydia still — untamed, unabashed, wild, noisy, and fearless. She turned from sister to sister, demanding their congratulations; and when at length they all sat down, looked eagerly round the room, took notice of some little alteration in it, and observed, with a laugh, that it was a great while since she had been there. The Narrator

“And then, when you go away, you may leave one or two of my sisters behind you; and I dare say I shall get husbands for them before the winter is over.”

“I thank you for my share of the favour,” said Elizabeth; “but I do not particularly like your way of getting husbands.” Lydia Wickham and Elizabeth Bennet

Wickham’s affection for Lydia was just what Elizabeth had expected to find it — not equal to Lydia’s for him. She had scarcely needed her present observation to be satisfied, from the reason of things, that their elopement had been brought on by the strength of her love rather than by his; and she would have wondered why, without violently caring for her, he chose to elope with her at all, had she not felt certain that his flight was rendered necessary by distress of circumstances; and if that were the case, he was not the young man to resist an opportunity of having a companion. The Narrator

“Oh, yes! He (Mr. Darcy) was to come there with Wickham, you know. But gracious me! I quite forgot! I ought not to have said a word about it. I promised them so faithfully! What will Wickham say? It was to be such a secret!” Lydia Wickham

But to live in ignorance on such a point was impossible; or, at least, it was impossible not to try for information. Mr. Darcy had been at her sister’s wedding. It was exactly a scene, and exactly among people, where he had apparently least to do, and least temptation to go. Conjectures as to the meaning of it, rapid and wild, hurried into her brain; but she was satisfied with none. The Narrator

Chapter 52

The motive professed was his conviction of its being owing to himself that Wickham’s worthlessness had not been so well known as to make it impossible for any young woman of character to love or confide in him. He generously imputed the whole to his mistaken pride, and confessed that he had before thought it beneath him to lay his private actions open to the world. His character was to speak for itself. He called it, therefore, his duty to step forward, and endeavour to remedy an evil which had been brought on by himself. If he had another motive, I am sure it would never disgrace him. Mrs. Gardiner

“She cared for none of her friends; she wanted no help of his; she would not hear of leaving Wickham; she was sure they should be married some time or other, and it did not much signify when. Since such were her feelings, it only remained, he thought, to secure and expedite a marriage, which, in his very first conversation with Wickham, he easily learnt had never been his design. He confessed himself obliged to leave the regiment on account of some debts of honour which were very pressing; and scrupled not to lay all the ill consequences of Lydia’s flight on her own folly alone.” Mrs. Gardiner

Her (Elizabeth Bennet) heart did whisper that he (Mr. Darcy) had done it for her. But it was a hope shortly checked by other considerations, and she soon felt that even her vanity was insufficient, when required to depend on his affection for her, for a woman who had already refused him, as able to overcome a sentiment so natural as abhorrence against relationship with Wickham. The Narrator

They owed the restoration of Lydia, her character, everything to him (Mr. Darcy). Oh! how heartily did she (Elizabeth Bennet) grieve over every ungracious sensation she had ever encouraged, every saucy speech she had ever directed towards him. For herself, she was humbled; but she was proud of him. Proud that in a cause of compassion and honour he had been able to get the better of himself. The Narrator

Chapter 53

“He (Mr. Wickham) is as fine a fellow,” said Mr. Bennet, as soon as they were out of the house, “as ever I saw. He simpers, and smirks, and makes love to us all. I am prodigiously proud of him. I defy even Sir William Lucas himself to produce a more valuable son-in-law.” Mr. Bennet

Elizabeth did not know what to make of it. Had she not seen him (Mr. Bingley) in Derbyshire, she might have supposed him capable of coming there with no other view than what was acknowledged; but she still thought him partial to Jane, and she wavered as to the greater probability of his coming there with his friend’s permission, or being bold enough to come without it. The Narrator

“No, no. You forced me into visiting him last year, and promised, if I went to see him, he should marry one of my daughters. But it ended in nothing, and I will not be sent on a fool’s errand again.” Mr. Bennet

Her astonishment at his (Mr. Darcy) coming — at his coming to Netherfield, to Longbourn, and voluntarily seeking her again, was almost equal to what she had known on first witnessing his altered behaviour in Derbyshire. The Narrator

Elizabeth said as little to either as civility would allow, and sat down again to her work, with an eagerness which it did not often command. She had ventured only one glance at Darcy. The Narrator

Mrs. Bennet had been strongly inclined to ask them to stay and dine there that day; but, though she always kept a very good table, she did not think anything less than two courses could be good enough for a man on whom she had such anxious designs, or satisfy the appetite and pride of one who had ten thousand a year. The Narrator

Chapter 54

“If he (Mr. Darcy) fears me, why come hither? If he no longer cares for me, why silent? teasing, teasing, man! I will think no more about him.” Elizabeth Bennet

“A man who has once been refused! How could I ever be foolish enough to expect a renewal of his (Mr. Darcy) love? Is there one among the sex who would not protest against such a weakness as a second proposal to the same woman? There is no indignity so abhorrent to their feelings!” Elizabeth Bennet

They were confined for the evening at different tables, and she (Elizabeth Bennet) had nothing to hope, but that his (Mr. Darcy) eyes were so often turned towards her side of the room, as to make him play as unsuccessfully as herself. The Narrator

“We all love to instruct, though we can teach only what is not worth knowing.” Elizabeth Bennet

Chapter 55

Jane could have no reserves from Elizabeth where confidence would give pleasure; and instantly embracing her, acknowledged with the liveliest emotion that she was the happiest creature in the world. The Narrator

“And this,” said she, “is the end of all his friend’s anxious circumspection! of all his sister’s falsehood and contrivance! — the happiest, wisest, most reasonable end!” Elizabeth Bennet

“I have not a doubt of your doing very well together (Jane Bennet & Charles Bingley). Your tempers are by no means unlike. You are each of you so complying, that nothing will ever be resolved on; so easy, that every servant will cheat you; and so generous, that you will always exceed your income.” Mr. Bennet

“Would you believe it, Lizzy, that when he went to town last November, he really loved me, and nothing but a persuasion of my being indifferent would have prevented his coming down again?” Jane Bennet

The Bennets were speedily pronounced to be the luckiest family in the world, though only a few weeks before, when Lydia had first run away, they had been generally proved to be marked out for misfortune. The Narrator

Chapter 56

“A report of a most alarming nature reached me two days ago. I was told that not only your sister was on the point of being most advantageously married, but that you, that Miss Elizabeth Bennet, would in all likelihood be soon afterwards united to my nephew — my own nephew — Mr. Darcy.” Lady Catherine de Bourgh

“I do not pretend to possess equal frankness with your ladyship. You  may ask questions which I shall not choose to answer.” Elizabeth Bennet

If Mr. Darcy is neither by honour nor inclination confined to his cousin, why is not he to make another choice? And if I am that choice, why may not I accept him?” Elizabeth ebnnet

“Not so hasty, if you please. I have by no means done. To all the objections I have already urged, I have still another to add. I am no stranger to the particulars of your youngest sister’s infamous elopement. I know it all: that the young man’s marrying her was a patched-up business, at the expence of your father and uncle. And is such  a girl to be my nephew’s sister? Is her husband, is the son of his late father’s steward, to be his brother? Heaven and earth — of what are you thinking? Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?” Lady Catherine de Bourgh

“I take no leave of you, Miss Bennet. I send no compliments to your mother. You deserve no such attention. I am most seriously displeased.” Lady Catherine de Bourgh

© 2010 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

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