| Quote #7
She hoped to be wise and reasonable in time; but alas! alas! she must confess to herself that she was not wise yet. (19.25)
Apparently being wise is like being pregnant – either you are or you aren't.
| Quote #8
[Mrs. Smith speaks] "I was very young, and associated only with the young, and we were a thoughtless, gay set, without any strict rules of conduct. We lived for enjoyment. I think differently now; time and sickness and sorrow have given me other notions." (21.63)
As Mr. Elliot did when he was speaking to Anne of young men's absurdity, Mrs. Smith associates foolishness with being young. But she suggests that growing up isn't enough to make someone stop being foolish – it takes a dose of suffering to wise up.
| Quote #9
Captain Wentworth, with five-and-twenty thousand pounds, and as high in his profession as merit and activity could place him, was no longer nobody. He was now esteemed quite worthy to address the daughter of a foolish, spendthrift baronet, who had not had principle or sense enough to maintain himself in the situation in which Providence had placed him. (24.2)
While it seems to be the right of the upper classes to be foolish with few social consequences (look at the popularity of Lady Dalrymple), money is one area where foolishness is truly dangerous, and can even damage one's class standing.