Pride and Prejudice
How we cite our quotes:
Elizabeth quietly answered "Undoubtedly;" and after an awkward pause, they returned to the rest of the family. Charlotte did not stay much longer, and Elizabeth was then left to reflect on what she had heard. It was a long time before she became at all reconciled to the idea of so unsuitable a match. The strangeness of Mr. Collins's making two offers of marriage within three days was nothing in comparison of his being now accepted. She had always felt that Charlotte's opinion of matrimony was not exactly like her own, but she had not supposed it to be possible that, when called into action, she would have sacrificed every better feeling to worldly advantage. Charlotte the wife of Mr. Collins was a most humiliating picture! And to the pang of a friend disgracing herself and sunk in her esteem, was added the distressing conviction that it was impossible for that friend to be tolerably happy in the lot she had chosen. (22.18)
This passage demonstrates Elizabeth's idealism—one should marry out of love and respect, not for material comfort. Luckily Elizabeth gets her wish in the form of Darcy. But in addition to love, she also bags the richest guy in the book. Hmm.
Mr. Bennet treated the matter differently. "So, Lizzy," said he one day, "your sister is crossed in love, I find. I congratulate her. Next to being married, a girl likes to be crossed a little in love now and then. It is something to think of, and it gives her a sort of distinction among her companions. When is your turn to come? You will hardly bear to be long outdone by Jane. Now is your time. Here are officers enough in Meryton to disappoint all the young ladies in the country. Let Wickham be your man. He is a pleasant fellow, and would jilt you creditably." (24.26)
LOL, Dad. It's so hilarious when one of your daughters is totally humiliated by the man who everyone thought she was going to marry. Right? Right?? We don't know if Mr. Bennet was ever capable of love, or whether his experiences with his wife just crushed his idealism, but either way he's not setting a very good example for his daughters.
All this was acknowledged to Mrs. Gardiner; and after relating the circumstances, she thus went on: "I am now convinced, my dear aunt, that I have never been much in love; for had I really experienced that pure and elevating passion, I should at present detest his very name, and wish him all manner of evil. But my feelings are not only cordial towards him; they are even impartial towards Miss King. I cannot find out that I hate her at all, or that I am in the least unwilling to think her a very good sort of girl. There can be no love in all this. My watchfulness has been effectual; and though I certainly should be a more interesting object to all my acquaintances were I distractedly in love with him, I cannot say that I regret my comparative insignificance." (26.28)
Lizzy jokingly tells Mrs. Gardiner that she can't possibly be in love with Wickham, because she doesn't hate him enough now that he's moved on to flirting with someone else. But… we're pretty sure she's kidding. A "pure and elevating passion" like love would never leave you "detesting" someone else. In other words, if you really loved your ex, you'd wish him well. (Although you might still unfriend him on Facebook.)