Pride and Prejudice
How we cite our quotes:
"In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you." (34.4)
Aw, so romantic! Or is it? When Mr. Darcy tells Lizzy that he loves her, he leads with: "I didn't want to tell you this," and the subtext is, "because I totally think you're beneath me." Remind us again why people put this line on coffee cups?
"Your sister I also watched. Her look and manners were open, cheerful, and engaging as ever, but without any symptom of peculiar regard, and I remained convinced from the evening's scrutiny, that though she received his attentions with pleasure, she did not invite them by any participation of sentiment. If you have not been mistaken here, I must have been in error. Your superior knowledge of your sister must make the latter probable. If it be so, if I have been misled by such error to inflict pain on her, your resentment has not been unreasonable. But I shall not scruple to assert, that the serenity of your sister's countenance and air was such as might have given the most acute observer a conviction that, however amiable her temper, her heart was not likely to be easily touched." (35.3)
Uh oh. It looks like Charlotte was right, after all: Jane didn't give Bingley enough encouragement. This is tricky. On the one hand, you can't wear your heart on your sleeve—or your bosom—like Lydia; on the other hand, you need to flirt a little. No wonder half of these people stay single, if the rules are so complicated. What happened to passing someone a note saying "Will you go out with me? Check 'yes' or 'no.'"
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." (43.27)
As always, there's a truth behind Mr. Bennet's sarcasm. Here he's making fun of drama queens whose tragedy du jour gives them a certain amount of cache among their girlfriends.