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Pride and Prejudice Chapter 4 Quotes

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Quote 1

They were in fact very fine ladies; not deficient in good humour when they were pleased, nor in the power of making themselves agreeable when they chose it, but proud and conceited. They were rather handsome, had been educated in one of the first private seminaries in town, had a fortune of twenty thousand pounds, were in the habit of spending more than they ought, and of associating with people of rank, and were therefore in every respect entitled to think well of themselves, and meanly of others. They were of a respectable family in the north of England; a circumstance more deeply impressed on their memories than that their brother's fortune and their own had been acquired by trade. (4.11)

The Miss Bingleys may think a lot of themselves, but we know better: their fortune comes from "trade," i.e. business. They may be sophisticated and well-educated, but when you come right down to it, they're not higher ranked than the Bennets—they're just richer. In fact, you could almost say that they're lower ranked than the Bennets, since as far as we know all the Bennet money comes from land. (Confused? Yeah, it doesn't make much sense to us, either.)

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