Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice Chapter 5 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
Within a short walk of Longbourn lived a family with whom the Bennets were particularly intimate. Sir William Lucas had been formerly in trade in Meryton, where he had made a tolerable fortune, and risen to the honour of knighthood by an address to the king during his mayoralty. The distinction had perhaps been felt too strongly. It had given him a disgust to his business, and to his residence in a small market town; and, in quitting them both, he had removed with his family to a house about a mile from Meryton, denominated from that period Lucas Lodge, where he could think with pleasure of his own importance, and, unshackled by business, occupy himself solely in being civil to all the world. (5.1)
Here's one example of a man who made money in business: Sir William Lucas. Apparently, his social rise went something like this: acquired fortune, became mayor, addressed the king, received a knighthood, then decided he was too good to keep making money. And this, Shmoopers, is one of the contradictions that's maybe most confusing to us 21st century readers: everyone wants money, but actually going out and making it means that you'll be a social pariah. (All the cool kids get their money from renting out land on their estates, you see.)
"You began the evening well, Charlotte," said Mrs. Bennet with civil self-command to Miss Lucas. "You were Mr. Bingley's first choice."
"Yes; but he seemed to like his second better."
"Oh! you mean Jane, I suppose, because he danced with her twice. To be sure that did seem as if he admired her—indeed I rather believe he did—I heard something about it—but I hardly know what—something about Mr. Robinson." (5.4-6)
If Mrs. Bennet were fishing any harder for a compliment, she'd have to get a permit.
"His pride," said Miss Lucas, "does not offend me so much as pride often does, because there is an excuse for it. One cannot wonder that so very fine a young man, with family, fortune, everything in his favour, should think highly of himself. If I may so express it, he has a right to be proud." (5.18)
Miss Lucas thinks that if you have everything going for you, you have a right to be proud. Do you agree with Charlotte?