Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice Chapter 43 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
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.
Her astonishment, however, was extreme, and continually was she repeating, "Why is he so altered? From what can it proceed? It cannot be for me—it cannot be for my sake that his manners are thus softened. My reproofs at Hunsford could not work such a change as this. It is impossible that he should still love me." (43.60)
You know we like to say that you should never change yourself for someone else? Yeah, Austen doesn't agree. You definitely should change yourself for the person you love—as long as the person you love is trying to make you a better person rather than make you start dressing all preppy.
The rooms were lofty and handsome, and their furniture suitable to the fortune of its proprietor; but Elizabeth saw, with admiration of his taste, that it was neither gaudy nor uselessly fine; with less of splendour, and more real elegance, than the furniture of Rosings. (43.5)
Elizabeth is wandering around admiring Pemberley, and what she notices is that it's elegant. Sure, it's expensive—it's "suitable to the fortune of its proprietor," which means no Ikea furniture to be found, but it's also not gaudy or "splendid." Like Shmoop's always said, you can't buy taste.