Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice Chapter 48 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
All Meryton seemed striving to blacken the man who, but three months before, had been almost an angel of light. He was declared to be in debt to every tradesman in the place, and his intrigues, all honoured with the title of seduction, had been extended into every tradesman's family. (48.4)
Notice how, once all the townspeople start Wickham's (justifiable) character assassination, the first thing they say is that he's in debt? We're glad they can't see our credit card statement.
"The death of your daughter would have been a blessing in comparison of this. […] Howsoever that may be, you are grievously to be pitied; in which opinion I am not only joined by Mrs. Collins, but likewise by Lady Catherine and her daughter, to whom I have related the affair. They agree with me in apprehending that this false step in one daughter will be injurious to the fortunes of all the others; for who, as Lady Catherine herself condescendingly says, will connect themselves with such a family?" (48.11)
When so much revolves around class status, what one person does affects the whole family. When Lydia runs off, she actually casts shame on her sisters. (If you're thinking that this sounds a lot like high school, we… kind of agree with you.)