Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice Chapter 51 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
Lydia was Lydia still; untamed, unabashed, wild, noisy, and fearless. She turned from sister to sister, demanding their congratulations; and when at length they all sat down, looked eagerly round the room, took notice of some little alteration in it, and observed, with a laugh, that it was a great while since she had been there. (51.4)
Argh. Lydia makes us want to pull our hair out, and we're not even related to her. Here, she's just been rescued from social suicide by some anonymous benefactor, and all she can do is congratulate herself for being married. We're seriously glad she didn't have Facebook.
"If it was to be secret," said Jane, "say not another word on the subject. You may depend upon my seeking no further." […] Jane's delicate sense of honour would not allow her to speak to Elizabeth privately of what Lydia had let fall; Elizabeth was glad of it;—till it appeared whether her inquiries would receive any satisfaction, she had rather be without a confidante. (51.28-35)
For a character who is often kind of dismissed for being overly nice and trusting of everyone, Jane actually has a fairly complicated moral code. First, the idea of never prejudging a situation and giving everyone as much benefit of the doubt as possible—and now this, the ability to repress curiosity entirely. Impressive!