Sense and Sensibility
by Jane Austen
Sense and Sensibility Wealth Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"It is a melancholy consideration. Born to the prospect of such affluence! I cannot conceive a situation more deplorable. The interest of two thousand pounds -- how can a man live on it! -- and when to that is added the recollection that he might, but for his own folly, within three months have been in the receipt of two thousand five hundred a-year, (for Miss Morton has thirty thousand pounds,) I cannot picture to myself a more wretched condition. We must all feel for him; and the more so, because it is totally out of our power to assist him." (37.29)
John's description of Edward's circumstances make him a clear foil to Willoughby – when offered a bribe (basically) to marry the wrong woman, he chose to take the honorable path instead of the money.
To avoid a comparative poverty, which her affection and her society would have deprived of all its horrors, I have, by raising myself to affluence, lost everything that could make it a blessing. (44.13)
Willoughby confesses that he realizes the error of his way – he's basically sold his soul for Miss Grey's fortune, and now can never be happy.
What she would engage to do towards augmenting their income, was next to be considered; and here it plainly appeared, that though Edward was now her only son, he was by no means her eldest; for while Robert was inevitably endowed with a thousand pounds a year, not the smallest objection was made against Edward's taking orders for the sake of two hundred and fifty at the utmost; nor was anything promised either for the present or in future, beyond the ten thousand pounds, which had been given with Fanny. It was as much, however, as was desired, and more than was expected by Edward and Elinor; and Mrs. Ferrars herself, by her shuffling excuses, seemed the only person surprised at her not giving more. (50.3-4)
Mrs. Ferrars's financial support is more than enough for Edward and Elinor – proving once and for all that wealth is what you make of it. We're confident that they'll be happier with their ten thousand pounds than Willoughby will ever be with his fifty.