| Quote #1
Has the beloved reader, in his experience of society, never heard similar remarks by good-natured female friends; who always wonder what you CAN see in Miss Smith that is so fascinating; or what COULD induce Major Jones to propose for that silly insignificant simpering Miss Thompson, who has nothing but her wax-doll face to recommend her? What is there in a pair of pink cheeks and blue eyes forsooth? [...] It is quite edifying to hear women speculate upon the worthlessness and the duration of beauty. (12.2)
Another unkind moment about women and their innate jealousy of each other. But then again, if marriages are contracted in the manner of business arrangements, of course competing merchants are going to run each other down.
| Quote #2
"What sort of a person is this Miss Sharp, Firkin? I little thought, while enjoying my Christmas revels in the elegant home of my firm friends, the Reverend Lionel Delamere and his amiable lady, to find a stranger had taken my place in the affections of my dearest, my still dearest Matilda!" (14.24)
Briggs is probably the novel's most pathetic character. She is employed as a companion – which is kind of like a governess, except for old people. She is abused, kicked around, and stepped on by Miss Crawley. And after all that, she has to sit back and watch Becky become Miss Crawley's favorite. Do we feel bad for laughing at the affected speech patterns that show signs of the terrible, terrible poetry she must have written and published?
| Quote #3
Captain Rawdon got an extension of leave on his aunt's illness, and remained dutifully at home. He was always in her antechamber. (She lay sick in the state bedroom, into which you entered by the little blue saloon.) His father was always meeting him there; or if he came down the corridor ever so quietly, his father's door was sure to open, and the hyena face of the old gentleman to glare out. What was it set one to watch the other so? A generous rivalry, no doubt, as to which should be most attentive to the dear sufferer in the state bedroom. Rebecca used to come out and comfort both of them; or one or the other of them rather. Both of these worthy gentlemen were most anxious to have news of the invalid from her little confidential messenger. (14.32)
There are really no normal father-son relationships in the novel. Osborne is obsessed with and lives vicariously through his son. Sedley is ashamed of and then becomes pathetically dependent on his son. Here, Rawdon and Sir Pitt feel sexual jealousy toward each other, both with good reason, as they each know the other's reputation with the ladies. But still, ew.