"Bingley. A single man of four or five thousand a year. What a fine thing for our girls!"
"How so? Can he train them in the ways of swordsmanship and musketry?"
"How can you be so tiresome! You must know that I am thinking of his marrying one of them."
"Marriage? In times such as these? Surely this Bingley has no such designs."
"Designs! Nonsense, how can you talk so! It is very likely that he may fall in love with one of them, and therefore you must visit him as soon as he comes."
"I see no occasion for that. And besides, we mustn't busy the roads more than is absolutely necessary, lest we lose more horses and carriages to the unfortunate scourge that has so troubled our beloved Hertfordshire of late."
"But consider your daughters!"
"I am considering them, silly woman! I would much prefer their minds be engaged in the deadly arts than clouded with dreams of marriage and fortune, as your own so clearly is!" (1.11-18)
Right away, we cut to the meat of the story. Mrs. Bennet wants her daughters to get married, while Mr. Bennet wants them to be protected against the undead menace that walks the earth. Is it just us, or does one of those sound a little more important? But that's kind of the joke: for young ladies in 19th-century England, getting married is of life-or-death importance. It's even more important than zombies.