Jane Austen's classic dissection of early 19th century manners, "Pride and Prejudice," introduces us to Elizabeth Bennett, a heroine even modern readers will sympathize with and root for (etext found
She was busily searching through the neighbourhood for a proper situation for her daughter, and, without knowing or considering what their income might be, rejected many as
deficient in size and importance.
That his anger could be carried to such a point of
inconceivable resentment as to refuse his daughter a privilege without which her marriage would scarcely seem valid, exceeded all that she could believe possible.
Pray write instantly, and let me understand it; unless it is, for very
cogent reasons, to remain in the secrecy which Lydia seems to think necessary; and then I must endeavour to be satisfied with ignorance."
an elaborate or deceitful scheme contrived to deceive or evade
"Not that I shall, though," she added to herself, and she finished the letter: "and, my dear aunt, if you do not tell me in an honourable manner, I shall certainly be reduced to tricks and
stratagems to find it out."
a humble request for help from someone in authority
He had followed them purposely to town, he had taken on himself all the trouble and mortification attendant on such a research; in which
supplication had been necessary to a woman whom he must abominate and despise, and where he was reduced to meet--frequently meet, reason with, persuade, and finally bribe--the man whom he always most wished to avoid, and whose very name it was punishment to him to pronounce.
Elizabeth particularly, who knew that her mother owed to the latter the preservation of her favourite daughter from
irremediable infamy, was hurt and distressed to a most painful degree by a distinction so ill-applied.
reprehensible acquisitiveness; insatiable desire for wealth (personified as one of the deadly sins)
When the tea-things were removed, and the card tables placed, the ladies all rose, and Elizabeth was then hoping to be soon joined by him, when all her views were overthrown by seeing him fall a victim to her mother's
rapacity for whist-players, and in a few moments after seated with the rest of the party.
Do you pay no regard to the wishes of his friends--to his
tacit engagement with Miss De Bourgh? Are you lost to every feeling of propriety and delicacy? Have you not heard me say, that from his earliest hours he was destined for his cousin?"
"My object then," replied Darcy, "was to shew you, by every civility in my power, that I was not so mean as to resent the past; and I hoped to obtain your forgiveness, to lessen your ill opinion, by letting you see that your
reproofs had been attended to.
But whether she were violently set against the match, or violently delighted with it, it was certain that her manner would be equally ill adapted to do credit to her sense; and she could no more bear that Mr. Darcy should hear the first raptures of her joy than the first
vehemence of her disapprobation.
attempting to win favor from influential people by flattery
At such a moment the arrival of her friend was a sincere pleasure to Elizabeth, though in the course of their meetings she must sometimes think the pleasure dearly bought, when she saw Mr. Darcy exposed to all the parading and
obsequious civility of her husband.
But at length, by Elizabeth's persuasion, he was
prevailed on to overlook the offence, and seek a reconciliation; and, after a little farther resistance on the part of his aunt, her resentment gave way, either to her affection for him, or her curiosity to see how his wife conducted herself