The 12 Most Quotable Lines of Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice was first published January 28, 1813, and for this, millions of readers can be thankful. Fans of the novel probably know that Mr. Darcy's first name is Fitzwilliam, that Elizabeth Bennet can power-walk and trade witticisms with the best of them, and that the novel of manners was Jane Austen's second, after Sense and Sensibility. And we all know that Austen's wry humor finds a perfect outlet in the repartee between Darcy and Elizabeth, making it one of the most quotable books of the nineteenth century. Here are twelve favorite lines from Pride and Prejudice. What are yours?
"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."
"Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us."
"There is so much of gratitude or vanity in almost every attachment that it is not safe to leave any to itself. We can all begin freely ― a slight preference is natural enough; but there are very few of us who have heart enough to be really in love without encouragement."
"Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other, or ever so similar beforehand, it does not advance their felicity in the least. They always continue to grow sufficiently unlike afterwards to have their share of vexation, and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life."
"I am astonished, my dear... that you should be so ready to think your own children silly. If I wished to think slightingly of anybody's children, it should not be of my own however."
"I have been used to consider poetry as the food of love."
"I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book!"
"The wisest and the best of men, nay, the wisest and best of their actions, may be rendered ridiculous by a person whose first object in life is a joke."
"It is particularly encumbent on those who never change their opinion to be secure of judging properly first."
"Adieu to disappointment and spleen. What are men to rocks and mountains?"
"I should infinitely prefer a book."
"One may be continually abusive without saying anything just; but one cannot be always laughing at a man without now and then stumbling on something witty."