Saturday, December 27, 2014

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


 Pride and Prejudice is a novel of manners by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. Though Austen set the story at the turn of the 19th century, it retains a fascination for modern readers, continuing near the top of lists of "most loved books." It has become one of the most popular novels in English literature, selling over 20 million copies, and receives considerable attention from literary scholars. Modern interest in the book has resulted in a number of dramatic adaptations and an abundance of novels and stories imitating Austen's memorable characters or themes. (via)


This is the second time I read Pride and Prejudice. Upon this second reading, I found out that I liked this book even more than thought I did. I guess that's what happens with the classics, they only improve with time. So here are some of my favorite quotes: 
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.
“That is exactly the question which I expected you to ask. A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony, in a moment. I knew you would be wishing me joy.”
I wonder who first discovered the efficacy of poetry in driving away love!” “I have been used to consider poetry as the food of love,” said Darcy. “Of a fine, stout, healthy love it may. Everything nourishes what is strong already. But if it be only a slight, thin sort of inclination, I am convinced that one good sonnet will starve it entirely away.”
“Nothing is more deceitful,” said Darcy, “than the appearance of humility. It is often only carelessness of opinion, and sometimes an indirect boast.” “And which of the two do you call my little recent piece of modesty?” “The indirect boast; for you are really proud of your defects in writing, because you consider them as proceeding from a rapidity of thought and carelessness of execution, which, if not estimable, you think at least highly interesting. The power of doing anything with quickness is always much prized by the possessor, and often without any attention to the imperfection of the performance.
There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises with every attempt to intimidate me.
Reflection must be reserved for solitary hours: whenever she was alone, she gave way to it as the greatest relief; and not a day went by without a solitary walk, in which she might indulge in all the delight of unpleasant recollections.
Mr. Darcy’s letter she was in a fair way of soon knowing by heart. She studied every sentence; and her feelings towards its writer were at times widely different.
But above all, above respect and esteem, there was a motive within her of good-will which could not be overlooked. It was gratitude;—gratitude, not merely for having once loved her, but for loving her still well enough to forgive all the petulance and acrimony of her manner in rejecting him, and all the unjust accusations accompanying her rejection.
She respected, she esteemed, she was grateful to him, she felt a real interest in his welfare; and she only wanted to know how far she wished that welfare to depend upon herself, and how far it would be for the happiness of both that she should employ the power, which her fancy told her she still possessed, of bringing on the renewal of his addresses.
She was convinced that she could have been happy with him, when it was no longer likely they should meet.
Her heart did whisper that he had done it for her.
For herself she was humbled; but she was proud of him,—proud that in a cause of compassion and honour he had been able to get the better of himself.
She was in no humour for conversation with anyone but himself; and to him she had hardly courage to speak.
If he is satisfied with only regretting me, when he might have obtained my affections and hand, I shall soon cease to regret him at all.
Such I was, from eight to eight-and-twenty; and such I might still have been but for you, dearest, loveliest Elizabeth! What do I not owe you! You taught me a lesson, hard indeed at first, but most advantageous. By you, I was properly humbled. I came to you without a doubt of my reception. You showed me how insufficient were all my pretensions to please a woman worthy of being pleased.”
My real purpose was to see you, and to judge, if I could, whether I might ever hope to make you love me.