Friday, February 29, 2008

Mrs Bennet

Mrs Bennet in Pride and Prejudice is a mother with a mission. It is her sole object to have her daughters married well and she does all she can to achieve this end. At the beginning of Pride and Prejudice Mrs Bennet is keen for Mr Bennet to visit Mr Bingley, a rich neighbour who has recently moved to the area. Mr Bennet does not seem to strike up the acquaintance much to his wife's vexation. She speaks first.

"But consider your daughters. Only think what an establishment it would be for one of them. Sir William and Lady Lucas are determined to go, merely on that account, for in general, you know, they visit no new-comers. Indeed you must go, for it will be impossible for us to visit him if you do not."

"You are over-scrupulous surely. I dare say Mr. Bingley will be very glad to see you; and I will send a few lines by you to assure him of my hearty consent to his marrying whichever he chuses of the girls: though I must throw in a good word for my little Lizzy."

"I desire you will do no such thing. Lizzy is not a bit better than the others; and I am sure she is not half so handsome as Jane, nor half so good-humoured as Lydia. But you are always giving her the preference."

"They have none of them much to recommend them," replied he; "they are all silly and ignorant, like other girls; but Lizzy has something more of quickness than her sisters."

"Mr. Bennet, how can you abuse your own children in such a way! You take delight in vexing me. You have no compassion on my poor nerves."

"You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these twenty years at least."

"Ah! you do not know what I suffer."

"But I hope you will get over it, and live to see many young men of four thousand a year come into the neighbourhood."

"It will be no use to us if twenty such should come, since you will not visit them."

"Depend upon it, my dear, that when there are twenty, I will visit them all."

This is such a funny scene, especially when it is soon revealed that Mr Bennet intends to visit Mr Bingley without telling them!

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