“There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well. The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and everyday confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of either merit or sense.”
Lizzy talking to her sister Jane, upon hearing of Charlotte’s wedding and after a letter from Caroline Bingley, hinting at her brother’s supposed indifference
Pride & Prejudice, Volume 2, Chapter 1
Lovely Jennifer Ehle icon is from the icon contest a while back at Jane Austen Today, created by Sands at the web forum A Truth Universally Acknowledged.
“He is just what a young man ought to be,” said she [Jane], “sensible, good-humored, lively; and I never saw such happy manners!–so much ease, with such perfect good breeding!”
“He is also handsome,” replied Elizabeth, “which a young man ought likewise to be, if he possibly can. His character is thereby complete.”
Lizzy and Jane on meeting Bingley
Pride & Prejudice, volume 1, chapter 4
Mr. Collins and his dreadful proposal…
“You must give me leave to flatter myself, my dear cousin, that your
refusal of my addresses is merely words of course. My reasons for
believing it are briefly these: — It does not appear to me that my
hand is unworthy your acceptance, or that the establishment I can offer
would be any other than highly desirable. My situation in life, my
connections with the family of De Bourgh, and my relationship to your
own, are circumstances highly in its favor; and you should take it into
farther consideration that in spite of your manifold attractions, it is
by no means certain that another offer of marriage may ever be made
you. Your portion is unhappily so small that it will in all likelihood
undo the effects of your loveliness and amiable qualifications. As I
must therefore conclude that you are not serious in your rejection of
me, I shall chuse to attribute it to your wish of increasing my love by
suspense, according to the usual practice of elegant females.”
Pride and Prejudice, volume 1, chapter 19
Thanks to Mollands for the illustration.
“I must confess that I think her as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print, & how I shall be able to tolerate those who do not like her at least, I do not know.”
letter to Cassandra, on Pride and Prejudice‘s Elizabeth Bennet
January 29, 1813 
“Compliments always take you by surprise, and me never.”
Lizzy to Jane
Pride and Prejudice, volume 1, chapter 4
Again a character trait I understand, though perhaps not so admirable.
Today’s quote is not new, but rather a correction — thanks to Laura, who pointed out the error. I always thought this was “make sport FOR our neighbors,” but when I went to post it the first time, I doublechecked my Signet classic and it said “make sport OF our neighbors,” which I thought was not nearly as good. Turns out the Signet classic is wrong! Mags at AustenBlog confirms that her Oxford edition says “FOR” — so here is the corrected version!
Still love that word “missish.”
“But, Lizzy, you look as if you did not enjoy it. You are not going to be missish, I hope, and pretend to be affronted at an idle report. For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?”
Mr. Bennet, upon reading Lizzy the letter from Mr. Collins, which hints that she may be engaged to Mr. Darcy and warns them that Lady Catherine will never approve
Pride & Prejudice, Volume 3, Chapter 15
“To take the good of everybody’s character and make it still better, and say nothing of the bad–belongs to you alone.”
Lizzy to Jane
Pride and Prejudice, volume 1, chapter 4
I have friends like this, but I think I am really much more of a Lizzy.
Today we venture into pop culture for a quote from You’ve Got Mail, with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. I love how he turns this into an insult . . . “I bet you just love Mr. Darcy.” Heh! This is from the scene where she’s waiting for her mystery emailer to meet her, and Joe walks in instead. Read more here.
JOE Kathleen Kelly. Hello. What a coincidence. Mind if I sit down?
KATHLEEN Yes I do. I'm expecting someone.
Joe picks up her book, looks at it.
JOE Pride and Prejudice.
Kathleen grabs it back.
KATHLEEN Do you mind?
She places it back on the table, puts the rose into it.
JOE I didn't know you were a Jane Austen fan. Not that it's a surprise. I bet you read it every year.
I bet you just love Mr. Darcy, and that your sentimental heart beats wildly at the thought that he and
whatever her name is are really, honestly and truly going to end up together.
KATHLEEN Would you please leave?
Joe sits down.
JOE I'll get up as soon as your friend comes. Is he late?
KATHLEEN The heroine of Pride and Prejudice is Elizabeth Bennet and she's one of the greatest, most
complex characters ever written, not that you would know.
JOE As a matter of fact I've read it.
KATHLEEN Well, good for you.
JOE I think you'd discover a lot of things if you really knew me.
KATHLEEN If I really knew you, I know what I would find -- instead of a brain, a cash register, instead
of a heart, a bottom line.
“‘Well, he certainly is very agreeable, and I give you leave to like him. You have liked many a stupider person.”
Lizzy giving Jane a bit of a hard time about Bingley, just after they’ve met at the Meryton ball (tongue in cheek, of course).
Pride & Prejudice, volume 1, chapter 4 (emphasis mine)
Happy Valentine’s Day, gentle readers! I looked for something from Jane that would be rather inspiring about love, but she actually has more sharp than flowery comments (as you would expect), so I offer you this from dear Lizzy, one of Austen’s oft-quoted lines on the nature of love:
“‘I never saw a more promising inclination. He was growing quite inattentive to other people, and wholly engrossed by her. Every time they met, it was more decided and remarkable. At his own ball he offended two or three young ladies by not asking them to dance, and I spoke to him twice myself, without receiving an answer. Could there be finer symptoms? Is not general incivility the very essence of love?‘”
Lizzy to her Aunt Gardiner, attempting to explain just how “violent” Bingley’s affections for Jane are
Pride & Prejudice, volume 2, chapter 2 (emphasis mine)