Caroline Bingley Quotes

"Oh! you are a great deal too apt, you know, to like people in general. You never see a fault in anybody. All the world are good and agreeable in your eyes. I never heard you speak ill of a human being in your life."
"I would not wish to be hasty in censuring anyone; but I always speak what I think."
"I know you do; and it is that which makes the wonder. With your good sense, to be so honestly blind to the follies and nonsense of others! Affectation of candour is common enough – one meets with it everywhere. But to be candid without ostentation or design – to take the good of everybody’s character and make it still better, and say nothing of the bad – belongs to you alone. And so you like this man’s sisters, too, do you? Their manners are not equal to his."

– Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 4. After the ball in Meryton Elizabeth and Jane hold a post mortem, during which they discuss Charles Bingley’s interest in Jane and also what Elizabeth says is the bad behavior of Bingley’s sisters. Elizabeth accuses Jane of being too quick to see the good in everybody and being blind to people’s faults. But Jane is reluctant to criticize the Bingley sisters and tells Elizabeth that she is too quick to judge others harshly. Elizabeth’s suggestion that her sister’s judgment of people is flawed turns out to be ironic, since Elizabeth turns out to be a poor judge of Mr. Darcy’s and Mr. Wickham’s characters, which almost costs her her happiness. This exchange is also foreshadowing of how Jane will put her own happiness at risk by failing to see the bad intentions of her manipulative false friend Caroline Bingley.

"Mr. Darcy is not to be laughed at!" cried Elizabeth. "That is an uncommon advantage, and uncommon I hope it will continue, for it would be a great loss to me to have many such acquaintances. I dearly love a laugh."
"Miss Bingley," said he, "has given me more credit than can be. 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."
"Certainly," replied Elizabeth – "there are such people, but I hope I am not one of them. I hope I never ridicule what is wise and good. Follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies, do divert me, I own, and I laugh at them whenever I can. But these, I suppose, are precisely what you are without."

– Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 11. This exchange between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy comes after Caroline Bingley asserts that she could never tease or laugh at Darcy. She is suggesting that Darcy is socially and intellectually superior and above being laughed at. But Elizabeth is unimpressed by such superiority and laughs at the idea, saying that she dearly loves a laugh. The solemn Mr. Darcy declares that wise men may be made look ridiculous by someone who is a joker. Elizabeth counters by saying she laughs at life’s follies but would never ridicule anything wise or good. Underlying these witty exchanges that take place throughout the novel is a sexual tension between Darcy and Elizabeth. They are the sparks of a smouldering mutual interest that eventually will lead to love.
    • 1
    • 2