" /> Mr. Collins Quotes: Pride and Prejudice - 57 Important Quotes + Analysis

Mr. Collins Quotes

My reasons for marrying are, first, that I think it a right thing for every clergyman in easy circumstances (like myself) to set the example of matrimony in his parish; secondly, that I am convinced that it will add very greatly to my happiness; and thirdly – which perhaps I ought to have mentioned earlier, that it is the particular advice and recommendation of the very noble lady whom I have the honour of calling patroness…she said, "Mr. Collins, you must marry. A clergyman like you must marry. Choose properly, choose a gentlewoman for my sake; and for your own, let her be an active, useful sort of person, not brought up high, but able to make a small income go a good way"…But the fact is, that being, as I am, to inherit this estate after the death of your honoured father (who, however, may live many years longer), I could not satisfy myself without resolving to choose a wife from among his daughters, that the loss to them might be as little as possible, when the melancholy event takes place – which, however, as I have already said, may not be for several years. This has been my motive, my fair cousin, and I flatter myself it will not sink me in your esteem. And now nothing remains for me but to assure you in the most animated language of the violence of my affection.

– Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 19. Mr. Collins’s lack of self-awareness is astonishing as he corners an obviously uninterested Elizabeth to propose. Setting out his reasons for wanting to marry her, there is not one mention of love and it is mostly about why it would be good for him. He believes that he should marry because it sets a good example for a clergyman, it will add to his happiness, and Lady Catherine de Bourgh has told him to marry a "useful sort of person…able to make a small income go a good way." For good measure he also mentions that since he is to inherit Mr. Bennet’s estate, he would like to minimize the family’s loss by marrying one of his daughters. Finally with great irony he laughably assures Elizabeth of his "violence of my affection" for her. Austen is mocking Mr. Collins here. She is using him as a satirical figure to comment on loveless marriages, where people wed for all kinds of ridiculous reasons other than love.
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