Pride and Prejudice Quotes

"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.