Unhappy as the event must be … we may draw from it this useful lesson: that loss of virtue in a female is irretrievable; that one false step involves her in endless ruin; that her reputation is no less brittle than it is beautiful; and that she cannot be too much guarded in her behaviour towards the undeserving of the other sex.

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More from Pride and Prejudice

For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?

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.

Nobody can tell what I suffer! But it is always so. Those who do not complain are never pitied.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

“His pride,” said Miss Lucas, “does not offend me so much as pride often does, because there is an excuse for it. One cannot wonder that so very fine a young man, with family, fortune, everything in his favour, should think highly of himself. If I may so express it, he has a right to be proud.”
“That is very true,” replied Elizabeth, “and I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.”

Chapter 5