We all love to instruct, though we can teach only what is not worth knowing

reading Pride and Prejudice

Camper, reading Pride and Prejudice

“It has been a very agreeable day,” said Miss Bennet to Elizabeth. “The party seemed so well selected, so suitable one with the other. I hope we may often meet again.”

Elizabeth smiled.

“Lizzy, you must not do so. You must not suspect me. It mortifies me… I am perfectly satisfied from what his manners now are, that he never had any design of engaging my affection. It is only that he is blessed with greater sweetness of address, and a stronger desire of generally pleasing, than any other man.”

“You are very cruel,” said her sister; “you will not let me smile, and are provoking me to it every moment.”

“How hard it is in some cases to be believed! And how impossible in others!”

“But why should you wish to persuade me that I feel more than I acknowledge?”

“That is a question which I hardly know how to answer. We all love to instruct, though we can teach only what is not worth knowing. Forgive me; and if you persist in indifference, do not make me your confidante.”

by Jane Austen (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817)
from Pride and Prejudice, 1813
Chapter 55
image – Joe Jakeman

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