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In Chapter 9, Volume 1, when Mrs. Bennet goes to Netherfield to visit Elizabeth and Jane who is ill, in order to direct the conversation away from Mrs. Bennet's and Darcy's debate about country manners, Elizabeth asks her mother if Charlotte had visited Longbourn while Elizabeth was away. Mrs. Bennet informs Elizabeth that Charlotte and her father had visited yesterday. When Elizabeth asks if Charlotte had stayed for dinner, Mrs. Bennet replies, "No, she would go home. I fancy she was wanted about the mince pies. For my part, Mr. Bingley, I always keep servants that can do their own work; my daughters are brought up differently."
This is one strong clue that the Lucases live simply and that the daughters must help the servants manage the house. But prior to this, when we first meet the Lucases, we are actually given a better clue as to their status of wealth and social class. Before Sir William was knighted, he actually worked as a tradesman in Meryton. He made a substantial fortune and became mayor. After giving a speech to the King as mayor, he was knighted. He then quit his trade, bought Lucas Lodge, and tried to live as a gentleman. The problem was that he did not really have enough of a fortune to live as a gentleman. Hence, he has very little money to leave his family, they live simply, and his daughters must help out around the house (Ch. 5, Vol. 1).
in chapter 9 of Pride and Prejudice, mrs. bennet says to mr.bingley:
"I fancy she was wanted about the mince-pies."
this speech is thrown in regard to charlotte lucas. previously,in this very chapter,mrs. Bennet has said to mr. Bingley that the lucases keep on scampering about her residence. these remarks about the lucases reveal the vulgarity,meanness,and ill-breeding of mrs. Bennet as already has been indicated by the narrator herself in chapter 1:
"She was a woman of mean understanding,little information,and uncertain temper."
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