Jane Austen

Quotations

Single women have a dreadful propensity for being poor, which is one very strong argument in favour of matrimony.

Letter, March 13, 1817, to her niece, Fanny Knight. Jane Austen

A person who can write a long letter with ease, cannot write ill.

I consider a country-dance as an emblem of marriage. Fidelity and complaisance are the principle duties of both; and those men who do not choose to dance or to marry them selves, have no business with the partners or wives of the neighbors.

There are certainly not so many men of large fortune in the world, as there are pretty women to deserve them.

The post-office had a great charm at one period of our lives. When you have lived to my age, you will begin to think letters are never worth going through the rain for.

I begin already to weigh my words and sentences more than I did, and am looking about for a sentiment, an illustration or a metaphor in every corner of the room. Could my Ideas flow as fast as the rain in the Store closet it would be charming.

Letter, January 24, 1809, to her sister, Cassandra. Jane Austen

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

A woman, especially, if she have the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.

I am afraid that the pleasantness of an employment does not always evince its propriety.

A man would always wish to give a woman a better home than the one he takes her from; and he who can do it, where there is no doubt of her regard, must, I think, be the happiest of mortals.

What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance.

letter, Sept. 18, 1796.

I must confess that I think her as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print.

About the character Elizabeth Bennett from her novel Pride and Prejudice. Letter, January 29, 1813, to her sister, Cassandra.

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.

Good-humoured, unaffected girls, will not do for a man who has been used to sensible women. They are two distinct orders of being.

One cannot be always laughing at a man without now and then stumbling on something witty.

Surprizes are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable.

Only one comes back with me tomorrow, probably Miss Eliza, & I rather dread it. We shall not have two Ideas in common. She is young, pretty, chattering, & thinking chiefly (I presume) of Dress, Company, & Admiration.

Letter, November 30, 1814, to her niece, Fanny Knight. Jane Austen

If the warmth of her Language could affect the Body it might be worth reading in this weather.

Letter, January 17, 1809, to her sister, Cassandra.

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

It will, I believe, be everywhere found, that as the clergy are, or are not what they ought to be, so are the rest of the nation.

It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy; it is disposition alone. Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others.

Respect for right conduct is felt by every body.

I am looking over Self Control again, & my opinion is confirmed of its being an excellently-meant, elegantly-written Work, without anything of Nature or Probability in it.

Letter, October 11, 1813, to her sister, Cassandra. Jane Austen

Lady Sondes’ match surprises, but does not offend me; had her first marriage been of affection, or had their been a grown-up daughter, I should not have forgiven her; but I consider everybody as having a right to marry once in their lives for love, if they can.

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