Jane Austen

Quotations

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.

To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.

Human nature is so well disposed towards those who are in interesting situations, that a young person, who either marries or dies, is sure of being kindly spoken of.

Vanity working on a weak head, produces every sort of mischief.

I am greatly pleased with your account of Fanny; I found her in the summer just what you describe, almost another sister; and could not have supposed that a niece would ever have been so much to me. She is quite after one’s own heart; give her my best love, and tell her that I always think of her with pleasure.

Letter, October 7, 1808, to her sister, Cassandra. Jane Austen

She found his manners very pleasing indeed.-The little flaw of having a Mistress now living with him at Ashdown Park, seems to be the only unpleasing circumstance about him.

Letter, January 8, 1801, to her sister, Cassandra.

Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove any thing.

There is something in the eloquence of the pulpit, when it is really eloquence, which is entitled to the highest praise and honour. The preacher who can touch and affect such an heterogeneous mass of hearers, on subjects limited, and long worn thread-bare in all common hands; who can say any thing new or striking, any thing that rouses the attention, without offending the taste, or wearing out the feelings of his hearers, is a man whom one could not (in his public capacity) honour enough.

One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.

If things are going untowardly one month, they are sure to mend the next.

I am fully sensible that an historical romance, founded on the House of Saxe Cobourg, might be much more to the purpose of profit or popularity than such pictures of domestic life in country villages as I deal in. But I could no more write a romance than an epic poem. I could not sit down to write a serious romance under any other motive than to save my life; and if it were indispensable for me to keep it up and never relax into laughing at myself or other people, I am sure I should be hung before I had finished the first chapter. No, I must keep to my own style and go on in my own way.

Letter, April 1, 1816, to James Clarke. Jane Austen