I do not write for such dull elves
As have not a great deal of ingenuity themselves.

Letter, January 29, 1813, to her sister, Cassandra.

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More from Jane Austen

A single woman, with a very narrow income, must be a ridiculous, disagreeable, old maid! the proper sport of boys and girls; but a single woman, of good fortune, is always respectable, and may be as sensible and pleasant as anybody else.

Young ladies are delicate plants. They should take care of their health and their complexion.

Anything is to be preferred or endured rather than marrying without affection.

Letter, November 18, 1814, to her niece, Fanny Knight. Jane Austen

Without thinking highly either of men or of matrimony, marriage had always been her object; it was the only honourable provision for well-educated young women of small for tune, and however uncertain of giving happiness, must be their pleasantest preservative from want.

Here and there, human nature may be great in times of trial, but generally speaking it is its weakness and not its strength that appears in a sick chamber.