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Jane Austen Quotes

100+ of the best book quotes from Jane Austen
  1. #1
    “I speak what appears to me the general opinion; and where an opinion is general, it is usually correct.”
  2. #2
    Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.
  3. #3
    “You have qualities which I had not before supposed to exist in such a degree in any human creature. You have some touches of the angel in you beyond what—not merely beyond what one sees, because one never sees anything like it—but beyond what one fancies might be. ”
  4. #4
    “I am very strong. Nothing ever fatigues me but doing what I do not like.”
  5. #5
    “If any one faculty of our nature may be called more wonderful than the rest, I do think it is memory. There seems something more speakingly incomprehensible in the powers, the failures, the inequalities of memory, than in any other of our intelligences. The memory is sometimes so retentive, so serviceable, so obedient; at others, so bewildered and so weak; and at others again, so tyrannic, so beyond control! We are, to be sure, a miracle every way; but our powers of recollecting and of forgetting do seem peculiarly past finding out.”
  6. #6
    “But for my own part, if a book is well written, I always find it too short.”
  7. #7
    Her own thoughts and reflections were habitually her best companions.
  8. #8
    “You must really begin to harden yourself to the idea of being worth looking at.”
  9. #9
    “To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure, is the most perfect refreshment.”
  10. #10
    “A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch.”
  11. #11
    Nor could she help feeling, on more serious reflection, that, like many other great moralists and preachers, she had been eloquent on a point in which her own conduct would ill bear examination.
  12. #12
    “I cannot think well of a man who sports with any woman’s feelings; and there may often be a great deal more suffered than a stander-by can judge of.”
  13. #13
    “There will be little rubs and disappointments everywhere, and we are all apt to expect too much; but then, if one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere.”
  14. #14
    If reading could banish the idea for even half an hour, it was something gained.
  15. #15
    “When people are waiting, they are bad judges of time, and every half minute seems like five.”
  16. #16
    I leave it to be settled, by whomsoever it may concern, whether the tendency of this work be altogether to recommend parental tyranny, or reward filial disobedience.
  17. #17
    “Everybody likes to go their own way—to choose their own time and manner of devotion.”
  18. #18
    “Here’s harmony!” said she; “here’s repose! Here’s what may leave all painting and all music behind, and what poetry only can attempt to describe! Here’s what may tranquilize every care, and lift the heart to rapture! When I look out on such a night as this, I feel as if there could be neither wickedness nor sorrow in the world; and there certainly would be less of both if the sublimity of Nature were more attended to, and people were carried more out of themselves by contemplating such a scene.”
  1. #19
    A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.
  2. #20
    And from the whole she deduced this useful lesson, that to go previously engaged to a ball, does not necessarily increase either the dignity or enjoyment of a young lady.
  3. #21
    “You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope...I have loved none but you.”
  4. #22
    Where people are really attached, poverty itself is wealth.
  5. #23
    Now I must give one smirk and then we may be rational again.
  6. #24
    She was heartily ashamed of her ignorance - a misplaced shame. Where people wish to attach, they should always be ignorant. To come with a well−informed mind is to come with an inability of administering to the vanity of others, which a sensible person would always wish to avoid. A woman especially, if she have the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.
  7. #25
    No man is offended by another man’s admiration of the woman he loves; it is the woman only who can make it a torment.
  8. #26
    Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised or a little mistaken.
    author
    Jane Austen
    book
    Emma
    concept
    Truth
  9. #27
    Wherever you are you should always be contented, but especially at home, because there you must spend the most of your time.
  10. #28
    “It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.”
  11. #29
    “Silly things do cease to be silly if they are done by sensible people in an impudent way.”
  12. #30
    “When I fall in love, it will be forever.”
  13. #31
    Strange things may be generally accounted for if their cause be fairly searched out.
  14. #32
    “Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.”
  15. #33
    Woman is fine for her own satisfaction alone.
  16. #34
    “Time will explain.”
    author
    Jane Austen
    book
    Persuasion
    concept
    Time
  17. #35
    “She hoped to be wise and reasonable in time; but alas! Alas! She must confess to herself that she was not wise yet.”
  18. #36
    As for admiration, it was always very welcome when it came, but she did not depend on it.
  1. #37
    “I cannot speak well enough to be unintelligible.”
  2. #38
    “Nothing ever fatigues me, but doing what I do not like.”
  3. #39
    If a rainy morning deprived them of other enjoyments, they were still resolute in meeting in defiance of wet and dirt, and shut themselves up, to read novels together.
  4. #40
    “A man does not recover from such devotion of the heart to such a woman! He ought not; he does not.”
  5. #41
    “Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised or a little mistaken.”
    author
    Jane Austen
    book
    Emma
    concept
    Truth
  6. #42
    “One man’s ways may be as good as another’s, but we all like our own best.”
  7. #43
    “...when pain is over, the remembrance of it often becomes a pleasure.”
  8. #44
    “It’s been many years since I had such an exemplary vegetable.”
  9. #45
    “Without music, life would be a blank to me.”
    author
    Jane Austen
    book
    Emma
    concept
    Music
  10. #46
    “One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.”
  11. #47
    “Which of all my important nothings shall I tell you first?”
  12. #48
    “What strange creatures brothers are!”
    author
    Jane Austen
    concept
    Siblings
  13. #49
    “There are people, who the more you do for them, the less they will do for themselves.”
  14. #50
    “There could have been no two hearts so open, no tastes so similar, no feelings so in unison”
  15. #51
    “Run mad as often as you choose, but do not faint!”
  16. #52
    “I wish, as well as everybody else, to be perfectly happy; but, like everybody else, it must be in my own way.”
  17. #53
    It is so delightful to have an evening now and then to oneself.
  18. #54
    “Angry people are not always wise.”
  1. #55
    What one means one day, you know, one may not mean the next. Circumstances change, opinions alter.
  2. #56
    From fifteen to seventeen she was in training for a heroine.
  3. #57
    “The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”
  4. #58
    I am delighted with the book! I should like to spend my whole life in reading it. I assure you, if it had not been to meet you, I would not have come away from it for all the world.
  5. #59
    If I could not be persuaded into doing what I thought wrong, I will never be tricked into it.
  6. #60
    “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.”
  7. #61
    Henry Crawford had too much sense not to feel the worth of a good principles in a wife, though he was to little accustomed to serious reflection to know them by their proper name.
  8. #62
    “There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”
  9. #63
    “There, I will stake my last like a woman of spirit. No cold prudence for me. I am not born to sit still and do nothing. If I lose the game, it shall not be from not striving or it”
  10. #64
    I only entreat everybody to believe that exactly at the time when it was quite natural that it should be so, and not a week earlier, Edmund did cease to care about Miss Crawford, and became as anxious to marry Fanny as Fanny herself could desire.
  11. #65
    A young woman in love always looks like Patience on a monument Smiling at Grief
  12. #66
    “Don’t imagine that nobody in this house can see or judge but yourself. Don’t act yourself, if you do not like it, but don’t expect to govern everybody else.”
  13. #67
    She felt that she could so much more depend upon the sincerity of those who sometimes looked or said a careless or a hasty thing, than of those whose presence of mind never varied, whose tongue never slipped.
  14. #68
    “I think it ought not to be set down as certain that a man must be acceptable to every woman he may happen to like himself.”
  15. #69
    Selfishness must always be forgiven, you know, because there is no hope of a cure.
  16. #70
    He then departed, to make himself still more interesting, in the midst of a heavy rain.
  17. #71
    For though a very few hours spent in hard labour of incessant talking will dispatch more subjects than can really be in common between any two rational creatures, yet with lovers it is different. Between them no subject is finished, no communication is even made, till it has been made at least twenty times over.
  18. #72
    She was without any power, because she was without any desire of command over herself.
  1. #73
    ″. . . though where so many hours have been spent in convincing myself that I am right, is there not some reason to fear I may be wrong?”
  2. #74
    Brandon is just the kind of man whom every body speaks well of, and nobody cares about; whom all are delighted to see, and nobody remembers to talk to.
  3. #75
    Money can only give happiness where there is nothing else to give it.
  4. #76
    Sometimes one is guided by what they say of themselves, and very frequently by what other people say of them, without giving oneself time to deliberate and judge.
  5. #77
    She was stronger alone; and her own good sense so well supported her, that her firmness was as unshaken, her appearance of cheerfulness as invariable, as, with regrets so poignant and so fresh, it was possible for them to be.
  6. #78
    Marianne Dashwood was born to an extraordinary fate. She was born to discover the falsehood of her own opinions, and to counteract, by her conduct, her most favourite maxims. She was born to overcome an affection formed so late in life as at seventeen, and with no sentiment superior to strong esteem and lively friendship, voluntarily to give her hand to another! -- and that other, a man who had suffered no less than herself under the event of a former attachment, -- whom, two years before, she had considered too old to be married, -- and who still sought the constitutional safeguard of a flannel waistcoat!
  7. #79
    “He admires as a lover, not as a connoisseur. To satisfy me, those characters must be united. I could not be happy with a man whose taste did not in every point coincide with my own. He must enter into all my feelings; the same books, the same music must charm us both.”
  8. #80
    “I have not wanted syllables where actions have spoken so plainly.”
  9. #81
    “There is something so amiable in the prejudices of a young mind, that one is sorry to see them give way to the reception of more general opinions.”
  10. #82
    “Always resignation and acceptance. Always prudence and honour and duty. Elinor, where is your heart?”
  11. #83
    To wish was to hope, and to hope was to expect.
  12. #84
    Elinor agreed to it all, for she did not think he deserved the compliment of rational opposition.
  13. #85
    “It is not everyone,′ said Elinor, ‘who has your passion for dead leaves.”
  14. #86
    “I wish, as well as everybody else, to be perfectly happy; but, like everybody else, it must be in my own way.”
  15. #87
    “Know your own happiness. You want nothing but patience- or give it a more fascinating name, call it hope.”
  16. #88
    “If I could but know his heart, everything would become easy.”
  17. #89
    “The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!”
  18. #90
    “The last few hours were certainly very painful,” replied Anne: “but when pain is over, the remembrance of it often becomes a pleasure. One does not love a place the less for having suffered in it, unless it has been all suffering, nothing but suffering-”
  1. #91
    She understood him. He could not forgive her,-but he could not be unfeeling. Though condemning her for the past, and considering it with high and unjest resentment, though perfectly careless of her, and though becoming attached to another, still he could not see her suffer, without the desire of giving her relief. It was a remainder of former sentiment; it was an impuse of pure, though unacknowledged friendship; it was a proof of his own warm and amiable heart, which she could not contemplate without emotions so compounded of pleasure and pain, that she knew not which prevailed.
    author
    Jane Austen
    book
    Persuasion
    concept
    Love
  2. #92
    Anne hoped she had outlived the age of blushing; but the age of emotion she certainly had not.
  3. #93
    Now they were as strangers; worse than strangers, for they could never become acquainted.
  4. #94
    If I was wrong in yielding to persuasion once, remember that it was to persuasion exerted on the side of safety, not of risk. When I yielded, I thought it was to duty; but no duty could be called in aid here. In marrying a man indifferent to me, all risk would have been incurred and all duty violated.
  5. #95
    When any two young people take it into their heads to marry, they are pretty sure by perseverance to carry their point, be they ever so poor, or ever so imprudent, or ever so little likely to be necessary to each other’s ultimate comfort.
  6. #96
    Let us never underestimate the power of a well-written letter.
  7. #97
    I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago.
    author
    Jane Austen
    book
    Persuasion
    concept
    Love
  8. #98
    All the privilege I claim for my own sex (it is not a very enviable one: you need not covet it), is that of loving longest, when existence or when hope is gone!
    author
    Jane Austen
    person
    Women
    book
    Persuasion
    concept
    Love
  9. #99
    How quick come the reasons for approving what we like.
  10. #100
    If there is any thing disagreeable going on, men are always sure to get out of it.
    author
    Jane Austen
    book
    Persuasion
    concept
    Men
  11. #101
    Thus much indeed he was obliged to acknowledge – that he had been constant unconsciously, nay unintentionally; that he had meant to forget her, and believed it to be done. He had imagined himself indifferent, when he had only been angry; and he had been unjust to her merits, because he had been a sufferer from them.
  12. #102
    Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death.
    author
    Jane Austen
    book
    Persuasion
    concept
    Love
  13. #103
    I do not think I ever opened a book in my life which had not something to say upon woman’s inconstancy. Songs and proverbs, all talk of woman’s fickleness. But perhaps you will say, these were all written by men.
  14. #104
    I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.
  15. #105
    She had nothing to wish otherwise, but that the days did not pass so swiftly. It was a delightful visit;—perfect, in being much too short.
    author
    Jane Austen
    book
    Emma
  16. #106
    Blessed with so many resources within myself the world was not necessary to me. I could do very well without it.
  17. #107
    General benevolence, but not general friendship, make a man what he ought to be.
  18. #108
    It is very difficult for the prosperous to be humble.
    author
    Jane Austen
    book
    Emma
    concept
    Humility
  1. #109
    A woman is not to marry a man merely because she is asked, or because he is attached to her, and can write a tolerable letter.
    author
    Jane Austen
    book
    Emma
    concept
    Marriage
  2. #110
    There is one thing, Emma, which a man can always do if he chooses, and that is his duty; not by manoeuvring and finessing, but by vigour and resolution.
    author
    Jane Austen
    book
    Emma
    character
    Mr. Knightley
    concepts
    Effortduty
  3. #111
    Surprises are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable.
    author
    Jane Austen
    book
    Emma
    concept
    Surprise
  4. #112
    Vanity working on a weak head produces every sort of mischief.
  5. #113
    Better be without sense than misapply it as you do.
  6. #114
    Miss Bates had never boasted either beauty or cleverness. Her youth had passed without distinction, and her middle of life was devoted to the care of a failing mother, and the endeavor to make a small income go as far as possible. And yet she was a happy woman, and a woman whom no one named without good will.
    author
    Jane Austen
    book
    Emma
    character
    Miss Bates
    concept
    Happiness
  7. #115
    Men of sense, whatever you may choose to say, do not want silly wives.
    author
    Jane Austen
    book
    Emma
    character
    Mr. Knightley
    concept
    Marriage
  8. #116
    I may have lost my heart, but not my self-control.
  9. #117
    “If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.”
  10. #118
    “I will be calm. I will be mistress of myself.”
  11. #119
    “I cannot make speeches, Emma...If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am. You hear nothing but truth from me. I have blamed you, and lectured you, and you have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it.”
    author
    Jane Austen
    book
    Emma
    concept
    Love
  12. #120
    “Laugh as much as you choose, but you will not laugh me out of my opinion.”
  13. #121
    “We all know him to be a proud, unpleasant sort of man; but this would be nothing if you really liked him.”
  14. #122
    “She was convinced that she could have been happy with him, when it was no longer likely they should meet.”
  15. #123
    “Their eyes instantly met, and the cheeks of both were overspread with the deepest blush.”
  16. #124
    “You showed me how insufficient were all my pretensions to please a woman worthy of being pleased.”
  17. #125
    “I must learn to be content with being happier than I deserve.”
  18. #126
    “What are men to rocks and mountains?”
  1. #127
    “Follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies, do divert me, I own, and I laugh at them whenever I can.”
  2. #128
    “I am only resolved to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me.”
  3. #129
    “Do anything rather than marry without affection.”
  4. #130
    “Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.”
  5. #131
    “For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?”
  6. #132
    Every moment had its pleasure and its hope.
  7. #133
    “My good opinion once lost, is lost forever.”
  8. #134
    “Till this moment I never knew myself.”
  9. #135
    “The distance is nothing when one has motive.”
  10. #136
    “I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.”
  11. #137
    “Do not consider me now as an elegant female, intending to play you, but as a rational creature, speaking the truth from her heart.”
  12. #138
    “You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”
  13. #139
    “There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.”
  14. #140
    “A woman, especially if she have the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.”
    author
    Jane Austen
    person
    Women
    concept
    Knowledge
  15. #141
    “There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.”
    author
    Jane Austen
    concepts
    LoveHeart
  16. #142
    “You must be the best judge of your own happiness.”
  17. #143
    I always deserve the best treatment, because I never put up with any other.
    author
    Jane Austen
    book
    Emma
    character
    Emma Woodhouse
    concept
    Behavior
  18. #144
    I lay it down as a general rule, Harriet, that if a woman doubts as to whether she should accept a man or not, she certainly ought to refuse him.
    author
    Jane Austen
    book
    Emma
    character
    Emma Woodhouse
    concept
    Marriage
  1. #145
    “Do not give way to useless alarm…though it is right to be prepared for the worst, there is no occasion to look on it as certain.”
  2. #146
    “Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.”
  3. #147
    Never could I expect to be so truly beloved and important; so always first and always right in any man’s eyes as I am in my father’s.
    author
    Jane Austen
    book
    Emma
    character
    Emma Woodhouse
    concepts
    LoveFathers
  4. #148
    How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation!
  5. #149
    “I certainly must,′ said she. ‘This sensation of listlessness, weariness, stupidity, this disinclination to sit down and employ myself, this feeling of everything’s being dull and insipid about the house! I must be in love; I should be the oddest creature in the world if I were not.”
    author
    Jane Austen
    book
    Emma
    character
    Emma Woodhouse
    concept
    Love
  6. #150
    Where the heart is really attached, I know very well how little one can be pleased with the attention of any body else.
  7. #151
    “A girl likes to be crossed a little in love now and then.”
  8. #152
    “One cannot be always laughing at a man without now and then stumbling on something witty.”
  9. #153
    “From the very beginning—from the first moment, I may almost say—of my acquaintance with you, your manners, impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish distain of the feelings of others, were such as to form the groundwork of the disapprobation on which succeeding events have built so immovable a dislike; and I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world on whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry.”
  10. #154
    She had probably alienated love by the helplessness and fretfulness of a fearful temper, or been unreasonable in wanting a larger share than any one among so many could deserve
  11. #155
    “To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.”
  12. #156
    “There is nothing so bad as parting with one’s friends. One seems too forlorn without them.”
  13. #157
    “It is happy for you that you possess the talent of flattering with delicacy. May I ask whether these pleasing attentions proceed from the impulse of the moment, or are the result of previous study?”
  14. #158
    “A person who can write a long letter with ease, cannot write ill.”
  15. #159
    “Is not general incivility the very essence of love?”
  16. #160
    “But people themselves alter so much, that there is something new to be observed in them for ever.”
  17. #161
    “Beware how you give your heart.”
  18. #162
    “My idea of good company...is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.′
    ‘You are mistaken,’ said he gently, ‘that is not good company, that is the best.”
  19. #163
    “She was sensible and clever, but eager in everything; her sorrows, her joys, could have no moderation.”
  20. #164
    “Your defect is a propensity to hate everybody.” “And yours,” he replied with a smile, “is willfully to misunderstand them.”
  21. #165
    “Nothing is more deceitful…than the appearance of humility. It is often only carelessness of opinion, and sometimes an indirect boast.”
  22. #166
    “Those who do not complain are never pitied.”
  23. #167
    “There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well. The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of merit or sense.”
  24. #168
    “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”
  25. #169
    “There is, I believe, in every disposition a tendency to some particular evil—a natural defect, which not even the best education can overcome.”
  26. #170
    “A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.”
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