Selected Jane Austen Quotations
• For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?
• About history: The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars and pestilences in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all — it is very tiresome.
• Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.
• One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.
• A woman, especially if she has the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.
• One cannot be always laughing at a man without now and then stumbling on something witty.
• If there is anything disagreeable going on men are always sure to get out of it.
• What strange creatures brothers are!
• A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.
• Human nature is so well disposed towards those who are in interesting situations, that a young person, who either marries or dies, is sure to be kindly spoken of.
• It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
• If a woman doubts as to whether she should accept a man or not, she certainly ought to refuse him. If she can hesitate as to Yes, she ought to say No, directly.
• It is always incomprehensible to a man that a woman should refuse an offer of marriage.
• Why not seize the pleasure at once? How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation!
• Nobody minds having what is too good for them.
• A person who can write a long letter with ease, cannot write ill.
• Nothing is more deceitful than the appearance of humility. It is often only carelessness of opinion, and sometimes an indirect boast.
• 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.
• Man is more robust than woman, but he is not longer lived; which exactly explains my view of the nature of their attachments.
• If any one faculty of our nature may be called more wonderful than the rest, I do think it is memory.
• I do not want people to be agreeable, as it saves me that trouble of liking them.
• One does not love a place the less for having suffered in it unless it has all been suffering, nothing but suffering.
• Those who do not complain are never pitied.
• 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?
• From politics, it was an easy step to silence.
• A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.
• It is very difficult for the prosperous to be humble.
• How quick come the reasons for approving what we like!
• ... as the clergy are, or are not what they ought to be, so are the rest of the nation.
• ... the soul is of no sect, no party: it is, as you say, our passions and our prejudices, which give rise to our religious and political distinctions.
• You ought certainly to forgive them as a Christian, but never to admit them in your sight, or allow their names to be mentioned in your hearing.
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About These Quotes
Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection © Jone Johnson Lewis 1997-2003. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.
Jone Johnson Lewis. "Jane Austen Quotes." About Women's History. URL: http://womenshistory.about.com/cs/quotes/qu_jane_austen.htm . Date accessed: (today). (More on how to cite online sources including this page)