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90 Substantial Quotes by Jane Austen

Last updated on Aug 30th, 2020

90 Substantial Quotes by Jane Austen

Jane Austen (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist whose novels are notable for their wit, light irony, social observation and insights into the lives of early 19th century women.

The seventh child of Cassandra and clergyman George Austen, Jane Austen was born in Steventon, Hampshire, England. Fascinated by the world of stories, she began to write as a teenager, experimenting with various literary forms.

In her thirties, from 1811 until 1816, Jane started to anonymously publish her works. During this period, she published Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1815). Two additional novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, were published posthumously in 1818.

Her works brought her very little personal fame during her lifetime, but her reputation began to grow after the publication of her nephew’s A Memoir of Jane Austen in 1869.

Today, Jane Austen is considered one of the greatest writers in English history and her novels are driving force of many films and television shows.

1

To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.Volume I. Chapter III, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

2

If things are going untowardly one month, they are sure to mend the next.Volume II. Chapter XVIII, Emma (1815)

3

Good opinion once lost is lost for ever.Volume I. Chapter XI, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

4

How quick come the reasons for approving what we like!Volume I. Chapter II, Persuasion (1818)

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. - Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey Quotes)
5

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.Chapter XIV, Northanger Abbey (1818)

6

I always deserve the best treatment, because I never put up with any other.Volume III. Chapter XVIII, Emma (1815)

7

Dinner was soon followed by tea and coffee, a ten miles’ drive home allowed no waste of hours; and from the time of their sitting down to table, it was a quick succession of busy nothings till the carriage came to the door.
(Also known as: Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.)Chapter X, Mansfield Park (1814)

8

The pleasantness of an employment does not always evince its propriety.Chapter XIII, Sense and Sensibility (1811)

9

Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance.Volume I. Chapter VI, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

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. - Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey Quotes)
10

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.Chapter VI, Northanger Abbey (1818)

11

One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.Volume I. Chapter IX, Emma (1815)

12

We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.Chapter XLII, Mansfield Park (1814)

13

It is very difficult for the prosperous to be humble.Volume III. Chapter XIV, Emma (1815)

14

None of us expect to be in smooth water all our days.Volume I. Chapter VIII, Persuasion (1818)

There are people, who the more you do for them, the less they will do for themselves. - Jane Austen (Emma Quotes)
15

There are people, who the more you do for them, the less they will do for themselves.Volume I. Chapter XI, Emma (1815)

16

Nothing is more deceitful, than the appearance of humility. It is often only carelessness of opinion, and sometimes an indirect boast.Volume I. Chapter X, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

17

People always live for ever when there is an annuity to be paid them.Chapter II, Sense and Sensibility (1811)

18

There certainly are not so many men of large fortune in the world as there are pretty women to deserve them.Chapter I, Mansfield Park (1814)

19

Why not seize the pleasure at once? — How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation!Volume II. Chapter XII, Emma (1815)

A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment. - Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice Quotes)
20

A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.Volume I. Chapter VI, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

21

One does not love a place the less for having suffered in it, unless it has been all suffering, nothing but suffering.Volume II. Chapter XX, Persuasion (1818)

22

There is safety in reserve, but no attraction. One cannot love a reserved person.Volume II, Chapter VI, Emma (1815)

23

It is particularly incumbent on those who never change their opinion, to be secure of judging properly at first.Volume I. Chapter XVIII, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

24

Better be without sense, than misapply it as you do.Volume I. Chapter VIII, Emma (1815)

A lady, without a family, was the very best preserver of furniture in the world. - Jane Austen (Persuasion Quotes)
25

A lady, without a family, was the very best preserver of furniture in the world.Volume I. Chapter III, Persuasion (1818)

26

We do not look in great cities for our best morality.Chapter IX, Mansfield Park (1814)

27

Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.Volume III. Chapter XVI, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

28

One man’s style must not be the rule of another’s.Volume III. Chapter XV, Emma (1815)

29

A scheme of which every part promises delight, can never be successful; and general disappointment is only warded off by the defence of some little peculiar vexation.Volume II. Chapter XIX, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of. - Jane Austen (Mansfield Park Quotes)
30

A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.Chapter XXII, Mansfield Park (1814)

31

A woman especially, if she have the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.Chapter XIV, Northanger Abbey (1818)

32

Men of sense, whatever you may chuse to say, do not want silly wives.Volume I. Chapter VIII, Emma (1815)

33

He is a gentleman; I am a gentleman’s daughter; so far we are equal.Volume III. Chapter XIV, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

34

Indulge your imagination in every possible flight.Volume III. Chapter XVIII, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. - Jane Austen (Emma Quotes)
35

If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.Volume III. Chapter XIII, Emma (1815)

36

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.Volume II. Chapter IV, Emma (1815)

37

When pain is over, the remembrance of it often becomes a pleasure.Volume II. Chapter XX, Persuasion (1818)

38

People themselves alter so much, that there is something new to be observed in them for ever.Volume I. Chapter IX, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

39

The enthusiasm of a woman’s love is even beyond the biographer’s.Chapter XXVII, Mansfield Park (1814)

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. - Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice Quotes)
40

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.Volume I. Chapter I, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

41

If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.Chapter I, Northanger Abbey (1818)

42

A person who can write a long letter, with ease, cannot write ill.Volume I. Chapter X, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

43

Single women have a dreadful propensity for being poor, which is one very strong argument in favor of matrimony.Letters to Fanny Knight, Chawton, Thursday (March 13, 1816)

44

One cannot fix one’s eyes on the commonest natural production without finding food for a rambling fancy.Chapter XXII, Mansfield Park (1814)

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. - Jane Austen (Emma Quotes)
45

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.Volume III. Chapter XIII, Emma (1815)

46

Nobody, who has not been in the interior of a family, can say what the difficulties of any individual of that family may be.Volume I. Chapter XVIII, Emma (1815)

47

Run mad as often as you choose, but do not faint!Love and Freindship (1790)

48

Vanity working on a weak head, produces every sort of mischief.Volume I. Chapter VIII, Emma (1815)

49

One man’s ways may be as good as another’s, but we all like our own best.Volume II. Chapter XIII, Persuasion (1818)

Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us. - Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice Quotes)
50

Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.Volume I. Chapter V, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

51

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.Chapter XIX, Northanger Abbey (1818)

52

Surprises are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable.Volume II. Chapter VIII, Emma (1815)

53

Give a girl an education, and introduce her properly into the world, and ten to one but she has the means of settling well, without farther expense to anybody.Chapter I, Mansfield Park (1814)

54

Know your own happiness. You want nothing but patience – or give it a more fascinating name, call it hope.Chapter XIX, Sense and Sensibility (1811)

Those who do not complain are never pitied. - Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice Quotes)
55

Those who do not complain are never pitied.Volume I. Chapter XX, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

56

Silly things do cease to be silly if they are done by sensible people in an impudent way.Volume II. Chapter VIII, Emma (1815)

57

Husbands and wives generally understand when opposition will be vain.Volume I. Chapter VII, Persuasion (1818)

58

For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?Volume III. Chapter XV, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

59

Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.Chapter XLVIII, Mansfield Park (1814)

There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart. - Jane Austen (Emma Quotes)
60

There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.Volume II. Chapter XIII, Emma (1815)

61

Every man is surrounded by a neighbourhood of voluntary spies.Chapter XXIV, Northanger Abbey (1818)

62

One cannot always be laughing at a man without now and then stumbling on something witty.Volume II. Chapter XVII, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

63

An artist cannot do anything slovenly.Letter to Cassandra Austen, Saturday, (November 17, 1798)

64

A mind lively and at ease, can do with seeing nothing, and can see nothing that does not answer.Volume II. Chapter IX, Emma (1815)

Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love. - Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey Quotes)
65

Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.Chapter IV, Northanger Abbey (1818)

66

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.Chapter V, Mansfield Park (1814)

67

What is right to be done cannot be done too soon.Volume II. Chapter V, Emma (1815)

68

Could there be finer symptoms? Is not general incivility the very essence of love?Volume II. Chapter II, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

69

If we have not hearts, we have eyes; and they give us torment enough.Chapter XVIII, Northanger Abbey (1818)

I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal. - Jane Austen Quotes
70

I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal.Letter to Cassandra Austen, Steventon, Monday night (December 24, 1798)

71

In nine cases out of ten, a woman had better shew more affection than she feels.Volume I. Chapter VI, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

72

My sore-throats, you know, are always worse than anybody’s.Volume II. Chapter XVIII, Persuasion (1818)

73

Business, you know, may bring money, but friendship hardly ever does.Volume II. Chapter XVI, Emma (1815)

74

The power of doing any thing with quickness is always much prized by the possessor, and often without any attention to the imperfection of the performance.Volume I. Chapter X, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

Nobody minds having what is too good for them. - Jane Austen (Mansfield Park Quotes)
75

Nobody minds having what is too good for them.Chapter XLVIII, Mansfield Park (1814)

76

General benevolence, but not general friendship, made a man what he ought to be.Volume III. Chapter II, Emma (1815)

77

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.Volume III. Chapter V, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

78

From politics, it was an easy step to silence.Chapter XIV, Northanger Abbey (1818)

79

You must be the best judge of your own happiness.Volume I. Chapter VII, Emma (1815)

Where an opinion is general, it is usually correct. - Jane Austen (Mansfield Park Quotes)
80

Where an opinion is general, it is usually correct.Chapter XI, Mansfield Park (1814)

81

To flatter and follow others, without being flattered and followed in turn, is but a state of half enjoyment.Volume II. Chapter XXIV, Persuasion (1818)

82

Respect for right conduct is felt by every body.Volume I. Chapter XVIII, Emma (1815)

83

Next to being married, a girl likes to be crossed in love a little now and then.Volume II. Chapter I, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

84

Selfishness must always be forgiven, you know, because there is no hope of a cure.Chapter VII, Mansfield Park (1814)

Laugh as much as you choose, but you will not laugh me out of my opinion. - Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice Quotes)
85

Laugh as much as you choose, but you will not laugh me out of my opinion.Volume I. Chapter XVII, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

86

Resignation is never so perfect as when the blessing denied begins to lose somewhat of its value in our estimation.Volume I. Chapter XX, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

87

It is well to have as many holds upon happiness as possible.Chapter XXII, Northanger Abbey (1818)

88

There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.Volume II. Chapter XIV, Emma (1815)

89

We do not suffer by accident.Volume II. Chapter II, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

Do not be in a hurry, the right man will come at last. - Jane Austen Quotes
90

Do not be in a hurry, the right man will come at last.Letter to Fanny Knight, Chawton: Thursday (March 13, 1816)