As I’m sure many of you are aware, Jane Austen is widely considered one of the most quotable authors in the English language. I was particularly struck by some of the insightful and witty lines in Mansfield Park. And there’s a lot more where this comes from, so as you come across that great line in the novel, please share with the rest of us!
I suppose I’d save myself a lot of trouble if I said that the opinions reflected in these quotations have nothing to do my own, but that’s, shall we say, simply not the case, except where their value is obviously not in their truth but in their wit. They are in no particular order except for the order in which I discovered them with interest upon review of the text.
1. “A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.”
2. “Nothing amuses me more than the easy manner with which everybody settles the abundance of those who have a great deal less than themselves.”
3. “. . .they are much to be pitied. . .who have not, at least, been given a taste for Nature in early life. They lose a great deal.”
4. “I cannot think well of a man who sports with any woman’s feelings. . .”
5. “. . .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.”
6. “We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.”
7. “. . . there is not one in a hundred of either sex who is not taken in when they marry. Look where I will, I see that it is so; and I feel that it must be so, when I consider that it is, of all transactions, the one in which people expect most from others, and are least honest themselves.”
8. “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 in every way—but our powers of recollecting and forgetting do seem peculiarly past finding out.”
9. “Selfishness must always be forgiven, you know, because there’s never any hope of a cure.”
10. “But there certainly are not so many men of large fortune in the world as there are pretty woman to deserve them.”