The Bingley sisters discuss Jane’s chances of marrying well:
“I have an excessive regard for Jane Bennet, she is really a very sweet girl, and I wish with all my heart she were well settled. But with such a father and mother, and such low connections, I am afraid there is no chance of it.”
“I think I have heard you say, that their uncle is an attorney in Meryton.”
“Yes; and they have another, who lives somewhere near Cheapside.”
“That is capital,” added her sister, and they both laughed heartily.
“If they had uncles enough to fill all Cheapside,” cried Bingley, “it would not make them one jot less agreeable.”
“But it must very materially lessen their chance of marrying men of any consideration in the world,” replied Darcy.
Pride and Prejudice, Vol 1, Ch 8
“We never could agree in our choice of a profession. I always preferred the church, as I still do. But that was not smart enough for my family. They recommended the army. That was a great deal too smart for me.”
Sense and Sensibility, v. 1, ch. 19
“I have never yet found that the advice of a sister could prevent a young man’s being in love if he chose it.”
Lady Susan to Mrs. Johnson (as she tries to draw in Mrs. Vernon’s brother — it’s all very complicated!)
Lady Susan, letter 10
“Where shall we see a better daughter or a kinder sister or a truer friend? . . . She will make no lasting blunder; where Emma errs once, she is in the right a hundred times.”
Such words of praise for Emma from Mrs. Weston
Emma, volume 1, chapter 5
I only hope that none of my blunders will be lasting.
“His two other children were of very inferior value. . . . Anne, with an elegance of mind and sweetness of character, which must have placed her high with any people of real understanding, was nobody with either father or sister; her word had no weight, her convenience was always to give way — she was only Anne.”
Persuasion, volume 1, chapter 1
Yesterday was the anniversary of Jane’s birth during the cold winter of 1775 in the little village of Steventon. In honor of that, here’s one of my favorite Austen family quotes. This is George, Jane’s father, writing to his sister-in-law. Cassandra Austen had gone to help her sister in childbirth. George writes from his now-quiet rectory,
“I don’t much like this lonely kind of Life.”
And when he talked about the family possibly paying a visit, he said,
“I say we, for I certainly shall not let my Wife come alone, & I dare say she will not leave her children behind her.”
I love this. You can just see the country rector, who didn’t marry until he was almost thirty-three, in his rather plain small house, missing his dear wife.
This lovely image of Jane and her dad is from Jane Odiwe’s web site, Austen Effusions, and is available as a gift card.
Quote is from Deirdre Le Faye’s Jane Austen: A Family Record, p. 23.
I’m actually headed out today to North Carolina for a long Thanksgiving break. Can’t wait to have everyone together.
Today’s quote is from my Jane Austen Society desk calendar:
“Family squabbling is the greatest evil of all. . . “
Mansfield Park, volume 1, chapter 13
I expect a lot of merriment, actually (and an awful lot of eating) and not so much squabbling, except among the little ones, who can’t really help themselves.
I’ll be taking a break from posting here for the rest of the week, back on Monday. Happy Thanksgiving to all my US readers!
“It is very unfair to judge of any body’s conduct, without an intimate knowledge of their situation. Nobody, who has not been in the interior of a family, can say what the difficulties of any individual of that family may be.”
Very wise, Emma. (Of course, at that point, she’s defending Frank Churchill to Mr. Knightley, and his judgment ends up being closer to the truth.)
Emma, volume 1, chapter 18
“It was a delightful visit;–perfect, in being much too short.”
Of Isabella’s (Mrs. John Knightley) visit to Hartfield
Emma, volume 1, chapter 13