“‘My good qualities are under your protection, and you are to exaggerate them as much as possible; and, in return, it belongs to me to find occasions for teasing and quarrelling with you as often as may be.'”
Lizzy to Darcy, discussing their recent engagement and how their relationship will work from this point forward
Pride and Prejudice, volume 3, chapter 18
Sounds like a good plan, no?
Icon from Ms. Place at Jane Austen Today.
“‘Oh, Lizzy! do anything rather than marry without affection.'”
Jane to Lizzy on her engagement to Darcy, a quote which no doubt echoes Austen’s own thoughts (and sounds very much like her advice to her niece, Fanny)
Pride and Prejudice, volume 3, chapter 17
“We have heard nothing fresh from Anna. I trust she is very comfortable in her new home. Her Letters have been very sensible & satisfactory, with no parade of happiness, which I liked them the better for.–I have often known young married Women write in a way I did not like, in that respect.”
letter to her niece Fanny (Edward’s daughter), about another niece, Anna (James’s daughter), who had just married Ben Lefroy
November 18, 1814 
“Anything is to be preferred or endured rather than marrying without Affection; and if his deficiencies of Manner &c &c strike you more than all his good qualities, if you continue to think strongly of them, give him up at once.”
letter to her niece, Fanny Knight, about Mr. John Plumptre, whom Fanny was considering marrying
November 18, 1814 
“Everybody is taken in at some period or other. . . . In marriage especially . . . 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.”
Mansfield Park, volume 1, chapter 5
More on the Masterpiece site.
Hayley Atwell as Mary Crawford. ©Jon Hall/ITV plc (Granada International) for Masterpiece™
“I am of a cautious temper, and unwilling to risk my happiness in a hurry. Nobody can think more highly of the matrimonial state than myself. I consider the blessing of a wife as most justly described in those discreet lines of the poet, ‘Heaven’s last best gift.'”
Mansfield Park, volume 1, chapter 4
According to my Oxford World’s Classics edition, Henry Crawford is joking about Milton’s Paradise Lost, in which “Adam describes Eve as God’s ultimate gift; Henry Crawford wittily turns the line to express his preference for deferring wedlock.”
Hmm… I have known many men “of a cautious temper.”
Joseph Beattie as Henry Crawford. ©Jon Hall/ITV plc (Granada International) for Masterpiece™
Forgive me for the spoiler, but I’m assuming you all know how the book (or movie) ends! Enjoy tonight.
“Henry and Catherine were married, the bells rang, and every body smiled; and, as this took place within a twelvemonth from the first day of their meeting, it will not appear, after all the dreadful delays occasioned by the General’s cruelty, that they were essentially hurt by it. To begin perfect happiness at the respective ages of twenty-six and eighteen, is to do
Northanger Abbey, volume 2, chapter 16
Again, thanks to Solitary-Elegance.com for the image.
“Mrs. Allen was one of that numerous class of females, whose society can raise no other emotion than surprise at their being any men in the world who could like them well enough to marry them. She had neither beauty, genius, accomplishment, nor manner.”
Northanger Abbey, volume 1, chapter2
Oh, I love this quote — such classic Jane.
Sylvestra Le Touzel as Mrs. Allen, thanks to Solitary-Elegance.com for the image. (In this picture, she looks like she has at least a little beauty.)
“How eloquent could Anne Elliot have been! how eloquent, at least, were her wishes on the side of early warm attachment, and a cheerful confidence in futurity, against that over-anxious caution which seems to insult exertion and distrust Providence! She had been forced into prudence in her youth; she learned romance as she grew older: the natural sequel of an unnatural beginning.”
Persuasion, chapter 4
Enjoy Persuasion this weekend, and let me know what you think of it!
Of Mr. Weston’s first marriage:
“She had a husband whose warm heart and sweet temper made him think every thing due to her in return for the great goodness of being in love with him.”
Emma, volume 1, chapter 2