Category Archives: On being a lady

Her charming daughter

“I have more than once observed to Lady Catherine that her charming daughter seemed born to be a duchess, and that the most elevated rank, instead of giving her consequence, would be adorned by her. — These are the kind of little things which please her ladyship, and it is a sort of attention which I conceive myself peculiarly bound to pay.”

Mr. Collins

Pride and Prejudice, Vol. 1, Ch. 14

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Filed under Flattery, Lady Catherine, Money, Mr. Collins, On being a lady, Power, Pride and Prejudice, Wealth

Entitled to think well of themselves

They were in fact very fine ladies . . . but proud and conceited. They were rather handsome, had been educated in one of the first private seminaries in town, had a fortune of twenty thousand pounds, were in the habit of spending more than they ought, and of associating with people of rank; and were therefore in every respect entitled to think well of themselves, and meanly of others.

Of Bingley’s sisters

Pride and Prejudice Vol. 1, Ch. 4

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Polite lies

Marianne was silent; it was impossible for her to say what she did not feel, however trivial the occasion; and upon Elinor therefore the whole task of telling lies when politeness required it, always fell.

Sense and Sensibility, volume 1, chapter 21


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Filed under Elinor, Marianne, On being a lady, Sense and Sensibility, Sense vs. Sensibility

Some kind of sense (but not much)

Elinor soon allowed them credit for some kind of sense . . .

Sense and Sensibility, volume 1, chapter 21

Of the Miss Steeles


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Filed under Elinor, Lucy Steele, On being a lady, Sense and Sensibility

The sweetest girls in the world

Sir John . . . set off directly for the cottage to tell the Miss Dashwoods of the Miss Steeles’ arrival, and to assure them of their being the sweetest girls in the world. From such commendation as this, however, there was not much to be learned; Elinor well knew that the sweetest girls in the world were to be met with in every part of England, under every possible variation of form, face, temper and understanding.

Sense and Sensibility, volume 1, chapter 21


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Filed under Elinor, Hyperbole, Lucy Steele, On being a lady, Sense and Sensibility, Sir John Middleton

A lady always does

"What did she say?  Just what she ought, of course.  A lady always does."

Of Emma’s reply to Mr. Knightley, when he proposes
Emma, volume 3, chapter 13

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Filed under Emma, Emma Woodhouse, Mr. Knightley, On being a lady, Proposals

The great Mrs. Churchill

“The great Mrs. Churchill was no more. . . . Goldsmith tells us that when lovely woman stoops to folly, she has nothing to do but to die; and when she stoops to be disagreeable, it is equally recommended as a clearer of ill fame.”

Emma, volume 3, chapter 9

I’ve been on an Emma kick for the last few weeks.  Since tomorrow is Halloween, perhaps we’ll move on to Northanger Abbey.

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The Beautifull Cassandra

Yesterday was Labor Day here in the States — a day in which, in honor of work (or, rather, in honor of the common laborer), everyone takes the day off.  😉

More from Jane’s Juvenilia today.  This is her introduction to her sister for the story “The Beautifull Cassandra.”  This is from Volume the First (there are three in all), so Jane was somewhere between 12 and 15 when she wrote this.


You are a Phoenix.  Your taste is refined, your Sentiments are noble, and your Virtues innumerable.  Your Person is lovely, your Figure, elegant, and your Form, magestic.  Your Manners are polished, your Conversation is rational and your appearance singular.  If therefore the following Tale will afford one moment’s amusement to you, every wish will be gratified of
Your most obedient
humble servant
The Author”

I love this — “Madam You are a Phoenix.”  Is that really a compliment?  You certainly see Jane’s spirit here.

Thanks to for the silhouette of Cassandra Austen.


Filed under Austen family, Juvenilia, On being a lady, sister Cassandra, The Beautifull Cassandra

Fine ladies & rational creatures

“But I hate to hear you talking so like a fine gentleman, and as if women were all fine ladies, instead of rational creatures.  We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days.”

Mrs. Croft to her brother Frederick Wentworth about his hesitancy to have a woman aboard his ship
Persuasion, volume 1, chapter 8


Filed under Capt. Wentworth, Mrs. Croft, On being a lady, Persuasion