[Mrs. Weston] “She is loveliness itself. Mr. Knightley, is not she?”
“I have not a fault to find with her person,” he replied. “I think her all you describe. I love to look at her; and I will add this praise, that I do not think her personally vain. Considering how handsome she is, she appears to be little occupied with it; her vanity lies another way.”
Mrs. Weston and Mr. Knightley on Emma’s beauty and faults
Emma, volume 1, chapter 5
“Vanity was the beginning and end of Sir Walter Elliot’s character: vanity of person and of situation. He had been remarkably handsome in his youth, and at fifty-four was still a very fine man. . . . He considered the blessing of beauty as inferior only to the blessing of a baronetcy; and the Sir Walter Elliot, who united these gifts, was the constant object of his warmest respect and devotion.”
Persuasion, volume 1, chapter 1
Thanks to Kellynch.com for the image — check out this lovely site!
“Where people wish to attach, they should always be ignorant. To come with a well-informed mind is to come with an inability of administering to the vanity of others, which a sensible person would always wish to avoid. A woman especially, if she have the misfortune of knowing any thing, should conceal it as well as she can.”
This is the narrator’s voice, in the chapter where Henry, Eleanor and Catherine hike to the top of Beechen Cliff, and Catherine feels completely ignorant about Henry’s ideas of what makes a beautiful landscape
Northanger Abbey, volume 1, chapter 14
“It was badly done, indeed! You, whom she had known from an infant, whom she had seen grow up from a period when her notice was an honour, to have you now, in thoughtless spirits, and the pride of the moment, laugh at her, humble her–and before her niece, too–and before others, many of whom (certainly some,) would be entirely guided by your treatment of her.–This is not pleasant to you, Emma–and it is very far from pleasant to me; but I must, I will,–I will tell you truths while I can.”
Dear Mr. Knightley chastising Emma for her ill treatment of Miss Bates
Emma, volume 3, chapter 7
“Vanity working on a weak head, produces every sort of mischief.”
Mr. Knightley, on Emma’s encouraging Harriet Smith to raise her sights too high
Emma, volume 1, chapter 8
“Compliments always take you by surprise, and me never.”
Lizzy to Jane
Pride and Prejudice, volume 1, chapter 4
Again a character trait I understand, though perhaps not so admirable.
“Have we thought irreverently of thee, have we disobeyed thy commandments, have we neglected any known duty, or willingly given pain to any human being? Incline us to ask our hearts these questions oh! God, and save us from deceiving ourselves by pride and vanity.”
Evening Prayer 1
Another pic from Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford today.
Jane’s concise statements of Christian theology in these prayers are wonderful, better than I could do myself. And while they may seem difficult at times, imbued with the concepts of personal sin and repentance, I think these ideas are clearly carried over to her characters.