'Sense and Sensibility' Quotes

Sense and Sensibility
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Jane Austen published Sense and Sensibility in 1811—it was her first published novel. She's also famous for Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and a number of other novels in the Romantic Period of English Literature. Here are some quotes from Sense and Sensibility.

  • "They gave themselves up wholly to their sorrow, seeking increase of wretchedness in every reflection that could afford it, and resolved against ever admitting consolation in future."
    - Sense and Sensibility, Ch. 1
  • "People always live forever when there is an annuity to be paid them."
    - Sense and Sensibility, Ch. 2
  • "An annuity is a very serious business."
    - Sense and Sensibility, Ch. 2
  • "He was not handsome, and his manners required intimacy to make them pleasing. He was too diffident to do justice to himself; but when his natural shyness was overcome, his behaviour gave every indication of an open, affectionate heart."
    - Sense and Sensibility, Ch. 3
  • "On every formal visit a child ought to be of the party, by way of provision for discourse."
    - Sense and Sensibility, Ch. 6
  • "In hastily forming and giving his opinion of other people, in sacrificing general politeness to the enjoyment of undivided attention where his heart is engaged, and in slighting too easily the forms of worldly propriety, he displayed a want of caution which Elinor could not approve."
    - Sense and Sensibility, Ch. 10
  • "Sense will always have attractions for me."
    - Sense and Sensibility, Ch. 10
  • "When he was present she had no eyes for anyone else. Everything he did was right. Everything he said was clever. If their evenings at the Park were concluded with cards, he cheated himself and all the rest of the party to get her a good hand. If dancing formed the amusement of the night, they were partners for half the time; and when obliged to separate for a couple of dances, were careful to stand together, and scarcely spoke a word to anybody else. Such conduct made them, of course, most exceedingly laughed at; but ridicule could not shame, and seemed hardly to provoke them."
    - Sense and Sensibility, Ch. 11
  • "There is something so amiable in the prejudices of a young mind, that one is sorry to see them give way to the reception of more general opinions."
    - Sense and Sensibility, Ch. 11
  • "When the romantic refinements of a young mind are obliged to give way, how frequently are they succeeded by such opinions as are but too common and too dangerous!"
    - Sense and Sensibility, Ch. 11
  • "It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy it is disposition alone. Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others."
    - Sense and Sensibility, Ch. 12
  • "The pleasantness of an employment does not always evince its propriety."
    - Sense and Sensibility, Ch. 13
  • "At my time of life opinions are tolerably fixed. It is not likely that I should now see or hear anything to change them."
    - Sense and Sensibility, Ch. 17
  • "A fond mother ... in pursuit of praise for her children, the most rapacious of human beings, is likewise the most credulous; her demands are exorbitant; but she will swallow anything."
    - Sense and Sensibility, Ch. 21
  • "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, Ch. 21
  • "She was stronger alone; and her own good sense so well supported her, that her firmness was as unshaken, her appearance of cheerfulness as invariable, as, with regrets so poignant and so fresh, it was possible for them to be."
    Sense and Sensibility, Ch. 23
  • "Death ... a melancholy and shocking extremity."
    Sense and Sensibility, Ch. 24
  • "I wish with all my soul his wife may plague his heart out."
    Sense and Sensibility, Ch. 30
  • "When a young man, be he who he will, comes and makes love to a pretty girl, and promises marriage, he has no business to fly off from his word, only because he grows poor, and a richer girl is ready to have him. Why don't he, in such a case, sell his horses, let his house, turn off his servants, and make a thorough reform at once."
    Sense and Sensibility, Ch. 30
  • "Nothing in the way of pleasure can ever be given up by the young men of this age."
    Sense and Sensibility, Ch. 30
  • "Elinor had not needed ... to be assured of the injustice to which her sister was often led in her opinion of others, by the irritable refinement of her own mind, and the too great importance placed by her on the delicacies of a strong sensibility and the graces of a polished manner. Like half the rest of the world, if more than half there be that are clever and good, Marianne, with excellent abilities and an excellent disposition, was neither reasonable nor candid. She expected from other people the same opinions and feelings as her own, and she judged of their motives by the immediate effect of their actions on herself."
    Sense and Sensibility, Ch. 31
  • "A man who has nothing to do with his own time has no conscience in his intrusion on that of others."
    Sense and Sensibility, Ch. 31
  • "Life could do nothing for her, beyond giving time for a better preparation for death; and that was given."
    Sense and Sensibility, Ch. 31
  • "She felt the loss of Willoughby's character yet more heavily than she had felt the loss of his heart."
    Sense and Sensibility, Ch. 32
  • "A person and face, of strong, natural, sterling insignificance, though adorned in the first style of fashion."
    Sense and Sensibility, Ch. 33
  • "There was a kind of cold-hearted selfishness on both sides, which mutually attracted them; and they sympathized with each other in an insipid propriety of demeanour, and a general want of understanding."
    Sense and Sensibility, Ch. 34
  • "Elinor was to be the comfor/ter of others in her own distresses, no less than in theirs."
    Sense and Sensibility, Ch. 37
  • "The world had made him extravagant and vain - extravagance and vanity had made him cold-hearted and selfish. Vanity, while seeking its own guilty triumph at the expense of another, had involved him in a real attachment, which extravagance, or at least its offspring necessity, had required to be sacrificed. Each faulty propensity in leading him to evil, had led him likewise to punishment."
    Sense and Sensibility, Ch. 44
  • "His own enjoyment, or his own ease, was, in every particular, his ruling principle."
    Sense and Sensibility, Ch. 47
  • "Elinor now found the difference between the expectation of an unpleasant event, however certain the mind may be told to consider it, and certainty itself. She now found that, in spite of herself, she had always admitted a hope, while Edward remained single, that something would occur to prevent his marrying Lucy; that some resolution of his own, some mediation of friends, or some more eligible opportunity of establishment for the lady, would arise to assist the happiness of all. But he was now married; and she condemned her heart for the lurking flattery which so much heightened the pain of the intelligence."
    Sense and Sensibility, Ch. 48
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Lombardi, Esther. "'Sense and Sensibility' Quotes." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, thoughtco.com/sense-and-sensibility-quotes-741364. Lombardi, Esther. (2023, April 5). 'Sense and Sensibility' Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/sense-and-sensibility-quotes-741364 Lombardi, Esther. "'Sense and Sensibility' Quotes." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/sense-and-sensibility-quotes-741364 (accessed June 1, 2023).