OUR FAVE QUOTES FROM EMMA

Blah Quotes
Image: Gerd Altmann

The Fairer Sex

“A woman is not to marry a man merely because she is asked, or because he is attached to her, and can write a tolerable letter.”

“I was tempted by his attentions, and allowed myself to appear pleased.–An old story, probably–a common case–and no more than has happened to hundreds of my sex before.”

“I Always take the part of my own sex. I do indeed. I give you notice–You will find me a formidable antagonist on that point. I always stand up for women–”

“…till it appears that men are much more philosophic on the subject of beauty than they are generally supposed; till they do fall in love with well-informed minds instead of handsome faces, a girl, with such loveliness as Harriet, has a certainty of being admired and sought after, of having the power of chusing from among many…”

“One half of the world cannot understand the pleasure of the other.”

“I am very much mistaken if your sex in general would not think such beauty, and such temper, the highest claims a woman could possess.”

Still Clueless

“Mr. Knightley, in face, was one of the few people who could see faults in Emma Woodhouse, and the only one who ever told her of them…”

“Vanity working on a weak head, produces every sort of mischief.”

“There can be no doubt of your being a gentleman’s daughter, and you must support your claim to that station by every thing within your own power, or there will be plenty of people who would take pleasure in degrading you.”

“It darted through her, with the speed of an arrow, that Mr. Knightley must marry no one but herself.”

“She would notice her; she would improve her; she would detach her from her bad acquaintance, and introduce her into good society; she would form her opinions and her manners. It would be an interesting, and certainly a very kind undertaking; highly becoming her own situation in life, her leisure, and powers.”

“If Harriet, from being humble, were grown vain, it was her doing too.”

A More or Less Perfect Union

“It would be incompatible with what she owed to her father, and with what she felt for him. Nothing should separate her from her father. She would not marry, even if she were asked by Mr. Knightley.”

“So early in life–at three-and-twenty–a period when, if a man chuses a wife, he generally chuses ill.”

“…it is always incomprehensible to a man that a woman should ever refuse an offer of marriage. A man always imagines a woman to be ready for any body who asks her.”

“There is safety in reserve, but no attraction. One cannot love a reserved person.”

“A man would always wish to give a woman a better home than the one he takes her from; and he who can do it, where there is no doubt of her regard, must, I think, be the happiest of mortals.”

“I lay it down as a general rule, Harriet, that if a woman doubts as to whether she should accept a man or not, she certainly ought to refuse him. If she can hesitate as to ‘Yes,’ she ought to say ‘No’ directly. It is not a state to be safely entered into with doubtful feelings, with half a heart. I thought it my duty as a friend, and older than yourself, to say thus much to you. But do not imagine that I want to influence you.”

Be in and of the World

“…when people shut themselves up entirely from society, it is a very bad thing; and that it is much more advisable to mix in the world in a proper degree, without living in it either too much or too little.”

“Human nature is so well disposed towards those who are in interesting situations, that a young person, who either marries or dies, is sure of being kindly spoken of.”

Friendship is Free

“Business, you know, may bring money, but friendship hardly ever does.”

Pure Luck?

“I thought you cleverer–for, depend upon it a lucky guess is never merely luck. There is always some talent in it.”

Oops…My Bad

“Wickedness is always wickedness, but folly is not always folly.–It depends upon the character of those who handle it.”

“The older a person grows, Harriet, the more important it is that their manners should not be bad; the more glaring and disgusting any loudness, or coarseness, or awkwardness becomes. What is passable in youth is detestable in later age.”

“Surprizes are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable.”

“How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation!”

A Few Parables

“There are people, who the more you do for them, the less they will do for themselves.”

“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.”

Your Turn

So…What were the quotes that reminded you of Clueless? Are men or women the fairer sex? What are the qualities you seek when building a more perfect union? What’s your favorite parable? How do you learn from mistakes? Let us know in the comments! |RL

P.S. Want more Emma? Check out the book and movie reviews!

JOIN THE CONVERSATION!