Jane Austen’s “Northanger Abbey” Quotes (42 Quotes)


    But the inexplicability of the General's conduct dwelt much on her thoughts. That he was very particular in his eating, she had, by her own unassisted observation, already discovered; but why should he say one thing so positively, and mean another all the while, was most unaccountable. How were people, at that rate, to be understood?



    But your mind is warped by an innate principle of general integrity, and, therefore, not accessible to the cool reasonings of family partiality, or a desire of revenge.

    Reluctantly, and with much hesitation, did she then begin what might perhaps, at the end of half an hour, be termed, by the courtesy of her hearers, an explanation;


    Where the heart is really attached, I know very well how little one can be pleased with the attention of any body else.

    Catherine hoped at least to pass uncensured through the crowd. As for admiration, it was always very welcome when it came, but she did not depend on it.

    She had reached the age of seventeen, without having seen one amiable youth who could call forth her sensibility, without having inspired one real passion, and without having excited even any admiration but what was very moderate and very transient.

    You feel, as you always do, what is most to the credit of human nature. -Such feelings ought to be investigated, that they may know themselves.



    Every young lady may feel for my heroine in this critical moment, for every young lady has at some time or other known the same agitation.

    She mediated, by turns, on broken promises and broken arches, phaetons and false hangings, Tilneys and trap-doors.


    The advantages of natural folly in a beautiful girl have been already set forth by the capital pen of a sister author; and to her treatment of the subject I will only add, in justice to men, that though to the larger and more trifling part of the sex, imbecility in females is a great enhancement of their personal charms, there is a portion of them too reasonable and too well informed themselves to desire anything more in woman than ignorance.

    I am fond of history and am very well contented to take the false with the true. In the principal facts they have sources of intelligence in former histories and records, which may be as much depended on, I conclude, as anything that does not actually pass under ones own observation; and as for the little embellishments you speak of, they are embellishments, and I like them as such.

    The anxiety, which in this state of their attachment must be the portion of Henry and Catherine, and of all who loved either, as to its final event, can hardly extend, I fear, to the bosom of my readers, who will see in the tell-tale compression of the pages before them, that we are all hastening together to perfect felicity.


    The mere habit of learning to love is the thing; and a teachableness of disposition in a young lady is a great blessing

    I leave it to be settled, by whomsoever it may concern, whether the tendency of this work be altogether to recommend parental tyranny, or reward filial disobedience.


    A family of ten children will be always called a fine family, where there are heads and arms and legs enough for the number.



    A mother would have been always present. A mother would have been a constant friend; her influence would have been beyond all other.

    If the heroine of one novel be not patronized by the heroine of another, from whom can she expect protection and regard?

    There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.


    It is always good for young people to be put upon exerting themselves; and you know, my dear Catherine, you always were a sad little shatter-brained creature; but now you have been forced to have your wits about you...

    To be disgraced in the eye of the world, to wear the appearance of infamy while her heart is all purity, her actions all innocence, and the misconduct of another the true source of her debasement, is one of those circumstances which peculiarly belong to the heroine's life, and her fortitude under it what particularly dignifies her character. Catherine had fortitude too; she suffered, but no mumur passed her lips.

    And from the whole she deduced this useful lesson, that to go previously engaged to a ball, does not necessarily increase either the dignity or enjoyment of a young lady.

    Life, if you live it right, keeps surprising you, and the thing that keeps surprising you the most…is yourself


    And now I may dismiss my heroine to the sleepless couch, which is the true heroine's portion - to a pillow strewed with thorns and wet with tears. And lucky may she think herself, if she get another good night's rest in the course of the next three months.

    No young lady can be justified in falling in love before the gentleman's love is declared. It must be very improper that a young lady should dream of a gentleman before the gentleman is first known to have dreamt of her.

    Well, then, I must say that I do not like him at all. Though it has turned out so well for us, I do not like him at all. As it happens, there is no great harm done, because I do not think Isabella has any heart to lose. But, suppose he had made her very much in love with him?


    Not keep a journal! How are your absent cousins to understand the tenor of your life in Bath without one? How are the civilities and compliments of every day to be related as they ought to be, unless noted down every evening in a journal? How are your various dresses to be remembered, and the particular state of your complexion, and curl of your hair to be described in all their diversities, without having constant recourse to a journal?


    But Catherine did not know her own advantages - did not know that a good-looking girl, with an affectionate heart and a very ignorant mind, cannot fail of attracting a clever young man, unless circumstances are particularly untoward.




    More Jane Austen Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Man - Woman - World - Love - Happiness - Pleasure - Mind - Sense & Perception - Life - Friendship - Wisdom & Knowledge - Opinions - Emotions - Time - Sadness - Manner - Fate & Destiny - Education - Anger - View All Jane Austen Quotations

    More Jane Austen Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - Emma
    - Mansfield Park
    - Northanger Abbey
    - Persuasion
    - Pride and Prejudice
    - Sense and Sensibility

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