Sense and Sensibility is a classic novel by Jane Austen, published in 1811. It tells the story of the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne, who have different personalities and approaches to life.
Elinor is sensible, rational, and reserved, while Marianne is emotional, impulsive, and romantic. The novel explores how they cope with love, loss, and society in late 18th-century England.
One of the most notable aspects of Sense and Sensibility is the use of quotes, which reveal the characters’ thoughts, feelings, and opinions. Austen’s witty and elegant style of writing makes these quotes memorable and insightful.
Here are some of the best quotes from Sense and Sensibility, organized by theme:
Love and Marriage
- “The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!” (Marianne Dashwood, Chapter 3)
- “If I could but know his heart, everything would become easy.” (Marianne Dashwood, Chapter 9)
- “I come here with no expectations, only to profess, now that I am at liberty to do so, that my heart is and always will be…yours.” (Edward Ferrars, Chapter 49)
- “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.” (Marianne Dashwood, Chapter 39)
- “To wish was to hope, and to hope was to expect.” (Narrator, Chapter 13)
Sense and Sensibility
- “Elinor agreed to it all, for she did not think he deserved the compliment of rational opposition.” (Narrator, Chapter 15)
- “I will be calm. I will be mistress of myself.” (Elinor Dashwood, Chapter 29)
- “Marianne Dashwood was born to an extraordinary fate. She was born to discover the falsehood of her own opinions, and to counteract, by her conduct, her most favourite maxims.” (Narrator, Chapter 1)
- “She was stronger alone…” (Narrator, Chapter 28)
- “Know your own happiness. You want nothing but patience- or give it a more fascinating name, call it hope.” (Mrs. Dashwood, Chapter 19)
Society and Class
- “People always live forever when there is an annuity to be paid them.” (John Dashwood, Chapter 2)
- “Money can only give happiness where there is nothing else to give it.” (Marianne Dashwood, Chapter 50)
- “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.” (Narrator, Chapter 31)
- “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.” (Narrator, Chapter 34)
- “A man who has nothing to do with his own time has no conscience in his intrusion on that of others.” (Marianne Dashwood, Chapter 37)
Reading and Writing
- “If a book is well written, I always find it too short.” (Marianne Dashwood, Chapter 46)
- “Marianne, who had the knack of finding her way in every house to the library, however it might be avoided by the family in general, soon procured herself a book.” (Narrator, Chapter 6)
- “I have not wanted syllables where actions have spoken so plainly.” (Elinor Dashwood, Chapter 49)
- “It is not what we think or feel that makes us who we are. It is what we do. Or fail to do.” (Narrator, Chapter 50)
- “I wish, as well as everybody else, to be perfectly happy; but, like everybody else, it must be in my own way.” (Elinor Dashwood, Chapter 19)
These are some of the most famous and meaningful quotes from Sense and Sensibility, a novel that explores the contrast and balance between reason and emotion, duty and passion, and society and individuality. Austen’s skillful use of language and humor makes these quotes timeless and relevant for modern readers.