Sense and Sensibility Quotes

Hello my dear Life of Lydia readers! If you have been following my and my mother’s blogs you will be aware of the fact that I recently finished reading Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. If you have not read my post about this wonderful novel on my mother’s blog you should because it is simply delightful.

Sense and Sensibility

As I was reading S&S there were a number of quotes and passages that particularly stood out to me. I marked them and wrote most of them down in my comonplace book. Today I am going to share them with you.

Quote #1

He did not disturb the quietness of her mind by ill timed conversation.” – Volume 1, Chapter 3

Context: Shortly after the Dashwood father died and John and Fanny Dashwood took over Norland, Edward Ferrars came to stay there. Mrs. Dashwood was feeling depressed because her husband had died. She appreciated Edward for the reason stated above.

Quote #2

“As a house, Barton Cottage, though small, was confortable and compact; but as a cottage it was defectave, for the building was regular, the roof was tiled, the window shutters were not painted green, nor were the walls covered with honeysuckles” -Volume 1, chapter 6

Context: This passage describes Barton Cottage shortly after the Dashwood women arrived there.

Quote #3

” “Perhaps,” said Elinor, “thirty-five and seventeen had better not have anything to do with matrimony together. But if there should by any chance happen to be a woman who is single at seven-and-twenty, I should not think Cononel Brandon’s being thirty fivevany objection to his marrying her.”

“A woman of seven-and-twenty,” said Marianne, after pausing a moment, “Can never hope to feal or inspire affection again, and if her home be unconfortable, or her fourtune small, I can suppose that she might bring herself to submit to the offices of a nurse, for the sake of the provision and security of a wife. In his marrying such a woman, therefore. there would be nothing unsuitable. It would be a compact of convenience, and the world would be satisfied. In my eyes it would be no marriage at all, but that would be nothing. To me it would seem only a connercial exchange, in which each wished to be benifited at the expense of the other.”

“It would be impossible, I know,” replied Elinor, “To convince you that a woman of seven-and-twenty could feal for a man of thirty-five any thing near enough to love, to make him a desirable conpanion to her. But I must object to your dooming Colonel Brandon and his wife to the constant confinement of a sick chamber, merely because he chanced to conplain yeaterday (a very cold damp day) of a slight rhemutic feel in one of his sholders. -Volume 1, chapter 8

Context: Elinor and Marianne are discussing Colonel Brandon, a thirty five year old who is rumoured to have a crush on seventeen year old Marianne. This passage is especially amusing to our family, because my parents were twenty seven and thirty five when they got married. I am happy to report that even today, my father is able bodied and has ample use of his limbs.

My mother and father at their wedding. I know it’s hard to fathome but I think they really were in love with each other even in their old age.

Quote #4

“She was a great wonderer, as every one must be who takes a very lively interest in all the comings and goings of all their acquaintance. -Volume 1, chapter 14

Context: This line describes Mrs. Jennings.

Quote #5

“|t was rather a wish of distinction, she believed, which produced his contemptuous treatment of every body, and his general abuse of every thing before him. It was the desire of appearing superior to other people.” -Volume 1, chapter 20

Context: In this passage Elinor is thinking about Mr. Palmer’s motives for being mean.

Quote #6

“A man who has nothing to do with his own time has no conscience in his intrusion on that of others. -Volume 2, chapter 9

This is what Marianne says when Colonel Brandon shows up when she doesn’t want him too.

Quote #7

“At last the affair was decided. The ivory, the gold, and the pearls, all received their appointment; and the gentleman having named the last possible day on which his existence could be continued without the tooth-pick case, drew on his gloves with leisureally care, and bestowing another glance on the Miss Dashwoods, but such a one as seemed rather to demand than express admiration, walked off with a happy air of real conceat and affected indifference.” –Volume 2, chapter 11

Context: We find out later in the book that the man in this scene is (spoiler alert!) Robert Ferrars, brother of Edward. Robert had apparently been in the shop for a quarter hour, ordering his custom tooth-pick case while the Dashwood sisters waited for him to finish. I especially liked the part in bold.

Quote #8 Spoiler alert!!!

“I meant,” said Elinor, taking up some work from the table, “to enquire after Mrs. Edward Ferrars.

“She dared not look up; but her mother and Marianne both turned their eyes on him. He colored, seemed perplexed, looked doubtingly, and after some hersitation, said,-

“Prehaps you mean my brother: you mean Mrs.- Mrs. Robert Ferrars.”

“Mrs. Robert Ferrars!” was repeated by Marianne and her mother in an accent of amazement; and though Elinor could not speak even her eyes were fixed on him with the same impaiant wonder. He rose from his seat, and walked to the window, apparently from not knowing what to do; took up a pair of scissors that lay there; and, while spoiling both them and their sheath by cutting the latter to pieces as he spoke, said in a hurried voice,-

“Perhaps you do not know; you may not have heard that my brother is lately married to-to the youngest-to Miss Lucy Steele.” -Volume 3, chapter 12

Context: This passage describes when Edward informed the Dashwoods that he was newly single. The part in bold is what I particularly enjoyed, the rest is just for context. It is a sad thing that the scissors were left out of the movie, because it’s probably my favorite line in the whole book.

Quote #9 Another spoiler alert!!!

“Unaccountable, however, as the circumstances of his release might apear to the whole family, it was certain that Edward was free; and to what purpose that freedon might be employed was eaisely pre-determined by all;-for after experienceing the blessings of one imprudant engagment, contracted without his mother’s concent, as he had already done for more than four years, nothing less could be expected in the failure of that than, than the immediate contraction of another.

His errand at Barton, in fact, was a simple one. It was only to ask Elinor to marry him; and considering that her was not altogether inexperienced in such a question, it might be strange that he should feel so uncomfortable in the present case as he really did, so much in need of encouragement and fresh air. -Volume 3, Chapter 13

Context: After announcing that he was single, Edward went outside to build up corage for a proposal. This passage tells us why, as well as what the Dashwoods thought of the whole thing.


Jane Austen had a way of describing things in a way that was both funny, and at times a bit snarky, which is one of the reasons that I love her works.

One response to “Sense and Sensibility Quotes”

  1. I hope the Dashwoods were able to acquire another set of scissors with a case.


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