Things I Learned from Jane Austen

  1. Reading novels is quite harmless for a young lady.
  2. It is possible to read too many novels. 
  3. Taking long walks is an enjoyable pastime.
  4. You never know what fine gentleman you will meet during a long walk.
  5. Clergymen can be quite handsome and amiable.
  6. Clergymen can be quite irritating and judgmental.
  7. You do not need wealth or connections to marry well (but it sure doesn’t hurt!)
  8. There can be no happiness in marriage when one partner does not respect the other.
  9. Not all ladies are romantic- some just want a comfortable home.
  10. Some gentlemen have happy manners all the time.
  11. Some gentlemen do not perform for strangers.
  12. You were not made pretty for no reason (it can you get a rich husband).
  13. If you are tolerable-looking, do not be distressed. (You may land an even richer husband than your hotter sis/cousin/friend!)
  14. Some mothers can cast a bad reflection on their daughters. 
  15. Some fathers can be negligent in reprimanding their daughters’ wild behavior.
  16. Some fathers do not like it when people get married and go away.
  17. Those that are good-natured when they are children become good-natured adults.
  18. Do not discount your older, wiser, wealthier, and slightly cranky neighbor as a potential husband.
  19. Do not jump from high places (expecting the guy you’re crushing on to catch you.)
  20. Women do not forget men as soon men forget women.
  21. Women love on when all hope is lost.
  22. It is difficult to make accommodations suitable for ladies on a ship.
  23. Women do not all want to be in calm waters.
  24. Too much poetry can be dangerous (so encourage your depressed friends to include a little prose in their reading).
  25. In some matters, it is better to use one’s head.
  26. Reserve is preferred by some couples though they are in love.
  27. A lady does not have to hide her regard upon first meeting a gentleman.
  28. We were not all made to be handsome.
  29. Family connections are always worth preserving.
  30. Do not get engaged too young (because someone better might come along.)
  31. Do not forget your old love (because she may still be single in her late 20s.)
  32. Naval men can be the finest men in the whole of England.
  33. The navy brings persons of obscure birth into high positions.
  34. It may raise a few eyebrows if younger sisters are all out (in society) before the older sisters are married.
  35. It is unfair to deprive younger sisters of society just because the older ones haven’t found the right guy.
  36. A simple, artless girl is infinitely preferable to a self-absorbed and haughty one.
  37. A governess can also be a fine lady.
  38. Your sister can be your best friend.
  39. Your sister can be a pain in the ass.
  40. A young farmer’s house can have two good parlors.
  41. If you are poor, you can still be brought up in some style by wealthy family friends.
  42. There is one thing a man can always do- his duty.
  43. Accomplished young ladies know how to play the pianoforte; many also know how to draw and sing!
  44. You should not humiliate old friends (especially in public gatherings).
  45. You should not distress people with word puzzles.
  46. A man may praise one lady in public (but be secretly engaged to another).
  47. A man may look on you as a sister (because he’s secretly engaged).
  48. Do not say you will never be in love (because you never know…)
  49. After you refuse a gentleman, it might not be a good idea to take a tour of his grand house and estate.
  50. After you see your old flame in town, it may be a bad idea to go hanging around with another guy.
  51. If you can’t say what you really mean, just write a letter.
  52. Don’t try to match up people that have absolutely nothing in common.
  53. A woman without children is the best preserver of furniture.
  54. Some people like to see rank preserved.
  55. People with extensive grounds are always happy to meet other people with extensive grounds.
  56. Some gentlemen are equally happy in the city and in the country.
  57. Half-sisters are not real sisters, so you don’t have to give then any luxuries.
  58. A cottage can be very quaint.
  59. Not everyone enjoys the pleasures of Bath.
  60. When a naval officer has no wife, he is eager to be at sea.   
  61. You sometimes can’t reason with a man in love.
  62. Men always think any woman they ask to marry is ready to have them.
  63. If a man, who hardly ever dances, chooses you as a partner- it’s a big deal.
  64. In the East Indies, the air is full of spices.
  65. The Nile is in Abyssinia.
  66. Some girls like wildflowers better than those from the hothouse.
  67. Some girls hide nothing, while others reveal nothing (of their emotions).
  68. A “gentleman” is a guy that has enough money that he doesn’t have to work.
  69. The eldest son in the family gets everything.
  70. The younger son must find a living for himself, or marry well.
  71. It is cruel to separate two people who have formed an attachment.
  72. If you are lucky, the girl/guy you happen to fall for will be rich.
  73. It is not proper to talk to a stranger (though he’s a hottie) if you have not been introduced.
  74. Only engaged people hug and kiss.
  75. The more you see of the world, the more you’ll be dissatisfied with it.
  76. Ignorance and prejudice form no bar to creating the strongest opinions.
  77. Girls usually do not dance with other guys if they are engaged.
  78. Riding horses with a guy you like is v. romantic.
  79. If there is a real superiority of mind, then it’s okay to be proud.
  80. If you’re not officially engaged to a guy, don’t get your hopes up too high.


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