“I had some short struggle in my mind whether I should resign my lover or my liberty, but this lasted not long. I found myself as free as air and could not bear the thought of putting myself in any man’s power for life only from a present capricious inclination.”
— Sarah Fielding
“The words of kindness are more healing to a drooping heart than balm or honey.”
“I believe no gentleman would like to have his family affairs neglected because his wife was filling her head with crotchets and pothooks, and who, because she understood a few scraps of Latin, valued that more than minding her needle or providing her husband’s dinner.”
“Flattery in courtship is the highest insolence, for whilst it pretends to bestow on you more than you deserve, it is watching an opportunity to take from you what you really have.”
“The motives to actions and the inward turns of mind seem in our opinion more necessary to be known than the actions themselves; and much rather would we choose that our reader should clearly understand what our principal actors think than what they do.”
“Their virtues lived in their children. The family changed its persons but not its manners, and they continued a blessing to the world from generation to generation.”
“On the wings of fancy, gentle readers, bear yourselves into the mid-air, where by imagination you may form a large stupendous castle.”
“The loss of liberty which must attend being a wife was of all things the most horrible to my imagination.”
“The supposition that it was possible for any woman to be so mean-spirited as not at least to wish to tear out her rival’s eyes was too hard for the digestion of the Cry.”
“If modesty and candor are necessary to an author in his judgment of his own works, no less are they in his reader.”
“I endeavor not to conceal that I believe there is a great mixture of desire in the passion which is called love – or rather, without any far-fetched strain on words, it may be called the companion of love.”
“I am none of those nonsensical fools that can whine and make romantic love – I leave that to younger brothers. Let my estate speakfor me.”
“I fancied I had some constancy of mind because I could bear my own sufferings, but found through the sufferings of others I could be weakened like a child.”
“Tis this desire of bending all things to our own purposes which turns them into confusion and is the chief source of every error in our lives.”
“I was condemned to be beheaded, or burnt, as the king pleased; and he was graciously pleased, from the great remains of his love, to choose the mildest sentence.”
“Agreeable then to my present inclination, I formed the object of my own worship, which was no other than my own understanding.”
“But in all things whether we shall make only a due use of the liberties we have asked, is left entirely to the judicious reader to decide.”
“Yet if strict criticism should till frown on our method, let candor and good humor forgive what is done to the best of our judgment, for the sake of perspicuity in the story and the delight and entertainment of our candid reader.”
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