Fanny Price Quotations

Quotations from Fanny Price, the romantic, high-minded heroine of Mansfield Park:

%22Spring Flowers%22 by Claude Monet“Cut down an avenue! What a pity! Does it not make you think of Cowper? ‘Ye fallen avenues, once more I mourn your fate unmerited.’” (Ch. 6)

“I cannot rate so very highly the love or good-nature of a brother who will not give himself the trouble of writing anything worth reading to his sisters, when they are separated.” (Ch. 7)

“I am disappointed,” said she, in a low voice, to Edmund. “This is not my idea of a chapel. There is nothing awful here, nothing melancholy, nothing grand. Here are no aisles, no arches, no inscriptions, no banners. No banners, cousin, to be ‘blown by the night wind of heaven.’ No signs that a ‘Scottish monarch sleeps below.’” (Ch. 9)

“[T]o sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure, is the most perfect refreshment.” (Ch. 9)

Fanny agreed to it, and had the pleasure of seeing him continue at the window with her, in spite of the expected glee; and of having his eyes soon turned, like hers, towards the scene without, where all that was solemn, and soothing, and lovely, appeared in the brilliancy of an unclouded night, and the contrast of the deep shade of the woods. Fanny spoke her feelings. “Here’s harmony!” said she; “here’s repose! Here’s what may leave all painting and all music behind, and what poetry only can attempt to describe! Here’s what may tranquillise every care, and lift the heart to rapture! When I look out on such a night as this, I feel as if there could be neither wickedness nor sorrow in the world; and there certainly would be less of both if the sublimity of Nature were more attended to, and people were carried more out of themselves by contemplating such a scene.” (Ch. 11)

%22Young Woman Drawing%22 by Marie Denise Villers“How wonderful, how very wonderful the operations of time, and the changes of the human mind! … If any one faculty of our nature may be called more wonderful than the rest, I do think it is memory. There seems something more speakingly incomprehensible in the powers, the failures, the inequalities of memory, than in any other of our intelligences. The memory is sometimes so retentive, so serviceable, so obedient; at others, so bewildered and so weak; and at others again, so tyrannic, so beyond control! We are, to be sure, a miracle every way; but our powers of recollecting and of forgetting do seem peculiarly past finding out.” (Ch. 22)

“The evergreen! How beautiful, how welcome, how wonderful the evergreen! When one thinks of it, how astonishing a variety of nature! In some countries we know the tree that sheds its leaf is the variety, but that does not make it less amazing that the same soil and the same sun should nurture plants differing in the first rule and law of their existence. You will think me rhapsodising; but when I am out of doors, especially when I am sitting out of doors, I am very apt to get into this sort of wondering strain. One cannot fix one’s eyes on the commonest natural production without finding food for a rambling fancy.” (Ch. 22)

“To me, the sound of Mr. Bertram is so cold and nothing-meaning, so entirely without warmth or character! It just stands for a gentleman, and that’s all. But there is nobleness in the name of Edmund. It is a name of heroism and renown; of kings, princes, and knights; and seems to breathe the spirit of chivalry and warm affections.” (Ch. 22)

“Let him have all the perfections in the world, I think it ought not to be set down as certain that a man must be acceptable to every woman he may happen to like himself.” (Ch. 35)

“I was quiet, but I was not blind.” (Ch. 36)

“I cannot think well of a man who sports with any woman’s feelings; and there may often be a great deal more suffered than a stander-by can judge of.” (Ch. 36)

“We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.” (Ch. 42)

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Illustrations: “Spring Flowers” by Claude Monet and detail of “Young Woman Drawing” by Marie Denise Villers.

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2 comments on “Fanny Price Quotations

  1. genusrosa says:

    A wonderful compilation, thank you. This works well for getting a glimpse into the deep waters of Fanny’s personality. Her comments about the name Edmund I can never read without thinking of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’, and Gwendolen’s similar infatuation with a name…”Ernest…there is something in that name that inspires absolute confidence…It has a music of its own. It produces vibrations…” Echoes of Fanny. :o)

  2. Good choices! They show that Fanny is more insightful and intelligent than she may seem.

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