Edmund Bertram Quotations

Quotations from Edmund Bertram, Mansfield Park’s thoughtful and kind hero:

“Portrait of Benjamin Gibbons” by Octavius Oakley“If this man had not twelve thousand a year, he would be a very stupid fellow.” (Ch. 4)

“And you know there is generally an uncle or a grandfather to leave a fortune to the second son.”

“A very praiseworthy practice,” said Edmund, “but not quite universal. I am one of the exceptions, and being one, must do something for myself.” (Ch. 9)

“A clergyman cannot be high in state or fashion. He must not head mobs, or set the ton in dress. But I cannot call that situation nothing which has the charge of all that is of the first importance to mankind, individually or collectively considered, temporally and eternally, which has the guardianship of religion and morals, and consequently of the manners which result from their influence. No one here can call the office nothing. If the man who holds it is so, it is by the neglect of his duty, by foregoing its just importance, and stepping out of his place to appear what he ought not to appear.” (Ch. 9)

“Der elegante Leser” by Georg Friedrich Kersting“We do not look in great cities for our best morality. It is not there that respectable people of any denomination can do most good; and it certainly is not there that the influence of the clergy can be most felt. A fine preacher is followed and admired; but it is not in fine preaching only that a good clergyman will be useful in his parish and his neighbourhood, where the parish and neighbourhood are of a size capable of knowing his private character, and observing his general conduct, which in London can rarely be the case. The clergy are lost there in the crowds of their parishioners. They are known to the largest part only as preachers. And with regard to their influencing public manners, Miss Crawford must not misunderstand me, or suppose I mean to call them the arbiters of good-breeding, the regulators of refinement and courtesy, the masters of the ceremonies of life. The manners I speak of might rather be called conduct, perhaps, the result of good principles; the effect, in short, of those doctrines which it is their duty to teach and recommend; and it will, I believe, be everywhere found, that as the clergy are, or are not what they ought to be, so are the rest of the nation.” (Ch. 9)

“Where any one body of educated men, of whatever denomination, are condemned indiscriminately, there must be a deficiency of information, or (smiling) of something else.” (Ch. 11)

“A woman can never be too fine while she is all in white.” (Ch. 23)

“I … earnestly hoped that she might soon learn to think more justly, and not owe the most valuable knowledge we could any of us acquire, the knowledge of ourselves and of our duty, to the lessons of affliction” (Ch. 47)

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Illustrations: “Portrait of Benjamin Gibbons” by Octavius Oakley and “Der elegante Leser” by Georg Friedrich Kersting.

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2 comments on “Edmund Bertram Quotations

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