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Elizabeth Inchbald

  • ... Miss Milner had the quality peculiar to wits, to speak the thought that first occurs, which thought has generally truth on its side.

  • The beautiful, the beloved Miss Milner — she is no longer beautiful — no longer beloved — no longer — tremble while you read it! — no longer — virtuous.

  • ... good humor, like the jaundice, makes every one of its own complexion.

  • ... alas! in the exercise of the arts, industry scarce bears the name of merit.

  • Our Author ... / Sends me with dismal voice, and lenthen'd phiz, / Humbly to own one dreadful fault of his: / A fault, in modern Authors not uncommon, / It is, — now don't be angry — He's — a woman.

  • The Rights of Women, says a female pen, / Are, to do every thing as well as Men, / To think, to argue, to decide, to write, / To talk, undoubtedly — perhaps, to fight. / ... / But since the Sex at length has been inclin'd / To cultivate that useful part — the mind; — / Since they have learnt to read, to write to spell; — / Since some of them have wit, — and use it well; — / Let us not force them back with brow severe, / With the pale of ignorance and fear, / Confin'd entirely to domestic arts, / Producing only children, pies, and tarts.

  • I did not say I ever had any children; I said I had maintained them ... never did I take one of those tender infants in my arms, that the forehead of my Valet, the squint-eye of my Apothecary, or the double-chin of my Chaplain, did not stare me in the face, and damp all the fine feelings of the parent, which I had just called up.

  • A man of fashion does not like to be reckoned poor, no more than he likes to be reckoned unhappy. We none of us endeavor to be happy, Sir, but merely to be thought so; and for my part, I had rather be in a state of misery, and envied for my supposed happiness, than in a state of happiness, and pitied for my supposed misery.

  • ... I have not laughed since I married ...

  • I assure you my professions never go beyond my intentions ...

  • Tears from our sex are not always the results of grief; they are frequently no more than little sympathetic tributes which we pay to our fellow-beings, while the mind and the heart are steeled against the weakness which our eyes indicate.

  • Oh! how I long to see my dear husband, that I may quarrel with him!

  • 'Each has his fault,' we readily allow, / To this Decree, our dearest friends must bow; / One is too careless, one is too correct, / All, save our own sweet self, has some defect ...

  • There the poor have another advantage ... for they may defy not only death, but every loss by sea or land, for they have nothing to lose.

  • This country [the United States] hated suffering; it rejected it ontologically, admitting it only as an incident which must be instantly eradicated. This young, suffering, denying nation had developed whole schools — philosophical, psychological and medical — dedicated to the single problem of how to save people from suffering. Fima's Russian brain had difficulty in coping with this concept. The land which had raised him loved and valued suffering, and derived its nourishment from it: from suffering people grew, developed, became wise.

    • Elizabeth Inchbald,
    • in Cathy Porter, trans., The Funeral Party ()

Elizabeth Inchbald, English writer, playwright

(1753 - 1821)

Full name: Elizabeth Simpson Inchbald. She also wrote as simply Mrs. Inchbald.