The Cult of Da Man

The Tao of Tilney

Acolytes, meditate if you will upon these words of enlightenment from the mouth of Da Man. Bask in his wisdom and take his lessons to your heart, as did Catherine herself.


Why indeed? But some emotion must appear to be raised by your reply, and surprize is more easily assumed, and not less reasonable than any other.


Everybody allows that the talent of writing agreeable letters is peculiarly female. Nature may have done something, but I am sure it must be essentially assisted by the practice of keeping a journal.


In every power, of which taste is the foundation, excellence is pretty fairly divided between the sexes.


Muslin can never be said to be wasted.


I consider a country-dance as an emblem of marriage. Fidelity and complaisance are the principal duties of both; and those men who do not choose to dance or marry themselves, have no business with the partners or wives of their neighbours… You will allow, that in both, man has the advantage of choice, woman only the power of refusal; that in both, it is an engagement between man and woman, formed for the advantage of each; and that when once entered into, they belong exclusively to each other till the moment of its dissolution; that it is their duty, each to endeavour to give the other no cause for wishing that he or she had bestowed themselves elsewhere, and their best interest to keep their own imaginations from wandering towards the perfections of their neighbours, or fancying that they should have been better off with anyone else…In marriage, the man is supposed to provide for the support of the woman, the woman to make the home agreeable to the man; he is to purvey, and she is to smile. But in dancing, their duties are exactly changed; the agreeableness, the compliance are expected from him, while she furnishes the fan and the lavender water.


The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.


(T)his is a very nice day, and we are taking a very nice walk, and you are two very nice young ladies. Oh! it is a very nice word indeed!--it does for every thing. Originally perhaps it was applied only to express neatness, propriety, delicacy, or refinement;--people were nice in their dress, in their sentiments, or their choice. But now every commendation on every subject is comprised in that one word.


But historians are not accountable for the difficulty of learning to read; and even you yourself, who do not altogether seem particularly friendly to very severe, very intense application, may perhaps be brought to acknowledge that it is very well worth while to be tormented for two or three years of one's life, for the sake of being able to read all the rest of it.


There must be murder; and government cares not how much.


I will prove myself a man, no less by the generosity of my soul than the clearness of my head. I have no patience with such of my sex as disdain to let themselves sometimes down to the comprehension of yours.


(N)o one can think more highly of the understanding of women than I do. In my opinion, nature has given them so much that they never find it necessary to use more than half.


To be always firm must be to be often obstinate. When properly to relax is the trial of judgment.


No man is offended by another man's admiration of the woman he loves; it is the woman only who can make it a torment.


And are you prepared to encounter all the horrors that a building such as 'what one reads about' may produce? Have you a stout heart? Nerves fit for sliding panels and tapestry?


And though the love of a hyacinth may be rather domestic, who can tell, the sentiment once raised, but you may in time come to love a rose?


The mere habit of learning to love is the thing; and a teachableness of disposition in a young lady is a great blessing.


Promised so faithfully! A faithful promise! That puzzles me. I have heard of a faithful performance. But a faithful promise -- the fidelity of promising! It is a power little worth knowing, however, since it can deceive and pain you.


You feel, as you always do, what is most to the credit of human nature. Such feelings ought to be investigated, that they may know themselves.


I am come, young ladies, in a very moralizing strain, to observe that our pleasures in this world are always to be paid for, and that we often purchase them at a great disadvantage, giving ready-monied actual happiness for a draft on the future, that may not be honoured.


But your mind is warped by an innate principle of general integrity, and therefore not accessible to the cool reasonings of family partiality, or a desire of revenge.

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