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In Northanger Abbey Jane Austen writes, “It is well to have as many holds upon happiness as possible.” Ms. Austen is aware of the sacrifice of happiness necessary when doing one’s duty by one’s family. In fact, she originally chose to marry Harris Bigg-Wither which would have allowed her to provide for her mother and her sister Cassandra, but on thinking over her happiness with a man she neither loved nor who loved her, she cancelled the engagement the next day.

While choosing happiness over duty may result in a loss of status and income, the resulting pleasantness in personality will increase one’s beauty, grace, and wit. [1]

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