There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.

Jane Austen

The titular character of Jane Austen’s 1815 novel “Emma” is a privileged young woman whose matchmaking attempts have disastrous consequences. Emma meddles in the love life of her friend Harriet Smith, who is kind and beautiful but nonetheless lacks the sophistication and social status that Emma takes for granted. In this quote, Emma reflects on Harriet’s tenderhearted nature and realizes that it is this attribute, above all else, that makes Harriet not only a good friend, but also a desirable wife. Emma’s epiphany is a reminder that compassion and thoughtfulness are qualities that can transcend other more superficial traits when it comes to winning affection and admiration.