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BASHFULNESS
[ Also see Apologies Awkwardness Blushes Boldness Diffidence Fear Humility Meekness Modesty Reserve Shyness ]

Mere bashfulness without merit is awkwardness.
      - Joseph Addison

Nor do we accept, as genuine the person not characterized by this blushing bashfulness, this youthfulness of heart, this sensibility to the sentiment of suavity and self-respect. Modesty is bred of self-reverence. Fine manners are the mantle of fair minds. None are truly great without this ornament.
      - Amos Bronson Alcott

Bashfulness is an ornament to youth, but a reproach to old age.
      - Aristotle

Bashfulness is a great hindrance to a man, both in uttering his sentiments and in understanding what is proposed to him; 't is therefore good to press forward with discretion, both in discourse and company of the better sort.
      - Francis Bacon

Twin sister of awkwardness.
      - Mrs. Anna Letitia Barbauld

A shy face is better than a forward heart.
      - Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra)

Women who are the least bashful are not unfrequently the most modest; and we are never more deceived than when we would infer any laxity of principle from that freedom of demeanor which often arises from a total ignorance of vice.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

Conceit not so high a notion of any as to be bashful and impotent in their presence.
      - Thomas Fuller (1)

Diffidence and awkwardness are antidotes to love.
      - William Hazlitt (1)

Bashfulness may sometimes exclude pleasure, but seldom opens any avenue to sorrow or remorse.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

The scarlet hue of modesty.
      - Niocolas Valentin de Latena

Awkwardness in full dress.
      - Ninon de L'Enclos (real name Anne L'Enclos)

There are two distinct sorts of what we call bashfulness; this, the awkwardness of a booby, which a few steps into the world will convert into the pertness of a coxcomb; that, a consciousness, which the most delicate feelings produce, and the most extensive knowledge cannot always remove.
      - Henry Mackenzie ("Man of Feeling" or "Addison of the North")

As those that pull down private houses adjoining to the temples of the gods, prop up such parts as are contiguous to them; so, in undermining bashfulness, due regard is to be had to adjacent modesty, good-nature and humanity.
      - Plutarch

We must prune it with care, so as only to remove the redundant branches, and not injure the stem, which has its root in the generous sensitiveness to shame.
      - Plutarch

A tardiness in nature,
  Which often leaves the history unspoke,
    That it intends to do.
      - William Shakespeare

Bashfulness is more frequently connected with good sense than we find assurance; and impudence, on the other hand, is often the mere effect of downright stupidity.
      - William Shenstone

She felt his flame; but deep within her breast, in bashful coyness or in maiden pride, the soft return concealed.
      - James Thomson (1)

Bashfulness is not becoming to maidenhood, though modesty always is.
      - Marguerite de Valois

Modesty, is the graceful calm virtue of maturity; bashfulness, the charm of vivacious youth.
      - Mary Wollstonecraft,
        A Vindication of the Rights of Women
         (ch. 7)


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