C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


The scarlet hue of modesty.


Awkwardness in full dress.

Ninon de Lenclos.

A shy face is better than a forward heart.


Twin sister of awkwardness.

Mrs. Barbauld.

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


Diffidence and awkwardness are antidotes to love.


Mere bashfulness without merit is awkwardness.


Conceit not so high a notion of any as to be bashful and impotent in their presence.


Modesty is the graceful, calm virtue of maturity; bashfulness the charm of vivacious youth.

Mary Wollstonecraft.

Bashfulness may sometimes exclude pleasure, but seldom opens any avenue to sorrow or remorse.

Dr. Johnson.

Bashfulness is not becoming to maidenhood, though modesty always is.

Marguerite de Valois.

The most curious offspring of shame is shyness.

Sydney Smith.

  • So sweet the blush of bashfulness
  • Even pity scarce can wish it less.
  • Byron.

    A tardiness in Nature, which often leaves the history unspoke, that it intends to do.


    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.


    She felt his flame; but deep within her breast, in bashful coyness or in maiden pride, the soft return concealed.


    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.


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


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.