The Coquette

The Coquette

by

Hannah Webster Foster

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The Reverend J. Boyer’s closest friend. Selby and Boyer frequently correspond about Boyer’s relationship with Eliza Wharton, and Boyer sends Selby in person to deliver a letter to her. Selby is offended by Eliza’s free and outgoing behavior, and he is suspicious of her friendship with Major Sanford. Selby thinks that Eliza is a coquette, or a promiscuous flirt, and he is vocal about these concerns to Reverend Boyer.

Mr. T. Selby Quotes in The Coquette

The The Coquette quotes below are all either spoken by Mr. T. Selby or refer to Mr. T. Selby. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Women and Society Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Publications edition of The Coquette published in 2015.
Letter 4 Quotes

I was introduced to Miss Eliza Wharton; a young lady whose elegant person, accomplished mind, and polished manners have been much celebrated. […] You will think, that I talk in the style of a lover. I confess it, nor am I ashamed to rank myself among the professed admirers of this lovely fair one. I am in no danger, however, of becoming an enthusiastic devotee. No, I mean to act upon just and rational principles. Expecting soon to settle in an eligible situation, if such a companion as I am persuaded she will make me, may fall to my lot, I shall deem myself as happy as this state of imperfection will admit. She is now resident at Gen. Richman’s. The general and his lady are her particular friends. They are warm in her praises. They tell me, however, that she is naturally of a gay disposition. No matter for that; it is an agreeable quality, where there is discretion sufficient for its regulation. A cheerful friend, much more a cheerful wife is peculiarly necessary to a person of a studious and sedentary life.

Related Characters: Reverend J. Boyer (speaker), Miss Eliza Wharton, Mr. T. Selby
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile
Letter 23 Quotes

Miss Wharton and I, said Mrs. Richman, must beg leave to differ from you, madam. We think ourselves interested in the welfare and prosperity of our country; and, consequently, claim the right of inquiring into those affairs, which may conduce to, or interfere with the common weal. We shall not be called to the senate or the field to assert its privileges, and defend its rights, but we shall feel for the honor and safety of our friends and connections, who are thus employed. If the community flourish and enjoy health and freedom, shall we not share in the happy effects? if it be oppressed and disturbed, shall we not endure our proportion of the evil? Why then should the love of our country be a masculine passion only? Why should government, which involves the peace and order of the society, of which we are a part, be wholly excluded from our observation? Mrs. Laurence made some slight reply and waived the subject. The gentlemen applauded Mrs. Richman’s sentiments as truly Roman; and what was more, they said, truly republican.

Page Number: 34-5
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Letter 27 Quotes

I am quite a convert to Pope’s assertion, that “Every woman is, at heart, a rake.” How else can we account for the pleasure which they evidently receive from the society, the flattery, the caresses of men of that character? Even the most virtuous of them seem naturally prone to gaiety, to pleasure, and, I had almost said, to dissipation! How else shall we account for the existence of this disposition, in your favorite fair? It cannot be the result of her education. Such a one as she has received, is calculated to give her a very different turn of mind. You must forgive me, my friend, for I am a little vexed, and alarmed on your account.

Page Number: 42-3
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Enclosed in the Foregoing Quotes

Many faults have been visible to me; over which my affection once drew a veil. That veil is now removed. And, acting the part of a disinterested friend, I shall mention some few of them with freedom. There is a levity in your manners, which is inconsistent with the solidity and decorum becoming a lady who has arrived to years of discretion. There is also an unwarrantable extravagance betrayed in your dress. Prudence and economy are such necessary, at least, such decent virtues, that they claim the attention of every female, whatever be her station or her property. To these virtues you are apparently inattentive. Too large a portion of your time is devoted to the adorning of your person.

Related Characters: Reverend J. Boyer (speaker), Miss Eliza Wharton, Mr. T. Selby
Page Number: 69
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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Mr. T. Selby Character Timeline in The Coquette

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. T. Selby appears in The Coquette. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Letter IV. to Mr. Selby.
Women and Society Theme Icon
“Am I in pursuit of truth, or lady?” Reverend Boyer writes to his friend, Mr. Selby. “I answer both.” His “respectable circle of acquaintances,” with whom he has spent much time... (full context)
Letter VII. to Mr. Selby.
Sex and Virtue Theme Icon
Marriage and Social Mobility Theme Icon
...declaim, not philosophers expatiate on the disappointments of human life!” Reverend Boyer writes to Mr. Selby. Boyer had been so excited at the prospect of spending more time with Eliza, but... (full context)
Letter XVII. to Mr. Selby.
Reverend Boyer again writes Mr. Selby and tells him about Eliza. The time Boyer has spent with her has been “some... (full context)
Letter XXII. to Miss Eliza Wharton.
Marriage and Social Mobility Theme Icon
...of their time together, and he can’t wait until they again meet. Boyer’s friend, Mr. Selby, will deliver this letter. “May I solicit the favor of a line, through him, in... (full context)
Letter XXIII. to the Rev. J. Boyer.
Women and Society Theme Icon
Marriage and Social Mobility Theme Icon
“I have executed your commission,” Mr. Selby writes Reverend Boyer, and “I think [Eliza] fully justifies your partiality to her.” Selby tells... (full context)
Letter XXIV. to the Rev. J. Boyer.
Women and Society Theme Icon
Sex and Virtue Theme Icon
Mr. Selby resumes his letter to Reverend Boyer and encloses a letter from Eliza. He had gone... (full context)
Letter XXV. to the Rev. J. Boyer.
Sex and Virtue Theme Icon
Marriage and Social Mobility Theme Icon
...real and lasting happiness.” She tells Boyer that she has enjoyed meeting his friend, Mr. Selby, and that they will be joining him soon for dinner. She expresses some excitement for... (full context)
Letter XXVI. to Miss Lucy Freeman.
Women and Society Theme Icon
...Eliza writes Lucy, “by the assiduous attentions of this Major Sanford.” Reverend Boyer’s friend, Mr. Selby, had recently come to visit, and Sanford watched all of Mr. Selby’s actions with attention... (full context)
Women and Society Theme Icon
Sex and Virtue Theme Icon
Marriage and Social Mobility Theme Icon
...Eliza that he was struck with “jealousy” by the appearance of Reverend Boyer’s friend, Mr. Selby. Eliza reminded Sanford that she is “under no special obligation to him,” and does “not... (full context)
Letter XXVII. to the Rev. Mr. Boyer.
Women and Society Theme Icon
Sex and Virtue Theme Icon
“Every woman is at heart a rake,” Mr. Selby writes to Reverend Boyer. Selby assumes that all women must be rakes to “account for... (full context)
Letter XXXIX. to Mr. T. Selby.
Women and Society Theme Icon
Marriage and Social Mobility Theme Icon
Boyer writes Mr. Selby and apologizes for neglecting their friendship, but he has been preoccupied lately. Boyer had accompanied... (full context)
Letter XL. to Mr. T. Selby.
Women and Society Theme Icon
Sex and Virtue Theme Icon
“I have returned; and the day, indeed, is fixed,” writes Boyer to Selby, “but Oh! how different from my fond expectations!” When Boyer arrived at Eliza’s he found... (full context)