"And now behold the goddess seated on her throne ... receiving the adulation of her worshipper.... An adulation, which translated into plain English means no more than an address of the following kind: "Madam, I like you (no matter whether from fortune, person, or any other motive) and it will conduce much to my pleasure and convenience if you will become my wife: that is, if you will bind yourself before God and man to obey my commands as long as I shall live. And should you after marriage be forgetful of your duty, you will then have given me a legal power of exacting as rigid a performance of it as I shall please."
"When the white frock is laid aside, the bigger miss seats herself in public at a ball, expecting every moment to be chosen by some man for a partner for that evening. If she is balked, what galling disappointment doth she feel within! Her heart is ready to burst with envy at all those who are so happy as to be taken out.... The same expectation of being chosen out as a partner for life continues from miss of fifteen to miss of _____ ... but the woman who is continually expecting great offers of marriage, which may never happen, knows not when to give up her expectations."
"I believe no gentleman would like to have his family affairs neglected because his wife was filling her head with crotchets and pothooks, and who, because she understood a few scraps of Latin, valued that more than minding her needle or providing her husband's dinner."
"[F]or women, like tradesmen, draw in the injudicious to buy their goods by the high value they themselves set upon them.... They endeavor strongly to fix in the minds of their enamoratos their own high value, and then contrive as much as possible to make them believe that they have so many purchasers at hand that the goods--if they do not make haste--will all be gone."
"I made him a low curtsy and thanked him for the honor he intended me, but told him I had no kind of ambition to be his upper servant.... I then asked him how many offices he had allotted for me to perform for those great advantages he had offered me, of suffering me to humor him in all his whims and to receive meat, drink, and lodging at his hands; but hoped he would allow me some small wages, that I might now and then recreate myself with my fellow servants."
"The gentleman took three or four strides across the room, looked out of the window once or twice, and then turned to me with an awkward bow and an irresistible air (as I fancy he thought it), and made me the polite compliment of telling me that he supposed my father had informed me that they two were agreed on a bargain. I replied, I did not know my father was of any trade or had any goods to dispose of."
"I often used to think myself in the case of the fox-hunter, who, when he had toiled and sweated all day in the chase as if some unheard-of blessing was to crown his success, finds at last all he has got by his labor is a stinking nauseous animal. But my condition was yet worse than his; for he leaves the loathsome wretch to be torn by his hounds, whilst I was obliged to fondle mine, and meanly pretend him to be the object of my love."
"I had some short struggle in my mind whether I should resign my lover or my liberty, but this lasted not long. I found myself as free as air and could not bear the thought of putting myself in any man's power for life only from a present capricious inclination."
"Marriage as an institution developed from rape as a practice. Rape, originally defined as abduction, became marriage by capture. Marriage meant the taking was to extend in time, to be not only use of but possession of, or ownership."
"There are answers which, in turning away wrath, only send it to the other end of the room, and to have a discussion coolly waived when you feel that justice is all on your own side is even more exasperating in marriage than in philosophy."
"When I received this [coronation] ring I solemnly bound myself in marriage to the realm; and it will be quite sufficient for the memorial of my name and for my glory, if, when I die, an inscription be engraved on a marble tomb, saying, "Here lieth Elizabeth, which reigned a virgin, and died a virgin."