"[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."
"We are not very much to blame for our bad marriages. We live amid hallucinations; and this especial trap is laid to trip our feet with, and all are tripped up first and last. But the mighty Mother who had been so sly with us, as if she felt that she owed us some indemnity, insinuates into the Pandora-box of marriage some deep and serious benefits, and some great joys."
"Worst, when this sensualism intrudes into the education of young women, and withers the hope and affection of human nature, by teaching that marriage signifies nothing but a housewife's thrift, and that woman's life has no other aim."