"I never felt I could give up my life of freedom to become a man's housekeeper. When I was young, if a girl married poverty, she became a drudge; if she married wealth, she became a doll. Had I married at twenty-one, I would have been either a drudge or a doll for fifty-five years. Think of it!"
"To marry a man out of pity is folly; and, if you think you are going to influence the kind of fellow who has "never had a chance, poor devil," you are profoundly mistaken. One can only influence the strong characters in life, not the weak; and it is the height of vanity to suppose that you can make an honest man of anyone."
"Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other, or ever so similar before-hand, it does not advance their felicity in the least. They always continue to grow sufficiently unlike afterwards to have their share of vexation; and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life."
"I consider a country-dance as an emblem of marriage. Fidelity and complaisance are the principle duties of both; and those men who do not choose to dance or to marry them selves, have no business with the partners or wives of the neighbors."
"In all the important preparations of the mind she was complete; being prepared for matrimony by an hatred of home, restraint, and tranquillity; by the misery of disappointed affection, and contempt of the man she was to marry. The rest might wait. The preparations of new carriages and furniture might wait for London and the spring, when her own taste could have fairer play."
"In marriage there are no manners to keep up, and beneath the wildest accusations no real criticism. Each is familiar with that ancient child in the other who may erupt again.... We are not ridiculous to ourselves. We are ageless. That is the luxury of the wedding ring."
"A wife is property that one acquires by contract, she is transferable, because possession of her requires title; in fact, woman is, so to speak, only man's appendage; consequently, slice, cut, clip her, you have all rights to her."