But for the discovery of this amour, I am indebted to your friend, or your wife’s friend, Mrs. Marwood.
And for a discerning man somewhat too passionate a lover, for I like her with all her faults; nay, like her for her faults. Her follies are so natural, or so artful, that they become her, and those affectations which in another woman would be odious serve but to make her more agreeable.
Where modesty’s ill manners, ’tis but fit
That impudence and malice pass for wit.
…if we will be happy, we must find the means in ourselves, and among ourselves.
Men are ever in extremes; either doting or averse. While they are lovers, if they have fire and sense, their jealousies are insupportable: and when they cease to love…they loathe, they look upon us with horror and distaste, they meet us like the ghosts of what we were, and as from such, fly from us.
Love will resume his empire in our breasts, and every heart, or soon or late, receive and readmit him as its lawful tyrant.
’Twas for my ease to oversee and wilfully neglect the gross advances made him by my wife, that by permitting her to be engaged, I might continue unsuspected in my pleasures, and take you oftener to my arms in full security. But could you think, because the nodding husband would not wake, that e’er the watchful lover slept?
And have you the baseness to charge me with the guilt, unmindful of the merit? To you it should be meritorious that I have been vicious. And do you reflect that guilt upon me which should lie buried in your bosom?
While I only hated my husband, I could bear to see him; but since I have despised him, he’s too offensive.
You should have just so much disgust for your husband as may be sufficient to make you relish your lover.
One’s cruelty is one’s power, and when one parts with one’s cruelty one parts with one’s power, and when one has parted with that, I fancy one’s old and ugly.
…for we shall be sick of one another. I shan’t endure to be reprimanded nor instructed; ’tis so dull to act always by advice, and so tedious to be told of one’s faults, I can’t bear it. Well, I won’t have you, Mirabell—I’m resolved…
A fellow that lives in a windmill has not a more whimsical dwelling than the heart of a man that is lodged in a woman… To know this, and yet continue to be in love, is to be made wise from the dictates of reason, and yet persevere to play the fool by the force of instinct.
Poison him? Poisoning’s too good for him. Starve him, madam, starve him; marry Sir Rowland, and get him disinherited.
Let me see the glass. Cracks, say’st thou? Why, I am arrantly flayed: I look like an old peeled wall. Thou must repair me, Foible, before Sir Rowland comes, or I shall never keep up to my picture.
Sheart, I was afraid you would have been in the fashion too, and have remembered to have forgot your relations.
I, it seems, am a husband, a rank husband, and my wife a very errant, rank wife,—all in the way of the world.
You married her to keep you; and if you can contrive to have her keep you better than you expected, why should you not keep her longer than you intended?
Let husbands be jealous, but let the lover still believe: or if he doubt, let it be only to endear his pleasure, and prepare the joy that follows, when he proves his mistress true. But let husbands’ doubts convert to endless jealousy; or if they have belief, let it corrupt to superstition and blind credulity.
Oh, what luck it is, Sir Rowland, that you were present at this juncture! This was the business that brought Mr. Mirabell disguised to Madam Millamant this afternoon. I thought something was contriving, when he stole by me and would have hid his face.
… I will be endowed, in right of my wife, with that six thousand pound, which is the moiety of Mrs. Millamant’s fortune in your possession, and which she has forfeited (…by the last will and testament of your deceased husband…) by her disobedience in contracting herself against your consent or knowledge, and by refusing the offered match with Sir Wilfull Witwoud
From hence let those be warned, who mean to wed,
Lest mutual falsehood stain the bridal-bed:
For each deceiver to his cost may find
That marriage frauds too oft are paid in kind.