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Quotes

Quote #1

LADY BASILDON. What martyrs we are, dear Margaret!
MRS. MARCHMONT. [Rising.] And how well it becomes us, Olivia! (1.15-16)

Their willingness to suffer conversation with boring men makes these women more attractive.

Quote #2

MRS. CHEVELEY. Certainly, more women grow old nowadays through the faithfulness of their admirers than through anything else! At least that is the only way I can account for the terribly haggard look of most of your pretty women in London! (1.70)

Mrs. Cheveley doesn't have a domestic bone in her body. A steadfast admirer would bore her to death. Maybe that's why she goes after Lord Goring.

Quote #3

MRS. CHEVELEY. Ah! the strength of women comes from the fact that psychology cannot explain us. […] Science can never grapple with the irrational. (1.76-78)

Much of Mrs. Cheveley's power – especially in this early scene – lies in her mystery.

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