| Quote #4
Mrs Musgrove and Mrs Hayter were sisters. They had each had money, but their marriages had made a material difference in their degree of consequence. Mr Hayter had some property of his own, but it was insignificant compared with Mr Musgrove's; and while the Musgroves were in the first class of society in the country, the young Hayters would, from their parents' inferior, retired, and unpolished way of living, and their own defective education, have been hardly in any class at all, but for their connexion with Uppercross, this eldest son of course excepted, who had chosen to be a scholar and a gentleman, and who was very superior in cultivation and manners to all the rest. (9.5)
Marriage and class interact in complicated ways here, and it looks like it's different for men and women – women marry into their husband's class status, but a man doesn't change class because of his wife. Do the marriages in the younger generation follow the same pattern as their parents?
| Quote #5
But by coolly giving the reins a better direction herself they happily passed the danger; and by once afterwards judiciously putting out her hand they neither fell into a rut, nor ran foul of a dung-cart; and Anne, with some amusement at their style of driving, which she imagined no bad representation of the general guidance of their affairs, found herself safely deposited by them at the Cottage. (10.48)
This doesn't sound all that different from the description of Lady Elliot's marriage to Sir Walter at the beginning of the book, but Mrs. Croft seems much more content than Lady Elliot.
| Quote #6
Anne saw the misery of such feelings. The husband [of Mrs. Smith] had not been what he ought, and the wife had been led among that part of mankind which made her think worse of the world than she hoped it deserved. (17.11)
For Mrs. Smith, marriage determines her whole outlook on life because it determines the circles she moves in; perhaps that's more or less true for all of the married characters in the book.