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Persuasion

Persuasion

by Jane Austen

Marriage Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #7

"I am no match-maker, as you well know," said Lady Russell, "being much too well aware of the uncertainty of all human events and calculations. I only mean that if Mr Elliot should some time hence pay his addresses to you, and if you should be disposed to accept him, I think there would be every possibility of your being happy together. A most suitable connection everybody must consider it, but I think it might be a very happy one."

"Mr Elliot is an exceedingly agreeable man, and in many respects I think highly of him," said Anne; "but we should not suit." (17.22-23)

Interesting repetition of "suitable"/"suit" – Lady Russell is thinking of social judgment, while Anne uses the same language to talk about her own personal taste.

Quote #8

Captain Benwick and Louisa Musgrove! The high-spirited, joyous-talking Louisa Musgrove, and the dejected, thinking, feeling, reading, Captain Benwick, seemed each of them everything that would not suit the other. Their minds most dissimilar! Where could have been the attraction? The answer soon presented itself. It had been in situation. They had been thrown together several weeks; they had been living in the same small family party: since Henrietta's coming away, they must have been depending almost entirely on each other, and Louisa, just recovering from illness, had been in an interesting state, and Captain Benwick was not inconsolable. That was a point which Anne had not been able to avoid suspecting before; and instead of drawing the same conclusion as Mary, from the present course of events, they served only to confirm the idea of his having felt some dawning of tenderness toward herself. She did not mean, however, to derive much more from it to gratify her vanity, than Mary might have allowed. She was persuaded that any tolerably pleasing young woman who had listened and seemed to feel for him would have received the same compliment. He had an affectionate heart
He must love somebody. (18.23)

Benwick and Louisa fall for each other for basically the same reasons as Anne and Wentworth originally did – they're stuck in a small town with nothing better to do. But while Anne and Wentworth turned out to be very well-matched, few think the same of Benwick and Louisa. Perhaps happiness in marriage really is, as a character in another Jane Austen novel says [Charlotte Lucas in Pride and Prejudice], just a matter of chance.

Quote #9

She felt a great deal of good-will towards him. In spite of the mischief of his attentions, she owed him gratitude and regard, perhaps compassion. She could not help thinking much of the extraordinary circumstances attending their acquaintance, of the right which he seemed to have to interest her, by everything in situation, by his own sentiments, by his early prepossession. It was altogether very extraordinary; flattering, but painful. There was much to regret. How she might have felt had there been no Captain Wentworth in the case, was not worth enquiry; for there was a Captain Wentworth; and be the conclusion of the present suspense good or bad, her affection would be his for ever. Their union, she believed, could not divide her more from other men, than their final separation. (21.2)

Anne's thoughts in this passage pit two different versions of "a match made in heaven" against each other – on the one hand is the man suited to her by family and class considerations, as well as his own interest, while on the other is the man suited to her by personality and also by her feelings.

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