Sense and Sensibility
Marriage Quotes Page 3
How we cite our quotes:
His mother explained to him her liberal designs, in case of his marrying Miss Morton; told him that she would settle on him the Norfolk estate, which, clear of land-tax, brings in a good thousand a-year; offered even, when matters grew desperate, to make it twelve hundred; and in opposition to this, if he still persisted in this low connection, represented to him the certain penury that must attend the match. His own two thousand pounds she protested should be his all; she would never see him again; and so far would she be from affording him the smallest assistance, that if he were to enter into any profession with a view of better support, she would do all in her power to prevent his advancing in it. (37.23)
More than ever, we see marriage as a simple financial merger between two willing families – or, in this case, unwilling. Edward is basically fired by his mother for letting down the Ferrars corporation.
"We think now" -- said Mr. Dashwood, after a short pause, "of Robert's marrying Miss Morton."
Elinor, smiling at the grave and decisive importance of her brothers tone, calmly replied –
"The lady, I suppose, has no choice in the affair."
"Choice! -- how do you mean?"
"I only mean, that I suppose from your manner of speaking, it must be the same to Miss Morton whether she marry Edward or Robert."
"Certainly, there can be no difference; for Robert will now to all intents and purposes be considered as the eldest son; and as to anything else, they are both very agreeable young men -- I do not know that one is superior to the other." (41.15)
John makes his thoughts on marriage abundantly clear here – it's really just business, and the parties involved basically don't even have to take an interest in each other personally. We assume that this is how John and Fanny ended up married.
"It is a great relief to me -- what Elinor told me this morning -- I have now heard exactly what I wished to hear." For some moments her voice was lost; but, recovering herself, she added, and with greater calmness than before: "I am now perfectly satisfied, I wish for no change. I never could have been happy with him, after knowing, as sooner or later I must have known, all this. I should have had no confidence, no esteem. Nothing could have done it away to my feelings." (47.5)
Marianne recognizes, after hearing Willoughby's true story, that their breakup was for the best – a life forever with someone as inconsistent and untrustworthy as he is would have been ultimately miserable.