by Wilkie Collins
The Moonstone Marriage Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Collins doesn't use traditional chapters in The Moonstone, so the citations are a little trickier than in other Victorian novels. Citations follow this format: (Period.Narrative.Chapter.Paragraph).
I agree with the late William Cobbett about picking a wife. See that she chews her food well, and sets her foot down firmly on the ground when she walks, and you're all right. (188.8.131.52)
Gabriel Betteredge has a very unromantic philosophy about marriage – love has nothing to do with it at all.
Selina, as a single woman, made me pay so much a week for her board and services. Selina, being my wife, couldn't charge for her board, and would have to give me her services for nothing. That was the point of view I looked at it from. Economy—with a dash of love. (184.108.40.206)
Betteredge puts his pragmatic philosophy about marriage into practice when he decides to marry the woman he paid to keep house for him: it would save him money. It was the economical thing to do.
We were not a happy couple, and not a miserable couple. We were six of one and half-a-dozen of the other. How it was I don't understand, but we always seemed to be getting, with the best motives, in one another's way. When I wanted to go upstairs, there was my wife coming down; or when my wife wanted to go down, there was I coming up. That is married life, according to my experience of it. (220.127.116.11)
Betteredge's vision of married life is far from nostalgic – he thinks that husbands and wives are always in each other's way. But his description isn't sad or tragic; it's funny.