Literary Quotations
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The female force, the desperate
Love crams its resisted way
On marriage and the dark embrace
Of brute beasts, of mortal men.

A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony, in a moment.

JANE AUSTEN, Pride and Prejudice

It is a woman's business to get married as soon as possible, and a man's to keep unmarried as long as he can.


Well may a man in sickness wail and weep
Who has no wife to nurse him and to keep
His house for him; do wisely then and search
For one and lover her as Christ loves His Church.
For if you love yourself you love your wife,
For no one hates his flesh, nay all his life
He fosters it, and so I bid you wive
And cherish her, or you will never thrive.
Husband and wife, whatever the worldly say
In ribald jest, are on the straight sure way.

GEOFFREY CHAUCER, The Canterbury Tales

In married life, three is company, and two is none.

It may have been observed that there is no regular path for getting out of love as there is for getting in. Some people look upon marriage as a short cut that way, but it has been known to fail.

Marriage is but a ceremonial toy.


Two people who know they do not understand each other,
Breeding children whom they do not understand
And who will never understand them.

T. S. ELIOT, The Cocktail Party

Let men tremble to win the hand of woman, unless they win along with it the utmost passion of her heart.


O curse of marriage,
That we can call these delicate creatures ours,
And not their appetites! I had rather be a toad,
And live upon the vapour of a dungeon,
Than keep a corner in the thing I love
For others' uses.


Marriage is popular because it combines the maximum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity.

GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Maxims for Revolutionists

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.

JANE AUSTEN, Pride and Prejudice

When a match has equal partners, then I fear not.

AESCHYLUS, Prometheus Bound

A man and woman come together from some affinity, some partial accord of their nature which has inspired mutual affection. There is generally very little careful consideration of who and what they are--no thought of the reciprocal influence of mutual traits--no previous chording and testing of the instruments which are to make lifelong harmony or discord--and after a short period of engagement, in which all their mutual relations are made as opposite as possible to those which must follow marriage, these two furnish their house and begin life together.


I have always been of opinion that a man who desires to get married should know either everything or nothing.

Marry [a woman], and at the end of a week you'll find no more inspiration in her than in a plate of muffins.


Their lives were ruined, he thought; ruined by the fundamental error of their matrimonial union: that of having based a permanent contract on a temporary feeling which had no necessary connection with affinities that alone render a lifelong comradeship tolerable.

THOMAS HARDY, Jude the Obscure

Marriage had never presented itself to him as a possibility. He not only disliked family life, but a family, and especially a husband was, in accordance with the views general in the bachelor world in which he lived, conceived as something alien, repellant, and, above all, ridiculous.

LEO TOLSTOY, Anna Karenina

He more than half-suspected that one of the things which had kept their marriage together when it seemed as if each year brought the news that two or three of their friends' marriages had collapsed was their respect of the mystery ; the half-grasped but never spoken-of idea that maybe, when you got right down to the place where the cheese binds,there was no such things as marriage, no such thing as union - each soul stood alone and ultimately defied rationality.

STEPHEN KING, Pet Sematary

To speak frankly, I am not in favour of long engagements. They give people the opportunity of finding out each other’s character before marriage, which I think is never advisable.

The confusion of marriage with morality has done more to destroy the conscience of the human race than any other single error.


I look on marriage as a divine institution to which we must conform.

LEO TOLSTOY, War and Peace

Those who talk most about the blessings of marriage and the constancy of its vows are the very people who declare that if the chain were broken and the prisoners left free to choose, the whole social fabric would fly asunder. You cannot have the argument both ways. If the prisoner is happy, why lock him in? If he is not, why pretend that he is?


Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other or ever so similar beforehand, it does not advance their felicity in the least. They always continue to grow sufficiently unlike afterwards to have their share of vexation; and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life.

JANE AUSTEN, Pride and Prejudice

The woman wants to live her own life; and the man wants to live his; and each tries to drag the other on to the wrong track. One wants to go north and the other south; and the result is that both have to go east.


It appears that ordinary men take wives because possession is not possible without marriage, and that ordinary women accept husbands because marriage is not possible without possession.

Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage.


A man's friendships are, like his will, invalidated by marriage--but they are also no less invalidated by the marriage of his friends. The rift in friendship which invariably makes its appearance on the marriage of either of the parties to it was fast widening, as it no less invariably does, into the great gulf which is fixed between the married and the unmarried.

SAMUEL BUTLER, The Way of All Flesh

It is merely the egoism of the man, who wants to bury a woman like a treasure. All attempts at using vows, contracts, and holy ceremonies have failed to bring permanence into the most changeable aspect of changeable human existence, namely love.


Marriage is honorable, as you say; and if so, wherefore should cuckoldom be a discredit, being derived from so honorable a root? Nay, I know not; if the root be honorable, why not the branches?

WILLIAM CONGREVE, The Way of the World

The problem with marriage is that it ends every night after making love, and it must be rebuilt every morning before breakfast.

GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ, Love in the Time of Cholera

In the end maybe what marriage offered was the determination of one's burial site.

JANE HAMILTON, A Map of the World

A man should have two wives: one to love and one to sew on his buttons.

GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ, Love in the Time of Cholera

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