Whom she likes

June 10, 2008

“And oh, what a mercy it is that these women do not exercise their powers oftener! We can’t resist them, if they do. Let them show ever so little inclination, and men go down on their knees at once: old or ugly, it is all the same. And this I set down as a positive truth. A woman with fair opportunities, and without an absolute hump, may marry WHOM SHE LIKES. Only let us be thankful that the darlings are like the beasts of the field, and don’t know their own power. They would overcome us entirely if they did.”

— William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair, IV.

3 Responses to “Whom she likes”

  1. Ann Says:

    “Oh! too convincing – dangerously dear – In woman’s eye the unanswerable tear!” — Lord Byron, The Corsair (1814)

  2. Adam Hincks Says:

    Craig, I don’t think you want to make Vanity Fair an authority when it comes to marriage. Dr. Barthos is certainly no Becky Sharp . . .

  3. cburrell Says:

    Quite right, Adam, nor does she wield an “unanswerable tear” with any guile. What I like about this passage is the playful mockery of men in love.

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