Home / News
15. CHAPTER XV: THE WIDOW'S SUITORS (continued)
'But wearing a widow's cap won't lessen her fortune,' said Charlotte.
'Or increase it,' said Madeline. 'Then why on earth does she do it?'
'But Lotte's object is to make her put it off,' said Bertie.
'If it be true that she has got twelve hundred a year quite at her own disposal, and she be not utterly vulgar in her manners, I would advise you to marry her. I dare say she is to be had for the asking; and as you are not going to marry her for love, it doesn't much matter whether she is good-looking or not. As to your really marrying a woman for love, I don't believe you are fool enough for that.'
'Oh, Madeline!' cried her sister.
'And oh, Charlotte!' said the other.
'You don't mean to say that no man can love a woman unless he is a fool?'
'I mean very much the same thing,--that any man who is willing to sacrifice his interest to get possession of a pretty face is a fool. Pretty faces are to be had cheaper than that. I hate your mawkish sentimentality, Lotte. You know as well as I do in what way husbands and wives generally live together; you know how far the warmth of conjugal affection can withstand the trial of a bad dinner, of a rainy day, or of the least privation which poverty brings with it; you know what freedom a man claims for himself, what slavery he would exact from his wife if he could! And you know also how wives generally obey. Marriage means tyranny on one side and deceit on the other. I say that a man is a fool to sacrifice his interests for such a bargain. A woman, too generally, has no other way of living.'
'But Bertie has no other way of living,' said Charlotte.
'Then, in God's name, let him marry Mrs Bold,' said Madeline. And so it was settled between them.
This is page 138 of 547. [Mark this Page]
Mark any page to add this title to Your Bookshelf. (0 / 10 books on shelf)
Buy a copy of Barchester Towers at Amazon.com
Customize text appearance:
(c) 2003-2012 LiteraturePage.com and Michael Moncur.
For information about public domain texts appearing here, read the copyright information and disclaimer.