Let No Man Steal Your Thyme

“Her heart tried to persist in asserting that George Osborne was worthy and faithful to her, though she knew otherwise. How many a thing she had said, and got no echo from him. How many suspicions of selfishness and indifference had she to encounter and obstinately overcome. To whom could the poor little martyr tell these daily struggles and tortures? Her hero himself only half understood her. She did not dare to own that the man she loved was inferior; or to feel that she had given her heart away too soon. Given once, the bure bashful maiden was too modest, too tender, too trustful, too weak, too much woman to recall it. We are Turks with the affection of our women; and have made them subscribe to our doctrine too. We let their bodies go abroad liberally enough, with smiles and ringlets and pink bonnets to disguise them instead of veils and yakmaks. But their souls must be seen only by one man, and they obey not unwillingly, and consent to remain at home as our slaves – ministering to us and doing drudgery for us.”

“Be cautious then, young ladies; be wary of how you engage. Be shy of loving frankly; never tell all you feel, or (a better way still), feel very little. See the consequences of being prematurely honest and confiding, and mistrust yourselves and everybody. Get yourselves married as they do in France, where the lawyers are the bridesmaids and confidantes. At any rate, never have feelings which may make you uncomfortable, or make any promises which you cannot at any required moment command and withdraw. That is the way to get on, and be respected, and have a virtuous character in Vanity Fair.”

— William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair, Chapter 18

Every Thursday

 

 

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