“I know that if women wish to escape the stigma of husband-seeking, they must act and look like marble or clay – cold, expressionless, bloodless; for every appearance of feeling, of joy, sorrow, friendliness, antipathy, admiration, disgust, are alike construed by the world into the attempt to hook a husband.
“Never mind! well-meaning women have their own consciences to comfort them after all.
“Do not, therefore, be too much afraid of showing yourself as you are, affectionate and good-heartened; do not too harshly repress sentiments and feelings excellent in themselves, because you fear that some puppy may fancy that you are letting them come out to fascinate him; do not condemn yourself to live only by halves, because if you showed too much animation some pragmatical thing in breeches might take it into his pate to imagine that you designed to dedicate your life to his inanity.
|—||Charlotte Brontë writing to a friend who had been kind to a man she thought was married, only to have him fall in love with her because he thought she was flirting (letter dated April 2, 1845)
“…some pragmatical thing in breeches might take it into his pate to imagine that you designed to dedicate your life to his inanity.” –19th century sassiness is delicious