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'For you must know, learned Professor,' I said, 'that I require nothing more in a husband than to save me from the horrific disgrace of spinster-hood and to take me out of England. As negative conditions, my husband must neither expect me to love him nor to mend his clothes, and he must allow me about once in a quarter a sort of conjugal saturnalia in which I may turn the tables upon him, hector and scold and cuff him. . . .'

The Complete Works of George Eliot. Selected Critical Writings, Letter to Charles Bray, 21 October 1846.


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