Jonathan Swift quotes on love and marriage

Jonathan Swift remained single all his life so his quotes on marriage aren’t based on personal experience. On the other hand, he loved the company of women and was a keen observer of human nature.

Swift was involved in at least two intense relationships, one with Esther “Stella” Johnson and one with Esther “Vanessa” Vanhomrigh. Both were immortalised in his writings: The Journal to Stella, and Cadenus and Vanessa.

As with all Swift quotes, it’s important to remember that he was a satirist and sometimes his true meaning was the exact opposite of what is being said.

Jonathan Swift quote. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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As love without esteem is capricious and volatile; esteem without love is languid and cold.
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Jonathan Swift quote. Lord! I wonder what fool it was that first invented kissing. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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Venus, a beautiful, good-natured lady,
was the goddess of love;
Juno, a terrible shrew, the goddess of marriage;
and they were always mortal enemies.

Jonathan Swift quote. Venus, a beautiful, good-natured lady, was the goddess of love; Juno, a terrible shrew, the goddess of marriage; and they were always mortal enemies. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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Our passions are like convulsion fits, which, though they make us stronger for the time, leave us the weaker ever after.
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Jonathan Swift quote. There is in every cook's opinion, no savoury dish without an onion. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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In church your grandsire cut his throat;
To do the job too long he tarried:
He should have had my hearty vote
To cut his throat before he married.
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The reason why so few marriages are happy is because young ladies spend their time in making nets, not in making cages.
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Jonathan Swift quote. She watches him as a cat would watch a mouse. Image copyright Ireland Calling
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A chuck under the chin is worth two kisses.
A chuck is an old word meaning playful touch or caress.
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Happiness is the perpetual possession of being well deceived.
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Jonathan Swift quote. Under this window in stormy weather I marry this man and woman together. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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Quotes Cartoon illustration of shamrocks. Image copyright Ireland Calling

All images copyright Ireland Calling

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