"Kissing Don't Last: Cookery Do!"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Richard Feverel is reared according to System by his father, Sir Austin Feverel. The father's personal System involves choosing a wife suitable for the young man, but Richard is attracted by a girl different from the one his father intends. He falls in love with the pretty seventeen-year-old niece of a neighboring farmer. The girl's name is Lucy Desborough. Young Richard arranges, with the help of a friend, Ripton Thompson, to house Lucy in London with a Mrs. Berry, until the arrangements can be made for them to be married. One day just before the marriage, Richard, Lucy, and Ripton meet an uncle of Richard in the park. Ripton, to hide Lucy's identity, introduces her as his sister. The experience is unnerving to the three young persons, especially to Lucy. When she returns to her lodgings, she goes to bed, with what Mrs. Berry calls "the flutters." When Lucy recovers after a few hours, she and Mrs. Berry have a chat, during which Mrs. Berry, who was kicked and deserted by her husband, narrates her unhappy marital experiences. She tries to encourage Lucy about her coming marriage, for Lucy worries about marrying so young. Mrs. Berry tells her about an Irish lady who married at fourteen, three years younger than Lucy, adding that the Irish lady was a grandmother by thirty. Lucy asks Mrs. Berry if the Irish lady's husband always loved her, and receives the following answer:

"In his way, my dear, he did," said Mrs. Berry, coming upon her matrimonial wisdom. "He couldn't help himself. If he left off, he began again. She was so clever, and did make him so comfortable. Cook! there wasn't such a cook out of an Alderman's kitchen; no indeed. And she a born lady! That tells ye it's the duty of all women! She had her saying–'When the parlour fire gets low, put coals on the kitchen fire!' and a good saying it is to treasure. Such is man! no use in havin' their hearts if ye don't have their stomachs."
Perceiving that she grew abstruse, Mrs. Berry added briskly: "You know nothing about that yet, my dear. Only mind me and mark me: don't neglect your cookery. Kissing don't last: cookery do!