Such is the common process of marriage. A youth and maiden meeting by chance, or brought together by artifice, exchange glances, reciprocate civilities, go home, and dream of one another. Having little to divert attention, or diversify thought, they find themselves uneasy when they are apart, and therefore conclude that they shall be happy together. They marry, and discover what nothing but voluntary blindness had before concealed; they wear out life in altercations, and charge nature with cruelty.
—Samuel Johnson in The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia
As one reads history . . . one is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted; and a community is infinitely more brutalized by the habitual employment of punishment than it is by the occasional occurrence of crime.
If one person is unkind to an animal, it is considered to be cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to animals, especially in the name of commerce, the cruelty is condoned and, once sums of money are at stake, will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people.
Cruelty is easy, and it breeds only misery. Kindness is harder, and you have to be brave to give it. To be cruel, you can stay closed off from everyone, wear a mask, but to be kind, in essence, to show love, you have to make yourself vulnerable, show your true self to someone and open yourself up to rejection.
—L.H. Cosway in The Nature of Cruelty