The obligation of doing a thing, either by law, necessity, or decency. Generally speaking, duty is a clog, for which most people have more respect in profession than in practice, and conveys an idea of subjection, to which love has naturally an antipathy.
A woman that says, she will love from duty, where her inclination has not given its consent, either deceives herself or others. That pliancy of the heart is not very conceivable, and it is dangerous to trust it. It would not be hard to demonstrate the moral and physical impossibility of this fine resolution.
Me! do anything against my duty? says a fair-one: this is a shield often opposed to the attacks of a lover; but a shield rarely impenetrable to any but a novice. A woman who makes her duty a plea, is not long before she deserts it: it is a sort of capitulation. It is but too often faintly pronounced, and ill-supported, and enters into a plan of resistance, only to raise the merit of the sacrifice of it to an enterprizing lover, who is not the dupe of its sound.