And indeed, Mary, I cannot wonder at your husband. Nursing does not belong to a man, it is not his province. A sick child is always the mother's property, her own feelings generally make it so.
This quote in Chapter Seven is said by Anne to her sister Mary when discussing Charles's desire to go out to dinner and leave his sick child to be cared for at home. Anne suggests what the correct motherly feelings and actions should be. Mary does not have a mother's protective instinct, and would prefer to leave her child to the care of someone else. Anne subtly disapproves of such unmotherly behavior. Anne also reinforces a belief in the idea that the public domain is the responsibility of the male and the domestic domain is the responsibility of the female. Anne believes that nursing is a woman's job, and infers that Mary should therefore not be upset if her husband refuses to do it.