In the book, Sylvester, the Duke of Salford has a conversation with his mother that goes thus:
Sylvester paused and then said quite coolly: 'I am thinking of getting married, Mama.'
She was taken so much by surprise that she could only stare at him. He had the reputation of being a dangerous flirt, but she had almost given up hope of his coming to the point of offering for any lady's hand in matrimony...Recovering from her stupefaction, she said: 'My dear, this is very sudden.'
'Not so sudden as you think, Mama. I have been meaning for some time to speak to you about it.'
'Good gracious! And I never suspected it! Do, pray, sit down and tell me all about it!'...
...Well, I realized- oh, above a year ago!- that it was my duty to marry...So I began some months ago to look about me.'
'You are the oddest creature! Next you will tell me you made out a list of the qualities that your wife must possess!'
'More or less,' he admitted. 'You may laugh, Mama, but you'll agree that certain qualities are indispensable!...(he proceeds to elaborate on the qualities)...
...'Have you discovered among the debutantes (e acute omitted) one who is endowed with all these qualities?'
'At first glance, I suppose a dozen, but in the end only five.'
'Five!' (At this point Mama Duchess becomes speechless! Sylvester then lists out the names of the five eligibles and asks his mother who will be suitable!)
In a recent conversation, a friend mentioned that along with the thought of settling down came the problem of abundant choice. To paraphrase him, I could choose from many suitables. The question is whom!
Ah well, some of us ancients still think that there will be light bulbs and sound effects to indicate the right one!