My dreams were all my own; I accounted for them to nobody; they were my refuge when annoyed - my dearest pleasure when free.
I earnestly wish to point out in what true dignity and human happiness consists. I wish to persuade women to endeavor to acquire strength, both of mind and body, and to convince them that the soft phrases, susceptibility of heart, delicacy of sentiment, and refinement of taste, are almost synonymous with epithets of weakness, and that those beings are only the objects of pity, and that kind of love which has been termed its sister, will soon become objects of contempt.
No man chooses evil because it is evil; he just mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.
Taught from their infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.
I do not wish them [women] to have power over men; but over themselves.
I love my man as my fellow; but his scepter, real, or usurped, extends not to me, unless the reason of an individual demands my homage; and even then the submission is to reason, and not to man.
No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.
...men endeavor to sink us still lower, merely to render us alluring objects for a moment; and women, intoxicated by the adoration which men, under the influence of their senses, pay them, do not seek to obtain a durable interest in their hearts, or to become the friends of the fellow creatures who find amusement in their society.
Surely something resides in this heart that is not perishable - and life is more than a dream.
Weakness may excite tenderness, and gratify the arrogant pride of man; but the lordly caresses of a protector will not gratify a noble mind that pants for, and deserves to be respected. Fondness is a poor substitute for friendship.
... we never do any thing well, unless we love it for its own sake.
A war, or any wild-goose chase, is, as the vulgar use the phrase, a lucky turn-up of patronage for the minister, whose chief merit is the art of keeping himself in place.
To be a good mother, a woman must have sense, and that independence of mind which few women possess who are taught to depend entirely on their husbands. Meek wives are, in general, foolish mothers; wanting their children to love them best, and take their part, in secret, against the father, who is held up as a scarecrow.
Hereditary property sophisticates the mind, and the unfortunate victims to it ... swathed from their birth, seldom exert the locomotive faculty of body or mind; and, thus viewing every thing through one medium, and that a false one, they are unable to discern in what true merit and happiness consist.
Let us, my dear contemporaries, arise above such narrow prejudices. If wisdom be desirable on its own account, if virtue, to deserve the name, must be founded on knowledge, let us endeavour to strengthen our minds by reflection till our heads become a balance for our hearts...
Every political good carried to the extreme must be productive of evil.
Simplicity and sincerity generally go hand in hand, as both proceed from a love of truth.
Only that education deserves emphatically to be termed cultivation of the mind which teaches young people how to begin to think.
It is justice, not charity, that is wanting in the world.
We cannot, without depraving our minds, endeavour to please a lover or husband, but in proportion as he pleases us.
Independence I have long considered as the grand blessing of life, the basis of every virtue; and independence I will ever secure by contracting my wants, though I were to live on a barren heath.
For years I have endeavored to calm an impetuous tide - laboring to make my feelings take an orderly course - it was striving against the stream.
Women do not want power over men, they want power over themselves.
The more equality there is established among men, the more virtue and happiness will reign in society.
Women are systematically degraded by receiving the trivial attentions which men think it manly to pay to the sex, when, in fact, men are insultingly supporting their own superiority.
The beginning is always today.
I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves.
Women deluded by these sentiments, sometimes boast of their weakness, cunningly obtaining power by playing on the weakness of men; and they may well glory in their illicit sway, for, like Turkish bashaws, they have more real power than their masters: but virtue is sacrificed to temporary gratifications, and the respectability of life to the triumph of an hour.
At boarding schools of every description, the relaxation of the junior boys is mischief; and of the senior, vice.
... judicious books enlarge the mind and improve the heart ...
Taught from infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.
The power of generalizing ideas, of drawing comprehensive conclusions from individual observations, is the only acquirement, for an immortal being, that really deserves the name of knowledge.
Make women rational creatures, and free citizens, and they will quickly become good wives; - that is, if men do not neglect the duties of husbands and fathers.
The being cannot be termed rational or virtuous, who obeys any authority, but that of reason.
I love man as my fellow; but his scepter, real, or usurped, extends not to me, unless the reason of an individual demands my homage; and even then the submission is to reason, and not to man.
Women becoming, consequently, weakerthan they ought to behave not sufficient strength to discharge the first duty of a mother; and sacrificing to lasciviousness the parental affectioneither destroy the embryo in the womb, or cast if off when born. Nature in every thing demands respect, and those who violate her laws seldom violate them with impunity.
The two sexes mutually corrupt and improve each other.
What, but the rapacity of the only men who exercised their reason, the priests, secured such vast property to the church, when a man gave his perishable substance to save himself from the dark torments of purgatory.
Till women are more rationally educated, the progress in human virtue and improvement in knowledge must receive continual checks.
You know I am not born to tread in the beaten track the peculiar bent of my nature pushes me on.