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Mary Astell Quotes


An English feminist writer. Her advocacy of equal educational opportunities for women has earned her the title "the first English feminist."
(1666 - 1731)

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'Tis very great pity that they who are so apt to over-rate themselves in smaller matters, shou'd, where it most concerns them to know, and stand upon their Value, be so insensible of their own worth.
 

Although it has been said by men of more wit than wisdom, and perhaps more malice than either, that women are naturally incapable of acting prudently, or that they are necessarily determined to folly, I must by no means grant it.
 

But, alas! what poor Woman is ever taught that she should have a higher Design than to get her a Husband?
 

Certain I am, that Christian Religion does no where allow Rebellion.
 

Every Body has so good an Opinion of their own Understanding as to think their own way the best.
 

Every one knows, that the mind will not be kept from contemplating what it loves in the midst of crowds and business. Hence come those frequent absences, so observable in conversation; for whilst the body is confined to present company, the mind is flown to that which it delights in.
 

For certainly there cannot be a higher pleasure than to think that we love and are beloved by the most amiable and best Being.
 

God is His own Design and End, and that there is no other Worthy of Him.
 

He who will be just, must be forc'd to acknowledge, that neither Sex are always in the right.
 

Hitherto I have courted Truth with a kind of Romantick Passion, in spite of all Difficulties and Discouragements: for knowledge is thought so unnecessary an Accomplishment for a Woman, that few will give themselves the Trouble to assist us in the Attainment of it.
 

How can a Man respect his Wife when he has a contemptible Opinion of her and her Sex?
 

How can you be content to be in the world like tulips in a garden, to make a fine show, and be good for nothing.
 

If a Woman can neither Love nor Honour, she does ill in promising to Obey.
 

If all men are born free, how is it that all women are born slaves?
 

If God had not intended that Women shou'd use their Reason, He wou'd not have given them any, 'for He does nothing in vain.'
 

If none were to Marry, but Men of strict Vertue and Honour, I doubt the World would be but thinly peopled.
 

Ignorance and a narrow education lay the foundation of vice, and imitation and custom rear it up.
 

It is not the Head but the Heart that is the Seat of Atheism.
 

Marry for Love, an Heroick Action, which makes a mighty noise in the World, partly because of its rarity, and partly in regard of its extravagancy.
 

None of God's Creatures absolutely consider'd are in their own Nature Contemptible; the meanest Fly, the poorest Insect has its Use and Vertue.
 


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