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Mary Astell

  • Women are from their very infancy debarred those advantages with the want of which they are aftewards reproached, and nursed up in those vices which will hereafter be upbraided to them. So partial are men as to expect bricks when they afford no straw ...

  • Custom, that merciless torrent that carries all before it ...

  • A rational mind will be employed, it will never be satisfied in doing nothing, and if you neglect to furnish it with good materials, 'tis like to take up with such as come to hand.

  • ... friendship is a virtue which comprehends all the rest; none being fit for this, who is not adorned with every other virtue.

  • Fetters of gold are still fetters, and the softest lining can never make them so easy as liberty.

  • ... none can be Tyrants but Cowards.

  • For my part I think the Learned, and Unlearned Blockhead pretty equal; for 'tis all one to me, whether a Man talk Nonsense, or unintelligible Sense, I am diverted and edified alike by either; the one enjoys himself less, but suffers his Friends to do it more; the other enjoys himself and his own Humour enough, but will let no body else do it in his Company.

  • A husband is indeed thought by both sexes so very valuable, that scarce a man who can keep himself clean and make a bow, but thinks he is good enough to pretend to any woman ...

  • ... if absolute sovereignty be not necessary in a state, how comes it to be so in a family?

Mary Astell, English writer, polemicist

(1666 - 1731)