Mary Astell - Quotes

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Truth is strong, and sometime or other will prevail. ---->>>

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. ---->>>

The design of Rhetoric is to remove those Prejudices that lie in the way of Truth, to Reduce the Passions to the Government of Reasons; to place our Subject in a Right Light, and excite our Hearers to a due consideration of it. ---->>>

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. ---->>>

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

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

The Span of Life is too short to be trifled away in unconcerning and unprofitable Matters. ---->>>

The Relation we bear to the Wisdom of the Father, the Son of His Love, gives us indeed a dignity which otherwise we have no pretence to. It makes us something, something considerable even in God's Eyes. ---->>>

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. ---->>>

We may not commit a lesser Sin under pretence to avoid a greater, but we may, nay we ought to endure the greatest Pain and Grief rather than commit the least Sin. ---->>>

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

Upon the principles of reason, the good of many is preferable to the good of a few or of one; a lasting good is to be preferred before a temporary, the public before the private. ---->>>

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

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. ---->>>

Unhappy is that Grandeur which makes us too great to be good; and that Wit which sets us at a distance from true Wisdom. ---->>>

Your glass will not do you half so much service as a serious reflection on your own minds. ---->>>

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. ---->>>

Nor can the Apostle mean that Eve only sinned; or that she only was Deceived, for if Adam sinned willfully and knowingly, he became the greater Transgressor. ---->>>

'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. ---->>>

The scum of the People are most Tyrannical when they get the Power, and treat their Betters with the greatest Insolence. ---->>>

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

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

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

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.' ---->>>

That Man indeed can never be good at heart, who is full of himself and his own Endowments. ---->>>

Women need not take up with mean things, since (if they are not wanting to themselves) they are capable of the best. ---->>>

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

Why is Slavery so much condemn'd and strove against in one Case, and so highly applauded and held so necessary and so sacred in another? ---->>>

Women are from their very infancy debarred those Advantages with the want of which they are afterwards reproached. ---->>>

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

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

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

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

That which has not a real excellency and value in it self, entertains no longer than the giddy Humour which recommended it to us holds. ---->>>

The Soul debases her self, when she sets her affections on any thing but her creator. ---->>>

The Steps to Folly as well as Sin are gradual, and almost imperceptible, and when we are once on the Decline, we go down without taking notice on't. ---->>>

We must Think what we Say, and Mean what we Profess. ---->>>

We ought as much as we can to endeavour the Perfecting of our Beings, and that we be as happy as possibly we may. ---->>>

Whilst our Hearts are violently set upon any thing, there is no convincing us that we shall ever be of another Mind. ---->>>

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. ---->>>

To all the rest of his Absurdities, (for vice is always unreasonable,) he adds one more, who expects that Vertue from another which he won't practise himself. ---->>>

None of us whether Men or Women but have so good an Opinion of our own Conduct as to believe we are fit, if not to direct others, at least to govern our selves. ---->>>

To plead for the Oppress'd and to defend the Weak seem'd to me a generous undertaking; for tho' it may be secure, 'tis not always Honourable to run over to the strongest party. ---->>>

We all agree that its fit to be as Happy as we can, and we need no Instructor to teach us this Knowledge, 'tis born with us, and is inseparable from our Being, but we very much need to be Inform'd what is the true Way to Happiness. ---->>>

Women are not so well united as to form an Insurrection. They are for the most part wise enough to love their Chains, and to discern how becomingly they fit. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: English
Born: November 12, 1666
Birthplace:
Die: May 11, 1731
Occupation: Writer
Website:

Mary Astell (12 November 1666 – 11 May 1731) was an English feminist writer and rhetorician. Her advocacy of equal educational opportunities for women has earned her the title "the first English feminist."(wikipedia)