The melancholy presentiment has for some time hung on my spirits, that we were parted for ever; and the letters I received this day, by Mr. ——, convince me that it was not without foundation. You allude to some other letters, which I suppose have miscarried; for most of those I have got, were only a few hasty lines, calculated to wound the tenderness the sight of the superscriptions excited.
I mean not however to complain; yet so many feelings are struggling for utterance, and agitating a heart almost bursting with anguish, that I find it very difficult to write with any degree of coherence.
You left me indisposed, though you have taken no notice of it; and the most fatiguing journey I ever had, contributed to con... (From: Gutenberg.org.) [Chiefly designed to have been incorporated
in the Second Part of the Vindication
of the Rights of Woman.]
Indolence is the source of nervous complaints, and a whole host of cares. This devil might say that his name was legion.
It should be one of the employments of women of fortune, to visit hospitals, and superintend the conduct of inferiors.
It is generally supposed, that the imagination of women is particularly active, and leads them astray. Why then do we seek by education only to exercise their imagination and feeling, till the understanding, grown rigid by disuse, is unable to exercise itself—and the superfluous nourishment the imagination and feeling have received, renders the former roma... (From: Gutenberg.org.) Paris, February 15, 1793.
My dear friend,
It is necessary perhaps for an observer of mankind, to guard as carefully the remembrance of the first impression made by a nation, as by a countenance; because we imperceptibly lose sight of the national character, when we become more intimate with individuals. It is not then useless or presumptuous to note, that, when I first entered Paris, the striking contrast of riches and poverty, elegance and slovenliness, urbanity and deceit, every where caught my eye, and saddened my soul; and these impressions are still the foundation of my remarks on the manners, which flatter the senses, more than they interest the heart, and yet excite more interest than esteem.
The whole ... (From: Gutenberg.org.) Introductory Letter.
Letter II. Management of the Mother during pregnancy: bathing.
Letter III. Lying-in.
Letter IV. The first month: diet: clothing.
Letter V. The three following months.
Letter VI. The remainder of the first year.
Letter VII. The second year, &c: conclusion.LETTER I
I ought to apologize for not having written to you on the subject you mentioned; but, to tell you the truth, it grew upon me: and, instead of an answer, I have begun a series of letters on the management of children in their infancy. Replying then to your question, I have the public in my thoughts, and shall endeavor to show what modes appear to me necessary, to render the infancy of children more healthy and happy. I have (From: Gutenberg.org.) LETTER I
Dublin, April 14, [1787.]
I am still an invalid—and begin to believe that I ought never to expect to enjoy health. My mind preys on my body—and, when I endeavor to be useful, I grow too much interested for my own peace. Confined almost entirely to the society of children, I am anxiously solicitous for their future welfare, and mortified beyond measure, when counteracted in my endeavors to improve them.—I feel all a mother's fears for the swarm of little ones which surround me, and observe disorders, without having power to apply the proper remedies. How can I be reconciled to life, when it is always a painful warfare, and when I am deprived of all the pleasures I relish?&... (From: Gutenberg.org.) Though the king of Denmark be an absolute monarch, yet the Norwegians appear to enjoy all the blessings of freedom. Norway may be termed a sister kingdom; but the people have no viceroy to lord it over them, and fatten his dependents with the fruit of their labor.
There are only two counts in the whole country who have estates, and exact some feudal observances from their tenantry. All the rest of the country is divided into small farms, which belong to the cultivator. It is true some few, appertaining to the Church, are let, but always on a lease for life, generally renewed in favor of the eldest son, who has this advantage as well as a right to a double portion of the property. But the value of the farm is estimated, and after his po... (From: Gutenberg.org.) Friday Morning [Paris, Sept. 1793].
A man, whom a letter from Mr. —— previously announced, called here yesterday for the payment of a draft; and, as he seemed disappointed at not finding you at home, I sent him to Mr. ——. I have since seen him, and he tells me that he has settled the business.
So much for business!—May I venture to talk a little longer about less weighty affairs?—How are you?—I have been following you all along the road this comfortless weather; for, when I am absent from those I love, my imagination is as lively, as if my senses had never been gratified by their presence—I was going to say caresses—and why should I not? I have found out that I have more mind than you,... (From: Gutenberg.org.) THE WRONGS OF WOMAN, like the wrongs of the oppressed part of mankind, may be deemed necessary by their oppressors: but surely there are a few, who will dare to advance before the improvement of the age, and grant that my sketches are not the abortion of a distempered fancy, or the strong delineations of a wounded heart.
In writing this novel, I have rather endeavored to pourtray passions than manners.
In many instances I could have made the incidents more dramatic, would I have sacrificed my main object, the desire of exhibiting the misery and oppression, peculiar to women, that arise out of the partial laws and customs of society.
In the invention of the story, this view restrained my fancy; and the history ought rather to be considere... (From: Gutenberg.org.) [Begun to be written in the year 1787, but never completed]
CAVE OF FANCY.
Ye who expect constancy where every thing is changing, and peace in the midst of tumult, attend to the voice of experience, and mark in time the footsteps of disappointment, or life will be lost in desultory wishes, and death arrive before the dawn of wisdom.
In a sequestered valley, surrounded by rocky mountains that intercepted many of the passing clouds, though sunbeams variegated their ample sides, lived a sage, to whom nature had unlocked her most hidden secrets. His hollow eyes, sunk in their orbits, retired from the view of vulgar objects, and turned inwards, overleaped the boundary prescribed to human knowledge. Intense thinking d... (From: Gutenberg.org.) The harper would frequently sit under a large elm, a few paces from the house, and play some of the most plaintive Welsh tunes. While the people were eating their supper, Mrs. Mason desired him to play her some favorite airs; and she and the children walked round the tree under which he sat, on the stump of another.
The moon rose in cloudless majesty, and a number of stars twinkled near her. The softened landscape inspired tranquility, while the strain of rustic melody gave a pleasing melancholy to the whole—and made the tear start, whose source could scarcely be traced. The pleasure the sight of harmless mirth gave rise to in Mrs. Mason’s bosom, roused every tender feeling—set in motion her spirits.—She laughed ... (From: Gutenberg.org.) A taste for rural scenes, in the present state of society, appears to be very often an artificial sentiment, rather inspired by poetry and romances, than a real perception of the beauties of nature. But, as it is reckoned a proof of refined taste to praise the calm pleasures which the country affords, the theme is never exhausted. Yet it may be made a question, whether this romantic kind of declamation, has much effect on the conduct of those, who leave, for a season, the crowded cities in which they were bred.
I have been led to these reflections, by observing, when I have resided for any length of time in the country, how few people seem to contemplate nature with their own eyes. I have "brushed the dew away" in the morning; but, pacing ... (From: Gutenberg.org.) ADVERTISEMENT.
Mr. Burke’s Reflections on the French Revolution first engaged my attention as the transient topic of the day; and reading it more for amusement than information, my indignation was roused by the sophistical arguments, that every moment crossed me, in the questionable shape of natural feelings and common sense.
Many pages of the following letter were the effusions of the moment; but, swelling imperceptibly to a considerable size, the idea was suggested ivof publishing a short vindication of the Rights of Men.
Not having leisure or patience to follow this desultory writer through all the devious tracks in which his fancy has started fresh game, I have confined my strictures, in a great measure, to the grand principl... It has long since occurred to me, that advice respecting behavior, and all the various modes of preserving a good reputation, which have been so strenuously inculcated on the female world, were specious poisons, that encrusting morality eat away the substance. And, that this measuring of shadows produced a false calculation, because their length depends so much on the height of the sun, and other adventitious circumstances.
>From whence arises the easy fallacious behavior of a courtier? >From this situation, undoubtedly: for standing in need of dependents, he is obliged to learn the art of denying without giving offense, and, of evasively feeding hope with the chameleon's food; thus does politeness sport with truth, and eating away t... (From: Gutenberg.org.)