Quotes by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

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The Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (May 26, 1689-August 21, 1762), was an English authoress.

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A man that is ashamed of passions that are natural and reasonable is generally proud of those that are shameful and silly.
I sometimes give myself admirable advice, but I am incapable of taking it.
To always be loved one must ever be agreeable.
Strictly speaking, there is but one real evil: I mean acute pain. All other complaints are so considerably diminished by time that it is plain the grief is owing to our passion, since the sensation of it vanishes when that is over.
Writers of novels and romance in general bring a double loss to their readers; robbing them of their time and money; representing men, manners, and things, that never have been, or are likely to be.
Whoever will cultivate their own mind will find full employment. Every virtue does not only require great care in the planting, but as much daily solicitude in cherishing as exotic fruits and flowers; the vices and passions (which I am afraid are the natural product of the soil) demand perpetual weeding. Add to this the search after knowledge... and the longest life is too short.
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor is any pleasure so lasting.
It is the common error of builders and parents to follow some plan they think beautiful (and perhaps is so) without considering that nothing is beautiful that is misplaced.
We travelers are in very hard circumstances. If we say nothing but what has been said before us, we are dull and have observed nothing. If we tell anything new, we are laughed at as fabulous and romantic.
I know a love may be revived which absence, inconstancy, or even infidelity has extinguished, but there is no returning from a degout given by satiety
Take back the beauty and wit you bestow upon me; leave me my own mediocrity of agreeableness and genius, but leave me also my sincerity, my constancy, and my plain dealing; 'Tis all I have to recommend me to the esteem either of others or myself.
Nature has not placed us in an inferior rank to men, no more than the females of other animals, where we see no distinction of capacity, though I am persuaded if there was a commonwealth of rational horses... it would be an established maxim amongst them that a mare could not be taught to pace.
Be plain in dress, and sober in your diet; In short, my dear, kiss me and be quiet.
No modest man ever did or ever will make a fortune.
Nobody should trust their virtue with necessity, the force of which is never known till it is felt, and it is therefore one of the first duties to avoid the temptation of it.
I wish you would moderate that fondness you have for your children. I do not mean you should abate any part of your care, or not do your duty to them in its utmost extent, but I would have you early prepare yourself for disappointments, which are heavy in proportion to their being surprising.
I don't say 'Tis impossible for an impudent man not to rise in the world, but a moderate merit with a large share of impudence is more probable to be advanced than the greatest qualifications without it.
Nobody can deny but religion is a comfort to the distressed, a cordial to the sick, and sometimes a restraint on the wicked; therefore whoever would argue or laugh it out of the world without giving some equivalent for it ought to be treated as a common enemy.
The use of knowledge in our sex (beside the amusement of solitude) is to moderate the passions and learn to be contented with a small expense, which are the certain effects of a studious life and, it may be, preferable even to that fame which men have engrossed to themselves and will not suffer us to share.
I have never, in all my various travels, seen but two sorts of people I mean men and women, who always have been, and ever will be, the same. The same vices and the same follies have been the fruit of all ages, though sometimes under different names.
The pretty fellows you speak of, I own entertain me sometimes, but is it impossible to be diverted with what one despises? I can laugh at a puppet show, at the same time I know there is nothing in it worth my attention or regard.
A face is too slight a foundation for happiness.
People commonly educate their children as they build their houses, according to some plan they think beautiful, without considering whether it is suited to the purposes for which they are designed.
We are no more free agents than the queen of clubs when she victoriously takes prisoner the knave of hearts.
The ultimate end of your education was to make you a good wife.
Nature is seldom in the wrong, custom always.
I have all my life been on my guard against the information conveyed by the sense of hearing -- it being one of my earliest observations, the universal inclination of humankind is to be led by the ears, and I am sometimes apt to imagine that they are given to men as they are to pitchers, purposely that they may be carried about by them.
While conscience is our friend, all is at peace; however once it is offended, farewell to a tranquil mind.
I hate the noise and hurry inseparable from great Estates and Titles, and look upon both as blessings that ought only to be given to fools, for 'Tis only to them that they are blessings.
Tis a sort of duty to be rich, that it may be in one's power to do good, riches being another word for power.
I regard almost all quarrels of princes on the same footing, and I see nothing that marks man's unreason so positively as war. Indeed, what folly to kill one another for interests often imaginary, and always for the pleasure of persons who do not think themselves even obliged to those who sacrifice themselves for them!
But the fruit that will fall without shaking, / Indeed is too mellow for me.
True knowledge consists in knowing things, not words.
May you fight all the day like a dog and a cat, / And yet ev’ry year produce a new brat.
We are educated in the grossest ignorance, and no art omitted to stifle our natural reason; if some few get above their nurses instructions, our knowledge must rest concealed and be as useless to the world as gold in the mine.
There is nothing can pay one for that invaluable ignorance which is the companion of youth, those sanguine groundless hopes, and that lively vanity which makes all the happiness of life.
My health is so often impaired that I begin to be as weary of it as mending old lace; when it is patched in one place, it breaks out in another.
In this country it is more despicable to be married and not fruitful, than it is with us to be fruitful before marriage. They have a notion, that, whenever a woman leaves off bringing children, it is because she is too old for that business, whatever her face says to the contrary, and this opinion makes the ladies here so ready to make proofs of their youth . . . that they do not content themselves with using the natural means, but fly to all sorts of quackeries, to avoid the scandal of being past child-bearing, and often kill themselves by them.
A woman, till five and thirty, is only looked upon as a raw girl, and can possibly make no noise in the world till about forty. I don't know what your ladyship may think of this matter, but 'tis a considerable comfort to me to know there is upon earth such a paradise for old women, and I am content to be insignificant at present, in the design of returning when I am fit to appear nowhere else.
As marriage produces children, so children produce care and disputes; and wrangling, as is said (at least by old bachelors and old maids), is one of the sweets of the conjugal state.

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