18th Century Quotes

Quotes tagged as "18th-century" (showing 1-30 of 47)
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
“To live is not to breathe but to act. It is to make use of our organs, our senses, our faculties, of all the parts of ourselves which give us the sentiment of our existence. The man who has lived the most is not he who has counted the most years but he who has most felt life.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile or On Education

Laurence Sterne
“I begin with writing the first
sentence—and trusting to Almighty
God for the second.”
Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

Christopher Hitchens
“As a convinced atheist, I ought to agree with Voltaire that Judaism is not just one more religion, but in its way the root of religious evil. Without the stern, joyless rabbis and their 613 dour prohibitions, we might have avoided the whole nightmare of the Old Testament, and the brutal, crude wrenching of that into prophecy-derived Christianity, and the later plagiarism and mutation of Judaism and Christianity into the various rival forms of Islam. Much of the time, I do concur with Voltaire, but not without acknowledging that Judaism is dialectical. There is, after all, a specifically Jewish version of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, with a specifically Jewish name—the Haskalah—for itself. The term derives from the word for 'mind' or 'intellect,' and it is naturally associated with ethics rather than rituals, life rather than prohibitions, and assimilation over 'exile' or 'return.' It's everlastingly linked to the name of the great German teacher Moses Mendelssohn, one of those conspicuous Jewish hunchbacks who so upset and embarrassed Isaiah Berlin. (The other way to upset or embarrass Berlin, I found, was to mention that he himself was a cousin of Menachem Schneerson, the 'messianic' Lubavitcher rebbe.) However, even pre-enlightenment Judaism forces its adherents to study and think, it reluctantly teaches them what others think, and it may even teach them how to think also.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Tobias Smollett
“I can't help suspecting, that there is, or may be some regurgitation from the bath into the cistern of the pump. In that case, what a felicate beveridge is quaffed by the drinkers; medicated with the sweat and the dirt, and dandriff; and the abominable of various kinds, from twenty different diseased bodies, parboiling in the kettle below.”
Tobias Smollett, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker

Ann Radcliffe
“As I walked over the loose fragments of stone, which lay scattered and surveyed the sublimity and grandeur of the ruins, I recurred, by a natural association of ideas, to the times when these walls stood proudly in their original splendor, when the halls were the scenes of hospitality and festive magnificence, and when they resounded with the voices of those whom death had long since swept from earth. "Thus," said I, "shall the present generation - he who now sink in misery - and he who now swim in pleasure, alike pass away and be forgotten.”
Ann Radcliffe, A Sicilian Romance

Tobias Smollett
“I find that the old Roman baths of this quarter, were found covered by an old burying ground, belonging to the Abbey; through which, in all probability, the water drains in its passage; so that as we drink the decoction of the living bodies at the Pump-room, we swallow the strainings of rotten bones and carcasses at the private bath - I vow to God, the very idea turns my stomach!”
Tobias Smollett, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker

Terry Eagleton
“When they first emerged in their present shape around the turn of the 18th century, the so-called humane disciplines had a crucial social role. It was to foster and protect the kind of values for which a philistine social order had precious little time. The modern humanities and industrial capitalism were more or less twinned at birth. To preserve a set of values and ideas under siege, you needed among other things institutions known as universities set somewhat apart from everyday social life. This remoteness meant that humane study could be lamentably ineffectual. But it also allowed the humanities to launch a critique of conventional wisdom.”
Terry Eagleton

“I wou'd therefore exhort all my sex (...) to betake themselves to the improvement of their minds (...) and (...) shew our selves worthy something from them, as much above their bare esteem, as they conceit themselves above us. In a word, let us shew them, by what little we do without aid of education, the much we might do if they did us justice; that we may force a blush from them, if possible, and compel them to confess their own baseness to us, and that the worst of us deserve much better treatment than the best of us receive.”
Lady Sophia Fermor, Woman Not Inferior to Man

“I think it evidently appears, that there is no science, office, or dignity, which Women have not an equal right to share in with the Men: Since there can be no superiority, but that of brutal strength, shewn in the latter, to entitle them to engross all power and prerogative to themselves: nor any incapacity proved in the former, to disqualify them of their right, but what is owing to the unjust oppression of the Men, and might be easily removed.”
Lady Sophia Fermor, Woman Not Inferior to Man

“We must be at least as well qualified as [Men] to teach the sciences; and if we are not seen in university chairs, it cannot be attributed to our want of capacity to fill them, but to that violence with which the Men support their unjust intrusion into our places.
(...) If then we set custom and prejudice aside, where wou'd the oddity be to see us dictating sciences from a university chair; since to name but one of a thousand, that foreign young lady, whose extraordinary merit and capacity but a few years ago forced a university in Italy to break through the rules of partiality, custom, and prejudice, in her favour, to confer on her a DOCTOR'S DEGREE, is a living proof that we are as capable, as any of the Men, of the highest eminences in the sphere of learning, if we had justice done us.”
Lady Sophia Fermor, Woman Not Inferior to Man

Jonathan Edwards
“The way to Heaven is ascending; we must be content to travel uphill, though it be hard and tiresome, and contrary to the natural bias of our flesh.”
Jonathan Edwards

“Milk was used in various forms during the summer months; in winter beer or water was used. Bread, cakes, potatoes, and sea food were the principal foods. Animal flesh was not used commonly due to the inconvenience of storing. Turf was the common fuel.”
William Petty

“(...) It is far from being true that all Women want courage, strength, or conduct to lead an army to triumph; any more than it is that all Men are endow'd with them. There are many of our sex as intrepid as the Men (...)
Need I bring Amazons from Scythia to prove the courage of Women? Need I run to Italy for a Camilla to shew an instance of warlike courage? (...) other nations glory in their numberless stole of warlike Women. (...) But to pass over the many instances of warlike bravery in our sex, let it suffice to name a Boadicea, who made the most glorious stand against the Romans (...) and if her endeavours did not meet with the success of an Alexander, a Cæsar, or a Charles of Sweden, in his fortunate days, her courage and conduct were such, as render her worthy to be consider'd equal, if not superior, to them all, in bravery and wisdom (...)”
Lady Sophia Fermor, Woman Not Inferior to Man

“Were we [Women] to express our conceptions of God, it wou'd never enter into the head of any one of us to describe him as a venerable old man.”
Lady Sophia Fermor, Woman Not Inferior to Man

“(...) How many ladies have there been, and still are, who deserve place among the learned; and who are more capable of teaching the sciences than those who now fill most of the university chairs? The age we live in has produced as many, as any heretofore (...) And as our sex, when it applies to learning, may be said at least to keep pace with the Men, so are they more to be esteem'd for their learning than the latter: Since they are under a necessity of surmounting the softness they were educated in (...) to which cruel custom seem'd to condemn them; to overcome the external impediments in their way to study; and to conquer the disadvantageous notions, which the vulgar of both sexes entertain of learning in Women. (...) it is self-evident, that many of our sex have far outstript the Men. Why then are we not as fit to learn and teach the sciences, at least to our own sex, as they fancy themselves to be?”
Lady Sophia Fermor, Woman Not Inferior to Man

“Bare strength entitles the Men to no superiority above us”
Lady Sophia Fermor, Woman Not Inferior to Man

“If from immemorable time, the Men had been so little envious, and so very impartial, as to do justice to our talents, by admitting us to our right of sharing with them in public action; they wou'd have been as accustomed to see us filling public offices, as we are to see them disgrace them; (...) A Schurman, with a thesis in her hand, displaying nature in it's most innocent useful lights, wou'd have been as familiar a sight, as a Physician in his chariot (...): And an Amazon, with a helmet on her head, animating her embattled troops, wou'd have been no more a matter of surprize than a milliner behind a counter with a thimble on her finger (...). Not reason then, but error and ignorance cased in custom, makes these superficial creatures think it an unnatural sight.”
Lady Sophia Fermor, Woman Not Inferior to Man

“why it shou'd create more surprise, to see [a lady] preside in a council of war, than in a council of state. Why may she not be as capable of heading an army as a parliament; or of commanding at sea as of reigning at land? What shou'd hinder her from holding the helm of a fleet with the same safety and steadiness as that of a nation? And why may she not exercise her soldiers, draw up her troops in battle array, and divide her forces into battalions at land, squadrons at sea, &c. with the same pleasure she wou'd have in seeing or ordering it to be done? The military art has no mystery in it beyond others, which Women cannot attain to. A Woman is as capable as a Man of making herself, by means of a map, acquainted with the good and bad ways, the dangerous and safe passes, or the proper situations for encampment. And what shou'd hinder her from making herself mistress of all the strategems of war, of charging, retreating, surprising, laying ambushes, counterfeiting marches, feigning flights, giving false attacks, supporting real ones, animating the soldiery, and adding example to eloquence by being the first to mount a breach. Persuasion, heat, and example are the soul of victory: And Women can shew as much eloquence, intrepidity, and warmth, where their honour is at stake, as is requisite to attack or defend a town.”
Lady Sophia Fermor, Woman Not Inferior to Man

“And the differences thence arising [between the constitution of men and women] are no ways sufficient to argue more natural strength in the one than in the other, to qualify them more for military labours. Are not the Women of different degrees of strength, like the Men? Are there not strong and weak of both sexes? Men educated in sloth and softness are weaker than Women; and Women, become harden'd by necessity, are often more robust than Men. (...) Woman may be enured to all the hardships of a campaign, and to meet all the terrors of it, as well as the bravest of the opposite sex.”
Lady Sophia Fermor, Woman Not Inferior to Man

“It is quite idle (...) to insist so much on bodily strength, as a necessary qualification to military employments. And it is full as idle to imagine that Women are not naturally as capable of courage and resolution as the Men. We are indeed charged, without any exception, with being timorous, and incapable of defence; frighted at our own shadows; alarm'd at the cry of an infant, the bark of a dog, the whistling of the wind, or a tale of hob-goblins. But is this universally true? Are there not Men as void of courage as the most heartless of our sex? And yet it is known that the most timorous Women (...) often behave more courageously than the Men under pains, sickness, want, and the terrors of death itself.”
Lady Sophia Fermor, Woman Not Inferior to Man

“Then Cato is forced at last to own that the subjection we are kept under by that arrogant sex, is the effect of violence and imposition? This he does to compliment his own sex, with attributing all our merit to them. A sorry compliment (...) Is not this calling all his own sex fools? For surely nothing can be a greater proof of folly in the Men than to use violence and imposition, and to take perpetual pains to support both, only to make us act with affectation (...) So that either all the Men are downright changelings, by Cato's own confession, or this mighty oracle himself is a driveler, and to be heeded by none but such.”
Lady Sophia Fermor, Woman Not Inferior to Man

“What has greatly help'd to confirm the Men in the prejudiced notion of Women's natural weakness, is the common manner of expression which this very vulgar error gave birth to. When they mean to stigmatise a Man with want of courage they call him effeminate, and when they would praise a Woman for her courage they call her manly. But as these, and such like expressions, are merely arbitrary and but a fulsome compliment which the Men pass on themselves, they establish no truth.”
Lady Sophia Fermor, Woman Not Inferior to Man

“The manner Women are bred in, (...) they are admitted to no share of the exercises which wou'd qualify them to attack or defend. They see themselves helplessly exposed to the outrages of a sex enslaved to the most brutal transports; and find themselves victims of contempt to wretches, whose prevalent strength is often exerted against them, with more fury and cruelty than beasts practise towards one another. Can our fear then be imputed to want of courage? Is it a defect? Or ought it not rather to be alledged as a proof of our sense: Since it wou'd be rather fool-hardiness than courage to withstand brutes, who want the sense to be overcome by reason, and whom we want vigour to repel by force of arms?”
Lady Sophia Fermor, Woman Not Inferior to Man

“So weak are their [Men's] intellectuals, and so untuned are their organs to the voice of reason, that custom makes more absolute slaves of their senses than they can make of us. They are so accustom'd to see things as they now are, that they cannot represent to themselves how they can be otherwise. It wou'd be extremely odd they think to see a Woman at the head of an army giving battle, or at the helm of a nation giving laws; pleading causes in quality of counsel; administring justice in a court of judicature; preceded in the street with sword, mace, and other ensigns of authority; as magistrates; or teaching rhetoric, medicine, philosophy, and divinity, in quality of university professors.”
Lady Sophia Fermor, Woman Not Inferior to Man

“Let us treat Women as our equals, (says [the 'blubblering dotard' xD Cato]) and they will immediately want to become our mistresses." 'Tis Cato says it, and therefore there needs no proof. Besides, to oblige men to prove all they advance by reason, wou'd be imposing silence upon them; a grievance to which they are perhaps full as unequal as they pretend we are. But granting Cato to be infallible in his assertions, what then? Have not Women as much right to be mistresses, as the Men have to be masters? No, says Cato. But why? Because they have not. Such convincing arguments must make us fond of hearing him farther. If we make the Women our equals, "they will demand that to-morrow as a tribute, which they receive to-day as a grace." But where is the grace in granting us a share in what we have an equal right to? Have not the Women an equal claim to power and dignity with the Men?”
Lady Sophia Fermor, Woman Not Inferior to Man

“But where have [the Men] proved that we are not as capable of guarding ourselves from dangers, as they are of guarding us; had we the same power and advantages allowed us, which they have? (...) Are we safer under their conduct than our own? (...) There is scarce an instance in a million among Women, of one Woman of a middling capacity, who does not, or would not, govern herself better than most Men in parallel circumstances, if the circumvention, treachery, and baseness of that sex did not interfere.
(...) Most Women are ruin'd, instead of being improv'd in heart or mind under the conduct of the Men. And therefore, since we are at most in no greater safety under their government than our own, there can be no solid reason assign'd why we shou'd be subject to it.”
Lady Sophia Fermor, Woman Not Inferior to Man

“What a wretched circle this poor way of reasoning among the Men draws them insensibly into. Why is learning useless to us? Because we have no share in public offices. And why have we no share in public offices? Because we have no learning. They are sensible of the injustice they do us, and therefore are reduced to the mean shift of cloaking it at the expence of their own reason. But let truth speak for once: Why are they so industrious to debar us that learning we have an equal right to with themselves, but for fear of our sharing with, and outshining them in, those public offices they fill so miserably? The same sordid selfishness which urged them to engross all power and dignity to themselves, prompted them to shut up from us that knowledge which wou'd have made us their competitors.”
Lady Sophia Fermor, Woman Not Inferior to Man

“IT is enough for the Men to find a thing establish'd to make them believe it well grounded. In all countries we are seen in subjection and absolute dependence on the Men, without being admitted to the advantages of sciences, or the opportunity of exerting our capacity in a public station. Hence the Men, according to their usual talent of arguing from seemings, conclude that we ought to be so. (...)
But why do the Men persuade themselves that we are less fit for public employments than they are? Can they give any better reason than custom and prejudice form'd in them by external appearances (...)? (...) For if Women are but consider'd as rational creatures, abstracted from the disadvantages imposed upon them by the unjust usurpation and tyranny of the Men, they will be found, to the full, as capable as the Men, of filling these offices.”
Lady Sophia Fermor, Woman Not Inferior to Man

Anne Rice
“Who were the men who did this?" Guido demanded suddenly.
Tonio was putting on his cloack. He looked up as if already in deep thought.
"Fools," he answered, "at the command of a coward."

page 139”
Anne Rice, Cry to Heaven

“I shou'd not myself have thought [Cato] worth so much notice as I have here taken of him; but that the Men are weak enough in general, to suffer their sense to be led away captive, by such half-thinking retailers of sentences. Among whom, This in particular, was he worth the pains, might be easily proved to have been often grossly in the wrong in other matters as well as in the present case; and therefore, when he happens to be in the right, the merit of it is more to be imputed to blind chance than to his wisdom: Since the greatest fools, when active, may blunder into the right sometimes: And great talkers among many absurdities, must here and there drop a good saying, when they least design it. Of this stamp, are the generality of evidence brought against us. Men avers'd to the labour of thinking; who found reason a drudgery (...); who have gain'd all their reputation by a pretty gimness of expressions, which wou'd no more bear examination than their heads, their hearts, or their faces; and who (to mimic this sage) wou'd rather see common-sense in confusion, than a word misplaced in one of their sentences. Yet these are sages among the Men, and their sentences are so many divine oracles; whereas perhaps, had we lived in their own times, to have heard the many more foolish things they said than sensible ones, we shou'd have found them as oafish as the dupes who revere them. And tho' perhaps we might have been more surprized to hear such dotards talk sometimes rationally, than we now are, to read their sayings; we shou'd have had reason still to think them more fit to extort our admiration than deserve it. Care has been taken to hand down to us the best of their sentences, many of which nevertheless are weak enough: But had the same care been taken to register all their absurdities, how great a share of their present applause wou'd they have lost!”
Lady Sophia Fermor, Woman Not Inferior to Man

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