Few women, I fear, have had such reason as I have to think the long sad years of youth were worth living for the sake of middle age.
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- In the multitude of middle-aged men who go about their vocations in a daily course determined for them much in the same way as the tie of their cravats, there is always a good number who once meant to shape their own deeds and alter the world a little.
- We women are always in danger of living too exclusively in the affections; and though our affections are perhaps the best gifts we have, we ought also to have our share of the more independent life — some joy in things for their own sake. It is piteous to see the helplessness of some sweet women when their affections are disappointed — because all their teaching has been, that they can only delight in study of any kind for the sake of a personal love. They have never contemplated an independent delight in ideas as an experience which they could confess without being laughed at. Yet surely women need this defense against passionate affliction even more than men.
- The happiest women, like the happiest nations, have no history.
- It is in these acts called trivialities that the seeds of joy are forever wasted, until men and women look round with haggard faces at the devastation their own waste has made, and say, the earth bears no harvest of sweetness — calling their denial knowledge.
- Where women love each other, men learn to smother their mutual dislike.
- I should like to know what is the proper function of women, if it is not to make reasons for husbands to stay at home, and still stronger reasons for bachelors to go out.