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Marriage is the grave or tomb of wit.
– Margaret Cavendish
And though I might have learnt more wit and advanced my understanding by living in a Court, yet being dull, fearful and bashful, I neither heeded what was said or practised, but just what belonged to my loyal duty and my own honest reputation.
Not because they were servants were we so reserved, for many noble persons are forced to serve through necessity, but by reason the vulgar sort of servants are as ill bred as meanly born, giving children ill examples and worse counsel.
And not only my own brothers and sisters agreed so but my brothers and sisters in law; and their children, although but young, had the like agreeable natures and affectionate dispositions.
For disorder obstructs: besides, it doth disgust life, distract the appetities, and yield no true relish to the senses.
For Pleasure, Delight, Peace and Felicity live in method and temperance.
As for my brothers, of whom I had three, I know not how they were bred.
As for plenty, we had not only for necessity, conveniency and decency, but for delight and pleasure to superfluity.
Indeed, I was so afraid to dishonour my friends and family by my indiscreet actions, that I rather chose to be accounted a fool, than to be thought rude or wanton.
My mother was a good mistress to her servants, taking care of them in their sicknesses, not sparing any cost she was able to bestow for their recovery.
First, they were bred when I was not capable to observe or before I was born; likewise the breeding of men is of a different manner from that of women.
Indeed I had not much wit, yet I was not an idiot – my wit was according to my years.
My other brother, the Lord Lucas, who was heir to my father’s estate, and as it were the father to take care of us all, is not less valiant than they were, although his skill in the discipline of war was not so much, not being bred therein.
And though my Lord hath lost his estate and been banished out of his country, yet neither despised poverty nor pinching necessity could make him break the bonds of friendship or weaken his loyal duty.
Indeed I did not stand as a beggar at the Parliament door, for I never was at the Parliament-House, nor stood I ever at the door as I do know or can remember; not as a petitioner I am sure.
Not that I am ashamed of my mind or body, my birth or breeding, my actions or fortunes, for my bashfulness is in my nature, not for any crime.
As for our garments, my Mother did not only delight to see us neat and cleanly, fine and gay, but rich and costly: maintaining us to the heighth of her estate, but not beyond it.
For I, hearing my Lord’s estate amongst many more estates was to be sold, and that the wives of the owners should have an allowance therefrom, it gave me hopes I should receive a benefit thereby.
In such misfortunes my Mother was of an heroic spirit, in suffering patiently when there was no remedy, and being industrious where she thought she could help.
But if our sex would but well consider and rationally ponder, they will perceive and find that it is neither words nor place that can advance them, but worth and merit.
A rude nature is worse than a brute nature by so much more as man is better than a beast: and those that are of civil natures and genteel dispositions are as much nearer to celestial creatures as those that are rude and cruel are to devils.