"Yet disappointed as we are, in our researches, the mind gains strength by the exercise, sufficient, perhaps, to comprehend the answers which, in another step of existence, it may receive to the anxious questions it asked, when the understanding with feeble wing was fluttering round the visible effects to dive into the hidden cause."
— Wollstonecraft, Mary (1759-1797)
The passions also, the winds of life, would be useless, if not injurious, did the substance which composes our thinking being, after we have thought in vain, only become the support of vegetable life, and invigorate a cabbage, or blush in a rose. The appetites would answer every earthly purpose, and produce more moderate and permanent happiness. But the powers of the soul are of little use here, and, probably, disturb our animal enjoyments, even while conscious dignity makes us glory in possessing them, prove that life is merely an education, a state of infancy, to which the only hopes worth cherishing should not be sacrificed.
See A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: With Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects. by Mary Wollstonecraft. (London: Printed for J. Johnson, No 72, St. Paul's Church Yard, 1792). <Link to ECCO-TCP>
Reading Wollstonecraft, M. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Modern Library (New York: Random House, 2001). Also The Vindications, eds. D. L. Macdonald and Kathleen Scherf (Toronto: Broadview Press, 2001).
See also Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman with Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects (London: J. Johnson, 1792). <Link to OLL>