Nonfiction > Lionel Strachey, et al., eds. > The World’s Wit and Humor > British
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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes.  1906.
Vols. VI–IX: British
 
The Education of Women
By Daniel Defoe (1661?–1731)
 
From “An Essay upon Projects”

A WOMAN well-bred and well-taught, furnished with the additional accomplishments of knowledge and behaviour, is a creature without comparison; her society is the emblem of sublimer enjoyments; her person is angelic and her conversation heavenly; she is all softness and sweetness, peace, love, wit, and delight; she is every way suitable to the sublimest wish, and the man that has such a one to his portion has nothing to do but to rejoice in her and be thankful.
  1
  On the other hand, suppose her to be the very same woman, and rob her of the benefit of education, and it follows thus:  2
  If her temper be good, want of education makes her soft and easy.  3
  Her wit, for want of teaching, makes her impertinent and talkative.  4
  Her knowledge, for want of judgment and experience, makes her fanciful and whimsical.  5
  If her temper be bad, want of breeding makes her worse, and she grows haughty, insolent, and loud.  6
  If she be passionate, want of manners makes her termagant and a scold, which is much at one with lunatic.  7
  If she be proud, want of discretion (which still is breeding) makes her conceited, fantastic, and ridiculous.  8
  And from these she degenerates to be turbulent, clamorous, noisy, nasty, and “the devil.”  9
 
 
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