Page:Vindication Women's Rights (Wollstonecraft).djvu/209

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RIGHTS OF WOMAN.

CHAP.   VI.

THE EFFECT WHICH AN EARLY ASSOCIATION OF IDEAS HAS UPON THE CHARACTER.

Educated in the enervating ſtyle recommended by the writers on whom I have been animadverting; and not having a chance, from their ſubordinate ſtate in ſociety, to recover their loſt ground, is it ſurpriſing that women every where appear a defect in nature? Is it ſurpriſing, when we conſider what a determinate effect an early aſſociation of ideas has on the character, that they neglect their underſtandings, and turn all their attention to their perſons?

The great advantages which naturally reſult from ſtoring the mind with knowledge, are obvious from the following conſiderations. The aſſociation of our ideas is either habitual or inſtantaneous; and the latter mode ſeems rather to depend on the original temperature of the mind than on the will. When the ideas, and matters of fact, are once taken in, they lie by for uſe, till ſome fortuitous circumſtance makes the information dart into the mind with illuſtrative force, that has been received at very different periods of our lives. Like the lightning's flaſh are many recollections; one idea aſſimilating and explaining another, with aſtoniſhing rapidity. I do not now allude to that quick perception of truth, which is ſo intuitive that it baffles reſearch, and

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