Why you shouldn’t marry a lady of learning, 1708

The History of Love

This charming epistle on the horror that is a woman choosing to better herself through education comes from  The Modern World Disrob’d (1708), by satirical writer Ned Ward. I’m particularly taken with the idea that the more languages a lady speaks, the more varied the opportunities for scolding her husband with them. Her poor unfortunate husband will find that “she pelts his Ears all Dinner-time with her Latin Scraps” and – even worse – her perceived superiority means that she might feel compelled to “gratify her Revenge by hornifying her Husband”. Because ladies what read books also like to sleep around. Obviously. Good old Ned.

The description begins without any mincing of words:


He continues:

Unhappy he that’s doom’d to wear
The Matrimonial Collar,
With her who is not only fair,
But fancies she’s a Schollar.

Puff’d up with Pride and vain Conceit,
She’ll soar above her Station,
And think she has…

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