"Therefore I must insist, that every woman, whether of equal prudence with Clarissa, or not, whether the man proposed be quite as odious as Solmes, or not, whether she have an absolute aversion to him, or only be indifferent, or rather averse to him, whether she be in love with some other, or not, and whether that other be a proper match for her, or not, every woman, I say, has a right to a negative; and is guilty of no sinful disobedience in refusing to marry the man her parents propose, provided she do not marry herself without their consent; since the giving away her person, her fortune, and even her affections, is an action in which her free will is essentially concerned; and, as a rational creature, she must have a right to refuse to shackle her conscience with a vow, if she does not chuse it."

— Mulso [later Chapone], Hester (1727-1801)


Date
January 3, 1750-51, 1807
Metaphor
"Therefore I must insist, that every woman, whether of equal prudence with Clarissa, or not, whether the man proposed be quite as odious as Solmes, or not, whether she have an absolute aversion to him, or only be indifferent, or rather averse to him, whether she be in love with some other, or not, and whether that other be a proper match for her, or not, every woman, I say, has a right to a negative; and is guilty of no sinful disobedience in refusing to marry the man her parents propose, provided she do not marry herself without their consent; since the giving away her person, her fortune, and even her affections, is an action in which her free will is essentially concerned; and, as a rational creature, she must have a right to refuse to shackle her conscience with a vow, if she does not chuse it."
Metaphor in Context
[...] Therefore I must insist, that every woman, whether of equal prudence with Clarissa, or not, whether the man proposed be quite as odious as Solmes, or not, whether she have an absolute aversion to him, or only be indifferent, or rather averse to him, whether she be in love with some other, or not, and whether that other be a proper match for her, or not, every woman, I say, has a right to a negative; and is guilty of no sinful disobedience in refusing to marry the man her parents propose, provided she do not marry herself without their consent; since the giving away her person, her fortune, and even her affections, is an action in which her free will is essentially concerned; and, as a rational creature, she must have a right to refuse to shackle her conscience with a vow, if she does not chuse it. Now I am not quite clear, from the general tenor of your argument, whether you are willing to allow this in all cases; although in the particular case of Clarissa you have so plainly designed her steady refusal as exemplary. Tell me then, dear Sir, are we quite agreed in this point? Remembering always that I allow the parents (if tolerably good parents) a negative, will you allow one in all cases to the child?
(pp. 137-8)
Categories
Provenance
Reading
Citation
Hester Mulso Chapone, The Works of Mrs. Chapone: Now First Collected, Vol. iv, Life and Correspondence (London: John Murray, 1807). <Link to Google Books>
Date of Entry
06/27/2011

The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.