Mary by Mary Wollstonecraft


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The Project Gutenberg eBook, Mary, by Mary Wollstonecraft

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

Title: Mary
A Fiction

Author: Mary Wollstonecraft

Release Date: July 24, 2005 [eBook #16357]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


E-text prepared by Jonathan Ingram, Janet Blenkinship, and the Project
Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team (

Transcriber's note: The author is Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797).


A Fiction


Printed for J. Johnson, St. Paul's Church-Yard.



In delineating the Heroine of this Fiction, the Author attempts to
develop a character different from those generally portrayed. This woman
is neither a Clarissa, a Lady G----, nor a[A] Sophie.--It would be vain
to mention the various modifications of these models, as it would to
remark, how widely artists wander from nature, when they copy the
originals of great masters. They catch the gross parts; but the subtile
spirit evaporates; and not having the just ties, affectation disgusts,
when grace was expected to charm.

Those compositions only have power to delight, and carry us willing
captives, where the soul of the author is exhibited, and animates the
hidden springs. Lost in a pleasing enthusiasm, they live in the scenes
they represent; and do not measure their steps in a beaten track,
solicitous to gather expected flowers, and bind them in a wreath,
according to the prescribed rules of art.

These chosen few, wish to speak for themselves, and not to be an
echo--even of the sweetest sounds--or the reflector of the most sublime
beams. The[B] paradise they ramble in, must be of their own creating--or
the prospect soon grows insipid, and not varied by a vivifying
principle, fades and dies.

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