“There is hardly a character in the World more Despicable or more liable to universal ridicule than that of a Learned Woman. Them words imply, according to the receiv’d sense, a tatling, impertinent, vain, and Conceited Creature. I believe no body will deny that Learning may have this Effect, but it must be a very superficial degree of it.”
—Lady Mary Pierrepont (1689–1762), the future Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, laments her own level of education in a letter to Gilbert Burnet, Bishop of Salisbury.
Lady Mary Pierrepont, having a Bridget Jones moment in 1707:
“I have a mortal aversion to be an old maid; and a decaying oak before my window leafless, half rotten, and shaking its withered top, puts me in mind every morning of an antiquated virgin, bald, with rotten teeth, and shaking of palsy.”
She needn’t have worried too much; Lady Mary later became Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.