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Emory Women Writers Resource Project

Female Advocate or, an Answer to a Late Satyr Against the Pride, Lust and Inconstancy, &c. of Woman. Written by a Lady in Vindication of her Sex, an electronic edition

by Sarah Fyge Egerton [Egerton, Sarah Fyge]

date: 1686
source publisher: Printed by H. C. for John Taylor
collections: Early Modern through the 18th Century, Women's Advocacy

Introduction Contents

Table of Contents

To the Reader.

That which makes many Books come abroad into the World without Prefaces, is, the only Reason that incites me to one, VIZ. the Smalness of them; being willing to let my reader know why this is so: For as one great commendation of our Sex, is, to know much, and speak little, so my Virgin Modesty hath put a Period to the intended Length of the ensuing Lines, lest censuring Criticks should measure my tongue by my Pen, and condemn me for a Talkative, by the length of my Poem. Tho' O confess the illustrious Subject requires (nay commands) an enlargement from any other Pen than mione (or those under the same Circumastances) but I think it is good Frugality for young Beginners to send forth a small Venture at first, and see how that passes the merciless Ocean of Criticks, and what Returns it makes, and so accordingly adventure the next time. I might enlarge this Preface with the common Excuse of Writers for the Publication of their Books, VIZ. the Impotunities of her obliging Friends: But what it was put me upon the Publication of this, I am not bound to give the Reader an Account of; but I think the Debauchery which I now answer, is a sufficient warrant for this appearing of mine; in which he doth not only exclaim against Virtue, but Moral Honesty too, and would (were it alone sufficient) banish all Goodness out of them; but that will be an impossible thing, so long as we (the most essentially good) do subsist: for 'tis observed in all Religions, that Women are the truest Devotionists, and the most pious, and more heavenly than those who pretend to be the most perfect and rational creatures; for many Menwith the Conceit of their own Perfections, neglect that which should make them so; as some mistaken persons, who think if they are of the right Church they shall be infallibly saved, when they never follow the Rules which lead to Salvation; and when Persons with this inscription pass currant in Heaven, then it will be according to my Antagonist's Fancy, that all Men are good, and fitting for Heaven because they are Men; and Women irreversibly damn'd, because they are Women: But that Jeaven should make a Male and Female, both of the same Species, and both indued with the like Rational Souls, for two such differing Ends, is the most notorious Principle, and the most unlikely of any that I shall never take it for an Article of my Faith, being assured that Heaven is for all those whose Purity and Obedience to its Law, qualifies them for it, whether Male or Female; to which Place the latter seem to have the Claim, is the Opinion of one of its Votaires, S. F.