c. summer 1797
Mary Wollstonecraft to [Mary Hays], undated [c. summer 1797].1
Those who are bold enough to advance before the age they live in, and to throw off, by the force of their own minds, the prejudices which the maturing reason of the world will in time disavow, must learn to brave censure. We ought not to be too anxious respecting the opinion of others. – I am not fond of vindications. – Those who know me will suppose that I acted from principle. – Nay, as we in general give others credit for worth, in proportion as we possess it – I am easy with regard to the opinion of the best part of mankind. – I rest on my own.
1 Taken from Hays's obituary notice on Wollstonecraft in the Annual Necrology (455) (letter now lost); most likely the "friend" is Hays, hence the inclusion in her obituary. See Brooks, Correspondence 311; Todd, Collected Letters 410.