[I]f the name of wife appears more sacred and more valid, sweeter to me is ever the word friend, or, if thou be not ashamed, concubine ... And thou thyself wert not wholly unmindful of that ... [as in ] thou hast not disdained to set forth sundry reasons by which I tried to dissuade thee from our marriage, from an ill-starred bed; but wert silent as to many, in which I preferred love to wedlock, freedom to a bond. I call God to witness, if Augustus, ruling over the whole world, were to deem me worthy of the honour of marriage, and to confirm the whole world to me, to be ruled by me forever, dearer to me and of greater dignity would it seem to be called thy concubine than his empress.
[F]rom my years of understanding ... I happily chose this kind of life in which I yet live [i.e., unmarried], which I assure you for my own part hath hitherto best contented myself and I trust hath been most acceptable to God. From the which if either ambition of high estate offered to me in marriage by the pleasure and appointment of my prince ... or if the eschewing of the danger of my enemies or the avoiding of the peril of death ... could have drawn or dissuaded me from this kind of life, I had not now remained in this estate wherein you see me. But so constant have I always continued in this determination ... yet is it most true that at this day I stand free from any other meaning that either I have had in times past or have at this present.
Every man has within him only one life and one nature ... It behooves a man to look within himself and turn to the best dedication possible those endowments he has from his Maker. You do no wrong in questioning what once you held to be right for you, if now it has come to seem wrong. Put away all thought of being bound. We do not want you bound. No one who is not free can give freely.
You can do anything you want. You don't believe me. You think, she's out of her head. Yeah, I'm out of my head- on being me. What are you on? On being them. You don't even know. I bet you were never given a chance to know. ....Listen. You can be anything you want to be. Be careful. It's a spell. It's magic. Listen to the words.... You are anything...everyone, anyone. ...You listen to them, teachers, parents, politicians. They're always saying, if you steal you're a thief, if you sleep aroung you're a slut, if you take drugs you're a junkie. They want to get inside your head and control you with their fear. ...Don't play their game. Nothing can touch you; you stay beautiful.
It was a fact generally acknowledged by all but the most contumacious spirits at the beginning of the seventeenth century that woman was the weaker vessel; weaker than man, that is. ... That was the way God had arranged Creation, sanctified in the words of the Apostle. ... Under the common law of England at the accession of King James I, no female had any rights at all (if some were allowed by custom). As an unmarried woman her rights were swallowed up in her father's, and she was his to dispose of in marriage at will. Once she was married her property became absolutely that of her husband. What of those who did not marry? Common law met that problem blandly by not recognizing it. In the words of [the leading 17th century compendium on women's legal status]: 'All of them are understood either married or to be married.' In 1603 England, in short, still lived in a world governed by feudal law, where a wife passed from the guardianship of her father to her husband; her husband also stood in relation to her as a feudal lord.
Bottom line is, even if you see 'em coming, you're not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does. So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are gonna come. You can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that counts. That's when you find out who you are.
Life is still better than University. In school, your teacher is the fruit picker and you are the open fruit basket. Then you take those fruits and make cakes and pies. But life is going to give you the chance to go out there and pick those fruits yourself. Then you can eat them, or make them into something else; any which way, your own hands picked them!