Author 193315

Lydia Maria
Child
1802
1880

American Abolitionist, Women's Rights and Indian Rights Activist, Journalist and Unitarian

Author Quotes

You find yourself refreshed by the presence of cheerful people. Why not make an honest effort to confer that pleasure on others? Half the battle is gained if you never allow yourself to say anything gloomy.

Yours for the unshackled exercise of every faculty by every human being.

They [the slaves] have stabbed themselves for freedom?jumped into the waves for freedom?starved for freedom?fought like very tigers for freedom! But they have been hung, and burned, and shot?and their tyrants have been their historians!

Thy treasures of gold are dim with the blood of the hearts thou hast sold; thy home may be lovely, but round it I hear the crack of the whip, and the footsteps of fear.

Unwillingness to acknowledge whatever is good in religion foreign to our own has always been a very common trait of human nature; but it seems to me neither generous nor just.

Virtue maketh men on the earth famous, in their graves illustrious, in the heavens immortal.

We do love beauty at first sight; and we do cease to love it, if it is not accompanied by amiable qualities.

We first crush people to the earth, and then claim the right of trampling on them forever, because they are prostrate.

We pay our domestic generous wages, with which they can purchase as many Christmas gown as they please; a process far better for their characters, as well as our own, than to receive their clothing as a charity, after being deprived of just payment for their labor. I have never known an instance where the "pangs of maternity " did not meet with requisite assistance; and here at the North, after we have helped the mothers, we do not sell the babies. (correspondence with Mrs. Mason)

While we bestow our earnest disapprobation on the system of slavery, let us not flatter ourselves that we are in reality any better than our brethren of the South. Thanks to our soul and climate, and the early exertions of the Quakers, the form of slavery does not exist among us; but the very spirit of the hateful and mischievous thing is here in all its strength. The manner in which we use what power we have, gives us ample reason to be grateful that the nature of our institutions does not entrust us with more. Our prejudice against colored people is even more inveterate than it is at the south.

Woman stock is rising in the market. I shall not live to see women vote, but I'll come and rap on the ballot box.

The United States is...a warning rather than an example to the world.

There was a time when all these things would have passed me by, like the flitting figures of a theatre, sufficient for the amusement of an hour. But now, I have lost the power of looking merely on the surface. Everything seems to me to come from the Infinite, to be filled with the Infinite, to be tending toward the Infinite. Do I see crowds of men hastening to extinguish a fire? I see not merely uncouth garbs, and fantastic, flickering lights, of lurid hue, like a trampling troop of gnomes?but straightway my mind is filled with thoughts about mutual helpfulness, human sympathy, the common bond of brotherhood, and the mysteriously deep foundations on which society rests; or rather, on which it now reels and totters.

There was a time when all these things would have passed me by, like the flitting figures of a theatre, sufficient for the amusement of an hour. But now, I have lost the power of looking merely on the surface.

Now twilight lets her curtain down and pins it with a star.

O, it is the saddest of all things that even one human soul should dimly perceive the beauty that is ever around us, "a perpetual benediction!" Nature, that great missionary of the Most High, preaches to us, forever in all tones of love, and writes truth in all colors, on manuscripts illuminated with stars and flowers.

Pillars are fallen at thy feet, fanes quiver in the air, a prostrate city is thy seat, and thou alone art there.

Society moves slowly towards civilization, but when we compare epochs half a century or even quarter of a century apart, we perceive many signs that progress is made.

The eye of genius has always a plaintive expression, and its natural language is pathos.

The nearer society approaches to divine order, the less separation will there be in the characters, duties, and pursuits of men and women. Women will not become less gentle and graceful, but men will become more so. Women will not neglect the care and education of their children, but men will find themselves ennobled and refined by sharing those duties with them; and will receive, in return, co-operation and sympathy in the discharge of various other duties, now deemed inappropriate to women. The more women become rational companions, partners in business and in thought, as well as in affection and amusement, the more highly will men appreciate home.

But men never violate the laws of God without suffering the consequences, sooner or later.

It is impossible to exaggerate the evil work theology has done in the world.

Childhood itself is scarcely more lovely than a cheerful, kindly, sunshiny old age.

It is my mission to help in the breaking down of classes, and to make all men feel as if they were brethren of the same family, sharing the same rights, the same capabilities, and the same responsibilities. While my hand can hold a pen, I will use it to this end; and while my brain can earn a dollar, I will devote it to this end.

England may as well dam up the waters of the Nile with bulrushes as to fetter the step of Freedom, more proud and firm in this youthful land than where she treads the sequestered glens of Scotland, or couches herself among the magnificent mountains of Switzerland.

Author Picture
First Name
Lydia Maria
Last Name
Child
Birth Date
1802
Death Date
1880
Bio

American Abolitionist, Women's Rights and Indian Rights Activist, Journalist and Unitarian