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Lydia Maria Child quotes

1802 - 1880; American abolitionist, women's rights activist, Indian rights activist and journalist

An unjust law exists in this Commonwealth, by which marriages between persons of
different color is pronounced illegal. I am perfectly aware of the gross ridicule to which I may
subject myself by alluding to this particular; but I have lived too long, and observed too
much, to be disturbed by the world's mockery.
Lydia Maria Child

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

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.
Lydia Maria Child

A reformer is one who sets forth cheerfully toward sure defeat.
Lydia Maria Child

I sometimes think the gods have united human beings by some mysterious principle, like the
according notes of music. Or is it as Plato has supposed, that souls originally one have been
divided, and each seeks the half it lost?
Lydia Maria Child

Every human being has, like Socrates, an attendant spirit; and wise are they who obey its
signals. If it does not always tell us what to do, it always cautions us what not to do.
Lydia Maria Child

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.
Lydia Maria Child

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

Nature made us individuals, as she did the flowers and the pebbles; but we are afraid to be
peculiar, and so our society resembles a bag of marbles, or a string of mold candles. Why
should we all dress after the same fashion? The frost never paints my windows twice alike.
Lydia Maria Child

Home - that blessed word, which opens to the human heart the most perfect glimpse of
Heaven, and helps to carry it thither, as on an angel's wings.
Lydia Maria Child

I was gravely warned by some of my female acquaintances that no woman could expect to
be regarded as a lady after she had written a book.
Lydia Maria Child

Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words. They are the hieroglyphics
of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of the character, though few can decipher even
fragments of their meaning.
Lydia Maria Child

An effort made for the happiness of others lifts above ourselves.
Lydia Maria Child

The government ought not to be invested with power to control the affections, any more
than the consciences of citizens. A man has at least as good a right to choose his wife, as
he has to choose his religion. His taste may not suit his neighbors; but so long as his
deportment is correct, they have no right to interfere with his concerns.
Lydia Maria Child

A comfortable old age is the reward of a well-spent youth. Instead of its bringing sad and
melancholy prospects of decay, it would give us hopes of eternal youth in a better world.
Lydia Maria Child

Childhood itself is scarcely more lovely than a cheerful, kind, sunshiny old age.
Lydia Maria Child

Misfortune is never mournful to the soul that accepts it; for such do always see that every
cloud is an angel's face. Every man deems that he has precisely the trials and temptations
which are the hardest of all others for him to bear; but they are so, simply because they are
the very ones he most needs.
Lydia Maria Child

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

The cure for all the ills and wrongs, the cares, the sorrows, and the crimes of humanity, all lie
in the one word "love." It is the divine vitality that everywhere produces and restores life.
Lydia Maria Child

Neither the planters nor the Colonization Society, seem to ask what right we have to remove
people from the places where they have been born and brought up - where they have a
home, which, however miserable, is still their home -and where their relatives and
acquaintances all reside. Africa is no more their native country than England is ours, - nay, it
is less so, because there is no community of language or habits; - besides, we cannot say to
them, as Gilpin said to his horse, "Twas for your pleasure you came here, you shall go back
for mine."
Lydia Maria Child

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

Reverence is the highest quality of man's nature; and that individual, or nation, which has it
slightly developed, is so far unfortunate. It is a strong spiritual instinct, and seeks to form
channels for itself where none exists; thus Americans, in the dearth of other objects to
worship, fall to worshiping themselves.
Lydia Maria Child

It is right noble to fight with wickedness and wrong; the mistake is in supposing that spiritual
evil can be overcome by physical means.
Lydia Maria Child

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

That man's best works should be such bungling imitations of Nature's infinite perfection,
matters not much; but that he should make himself an imitation, this is the fact which Nature
moans over, and deprecates beseechingly. Be spontaneous, be truthful, be free, and thus be
individuals! is the song she sings through warbling birds, and whispering pines, and roaring
waves, and screeching winds.
Lydia Maria Child

Belief in oneself is one of the most important bricks in building any successful venture.
Lydia Maria Child