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Quotations From LYDIA M CHILD


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  • 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 decypher even fragments of their meaning.
    Lydia M. Child (1802-1880), U.S. abolitionist, writer, editor. letter, Sept. 1, 1842. Letters from New York, vol. 1, letter 26 (1843).

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  • That a majority of women do not wish for any important change in their social and civil condition, merely proves that they are the unreflecting slaves of custom.
    Lydia M. Child (1802-1880), U.S. author, abolitionist, and suffragist. Selected Letters, 1817-1880, ch. 9 (1982). In an 1870 letter to the Advocates of Woman's Suffrage, an Iowa organization.

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  • Neither lemonade nor anything else can prevent the inroads of old age. At present, I am stoical under its advances, and hope I shall remain so. I have but one prayer at heart; and that is, to have my faculties so far preserved that I can be useful, in some way or other, to the last.
    Lydia M. Child (1802-1880), U.S. author, abolitionist, and suffragist. Selected Letters, 1817-1880, ch. 9 (1982). In an 1869 letter to her friend Harriet Sewall, a suffragist who was married to a former abolitionist, Samuel E. Sewall. Child was sixty-seven years old and suffering from rheumatism.

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  • None speak of the bravery, the might, or the intellect of Jesus; but the devil is always imagined as a being of acute intellect, political cunning, and the fiercest courage. These universal and instinctive tendencies of the human mind reveal much.
    Lydia M. Child (1802-1880), U.S. abolitionist, writer, editor. letter, Jan. 1843. Letters from New York, vol. 1, letter 34 (1843).

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  • All who strive to live for something beyond mere selfish aims find their capacities for doing good very inadequate to their aspirations. They do so much less than they want to do, and so much less than they, at the outset, expected to do, that their lives, viewed retrospectively, inevitably look like failure.
    Lydia M. Child (1802-1880), U.S. author, abolitionist, and suffragist. Selected Letters, 1817-1880, ch. 9 (1982). Written in 1868 to John Fraser, who was married to a niece of David Child, her husband. Lydia Maria Child had just turned sixty-six.
  • 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 M. Child (1802-1880), U.S. abolitionist, writer, editor. Letter, April 27, 1843. Letters from New York, vol. 1, letter 39 (1843).

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  • Childhood itself is scarcely more lovely than a cheerful, kind, sunshiny old age.
    Lydia M. Child (1802-1880), U.S. abolitionist, writer, editor. Letter, March 1843. Letters from New York, vol. 1, letter 37 (1843).

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  • Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father!
    Lydia M. Child (1802-1880), U.S. abolitionist, writer, editor. Philothea: A Romance, ch. 19 (1836).

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  • 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 M. Child (1802-1880), U.S. abolitionist, writer, editor. Philothea: A Romance, ch. 6 (1836).
  • 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 M. Child (1802-1880), U.S. abolitionist, writer, editor. Letter, January 1843. Letters from New York, vol. 1, letter 34, 1843.

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