Insightful Quotes by Lydia Maria Child

Lydia Maria Child

Lydia Maria Francis Child (1802 –1880) was an American author, social reformer, journalist, and abolitionist. A native of Medford, Massachusetts, she was educated despite her father’s disapproval. Child’s passion for learning led to her writing many works of fiction and nonfiction, as well as her dedicated advocacy of the rights of women and Native Americans.

Later in life, her views became a bit muddled, but as a mid-19th-century author, she’s still considered influential. Here’s a compilation of honest and insightful quotes by Lydia Maria Child. 

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

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“You find yourself refreshed in 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.”

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“Belief in oneself is one of the most important bricks in building any successful venture.”

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“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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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Over the Rver and Through the Wood

Child is the author of the famous Thanksgiving poem,
Over the River and Through the Wood

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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.”

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

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“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.”

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

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“Misfortune is never mournful to the soul that accepts it; for such do always see that every cloud is an angel’s face.”

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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. ”

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“Belief in oneself is one of the most important bricks in building any successful venture.”

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“Economy, like grammar, is a very hard and tiresome study, after we are twenty years old.”

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“Young ladies should be taught that usefulness is happiness, and that all other things are but incidental.”

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“A mind full of piety and knowledge is always rich; it is a bank that never fails; it yields a perpetual dividend of happiness.”

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The Frugal Housewife by Lydia Maria Child

The Frugal Housewife by Lydia Maria Child on Amazon

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“In early childhood, you lay the foundation of poverty or riches, in the habits you give your children. Teach them to save everything,—not for their own use, for that would make them selfish—but for some use. Teach them to share everything with their playmates; but never allow them to destroy anything.”

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“One great cause of the vanity, extravagance and idleness that are so fast growing upon our young ladies, is the absence of domestic education.”

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“If young men and young women are brought up to consider frugality contemptible, and industry degrading, it is vain to expect they will at once become prudent and useful, when the cares of life press heavily upon them.”

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“Law is not law, if it violates the principles of eternal justice.”

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“In politeness, as in many other things connected with the formation of character, people in general begin outside, when they should begin inside; instead of beginning with the heart, and trusting that to form the manners, they begin with the manners, and trust the heart to chance influences. The golden rule contains the very life and soul of politeness.”

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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.”

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“The cure for all the ills and wrongs, the cares, the sorrows, and the crimes of humanity, all lie in that one word ”Love.” It is the divine vitality that everywhere produces and restores life.”

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“Every human being has … an attendant spirit … If it does not always tell us what to do, it always cautions us what not to do.” 

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“I will work in my own way, according to the light that is in me.”


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