Harriet Beecher Stowe

Harriet Beecher
Stowe
1811
1896

American Author and Abolitionist, known best for "Uncle Tom's Cabin"

Author Quotes

We never know how we love till we try to unlove!

Whipping and abuse are like laudanum: you have to double the dose as the sensibilities decline.

Well, good-by, Uncle Tom; keep a stiff upper lip.

'Who was your mother?' 'Never had none!' said the child, with another grin. 'Never had any mother? What do you mean? Where were you born?' 'Never was born!' 'Do you know who made you?' 'Nobody, as I knows on,' said the child, with a short laugh. . . . 'I 'spect I gro

Well, mother, people have different names for different things. I hear a great deal about Ellery Davenport's tact and knowledge of the world, and all that; but he does a great deal of what I call lying, — so there! Now there are some folks who lie blunderingly, and unskilfully, but I 'll say for Ellery Davenport that he can lie as innocently and sweetly and prettily as a French woman, and I can't say any more. And if a woman does n't want to believe him, she just must n't listen to him, that 's all. I always believe him when he is around, but when he 's away and I think him over, I know just what he is, and see just what an old fool he has made of me." These words dropped into my childish mind as if you should accidentally drop a ring into a deep well. I did not think of them much at the time, but there came a day in my life when the ring was fished up out of the well, good as new.

Whoever visits some estates there, and witnesses the good-humored indulgence of some masters and mistresses, and the affectionate loyalty of some slaves, might be tempted to dream the oft-fabled poetic legend of a patriarchal institution, and all that; but over and above the scene there broods a portentous shadow — the shadow of law. So long as the law considers all these human beings, with beating hearts and living affections, only as so many things belonging to a master — so long as the failure, or misfortune, or imprudence, or death of the kindest owner, may cause them any day to exchange a life of kind protection and indulgence for one of hopeless misery and toil — so long it is impossible to make anything beautiful or desirable in the best regulated administration of slavery.

What a fool is he who locks his door to keep out spirits, who has in his own bosom a spirit he dares not meet alone; whose voice, smothered far down, and piled over with mountains of earthliness, is yet like the forewarning trumpet of doom!

With gentle helpings glide.

What can any individual do? Of that, every individual can judge. There is one thing that every individual can do, — they can see to it that they feel right. An atmosphere of sympathetic influence encircles every human being; and the man or woman who feels strongly, healthily and justly, on the great interests of humanity, is a constant benefactor to the human race. See, then, to your sympathies in this matter!

Witness, eternal God! Oh, witness, that, from this hour, I will do what one man can to drive out this curse of slavery from my land!

What is it that sometimes speaks in the soul so calmly, so clearly, that its earthly time is short? Is it the secret instinct of decaying nature, or the soul's impulsive throb, as immortality draws on? Be what it may, it rested in the heart of Eva, a calm, sweet, prophetic certainty that Heaven was near; calm as the light of sunset, sweet as the bright stillness of autumn, there her little heart reposed, only troubled by sorrow for those who loved her so dearly.

Women are the real architects of society.

What makes saintliness in my view, as distinguished from ordinary goodness, is a certain quality of magnanimity and greatness of soul that brings life within the circle of the heroic.

Yes Eliza, it's all misery, misery, misery! My life is bitter as wormwood; the very life is burning out of me. I'm a poor, miserable, forlorn drudge; I shall only drag you down with me, that's all. What's the use of our trying to do anything, trying to know anything, trying to be anything? What's the use of living? I wish I was dead!

What man has nerve to do, man has not nerve to hear.

You ought to be ashamed, John! Poor, homeless, houseless creatures! It's a shameful, wicked, abominable law, and I'll break it, for one, the first time I get a chance; and I hope I shall have a chance, I do! Things have got to a pretty pass, if a woman can't give a warm supper and a bed to poor, starving creatures, just because they are slaves, and have been abused and oppressed all their lives, poor things!

What shall a man do with a sublime tier of moral faculties, when the most profitable business out of his port is the slave trade? So it was in Newport in those days.

Your Kentuckian of the present day is a good illustration of the doctrine of transmitted instincts and peculiarities. His fathers were mighty hunters, - men who lived in the woods, and slept under the free, open heavens, with the stars to hold their candles; and their descendant to this day always acts as if the house were his camp, - wears his hat at all hours, tumbles himself about, and puts his heels on the tops of chairs or mantel-pieces, just as his father rolled on the green sward, and put his upon trees or logs, - keep all the windows and doors open, winter and summer, that he may get air enough for his great lungs, - calls everybody "stranger", with nonchalant bonhommie, and is altogether the frankest, easiest, most jovial creature living.

Tom opened his eyes, and looked upon his master. Ye poor miserable critter! he said, there ain't no more ye can do! I forgive ye, with all my soul! and he fainted entirely away.

Whatever offices of life are performed by women of culture and refinement are thenceforth elevated; they cease to be mere servile toils, and become expressions of the ideas of superior beings.

Your little child is your only true democrat.

Tom read,—Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Them's good words, enough, said the woman; who says 'em? The Lord, said Tom.

What's your hurry? Because now is the only time there ever is to do a thing in, said Miss Ophelia.

You're afraid of me, Simon, and you've reason to be. But be careful, for I've got the devil in me!

Topsy, you poor child, don't give up! I can love you, though I am not like that dear little child. I hope I've learnt something of the love of Christ from her. I can love you; I do, and I'll try to help you to grow up a good Christian girl.

Author Picture
First Name
Harriet Beecher
Last Name
Stowe
Birth Date
1811
Death Date
1896
Bio

American Author and Abolitionist, known best for "Uncle Tom's Cabin"