Harriet Beecher Stowe

Harriet Beecher
Stowe
1811
1896

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

Author Quotes

Human nature is — above all things — lazy.

I would not attack the faith of a heathen without being sure I had a better one to put in its place, because, such as it is, it is better than nothing.

Is what you hear at church religion? Is that which can bend, turn, and descend and ascend, to fit every crooked phrase of selfish, worldly society religion? Is that religion which is scrupulous, less generous, less just, less considerate for man, than even my own ungodly, worldly, blinded nature? No! When I look for religion, I must look for something above me, and not something beneath.

A man builds a house in England with the expectation of living in it and leaving it to his children; while we shed our houses in America as easily as a snail does his shell. We live a while in Boston, and then a while in New York, and then, perhaps, turn up at Cincinnati. Scarcely any body with us is living where they expect to live and die. The man that dies in the house he was born in is a wonder. There is something pleasant in the permanence and repose of the English family estate, which we, in America, know very little of.

Care and labor are as much correlated to human existence as shadow is to light.

For, so inconsistent is human nature, especially in the ideal, that not to undertake a thing at all seems better than to undertake and come short.

I am braver than I was because I have lost all; and he who has nothing to lose can afford all risks.

I wrote what I did because as a woman, as a mother I was oppressed and broken-hearted, with the sorrows and injustice I saw, because as a Christian I felt the dishonor to Christianity — because as a lover of my country I trembled at the coming day of wrath. It is no merit in the sorrowful that they weep, or to the oppressed and smothering that they gasp and struggle, not to me, that I must speak for the oppressed — who cannot speak for themselves.

I's wicked I is. I's mighty wicked; anyhow I can't help it.

A woman's health is her capital.

'Cause I's wicked, - I is. I's mighty wicked, anyhow, I can't help it.

Friends are discovered rather than made; there are people who are in their own nature friends, only they don’t know each other; but certain things, like poetry, music, and paintings are like the Freemason’s sign,—they reveal the initiated to each other.

I am one of the sort that lives by throwing stones at other people's glass houses, but I never mean to put up one for them to stone.

I’s wicked I is. I’s mighty wicked; anyhow I can’t help it.

It don't look well, now, for a feller to be praisin' himself; but I say it jest because it's the truth. I believe I'm reckoned to bring in about the finest droves of niggers that is brought in, — at least, I've been told so; if I have once, I reckon I have a hundred times, — all in good case, — fat and likely, and I lose as few as any man in the business. And I lays it all to my management, sir; and humanity, sir, I may say, is the great pillar of my management.

After all, let a man take what pains he may to hush it down, a human soul is an awful ghostly, unquiet possession, for a bad man to have. Who knows the metes and bounds of it? Who knows all it's awful perhapses, -those shudderings and temblings, which it can no more live down than it can outlive its own eternity! 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 earthiness, is yet like the forewarning trumpet of doom!

Common sense is seeing things as they are; and doing things as they ought to be.

From his deepest soul, he that hour loosed and parted from every hope in the life that now is, and offered his own will an unquestioning sacrifice to the Infinite. Tom looked up to the silent, ever-living stars,--types of the angelic hosts who ever look down on man; and the solitude of the night rung with the triumphant words of a hymn, which he had sung often in happier days, but never with such feeling as now.

I am speaking now of the highest duty we owe our friends, the noblest, the most sacred --that of keeping their own nobleness, goodness, pure and incorrupt. If we let our friend become cold and selfish and exacting without a remonstrance, we are no true lover, no true friend.

If ever you have had a romantic, uncalculating friendship, - a boundless worship and belief in some hero of your soul, - if ever you have so loved, that all cold prudence, all selfish worldly considerations have gone down like drift-wood before a river flooded with new rain from heaven, so that you even forgot yourself, and were ready to cast your whole being into the chasm of existence, as an offering before the feet of another, and all for nothing, - if you awoke bitterly betrayed and deceived, still give thanks to God that you have had one glimpse of heaven. The door now shut will open again. Rejoice that the noblest capability of your eternal inheritance has been made known to you; treasure it, as the highest honor of your being, that ever you could so feel, -that so divine a guest ever possessed your soul.

It is generally understood that men don't aspire after the absolute right, but only to do about as well as the rest of the world.

All places where women are excluded tend downward to barbarism; but the moment she is introduced, there come in with her courtesy, cleanliness, sobriety, and order.

Common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are, and doing things as they ought to be done.

George was, in truth, one of the sort who evidently have made some mistake in coming into this world at all, as their internal furniture is in no way suited to its general courses and currents.

I believe I'm done for, said Tom. The cussed sneaking dog, to leave me to die alone! My poor old mother always told me 'twould be so.

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"