Harriet Martineau


English Author, Social Theorist and Whig Writer

Author Quotes

Happiness consists in the full employment of our faculties in some pursuit.

The older I have grown, the more serious and irremediable have seemed to me the evils and disadvantages of married life as it exists among us at this time.

I am in truth very thankful for not having married at all.

The progression of emancipation of any class usually, if not always, takes place through the efforts of individuals of that class.

I am sure that no traveler seeing things through author spectacles can see them as they are.

The sum and substance of female education in America, as in England, is training women to consider marriage as the sole object in life, and to pretend that they do not think so.

I think that few people are aware how early it is right to respect the modesty of an infant.

There have been few things in my life which have had a more genial effect on my mind than the possession of a piece of land.

I want to be a free rover on the breezy common of the universe.

There is no country in the world where there is so much boasting of the 'chivalrous' treatment she enjoys... In short, indulgence is given her as a substitute for justice.

If there is any country on earth where the course of true love may be expected to run smooth, it is America.

We do not believe in immortality because we can prove it, but we try to prove it because we cannot help believing it.

Is it to be understood that the principles of the Declaration of Independence bear no relation to half of the human race?

Who is apt, on occasion, to assign a multitude of reasons when one will do? This is a sure sign of weakness in argument.

All women should inform themselves of the condition of their sex and of their own position. It must necessarily follow that the noblest of them will, sooner or later, put forth a moral power which shall prostrate cant, and burst asunder the bonds (silken to some but cold iron to others) of feudal prejudice and usages. In the meantime is it to be understood that the principles of the Declaration of Independence bear no relation to half of the human race? If so, what is the ground of this limitation?

It is characteristic of genius to be hopeful and aspiring.

Women, like men, must be educated with a view to action, or their studies cannot be called education.

Any one must see at a glance that if men and women marry those whom they do not love, they must love those whom they do not marry.

It is my deliberate opinion that the one essential requisite of human welfare in all ways is scientific knowledge of human nature.

As for the just and noble idea, that nations, as well as individuals, are parts of one wondrous whole, it has hardly passed the lips or pen of any but religious men and poets. - It is the one great principle of the greatest religion which has ever nourished the morals of mankind.

It never enters the lady's head that the wet-nurse's baby probably dies.

Ballads and popular songs are both the cause and effect of general morals; they are first formed, and then react. - In both points of view they are an index of public morals.

Laws and customs may be creative of vice; and should be therefore perpetually under process of observation and correction: but laws and customs cannot be creative of virtue: they may encourage and help to preserve it; but they cannot originate it.

Beneath this starry arch, Naught resteth or is still; but all things hold their march As if by one great will. Move one, move all: Hark to the footfall! On, on, forever.

Men who pass most comfortably through this world are those who possess good digestions and hard hearts.

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English Author, Social Theorist and Whig Writer