"Jane Addams, founder of Hull House, once asked, "How shall we respond to the dreams of youth?" It is a dazzling and elegant question, a question that demands an answer--a range of answers, really, spiraling outward in widening circles."
"Nothing is so discreet as a young face, for nothing is less mobile; it has the serenity, the surface smoothness, and the freshnessof a lake. There is no character in women's faces before the age of thirty."
"Once or twice, however, while I lived at the pond, I found myself ranging the woods, like a half-starved hound, with a strange abandonment, seeking some kind of venison which I might devour, and no morsel could have been too savage for me. The wildest scenes had become unaccountably familiar. I found in myself, and still find, an instinct toward a higher, or, as it is named, spiritual life, as do most men, and another toward a primitive rank and savage one, and I reverence them both. I love the wild not less than the good."
"Virtue and vice suppose the freedom to choose between good and evil; but what can be the morals of a woman who is not even in possession of herself, who has nothing of her own, and who all her life has been trained to extricate herself from the arbitrary by ruse, from constraint by using her charms?... As long as she is subject to man's yoke or to prejudice, as long as she receives no professional education, as long as she is deprived of her civil rights, there can be no moral law for her!"
"... it was not very unusual at Washington for a lady to take the arm of a gentleman, who was neither her husband, her father, norher brother. This remarkable relaxation of American decorum has been probably introduced by the foreign legations."
"The low level which commercial morality has reached in America is deplorable. We have humble God fearing Christian men among us who will stoop to do things for a million dollars that they ought not to be willing to do for less than 2 millions."
"Deism is good sense not yet instructed by revelation, and other religions are good sense perverted by superstition. All sects differ, because they come from men; morality is everywhere the same, because it comes from God."
"The destiny of the whole race is comprised in four things: Religion, education, morals, politics. Woman is a religious being; sheis becoming educated; she has a high code of morals; she will yet purify politics."
"... too much attention is paid to dress by those who have neither the excuse of ample means nor of social claims.... The injury done by this state of things to the morals and the manners of our lower classes is incalculable."
"Innocence is lovely in the child, because in harmony with its nature; but our path in life is not backward but onward, and virtuecan never be the offspring of mere innocence. If we are to progress in the knowledge of good, we must also progress in the knowledge of evil. Every experience of evil brings its own temptation and according to the degree in which the evil is recognized and the temptations resisted, will be the value of the character into which the individual will develop."