"No man, however benevolent, liberal, and wise, can use a large fortune so that it will do half as much good in the world as it would if it were divided into moderate sums and in the hands of workmen who had earned it by industry and frugality. The piling up of estates often does great and conspicuous good.... But no man does with accumulated wealth so much good as the same amount would do in many hands."
"Finishing schools in the fifties were a good place to store girls for a few years before marrying them off, a satisfactory rest stop between college weekends spent husband hunting. It was a haven for those of us adept at styling each other's hair, playing canasta, and chain smoking Pall Mall extra-long cigarettes."
"While waiting to get married, several forms of employment were acceptable. Teaching kindergarten was for those girls who stayed in school four years. The rest were secretaries, typists, file clerks, or receptionists in insurance firms or banks, preferably those owned or run by the family, but respectable enough if the boss was an upstanding Christian member of the community."
"A rich man was never insulted in his life: but this man must be stung. A rich man was never in danger from cold, or hunger, or war, or ruffians,--and you can see why he was not, from the moderation of his ideas. 'Tis a fatal disadvantage to be cockered, and to eat too much cake."
"If the accumulated wealth of the past generations is thus tainted,--no matter how much of it is offered to us,--we must begin to consider if it were not the nobler part to renounce it, and to put ourselves in primary relations with the soil and nature, and abstaining from whatever is dishonest and unclean, to take each of us bravely his part, with his own hands, in the manual labor of the world."
"Let the amelioration in our laws of property proceed from the concession of the rich, not from the grasping of the poor. Let us understand that the equitable rule is, that no one should take more than his share, let him be ever so rich."
"But a cultivated man becomes ashamed of his property, out of new respect for his nature. Especially he hates what he has if he see that it is accidental,--came to him by inheritance, or gift, or crime; then he feels that it is not having; it does not belong to him, has no root in him and merely lies there because no revolution or no robber takes it away."
"Conservatism is affluent and openhanded, but there is a cunning juggle in riches. I observe that they take somewhat for everything they give. I look bigger, but am less; I have more clothes, but am nit so warm; more armor, but less courage; more books, but less wit."