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Mary Heaton Vorse

  • If we grow old wisely, we lay aside the senseless forms and meaningless conventions of society and go back to a more primitive mode of social intercourse, picking our friends the way children do, — because we like them, — spending time enough with them to get some real good out of them.

  • ... if old age in the shape of waning strength says to me often, 'Thou shalt not!' so do my years smile upon me and say to me, 'Thou needst not.'

  • We all marry strangers. All men are strangers to all women.

    • Mary Heaton Vorse,
    • "The Pink Fence," in McCall's ()
  • We can always find noble reasons for what we want to do.

    • Mary Heaton Vorse,
    • "Why I Have Failed As a Mother," in Cosmopolitan ()
  • ... all the laws made for the betterment of workers' lives have their origin with the workers. Hours are shortened, wages go up, condition are better — only if the workers protest.

  • I had never before seen my friends come in beaten, their heads laid open, their noses broken, or seen them jailed for peaceably demonstrating that they wanted work. I had only known how workers lived. Now I was face to face with what our society did to workers who could get no work.

  • ... any peace movement must have behind it a higher passion than the desire for war.

  • You may break any written law in America with impunity. There is an unwritten law that you break at your peril. It is: Do not attack the profit system.

  • When a new idea assaults the power of established authority, authority always screams out that morality has been affronted. It makes no difference if this idea is that the world is round or that women should vote or that the workers should control industry.

  • In the last analysis civilization itself is measured by the way in which children will live and what chance they will have in the world.

  • The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.

    • Mary Heaton Vorse,
    • 1911, in The Publishers Weekly ()
  • All demonstrations ... say, 'You are rich and therefore powerful, we are very numerous and therefore potentially powerful. If we unite, our weakness and your power may cease.'

    • Mary Heaton Vorse,
    • 1932, in Dee Garrison, ed., Rebel Pen ()
  • Gathering news in Russia was like mining coal with a hat pin.

    • Mary Heaton Vorse,
    • 1921, in Louise Bernikow, The American Women's Almanac ()

Mary Heaton Vorse, U.S. journalist, suffragist, novelist, labor sympathizer

(1874 - 1966)

Full name: Mary Heaton Marvin Vorse.