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Julia McNair Wright

  • I don't lose an hour in the morning and expect to make it up in the evening; night is the wrong end of the day to borrow from ...

  • Nothing so breaks the spirit as a load of debt.

  • ... human honesty has its varieties; so does human ignorance.

  • ... in a Home it must be order or ruin. Order is to the house as morality to the human being — a sheet-anchor.

  • ... fully half of Household miseries arise from a lack of order.

  • ... disorder is the slowest worker in the universe.

  • ... it is always easier to see the beginning from the end, than the end from the beginning.

  • Half a loaf is better than no bread.

  • Plenty of sunshine is the very wine of life.

  • Bustle, Sophronia, is not industry, as you very well know; people flutter and bustle about like a hen raising ducks, and then complain that their work has killed them, when it was the fuss that was the killing cause.

  • Books form in us habits of thought which shall live forever with us.

  • Good manners are not bred in moments, but in years.

  • ... as all clocks need winding, so all human brains and bodies need to be wound up by sleeping.

  • ... our contempt of wealth does not extend beyond the hour when we can get it in possession.

  • ... simplicity is a thing beautiful in itself, like clear light.

  • The human figure was meant to stand erect, well planted upon its feet: whatever throws the body out of the ordained equipoise disturbs nearly all of its functions. These high, narrow heels ... destroy the proper position of the spinal column in walking. ... To these high and ill-placed heels, which destroy the balance of the body, may be attributed much of the prevalent spinal disease, a very large proportion of the diseases and weakness of the eye, and not a few cases of insanity.

  • ... there can be no real beauty without neatness and order.

  • I hope the day will come when a wasp-waist and a pair of thin shoulders will not be esteemed beauty: we have had our ideas ruined by trash novels, praising 'fragile forms' and 'delicate beauty,' 'dainty waists,' 'snow-drop faces,' and a lot of other nonsense.

  • For national and social disasters, for moral and financial evils, the cure begins in the Household.

  • Every home has its influences, for good or evil, upon humanity at large.

  • Reaching toward perfection in any one thing should lift us higher in all things; it should beget a habit of application and thoroughness.

  • We shall have constantly recurring 'panics' and 'crashes' and 'hard times' until our people learn that the tilling of the soil is the true source of wealth; that golden corn above the ground is really of more value to the country than the gold in the earth; that the soil of our country has abundance for all her children; it is a mother who never for bread offers a stone.

  • The mind is a phonograph which shall keep and echo the impressions of the past.

  • ... true courtesy ... is real kindness kindly expressed.

  • If people could only be taught that economy is a thing of littles and of individuals, and of every day, and not a thing of masses and of spasmodic efforts, then a true idea would begin to tell upon the habits of our domestic life, for the thrift and thriving of the individual is the thrift and thriving of the nation.

  • A good home owes it, as an expression of thankfulness for its own happiness, to try and make up something of the lack that is in other homes.

  • ... little every-day courtesies are called the small change of life; but we should be badly off in trade if we had no small change, and must always deal with twenty-dollar bills; while the small change mounts up to the great sum in a lifetime.

  • Home is the place where true politeness tells.

  • What! nothing grand and noble to be admired, obeyed, copied? Ah, the lack is not without you, but within you!

  • I think the reason why people suppose everything in the world to be worse now than it was when they were young is, first, that they remember the world as it looked to them in their young days, and not as it looked to older people. To the young, all things shine in a rosy light; they are satisfied with themselves and with their companions, and looking back all seems to have been very satisfactory. A second reason for this exalting the days of the past is, that year by year communication between all parts of the country becomes closer; we know of the manners and doings of more people; we hear of all the evil that transpires; and thus being cognizant of more evil we hastily decide that there is more evil in proportion to the population than there was formerly.

  • We do not take much warning of our own mortality in seeing others die, nor of our own weakness in seeing others break down: we think we feel the springs of life stronger in us.

  • Talent and generosity are needed to recognize talent and generosity in our companions; all is discord to an ear that has no idea of harmonies, but it needs a musical ear to delight in music.

  • ... the less you respect, the less respectable you are; the less you honor, the less in you is to be honored. There are those 'whom not to know argues one's self unknown,' so if you have no reverence in a world where there is so much that is noble and venerable, then there will be something terrible lacking in your own character.

  • What is true of the individual will be true of the whole family; what is true of the family will be true of the community, and of the state.

  • The grossest form of this injury of the body to ornament it, is in tattooing. Next, the piercing the ear all around its rim, piercing the nose and the lips to introduce rings or bars of jewelry ...

Julia McNair Wright, U.S. writer

(1840 - 1903)