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Marietta Holley

  • [Book's subtitle:] Designed as a beacon of light to guide women to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but which may be read by members of the sterner sect, without injury to themselves or the book.

  • This book is dedicated to my own lawful pardner, Josiah, whom (although I have been his consort for a little upwards of fourteen years) I still love with a cast-iron devotedness.

  • ... the first minute I sot my grey eye onto Josiah Allen I knew my fate. My heart was a pray to feelin's it had heretofore been a stranger to. ... And that love has been like a Becon in our pathway ever sense. Its pure light, though it has sputtered some, and in tryin' times such as washin' days and cleanin' house times has burnt down pretty low, — has never gone out.

  • ... I took Josiah out to one side, and says I, 'Josiah Allen, if Tirzah Ann is to be brought up to think that marriage is the chief aim of her life, Thomas J. shall be brought up to think that marriage is his chief aim.' Says I, 'it looks just as flat in a woman, as it does in a man.'

  • ... I abhor all kinds of shams and deceitfulness. ... Though once in a while when I have particuler company, and my cookin' turns out bad, I kinder turn the conversation on to the sufferin's of our four fathers in the Revolution, how they eat their kat ridge boxes and shoe leather. It don't do us no hurt to remember their sufferin's, and after talkin' about eatin' shoe leather most any kind of cake seems tender.

  • ... I love to see folks use reason if they have got any ...

  • There are two kinds of wimmen that go to see the sick. There's them low voiced, still footed wimmen, that walks right in, and lays their hands on your hot foreheads so soothin' like, that the pain gets ashamed of itself and sneaks off. ... Then there is them wimmen that go to have a good time of it, they get kinder sick of stayin' to home, and nothin' happenin'. So they take thier work and flock in to visit the afflicted.

  • It is enough to make anybody's blood bile in thier vains to think how different sin is looked upon in a man and woman. I say sin is sin, and you can't make goodness out of it by parsin' it in the masculine gender, no more'n you can by parsin' it in the feminine or neutral.

  • ... I have brought him [my son] up to think that purity and virtue are both masculine and femanine gender, and that God's angels are not necessarily all she ones.

  • ... when I have jobs I dread, I am for takin' 'em by the forelock and grapplin' with 'em at once.

  • ... you can't set down and stand up at the same time, each situation has its advantages, but you can't be in both places at once ... it can't be did.

  • ... if men and wimmen think they are marryin' angels, they'll find out they'll have to settle down and keep house with human critters. I never see a year yet, that didn't have more or less winter in it ...

  • I say this idea of chokin' folks to death to reform 'em, is where we show the savage in us, which we have brought down from our barbarious ancestors. We have left off the war paint and war whoops, and we shall leave off the hangin' when we get civilized.

  • It was the face of an earnest noble woman, who had asked God what He wanted her to do, and then hadn't shirked out of doin' it. Who had gripped holt of life's plough, and hadn't looked back because the furrows turned over pretty hard, and the stumps was thick.

  • What strange critters men and wimmin be. Now you may live with one for years, and think you know every crook and turn in that critter's mind, jest like a book; when lo! and behold! all of a sudden a leaf will be turned over, that had been glued together by some circumstance or other, and there will be readin' that you never set eyes on before.

  • I wanted to visit the Capitol of our country, the center of our great civilization that stands like the sun in the solar system, sendin' out beams of power and wisdom and law and order, and justice and injustice, and money and oratory, and talk and talk, and wind and everything, to the uttermost points of our vast possessions, and from them clear to the ends of the earth.

  • This talk about wimmen bein' outside and above all participation in the laws of her country, is jest as pretty as anything I ever hearn, and jest as simple. Why, you might jest as well throw a lot of snowflakes into the street, and say, 'Some of 'em are female flakes and mustn't be trompled on.' The great march of life tromples on 'em all alike; they fall from one common sky, and are trodden down into one common ground.

  • High trees cast long shadows. The happier and more blessed a woman's life is, the more duz she feel for them that are less blessed than she.

  • Dick Swiveller, our big striped pussy-cat (Thomas J. named him), lay stretching out in luxurious ease on his cushion, a-watchin' with dignified indulgence the gambollin' of our little pup dog. He is young yet, and Dick looked lenient on the innocent caperin's of youth. Dick is very wise.

  • He ceased his remarks, and agin silence rained in the room.

  • ... two pardners may set side by side, and yet worlds lay between 'em.

  • Men are not, although they are likely creeters and I wish 'em well, yet truth compels me to say that they are not very much gin to follerin' this text, 'To suffer and be calm.' No, they had ruther rampage round and kill the lion in the way than to camp down in front of 'em and try to subdue 'em with kindness and long sufferin'.

  • But I am a-eppisodin' and a-eppisodin' to a length and depth almost onpresidented and onheard on — and to resoom, and go on.

Marietta Holley, U.S. writer

(1836 - 1926)

Almost all her books were written, tongue-in-cheek, as “Josiah Allen’s Wife.”