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Miriam Beard

  • The figure of a handsome woman, blindfolded, holding a pair of scales in her outstretched, majestic hand, was used by Man to symbolize the Spirit of Justice long before he admitted any of her sex to the bar or jury duty ... Man has always liked to have some woman, especially one about eight feet high and of earnest aspect, to represent his ideas or inventions. At the same time, of course, he anxiously thwarted her attempts to utilize the inventions or pursue the theories he held. Thus, he wanted women to be illiterate, but to represent the Spirit of Education ... He wanted some smiling damsel to typify Architecture for him, but never to build his houses. And, much as he insisted on having his women folk meek and shy, he was always portraying them blowing trumpets and leading his armies to war.

    • Miriam Beard,
    • "Woman Springs from Allegory to Life," in The New York Times ()
  • We of the third sphere are unable to look at Europe or at Asia as they may survey each other. Wherever we go, across Pacific or Atlantic, we meet, not similarity so much as 'the bizarre.' Things astonish us, when we travel, that surprise nobody else.

  • Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.

  • One must learn, if one is to see the beauty in Japan, to like an extraordinarily restrained and delicate loveliness.

  • Leisure for reverie, gay or sombre, does much to enrich life.

  • Comfort, however, easily merges into license.

  • All through the ages, from the dissolution of antique capitalism to the latest crisis of modern capitalism, Christian institutions, whether Catholic, Calvinist or Methodist, have exercised a profound modifying and yet fostering influence upon commerce and the characters of those engaged in it. Christianity, which has ever sought to moderate the profit-seeking of the business man, has assisted him to develop finance and industry. It was the curious destiny of this greatest spiritual force in the Western world to prepare mankind for materialism and mechanization. Yet it has exerted ceaseless pressure on the money-makers to consider the effects of their activities upon society and their own souls.

  • The interactions of business and culture, one upon the other, form one of the least explored phases of history. For such a study, no city would appear better fixed than Florence, so richly dowered with both economic and spiritual vitality.

  • The results of philanthropy are always beyond calculation.

Miriam Beard, U.S. writer, traveler

(1901 - 1983)

Full name: Miriam Beard Vagts.