I come to present the strong claims of suffering humanity. I come to place before the Legislature of Massachusetts the condition of the miserable, the desolate, the outcast. I come as the advocate of helpless, forgotten, insane men and women; of beings sunk to a condition from which the unconcerned world would start with real horror.
I proceed, gentlemen, to call your attention to the present state of insane persons confined within the commonwealth; in cages, closets, cellars, stalls, pens; chained, naked, beaten with rods, and lashed into obedience.
Of all the calamities to which humanity is subject, none is so dreadful as insanity. … All experience shows that insanity seasonably treated is as certainly curable as a cold or a fever.
Society, during the last hundred years, has been alternately perplexed and encouraged, respecting the two great questions -how shall the criminal and pauper be disposed of, in order to reduce crime and reform the criminal on the one hand, and, on the other, to diminish pauperism and restore the pauper to useful citizenship?
in proportion as my own discomfort has increased, my conviction of necessity to search into the wants of the friendless and afflicted has deepened. If I am cold, they too are cold; if I am weary, they are distressed; if I am alone, they are abandoned.
Man is not made better by being degraded.
Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote.
Be of good cheer, for sadness cannot heal the national wounds.
Brains are still unfashionable for women to wear, and it has always been proof of women’s superiority that the more intelligent a man is, the more women admire him, while the bigger fool a woman is, the more men run after her.
I have learned to live each day as it comes, and not to borrow trouble by dreading tomorrow.
I have no particular love for my species, but own to an exhaustless fund of compassion
Man is not made better by being degraded; he is seldom restrained from crime by harsh measures, except the principle of fear predominates in his character; and then he is never made radically better for its influence.
I think even lying on my bed I can still do something.
The tapestry of history has no point at which you can cut it and leave the design intelligible.
But the truth is the highest consideration.
A man usually values that most for which he has labored; he uses that most frugally which he has toiled hour by hour and day by day to acquire.
[To a woman who claimed she’d rather be dead than unconfined and unfashionable:] My dear, if you continue to lace as tightly as you do now, you will not long have the privilege of choice. You will be both dead and out of fashion.