Gene Stratton-Porter Quotes
“I know men and women. An honourable man is an honourable man, and a liar is a liar; both are born and not made. One cannot change to the other any more than that same old leopard can change its spots.
After a man tells a woman the first untruth of that sort, the others come piling thick, fast, and mountain high.”
“For every bad man and woman I have ever known, I have met . . . an overwhelming number of thoroughly clean and decent people who still believe in God and cherish high ideals, and it is upon the lives of these people that I base what I write. To contend that this does not produce a picture true to life is idiocy. It does. It produces a picture true to ideal life; to the best that good men and good women can do at level best.
I care very little for the . . . critics who proclaim that there is no such thing as a moral man, and that my pictures of life are sentimental and idealized. They are! And I glory in them! They are straight, living pictures from the lives of men and women of morals, honor, and loving kindness. . . .
Such a big majority of book critics and authors have begun to teach, whether they really believe it or not, that no book is true to life unless it is true to the worst in life.”
“There never was a moment in my life, when I felt so in the Presence, as I do now. I feel as if the Almighty were so real, and so near, that I could reach out and touch Him, as I could this wonderful work of His, if I dared. I feel like saying to Him: 'To the extent of my brain power I realize Your presence, and all it is in me to comprehend of Your power. Help me to learn, even this late, the lessons of Your wonderful creations. Help me to unshackle and expand my soul to the fullest realization of Your wonders. Almighty God, make me bigger, make me broader!”
“It was a compound of self-reliance, hard knocks, heart hunger, unceasing work, and generosity. There was no form of suffering with which the girl could not sympathize, no work she was afraid to attempt, no subject she had investigated she did not understand. These things combined to produce a breadth and depth of character altogether unusual.”
“To my way of thinking and working, the greatest service a piece of fiction can do any reader is to leave him with a higher ideal of life than he had when he began. If in one small degree it shows him where he can be…gentler, saner, cleaner, kindlier…it is a wonder-working book. If it opens his eyes to one beauty in nature he never saw for himself and leads him one step toward the God of the Universe, it is a beneficial book…”
“One," said the recording secretary.
"Jesus wept," answered Leon promptly.
There was not a sound in the church. You could almost hear the butterflies pass. Father looked down and laid his lower lip in folds with his fingers, like he did sometimes when it wouldn't behave to suit him.
"Two," said the secretary after just a breath of pause.
Leon looked over the congregation easily and then fastened his eyes on Abram Saunders, the father of Absalom, and said reprovingly: "Give not sleep to thine eyes nor slumber to thine eyelids."
Abram straightened up suddenly and blinked in astonishment, while father held fast to his lip.
"Three," called the secretary hurriedly.
Leon shifted his gaze to Betsy Alton, who hadn't spoken to her next door neighbour in five years.
"Hatred stirreth up strife," he told her softly, "but love covereth all sins."
Things were so quiet it seemed as if the air would snap.
The mild blue eyes travelled back to the men's side and settled on Isaac Thomas, a man too lazy to plow and sow land his father had left him. They were not so mild, and the voice was touched with command: "Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise."
Still that silence.
"Five," said the secretary hurriedly, as if he wished it were over. Back came the eyes to the women's side and past all question looked straight at Hannah Dover.
"As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman without discretion."
"Six," said the secretary and looked appealingly at father, whose face was filled with dismay.
Again Leon's eyes crossed the aisle and he looked directly at the man whom everybody in the community called "Stiff-necked Johnny."
I think he was rather proud of it, he worked so hard to keep them doing it.
"Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck," Leon commanded him.
Toward the door some one tittered.
"Seven," called the secretary hastily.
Leon glanced around the room.
"But how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity," he announced in delighted tones as if he had found it out by himself.
"Eight," called the secretary with something like a breath of relief.
Our angel boy never had looked so angelic, and he was beaming on the Princess.
"Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee," he told her.
Laddie would thrash him for that.
Instantly after, "Nine," he recited straight at Laddie: "I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?"
More than one giggled that time.
"Ten!" came almost sharply.
Leon looked scared for the first time. He actually seemed to shiver. Maybe he realized at last that it was a pretty serious thing he was doing. When he spoke he said these words in the most surprised voice you ever heard: "I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly."
Perhaps these words are in the Bible. They are not there to read the way Leon repeated them, for he put a short pause after the first name, and he glanced toward our father: "Jesus Christ, the SAME, yesterday, and to-day, and forever!"
Sure as you live my mother's shoulders shook.
Suddenly Leon seemed to be forsaken. He surely shrank in size and appeared abused.
"When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up," he announced, and looked as happy over the ending as he had seemed forlorn at the beginning.
"The Lord is on my side; I will not fear; what can man do unto me?" inquired Leon of every one in the church. Then he soberly made a bow and walked to his seat.”
“When they reached her she stood on the path holding a pair of moths. Her eyes were wide with excitement , her cheeks pink, her red lips parted, and on the hand she held out to them clung a pair of delicate blue-green moths, with white bodies, and touches of lavender and straw colour. All about her lay flower-brocaded grasses, behind a deep green background of the forest, while the sun slowly sifted gold from heaven to burnish her hair. Mrs. Comstock heard a sharp breath behind her.
Oh, what a picture!" Exulted Ammon over sher shoulder. "She is absolutely and altogether lovely! Id give a small fortune for that faithfully set on canvas!”
“Don't!" cried Jamie. "Don't be bitter, Margaret. We don't know why, we never can know why things happen in this world exactly as they do; but this we know: We know that God is in His Heaven, that He is merciful to the extent of ordaining mercy; we know that if we disobey and take our own way and run contrary to His commandments, we are bitterly punished. And it is the most pitiful of laws that no man or woman can take their punishment alone in this world. It is the law that none of us can suffer without making someone else suffer, but in some way it must be that everything works out for the best, even if we can't possibly see how that could be when things are happening that hurt us so.”
“What you are lies with you. If you are lazy, and accept your lot, you may live in it. If you are willing to work, you can write your name anywhere you choose, among the only ones who live beyond the grave in this world, the people who write books that help, make exquisite music, carve statues, paint pictures, and work for others. Never mind the calico dress, and the coarse shoes. Work at you books, and before long you will hear yesterday's tormentors boasting that they were once classmates of yours.”
“The Limberlost is life. Here it is a carefully kept park. You motor, sail and golf, all so secure and fine. But what I like is the excitement of choosing a path carefully, in the fear that the quagmire may reach out and suck me down; I even enjoy seeing an old canny vulture eyeing me as if it were saying, ‘ware the sting of the rattler, lest I pick your bones as I did old Limber’s. I like sufficient danger to put an edge on things. This is all so tame.”
“Love her?" I cried. "Why he just loves her to death! He turns so white, and he suffers so, when her pain is the worst. Love her? And she him? Why, don't you remember the other day when he tipped her head against him and kissed her throat as he left the table; that he asked her if she 'loved him yet,' and she said right before all of us, 'Why Paul, I love you, until I scarcely can keep my fingers off you!”
“Freckles never tired of studying the devotion of a fox mother to her babies. To him, whose early life had been so embittered by continual proof of neglect and cruelty in human parents toward their children, the love of these furred and feathered folk of the Limberlost was even more of a miracle than to the Bird Woman and the Angel.”
“Had I life to live over, I see now where I could do more; but neighbour, believe me, my highest aspiration is to be a clean, thrifty housekeeper, a bountiful cook, a faithful wife, a sympathetic mother. That is life work for any woman, and to be a good woman is the greatest thing on earth. Never mind about the ladies; if you can honestly say of me, she is a good woman, you have paid me the highest possible tribute..... To be a good wife and mother is the end toward which I aspire. To hold the respect and love of my husband is the greatest object of my life.”
“When it grew cold enough to shut the doors, and have fire at night, first thing after supper all of us helped clear the table, then we took our slates and books and learned our lessons for the next day, and then father lined us against the wall, all in a row from Laddie down, and he pronounced words—easy ones that divided into syllables nicely, for me, harder for May, and so up until I might sit down. For Laddie, May and Leon he used the geography, the Bible, Roland's history, the Christian Advocate, and the Agriculturist. My, but he had them so they could spell! After that, as memory tests, all of us recited our reading lesson for the next day, especially the poetry pieces. I knew most of them, from hearing the big folks repeat them so often and practise the proper way to read them. I could do "Rienzi's Address to the Romans," "Casablanca," "Gray's Elegy," or "Mark Antony's Speech," but best of all, I liked "Lines to a Water-fowl." When he was tired, if it were not bedtime yet, all of us, boys too, sewed rags for carpet and rugs. Laddie braided corn husks for the kitchen and outside door mats, and they were pretty, and "very useful too," like the dog that got his head patted in McGuffey's Second.”