Kathleen Thompson Norris Quotes
“Now I know what makes you so different from other women," said John Tenison, when he and Margaret were alone. "It's having that wonderful mother! She--she--well, she's one woman in a million; I don't have to tell you that! It's something to thank God for, a mother like that; it's a privilege to know her. I've been watching her all day, and I've been wondering what SHE gets out of it--that was what puzzled me; but now, just now, I've found out! This morning, thinking what her life is, I couldn't see what REPAID her, do you see? What made up to her for the unending, unending effort, and sacrifice, the pouring out of love and sympathy and help--year after year after year..."
He hesitated, but Margaret did not speak.
"You know," he went on musingly, "in these days, when women just serenely ignore the question of children, or at most, as a special concession, bring up one or two--just the one or two whose expenses can be comfortably met!--there's something magnificent in a woman like your mother, who begins eight destinies instead of one! She doesn't strain and chafe to express herself through the medium of poetry or music or the stage, but she puts her whole splendid philosophy into her nursery--launches sound little bodies and minds that have their first growth cleanly and purely about her knees. Responsibility--that's what these other women say they are afraid of! But it seems to me there's no responsibility like that of decreeing that young lives simply SHALL NOT BE. Why, what good is learning, or elegance of manner, or painfully acquired fineness of speech, and taste and point of view, if you are not going to distill it into the growing plants, the only real hope we have in the world! You know, Miss Paget," his smile was very sweet in the half darkness, "there's a higher tribunal than the social tribunal of this world, after all; and it seems to me that a woman who stands there, as your mother will, with a forest of new lives about her, and a record like hers, will--will find she has a Friend at court!" he finished whimsically.”
“All her old castles in the air seemed cheap and tinseled tonight, beside these tender dreams that had their roots in the real truths of life. Travel and position, gowns and motor-cars, yachts and country houses, these things were to be bought in all their perfection by the highest bidder, and always would be. But love and character and service, home and the wonderful charge of little lives--the "pure religion breathing household laws" that guided and perfected the whole--these were not to be bought, they were only to be prayed for, worked, for, bravely won.”
“And suddenly theories and speculation ended, and she KNEW. She knew that faithful, self-forgetting service, and the love that spends itself over and over, only to be renewed again and again, are the secret of happiness. For another world, perhaps leisure and beauty and luxury--but in this one, "Who loses his life shall gain it." Margaret knew now that her mother was not only the truest, the finest, the most generous woman she had ever known, but the happiest as well.
She thought of other women like her mother; she suddenly saw what made their lives beautiful.”
“Mrs. Carr-Boldt's days were crowded to the last instant, it was true; but what a farce it was, after all, Margaret said to herself in all honesty, to humor her in her little favorite belief that she was a busy woman! Milliner, manicure, butler, chef, club, card-table; tea-table--these and a thousand things like them filled her day, and they might all be swept away in an hour, and leave no one the worse. Suppose her own summons came; there would be a little flurry throughout the great establishment, legal matters to settle, notes of thanks to be written for flowers. Margaret could imagine Victoria and Harriet [her two daughters], awed but otherwise unaffected, home from school in midweek, and to be sent back before the next Monday. Their lives would go on unchanged, their mother had never buttered bread for them, never schemed for their boots and hats, never watched their work and play, and called them to her knees for praise and blame. Mr. Carr-Boldt would have his club, his business, his yacht, his motor-cars--he was well accustomed to living in cheerful independence of family claims.”
Kathleen Thompson Norris
- Date of birth: July 16, 1880
- Died: January 18, 1966
- Born: in San Francisco, CA, The United States.
- Description: Educated at the University of California, Kathleen married Charles Norris, brother of the author Frank Norris, in 1909. She was a prolific author, producing over 80 novels in addition to numerous short stories and articles. Norris was a regular contributor to leading magazines such as Atlantic and Ladies' Home Journal. Her first novel, Lost Sunrise, appeared in 1909 and was immediately popular. By the end of her career her books had sold over ten million copies and made her the highest paid female author of her day.