Our Little Acts from The Lily

Our lives are made up of minutes, hours, and days, and so in the formation of character, our little actions are strongly interwoven, and form a most essential part. How few consider that a word, nay even a look, has often wrought the web of destiny which encloses within its meshes, the hopes and prayers of thousands! and that some little courtesy withheld, or some small discrepancy in the domestic circle, has separated friends, and fastened the chains of vice upon many a promising youth.

We do not realize this sufficiently– we are continually forgetting that little wrongs form great evils. I care not by how many temptations a young man is surrounded, if he but adheres strictly to small know rules of right; though a thousand means are devised to involve him in moral ruin,–he will withstand them all.

Who does not admire the majestic river, as it courses its way to the wide sea, careering onward its bright waters glide, now gently, swiftly amid vallies and hills, waking beauty from her bed of flowers and foliage, and sending out the glad music of its waters, to blend in nature’s harmony.

Who, when lost in its admiration, does not know that that tiny rivulet, which had its birth-place in some obscure nook, is the parent of that noble river. Just so with human character, our little acts done in the obscurity of private life, give the coloring to our future career–and mark our destiny, and seal us for honor, or dishonor–for happiness or misery.



The Lily, the first newspaper for women, was issued from 1849 until 1853 under the editorship of Amelia Bloomer (1818-1894). The Lily is available as full text and page images to Accessible Archives subscribers.


Collection: The Lily
Publication: The Lily
Date: July 2, 1849
Title: For the Lily: Our Little Acts

All images included in blog posts are from either Accessible Archives collections or out of copyright public sources unless otherwise noted. Common sources include the Library of Congress, The Flickr Commons, Wikimedia Commons, and other public archives.

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