Possibly of the month, possibly for 2011, courtesy of our little local weekly newspaper today:
“I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.”
Martha Custis Washington
The newspaper had the quote abbreviated, and my first thought was that it’s one of those crazy apocryphal misattributed quotes floating around the internet. But a few minutes on Google turned up a White House page with the quote in its entirety, and it seems as though it may have been from one of Mrs. Washington’s letters to her friend, the writer and playwright Mercy Otis Warren. Which led my curiosity to Mrs. Warren’s Selected Letters as well as the long overdue biography, The Muse of the Revolution: The Secret Pen of Mercy Otis Warren and the Foundingof a Nation by Nancy Rubin Stuart, both of which I think would be as fascinating as difficult to find in a Canadian library.
All of which is a very roundabout way to say that I think Martha was on to something.