IRVING, Washington Quotes
(1783-1859), American author
There is a certain artificial polish and address acquired by mingling in the beau monde, which, in the commerce of the world, supplies the place of natural suavity and good humor; but it is too often purchased at the expense of all original and sterling traits of character.
After all, it is the divinity within that makes the divinity without; and I have been more fascinated by a woman of talent and intelligence, though deficient in personal charms, than I have been by the most regular beauty.
History fades into fable; fact becomes clouded with doubt and controversy; the inscription moulders from the tablet; the statue falls from the pedestal.—Columns, arches, pyramids, what are they but heaps of sand, and their epitaphs but characters written in the dust?
Honest good humor is the oil and wine of a merry meeting, and there is no jovial companionship equal to that where the jokes are rather small and the laughter abundant.
I profess not to know how women's hearts are wooed and won.—To me they have always been matters of riddle and admiration.
Critics are a kind of freebooters in the republic of letters, who, like deer, goats, and diverse other graminivorous animals, gain subsistence by gorging upon buds and leaves of the young shrubs of the forest, thereby robbing them of their verdure and retarding their progress to maturity.
Every desire bears its death in its very gratification.—Curiosity languishes under repeated stimulants, and novelties cease to excite surprise, until at length we do not wonder even at a miracle.
Enthusiasts soon understand each other.
With every exertion the best of men can do but a moderate amount of good but it seems in the power of the most contemptible individual to do incalculable mischief.
Honest good humor is the oil and wine of a merry meeting, and there is no jovial companionship equal to that where the jokes are rather small, and the laughter abundant.
An inexhaustible good nature is one of the most precious gifts of heaven, spreading itself like oil over the troubled sea of thought, and keeping the mind smooth and equable in the roughest weather.
The grave buries every error, covers every defect, extinguishes every resentment.—From its peaceful bosom spring none but fond regrets and tender recollections.—Who can look down upon the grave of an enemy, and not feel a compunctious throb that he should have warred with the poor handful of dust that lies moldering before him.
A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity to freshen into smiles.
History is but a kind of Newgate calendar, a register of the crimes and miseries that man has inflicted on his fellowman.
It was the policy of the good old gentleman to make his children feel that home was the happiest place in the world; and I value this delicious home-feeling as one of the choicest gifts a parent can bestow.
The paternal hearth, that rallying place of the affections.
It is the divine attribute of the imagination, that when the real world is shut out it can create a world for itself, and with a necromantic power can conjure up glorious shapes and forms, and brilliant visions to make solitude populous, and irradiate the gloom of a dungeon.
A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles.
How easy is it for one benevolent being to diffuse pleasure around him, and how truly is a kind heart a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity to freshen into smiles.
Love is never lost. If not reciprocated it will flow back and soften and purify the heart.
The love of a delicate female is always shy and silent. Even when fortunate, she scarcely breathes it to herself; but when otherwise, she buries it in the recesses of her bosom, and there lets it cower and brood among the ruins of her peace.
A woman is more considerate in affairs of love than a man; because love is more the study and business of her life.
There is a remembrance of the dead, to which we turn even from the charms of the living. These we would not exchange for the song of pleasure or the bursts of revelry.
Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above it.
A father may turn his back on his child; brothers and sisters may become inveterate enemies; husbands may desert their wives, and wives their husbands. But a mother's love endures through all; in. good repute, in bad repute, in the face of the world's condemnation, a mother still loves on, and still hopes that her child may turn from his evil ways, and repent; still she remembers the infant smiles that once filled her bosom with rapture, the merry laugh, the joyful shout of his childhood, the opening promise of his youth; and she can never be brought to think him all unworthy.
A curtain lecture is worth all the sermons in the world for teaching the virtue of patience and long suffering.
By a land of fashionable discipline, the eye is taught to brighten, the lip to smile, and the whole countenance to emanate with the semblance of friendly welcome, while the bosom is unwarmed by a single spark of genuine kindness and good-will.
Society is like a lawn, where every roughness is smoothed, every bramble eradicated, and where the eye is delighted by the smiling verdure of a velvet surface. He, however, who would study nature in its wildness and variety, must plunge into the forest, must explore the glen, must stem the torrent, and dare the precipice.
He who thinks much says but little in proportion to his thoughts. He selects that language which will convey his ideas in the most explicit and direct manner. He tries to compress as much thought as possible into a few words. On the contrary, the man who talks everlastingly and promiscuously, who seems to have an exhaustless magazine of sound, crowds so many words into his thoughts that he always obscures, and very frequently conceals them.
The man who talks everlastingly and promiscuously, and who seems to have an exhaustless magazine of sound, crowds so many words into his thoughts, that he always obscures, and very frequently conceals them.
There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.
Good temper, like a sunny day, sheds a brightness over everything; it is the sweetener of toil and the soother of disquietude.
A tart temper never mellows with age; and a sharp tongue is the only edged tool that grows keener with constant use.
A tart temper never mellows with age; and a sharp tongue is the only edged tool that grows keener and sharper with constant use.
Redundancy of language is never found with deep reflection. Verbiage may indicate observation, but not thinking. He who thinks much, says but little in proportion to his thoughts. He selects that language which will convey his ideas in the most explicit and direct manner. He tries to compress as much thought as possible into a few words. On the contrary, the man who talks everlastingly and promiscuously, who seems to have an exhaustless magazine of sound, crowds so many words into his thoughts that he always obscures, and very frequently conceals them.
No man knows what the wife of his bosom is—what a ministering angel she is, until he has gone with her through the fiery trials of this world.
O woman! when the good man of the house may return, when the heat and burden of the day is past, do not let him at such time, when he is weary with toil and jaded by discouragement, find upon his coming that the foot which should hasten to meet him is wandering at a distance, that the soft hand which should wipe the sweat from his brow is knocking at the door of other houses.
Nothing can be more touching than to behold a soft and tender female, who has been all weakness and dependence, and alive to every trivial roughness while treading the prosperous paths of life, suddenly rising in mental force to be the comforter and supporter of her husband under misfortune, and abiding with unshrinking firmness the bitterest blast of adversity.
I have often had occasion to remark the fortitude with which women sustain the most overwhelming reverses of fortune. Those disasters which break down the spirit of a man and prostrate him in the dust seem to call forth all the energies of the softer sex, and give such intrepidity and elevation to their character, that at times it approaches to sublimity.
There is one in the world who feels for him who is sad a keener pang than he feels for himself; there is one to whom reflected joy is better than that which comes direct; there is one who rejoices in another's honor, more than in any which is one's own; there is one on whom another's transcendent excellence sheds no beam but that of delight; there is one who hides another's infirmities more faithfully than one's own; there is one who loses all sense of self in the sentiment of kindness, tenderness, and devotion to another; that one is woman.
As the vine which has long twined its graceful foliage about the oak, and been lifted by it in sunshine, will, when the hardy plant is rifted by the thunderbolt, cling round it with its caressing tendrils, and bind up its shattered boughs, so is it beautifully ordered by Providence that woman, who is the mere dependent and ornament of man in his happier hours, should be his stay and solace when smitten with sudden calamity; winding herself into the rugged recesses of his nature, tenderly supporting the drooping head and binding up the broken heart.
The dullest observer must be sensible of the order and serenity prevalent in those households where the occasional exercise of a beautiful form of worship in the morning gives, as it were, the keynote to every temper for the day, and attunes every spirit to harmony.