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Washington Irving Quotes


American essayist, historian and novelist.
(1783 - 1859)

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A curtain lecture is worth all the sermons in the world for teaching the virtue of patience and long suffering.
[Patience]
 

A father may turn his back on his child, brothers and sisters may become inveterate enemies, husbands may desert their wives, wives their husbands. But a mother's love endures through all.
[Mother]
 

A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles.
[Heart]
 

A sharp tongue is the only edge 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 with constant use.
[Temper]
 

A woman is more considerate in affairs of love than a man; because love is more the study and business of her life.
[Love]
 

A woman never forgets her sex. She would rather talk with a man than an angel, any day.
 

A woman's whole life is a history of the affections. The heart is her world: it is there her ambition strives for empire; it is there her avarice seeks for hidden treasures. She sends forth her sympathies on adventure; she embarks her whole soul on the traffic of affection; and if shipwrecked, her case is hopeless - for it is a bankruptcy of the heart.
 

Acting provides the fulfillment of never being fulfilled. You're never as good as you'd like to be. So there's always something to hope for.
 

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.
[Beauty]
 

Age is a matter of feeling, not of years.
 

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.
 

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.
 

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.
[Policy]
 

Christmas is a season for kindling the fire for hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.
 

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.
[Critics]
 

Enthusiasts soon understand each other.
[Enthusiasm]
 

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.
[Desire]
 

Free-livers on a small scale, who are prodigal within the compass of a guinea.
 

Good temper, like a sunny day, sheds a brightness over everything; it is the sweetener of toil and the soother of disquietude.
[Temper]
 


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