Washington Irving


Quotations

  • ''Who ever hears of fat men heading a riot, or herding together in turbulent mobs?—No—no, 'tis your lean, hungry men who are continually worrying society, and setting the whole community by the ears.''
    Washington Irving (1783-1859), U.S. author. A History of New York, bk. 3, ch. 2 (1809). Written under the pseudonym Diedrich Knickerbocker.
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  • ''Whenever a man's friends begin to compliment him about looking young, he may be sure that they think he is growing old.''
    Washington Irving (1783-1859), U.S. author. "Bachelors," Bracebridge Hall (1822).
  • ''The sorrow for the dead is the only sorrow from which we refuse to be divorced. Every other wound we seek to heal—every other affliction to forget: but this wound we consider it a duty to keep open—this affliction we cherish and brood over in solitude.''
    Washington Irving (1783-1859), U.S. author. "Rural Funerals," The Sketch-Book (1819-1820).
  • ''There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse; as I have found in travelling in a stage- coach, that it is often a comfort to shift one's position and be bruised in a new place.''
    Washington Irving (1783-1859), U.S. author. Tales of a Traveler, preface (1824).
  • ''The great British Library—an immense collection of volumes of all ages and languages, many of which are now forgotten, and most of which are seldom read: one of these sequestered pools of obsolete literature to which modern authors repair, and draw buckets full of classic lore, or "pure English, undefiled" wherewith to swell their own scanty rills of thought.''
    Washington Irving (1783-1859), U.S. author. "The Art of Book-Making," The Sketch-Book (1819-1820).
  • ''Those men are most apt to be obsequious and conciliating abroad, who are under the discipline of shrews at home.''
    Washington Irving (1783-1859), U.S. author. The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. "Rip Van Winkle," (1819-1820).
  • ''They who drink beer will think beer.''
    Washington Irving (1783-1859), U.S. author. The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. "Stratford-on-Avon," (1819-1820). This quotation has also been attributed to William Warburton, Bishop of Gloucester (1698-1779).
  • ''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.''
    Washington Irving (1783-1859), U.S. author. The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. "The Broken Heart," (1819-1820).
  • ''A tart temper never mellows with age, and a sharp tongue is the only edged tool that grows keener with constant use.''
    Washington Irving (1783-1859), U.S. author. The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. "Rip Van Winkle," (1819-1820).
  • ''Luxury spreads its ample board before their eyes; but they are excluded from the banquet. Plenty revels over the fields; but they are starving in the midst of its abundance: the whole wilderness has blossomed into a garden; but they feel as reptiles that infest it.''
    Washington Irving (1783-1859), U.S. author. "Traits of Indian Character," The Sketch-Book (1819-1820).

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