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Edith Wharton Quotes
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Edith Wharton Quote: “You are an artist and I happen to be the bit of colour you are using today. It’s a part of your cleverness to be able to produce premeditated effects extemporaneously.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “Archer, through all his deeper feelings, tasted the pleasurable excitement of being in a world where action followed on emotion with such Olympian speed.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “Her black brows, her reddish-tawny hair and the pure red and white of her complexion defied the searching decomposing radiance: she might have been some fabled creature whose home was in a beam of light.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “Courage – that’s the secret! If only people who are in love weren’t always so afraid of risking their happiness by looking it in the eyes.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “She knew that Virginia’s survey of the world was limited to people, the clothes they wore, and the carriages they drove in. Her own universe was so crammed to bursting with wonderful sights and sounds that, in spite of her sense of Virginia’s superiority – her beauty, her ease, her confidence – Nan sometimes felt a shamefaced pity for her.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “I hate in-the-end kindnesses: they’re about as nourishing as the third day of cold mutton.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “Obviously he had aspired too high, or been too impatient; but it was his nature to be aspiring and impatient, and if he was to succeed it must be on the lines of his own character.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “He had the kind of character in which prudence is a vice, and good advice the most dangerous nourishment.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “And of what account was anybody’s past, in the huge kaleidoscope where all the social atoms spun around on the same plane?”
Edith Wharton Quote: “When two people part who have loved each other it is as if what happens between them befell in a great emptiness – as if the tearing asunder of the flesh must turn at last into a disembodied anguish.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “Theodora usually found that her good intentions matured too late for practical results.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “Her soul opened slowly and timidly to her kind, but her imagination rushed out to the beauties of the visible world; and the decaying majesty of Allfriars moved her strangely.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “Ruth Varnum was always as nervous as a rat; and, come to think of.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “There was money enough... but she asked so much of life, in ways so complex and immaterial. He thought of her as walking bare-footed through a stony waste. No one would understand her- no one would pity her- and he, who did both, was powerless to come to her aid.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “But how could she trust herself to keep her footing? She knew the strength of the opposing impulses-she could feel the countless hands of habit dragging her back into some fresh compromise with fate.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “She knew herself by heart too, and was sick of the old story.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “They had never been at peace together, they two; and now he felt himself drawn downward into the strange mysterious depths of her tranquillity.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “She clutched her manuscript, carrying it tenderly through the crowd, like a live thing that had been hurt.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “Every drop of blood in Lily’s veins invited her to happiness.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “The “Hazeldean heart” was a proverbial boast in the family; the Hazeldeans privately considered it more distinguished than the Sillerton gout, and far more refined than the Wesson liver; and it had permitted most of them to survive, in valetudinarian ease, to a ripe old age, when they died of some quite other disorder. But Charles Hazeldean had defied it, and it took its revenge, and took it savagely.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “Well – watching the contortions of the damned is supposed to be a favorite sport of the angels, but I believe even they don’t think people happier in hell.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “He knew enough of his subject to know that he did not know enough to write about it...”
Edith Wharton Quote: “It is only because I am tired and have such odious things to think about,” she kept repeating; and it seemed an added injustice that petty cares should leave a trace on the beauty which was her only defence against them. But.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “Don’t you know how, in talking a foreign language, even fluently, one says half the time not what one wants to but what one can?”
Edith Wharton Quote: “So close to the powers of evil she must have lived that she still breathed more freely in their air.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “The idea that reading is a moral quality has unhappily led many conscientious persons to renounce their innocuous dalliance with light literature for more strenuous intercourse. These are the persons who “make it a rule to read.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “Sir Helmsley imparted this information in a loud, almost challenging voice, as he always did when he had to communicate anything unexpected or difficult to account for. Explaining was a nuisance, and somewhat of a derogation. He resented anything that made it necessary, and always spoke as if his interlocutor ought to have known beforehand the answer to the questions he was putting.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “In this interpretative light Mrs. Grancy acquired the charm which makes some women’s faces like a book of which the last page is never turned. There was always something new to read in her eyes.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “Here were two people who had penetrated farther than she into the labyrinth of the wedded state, and struggled through some of its thorniest passages; and yet both, one consciously, the other half-unaware, testified to the mysterious fact which was already dawning on her: that the influence of a marriage begun in mutual understanding is too deep not to reassert itself even in the moment of flight and denial.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “Denied access to information about important arenas of human life, history, and art, women like Augusta Welland demonstrate well into adulthood a lack of moral insight and sympathetic compassion.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “Strive as she would to put some order in her thoughts, the words would not come more clearly; yet she felt that she could not leave him without trying to make him understand that she had saved herself whole from the seeming ruin of her life.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “The stage was thought to have a shaping influence, for the most part a bad one, on youthful character and conduct in much the way television is thought to have in our day.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “It was before him again in its completeness – the choice in which she was content to rest: in the stupid costliness of the food and the showy dulness of the talk, in the freedom of speech which never arrived at wit and the freedom of act which never made for romance.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “He and she belonged to each other for always: he understood that now. The impulse which had first drawn them together again, in spite of reason, in spite of themselves almost, that deep-seated instinctive need that each had of the other, would never again wholly let them go.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “Will-power, he saw, was not a thing one could suddenly decree oneself to possess. It must be built up imperceptibly and laboriously out of a succession of small efforts to meet definite objects, out of the facing of daily difficulties instead of cleverly eluding them, or shifting their burden on others.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “She said she knew we were safe with you, and always would be, because once, when she asked you to, you’d given up the thing you most wanted.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “What is reading, in the last analysis, but an interchange of thought between writer and reader? If the book enters the reader’s mind just as it left the writer’s – without any of the additions and modifications inevitably produced by contact with a new body of thought – it has been read to no purpose.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “The difference is that these young people take it for granted that they’re going to get whatever they want, and that we almost always took it for granted that we shouldn’t.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “But I have sometimes thought that a woman’s nature is like a great house full of rooms: there is the hall, through which everyone passes in going in and out; the drawing-room, where one receives formal visits; the sitting-room, where the members of the family come and go as they list; but beyond that, far beyond, are other rooms, the handles of whose doors perhaps are never turned; no one knows the way to them, no one knows whither they lead; and in the innermost room, the holy of holies, the soul sits alone and waits for a footstep that never comes.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “At least,” she continued, “it was you who made me understand that under the dullness there are things so fine and sensitive and delicate that even those I most cared for in my other life look cheap in comparison. I don’t know how to explain myself” – she drew together her troubled brows – “but it seems as if I’d never before understood with how much that is hard and shabby and base the most exquisite pleasures may be paid for.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “But he would see clearer, breathe freer in her presence: she was at once the dead weight at his breast and the spar which should float them to safety.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “Age seemed to have come down on him as winter comes on the hills after a storm.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “Whenever she was unhappy she felt herself at bay against a pitiless world, and a kind of animal secretiveness possessed her.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “What did it matter where she came from, or whose child she was, when love was dancing in her veins?”
Edith Wharton Quote: “He did not mind being flippant about New York, but disliked to hear any one else take the same tone.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “When he thought of Ellen Olenska it was abstractly, serenely, as one might think of some imaginary beloved in a book or a picture: she had become the composite vision of all that he had missed.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “She longed to be to him something more than a piece of sentient prettiness, a passing diversion to his eye and brain.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “What do you call the weak point?” He paused. “The fact that the average American looks down on his wife.”
Edith Wharton Quote: “What was left of the little world he had grown up in, and whose standards had bent and bound him?”
Edith Wharton Quote: “And as he had seen her that day, so she had remained; never quite the same height, yet never below it: generous, faithful, unwearied; but so lacking in imagination, so incapable of growth, that the world of her youth had fallen into pieces and rebuilt itself without her ever being conscious of the change.”
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