Edith Wharton Quotes & Wallpapers

Edith Wharton
Total Quotes: 279


A frivolous society can acquire dramatic significance only through what its frivolity destroys. Edith Wharton
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It is the omnipresent rush of water which give the Este Gardens their peculiar character. From the Anio, drawn up the hillside at incalculable cost and labour, a thousand rills gush downward, terrace by terrace, channeling the stone rails of the balusters, leaping from step to step, dripping into mossy conches, flashing in spray from the horns of sea-gods and the jaws of mythical monsters, or forcing themselves in irrepressible overflow down the ivy-matted banks. Edith Wharton
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Almost everybody in the neighborhood had troubles, frankly localized and specified; but only the chosen had complications. To have them was in itself a distinction, though it was also, in most cases, a death warrant. People struggled on for years wit Edith Wharton
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It was the old New York way...the way people who dreaded scandal more than disease, who placed decency above courage, and who considered that nothing was more ill-bred than "scenes", except those who gave rise to them. Edith Wharton
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Don't they always go from bad to worse? There's no turning back-your old self rejects you, and shuts you out. ~Lilly Bart Edith Wharton
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My first few weeks in America are always miserable, because the tastes I am cursed with are all of a kind that cannot be gratified here, and I am not enough in sympathy with our gross public to make up for the lack on the aesthetic side. One's friends are delightful; but we are none of us Americans, we don't think or feel as the Americans do, we are the wretched exotics produced in a European glass-house, the most displaced and useless class on earth! Edith Wharton
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What a shame it is for a nation to be developing without a sense of beauty, and eating bananas for breakfast. Edith Wharton
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Selden paused in surprise. In the afternoon rush of the Grand Central Station his eyes had been refreshed by the sight of Miss Lily Bart. Edith Wharton
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We can't behave like people in novels, though, can we? Edith Wharton
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Inkstands and tea-cups are never as full as when one upsets them ... Edith Wharton
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Mrs. Ballinger is one of the ladies who pursue Culture in bands, as though it were dangerous to meet it alone. Edith Wharton
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He simply felt that if he could carry away the vision of the spot of earth she walked on, and the way the sky and sea enclosed it, the rest of the world might seem less empty. Edith Wharton
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I swear I only want to hear about you, to know what you've been doing. It's a hundred years since we've met-it may be another hundred before we meet again. Edith Wharton
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We live in our own souls as in an unmapped region, a few acres of which we have cleared for our habitation; while of the nature of those nearest us we know but the boundaries that march with ours. Edith Wharton
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And you'll sit beside me, and we'll look, not at visions, but at realities. Edith Wharton
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Life is either always a tight-rope or a featherbed. Give me a tight-rope. Edith Wharton
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Something he knew he had missed: the flower of life. But he thought of it now as a thing so unattainable and improbable that to have repined would have been like despairing because one had not drawn the first prize in a lottery. Edith Wharton
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Selden and Lily stood still, accepting the unreality of the scene as a part of their own dream-like sensations. It would not have surprised them to feel a summer breeze on their faces, or to see the lights among the boughs reduplicated in the arch of a starry sky. The strange solitude about them was no stranger than the sweetness of being alone in it together. Edith Wharton
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There is someone I must say goodbye to. Oh, not you - we are sure to see each other again - but the Lily Bart you knew. I have kept her with me all this time, but now we are going to part, and I have brought her back to you - I am going to leave her here. When I go out presently she will not go with me. I shall like to think that she has stayed with you. Edith Wharton
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Yes, the Gorgon has dried your tears.' Well, she has opened my eyes too; it's a delusion to say she blinds people. What she does is the contrary-she fastens their eyelids open, so they're never again in the blessed darkness. Edith Wharton
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Her mind was an hotel where facts came and went like transient lodgers, without leaving their address behind, and frequently without paying for their board. Edith Wharton
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To know when to be generous and when firm-that is wisdom. Edith Wharton
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Each time you happen to me all over again. Edith Wharton
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Habit is necessary; it is the habit of having habits, of turning a trail into a rut, that must be incessantly fought against if one is to remain alive. Edith Wharton
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Another unsettling element in modern art is that common symptom of immaturity, the dread of doing what has been done before. Edith Wharton
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I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally happens in such cases, each time it was a different story. Edith Wharton
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To be able to look life in the face: that's worth living in a garret for, isn't it? Edith Wharton
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She seemed to melt against him in her terror, and he caught her in his arms, held her fast there, felt her lashes beat his cheek like netted butterflies. Edith Wharton
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I believe I know the only cure, which is to make one's center of life inside of one's self, not selfishly or excludingly, but with a kind of unassailable serenity-to decorate one's inner house so richly that one is content there, glad to welcome anyone who wants to come and stay, but happy all the same when one is inevitably alone. Edith Wharton
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She felt a stealing sense of fatigue as she walked; the sparkle had died out of her, and the taste of life was stale on her lips. She hardly knew what she had been seeking, or why the failure to find it had so blotted the light from her sky: she was only aware of a vague sense of failure, of an inner isolation deeper than the loneliness about her. Edith Wharton
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And all the while, I suppose," he thought, "real people were living somewhere, and real things happening to them ... Edith Wharton
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He had married (as most young men did) because he had met a perfectly charming girl at the moment when a series of rather aimless sentimental adventures were ending in premature disgust; and she had represented peace, stability, comradeship, and the steadying sense of an unescapable duty. Edith Wharton
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Half the trouble in life is caused by pretending there isn't any. Edith Wharton
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She threw back her head with a laugh that made her chins ripple like little waves. Edith Wharton
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The effect produced by a short story depends almost entirely on its form. Edith Wharton
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[I]t's safer to be fond of dangerous people. Edith Wharton
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Overhead hung a summer sky furrowed with the rush of rockets; and from the east a late moon, pushing up beyond the lofty bend of the coast, sent across the bay a shaft of brightness which paled to ashes in the red glitter of the illuminated boats. Edith Wharton
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Only the fact that we are unaware how well our nearest know us enables us to live with them. Love is the most impregnable refuge of self-esteem, and we hate the eye that reaches to our nakedness. Edith Wharton ~ The Touchstone Edith Wharton
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... how I understand that love of living, of being in this wonderful, astounding world even if one can look at it only through theprison bars of illness and suffering! Plus je vois, the more I am thrilled by the spectacle. Edith Wharton
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I'm not much interested in travelling scholarships for women - or in fact in scholarships, tout court! - they'd much better stay at home and mind the baby. Still less am I interested in scholarships for female Yids .... Edith Wharton
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Presently he rose and approached the case before which she stood. Its glass shelves were crowded with small broken objects - hardly recognizable domestic utensils, ornaments and personal trifles - made of glass, of clay, of discoloured bronze and other time-blurred substances. 'It seems cruel,' she said, 'that after a while nothing matters . . . any more than these little things, that used to be necessary and important to forgotten people, and now have to be guessed at under a magnifying glass and labeled: "Use unknown".' Edith Wharton
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How much longer are we going to think it necessary to be American before (or in contradistinction to) being cultivated, being enlightened, being humane, and having the same intellectual discipline as other civilized countries? Edith Wharton
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Happiness is a work of art. Handle with care. Edith Wharton
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I feel as if I could trust my happiness to carry me; as if it had grown out of me like wings. Edith Wharton
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I begin to see what marriage is for. It's to keep people away from each other. Sometimes I think that two people who love each other can be saved from madness only by the things that come between them - children, duties, visits, bores, relations - the things that protect married people from each other. Edith Wharton
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Damn words; they're just the pots and pans of life, the pails and scrubbing-brushes. I wish I didn't have to think in words ... Edith Wharton
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I'm afraid I'm an incorrigible life-lover, life-wonderer, and adventurer. Edith Wharton
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It frightened him to think what must have gone to the making of her eyes. Edith Wharton
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There are lots of ways of being miserable, but there's only one way of being comfortable, and that is to stop running round after happiness. If you make up your mind not to be happy there's no reason why you shouldn't have a fairly good time. Edith Wharton
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It was part of her discernment to be aware that life is the only real counselor, that wisdom unfiltered through personal experience does not become a part of the moral tissues. Edith Wharton
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People pay for what they do, and still more, for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it simply: by the lives they lead. Edith Wharton
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I shan't be lonely now. I was lonely; I was afraid. But the emptiness and the darkness are gone; when I turn back into myself now I'm like a child going at night into a room where there's always a light. Edith Wharton
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It's you who are telling me; opening my eyes to things I'd looked at so long that I'd ceased to see them. Edith Wharton
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The real alchemy consists in being able to turn gold back again into something else; and that's the secret that most of your friends have lost. Edith Wharton
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One of the surprises of her unoccupied state was the discovery that time, when it is left to itself and no definite demands are made on it, cannot be trusted to move at any recognized pace Edith Wharton
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Archer had always been inclined to think that chance and circumstance played a small part in shaping people's lots compared with their innate tendency to have things happen to them. Edith Wharton
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As he paid the hansom and followed his wife's long train into the house he took refuge in the comforting platitude that the first six months were always the most difficult in marriage. 'After that I suppose we shall have pretty nearly finished rubbing off each other's angles,' he reflected; but the worst of it was that May's pressure was already bearing on the very angles whose sharpness he most wanted to keep Edith Wharton
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She wondered if, when human souls try to get too near each other, they do not inevitably become mere blurs to each other's vision. Edith Wharton
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An unalterable and unquestioned law of the musical world required that the German text of French operas sung by Swedish artists should be translated into Italian for the clearer understanding of English-speaking audiences. Edith Wharton
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The American landscape has no foreground and the American mind no background. Edith Wharton
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The worst of doing one's duty was that it apparently unfitted one for doing anything else. Edith Wharton
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I despair of the Republic! Such dreariness, such whining sallow women, such utter absence of the amenities, such crass food, crass manners, crass landscape!! What a horror it is for a whole nation to be developing without the sense of beauty, and eating bananas for breakfast. Edith Wharton
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Society soon grows used to any state of things which is imposed upon it without explanation. Edith Wharton
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...In the summer New York was the only place in which one could escape from New Yorkers... Edith Wharton
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Ah, good conversation - there's nothing like it, is there? The air of ideas is the only air worth breathing. Edith Wharton
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Their long years together had shown him that it did not so much matter if marriage was a dull duty, as long as it kept the dignity of duty: lapsing from that, it became a mere battle of ugly appetites. Edith Wharton
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She had no tolerance for scenes which were not of her own making. Edith Wharton
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Archer was too intelligent to think that a young woman like Ellen Olenska would necessarily recoil from everything that reminded her of her past. She might believe herself wholly in revolt against it; but what had charmed her in it would still charm her even though it were against her will. Edith Wharton
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Her vivid smile was like a light held up to dazzle me. Edith Wharton
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He had her in his arms, her face like a wet flower at his lips, and all their vain terrors shriveling up like ghosts at sunrise. Edith Wharton
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