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Edith Wharton quotes (showing 1-30 of 360)

“Set wide the window. Let me drink the day.”
Edith Wharton, Artemis to Actaeon and Other Verses
“My little old dog
a heart-beat
at my feet”
Edith Wharton
“Life is always either a tightrope or a feather bed. Give me the tightrope.”
Edith Wharton
“If only we'd stop trying to be happy, we could have a pretty good time.”
Edith Wharton
“There are two ways of spreading light: to be
The candle or the mirror that reflects it.”
Edith Wharton
“Each time you happen to me all over again.”
Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence
tags: awe, love
“The real loneliness is living among all these kind people who only ask one to pretend!”
Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence
“I don't know if I should care for a man who made life easy; I should want someone who made it interesting.”
Edith Wharton
“Ah, good conversation - there's nothing like it, is there? The air of ideas is the only air worth breathing.”
Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence
“There is one friend in the life of each of us who seems not a separate person, however dear and beloved, but an expansion, an interpretation, of one's self, the very meaning of one's soul.”
Edith Wharton
“We can't behave like people in novels, though, can we?”
Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence
“My little dog—a heartbeat at my feet.”
Edith Wharton
tags: love
“In spite of illness, in spite even of the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways.”
Edith Wharton
“She had no tolerance for scenes which were not of her own making.”
Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth
“What Lily craved was the darkness made by enfolding arms, the silence which is not solitude, but compassion holding its breath.”
Edith Wharton
“Do you remember what you said to me once? That you could help me only by loving me? Well-you did love me for a moment; and it helped me. It has always helped me.”
Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth
tags: love
“Genius is of small use to a woman who does not know how to do her hair.”
Edith Wharton
“In reality they all lived in a kind of hieroglyphic world, where the real thing was never said or done or even thought, but only represented by a set of arbitrary signs.”
Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence
“Silence may be as variously shaded as speech.”
Edith Wharton
“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
“It was easy enough to despise the world, but decidedly difficult to find any other habitable region.”
Edith Wharton
“Nothing is more perplexing to a man than the mental process of a woman who reasons her emotions.”
Edith Wharton
“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."

Archer received this strange communication in silence. His eyes remained unseeingly fixed on the thronged sunlit square below the window. At length he said in a low voice: "She never asked me.”
Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence
“The real marriage of true minds is for any two people to possess a sense of humor or irony pitched in exactly the same key, so that their joint glances on any subject cross like interarching searchlights.”
Edith Wharton, A Backward Glance
“She was so evidently the victim of the civilization which had produced her, that the links of her bracelet seemed like manacles chaining her to her fate.”
Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth
“She was very near hating him now; yet the sound of his voice, the way the light fell on his thin, dark hair, the way he sat and moved and wore his clothes—she was conscious that even these trivial things were inwoven with her deepest life.”
Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth
“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, The Age of Innocence
“A classic is classic not because it conforms to certain structural rules, or fits certain definitions (of which its author had quite probably never heard). It is classic because of a certain eternal and irrepressible freshness.”
Edith Wharton
“His whole future seemed suddenly to be unrolled before him; and passing down its endless emptiness he saw the dwindling figure of a man to whom nothing was ever to happen.”
Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence
“They are all alike you know. They hold their tongues for years and you think you're safe, but when the opportunity comes they remember everything.”
Edith Wharton

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