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Washington Irving quotes (showing 1-30 of 91)

“There is a sacredness in tears....They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition and of unspeakable love.”
Washington Irving
“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.”
Washington Irving
“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not a mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition and of unspeakable love.”
Washington Irving
“There is in every true woman's heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity; but which kindles up, and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.”
Washington Irving, The Sketch Book
“I profess not to know how women's hearts are wooed and won. To me they have always been matters of riddle and admiration.”
Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
“Great minds have purpose, others have wishes. Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortunes; but great minds rise above them.”
Washington Irving
“Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, it will flow back and soften and purify the heart.”
Washington Irving
“Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart. ”
Washington Irving
“Sweet is the memory of distant friends! Like the mellow rays of the departing sun, it falls tenderly, yet sadly, on the heart. ”
Washington Irving
“There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse; as I have found in traveling in a stage coach, that it is often a comfort to shift one's position and be bruised in a new place.”
Washington Irving, Tales of a Traveller
“Others may write from the head, but he writes from the heart, and the heart will always understand him.”
Washington Irving, the legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories
“ All these, however, were mere terrors of the night, phantoms of the mind that walk in darkness; and though he had seen many spectres in his time, and been more than once beset by Satan in divers shapes, in his lonely pre-ambulations, yet daylight put an end to all these evils; and he would have passed a pleasent life of it, in despite of the devil and all his works, if his path had not been crossed by a being that causes more perplexity to mortal man than ghosts, goblins, and the whole race of witches put together, and that was - a woman.”
Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
“A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles.”
Washington Irving
“A tart temper never mellows with age, and a sharp tongue is the only edged tool that grows keener with constant use.”
Washington Irving, Rip Van Winkle
“Great minds have purposes, others have wishes.”
Washington Irving
“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. Where is the mother who would willingly forget the infant that perished like a blossom from her arms, though every recollection is a pang? Where is the child that would willingly forget the most tender of parents, though to remember be but to lament? Who, even in the hour of agony, would forget the friend over whom he mourns? Who, even when the tomb is closing upon the remains of her he most loved, when he feels his heart, as it were, crushed in the closing of its portal, would accept of consolation that must be bought by forgetfulness? No, the love which survives the tomb is one of the noblest attributes of the soul. If it has its woes, it has likewise its delights; and when the overwhelming burst of grief is calmed into the gentle tear of recollection, when the sudden anguish and the convulsive agony over the present ruins of all that we most loved are softened away in pensive meditation on all that it was in the days of its loveliness - who would root out such a sorrow from the heart? Though it may sometimes throw a passing cloud over the bright hour of gaiety, or spread a deeper sadness over the hour of gloom, yet who would exchange it even for the song of pleasure, or the burst of revelry? No, there is a voice from the tomb sweeter than song. There is a remembrance of the dead to which we turn even from the charms of the living. Oh, the grave! The grave! It buries every error - covers every defect - extinguishes every resentment! From its peaceful bosom spring none but fond regrets and tender recollections.”
Washington Irving
“Surely happiness is reflective, like the light of heaven; and every countenance, bright with smiles, and glowing with innocent enjoyment, is a mirror transmitting to others the rays of a supreme and ever-shining benevolence.”
Washington Irving, Old Christmas
“I profess not to know how women’s hearts are wooed and won. To me they have always been matters of riddle and admiration. Some seem to have but one vulnerable point, or door of access; while others have a thousand avenues, and may be captured in a thousand different ways. It is a great triumph of skill to gain the former, but a still greater proof of generalship to maintain possession of the latter, for man must battle for his fortress at every door and window. He who wins a thousand common hearts is therefore entitled to some renown; but he who keeps undisputed sway over the heart of a coquette is indeed a hero.”
Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
“And if unhappy in her love, her heart is like some fortress that has been captured, and sacked, and abandoned, and left desolate...”
Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories
“To look upon its grass grown yard, where the sunbeams seem to sleep so quietly, one would think that there at least the dead might rest in peace.”
Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
“The scholar only knows how dear these silent, yet eloquent, companions of pure thoughts and innocent hours become in the season of adversity. When all that is worldly turns to dross around us, these only retain their steady value.”
Washington Irving
“There are certain half-dreaming moods of mind in which we naturally steal away from noise and glare, and seek some quiet haunt where we may indulge our reveries and build our air castles undisturbed.”
Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories
“after a man passes 60 , his mischief is mainly in his head”
Washington Irving
“Sometimes he spent hours together in the great libraries of Paris, those catacombs of departed authors, rummaging among their hoards of dusty and obsolete works in quest of food for his unhealthy appetite. He was, in a manner, a literary ghoul, feeding in the charnel-house of decayed literature.”
Washington Irving, Tales of a Traveller
“Some minds corrode and grow inactive under the loss of personal liberty; others grow morbid and irritable; but it is the nature of the poet to become tender and imaginitive in the loneliness of confinement. He banquets upon the honey of his own thoughts, and, like the captive bird, pours forth his soul in melody.”
Washington Irving, The Sketch Book
“and he would have passed a pleasant life of it, in despite of the Devil and all his works, if his path had not been crossed by a being that causes more perplexity to mortal man than ghosts, goblins, and the whole race of witches put together, and that was—a woman.”
Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness but of power. They are messengers of overwhelming grief and of unspeakable love.”
Washington Irving
“There is a sacredness in tears. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.”
Washington Irving
“There is a serene and settled majesty to woodland scenery that enters into the soul and delights and elevates it, and fills it with noble inclinations.”
Washington Irving
“There is a sacredness in tears”
Washington Irving

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