Edith Wharton Quotes

Most popular Edith Wharton Quotes

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.

habit

My little old dog:
A heart-beat at my feet.

dogs

Half the trouble in life is caused by pretending there isn't any.

trouble

True originality consists not in a new manner but in a new vision.

originality

One cares so little for the style in which one's praises are written.

praise

Traditions that have lost their meaning are the hardest of all to destroy.

tradition

Life is always either a tight-rope or a featherbed.  Give me the featherbed.

life

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.
— Edith Wharton

wisdom inspirational how to live life

She wanted to get away from herself, and conversation was the only means of escape that she knew.

conversation

No insect hangs its nest on threads as frail as those which will sustain the weight of human vanity.

vanity

Archer hung a moment on a thin thread of memory, but it snapped and floated off with the disappearing face.

memory

Ah, good conversation—there's nothing like it, is there?  The air of ideas is the only air worth breathing.

conversation ideas

As the pain that can be told is but half a pain, so the pity that questions has little healing in its touch.
When people ask for time, it's always for time to say no.  Yes has one more letter in it, but it doesn't take half as long to say.

decision-making

In the dissolution of sentimental partnerships it is seldom that both associates are able to withdraw their funds at the same time.

divorce

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
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 at any subject cross like interarching searchlights.

sense of humor irony

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.

opera

Mrs. Ballinger is one of the ladies who pursue Culture in bands, as though it were dangerous to meet alone. To this end she had founded the Lunch Club, an association composed of herself and several other indomitable huntresses of erudition.
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

aging

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.

happiness

In spite of illness, in spite even of the arch-enemy 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.

illness old age curiosity

The first glance to see how many pages there are – the second to see how it ends & then the return to the beginning, the breathless first reading, the slow lingering over each phrase & each word, the taking possession, the absorbing of them one by one, & finally the choosing of the one that will be carried in one's thoughts all day.