Edith Wharton Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 248 quotes)
Well--there it was, and the fault was doubtless neither hers nor his, but that of the world they had grown up in, of their own moral contempt for it and physical dependence on it, of his half-talents and her half-principles, of the something in them both that was not stout enough to resist nor yet pliant enough to yield.
But she saw that his eyes, which were sand-colored like his face, and sandy-lashed, had found another occupation. They were fixed on Conchita Closson, who sat opposite to him; they rested on her unblinkingly, immovably, as if she had been a natural object, a landscape or a cathedral, that one had traveled far to see, and had the right to look at as long as one chose. He's drinking her up like blotting paper. I thought they were better brought up over in England!
It was amusement enough to be with a group of fearless and talkative girls, who said new things in a new language, who were ignorant of tradition and unimpressed by distinctions of rank; but it was soon clear that their young hostesses must be treated with the same respect, if not with the same ceremony as English girls of good family.
To read is not a virtue; but to read well is an art, and an art that only the born reader can acquire. The gift of reading is no exception to the rule that all natural gifts need to be cultivated by practice and discipline; but unless the innate aptitude exist the training will be wasted. It is the delusion of the mechanical reader to think that intentions may take the place of aptitude.
And he felt himself oppressed by this creation of factitious purity, so cunningly manufactured by a conspiracy of mothers and aunts and grandmothers and long-dead ancestresses, because it was supposed to be what he wanted, what he had a right to, in order that he might exercise his lordly pleasure in smashing it like an image made of snow.
Their voices rose and fell, like the murmuring of two fountains answering each other across a garden full of flowers. At length, with a certain tender impatience, he turned to her and said: 'Love, why should we linger here? All eternity lies before us. Let us go down into that beautiful country together and make a home for ourselves on some blue hill above the shining river'.