Washington Irving

Washington Irving

Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859) was an American short story writer, essayist, biographer, historian, and diplomat of the early 19th century. He is best known for his short stories "Rip Van Winkle" (1819) and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (1820), both of which appear in his book The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. Irving served as the U.S. ambassador to Spain from 1842 to 1846.

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The natural principle of war is to do the most harm to our enemy with the least harm to ourselves, and this of course is to be effected by stratagem.

Kindness in women not their beauteous looks shall win my love.

Some minds seem almost to create themselves springing up under every disadvantage and working their solitary but irresistible way through a thousand obstacles.

Rising genius always shoots out its rays from among the clouds but these will gradually roll away and disappear as it ascends to its steady luster.

A sharp tongue is the only edge tool that grows keener with constant use.

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.

The easiest thing to do whenever you fail is to put yourself down by blaming your lack of ability for your misfortunes.

Young lawyers attend the courts not because they have business there but because they have no business.

They who drink beer will think beer.

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.

There is certain relief in change even though it be from bad to worse! As I have often found in traveling in a stagecoach that it is often a comfort to shift one's position and be bruised in a new place.

The natural effect of sorrow over the dead is to refine and elevate the mind.

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the 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.

Marriage is the torment of one the felicity of two the strife and enmity of three.

Honest good humor is the oil and wine of a merry meeting and there is no jovial companionship equal to that where the jokes are rather small and laughter abundant.

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.

There is a healthful hardiness about real dignity that never dreads contact and communion with others however humble.

Who ever hears of fat men heading a riot or herding together in turbulent mobs? No - no your lean hungry men who are continually worrying society and setting the whole community by the ears.

It is not poverty so much as pretense that harasses a ruined man - the struggle between a proud mind and an empty purse - the keeping up of a hollow show that must soon come to an end.

The idol of today pushes the hero of yesterday out of our recollection, and will in turn be supplanted by his successor of tomorrow.

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