portrait of Washington Irving
Daguerreotype (circa 1855)

All archives
Previous Issue (2 April 2004) | Current month | Next Issue (4 April 2004)

Quotes of the Day for 3 April 2004 – Washington Irving

Washington Irving was born at New York City on this day in 1783. Here are a few thoughts from the creator of Rip Van Winkle and the legend of the headless horseman.

Van's signature

You will find an expanded profile, photo, additional biographical links, and all quotes from this author on the author's Notable Quotable page.

The quotes:

A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles.

If ... I can by any lucky chance, in these days of evil, rub out one wrinkle from the brow of care, or beguile the heavy heart of one moment of sorrow; if I can now and then penetrate through the gathering film of misanthropy, prompt a benevolent view of human nature, and make my reader more in good humor with his fellow beings and himself, surely, surely, I shall not then have written entirely in vain.

In civilized life, where the happiness, and indeed almost the existence, of man depends so much upon the opinion of his fellow men, he is constantly acting a studied part.

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

Whenever a man's friends begin to compliment him about looking young, he may be sure that they think he is growing old.

Who ever hears of fat men heading a riot, or herding together in turbulent mobs? No, no, 'tis your lean, hungry men who are continually worrying society, and setting the whole community by the ears.
     - All from Washington Irving, 1783 - 1859

Do you see an error on this page? A typo, a character that is messed up, a misattribution? Please let us know!