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Kate Douglas Wiggin

  • Aunt Celia is one of those persons who are born to command, and when they are thrown in contact with those who are born to be commanded all goes as merry as a marriage bell; otherwise not.

  • When, all at once, you find you have something precious you only dimly suspected was to be yours, you almost wish it hadn't come so soon.

  • ... the habit of generalizing from one particular, that mainstay of the cheap and obvious essayist, has rooted many fictions in the public eye. Nothing, for example can blot from my memory the profound, searching, and exhaustive analysis of a great nation which I learned in my small geography when I was a child, namely, 'The French are a gay and polite people fond of dancing and light wines.'

  • Why is it that the people with whom one loves to be silent are also the very ones with whom one loves to talk?

  • An open fire makes such delightful silences, if you ever noticed. When you sit in a room without it, the gaps in the conversation make everybody seem dull; the last comer rises with embarrassment and thinks he must be going, and you wish that some one would say the next thing and keep the ball rolling. The open fire arranges all these little matters with a perfect tact and grace all its own. It is acknowledged to be the centre of attention, and the people gathered about it are only supernumeraries. It blazes and crackles and snaps cheerfully, the logs break and fall, the coals glow and fade and glow again, and the dull man can always poke the fire if his wit desert him.

  • Some folks mistakes all they see for all there is.

    • Kate Douglas Wiggin,
    • title story, The Village Watch-Tower ()
  • You may have noted the fact that it is a person's virtues as often as his vices that make him difficult to live with.

    • Kate Douglas Wiggin,
    • "The Midnight Cry," The Village Watch-Tower ()
  • Punctuality is a praiseworthy virtue enough, but as the years went on, Mrs. Todd blew her breakfast horn at so early an hour that the neighbors were in some doubt as to whether it might not herald the supper of the day before. They also predicted that she would have her funeral before she was fairly dead ...

    • Kate Douglas Wiggin,
    • "The Midnight Cry," The Village Watch-Tower ()
  • ... she had been born with the bit in her teeth. Jerry had never done anything he wanted to since he had married her, and he hadn't really wanted to do that.

    • Kate Douglas Wiggin,
    • "The Midnight Cry," The Village Watch-Tower ()
  • ... there is nothing so debilitating to a naturally weak sense of humor as selling tickets behind a grating ...

  • Lord, I do not ask that Thou shouldst give me wealth; only show me where it is, and I will attend to the rest.

  • The snows of seventy winters powder his hair and beard.

  • ... when Riverboro fell into a habit of thought or speech, it saw no reason for falling out of it; at any rate, in the same century.

  • ... they had settled down and invited fate to do its worst, an invitation which was promptly accepted.

  • ... you allers was soft, and you allers will be. If 't wa'n't for me keeping you stiffened up, I b'lieve you'd leak out o' the house into the dooryard.

  • ... she ... kind o' heaves benefits at your head, same's she would bricks; but they're benefits just the same ...

  • Bear figs for a season or two, and the world outside the orchard is very unwilling you should bear thistles.

  • She passed in only two subjects ... intending to let the stream of education play gently over her mental surfaces and not get any wetter than she could help.

  • From her earliest childhood words had always been to her what dolls and toys are to other children. ... a beautiful word or sentence had the same effect upon her imagination as a fragrant nosegay, a strain of music, or a brilliant sunset.

  • Father doesn't think very sudden, but he thinks awful strong.

  • To make my diary a little different I am going to call it a Thought Book ... I have thoughts that I never can use unlesss I write them down, for Aunt Miranda always says, Keep your thoughts to yourself.

  • We had the wrath of God four times in sermons this last summer, but God cannot be angry all the time, — nobody could, especially in summer ...

  • Her life had not been pressed down full to the brim of pleasures, and she had a sort of distrust of joy in the bud. Not until she saw it in full radiance of bloom did she dare embrace it.

  • 'Come close! Look at mother! Is she better — or is she dead?' ... 'She is better!' he said gently, 'and she is dead.'

  • ... you can never prove God; you can only find Him!

  • Most of all the other beautiful things in life come by twos and threes, by dozens and hundreds. Plenty of roses, stars, sunsets, rainbows, brothers and sisters, aunts and cousins, comrades and friends — but only one mother in the whole world.

    • Kate Douglas Wiggin,
    • in The Hotel Monthly ()
  • The world is always a new plaything to children, while to the old it seems falling to pieces from sheer dryness. Everything loses its value with time, but it is not the fault of the fruit, but of the mouth and the tongue.

  • One cannot see callers, answer the telephone, go to luncheons or dinners, visit the dentist or shoemaker, address charitable organizations in or from a bed; therefore a bed, in my experience, is simply bristling with ideas.

  • If I haven't anything to write, I am just as anxious to 'take my pen in hand' as though I had a message to deliver, a cause to plead, or a problem to unfold. Nothing but writing rests me; only then do I seem completely myself!

  • ... pictures made in childhood are painted in bright hues ...

  • There are some who possess the magic touch, the infectious spirit of enthusiasm; who have the same effect as a beautiful morning that never reaches noon. Under this spell one's mind is braced, one's spirit recreated; one is ready for any adventure, even if it only be the doing of the next distasteful task light-heartedly.

    • Kate Douglas Wiggin,
    • in Alice Hegan Rice, My Pillow Book ()

Kate Douglas Wiggin, U.S. writer, educator

(1856 - 1923)

Full name: Kate Douglas Smith Wiggin.