Coping the quote
26+ quotes from The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington

Quotes from The Magnificent Ambersons

Booth Tarkington ·  288 pages

Rating: (8.6K votes)


“Gossip is never fatal until it is denied. Gossip goes on about every human being alive and about all the dead that are alive enough to be remembered, and yet almost never does any harm until some defender makes a controversy. Gossip's a nasty thing, but it's sickly, and if people of good intentions will let it entirely alone, it will die, ninety-nine times out of a hundred.”
― Booth Tarkington, quote from The Magnificent Ambersons


“Whatever does not pretend at all has style enough.”
― Booth Tarkington, quote from The Magnificent Ambersons


“Mothers see the angel in us because the angel is there. If it's shown to the mother, the son has got an angel to show, hasn't he? When a son cuts somebody's throat the mother only sees it's possible for a misguided angel to act like a devil - and she's entirely right about that!”
― Booth Tarkington, quote from The Magnificent Ambersons


“There aren't any old times. When times are gone they're not old, they're dead! There aren't any times but new times!”
― Booth Tarkington, quote from The Magnificent Ambersons


“No doubt it is true that there is more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner repented than over all the saints who consistently remain holy, and the rare, sudden gentlenesses of arrogant people have infinitely more effect than the continual gentleness of gentle people. Arrogance turned gentle melts the heart.”
― Booth Tarkington, quote from The Magnificent Ambersons


“I'm not sure he's wrong about automobiles," he said. "With all their speed forward they may be a step backward in civilization -- that is, in spiritual civilization. It may be that they will not add to the beauty of the world, nor to the life of men's souls.”
― Booth Tarkington, quote from The Magnificent Ambersons


“Nobody has a good name in a bad mouth. Nobody has a good name in a silly mouth either. ”
― Booth Tarkington, quote from The Magnificent Ambersons


“Some day the laws of glamour must be discovered, because they are so important that the world would be wiser now if Sir Isaac Newton had been hit on the head, not by an apple, but by a young lady.”
― Booth Tarkington, quote from The Magnificent Ambersons


“My theory on literature is an author who does not indulge in trashiness-writes about people you could introduce into your own home...he did not care to read a book or go to a play about people he would not care to meet at his own dinner table. I believe we should live by certain standards and ideals...”
― Booth Tarkington, quote from The Magnificent Ambersons


“Youth cannot imagine romance apart from youth. That is why the roles of the heroes and heroines of plays are given by the managers to the most youthful actors they can find among the competent.”
― Booth Tarkington, quote from The Magnificent Ambersons


“Like so many women for whom money has always been provided without their understanding how, she was prepared to be a thorough and irresponsible plunger.”
― Booth Tarkington, quote from The Magnificent Ambersons


“...at twenty-one or twenty-two so many things appear solid and permanent and terrible which forty sees are nothing but disappearing miasma. Forty can't tell twenty about this; that's the pity of it! Twenty can find out only by getting to be forty.”
― Booth Tarkington, quote from The Magnificent Ambersons


“I mean the things that we have and that we think are so solid—they're like smoke, and time is like the sky that the smoke disappears into. You know how wreath of smoke goes up from a chimney, and seems all thick and black and busy against the sky, as if it were going to do such important things and last forever, and you see it getting thinner and thinner—and then, in such a little while, it isn't there at all; nothing is left but the sky, and the sky keeps on being just the same forever.”
― Booth Tarkington, quote from The Magnificent Ambersons


“We debate sometimes what is to be the future of this nation when we think that in a few years public affairs may be in the hands of the fin-de-siecle gilded youths we see about us during the Christmas holidays. Such foppery, such luxury, such insolence,was surely never practiced by the scented, overbearing patricians of the Palatine, even in Rome's most decadent epoch. In all the wild orgy of wastefulness and luxury with which the nineteenth century reaches its close, the gilded youth has been surely the worst symptom.”
― Booth Tarkington, quote from The Magnificent Ambersons


“For, although Georgie's pomposities and impudence in the little school were often almost unbearable, the teachers were fascinated by him. They did not like him—he was too arrogant for that—but he kept them in such a state of emotion that they thought more about him than they did about all of the other ten pupils. The emotion he kept them in was usually one resulting from injured self-respect,”
― Booth Tarkington, quote from The Magnificent Ambersons


“The Major's wife and the daughter's been to Europe, and my wife tells me since they got back they make tea there every afternoon about five o'clock, and drink it. Seems to me it would go against a person's stomach, just before supper like that, and anyway tea isn't fit for much—not unless you're sick or something.”
― Booth Tarkington, quote from The Magnificent Ambersons


“The idealists planned and strove and shouted that their city should become a better, better, and better city—and what they meant, when they used the word "better," was "more prosperous," and the core of their idealism was this: "The more prosperous my beloved city, the more prosperous beloved I!" They had one supreme theory: that the perfect beauty and happiness of cities and of human life was to be brought about by more factories; they had a mania for factories; there was nothing they would not do to cajole a factory away from another city; and they were never more piteously embittered than when another city cajoled one away from them.”
― Booth Tarkington, quote from The Magnificent Ambersons


“In the days before deathly contrivances hustled them through their lives, and when they had no telephones—another ancient vacancy profoundly responsible for leisure—they had time for everything: time to think, to talk, time to read, time to wait for a lady!”
― Booth Tarkington, quote from The Magnificent Ambersons


“It is the liveliest time in life, the happiest of the irresponsible times in life. Mothers echo its happiness—nothing is like a mother who has a son home from college, except another mother with a son home from college. Bloom does actually come upon these mothers; it is a visible thing; and they run like girls, walk like athletes, laugh like sycophants. Yet they give up their sons to the daughters of other mothers, and find it proud rapture enough to be allowed to sit and watch.”
― Booth Tarkington, quote from The Magnificent Ambersons


“Both middle-aged people and young people enjoy a play about young lovers; but only middle-aged people will tolerate a play about middle-aged lovers; young people will not come to see such a play, because, for them, middle-aged lovers are a joke—not a very funny one.”
― Booth Tarkington, quote from The Magnificent Ambersons


“Nothing stays or holds or keeps where there is growth, he somehow perceived vaguely but truly. Great Caesar dead and turned to clay stopped no hole to keep the wind away. Dead Caesar was nothing but a tiresome bit of print in a book that schoolboys study for awhile and then forget. The Ambersons had passed, and the new people would pass, and the new people that came after them, and then the next new ones, and the next—and the next—”
― Booth Tarkington, quote from The Magnificent Ambersons


“In the days before deathly contrivances hustled them through their lives, and when they had no telephones- they had time for everything: time to think, time to talk, time to read,time to wait for a lady!”
― Booth Tarkington, quote from The Magnificent Ambersons


“Got 'ny sense! See here, bub, does your mother know you're out?”
― Booth Tarkington, quote from The Magnificent Ambersons


“Magnificence, like the size of a fortune, is always comparative, as even Magnificent Lorenzo may now perceive, if he has happened to haunt New York in 1916; and the Ambersons were magnificent in their day and place. Their”
― Booth Tarkington, quote from The Magnificent Ambersons


“My wife says Ambersons don’t make lettuce salad the way other people do; they don’t chop it up with sugar and vinegar at all. They pour olive oil on it with their vinegar, and they have it separate—not along with the rest of the meal. And they eat these olives, too: green things they are, something like a hard plum, but a friend of mine told me they tasted a good deal like a bad hickory-nut. My wife says she’s going to buy some; you got to eat nine and then you get to like ‘em, she says.”
― Booth Tarkington, quote from The Magnificent Ambersons


“Age, confused by its own long accumulation of follies, is everlastingly inquiring, “What does she see in him?” as if young love came about through thinking—or through conduct.”
― Booth Tarkington, quote from The Magnificent Ambersons


About the author

Booth Tarkington
Born place: in Indianapolis, Indiana, The United States
Born date July 29, 1869
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