Robert Louis Stevenson
Quotations


Some people swallow the universe like a pill; they travel on through the world, like smiling images pushed from behind.

Books are good enough in their own way, but they are a mighty bloodless substitute for life.

Perpetual devotion to what a man calls his business is only to be sustained by neglect of many other things.

Everyone lives by selling something, whatever be his right to it.

I never weary of great churches. It is my favourite kind of mountain scenery. Mankind was never so happily inspired as when it made a cathedral.

Man is a creature who lives not upon bread alone, but principally by catchwords.

There is a fellowship more quiet even than solitude, and which, rightly understood, is solitude made perfect.

You can forgive people who do not follow you through a philosophical disquisition; but to find your wife laughing when you had tears in your eyes, or staring when you were in a fit of laughter, would go some way towards a dissolution of the marriage.

There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.

Our business in this world is not to succeed, but to continue to fail, in good spirits.

So long as we are loved by others I should say that we are almost indispensable; and no man is useless while he has a friend.

The very flexibility and ease which make men's friendships so agreeable while they endure, make them the easier to destroy and forget. And a man who has a few friends, or one who has a dozen (if there be any one so wealthy on this earth), cannot forget on how precarious a base his happiness reposes; and how by a stroke or two of fate--a death, a few light words, a piece of stamped paper, a woman's bright eyes--he may be left, in a month, destitute of all.

It is the mark of a good action that it appears inevitable in retrospect.

A faculty for idleness implies a catholic appetite and a strong sense of personal identity.

To be wholly devoted to some intellectual exercise is to have succeeded in life.

The cruellest lies are often told in silence. A man may have sat in a room for hours and not opened his mouth, and yet come out of that room a disloyal friend or a vile calumniator.

Most of our pocket wisdom is conceived for the use of mediocre people, to discourage them from ambitious attempts, and generally console them in their mediocrity.

All speech, written or spoken, is a dead language, until it finds a willing and prepared hearer.

To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.

For God's sake give me the young man who has brains enough to make a fool of himself!



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