Quotes by Robert Louis Stevenson

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Robert Louis (Balfour) Stevenson (November 13 1850 - December 3 1894), was a Scottish novelist, poet, and travel writer, and a leading representative of Neo-romanticism in English literature. He was the man who "seemed to pick the right word up on the point of his pen, like a man playing spillikins", as G. K. Chesterton put it. He was also greatly admired by many authors such as Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling, Vladimir Nabokov and others. Most modernist writers dismissed him, however, because he was popular and did not write within their narrow definition of literature. It is only recently that critics have begun to look beyond Stevenson's popularity and allow him a place in the canon. more

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Everybody, soon or late, sits down to a banquet of consequences.

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.
You could read Kant by yourself, if you wanted; but you must share a joke with some one else.
I never weary of great churches. It is my favorite kind of mountain scenery. Mankind was never so happily inspired as when it made a cathedral.
Perpetual devotion to what a man calls his business, is only to be sustained by perpetual neglect of many other things.
Each has his own tree of ancestors, but at the top of all sits Probably Arboreal.
Man is a creature who lives not upon bread alone, but principally by catch words.
Old and young, we are all on our last cruise.
We advance in years somewhat in the manner of an invading army in a barren land; the age that we have reached, as the saying goes, we but hold with an outpost, and still keep open communications with the extreme rear and first beginnings of the march.
As if a man's soul were not too small to begin with, they have dwarfed and narrowed theirs by a life of all work and no play; until here they are at forty, with a listless attention, a mind vacant of all material of amusement, and not one thought to rub against another, while they wait for the train.
Is the house not homely yet? There let pleasant thoughts be set: With bright eyes and hurried feet, There let severed friendships meet, There let sorrow learn to smile, And sweet talk the nights beguile.
For there is something in marriage so natural and inviting, that the step has an air of great simplicity and ease; it offers to bury forever many aching preoccupations; it is to afford us unfailing and familiar company through life; it opens up a smiling prospect of the blest and passive kind of love, rather than the blessing and active; it is approached not only through the delights of courtship, but by a public performance and repeated legal signatures. A man naturally thinks it will go hard with him if he cannot be good and fortunate and happy within such august circumvallations.
Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down. And this is all that life really means.
Every one lives by selling something, whatever be his right to it.
There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.
In winter I get up at night And dress by yellow candle-light. In summer, quite the other way, I have to go to bed by day.
People are afraid of war and wounds and dentists, all with excellent reason; but these are not to be compared with such chaotic terrors of the mind as fell on this young man, and made him cover his eyes from the innocent morning.
Small is the trust when love is green In sap of early years; A little thing steps in between And kisses turn to tears. A while--and see how love be grown In loveliness and power! A while, it loves the sweets alone, But next it loves the sour.
Whether we like it, or don't There's a sort of bond in the fact That we all by one master were taught, By one master were bullied and whackt. And now all the more when we see Our class in so shrunken a state And we, who were seventy-two, Diminished to seven or eight.
Hail, guest, and enter freely! All you see Is, for your momentary visit, yours; and we Who welcome you, are but the guests of God And know not our departure.
Any overt act, above all, is felt to be alchemic in its power to change. A drunkard takes the pledge; it will be strange if that does not help him. For how many years did Mr. Pepys continue to make and break his little vows? And yet I have not heard that he was discouraged in the end.