Inspiration and wisdom from divine felines

270 Inspiring Quotes by Robert Louis Stevenson

  • Last updated Jul 26 2021

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Wikipedia Summary for Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson (born Robert Lewis Balfour Stevenson; 13 November 1850 – 3 December 1894) was a Scottish novelist, essayist, poet and travel writer. He is best known for works such as Treasure Island, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Kidnapped and A Child's Garden of Verses.

Born and educated in Edinburgh, Stevenson suffered from serious bronchial trouble for much of his life, but continued to write prolifically and travel widely in defiance of his poor health. As a young man, he mixed in London literary circles, receiving encouragement from Andrew Lang, Edmund Gosse, Leslie Stephen and W. E. Henley, the last of whom may have provided the model for Long John Silver in Treasure Island. In 1890, he settled in Samoa where, alarmed at increasing European and American influence in the South Sea islands, his writing turned away from romance and adventure toward a darker realism. He died in his island home in 1894.\n\nA celebrity in his lifetime, Stevenson's critical reputation has fluctuated since his death, though today his works are held in general acclaim. In 2018 he was ranked, just behind Charles Dickens, as the 26th-most-translated author in the world.


landscape photography of waves and clouds

The less I understood of this farrago, the less I was in a position to judge of its importance.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

yellow flower field near bare trees during daytime

There can be no fairer ambition than to excel in talk; to be affable, gay, ready, clear, and welcome.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

mountains covered with fog

Keep your eyes open to your mercies. The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

white flowers

Fear is the strong passion; it is with fear that you must trifle, if you wish to taste the intensest joys of living.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

silhouette photography of person in gray sailing boat in the middle of body of water

It was no longer the fear of the gallows, it was the horror of being Hyde that racked me.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

rocky mountain

Quiet minds can't be perplexed or frightened, but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

sea of white clouds

Dogs live with man as courtiers 'round a monarch, steeped in the flattery of his notice ... to push their favor in this world of pickings and caresses is, perhaps, the business of their lives.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

brown textile

Part 2. To feel the needs and hitches of our life more nearly; to come down off this feather-bed of civilization, and find the globe granite underfoot and strewn with cutting flints.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

silhouette of mountains under blue sky during daytime

To be overwise is to ossify; and the scruple-monger ends by standing stockstill.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

bird's eye view photography of trees and body of water

Once I guessed right, And I got credit by't; Thrice I guessed wrong, And I kept my credit on.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


clear wine glass with red wine

You cannot run away from weakness; you must some time fight it out or perish; and if that be so, why not now, and where you stand?

--Robert Louis Stevenson


brown mountain at nighttime

With a strong strong glow of courage, drank off the potion.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

three clear glass cups

Lastly (and this is, perhaps, the golden rule), no woman should marry a man who does not smoke.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

leafless tree under gray sky

Idleness so called, which does not consist in doing nothing, but in doing a great deal not recognized in the dogmatic formularies of the ruling class, has as good a right to state its position as industry itself.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


blue and white painted wall

No human being ever spoke of scenery for above two minutes at a time, which makes me suspect that we hear too much of it in literature.

--Robert Louis Stevenson



close-up photograph of black dreadnought acoustic guitar

Good and evil are so close as to be chained together in the soul.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

None

In anything fit to be called by the name of reading, the process itself should be absorbing and voluptuous; we should gloat over a book, be rapt clean out of ourselves.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

Arizona landscape rain

Even if the doctor does not give you a year, even if he hesitates about a month, make one brave push and see what can be accomplished in a week.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

low angle view of blue clouds

Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.

--Robert Louis Stevenson



empty gray carpet

I sat in the sun on a bench; the animal within me licking the chops of memory; the spiritual side a little drowsed, promising subsequent penitence, but not yet moved to begin.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

blue and white abstract painting

An aspiration is a joy forever, a possession as solid as a landed estate, a fortune which we can never exhaust and which gives us year by year a revenue of pleasurable activity.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

long-coated white and brown puppy

When we look in to the long avenue of the future, and see the good there is for each one of us to do, we realize, after all, what a beautiful thing it is to work, and to live, and to be happy.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


person on road at sunset

From time to time, talk becomes effective, conquering like war, widening like boundaries of knowledge like an exploration.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


blue and white abstract painting

For the forest takes away from you all excuse to die. There is nothing here to cabin or thwart your free desires. Here all impudences of the brawling world reach you no more.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


landscape photography of forest

Going for character: why not now, and where you stand?

--Robert Louis Stevenson



yellow and green forest during daytime

To cast in it with Hyde was to die a thousand interests and aspirations.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

Arizona landscape

The person who has stopped being thankful has fallen asleep in life.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

landscape photo of waters, mountains, and black clouds

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

--Robert Louis Stevenson


woman in white and black stripe long sleeve shirt standing beside brown concrete building during daytime

Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

black Corona typewriter on brown wood planks

For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

purple flowers under sunny sky

The rain is falling all around, It falls on field and tree, It rains on the umbrellas here, And on the ships at sea. -- Rain.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

water on seashore

The little rift between the sexes is astonishingly widened by simply teaching one set of catchwords to the girls and another to the boys.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


brown chopped logs

If you would grow great and stately,
You must try to walk sedately.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

silhouette photography of person in gray sailing boat in the middle of body of water

By the time a man gets well into his seventies his continued existence is a mere miracle.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

silhouette photo of mountain during night time

Man is not truly one, but truly two even if I could rightly be said to be either, it was only because I was radically both.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


silhouette of children's running on hill

Every man is his own doctor of divinity, in the last resort.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

sealion surrounded by rocks during daytime

Fifteen men on the Dead Man's Chest Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum! Drink and the devil had done for the rest Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!

--Robert Louis Stevenson

Arizona landscape pines

It is a better thing by far that the lad should break his neck, than that you should break his spirit.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


group of camels walking on desert lake at daytime

Lastly no woman should marry a teetotaller, or a man who does not smoke. It is not for nothing that this "ignoble tobagie" as Michelet calls it, spreads all over the world.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


person on road at sunset

I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both; and I believe they both get paid in the end; but the fools first.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

brown sand under blue sky during daytime

The true wisdom is to be always seasonable, and to change with a good grace in changing circumstances.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


cumulus clouds

To forget oneself is to be happy.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

flower garden

Live life to the fullest.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

lights

Give us courage and gaiety and the quient mind.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

black sailing boat digital wallpaper

In the harsh face of life faith can read a bracing gospel.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

black fawn pug playing with plush toy

Suicide carried off many. Drink and the devil took care of the rest.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

red flower in shallow focus lens

To the old our mouths are always partly closed; we must swallow our obvious retorts and listen. They sit above our heads, on life's raised dais, and appeal at once to our respect and pity.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

black dragonfly perched on green grass in close up photography during daytime

One more touch of the bow, smell of the virginal Green -- one more, and my bosom Feels new life with an ecstasy.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

focused photo of a red rose

You must suffer me to go my own dark way.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

A white stripe pattern made up of concrete facade ribs

Everyday courage has few witnesses. But yours is no less noble because no drum beats for you and no crowds shout your name.

--Robert Louis Stevenson





pink rose in close up photography

It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

three people paddling in canoe

Everyone lives by selling something.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

silhouette of woman during sunset

Age may have one side, but assuredly Youth has the other. There is nothing more certain than that both are right, except perhaps that both are wrong.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

blue flower in close up photography

Sightseeing is the art of disappointment.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


black sailing boat digital wallpaper

Bright is the ring of words When the right man rings them.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

photo of gray elephant on grass

Make up your mind to be happy. Learn to find pleasure in simple things.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

black dog photography

A friend is a gift you give yourself.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

pink-petaled rose flower

There is a romance about all those who are abroad in the black hours.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

None

It was for one minute that I saw him, but the hair stood upon my head like quills. Sir, if that was my master, why had he a mask upon his face?

--Robert Louis Stevenson

cluster of stars in the sky

In every part and corner of our life, to lose oneself is to be a gainer; to forget oneself is to be happy.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


blue sky with white clouds

It is perhaps a more fortunate destiny to have a taste for collecting shells than to be born a millionaire.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


silhouette of mountain under blue sky during daytime

If a man lives to any considerable age, it can not be denied that he laments his imprudences, but I notice he often laments his youth a deal more bitterly and with a more genuine intonation.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

red flower in shallow focus lens

The fact is, we are much more afraid of life than our ancestors, and cannot find it inourhearts either tomarry or not tomarry.Marriage isterrifying, but so is a cold and forlorn old age.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

boat on sea far away from island

Fiction is to grown men what play is to the child.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

Longer Version:

Fiction is to the grown man what play is to the child; it is there that he changes the atmosphere and tenor of his life.


white wall paint with black shadow

An intelligent person, looking out of his eyes and hearkening in his ears, with a smile on his face all the time, will get more true education than many another in a life of heroic vigils.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

Longer Version:

An intelligent person, looking out of his eyes and hearkening in his ears, with a smile on his face all the time, will get more true education than many another in a life of heroic vigils".


person standing on rock beside body of water between green trees

Well, well, Henry James is pretty good, though he is of the nineteenth century, and that glaringly.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

calm body of water near alp mountains during nighttime

I had learned to dwell with pleasure, as a beloved daydream, on the thought of the separation of these elements.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

Longer Version:

I had learned to dwell with pleasure as a beloved daydream on the thought of the separation of these elements. If each I told myself could be housed in separate identities life would be relieved of all that was unbearable the unjust might go his way delivered from the aspirations and remorse of his more upright twin and the just could walk steadfastly and securely on his upward path doing the good things in which he found his pleasure and no longer exposed to disgrace and penitence by the hands of this extraneous evil.


sunset

I am told there are people who do not care for maps, and I find it hard to believe.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


lightning strike at night

Extreme busyness, whether at school or college, kirk or market, is a symptom of deficient vitality.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

pet dog sitting down on snow

The world has no room for cowards.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

Longer Version:

The world has no room for cowards. We must all be ready somehow to toil, to suffer, to die.



clear wine glass with red wine

A birdie with a yellow bill Hoped upon the window sill, Cocked his shining eye and said: 'Ain't you 'shamed, you sleepy-'ead?

--Robert Louis Stevenson

red moon at night

But besides that I was of an unforgiving disposition from my birth, slow to take offense, slower to forget it, and now incensed both against my companion and myself.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

empty gray floor beside pool

The very flexibility and ease which make men's friendships so agreeable while they endure, make them the easier to destroy and forget.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

Longer Version:

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.


black mountain under blue sky during night time

Here then, as I lay down the pen and proceed to seal up my confession, I bring the life of that unhappy Henry Jekyll to an end.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

white boat on sea under white sky during daytime

You have no idea, unless you have tried it, how endlessly long is a summer's day, that you measure out only by hunger, and bring to an end only when you are drowsy.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


iceberg near mountain during day

All human beings are commingled out of good and evil.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


None

When a torrent sweeps a man against a boulder, you must expect him to scream, and you need not be surprised if the scream is sometimes a theory.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


blue and white water surface

Some places speak distinctly. Certain dark gardens cry aloud for a murder; certain old houses demand to be haunted; certain coasts are set apart for shipwreck.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


green trees beside body of water during daytime

The devil, depend upon it, can sometimes do a very gentlemanly thing.

--Robert Louis Stevenson



brown mountain

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

--Robert Louis Stevenson

gray cactus plant on white pot

Everyday life is a stimulating mixture of order and haphazardry. The sun rises and sets on schedule but the wind bloweth where it listeth.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

pink and yellow flower painting

Jealousy is the most radical primeval and naked form of admiration in war paint, so to speak.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

long exposure photography of lights

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

--Robert Louis Stevenson


brown and gray brick wall

Half a capital and half a country town, the whole city leads a double existence; it has long trances of the one and flashes of the other; like the king of the Black Isles, it is half alive and half a monumental marble.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

silhouette photography of mountains

A good conscience is eight parts of courage.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

black fishes

If a man loves the labour of his trade, apart from any question of success or fame, the gods have called him.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


2 people riding on boat during sunset

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.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

river in the middle of green and yellow mountains

Marriage is one long conversation, chequered by disputes.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

silhouette of woman during sunset

We consume the carcasses of creatures of like appetites, passions and organs with our own, and fill the slaughterhouses daily with screams of pain and fear.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

group of camels walking on desert lake at daytime

When you first girded for this arduous track, and under various whimsical pretexts endowed another with your damned defects, could you have dreamed in your despondent vein.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

silhouette of trees near body of water during sunset

Love- what is love? A great and aching heart; Wrung hands; and silence; and a long despair.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


low angle photography of gray concrete building

The most beautiful adventures are not those we go to seek.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

toddlers standing outdoors

There is an idea abroad among moral people that they should make their neighbours good. One person I have to make good: myself.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

Longer Version:

There is an idea abroad among moral people that they should make their neighbors good. One person I have to make good: Myself. But my duty to my neighbor is much more nearly expressed by saying that I have to make him happy if I may.


brown labrador puppy

The obscurest epoch is today.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

sunset forest

If he be Mr. Hyde" he had thought, "I shall be Mr. Seek.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


silhouette photography of wavy ocean

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

--Robert Louis Stevenson

white stars cutout on black surface with red string

Everyone who got where he is has had to begin where he was.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

close up shot of white flower

The habit of being happy enables one to be freed, or largely freed, from the domination of outward conditions.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


mountains under starry sky during nighttime

Keep busy at something: a busy person never has time to be unhappy.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

blue sky with stars during night time

A man finds he has been wrong at every stage of his career, only to deduce the astonishing conclusion that he is at last entirely right.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

silhouette of trees near body of water during sunset

You think those dogs will not be in heaven! I tell you they will be there long before any of us.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

None

The problem of education is twofold: first to know, and then to utter. Everyone who lives any semblance of an inner life thinks more nobly and profoundly than he speaks.

--Robert Louis Stevenson



road during night time

Mankind was never so happily inspired as when it made a cathedral: a thing as simple and specious as a statue to the first glance, and yet on examination, as lively and interesting as a forest in detail.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

gray concrete surface

In marriage, a man becomes slack and selfish, and undergoes a fatty degeneration of his moral being.

--Robert Louis Stevenson



silhouette of man looking towards left

And every day when I've been good, I get an orange after food.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

Blue to purple gradient

The difficulty of literature is not to write, but to write what you mean.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

Longer Version:

The difficulty of literature is not to write, but to write what you mean; not to affect your reader, but to affect him precisely as you wish.


pink and white flowers in tilt shift lens

No man is useless while he has a friend.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

man in black bubble hoodie looking at the stars

There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

man jumping on hill during golden hour

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

--Robert Louis Stevenson

Longer Version:

Man is a creature who lives not upon bread alone, but principally by catchwords; and the little rift between the sexes is astonishingly widened by simply teaching one set of catchwords to the girls and another to the boys.


brown rocky mountain under blue sky during daytime

To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

Longer Version:

To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labor.


body of water near mountains

Ice and iron cannot be welded.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

boy and cat in front of moon

A great part of life consists in contemplating what we cannot cure.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

brown and black tiger near body of water

Life is not a matter of holding good cards.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

forest with tall and green trees during daytime

Anyone can carry their burden, however hard, until nightfall. Anyone can do their work, however hard, for one day.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

Longer Version:

Anyone can carry his burden, however heavy, until nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, until the sun goes down. And this is all that life really means.


sunset

Every child can remember laying his head in the grass, staring into the infinitesimal forest and seeing it grow populous with fairy armies.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

close shot of yellow flowers

Make the most of the best and the least of the worst.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

photo of pine trees

We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


brown mountains under blue sky

Being happy enables you to be free from domination by the outside world.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

brown and red paint brushes

Vanity dies hard; in some obstinate cases it outlives the man.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

grey cliff near body of water

Many's the long night I've dreamed of cheese -- toasted mostly.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

rainbow

Natural talk like plowing, should turn up a large surface of life, rather than dig mines.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

stars in the sky during night time

You can kill the body but not the spirit.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

leafless tree under gray sky

Noble disappointment, noble self-denial are not to be admired, not even to be pardoned, if they bring bitterness. It is one thing to enter the kingdom of heaven maim; another to maim yourself and stay without.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

blue sky with white clouds

I incline to Cain's heresy," he used to say quaintly: "I let my brother go to the devil in his own way.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

Blue to purple gradient

Alas! in the clothes of the greatest potentate, what is there but a man?

--Robert Louis Stevenson

man and woman with dog on woods

The true success is to labour.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

man in black shirt wearing cowboy hat

To be feared of a thing and yet to do it, is what makes the prettiest kind of a man.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


photo of mountains

I smoke a pipe abroad, because

To all cigars I much prefer it,

And as I scorn you social laws,

My choice has nothing to deter it.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

toddlers standing outdoors

We are not content to pass away entirely from the scenes of our delight; we would leave, if but in gratitude, a pillar and a legend.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


silhouette of man looking towards left

Of what shall a man be proud, if he is not proud of his friends?

--Robert Louis Stevenson

pink flowers in tilt shift lens

In the law of God, there is no statute of limitations.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

white and pink plastic bottles

It is one thing to mortify curiosity, another to conquer it.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

yellow and black striped background

We must accept life for what it actually is -- a challenge to our quality without which we should never know of what stuff we are made, or grow to our full stature.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

four person standing beside wall

No baggage -- there was the secret of existence.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


brown wooden dock under night sky

You seem to me to be a pretty lucky young man; keep your eyes open to your mercies. That part of piety is eternal; and the man who forgets to be grateful has fallen asleep in life.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

green trees under white sky during daytime

Do not measure success by today's harvest. Measure success by the seeds you plant today.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

pink petaled flower field

We had each of us some whimsy in the brain, which we believed more than anything else, and which discoloured all experience to its own shade.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

bonfire at night

If this is death, it is easier than life.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


sea of white clouds

A happy man or woman is a better thing to find than a five-pound note. He or she is a radiating focus of goodwill; and their entrance into a room is as though another candle had been lighted.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

aerial photo of foggy mountains

This simple accident of falling in love is as beneficial as it is astonishing.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

sunset with rainbow

That man is a success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

person holding gray leaf

A bottle of good wine, like a good act, shines ever in the retrospect.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


Arizona landscape rocks

The sun was getting up, and mortal white he looked about the cutwater. But, there he was, and the six all dead -- dead and buried.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

grayscale photography of elephant

When I say writing, O believe me, it is rewriting that I have chiefly in mind.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


sunset

There is but one art, to omit.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

Longer Version:

There is but one art, to omit! Oh, if I knew how to omit I would ask no other knowledge. A man who knows how to omit would make an Iliad of a daily paper.


green leafed tree on body of water under starry sky

You can read Kant by yourself, if you wanted to; but you must share a joke with someone else.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

yellow painted wall

Every man has a sane spot somewhere.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

silhouette of mountains under blue sky during daytime

Each has his own tree of ancestors, but at the top of all sits Probably Arboreal.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

blue and white striped textile

You start a question, and it's like starting a stone. You sit quietly on the top of a hill; and away the stone goes, starting others.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


brown and gray mountains during daytime

If your morals make you dreary, depend upon it they are wrong.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

woman in white dress holding hands with girl in white dress

The price we have to pay for money is sometimes liberty.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

green trees under white sky during daytime

Sir, with no intention to take offence, I deny your right to put words into my mouth.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


black and gray floral textile

The young demand joy like a right -- the old only wish to be spared unbearable pain." Robert Louis Stevenson.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

white and blue ice in water

Although I express myself with some degree of pleasantry, the purport of my words is entirely serious.

--Robert Louis Stevenson



cluster of stars in the sky

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me, And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

silhouette of a woman with pink and purple sky

Those little people, my brownies, who do one half of my work for me while I am fast asleep, and in all human likelihood do the rest for me as well, when I am wide awake and fondly suppose I do for myself.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

woman holding brown umbrella

We all know what Parliament is, and we are all ashamed of it.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

person walking on snowfield

Judge each day not by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


sealion surrounded by rocks during daytime

The child that is not clean and neat,
With lots of toys and things to eat,
He is a naughty child, I'm sure --
Or else his dear Papa is poor.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

Arizona landscape pines

Good talk is like an impromptu piece of acting where each should represent himself to greatest advantage.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

man jumping on hill during golden hour

It is better to lose health like a spendthrift than to waste it like a miser.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

group of camels walking on desert lake at daytime

You mightn't happen to have a piece of cheese about you, now? No? Well, many's the long night I've dreamed of cheese-toasted, mostly-and woke up again, and here I were.

--Robert Louis Stevenson





birds flying under cloudy sky during daytime

It is better to emit a scream in the shape of a theory than to be entirely insensible to the jars and incongruities of life and take everything as it comes in a forlorn stupidity.

--Robert Louis Stevenson



red rose

Sing a song of seasons; something bright in all, flowers in the summer, fires in the fall.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

shoreline during golden hour

And if a man reads very hard, as the old anecdote reminds us, he will have little time for thought.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

green plants beside brown wooden door

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

--Robert Louis Stevenson

Longer Version:

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


blue and white striped textile

Trusty, dusky, vivid, true,

With eyes of gold and bramble-dew,

Steel-true and blade-straight,

The great artificer made my mate.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

fawn pug on bed

To love is the great amulet that makes this world a garden.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

woman in white and black stripe long sleeve shirt standing beside brown concrete building during daytime

Truth in spirit, not truth to the letter, is the true veracity.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

Longer Version:

Truth in spirit, not truth to the letter, is the true veracity,.


white wall paint with black shadow

I will make you brooches and toys for your delight Of bird-song at morning and star-shine at night. I will make a palace fit for you and me Of green days in forests and blue days at sea.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

aerial photography of pine trees with mist

The gauger walked with willing foot, And aye the gauger played the flute; And what should Master Gauger play But Over the Hills and Far Away.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


silhouette photo of mountain during night time

The friendly cow, all red and white, I love with all my heart; She gives me cream with all her might, To eat with apple-tart.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

shoreline during golden hour

To be truly happy is a question of how we begin, and not how we end, of what we want and not what we have.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

blue sky with stars during night time

It is a mere illusion that, above a certain income, the personal desires will be satisfied and leave a wider margin for the generous impulse.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

person walking on snowfield

He was in that humour when a man will cut off his nose to spite his face.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


green leaf

When I am grown to man's estate I shall be very proud and great. And tell the other girls and boys Not to meddle with my toys.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

black and white window illustration

If you had the pluck of a weevil in a biscuit, you would catch them!

--Robert Louis Stevenson

None

And he began to understand what a wild game we play in life; he began to understand that a thing once done cannot be undone nor changed by saying "I am sorry!"

--Robert Louis Stevenson



photo of pine trees

All sorts of allowances are made for the illusions of youth, and none, or almost none for the disenchantment of age.

--Robert Louis Stevenson



landscape photography of waves and clouds

Youth is the time to go flashing from one end of the world to the other, both in mind and body.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

landscape photography of forest

Let any one speak long enough, he will get believers.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

desert grassland

Keep your fears to yourself, but share your inspiration with others.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

woman looking up to the sky while standing on white sand

To believe in immortality is one thing, but it is first needful to believe in life.

--Robert Louis Stevenson



red strawberry fruit on red surface

To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

white rose enclosed photograph

Extreme busyness is a symptom of deficient vitality, and a faculty for idleness implies a catholic appetite and a strong sense of personal identity.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

mountains covered with fog

I am in the habit of looking not so much to the nature of a gift as to the spirit in which it is offered.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

toddler hugging siberian husky

The spirit, Sir, is one of mockery.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

None

There comes an end to all things; the most capacious measure is filled at last; and this brief condescension to evil finally destroyed the balance of my soul.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


selective focus photo of iceberg on large body of water at winter

Since hate poisons the soul, don't cherish enmities or grudges: avoid people who make you unhappy.

--Robert Louis Stevenson



calm body of water and mountain

Compromise is the best and cheapest lawyer.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

green and brown mountains under blue sky during daytime

He who sows hurry reaps indigestion.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

white and blue sky during daytime

The first experience can never be repeated. The first love, the first sun-rise, the first South Sea Island, are memories apart, and touched a virginity of sense.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

None

When I was a boy, I was a bit puzzled, and hardly knew weather it was myself or the world that was curious and worth looking into. Now I know that it is myself, and stick to that.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

tree and ranchhouse

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

--Robert Louis Stevenson

selective-focus photograph of gray bird on tree branch

Teacher, tender comrade, wife, A fellow-farer true through life.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

leafless tree under gray sky

Old is the tree and the fruit good,
Very old and thick the wood.
Woodman, is your courage stout?
Beware! the root is wrapped about
Your mother's heart, your father's bones;
And like the mandrake comes with groans.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

photo of woman climbing mountain

Whenever the moon and stars are set,
Whenever the wind is high,
All night long in the dark and wet,
A man goes riding by.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


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