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Quotations From ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

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  • 1.
    To be wholly devoted to some intellectual exercise is to have succeeded in life.
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. Weir of Hermiston, ch. 2 (1896).

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  • 2.
    There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. Virginibus Puerisque, "An Apology for Idlers," (1881).

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  • 3.
    Once you are married, there is nothing for you, not even suicide, but to be good.
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. Virginibus Puerisque, "Virginibus Puerisque," sct. 2 (1881). Stevenson referred to "matrimony at its lowest" as "no more than a sort of friendship recognised by the police."

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  • 4.
    All speech, written or spoken, is a dead language, until it finds a willing and prepared hearer.
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. repr. In Complete Works, vol. 26 (1924). Reflections and Remarks on Human Life, sct. 3 (first published 1878).
  • 5.
    It is the mark of a good action that it appears inevitable in retrospect.
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. repr. In Complete Works, vol. 26 (1924). "Reflections and Remarks on Human Life," sct. 4 (1878).
  • 6.
    When it comes to my own turn to lay my weapons down, I shall do so with thankfulness and fatigue, and whatever be my destiny afterward, I shall be glad to lie down with my fathers in honour. It is human at least, if not divine.
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. Letter, autumn 1894. Stevenson's Letters to Charles Baxter (1956). Stevenson died in December of that year.

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  • 7.
    There is a fellowship more quiet even than solitude, and which, rightly understood, is solitude made perfect.
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. "A Night Among the Pines," Travels With a Donkey (1879).

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  • 8.
    Pieces of eight! pieces of eight! pieces of eight!
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. Long John Silver's parrot, Cap'n Flint, in Treasure Island, pt 1, ch. 10 (1883). "Pieces of eight" were the old Spanish silver peso of eight reals—marked with an "8"Mcurrent in the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • 9.
    To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. Virginibus Puerisque, "El Dorado," (1881).

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  • 10.
    The obscurest epoch is to-day.
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. repr. In Complete Works, vol. 26 (1924). The Day After Tomorrow (first published 1887).
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