Robert Louis Stevenson

(1850-1894 / Edinburgh / Scotland)

Robert Louis Stevenson Quotes

  • ''Perpetual devotion to what a man calls his business is only to be sustained by neglect of many other things.''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. Virginibus Puerisque, "An Apology for Idlers," (1881).
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  • ''Books are good enough in their own way, but they are a mighty bloodless substitute for life.''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. Virginibus Puerisque, "An Apology for Idlers," (1881).
  • ''In marriage, a man becomes slack and selfish, and undergoes a fatty degeneration of his moral being.''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. Virginibus Puerisque, "Virginibus Puerisque," sct. 1 (1881).
  • ''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."
  • ''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).
  • ''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 (1850-94), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. Virginibus Puerisque, sct. 2 (1881).
  • ''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).
  • ''If your morals make you dreary, depend upon it they are wrong. I do not say "give them up," for they may be all you have; but conceal them like a vice, lest they should spoil the lives of better and simpler people.''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. Across the Plains, "A Christmas Sermon," sct. 2 (1892).
  • ''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.''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. Across the Plains, "Lay Morals," (1892).
  • ''To make our idea of morality centre on forbidden acts is to defile the imagination and to introduce into our judgments of our fellow-men a secret element of gusto.''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. Across the Plains, ch. 12 (1892).

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Best Poem of Robert Louis Stevenson

Summer Sun

Great is the sun, and wide he goes
Through empty heaven with repose;
And in the blue and glowing days
More thick than rain he showers his rays.

Though closer still the blinds we pull
To keep the shady parlour cool,
Yet he will find a chink or two
To slip his golden fingers through.

The dusty attic spider-clad
He, through the keyhole, maketh glad;
And through the broken edge of tiles
Into the laddered hay-loft smiles.

Meantime his golden face around
He bares to all the garden ground,
And sheds a warm and glittering look ...

Read the full of Summer Sun

Love's Vicissitudes

AS Love and Hope together
Walk by me for a while,
Link-armed the ways they travel
For many a pleasant mile -
Link-armed and dumb they travel,
They sing not, but they smile.

Hope leaving, Love commences
To practise on the lute;

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