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

Love, What Is Love

LOVE - what is love? A great and aching heart;
Wrung hands; and silence; and a long despair.
Life - what is life? Upon a moorland bare
To see love coming and see love depart.

Read the full of Love, What Is Love

To Auntie

"Chief of our aunts"--not only I,
But all your dozen of nurselings cry--
"What did the other children do?
And what were childhood, wanting you?"

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