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

Sonnet I

NOR judge me light, tho' light at times I seem,
And lightly in the stress of fortune bear
The innumerable flaws of changeful care -
Nor judge me light for this, nor rashly deem
(Office forbid to mortals, kept supreme
And separate the prerogative of God!)
That seaman idle who is borne abroad
To the far haven by the favouring stream.
Not he alone that to contrarious seas

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