Robert Louis Stevenson

(1850-1894 / Edinburgh / Scotland)

Robert Louis Stevenson Quotes

  • ''Everyone lives by selling something, whatever be his right to it.''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. Across the Plains, "Beggars," sct. 3 (1892).
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  • ''A faculty for idleness implies a catholic appetite and a strong sense of personal identity.''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. "An Apology for Idlers," Virginibus Puerisque (1881).
  • ''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).
  • ''Most of our pocket wisdom is conceived for the use of mediocre people, to discourage them from ambitious attempts, and generally console them in their mediocrity.''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. "Crabbed Age and Youth," Virginibus Puerisque (1881).
  • ''Some people swallow the universe like a pill; they travel on through the world, like smiling images pushed from behind.''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. "Crabbed Age and Youth," Virginibus Puerisque (1881).
  • ''For God's sake give me the young man who has brains enough to make a fool of himself!''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. "Crabbed Age and Youth," Virginibus Puerisque (1881).
  • ''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.
  • ''I never weary of great churches. It is my favourite kind of mountain scenery. Mankind was never so happily inspired as when it made a cathedral.''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. "Noyons Cathedral," An Inland Voyage (1878).
  • ''Each has his own tree of ancestors, but at the top of all sits Probably Arboreal.''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. "Pastoral," ch. 6, Memories and Portraits (1887).
  • ''Our business in this world is not to succeed, but to continue to fail, in good spirits.''
    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).

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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

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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