Robert Louis Stevenson

(1850-1894 / Edinburgh / Scotland)

Robert Louis Stevenson Quotes

  • ''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).
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  • ''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).
  • ''I have done my fiddling so long under Vesuvius that I have almost forgotten to play, and can only wait for the eruption and think it long of coming. Literally no man has more wholly outlived life than I. And still it's good fun.''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. Stevenson's Letters to Charles Baxter (1956). Closing lines of letter written a few months before Stevenson's death in Samoa.
  • ''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.
  • ''Marriage is one long conversation, chequered by disputes.''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. (Originally published 1882). Talk and Talkers, paper 2, Memories and Portraits (1887).

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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.

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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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