Robert Louis Stevenson

(1850-1894 / Edinburgh / Scotland)

Robert Louis Stevenson Quotes

  • ''The obscurest epoch is to-day.''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. repr. In Complete Works, vol. 26 (1924). The Day After Tomorrow (first published 1887).
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  • ''Well, well, Henry James is pretty good, though he is of the nineteenth century, and that glaringly.''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. Letter, March 1889, to Henry James. The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson, vol. 2 (1899).
  • ''To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. Virginibus Puerisque, "El Dorado," (1881).
  • ''The cruellest lies are often told in silence. A man may have sat in a room for hours and not opened his mouth, and yet come out of that room a disloyal friend or a vile calumniator.''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. Virginibus Puerisque, "Virginibus Puerisque," sct. 4 (1881).
  • ''He sows hurry and reaps indigestion.''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. Virginibus Puerisque, "An Apology for Idlers," (1881). Referring to "industrious fellows."
  • ''Man is a creature who lives not upon bread alone, but principally by catchwords; and 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 (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. Virginibus Puerisque, "Virginibus Puerisque," sct. 2 (1881).
  • ''Man is a creature who lives not upon bread alone, but principally by catchwords.''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. Virginibus Puerisque, title essay, pt. 2 (1881).
  • ''You can forgive people who do not follow you through a philosophical disquisition; but to find your wife laughing when you had tears in your eyes, or staring when you were in a fit of laughter, would go some way towards a dissolution of the marriage.''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. Virginibus Puerisque, title essay, pt. 1 (1881).
  • ''You could read Kant by yourself, if you wanted; but you must share a joke with some one else.''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. Virginibus Puerisque, "Virginibus Puerisque," sct. 1 (1881).
  • ''Perpetual devotion to what a man calls his business, is only to be sustained by perpetual 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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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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