Robert Louis Stevenson

(1850-1894 / Edinburgh / Scotland)

Quotations

  • ''Lord, thy most pointed pleasure take
    And stab my spirit broad awake;
    Or, Lord, if too obdurate I,
    Choose thou, before that spirit die,
    A piercing pain, a killing sin,
    And to my dead heart run them in!''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish author. The Celestial Surgeon (l. 9-14). . . Modern British Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed. (7th rev. ed., 1962) Harcourt, Brace and Company.
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  • ''It is just this rage for consideration that has betrayed the dog into his satellite position as the friend of man. The cat, an animal of franker appetites, preserves his independence. But the dog, with one eye ever on the audience, has been wheedled into slavery, and praised and patted into the renunciation of his nature. Once he ceased hunting and became man's plate-licker, the Rubicon was crossed. Thenceforth he was a gentleman of leisure; and except the few whom we keep working, the whole race grew more and more self-conscious, mannered and affected.''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish author. "The Character of Dogs," Memories and Portraits, Scribner (1916).
  • ''The friendly cow, all red and white,
    I love with all my heart:
    She gives me cream with all her might,
    To eat with apple tart.''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish author. The Cow (l. 1-4). . . Oxford Book of Children's Verse, The. Iona Opie and Peter Opie, eds. (1973) Oxford University Press.
  • ''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).
  • ''My tea is nearly ready and the sun has left the sky;
    It's time to take the window to see Leerie going by;
    For every night at tea-time and before you take your seat,
    With lantern and with ladder he comes posting up the street.''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish author. The Lamplighter (l. 1-4). . . Oxford Book of Children's Verse, The. Iona Opie and Peter Opie, eds. (1973) Oxford University Press.
  • ''The pleasant land of counterpane.''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish author. The Land of Counterpane (l. 16). . . Oxford Book of Children's Verse, The. Iona Opie and Peter Opie, eds. (1973) Oxford University Press.
  • ''When I was sick and lay a-bed,
    I had two pillows at my head,
    And all my toys beside me lay
    To keep me happy all the day.''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish author. The Land of Counterpane (l. 1-4). . . Oxford Book of Children's Verse, The. Iona Opie and Peter Opie, eds. (1973) Oxford University Press.
  • ''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).
  • ''How do you like to go up in a swing,
    Up in the air so blue?
    Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
    Ever a child can do!''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish author. The Swing (l. 1-4). . . New Treasury of Children's Poetry, A; Old Favorites and New Discoveries. Joanna Cole, comp. (1984) Doubleday & Company.
  • ''A child should always say what's true
    And speak when he is spoken to,
    And behave mannerly at table;
    At least as far as he is able.''
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, poet. The Whole Duty of Children, A Child's Garden of Verses (1885).

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The Land of Counterpane

When I was sick and lay a-bed,
I had two pillows at my head,
And all my toys beside me lay,
To keep me happy all the day.

And sometimes for an hour or so
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drills,
Among the bed-clothes, through the hills;

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