Treasure Island

William Makepeace Thackeray

(1811-1863 / India)

Quotations

  • ''We who have lived before railways were made belong to another world.... It was only yesterday, but what a gulf between now and then! Then was the old world. Stage-coaches, more or less swift, riding-horses, pack-horses, highwaymen, knights in armour, Norman invaders, Roman legions, Druids, Ancient Britons painted blue, and so forth—all these belong to the old period.... But your railroad starts the new era, and we of a certain age belong to the new time and the old one.... We who lived before railways, and survive out of the ancient world, are like Father Noah and his family out of the Ark.''
    William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863), British author. "De Juventute," The Roundabout Papers (1863).
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  • ''If, in looking at the lives of princes, courtiers, men of rank and fashion, we must perforce depict them as idle, profligate, and criminal, we must make allowances for the rich men's failings, and recollect that we, too, were very likely indolent and voluptuous, had we no motive for work, a mortal's natural taste for pleasure, and the daily temptation of a large income. What could a great peer, with a great castle and park, and a great fortune, do but be splendid and idle?''
    William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863), British author. "George the Third," The Four Georges (1855).
  • ''Kindnesses are easily forgotten; but injuries!—what worthy man does not keep those in mind?''
    William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863), British author. Lovel the Widower, ch. 1 (1860).
  • ''Despair is perfectly compatible with a good dinner, I promise you.''
    William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863), British author. Lovel the Widower, ch. 6 (1860).
  • ''Certain it is that scandal is good brisk talk, whereas praise of one's neighbour is by no means lively hearing. An acquaintance grilled, scored, devilled, and served with mustard and cayenne pepper excites the appetite; whereas a slice of cold friend with currant jelly is but a sickly, unrelishing meat.''
    William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863), British author. "On a Hundred Years Hence," The Roundabout Papers (1863).
  • ''It is best to love wisely, no doubt: but to love foolishly is better than not to be able to love at all.''
    William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863), British author. Pendennis, ch. 6 (1848-1850).
  • ''In the woods of Powhatan,
    Still 'tis told by Indian fires
    How a daughter of their sires
    Saved a captive Englishman.''
    William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863), British novelist. Pocahontas (l. 29-32). . . Favorite Poems Old and New. Helen Ferris, ed. (1957) Doubleday & Company.
  • ''Now they heap the funeral pyre,
    And the torch of death they light;
    Ah! 'tis hard to die by fire!''
    William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863), British novelist. Pocahontas (l. 9-11). . . Favorite Poems Old and New. Helen Ferris, ed. (1957) Doubleday & Company.
  • ''We are accustomed to laugh at the French for their braggadocio propensities, and intolerable vanity about la France, la gloire, l'Empereur, and the like; and yet I think in my heart that the British Snob, for conceit and self-sufficiency and braggartism in his way, is without a parallel. There is always something uneasy in a Frenchman's conceit. He brags with so much fury, shrieking, and gesticulation; yells out so loudly that the Francais is at the head of civilization, the centre of thought, etc., that one can't but see the poor fellow has a lurking doubt in his own mind that he is not the wonder he professes to be. About the British Snob, on the contrary, there is commonly no noise, no bluster, but the calmness of profound conviction. We are better than all the world; we don't question the opinion at all; it's an axiom.''
    William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863), British novelist. The Book of Snobs, ch. 22 (1848).
  • ''It is impossible, in our condition of Society, not to be sometimes a Snob.''
    William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863), British author. The Book of Snobs, ch. 3 (1848).

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The Mahogany Tree

Christmas is here:
Winds whistle shrill,
Icy and chill,
Little care we:
Little we fear
Weather without,
Shelter about
The Mahogany Tree.

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