Richard Francis Burton, fully Sir Richard Francis Burton

Richard Francis
Burton, fully Sir Richard Francis Burton

English Explorer, Geographer, Translator, Writer, Soldier, Orientalist, Cartographer, Ethnologist, Spy, Linguist, Poet, Fencer, Diplomat and Writer of Travel Books

Author Quotes

Shahrazad had perused the books, annals and legends of preceding Kings, and the stories, examples and instances of by gone men and things; indeed it was said that she had collected a thousand books of histories relating to antique races and departed rulers. She had perused the works of the poets and knew them by heart; she had studied philosophy and the sciences, arts and accomplishments; and she was pleasant and polite, wise and witty, well read and well bred.

The "Schedule of Doctrines" of the most liberal Christian Church insists upon human depravity, and the "absolute need of the Holy Spirit's agency in man's regeneration and sanctification."

The actor Richard Burton once wrote an article for the New York Times about his experience playing the role of Winston Churchill in a television drama: In the course of preparing myself...I realized afresh that I hate Churchill and all of his kind. I hate them virulently. They have stalked down the corridors of endless power all through history.... What man of sanity would say on hearing of the atrocities committed by the Japanese against British and Anzac prisoners of war, 'We shall wipe them out, everyone of them, men, women, and children. There shall not be a Japanese left on the face of the earth? Such simple--minded cravings for revenge leave me with a horrified but reluctant awe for such single--minded and merciless ferocity.--

The instructor must spare no pains in preventing the soldier from using force, especially with the left or guiding arm, as too much exertion generally causes the thrust to miss. A trifling body-stab with the bayonet (I may add with the sword) is sufficient to disable a man; and many a promising young soldier has lost his life by burying his weapon so deep in the enemy's breast that it could not be withdrawn quickly enough to be used against a second assailant. To prevent this happening, the point must be delivered smartly, with but little exertion of force, more like a dart than a thrust, and instantly afterwards the bayonet must be smartly withdrawn.

The Pilgrim holds with St. Augustine Absolute Evil is impossible because it is always rising up into good. He considers the theory of a beneficent or maleficent deity a purely sentimental fancy, contradicted by human reason and the aspect of the world.

The recruit must be carefully and sedulously taught when meeting the enemy, even at a trot or canter, to use no force whatever, otherwise his sword will bury itself to the hilt, and the swordsman will either

We dance along Death's icy brink, but is the dance less full of fun?

With HƒjŒ Abd– the soul is not material, for that would be a contradiction of terms. He regards it, with many moderns, as a state of things, not a thing; a convenient word denoting the sense of personality, of individual identity.

His "eschatology," like that of the Soofis generally, is vague and shadowy.

Home is where the books are.

I have struggled for forty-seven years, distinguishing myself honorably in every way that I possibly could. I never had a compliment, nor a "thank you," nor a single farthing. I translate a doubtful book in my old age, and I immediately make sixteen thousand guineas. Now that I know the tastes of England, we need never be without money.

I'd like to be born the son of a duke with 90,000 pounds a year, on an enormous estate.... And I'd like to have the most enormous library, and I'd like to think that I could read those books forever and forever, and die unlamented, unknown, unsung, unhonored - and packed with information.

"Be ye Good Boys, go seek for Heav'en, come pay the priest that holds the key;" so spake, and speaks, and aye shall speak the last to enter Heaven, ? he.

Indeed he knows not how to know who knows not also how to un-know.

"Faith mountains move" I hear: I see the practice of the world unheed the foolish vaunt, the blatant boast that serves our vanity to feed. "Faith stands unmoved"; and why? Because man's silly fancies still remain, and will remain till wiser man the day-dreams of his youth disdain.

Is not the highest honor his who from the worst hath drawn the best; may not your Maker make the world from matter, an it suit His hest? Nay more, the sordider the stuff the cunninger the workman's hand: cease, then, your own Almighty Power to bind, to bound, to understand.

"Fools rush where Angels fear to tread!" Angels and Fools have equal claim o do what Nature bids them do, sans hope of praise, sans fear of blame!

Learn from the mighty Spi'rits of old to set thy foot on Heav'en and Hell; in Life to find thy hell and heav'en as thou abuse or use it well.

"Reason and Instinct!" How we love to play with words that please our pride; our noble race's mean descent by false forged titles seek to hide! For "gift divine" I bid you read the better work of higher brain, from Instinct diff'ering in degree as golden mine from leaden vein.

"Th' immortal mind of mortal man!" we hear yon loud-lunged Zealot cry; whose mind but means his sum of thought, an essence of atomic "I." Thought is the work of brain and nerve, in small-skulled idiot poor and mean; in sickness sick, in sleep asleep, and dead when Death lets drop the scene.

"Tush!" quoth the Zahid, "well we ken the teaching of the school abhorr'd "That maketh man automaton, mind a secretion, soul a word." "Of molecules and protoplasm you matter-mongers prompt to prate; "Of jelly-speck development and apes that grew to man's estate." Vain cavil! all that is hath come either by Mir'acle or by Law; ? Why waste on this your hate and fear, why waste on that your love and awe?

"Who drinks one bowl hath scant delight; to poorest passion he was born; "Who drains the score must e'er expect to rue the headache of the morn." Safely he jogs along the way which "Golden Mean" the sages call; Who scales the brow of frowning Alp must face full many a slip and fall.

Ah! where shall weary man take sanctuary, where live his little span of life secure? And 'scape of Heav'n serene th' indignant storms that launch their thunders at us earthen worms?

Between 2 and 3 in the morning of the 19th inst. I was aroused by the cry that the enemy was upon us.

Broke is a temporary condition; poor is a state of mind.

Author Picture
First Name
Richard Francis
Last Name
Burton, fully Sir Richard Francis Burton
Birth Date
Death Date

English Explorer, Geographer, Translator, Writer, Soldier, Orientalist, Cartographer, Ethnologist, Spy, Linguist, Poet, Fencer, Diplomat and Writer of Travel Books