Robert Louis Stevenson, fully Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson

Robert Louis
Stevenson, fully Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson

Scottish Novelist, Poet, Essayist and Travel Writer, known books include Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Author Quotes

To My Mother - You too, my mother, read my rhymes for love of unforgotten times, and you may chance to hear once more the little feet along the floor.

To forget oneself is to be happy.

To know that you prefer, instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive.

To look back upon the past year, and see how little we have striven and to what small purpose: and how often we have been cowardly and hung back, or temerarious and rushed unwisely in; and how every day and all day long we have transgressed the law of kindness; -it may seem a paradox, but in the bitterness of these discoveries, a certain consolation resides. Life is not designed to minister to a man's vanity. He goes upon his long business most of the time with a hanging head, and all the time like a blind child. Full of rewards and pleasures as it is - so that to see the day break or the moon rise, or to meet a friend, or to hear the dinner-call when he is hungry, fills him with surprising joys - this world is yet for him no abiding city. Friendships fall through, health fails, weariness assails him; year after year, he must thumb the hardly varying record of his own weakness and folly. It is a friendly process of detachment. When the time comes that he should go, there need be few illusions left about himself. Here lies one who meant well, tried a little, failed much: -surely that may be his epitaph, of which he need not be ashamed.

To love is the great amulet that makes this world a garden

To make our idea of morality center on forbidden acts is to defile the imagination and to introduce into our judgments of our fellow-men a secret element of gusto.

To me there is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.

Times are changed with him who marries; there are no more by-path meadows, where you may innocently linger, but the road lies long and straight and dusty to the grave. Idleness, which is often becoming and even wise in the bachelor, begins to wear a different aspect when you have a wife to support.

To avoid an occasion for our virtues is a worse degree of failure than to push forward pluckily and make a fall.

To be feared of a thing and yet to do it, is what makes the prettiest kind of a man.

To be idle requires a strong sense of personal identity.

To be over wise is to ossify; and the scruple-monger ends by standing stock still.

To be what we are capable of becoming, and to achieve what we are capable of achieving, is the only end of life.

To be wholly devoted to some intellectual exercise is to have succeeded in life.

To believe in immortality is one thing, but first believe in life.

To cast in it with Hyde was to die a thousand interests and aspirations.

There's never a man looked me between the eyes and seen a good day a'terward

They say cowardice is infectious; but then argument is, on the other hand, a great emboldener;

This be the verse you grave for me: ?Here he lies, where he longed to be; home is the sailor, home from the sea, and the hunter home from the hill.?

This grove, that was now so peaceful, must then have rung with cries, I thought; and even with the thought I could believe I heard it ringing still.

This is a handy cove, says he at length; and a pleasant sittyated grog-shop. Much company, mate? My father told him no, very little company, the more was the pity.

This is still the strangest thing in all man's traveling, that he should carry about with him incongruous memories.

This Mr. Thomson seems a gentleman of some choice qualities, though perhaps a trifle bloody-minded. It would please me none the worse, if (with all his merits) he were soused in the North Sea; for the man, Mr. Balfour, is a sore embarrassment.

This was the shocking thing; that the slime of the pit seemed to utter cries and voices; that the amorphous dust gesticulated and sinned; that what was dead, and had no shape, should usurp the offices of life. And this again, that that insurgent horror was knit to him closer than a wife, closer than an eye; lay caged in his flesh, where he heard it mutter and felt it struggle to be born; and at every hour of weakness, and in the confidence of slumber, prevailed against him, and deposed him out of life.

This, as I take it, was because all human beings, as we meet them, are commingled out of good and evil: and Edward Hyde, alone in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil.

Author Picture
First Name
Robert Louis
Last Name
Stevenson, fully Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson
Birth Date
Death Date

Scottish Novelist, Poet, Essayist and Travel Writer, known books include Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde