Robert Louis Stevenson Love Quotes and Sayings
#1 Lay Morals Chapter 4, in Lay Morals and Other Essays, 1911
1. So long as we love we serve; so long as we are loved by others, I would almost say that we are indispensable; and no man is useless while he has a friend.
#2 Truth of Intercourse.
2. And how many loves have perished because, from pride, or spite, or diffidence, or that unmanly shame which withholds a man from daring to betray emotion, a lover, at the critical point of the relation, has but hung his head and held his tongue?
#3 Virginibus Puerisque, Chapter 3: ON FALLING IN LOVE
3. Falling in love is the one illogical adventure, the one thing of which we are tempted to think as supernatural, in our trite and reasonable world.
#4-6 Lay Morals
4. You do not love another because he is wealthy or wise or eminently respectable: you love him because you love him; that is love, and any other only a derision and grimace.
5. To be wealthy, a rich nature is the first requisite and money but the second. To be of a quick and healthy blood, to share in all honourable curiosities, to be rich in admiration and free from envy, to rejoice greatly in the good of others, to love with such generosity of heart that your love is still a dear possession in absence or unkindness—these are the gifts of fortune which money cannot buy and without which money can buy nothing. For what can a man possess, or what can he enjoy, except himself?
6. I may starve my appetites and control my temper for the sake of those I love; but society shall take me as I choose to be, or go without me. Neither they nor I will lose; for where there is no love, it is both laborious and unprofitable to associate.
Excerpt from Wikipedia: Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson (13 November 1850 – 3 December 1894) was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer. His most famous works are Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
Sayings by Robert Louis Stevenson
#1 The Amateur Emigrant: From The Clyde To Sandy Hook, Steerage Types
1. A sea-voyage will not give a man the nerve to put aside cheap pleasure; emigration has to be done before we climb the vessel; an aim in life is the only fortune worth finding; and it is not to be found in foreign lands, but in the heart itself.
#2-3 Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes
2. For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move; to feel the needs and hitches of our life more nearly; to come down off this feather-bed of civilisation, and find the globe granite underfoot and strewn with cutting flints.
3. But we are all travellers in what John Bunyan calls the wilderness of this world—all, too, travellers with a donkey: and the best that we find in our travels is an honest friend. He is a fortunate voyager who finds many.
#4 The Silverado Squatters
4. There is no foreign land; it is the traveller only that is foreign, and now and again, by a flash of recollection, lights up the contrasts of the earth.
#5 An Inland Voyage
5. To know what you prefer, instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive.
#6 Memories, Portraits, Essays and Records (Chapter 4: A College Magazine)
6. I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in.
#7 Letter of April 1884 to Trevor Haddon, The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson, Vol. II (1880-1887)
7. You seem to me to be a pretty lucky young man; keep your eyes open to your mercies. That part of piety is eternal; and the man who forgets to be grateful has fallen asleep in life.
#8 Story of the Young Man with the Cream Tarts, The Suicide
8. I am in the habit of looking not so much to the nature of a gift as to the spirit in which it is offered.
#9 Old Mortality
9. In every part and corner of our life, to lose oneself is to be gainer; to forget oneself is to be happy; and this poor, laughable, and tragic fool has not yet learned the rudiments; himself, giant Prometheus, is still ironed on the peaks of Caucasus.
10. To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.
#11 Memories, Portraits, Essays and Records: XIV Reflections and Remarks on Human Life, Discipline of Conscience
11. Our business in this world is not to succeed, but to continue to fail, in good spirits.
12. There are two things that men should never weary of, goodness and humility; we get none too much of them in this rough world among cold, proud people…
13. All who have meant good work with their whole hearts, have done good work, although they may die before they have the time to sign it. Every heart that has beat strong and cheerfully has left a hopeful impulse behind it in the world, and bettered the tradition of mankind.
#14-15 Virginibus Puerisque and other papers: An Apology for Idlers
14. There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy. By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world, which remain unknown even to ourselves, or when they are disclosed, surprise nobody so much as the benefactor.
15. A happy man or woman is a better thing to find than a five-pound note. He or she is a radiating focus of goodwill; and their entrance into a room is as though another candle had been lighted.
#16 An Inland Voyage
16. Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened, but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm.
#17 Prayers Written for Family use at Vailima, For Success
17. Give us grace and strength to forbear and to persevere. Offenders, give us the grace to accept and to forgive offenders. Forgetful ourselves, help us to bear cheerfully the forgetfulness of others. Give us courage and gaiety and the quiet mind. Spare to us our friends, soften to us our enemies. Bless us, if it may be, on all our innocent endeavours. If it may not, give us the strength to encounter that which is to come, that we may be brave in peril, constant in tribulation, temperate in wrath, and in all changes of fortune and down to the gates of death, loyal and loving to one another.
#18 Virginibus Puerisque: IV Truth of Intercourse
18. The difficulty of literature is not to write, but to write what you mean; not to affect your reader, but to affect him precisely as you wish.
#19-20 Virginibus Puerisque and other papers: Crabbed Age and Youth
19. The true wisdom is to be always seasonable, and to change with a good grace in changing circumstances.
20. Age may have one side, but assuredly Youth has the other. There is nothing more certain than that both are right, except perhaps that both are wrong. Let them agree to differ; for who knows but what agreeing to differ may not be a form of agreement rather than a form of difference?
#21 The Essential Travel Writings, Morality
21. But indeed, it is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of the air, that emanation from the old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.
#22 Across the Plains, 1892
22. Gentleness and cheerfulness, these come before all morality; they are the perfect duties.
Unsourced Robert Louis Stevenson Quotes
1. In each of us, two natures are at war – the good and the evil. All our lives the fight goes on between them, and one of them must conquer. But in our own hands lies the power to choose – what we want most to be we are.