*

Vanity dies hard; in some obstinate cases it outlives the man.

*

A man may live in dreams, and yet be unprepared for their realisation.

*

'Be soople, Davie, in things immaterial.'

*

No class of man is altogether bad; but each has its own faults and virtues.

*

But it is odd enough, the very women who profess most contempt for mankind as a sex seem to find even its ugliest particulars rather lively and high-minded in their own sons.

*

To cling to what is left of any damaged quality is virtue in the man.

*

But we have no bravery nowadays, and, even in books, must all pretend to be as dull and foolish as our neighbours.

*

It always warms a man to see a woman brave.

*

Condescension is an excellent thing, but it is strange how one-sided the pleasure of it is!

*

Some strand of our own misdoing is involved in every quarrel.

*

There was never an ill thing made better by meddling.

*

Let any man speak long enough, he will get believers.

*

Every one lives by selling something, whatever be his right to it.

*

A man dissatisfied with endeavour is a man tempted to sadness.

*

Drama is the poetry of conduct, romance the poetry of circumstance.

*

It is one of the most common forms of depreciation to throw cold water on the whole by adroit over-commendation of a part, since everything worth judging, whether it be a man, a work of art, or only a fine city, must be judged upon its merits as a whole.

*

I wonder, would a negative be found enticing? for, from the negative point of view, I flatter myself this volume has a certain stamp. Although it runs to considerably over a hundred pages, it contains not a single reference to the imbecility of God's universe, nor so much as a single hint that I could have made a better one myself--I really do not know where my head can have been.

*

It's deadly commonplace, but, after all, the commonplaces are the great poetic truths.

*

Those who try to be artists use, time after time, the matter of their recollections, setting and resetting little coloured memories of men and scenes, rigging up (it may be) some especial friend in the attire of a buccaneer, and decreeing armies to manoeuvre, or murder to be done, on the playground of their youth. But the memories are a fairy gift which cannot be worn out in using. After a dozen services in various tales, the little sunbright pictures of the past still shine in the mind's eye with not a lineament defaced, not a tint impaired. GLUCK UND UNGLUCK WIRD GESANG, if Goethe pleases; yet only by endless avatars, the original re-embodying after each. So that a writer, in time, begins to wonder at the perdurable life of these impressions; begins, perhaps, to fancy that he wrongs them when he weaves them in with fiction; and looking back on them with ever-growing kindness, puts them at last, substantive jewels, in a setting of their own.

*

Place them in a hospital, put them in a jail in yellow overalls, do what you will, young Jessamy finds young Jenny.

*

'You fret against the common law,' I said. 'You rebel against the voice of God, which He has made so winning to convince, so imperious to command. Hear it, and how it speaks between us! Your hand clings to mine, your heart leaps at my touch, the unknown elements of which we are compounded awake and run together at a look; the clay of the earth remembers its independent life, and yearns to join us; we are drawn together as the stars are turned about in space, or as the tides ebb and flow; by things older and greater than we ourselves.'

*

'Olalla,' I said, 'the soul and the body are one, and mostly so in love. What the body chooses, the soul loves; where the body clings, the soul cleaves; body for body, soul to soul, they come together at God's signal; and the lower part (if we can call aught low) is only the footstool and foundation of the highest.'

*

She sent me away, and yet I had but to call upon her name and she came to me.

The Pocket R. L. S. Page 48

Robert Louis Stevenson

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Robert Louis Stevenson
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