„The time would fail me if I were to recite all the big names in history whose exploits are perfectly irrational and even shocking to the business mind.“

—  Robert Louis Stevenson

Crabbed Age and Youth.
Virginibus Puerisque and Other Papers (1881)
Kontext: The time would fail me if I were to recite all the big names in history whose exploits are perfectly irrational and even shocking to the business mind. The incongruity is speaking; and I imagine it must engender among the mediocrities a very peculiar attitude, towards the nobler and showier sides of national life.

„Shelley was a young fool; so are these cocksparrow revolutionaries. But it is better to be a fool than to be dead. It is better to emit a scream in the shape of a theory than to be entirely insensible to the jars and incongruities of life and take everything as it comes in a forlorn stupidity.“

—  Robert Louis Stevenson

Crabbed Age and Youth.
Virginibus Puerisque and Other Papers (1881)
Kontext: All error, not merely verbal, is a strong way of stating that the current truth is incomplete. The follies of youth have a basis in sound reason, just as much as the embarrassing questions put by babes and sucklings. Their most antisocial acts indicate the defects of our society. When the torrent sweeps the man against a boulder, you must expect him to scream, and you need not be surprised if the scream is sometimes a theory. Shelley, chafing at the Church of England, discovered the cure of all evils in universal atheism. Generous lads irritated at the injustices of society, see nothing for it but the abolishment of everything and Kingdom Come of anarchy. Shelley was a young fool; so are these cocksparrow revolutionaries. But it is better to be a fool than to be dead. It is better to emit a scream in the shape of a theory than to be entirely insensible to the jars and incongruities of life and take everything as it comes in a forlorn stupidity. Some people swallow the universe like a pill; they travel on through the world, like smiling images pushed from behind. For God’s sake give me the young man who has brains enough to make a fool of himself! As for the others, the irony of facts shall take it out of their hands, and make fools of them in downright earnest, ere the farce be over. There shall be such a mopping and a mowing at the last day, and such blushing and confusion of countenance for all those who have been wise in their own esteem, and have not learnt the rough lessons that youth hands on to age. If we are indeed here to perfect and complete our own natures, and grow larger, stronger, and more sympathetic against some nobler career in the future, we had all best bestir ourselves to the utmost while we have the time. To equip a dull, respectable person with wings would be but to make a parody of an angel.

„Idleness, which is often becoming and even wise in the bachelor, begins to wear a different aspect when you have a wife to support.“

—  Robert Louis Stevenson, kniha Virginibus Puerisque

Virginibus Puerisque, Ch. 2.
Virginibus Puerisque and Other Papers (1881)
Kontext: 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.

„There is no foreign land; it is the traveller only that is foreign“

—  Robert Louis Stevenson, kniha The Silverado Squatters

The Silverado Squatters.
Kontext: 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 ear.

„It is the mark of a good action that it appears inevitable in the retrospect.“

—  Robert Louis Stevenson

"Reflections and Remarks on Human Life", VI: Right and Wrong, published in Works: Letters and Miscellanies of Robert Louis Stevenson -- Sketches, Criticisms, Etc. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.hwe7px (1895), p. 628.
Kontext: It is the mark of a good action that it appears inevitable in the retrospect. We should have been cut-throats to do otherwise. And there's an end. We ought to know distinctly that we are damned for what we do wrong; but when we have done right, we have only been gentlemen, after all. There is nothing to make a work about.

„There is a strong feeling in favour of cowardly and prudential proverbs.“

—  Robert Louis Stevenson

Crabbed Age and Youth.
Virginibus Puerisque and Other Papers (1881)
Kontext: There is a strong feeling in favour of cowardly and prudential proverbs. The sentiments of a man while he is full of ardour and hope are to be received, it is supposed, with some qualification. But when the same person has ignominiously failed and begins to eat up his words, he should be listened to like an oracle. Most of our pocket wisdom is conceived for the use of mediocre people, to discourage them from ambitious attempts, and generally console them in their mediocrity. And since mediocre people constitute the bulk of humanity, this is no doubt very properly so. But it does not follow that the one sort of proposition is any less true than the other, or that Icarus is not to be more praised, and perhaps more envied, than Mr. Samuel Budgett the Successful Merchant. The one is dead, to be sure, while the other is still in his counting-house counting out his money; and doubtless this is a consideration. But we have, on the other hand, some bold and magnanimous sayings common to high races and natures, which set forth the advantage of the losing side, and proclaim it better to be a dead lion than a living dog. It is difficult to fancy how the mediocrities reconcile such sayings with their proverbs. According to the latter, every lad who goes to sea is an egregious ass; never to forget your umbrella through a long life would seem a higher and wiser flight of achievement than to go smiling to the stake; and so long as you are a bit of a coward and inflexible in money matters, you fulfil the whole duty of man.

„Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.“

—  Robert Louis Stevenson, kniha Underwoods

Bk. I, Requiem (the final sentence was used on Stevenson's Gravestone).
Underwoods (1887)
Kontext: Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

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

„In real life, help is given out of friendship, or it is not valued; it is received from the hand of friendship, or it is resented.“

—  Robert Louis Stevenson, kniha Across the Plains

Zdroj: Across the Plains (1892), Ch. IX, Beggars.
Kontext: We should wipe two words from our vocabulary: gratitude and charity. In real life, help is given out of friendship, or it is not valued; it is received from the hand of friendship, or it is resented.

„A happy man or woman is a better thing to find than a five-pound note.“

—  Robert Louis Stevenson

An Apology for Idlers.
Virginibus Puerisque and Other Papers (1881)
Kontext: 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. We need not care whether they could prove the forty-seventh proposition; they do a better thing than that, they practically demonstrate the great Theorem of the Liveableness of Life.

„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.“

—  Robert Louis Stevenson

Crabbed Age and Youth.
Virginibus Puerisque and Other Papers (1881)
Kontext: 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?

„Fiction is to the grown man what play is to the child“

—  Robert Louis Stevenson

A Gossip on Romance, printed in Longman's Magazine (November 1882).
Kontext: Fiction is to the grown man what play is to the child; it is there that he changes the atmosphere and tenor of his life.

„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.“

—  Robert Louis Stevenson

316.
Aes Triplex (1878)
Kontext: 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. And even if death catch people, like an open pitfall, and in mid-career, laying out vast projects, and planning monstrous foundations, flushed with hope, and their mouths full of boastful language, they should be at once tripped up and silenced: is there not something brave and spirited in such a termination? and does not life go down with a better grace, foaming in full body over a precipice, than miserably straggling to an end in sandy deltas?

„Fifteen men on the dead man's chest —
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!“

—  Robert Louis Stevenson, kniha Treasure Island

Zdroj: Treasure Island (1883), Ch. 1, The Old Sea-dog at the Admiral Benbow.
Kontext: Fifteen men on the dead man's chest —
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!
Drink and the devil had done for the rest —
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!

„The true wisdom is to be always seasonable, and to change with a good grace in changing circumstances.“

—  Robert Louis Stevenson

Crabbed Age and Youth.
Virginibus Puerisque and Other Papers (1881)
Kontext: The true wisdom is to be always seasonable, and to change with a good grace in changing circumstances. To love playthings well as a child, to lead an adventurous and honourable youth, and to settle when the time arrives, into a green and smiling age, is to be a good artist in life and deserve well of yourself and your neighbour.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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