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Scottish essayist, poet and novelist
(1850 - 1894)
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The correction of silence is what kills; when you know you have transgressed, and your friend says nothing, and avoids your eye.
      - [Silence]

The mark of a good action is that it appears inevitable in retrospect.
      - [Action]

The most influential books, and the truest in their influence, are works of fiction. *` * * They repeat, they re-arrange, they clarify the lessons of life; they disengage us from ourselves, they constrain us to the acquaintance of others; and they show us the web of experience, but with a singular change--that monstrous, consuming ego of ours being, nonce, struck out.
      - [Fiction]

There is no duty we underrate so much as the duty of being happy.
      - [Duty : Happiness]

To hold the same views at forty as we held at twenty is to have been stupefied for a score of years, and take rank, not as a prophet, but as an unteachable brat, well birched and none the wiser.
      - [Growth]

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.
      - [Individualism]

To love is the great amulet that makes this world a garden.
      - [Love]

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

Truth in spirit, not truth to the letter, is the true veracity.
      - [Truth]

Wine is bottled poetry.
      - [Wine and Spirits]

It is very nice to think
  The world is full of meat and drink
    With little children saying grace
      In every Christian kind of place.
      - A Child's Garden of Verses, "A Thought"
        [Childhood]   BUY VARYING HARE USED BOOK  

In winter I get up at night
  And dress by yellow candle-light.
    In summer, quite the other way,
      I have to go to bed by day.
      - A Child's Garden of Verses,
        "Bed in Summer" [Childhood]   BUY VARYING HARE USED BOOK  

When I am grown to man's estate
  I shall be very proud and great
    And tell the other girls and boys
      Not to meddle with my toys.
      - A Child's Garden of Verses,
        "Looking Forward" [Childhood]   BUY VARYING HARE USED BOOK  

Every night my prayers I say,
  And get my dinner every day,
    And every day that I've been good,
      I get an orange after food.
      - A Child's Garden of Verses, "System"
        [Childhood]   BUY VARYING HARE USED BOOK  

The friendly cow all red and white,
  I love with all my heart:
    She gives me cream with all her might
      To eat with apple-tart.
      - A Child's Garden of Verses, "The Cow"

While here at home, in shining day,
  We round the sunny garden play,
    Each little Indian sleepy-head
      Is being kissed and put to bed.
      - A Child's Garden of Verses,
        "The Sun's Travels" [Childhood]   BUY VARYING HARE USED BOOK  

The 25th day of August, 1751, about two in the afternoon, I, David Balfour, came forth of the British Linen Company, a porter attending me with a bag of money, and some of the chief of these merchants bowing me from their doors. Two days before, and even as yestermorning, I was like a beggar-man by the wayside, clad in rags, brought down to my last shillings, my companion a condemned traitor, a price set on my own head for a crime with the news of which the country rang. To-day I was served heir to my position in life, a landed laird, a bank porter by me carrying my gold, recommendations in my pocket, and (in the words of the saying) ball directly at my foot.
      - Catriona (ch. 1) [Books (First Lines)]

Lord, thy most pointed pleasure take,
  And stab my spirit broad awake;
    Or, Lord, if too obdurate I,
      Choose Thou, before that spirit die,
        A piercing paid, a killing sin,
          And to my dead heart turn them in.
      - Celestial Surgeon [Prayer]

Here lies one who meant well, tried a little, failed much.
      - Christmas Sermon [Epitaphs]

One person I have to make good: myself. But my duty to my neighbor is much more nearly expressed by saying that I have to make him happy--if I may.
      - Christmas Sermon [Goodness]

To be honest, to be kind--to earn a little and to spend a little less, to make upon the whole a family happier for his presence, to renounce when that shall be necessary and not be embittered, to keep a few friends but these without capitulation--above all, on the same grim condition to keep friends with himself--here is a task for all that a man has of fortitude and delicacy.
      - Christmas Sermon [Life]

A man finds he has been wrong at every preceding stage of his career, only to deduce the astonishing conclusion that he is at last entirely right.
      - Crabbed Age [Wrong]

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.
      - Crabbed Age [Youth]

For God's sake give me the young man who has brains enough to make a fool of himself.
      - Crabbed Age [Youth]

When an old gentlemen waggles his head and says: "Ah, so I thought when I was your age," it is not thought an answer at all, if the young man retorts: "My venerable sir, so I shall most probably think when I am yours." And yet the one is as good as the other.
      - Crabbed Age and Youth [Age]

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