richard jefferies quotes


Science, as illustrated by the printing press, the telegraph, the railway, is a double-edged sword. At the same moment that it puts an enormous power in the hands of the good man, it also offers an equal advantage to the evil disposed.


The cottages erected by farmers or by landlords are now, one and all, fit and proper habitations for human beings; and I verifly believe it would be impossible throughout the length and breadth of Wiltshire to find a single bad cottage on any large estate, so well and so thoroughly have the landed proprietors done their work.


When even the most strictly logical mind looks round and investigates the phenomena attending its own existence, perhaps the first fact to attract attention by its strongly marked prominence is the remarkable loneliness of man. He stands alone.


No tyrant, however evil, has yet lacked ready hands to execute his most abominable will. To read how eagerly men have rushed to serve the despot is the bitterest, the saddest matter of history; it is the saddest sight in our own day.


A kestrel can and does hover in the dead calm of summer days, when there is not the faintest breath of wind. He will, and does, hover in the still, soft atmosphere of early autumn, when the gossamer falls in showers, coming straight down as if it were raining silk.


To the soul, there is no past and no future; all is, and will be ever, in now. For artificial purposes time is mutually agreed on, but there is really no such thing.


Many labourers can trace their descent from farmers or well-to-do people, and it is not uncommon to find here and there a man who believes that he is entitled to a large property in Chancery, or elsewhere, as the heir.


The 'crownd' is still the unit, the favourite coin of the labourers, especially the elder folk. They use the word something in the same sense as the dollar, and look with regret upon the gradual disappearance of the broad silver disc with the figure of 'St. Gaarge' conquering the dragon.


Almost every labourer has his Sunday suit, very often really good clothes, sometimes glossy black, with the regulation 'chimney pot'. His unfortunate walk betrays him, dress how he will.


Look at another person while living; the soul is not visible, only the body which it animates. Therefore, merely because after death the soul is not visible is no demonstration that it does not still live.


It is quite true that women like courage, and that boldness often goes a long way; but it is questionable whether with high-bred natures a subdued, quiet, and delicate manner does not go still further.


The old Greeks dwelt on the tendency of human affairs to drift downwards irresistibly to unhappiness. Guilt - that is, untoward and often involuntary actions - pulls generation after generation heavily as lead down, down, down.


The workman in the true sense of the word - the artist in guns - is either extinct, or hidden in an obscure corner. There is no individuality about modern guns. One is exactly like another.


To the darkness and the night, the spirits seem to have a natural claim - it is their realm; the boldest of us have sometimes felt an unaccountable creeping in the thick darkness.


Beauty - what is beauty, forsooth? Form and color; that is, surface only. Fortune - what is fortune? Nothing is ever a pleasure or a real profit to him who has to labour for it. Truth - you die in the pursuit, and the sea beats the beach as it did a thousand years ago. The stolid are alone happy.


Do you always do as you would like to do were it in your power? I find that circumstances force me often to act in a manner quite opposite to what I should prefer; I am, of course, judged by my acts, but do they really afford a true key to my character? I think not.


Some, I verily believe, delight to be slave-men; it is a joy to them, and they would not change their condition; not only miserable village wretches, but men in good position, well-to-do sycophants.


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