Classic Quotations

Quotes from the Classics

Hans Christian AndersenThe Complete Fairy Tales:

“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” 


Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice:

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” 

“Our scars make us know that our past was for real.” 

Jane AustenSense and Sensibility:

“It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.” 


J.M. Barrie:

“Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.” 

“Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.” 

“We are all failures- at least the best of us are.”


Frank Baum, The Lost Princess of Oz:

“No thief, however skillful, can rob one of knowledge, and that is why knowledge is the best and safest treasure to acquire.” 

Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz :

“There is no place like home.”

“A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others.”


Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre:

“Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.” 

“It is not violence that best overcomes hate — nor vengeance that most certainly heals injury.”


Frances Hodgson Burnett:

“Two things cannot be in one place. Where you tend a rose, my lad, a thistle cannot grow.”

Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Little Princess

“Everything’s a story – You are a story -I am a story.”

Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

“At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done–then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago.”


Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland:

“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”

“Begin at the beginning,” the King said, very gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”

“’I don’t think…’ ‘then you shouldn’t talk,’ said the Hatter.”


Carlo Collodi, Pinocchio:

“A conscience is that still small voice that people won’t listen to.” 

“Hunger is the best cook.” 


Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe:

 “It is never too late to be wise.”

“Redemption from sin is greater than redemption from affliction.”

“All our discontents about what we want appeared to me to spring from the want of thankfulness for what we have.”


Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol:

“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour.”

Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist:

“There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.”

Charles Dickens,A Tale of Two Cities

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”



Arthur Conan Doyle, The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes:

“When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles:

“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.”

Arthur Conan Doyle, His Last Bow: 8 Stories:

“Education never ends, Watson. It is a series of lessons, with the greatest for the last.”


Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers:

“All for one and one for all, united we stand divided we fall.” 

“The merit of all things lies in their difficulty.” 

“People in general,” he said, “only ask advice not to follow it; or if they do follow it, it is for the sake of having someone to blame for having given it.” 



Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows:

“After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see all the other fellows busy working.”


Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”

“The power of a glance has been so much abused in love stories, that it has come to be disbelieved in. Few people dare now to say that two beings have fallen in love because they have looked at each other. Yet it is in this way that love begins, and in this way only.”

“To love or have loved, that is enough. Ask nothing further. There is no other pearl to be found in the dark folds of life.”


Washington Irving, Rip Van Winkle:

“A tart temper never mellows with age, and a sharp tongue is the only edged tool that grows keener with constant use.”


Rudyard Kipling:

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”

Rudyard Kipling, The Collected Works:

“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”

“Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears.” 



Jack London, The Call of the Wild:

“There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living, this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive.”

Jack London, White Fang:

“White Fang knew the law well: to oppress the weak and obey the strong.”


Herman Melville:

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.”

Herman Melville, Moby-Dick:

I try all things, I achieve what I can.”

“Ignorance is the parent of fear.”


A.A. Milne:

You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.””

“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”


L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables:

“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.”

“Life is worth living as long as there’s a laugh in it.”

“It’s delightful when your imaginations come true, isn’t it?”


Edith Nesbit, The Railway Children:

“Also she had the power of silent sympathy. That sounds rather dull, I know, but it’s not so dull as it sounds. It just means that a person is able to know that you are unhappy, and to love you extra on that account, without bothering you by telling you all the time how sorry she is for you.”

“everything has an end, and you get to it if you only keep all on.”


Mary Norton, The Borrowers Afield:

“Misfortunes make us wise.”


Anna Sewell, Black Beauty:

“We call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words.”

“It is good people who make good places.”

“If a thing is right it can be done, and if it is wrong it can be done without; and a good man will find a way.”


Mary Shelley:

“No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.”

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein:

“When falsehood can look so like the truth, who can assure themselves of certain happiness?”

“I could not understand why men who knew all about good and evil could hate and kill each other.”




Johanna Spyri, Heidi:

“Many strange things happen in this world”

“Let’s enjoy the beautiful things we can see, my dear, and not think about those we cannot.”


R.L. Stevenson:

“To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.”

R.L. StevensonTreasure Island:

“Then it was that there came into my head the first of the mad notions that contributed so much to saving our lives.” 



Bram Stoker, Dracula:

“We learn from failure, not from success!”

“Remember my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory, and we should not trust the weaker”


J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring:

“All that is gold does not glitter,…”

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”


Mark Twain:

“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”

Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn :

“Right is right, and wrong is wrong, and a body ain’t got no business doing wrong when he ain’t ignorant and knows better.”


Jules Verne, A Journey to the Center of the Earth:

“Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth.”

Jules Verne, From the Earth to the Moon:

“How many things have been denied one day, only to become realities the next!”


Print Friendly, PDF & Email