Famous Quotes & Sayings

John Buchan Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 83 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by John Buchan.

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John Buchan Quotes 1348715

Civilisation needs more than the law to hold it together. You see, all mankind are not equally willing to accept as divine justice what is called human law. — John Buchan

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A fool tries to look different: a clever man looks the same and is different. — John Buchan

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Civilisation is a conspiracy. — John Buchan

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It was a strange staging for death, for the woman on the high bed was dying. Slowly, fighting every inch of the way with a grim tenacity, but indubitably dying. Her vital ardour had sunk below the mark from which it could rise again, and was now ebbing as water runs from a little crack in a pitcher. — John Buchan

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I believe that every man has in his soul a passion for treasure-hunting, which will often drive a coward into prodigies of valour. — John Buchan

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You may hear people say that submarines have done away with the battleship, and that aircraft have annulled the mastery of the sea. That is what our pessimists say. But do you imagine that the clumsy submarine or the fragile aeroplane is really the last word of science? — John Buchan

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Civilization is a conspiracy. Modern life is the silent compact of comfortable folk to keep up pretences. — John Buchan

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And where the deepest current crawls/ Like thistledown the dainty fly falls./ Then from the depths a silver gleam/ Quick flashes, like a jewel bright./ Up through the waters of the stream/ An instant visible to sight/ As lightning cleaves to sombre sky/ A rainbow rises to the fly. — John Buchan

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Fortunately for mankind the brain in a life of action turns more to the matter in hand than to conjuring up the chances of the future. — John Buchan

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To live for a time close to great minds is the best kind of education. — John Buchan

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But the big courage is the cold-blooded kind, the kind that never lets go even when you're feeling empty inside, and your blood's thin, and there's no kind of fun or profit to be had, and the trouble's not over in an hour or two but lasts for months and years. — John Buchan

John Buchan Quotes 1922779

London is like the tropical bush
if you don't exercise constant care the jungle, in the shape of the slums, will break in. — John Buchan

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History gives us a kind of chart, and we dare not surrender even a small rushlight in the darkness. The hasty reformer who does not remember the past will find himself condemned to repeat it. — John Buchan

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It struck me that Albania was the sort of place that might keep a man from yawning. — John Buchan

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We must all be fighters and strugglers, Lewie, and it is better to wear out than to rust out. It is bad to let choice things become easily familiar; for, you know, familiarity is apt to beget a proverbial offspring. The — John Buchan

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There may be Peace without Joy, and Joy without Peace, but the two combined make Happiness. — John Buchan

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Without humility there can be no humanity. — John Buchan

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If you're going to be killed you invent some kind of flag and country to fight for, and if you survive you get to love the thing — John Buchan

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The more doubtful the political outlook the fiercer will be the dogmas which men create and contend for. — John Buchan

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I had a fine prospect of the whole ring of moorland. I saw the car speed away with two occupants, and a man on a hill pony riding east. I judged they were looking for me, and I wished them joy of their quest. — John Buchan

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He felt singularly light-hearted, and the immediate cause was his safety razor. A week ago he had bought the thing in a sudden fit of enterprise, and now he shaved in five minutes, where before he had taken twenty, and no longer confronted his fellows, at least one day in three, with a countenance ludicrously mottled by sticking-plaster. — John Buchan

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In our modern world we have seen inaugurated the reign of a dull bourgeois rationalism, which finds some inadequate reason for all things in heaven and earth and makes a god of its own infallibility. — John Buchan

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The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope. — John Buchan

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This is all a tale of an older world and a forgotten countryside. At this moment of time change has come; a screaming line of steel runs through the heather of no-man's-land, and the holiday-maker claims the valleys for his own. But this busyness is but of yesterday, and not ten years ago the fields lay quiet to the gaze of placid beasts and the wandering stars. This story I have culled from the grave of an old fashion, and set down for the love of a great soul and the poetry of life. — John Buchan

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You see only the productions of second-rate folk who are in a hurry to get wealth and fame. The true knowledge, the deadly knowledge, is still kept secret. But, believe me, my friend, it is there. — John Buchan

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By God!' he whispered, drawing his breath in sharply, 'it is all pure Rider Haggard and Conan Doyle. — John Buchan

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Peace is that state in which fear of any kind is unknown. — John Buchan

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I get into a tearing passion about something I know very little about, and when I learn more my passion ebbs away. — John Buchan

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That is the supreme value of history. The study of it is the best guarantee against repeating it. — John Buchan

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He disliked emotion, not because he felt lightly, but because he felt deeply. — John Buchan

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The best prayers have often more groans than words. — John Buchan

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What would you call the highest happiness? Wratislaw was asked. The sense of competence, was the answer, given without hesitation. — John Buchan

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The sea has formed the English character and the essential England is to be found in those who follow it. From blue waters they have learned mercifulness, and they have also learned - in the grimmest of schools - precision and resolution. The sea endures no makeshifts. If a thing is not exactly right it will be vastly wrong. — John Buchan

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An old woman with a mutch sat in an arm-chair behind the counter. She looked up at me over her spectacles and smiled, and I took to her on the instant. She had the kind of old wise face that God loves. — John Buchan

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It was a soft breathless June morning, with a promise of sultriness later ... — John Buchan

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Leadership is only courage and wisdom, and a great carefulness of self. — John Buchan

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I was a peaceful sedentary man, a lover of a quiet life, with no appetite for perils and commotions. But I was beginning to realise that I was very obstinate. — John Buchan

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I began to get really keen, for every man at the bottom of his heart believes that he is a born detective. — John Buchan

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Most true points are fine points. There never was a dispute between mortals where both sides hadn't a bit of right. — John Buchan

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But some love not the method of your first; Romance they count it, throw't away as dust; If I should meet with such, what should I say; Must I slight them as they slight me, or nay — John Buchan

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When a man comes out of great danger, he is apt to be a little deaf to the call of duty. — John Buchan

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Our ignorance of the future has been wisely ordained of Heaven. For unless man were to be like God and know everything, it is better that he should know nothing. If he knows one fact only, instead of profiting by it he will assuredly land in the soup. — John Buchan

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If those extra-social brains are so potent, why after all do they effect so little? A dull police-officer, with the machine behind him, can afford to laugh at most experiments in anarchy. — John Buchan

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Jock put his shoulder to the framework and the whole thing crumbled inward with a crash of glass.
"Rotten as touch-wood," he said. "This place would never stand a siege. — John Buchan

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I'm an economical soul, and if I'm going to be hanged I want a good stake for my neck. — John Buchan

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Bethink you of the blessedness. Every wife is like the Mother of God and has the hope of bearing a saviour of mankind. — John Buchan

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To spend your days on such work when the world is chockful of amusing things. Life goes roaring by and you only hear the echo in your stuffy rooms. — John Buchan

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I believe everything out of the common. The only thing to distrust is the normal. — John Buchan

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The robe of flesh wears thin, and with the years God shines through all things. — John Buchan

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How will you deal with him?" Belses asked.
Jock lifted a brawny fist and regarded it lovingly. "Knock him out
truss him up
whatever the Almighty permits us."
Supposing he's not alone?"
Oh, then, if his trusties are with him, there'll be a bonny rumpus. — John Buchan

John Buchan Quotes 1276783

The task of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there. — John Buchan

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It was strange how fear had gone,now that we knew the worst and had a fighting man by our side. — John Buchan

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The secret belongs only to the Maker of good and faithful dogs. — John Buchan

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The eyes were of a color which he could never decide on, afterwards when he told the story he used to say they were the color of everything in Spring. — John Buchan

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The Church of Christ is an anvil which has worn out many hammers. Our opponents may boast of their strength, but they do not realize what they have challenged. — John Buchan

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Our sufferings have taught us that no nation is sufficient unto itself, and that our prosperity depends in the long run, not upon the failures of our neighbors but their successes. — John Buchan

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It was foreordained that I should go alone to Umvelos', and in the promptings of my own infallible heart I believed I saw the workings of Omnipotence. Such is our moral arrogance, and yet without such a belief I think that mankind would have ever been content to bide sluggishly at home. — John Buchan

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Here were we wretched creatures of men making for each other's throats, and outraging the good earth which God had made so fair a habitation. — John Buchan

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I wondered whether the scientific modern brain could not get to the stage of realising that Space is not an empty homogeneous medium, but full of intricate differences, intelligible and real, though not with our common reality. — John Buchan

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About six in the evening I came out of the moorland to a white ribbon of road which wound up the narrow vale of a lowland stream. As I followed it, fields gave place to bent, the glen became a plateau, and presently I had reached a kind of pass where a solitary house smoked in the twilight. The road swung over a bridge, and leaning on the parapet was a young man. He was smoking a long clay pipe and studying the water with spectacled eyes. In his left hand was a small book with a finger marking the place. Slowly he repeated - As when a Gryphon through the wilderness With winged step, o'er hill and moory dale Pursues the Arimaspian. He jumped round as my step rung on the keystone, and I saw a pleasant sunburnt boyish face. 'Good evening to you,' he said gravely. 'It's a fine night for the road.' The smell of peat smoke and of some savoury roast floated to me from the house. — John Buchan

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My thoughts hovered over all varieties of mortal edible, and finally settled on a porterhouse steak and a quart of bitter with a welsh rabbit to follow. In longing hopelessly for these dainties I fell asleep. — John Buchan

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I always try to suit my clothes to my company. It is the only way to be inconspicuous. — John Buchan

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The book trade is a spiritual barometer of a nations well-being. — John Buchan

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I am an ordinary sort of fellow, not braver than other people, but I hate to see a good man downed, and that long knife would not be the end of Scudder if I could play the game in his place. — John Buchan

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The vows we take in the holy place bind us till we are purged of them at Inanda's Kraal. Till then no blood must be shed and no flesh eaten. It was the fashion of our forefathers. — John Buchan

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The true definition of a snob is one who craves for what separates men rather than for what unites them. — John Buchan

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I would be content with any job, however thankless, in any quarter, however remote, if I had the chance of making a corner of the desert blossom and a solitary place glad. — John Buchan

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All this was very loose guessing, and I don't pretend it was ingenious or scientific. I wasn't any kind of Sherlock Holmes. But I have always fancied I had a kind of instinct about questions like this. I don't know if I can explain myself, but I used to use my brains as far as they went, and after they came to a blank wall I guessed, and I usually found my guesses pretty right. — John Buchan

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Young girls passed me with romance still in their eyes, and others, a little older, with the romance dead. — John Buchan

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[W]ithout humour you cannot run a sweetie-shop, let alone a nation. — John Buchan

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The world was arrogant and self-satisfied, but behind all this confidence there was an uneasy sense of impending disaster. The old creeds, both religious and political , were largely in the process of dissolution, but we did not realise the fact , and therefore did not look for new foundations. — John Buchan

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Pessimism is the one ism which kills the soul. — John Buchan

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He who would valiant be against all disaster; let him in constancy follow the Master. There's no discouragement shall make him once relent; his first avowed intent to be a pilgrim. — John Buchan

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An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support. — John Buchan

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(Thirty-nine steps)' was the phrase; and at its last time of use it ran - '(Thirty-nine steps, I counted them - high tide 10.17 p.m.)'. I could make nothing of that. — John Buchan

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You think that a wall as solid as the earth separates civilization from barbarism. I tell you the division is a thread, a sheet of glass. A touch here, a push there, and you bring back the reign of Saturn. — John Buchan

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I believe that all wisdom consists in caring immensely for a few right things, and not caring a straw about the rest. — John Buchan

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We can pay our debts to the past by putting the future in debt to ourselves. — John Buchan

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Prayer opens the heart to God, and it is the means by which the soul, though empty, is filled by God. — John Buchan

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I once played the chief part in a rather exciting business without ever once budging from London . And the joke of it was that the man who went out to look for adventure only saw a bit of the game, and I who sat in my chambers saw it all and pulled the strings. 'They also serve who only stand and wait,' you know. — John Buchan

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Any large-scale organization must lose some of the merits of its rudimentary beginnings. Quantity will have a coarsening effect on quality. — John Buchan

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It would scarcely be destruction," he replied gently. "Let us call it iconoclasm, the swallowing of formulas, which has always had its full retinue of idealists. And you do not want a Napoleon . All that is needed is direction, which could be given by men of far lower gifts than a Bonaparte. In a word, you want a Power-House, and then the age of miracles will begin. — John Buchan

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Wise men never grow up; indeed, they grow younger, for they lose the appalling worldly wisdom of youth. — John Buchan