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Quotes of the day: Louis L'Amour

Published Saturday, March 21, 2015 @ 10:21 PM EDT
Mar 21 2015

Louis Dearborn L'Amour (March 22, 1908 - June 10, 1988) was an American author. His books consisted primarily of Western novels (though he called his work 'frontier stories'), however he also wrote historical fiction (The Walking Drum), science fiction (The Haunted Mesa), nonfiction (Frontier), as well as poetry and short story collections, many of which were adapted into motion pictures. L'Amour's books remain popular and most have gone through multiple printings. At the time of his death almost all of his 105 existing works (89 novels, 14 short-story collections, and two full- length works of nonfiction) were still in print. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A good beginning makes a good end.

A man who is in love with learning is a man who is never without a bride, for there is always more.

A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner, so if one's life is cold and bare he can blame none but himself.

A mistake constantly made by those who should know better is to judge people of the past by our standards rather than their own. The only way men or women can be judged is against the canvas of their own time.

A sword is never enough. The mind is also a weapon, but like the sword it must be honed and kept sharp.

A true gentleman is at a disadvantage in dealing with women. Women are realists, and their tactics are realistic, so no man should be a gentleman where women are concerned unless the women are very, very old or very, very young. Women admire gentlemen, and sleep with cads.

Adventure is just a romantic name for trouble. It sounds swell when you write about it, but it's hell when you meet it face to face in a dark and lonely place.

Ancestry is most important to those who have done nothing themselves, and often the ancestor from whom they claim descent is one they would not allow in the house if they met him today.

Anger is a killing thing: it kills the man who angers, for each rage leaves him less than he had been before- it takes something from him.

Being scared can keep a man from getting killed, and often makes a better fighter of him.

Do not let yourself be bothered by the inconsequential. One has only so much time in this world, so devote it to the work and the people most important to you, to those you love and things that matter.

Even those who fancy themselves the most progressive will fight against other kinds of progress, for each of us is convinced that our way is the best way.

Few of us ever live in the present. We are forever anticipating what is to come or remembering what has gone.

Honor is important only when dealing with honorable men.

I have reverence for truth, but I do not know what truth is. I suspect that there are many truths, and therefore, I suspect all who claim to have 'the' truth.

I wonder why it is the man who pleads for mercy never gives it.

I've noticed that whenever a man is asked to be realistic he is being asked to betray something in which he believes. It is the favorite argument of those who believe that only the end matters, not the means.

If you want the law to leave you alone, keep your hair trimmed and your boots shined.

Men must always remember that civilization is a flimsy cloak, and just outside are hunger, thirst, and cold... waiting.

Money can be lost or stolen, health and strength may fail, but what you have committed to your mind is yours forever.

Mostly a man just thinks about women, and they all get to look mighty fine after a while. A body forgets how mean and contrary they can be, and he just thinks of them as if they were angels or something.

Neither age nor size makes a man.

No man has the right to be ignorant.

No memory is ever alone; it's at the end of a trail of memories, a dozen trails that each have their own associations.

No one can get an education, for of necessity education is a continuing process.

Nobody got anywhere in the world by simply being content.

One can waste half a lifetime with people one doesn't really like, or doing things when one would be better off somewhere else.

Power not only corrupts he who wields the power but those who submit to it. Those who grovel at the feet of power betray their fellows to hide themselves behind the cloak of submission. It is an evil thing.

Reading without thinking is nothing, for a book is less important for what it says than for what it makes you think.

Sometimes I wonder if anything is ever ended. The words a man speaks today live on in his thoughts or the memories of others, and the shot fired, the blow struck, the thing done today is like a stone tossed into a pool and the ripples keep widening out until they touch lives far from ours.

The buzzard has only to wait. In the end, we all come to him or his like.

The more one learns, the more he understands his ignorance.

The only thing that never changes is that everything changes.

The terrorist lives for terror, not for the change he tells himself he wants. He masks his desire to kill and destroy behind the curtain of a cause.

There is power in the word whether written or spoken, for words can create images for those who have not themselves seen.

There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.

To a fool time brings only age, not wisdom.

To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.

Today is all we have, tomorrow is a mirage that may never become reality.

Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen.

We Americans love to view things with alarm. But if you look back, you see that life was always hard. It was never easy. And we got through it all, and we'll get through this, too.


(March 22 is also the birthday of Rudy Rucker.)

Categories: Louis L'Amour, Question of the day


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