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Quotations about Cities


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There are natures that go to the streams of life in great cities as the hart goes to the water brooks.  ~Philip G. Hamerton


All cities are mad:  but the madness is gallant.  All cities are beautiful:  but the beauty is grim.  ~Christopher Morley, Where the Blue Begins


Cities force growth, and make men talkative and entertaining, but they make them artificial.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


The axis of the earth sticks out visibly through the centre of each and every town or city.  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.


Towered cities please us then,
And the busy hum of men.
~John Milton


What is the city but the people?  ~William Shakespeare


No city should be too large for a man to walk out of in a morning.  ~Cyril Connolly


Clearly, then, the city is not a concrete jungle, it is a human zoo.  ~Desmond Morris, The Human Zoo


Divine Nature gave the fields, human art built the cities.  ~Marcus Terentius Varro, De Re Rustica


"Become corrupt, corrupt, and you will cease to suffer!" This has been the cry of all cities to man... ~Alfred de Musset, The Confession of a Child of the Century/La Confession d'un enfant du siècle, 1836, translated from French by Kendall Warren


The roaring street is hung for miles
With fierce electric fire.
~William Vaughan Moody, In New York


There is hardly one in three of us who live in the cities who is not sick with unused self.  ~Ben Hecht


Suburb:  a place that isn't city, isn't country, and isn't tolerable.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966


This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
~William Wordsworth


God made the country, and man made the town.  ~William Cowper, The Task, 1785


A city is a large community where people are lonesome together.  ~Herbert Prochnow


I have an affection for a great city.  I feel safe in the neighbourhood of man, and enjoy the sweet security of the streets.  ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


High mountains are a feeling, but the hum
Of human cities torture.
~George Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage


The city disappears street by street as you enter it. ~Ian Seed


Don't let the city steal your soul. ~Terri Guillemets


To one who has been long in city pent,
'Tis very sweet to look into the fair
And open face of heaven, — to breathe a prayer
Full in the smile of the blue firmament.
~John Keats, Sonnet XIV


Cities are the abyss of the human species.  ~Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Émile


In the country the darkness of night is friendly and familiar, but in a city, with its blaze of lights, it is unnatural, hostile and menacing.  It is like a monstrous vulture that hovers, biding its time.  ~Somerset Maugham


In Rome you long for the country; in the country - oh inconstant! - you praise the distant city to the stars.  ~Horace, Satires



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