The Quote Garden

 I dig old books.

 Est. 1998




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Quotations about the Country



[T]here is no practice... which tends to renovate the constitution, than a temporary retirement to the country... ~John Sinclair, The Code of Health and Longevity, c.1815


To a brain wearied by the din of the city, the clatter of wheels, the jingle of street cars, the discord of bells, the cries of venders, the ear-splitting whistles of factory and shop, how refreshing is the heavenly stillness of the country! To the soul tortured by the sight of ills it cannot cure, wrongs it cannot right, and sufferings it cannot relieve, how blessed to be alone with nature, with trees living free, unfettered lives, and flowers content each in its native spot, with brooks singing of joy and good cheer, with mountains preaching divine peace and rest! ~Olive Thorne Miller, "Tramps with an Enthusiast," The Atlantic Monthly, May 1895  #hsp


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


The Town is merely the Country with its hat on. ~Kenneth Alfred Evelyn Alexander (c.1890–1953), in The New Zealand Railways Magazine, 1930 January 1st  [His entries were always credited "Perpetrated and Illustrated by Ken Alexander." —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


Town and country, country and town,
Equally excellent sons of a noun...
~Kenneth Alfred Evelyn Alexander (c.1890–1953), in The New Zealand Railways Magazine, 1930 January 1st


When I... moved to the country, I felt as if I could finally exhale that little bit of breath I'd been unconsciously holding in my lungs. Time is not so relentless when it is possible to watch the sun make an uninhibited arc across the day, when the stars take up more of the night's space than the darkness, when a footprint lives for days in its moist soil bed, when the only motor to be heard is the occasional tractor several miles away. ~Cecily Schmidt, "Common Threads," in Wild Child: Girlhoods in the Counterculture edited by Chelsea Cain, 1999


The summer and the country... have no charms for me. I look forward anxiously to the return of bad weather, coal fires, and good society in a crowded city. I have no relish for the country; it is a kind of healthy grave. ~Sydney Smith, 1838


And so I sit here, happy, with the children at my knees
A-askin' lots of fool-questions about the buzzin' bees,
And when the wind has died away and everything is still
I stretch my legs on the grass and say beneath the pine:
Some folks hanker for the city, but this suits me just fine!
~Kimball Chase Tapley, "All Things Rejoice," c.1890  [altered —tg]


People tell me that the countryside must always be stupid and backward, and I get angry, as if it were said that only townspeople had immortal souls, and it was only in the city that the flame of divinity breathed into the first men had any unobscured glow. ~George W. Russell


My dear boy... anybody can be good in the country. ~Oscar Wilde


It is not easy to walk alone in the country without musing upon something. ~Charles Dickens


...I hate the crowded town!
I cannot breathe shut up within its gates!
Air,—I want air, and sunshine, and blue sky,
The feeling of the breeze upon my face,
The feeling of the turf beneath my feet,
And no walls but the far-off mountain-tops.
Then I am free and strong,—once more myself...
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Spanish Student, 1843


[G]ive me, away, aside from the noise of the world, a rural domestic life... ~Walt Whitman


There is a great renaissance going on. The flood of brains and imagination from the country to the cities is being stemmed — and a gradually increasing trickle is running in the opposite direction. ~John Seymour, 1977


My birthplace will ever to me be most dear—
      Fond memories linger of love, without fear!—
      Twenty miles from the city, three miles from town,
      Where the sky was so blue and the earth so brown!...
Oh, I loved the sweet smell of the new mown hay,
      The sunrise and sunset of each Summer's day,
      The song of the birds and the flowers, so fair,
      And all the beauties of Nature everywhere.
I loved to climb high in the trees, very tall,
      And to gather the beechnuts late in the Fall;
      To pick the ripe berries, so luscious and sweet,
      That grew in the meadows, right down at my feet.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "A Leaf from Memories' Book," 1940s


There is indeed scarcely any writer who has not celebrated the happiness of rural privacy, and delighted himself and his reader with the melody of birds, the whisper of groves, and the murmur of rivulets... ~Samuel Johnson, 1751


Nor rural sights alone, but rural sounds,
Exhilarate the spirit, and restore
The tone of languid nature.
~William Cowper


When I am in the country, I wish to vegetate like the country... I go out of town in order to forget the town and all that is in it. There are those who for this purpose go to watering-places, and carry the metropolis with them. I like more elbow-room, and fewer incumbrances. ~William Hazlitt, "On Going a Journey"


Oh, give me the country! where grass is green;
      Where the roses bloom with satiny sheen;
      Where the modest violet lifts up its head,
      As on it the warmth of the sun is shed:
Give me the country! where all is serene;
      Where the air is pure and fragrant and clean,
      And noise of the city is far away;
      Where gaiety thrives through each night and day.
God made the country, so lovely and fair!,
      Its wide open spaces for all to share;
      Where joy and contentment each one may find
      If he, earnestly, seeks for peace of mind.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "Give Me The Country!," 1940s


I hope very soon to be better, for I have removed my Family into the Country, to my old Habitation at Braintree, and have determined to shake off a little of that Load of public and private Care which has for some Time oppressed me. If I had not, I should soon have shaken off this mortal Body. ~John Adams, 1771


If then the air can so easily become vitiated, what must its condition be in such places, especially in towns, where so many causes combine to corrupt it! That is why town's people like so much to go into the country, there to breathe a purer and healthier air whereby better blood and in general better humours are formed. ~Sebastian Kneipp, Thus Shalt Thou Live: Hints and Advice for the Healthy and the Sick on a Simple and Rational Mode of Life and a Natural Method of Cure, 1889, translated from the 19th German edition


I love the little birds that sing,
I love the little lambs that frolic;
And still, you know, there's such a thing
As being somewhat too bucolic.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Rhymed Reviews: Laddie by Gene Stratton-Porter," in Life, 1913


      The Spring advances, very rapidly, and all Nature will soon be cloathed in her gayest Robes. The green Grass, which begins to shew itself, here, and there, revives in my longing Imagination my little Farm, and its dear Inhabitants. What Pleasures has not this vile War deprived me of? I want to wander, in my Meadows, to ramble over my Mountains, and to sit in Solitude, or with her who has all my Heart, by the side of the Brooks. These beautifull Scaenes would contribute more to my Happiness, than the sublime ones which surround me.
      I begin to suspect that I have not much of the Grand in my Composition. The Pride and Pomp of War, the continual Sound of Drums and Fifes as well played, as any in the World, the Prancings and Tramplings of the Light Horse numbers of whom are paraded in the Streets every day, have no Charms for me. I long for rural and domestic scaenes, for the warbling of Birds and the Prattle of my Children.—Don't you think I am somewhat poetical this morning, for one of my Years, and considering the Gravity, and Insipidity of my Employment.—As much as I converse with Sages and Heroes, they have very little of my Love or Admiration. I should prefer the Delights of a Garden to the Dominion of a World. I have nothing of Caesars Greatness in my soul. Power has not my Wishes in her Train. The Gods, by granting me Health, and Peace and Competence, the Society of my Family and Friends, the Perusal of my Books, and the Enjoyment of my Farm and Garden, would make me as happy as my Nature and State will bear. ~John Adams, 1777





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