Literary Quotations
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RUDYARD KIPLING QUOTES


Captains Courageous (1897)

The place was packed as full of smells as a bale is of cotton.

--Chapter 1

Like many other unfortunate young people, Harvey had never in all his life received a direct order - never, at least, without long, and sometimes tearful, explanations of the advantages of obedience and the reasons for the request.

--Chapter 1

Disko spoke of whaling voyages in the Fifties; of great she-whales slain beside their young; of death agonies on the black, tossing seas, and blood that spurted forty feet in the air; of boats smashed to splinters; of patent rockets that went off wrong-end-first and bombarded the trembling crews; of cutting-in and boiling-down, and that terrible "nip" of '71, when twelve hundred men were made homeless on the ice in three days--wonderful tales, all true. But more wonderful still were his stories of the cod, and how they argued and reasoned on their private businesses deep down belowed the keel.

--Chapter 5

An angry skipper makes an unhappy crew.

--Chapter 6

The thing that struck him most was the exceedingly casual way in which some craft loafed about the broad Atlantic. Fishing Boats, as Dan said, were naturally dependent on the courtesy and wisdom of their neighbours; but one expected better things of steamers.

--Chapter 6

Whatever his private sorrows may be, a multi-millionaire, like any other working man, should keep abreast of his business.

--Chapter 9

After violent emotion most people and all boys demand food.

--Chapter 9

It began with a kinless boy turned loose in Texas, and went on fantastically through a hundred changes and chops of life, the scenes shifting from State after Western State, from cities that sprang up in a month and in a season utterly withered away, to wild ventures in wilder camps that are now laborious paved municipalities. It covered the building of three railroads and the deliberate wreck of a fourth. It told of steamers, townships, forests, and mines, and the men of every nation under heaven, manning, creating, hewing, and digging these. It touched on chances of gigantic wealth flung before eyes that could not see, or missed by the merest accident of time and travel; and through the mad shift of things, sometimes on horseback, more often afoot, now rich, now poor, in and out, and back and forth, deck-hand, train-hand, contractor, boarding-house keeper, journalist, engineer, drummer, real-estate agent, politician, dead-beat, rum-seller, mine-owner, speculator, cattleman, or tramp, moved Harvey Cheyne, alert and quiet, seeking his own ends, and, so he said, the glory and advancement of his country.

--Chapter 10

Every one wanted to say so much that no one said anything in particular.

--Chapter 10

The Jungle Book (1894)

The Law of the Jungle, which never orders anything without a reason, forbids every beast to eat Man except when he is killing to show his children how to kill, and then he must hunt outside the hunting-grounds of his pack or tribe. The real reason for this is that man-killing means, sooner or later, the arrival of white men on elephants, with guns, and hundreds of brown men with gongs and rockets and torches. Then everybody in the jungle suffers. The reason the beasts give among themselves is that Man is the weakest and most defenseless of all living things, and it is unsportsmanlike to touch him.

Mowgli's Brothers

I have no gift of words, but I speak the truth.

Mowgli's Brothers

There is no harm in a man's cub.

Mowgli's Brothers

None can hope to lead the Pack forever.

Mowgli's Brothers

He was thinking of the time that comes to every leader of every pack when his strength goes from him and he gets feebler and feebler, till at last he is killed by the wolves and a new leader comes up--to be killed in his turn.

Mowgli's Brothers

The others they hate thee because their eyes cannot meet thine; because thou art wise; because thou hast pulled out thorns from their feet--because thou art a man.

Mowgli's Brothers

What is the Law of the Jungle? Strike first and then give tongue.

Mowgli's Brothers

Fire.... Every beast lives in deadly fear of it.

Mowgli's Brothers

His spots are the joy of the Leopard: his horns are the Buffalo's pride--
Be clean, for the strength of the hunter is known by the gloss of his hide.

Maxims of Baloo

Oppress not the cubs of the stranger, but hail them as Sister and Brother,
For though they are little and fubsy, it may be the Bear is their mother.

Maxims of Baloo

"There is none like to me!" says the Cub in the pride of his earliest kill;
But the Jungle is large and the Cub he is small. Let him think and be still.

Maxims of Baloo

None of the Jungle People like being disturbed.

Kaa's Hunting

As the moon came up behind the hill it shone through the openwork, casting shadows on the ground like black-velvet embroidery.

Kaa's Hunting

Well, if I am a man, a man I must become.

Tiger! Tiger!

In the jungle, life and food depend on keeping your temper.

Tiger! Tiger!

Why should I waste wisdom on a river-turtle?

Toomai of the Elephants

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