The Quote Garden
 “I dig old books.”
 Est. 1998

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Quotations about the Country

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NOTE:  Some of the quotes on this page were submitted to me by visitors, and not all have been verified for original source or wording. I'm working hard to confirm everything, but in the meantime please be aware of the possibility for errors.  —ღ Terri, March 2021

[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

It is only in the country that we can get to know a person or a book.  ~Cyril Connolly, The Unquiet Grave, 1945

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 Task

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 go out into the countryside and see the sun and the green and everything flowering, I say to myself Yes indeed, all that belongs to me!  ~Henri Rousseau

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

I have no relish for the country; it is a kind of healthy grave.  ~Sydney Smith

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 that it was only in the city that the flame of divinity breathed into the first men had an unobscured glow.  ~George William Russell

I roamed the countryside searching for answers to things I did not understand.  ~Leonardo da Vinci

Ironically, rural America has become viewed by a growing number of Americans as having a higher quality of life not because of what it has, but rather because of what it does not have!  ~Don A. Dillman

Anybody can be good in the country.  ~Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

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

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

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 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

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.  ~William Hazlitt, Table Talk

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, letter to Isaac Smith, Jr., 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

As much as I converse with sages and heroes, they have very little of my love and admiration.  I long for rural and domestic scene, for the warbling of birds and the prattling of my children.  ~John Adams

I suppose the pleasure of country life lies really in the eternally renewed evidences of the determination to live.  ~Vita Sackville-West, Country Notes

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