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29+ quotes from Lost Horizon by James Hilton

Quotes from Lost Horizon

James Hilton ·  241 pages

Rating: (14K votes)


“People make mistakes in life through believing too much, but they have a damned dull time if they believe too little.”
― James Hilton, quote from Lost Horizon


“if we have not found the heaven within,we have not found the heaven without”
― James Hilton, quote from Lost Horizon


“We believe that to govern perfectly it is necessary to avoid governing too much.”
― James Hilton, quote from Lost Horizon


“If I could put it into a very few words, dear sir, I should say that our prevalent belief is in moderation. We inculcate the virtue of avoiding excesses of all kinds—even including, if you will pardon the paradox, excess of virtue itself.”
― James Hilton, quote from Lost Horizon


“Is there not too much tension in the world at present, and might it not be better if more people were slackers?”
― James Hilton, quote from Lost Horizon


“The first quarter-century of your life was doubtless lived under the cloud of being too young for things, while the last quarter-century would normally be shadowed by the still darker cloud of being too old for them; and between those two clouds, what small and narrow sunlight illumines a human lifetime!”
― James Hilton, quote from Lost Horizon


“Miss Brinklow, however, was not yet to be sidetracked. "What do the lamas do?" she continued.

"They devote themselves, madam, to contemplation and to the pursuit of wisdom."

"But that isn't doing anything."

"Then, madam, they do nothing.”
― James Hilton, quote from Lost Horizon


“We have reason. It is the entire meaning and purpose of Shangri-La. It came to me in a vision long, long ago. I foresaw a time when man exalting in the technique of murder, would rage so hotly over the world, that every book, every treasure would be doomed to destruction. This vision was so vivid and so moving that I determined to gather together all things of beauty and culture that I could and preserve them here against the doom toward which the world is rushing. Look at the world today. Is there anything more pitiful? What madness there is! What blindness! A scurrying mass of bewildered humanity crashing headlong against each other. The time must come, my friend, when brutality and the lust for power must perish by its own sword. For when that day comes, the world must begin to look for a new life. And it is our hope that they may find it here.”
― James Hilton, quote from Lost Horizon


“It is significant ..... that the English regard slackness as a vice. We, on the other hand, should vastly prefer it to tension. Is there not too much tension in the world at present, and might it not be better if more people were slackers?”
― James Hilton, quote from Lost Horizon


“It seemed to him that the little Manchu had never looked so radiant. She gave him a most charming smile, but her eyes were all for the boy.”
― James Hilton, quote from Lost Horizon


“The will of God or the lunacy of man - it seemed to him that you could take your choice, if you wanted a good enough reason for most things. Or, alternatively, the will of man and the lunacy of God.”
― James Hilton, quote from Lost Horizon


“Then the whole range, much nearer now, paled into fresh splendor; a full moon rose, touching each peak in succession like some celestial lamplighter, until the long horizon glittered against a blue-black sky.”
― James Hilton, quote from Lost Horizon


“My friend, it is not an arduous task that I bequeath, for our order knows only silken bonds. To be gentle and patient, to care for the riches of the mind, to preside in wisdom and secrecy while the storm rages without — it will all be very pleasantly simple for you, and you will doubtless find great happiness.”
― James Hilton, quote from Lost Horizon


“One had to breathe consciously and deliberately, which, though disconcerting at first, induced after a time an almost ecstatic tranquility of mind. The whole body moved in a single rhythm of breathing, walking, and thinking, the lungs, no longer discrete and automatic, were disciplined to harmony with mind and limb.”
― James Hilton, quote from Lost Horizon


“He was, and he knew it, very quietly in love with the little Manchu. His love demanded nothing, not even reply; it was a tribute of the mind, to which his senses added only a flavor.”
― James Hilton, quote from Lost Horizon


“you’re certain, then, that no human affection can outlast a five-year absence?” “It can, undoubtedly,” replied the Chinese, “but only as a fragrance whose melancholy we may enjoy.”
― James Hilton, quote from Lost Horizon


“You were contemplating the mountain, Mr. Conway?" Came the inquiry.
"Yes, it's a fine sight. It has a name, I suppose?"
"It is called Karakal"
"I don't think I've ever heard of it. Is is very high?"
"Over twenty-eight thousand feet."
"Indeed? I didn't realize there would be anything on that scale outside the Himalayas. Has it been properly surveyed? Whose are the measurements?"
"Whose would you expect, my dear sir? Is there anything incompatible between monasticism and trigonometry?”
― James Hilton, quote from Lost Horizon


“The jewel has facets,” said the Chinese, “and it is possible that many religions are moderately true.”
― James Hilton, quote from Lost Horizon


“Moonlight faded after a time, and with it that distant specter of the mountain; then the triple mischiefs of darkness, cold, and wind increased until dawn. As though at its signal, the wind dropped, leaving the world in compassionate quietude.”
― James Hilton, quote from Lost Horizon


“During a subsequent visit, however, Chang told him that there were other books published up to about the middle of 1930 which would doubtless be added to the shelves eventually; they had already arrived at the lamasery. “We keep ourselves fairly up-to-date, you see,” he commented. “There are people who would hardly agree with you,” replied Conway with a smile. “Quite a lot of things have happened in the world since last year, you know.” “Nothing of importance, my dear sir, that could not have been foreseen in 1920, or that will not be better understood in 1940.”
― James Hilton, quote from Lost Horizon


“Then, my son, when the strong have devoured each other, the Christian ethic may at last be fulfilled, and the meek shall inherit the earth.”
― James Hilton, quote from Lost Horizon


“I often think that the Romans were fortunate; their civilization reached as far as hot baths without touching the fatal knowledge of machinery.”
― James Hilton, quote from Lost Horizon


“explained Conway, “is a slang word meaning a lazy fellow, a good-for-nothing.”
― James Hilton, quote from Lost Horizon


“The will of God or the lunacy of man—it seemed to him that you could take your choice, if you wanted a good enough reason for most things.”
― James Hilton, quote from Lost Horizon


“And what if it’s a trap?” asked Mallinson, but Barnard supplied an answer. “A nice warm trap,” he said, “with a piece of cheese in it, would suit me down to the ground.”
― James Hilton, quote from Lost Horizon


“CIGARS HAD BURNED LOW, and we were beginning to sample the disillusionment that usually afflicts old school friends who have met again as men and found themselves with less in common than they had believed they had.”
― James Hilton, quote from Lost Horizon


“My goodness, if you think of all the folks in the world who'd give all they've got to be out of the racket and in a place like this, only they can't get out! Are we in the prison or are they?”
― James Hilton, quote from Lost Horizon


“Mallinson, who had been somberly enduring these pleasantries, now interposed with something of the shrill acerbity of the barrack-square. “Our stay won’t be long,” he announced curtly. “We shall pay for anything we have, and we should like to hire some of your men to help us on our journey back. We want to return to civilization as soon as possible.” “And are you so very certain that you are away from it?” The query, delivered with much suavity, only stung the youth to further sharpness. “I’m quite sure I’m far away from where I want to be, and so are we all. We shall be grateful for temporary shelter, but we shall be more grateful still if you’ll provide means for us to return.”
― James Hilton, quote from Lost Horizon


“The parallel is not quite exact. For those Dark Ages were not really so very dark—they were full of flickering lanterns, and even if the light had gone out of Europe altogether, there were other rays, literally from China to Peru, at which it could have been rekindled. But the Dark Ages that are to come will cover the whole world in a single pall; there will be neither escape nor sanctuary, save such as are too secret to be found or too humble to be noticed. And Shangri-La may hope to be both of these. The airman bearing loads of death to the great cities will not pass our way, and if by chance he should he may not consider us worth a bomb.”
― James Hilton, quote from Lost Horizon


About the author

James Hilton
Born place: in Leigh, The United Kingdom
Born date September 9, 1900
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