Quotes from The Swiss Family Robinson

Johann David Wyss ·  352 pages

Rating: (87.8K votes)


“It was one of those happy days that God grants us sometimes on earth to give us an idea of the bliss of heaven.”
― Johann David Wyss, quote from The Swiss Family Robinson


“I shall be satisfied if young people who read this record of our lives and adventures should learn from it how admirably suited is the peaceful, industrious life of a cheerful and united family to the formation of strong, pure, and manly character.”
― Johann David Wyss, quote from The Swiss Family Robinson


“The monkeys seized all the cocoanuts within their reach and sent them down upon us”
― Johann David Wyss, quote from The Swiss Family Robinson


“Let us not disdain the ass,”
― Johann David Wyss, quote from The Swiss Family Robinson


“If it be the will of God," said my wife, "to leave us alone on this solitary place, let us be content; and rejoice that we are all together in safety.”
― Johann David Wyss, quote from The Swiss Family Robinson



“We at length, when we had captured as many fish as we could possibly utilize, set about cleaning and preparing their flesh. Some we salted, some we dried like the herrings, some we treated like the tunny of the Mediterranean—we prepared them in oil. Of the roe of the sturgeon I decided to form caviare, the great Russian dish. I removed from it all the membranes by which it is surrounded, washed it in vinegar, salted it, pressed out all the moisture caused by the wet-absorbing properties of the salt, packed it in small barrels, and”
― Johann David Wyss, quote from The Swiss Family Robinson


“Their greatest danger was in the disbelief of their teachers. Though every one had a copy of the law, few read it; all were ready, by some excuse, to avoid this duty. Some asserted they knew it, yet never thought on it: some called these the laws of past times; not of the present. Other said the Great King did not regard the actions of his subjects, that he had neither mines nor dungeons, and that all would certainly be taken to the Heavenly City.”
― Johann David Wyss, quote from The Swiss Family Robinson


“In this way, the labor of learning was very considerably lightened, and everyone came to know a few words of each language. Occasionally we amused ourselves”
― Johann David Wyss, quote from The Swiss Family Robinson


“This curious little animal was of a soft, dark brown color, the fur being of a lighter shade under the body; its feet were furnished with large claws, and also completely webbed, the head small, with deeply set eyes and ears, and terminating in a broad flat bill like that of a duck.”
― Johann David Wyss, quote from The Swiss Family Robinson


“She employed Francis to reel off the thread as she spun it, and would willingly have had the elder boys to take her place when she was called off; but they rebelled at the effeminate work, except Ernest, whose indolent habits made him prefer it to more laborious occupation.”
― Johann David Wyss, quote from The Swiss Family Robinson



“numberless pieces of timber, etc., that intervened, and in a little time reached the object of our search, which from its great weight moved slowly upon the waves. Fritz, with his accustomed readiness, flung some rope round two four-pounders, and contrived to fasten them to our barge; after which he secured also an enormous quantity of poles, laths, and other useful articles. With this rich booty”
― Johann David Wyss, quote from The Swiss Family Robinson


“I shall be satisfied if young people who read this record of our lives and adventures should learn from it how admirably suited is the peaceful, industrious life of a cheerful and united family to the foundation of strong, pure, and manly character.”
― Johann David Wyss, quote from The Swiss Family Robinson


“It was my wish that our sons should cultivate a habit of bold independence, for I well knew that it might easily be the will of God to deprive them of their parents; when, without an enterprising spirit of self reliance, their position would be truly miserable.”
― Johann David Wyss, quote from The Swiss Family Robinson


“What our limited reason cannot grasp, let us be content to acknowledge as the workings of Almighty power and wisdom, and thankfully trust in that 'Rock,' which, were it not higher than we, would afford no sense of security to the immortal soul.”
― Johann David Wyss, quote from The Swiss Family Robinson


“A noble mind finds its purest joy in the accomplishment of its duty, and to that willingly sacrifices its inclination.”
― Johann David Wyss, quote from The Swiss Family Robinson



“On the following day, the boys seeming disposed to carry out my wishes by muscular exercise of all sorts, I encouraged them by saying I meant to prepare a curious new weapon for them, only they must promise not to neglect the practice of archery; as to their guns, I had no reason to fear they would be laid aside.”
― Johann David Wyss, quote from The Swiss Family Robinson


“They were all fine, handsome fellows; Fritz, now twenty-four, was of moderate height, uncommonly strong, active, muscular, and high-spirited. Ernest, two years younger, was tall and slight; in disposition, mild, calm, and studious; his early faults of indolence and selfishness were almost entirely overcome. He possessed refined tastes and great intellectual power. Jack, at twenty, strongly resembled Fritz, being about his height, though more lightly built, and remarkable rather for active grace and agility than for muscular strength. Franz, a lively youth of seventeen, had some of the qualities of each of his brothers; he possessed wit and shrewdness, but not the arch drollery of Jack. All were honorable, God-fearing young men, dutiful and affectionate to their mother and myself, and warmly attached to each other. Although”
― Johann David Wyss, quote from The Swiss Family Robinson


“Stop!" I exclaimed, "we have still left something very important undone." "Surely not," said Fritz. "Yes," said I, "we have not yet joined in morning prayer. We are only too ready, amid the cares and pleasures of this life, to forget the God to whom we owe all things.”
― Johann David Wyss, quote from The Swiss Family Robinson


“I told him he must carry it thus. It was evident the sagacious little creature, having lost its mother, had adopted him for a father. I succeeded, at last, in quietly releasing him, and took the little orphan, which was no bigger than a cat, in my arms, pitying its helplessness. The mother appeared as tall as Fritz. I was reluctant to add another mouth to the number we had to feed; but Fritz earnestly begged to keep it, offering to divide his share of cocoa-nut milk with it till we had our cows. I consented, on condition that he took care of it, and taught it to be obedient to him. Turk, in the mean time, was feasting on the remains of the unfortunate mother. Fritz would have driven him off, but I saw we had not food sufficient to satisfy this voracious animal, and we might ourselves be in danger from his appetite. We left him, therefore, with his prey, the little orphan sitting on the shoulder of his protector, while I carried the canes. Turk soon overtook us, and was received very coldly; we reproached him with his cruelty, but he was quite unconcerned, and continued to walk after Fritz. The little monkey seemed uneasy at the sight of him, and crept into Fritz's bosom, much to his inconvenience. But a thought struck him; he tied the monkey with a cord to Turk's back, leading the dog by another cord, as he was very rebellious at first; but our threats and caresses at last induced him to submit to his burden. We proceeded slowly, and I could not help anticipating the mirth of my little ones, when they saw us approach like a pair of show-men. I advised Fritz not to correct the dogs for attacking and killing unknown animals. Heaven bestows the dog on man, as well as the horse, for a friend and protector. Fritz thought we were very fortunate, then, in having two such faithful dogs; he only regretted that our horses had died on the passage, and only left us the ass. "Let us not disdain the ass," said I; "I wish we had him here; he is of a very fine breed, and would be as useful as a horse to us." In such conversations, we arrived at the banks of our river before we were aware. Flora barked to announce our approach, and Turk answered so loudly, that the terrified little monkey leaped from his back to the shoulder of its protector, and would not come down. Turk ran off to meet his companion, and our dear family soon appeared on the opposite shore, shouting with joy at our happy return. We crossed at the same place as we had done in the morning, and embraced each other. Then began such a noise of exclamations. "A monkey! a real, live monkey! Ah! how delightful! How glad we are! How did you catch him?”
― Johann David Wyss, quote from The Swiss Family Robinson


“The friends of Columbus thought it very easy to make an egg stand upon its end when he had shown them how to do it.”
― Johann David Wyss, quote from The Swiss Family Robinson



“who had very properly taught him equally to love and fear him.”
― Johann David Wyss, quote from The Swiss Family Robinson


“Most ridiculous of all was the condition of one old fellow, who had found a calabash containing palm wine, and, eagerly drinking it, was immediately fitted with a mask, for the shell stuck to his forehead and whiskers, of course covering his eyes; and he blundered about, cutting the wildest capers in his efforts to get rid of the encumbrance.”
― Johann David Wyss, quote from The Swiss Family Robinson


“Children are, on the whole, very much alike everywhere, and you four lads fairly represent multitudes, who are growing up in all directions. It will make me happy to think that my simple narrative may lead some of these to observe how blessed are the results of patient continuance in well-doing, what benefits arise from the thoughtful application of knowledge and science, and how good and pleasant a thing it is when brethren dwell together in unity, under the eye of parental love.”
― Johann David Wyss, quote from The Swiss Family Robinson


“We saw around us on every side traces of the Divine wisdom and beneficence; and our hearts overflowed with love and veneration for that Almighty hand which had so miraculously saved, and continued to protect us. I humbly trusted in Him, either to restore us to the world, or send some beings to join us in this beloved island, where for two years we had seen no trace of man.”
― Johann David Wyss, quote from The Swiss Family Robinson


“darkness closed over a wild and terrific scene, and returning light as often brought but renewed distress, for the raging storm increased in fury until on the seventh day all hope was lost. We were”
― Johann David Wyss, quote from The Swiss Family Robinson



“But in reality, the more there was to do the better; and I never ceased contriving fresh improvements, being fully aware of the importance of constant employment as a means of strengthening and maintaining the health of mind and body. This, indeed, with a consciousness of continual progress toward a desirable end, is found to constitute the main element of happiness. Our”
― Johann David Wyss, quote from The Swiss Family Robinson


“You know God helps those that help themselves!”
― Johann David Wyss, quote from The Swiss Family Robinson


About the author

Johann David Wyss
Born place: in Berne, Switzerland
Born date May 28, 1743
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