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All Quotes by author - Isabella Bird
" Above Hilo, broad lands sweeping up cloudwards, with their sugar cane, kalo, melons, pine-apples, and banana groves suggest the boundless liberality of Nature. "
" Americans specially love superlatives. The phrases 'biggest in the world,' 'finest in the world,' are on all lips. Unless President Hayes is a strong man, they will soon come to boast that their government is composed of the 'biggest scoundrels' in the world. "
" An American store is generally a very extensive apartment, handsomely decorated, the roof frequently supported on marble pillars. The owner or clerk is seen seated by his goods, absorbed in the morning paper - probably balancing himself on one leg of his chair, with a spittoon by his side. "
" An elephant always puts his foot into the hole which another elephant's foot has made so that a frequented track is nothing but a series of pits filled with mud and water. "
" An Englishman bears with patience any ridicule which foreigners cast upon him. John Bull never laughs so loudly as when he laughs at himself; but the Americans are nationally sensitive and cannot endure that good-humoured raillery which jests at their weaknesses and foibles. "
" A traveller must buy his own experience, and success or failure depends mainly on personal idiosyncrasies. "
" At the close of my visit, my Hawaiian friends urged me strongly to publish my impressions and experiences, on the ground that the best books already existing, besides being old, treat chiefly of aboriginal customs and habits now extinct, and of the introduction of Christianity and subsequent historical events. "
" Baghdad is altogether built of chrome-yellow kiln-dried bricks. "
" Bugs are a great pest in Colorado. They come out of the earth, infest the wooden walls, and cannot be got rid of by any amount of cleanliness. Many careful housewives take their beds to pieces every week and put carbolic acid on them. "
" Can anything be more grotesque and barbarous than our 'florists' bouquets,' a series of concentric rings of flowers of divers colours, bordered by maidenhair and a piece of stiff lace paper, in which stems, leaves, and even petals are brutally crushed, and the grace and individuality of each flower systematically destroyed? "
" Cock-fighting, which has attained to the dignity of a literature of its own, is the popular Malay sport; but the grand sport is a tiger and buffalo fight, reserved for rare occasions, however, on account of its expense. Cock-fighting is a source of gigantic gambling and desperate feuds. "
" Everyone acknowledges that dinner parties are equally dull in London and Paris, in Calcutta and in New York, unless the next neighbour happens to be peculiarly agreeable. "
" Four hours after leaving Kornah, we passed the reputed tomb of Ezra the prophet. At a distance and in the moonlight it looked handsome. There is a buttressed river wall, and above it some long flat-roofed buildings, the centre one surmounted by a tiled dome. "
" Grandeur and sublimity, not softness, are the features of Estes Park. The glades which begin so softly are soon lost in the dark primaeval forests, with their peaks of rosy granite and their stretches of granite blocks piled and poised by nature in some mood of fury. "
" Grapes are grown in such profusion in the Southern and Western States that I have seen damaged bunches thrown to the pigs. Americans find it difficult to understand how highly this fruit is prized in England. "
" If Japanese tea 'stands,' it acquires a coarse bitterness and an unwholesome astringency. Milk and sugar are not used. "
" If one's memories of Baghdad women were only of those to be seen in the streets, they would be of leathery, wrinkled faces, prematurely old, figures which have lost all shape, and henna-stained hands crinkled and deformed by toil. "
" I lived among the Japanese, and saw their mode of living, in regions unaffected by European contact. "
" In Japan, the people preserve their temples for their exquisite beauty, and there are a great many sincere Buddhists; but China is irreligious: a nation of atheists or agnostics, or slaves of impious superstitions. In an extended tramp among temples, I have not seen a single male worshiper or a thing to please the eye. "
" I suppose that few people ever forget the first sight of a palm-tree of any species. I vividly remember seeing one for the first time at Malaga, but the coco-palm groves of the Pacific have a strangeness and witchery of their own. "
" It is extremely interesting to live in a private house and to see the externalities, at least, of domestic life in a Japanese middle-class home. "
" I was heartily sorry to leave Leh, with its dazzling skies and abounding colour and movement, its stirring topics of talk, and the culture and exceeding kindness of the Moravian missionaries. Helpfulness was the rule. "
" I went to the States with that amount of prejudice which seems the birthright of every English person, but I found that, under the knowledge of the Americans which can be attained by a traveller mixing in society in every grade, these prejudices gradually melted away. "
" Leh has few of what Europeans regard as travelling necessaries. The brick tea which I purchased from a Lhassa trader was disgusting. I afterwards understood that blood is used in making up the blocks. The flour was gritty, and a leg of mutton turned out to be a limb of a goat of much experience. "
" Malacca fascinates me more and more daily. There is, among other things, a mediaevalism about it. The noise of the modern world reaches it only in the faintest echoes; its sleep is almost dreamless. Its sensations seem to come out of books read in childhood. "
" Malacca is such a rest after the crowds of Japan and the noisy hurry of China! Its endless afternoon remains unbroken except by the dreamy, colored, slow-moving Malay life which passes below the hill. There is never any hurry or noise. "
" Mauna Kea from Hilo has a shapely aspect, for its top is broken into peaks, said to be the craters of extinct volcanoes, but my eyes seek the dome-like curve of Mauna Loa with far deeper interest, for it is as yet an unfinished mountain. "
" My first experiences of Colorado travel have been rather severe. At Greeley, I got a small upstairs room at first, but gave it up to a married couple with a child, and then had one downstairs no bigger than a cabin, with only a canvas partition. It was very hot, and every place was thick with black flies. "
" My first yak was fairly quiet and looked a noble steed with my Mexican saddle and gay blanket among rather than upon his thick black locks. His back seemed as broad as that of an elephant, and with his slow, sure, resolute step, he was like a mountain in motion. "
" No house was so poor as not to have its 'family altar,' its shelf of wooden gods, and table of offerings. A religious atmosphere pervades Tibet and gives it a singular sense of novelty. "
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