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The Country

  • I believed, like many others, that country life is simple. Now I know that the only thing simple about it is the person who thinks it is going to be.

  • 'Hello, there! Call your dogs!' That is the regular way to call in the country because nearly everybody who has anything to watch has biting dogs.

  • Farmers are philosophical; they have learned that it is less wearing to shrug than to beat their breasts. But there is another angle to their attitude. Things happen rapidly in the country; something new always comes along to divert them and it isn't necessarily another calamity.

  • We have our own front page, as all people do who live in the country. It is the sky and the earth, with headlines new every morning. We wake to take in its news as city dwellers reach across thresholds for their newspapers.

  • Townfolk know pleasures, country people joys.

  • Those who never sink into this peace of nature lose a tremendous well of strength, for there is something healing and life-giving in the mere atmosphere surrounding a country house.

  • One day in the country is exactly like another.

  • There is a vast deal of make-believe in the carefully nurtured sentiment for country life, and the barefoot boy, and the mountain girl.

  • I cannot see why a taste for the country should be held so very indispensable a requisite for excellence; but really people talk of it as if it were a virtue, and as if an opposite opinion was, to say the least of it, very immoral.

  • Not like the country? My. I never heard anybody say a thing like that before. It takes courage to just up and say you don't like the country. Everybody likes the country.

  • I suppose the pleasure of country life lies really in the eternally renewed evidences of the determination to live.

  • ... in the city at best one lives the life of others, the life of the shop, the street, the crowd, while in the country one must live one's own life.

  • Everything in the country, animate and inanimate, seems to whisper, be serene, be kind, be happy. We grow tolerant there unconsciously.

  • One day in the country / Is worth a month in town.

  • The avid interest of the countryman in his neighbors is a most vital part of country living, and is the cause of both pleasure and annoyance. I suppose it springs from the common and pressing needs for a story. Books supply the panacea to this fever for those who read; but for the people who find reading distasteful, or are too sleepy after a day's work in the open air to bother with books, then this living drama which unfolds, day by day, constitutes one long enthralling serial, with sub-plots, digressions, flash-backs and many delicious aspects of the same incident as seen through various watchers' eyes.

  • Thrice blessed are they whose early years are spent in some countryside. The flowering and withering of the seasons, and every exquisite sound and sight — every lane, and pasture, and green corners and gnarled hollows everywhere, make them affluent with a treasure which neither change nor chance can steal away.

  • One has so much time for thought in the country! However occupied one may be, 'tis with nothing that engrosses the mind, which works away on its own account like a mill-wheel.

    • Eugénie de Guérin,
    • letter (1835), in Guillaume S. Trébutien, ed., Letters of Eugénie de Guérin ()
  • The fact is that one hasn't had a moment to oneself during domestic life in the country. Nature is too much for me altogether, either in the shape of weeds or children, and fills up all one's spare time.

    • Vanessa Bell,
    • to Roger Fry (1925), in Regina Marler, ed., Selected Letters of Vanessa Bell ()
  • In the country Sunday is the day on which you do exactly as much work as you do on other days but feel guilty all the time you are doing it because Sunday is a day of rest.

  • In the country, weather is as important as food and sometimes means the difference between life and death.

  • In the country life is what you make it, while in the city life is what you make.

  • All over the world towns to me are prison; green fields are home.

    • Marion Cran,
    • "If I Were Beginning Again," in Ferris Cook, ed., Garden Dreams ()
  • There is nothing more guaranteed to reduce a man to the essentials than to live beneath the sky.

  • A country-bred man can always learn to get on with city people, but a town-bred fellah never gets the real hang of the country. You can put city polish on a man, but by golly, it seems you can't ever rub it off him.

  • Country things are the necessary root of our life — and that remains true even of a rootless and tragically urban civilization. To live permanently away from the country is a form of slow death.

  • Country manners. Even if somebody phones up to tell you your house is burning down, they ask first how you are.

  • She often wondered if city dwellers knew what the sight of a seed catalogue did for country people. It was a gift sent from the seed houses — and the Lord — to make bearable the month of February.

  • That the covers of books / Will open / And the pastel animals / Run loose in the woods / That the cat / Will write in his diary / Dipping his whisker / In ink / That the stars / Will stroll through the sky / Doing their shopping / That the brook / Will erase the mistakes / Of the bank / That the fish / Will rise up on their tails / And sing to the owl / Until he is blinded / With joy, / That the mice / Will grow antlers / And run in the moonlight / In herds / That the four-chambered rocks / Will know themselves / Pulsing with blood / That the sun / Is behind a curtain / Smiling / And will rise / In the morning / Palming it all / Like a great golden mole / The day in his teeth / Like a jewel.

  • Up here in the hills you hardly ever get down to business right off. First you say your howdys and then you talk about anything else but what you come for, and finally, when the mosquitoes start to bite, you say what's on your mind. But you always edge into it, not to offend.

  • In the country they say, 'We'll come when it rains.' When the soft rains come soaking through the day and into the night, they go visiting, they sit around the kitchen table in a dry place and talk of children and crops.

  • It wants great minds or little minds to live contented in the country ...

  • ... for true happiness, sane enjoyment, you must look to the country, not town. Only you want one true heart beside you with which to enjoy it!

  • In the city so much of your life is lived for you by others; you are required to fill so small a space. But here, as it were, the spirit has play in a more spacious body, and that is better, if the spirit is rich and strong.