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Quotations about Cities

There are natures that go to the streams of life in great cities as the hart goes to the water brooks.
~Philip G. Hamerton
All cities are mad: but the madness is gallant. All cities are beautiful: but the beauty is grim.
~Christopher Morley, Where the Blue Begins
Cities force growth, and make men talkative and entertaining, but they make them artificial.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
The axis of the earth sticks out visibly through the centre of each and every town or city.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Towered cities please us then,
And the busy hum of men.

~John Milton
What is the city but the people?
~William Shakespeare
No city should be too large for a man to walk out of in a morning.
~Cyril Connolly
Clearly, then, the city is not a concrete jungle, it is a human zoo.
~Desmond Morris, The Human Zoo
Divine Nature gave the fields, human art built the cities.
~Marcus Terentius Varro, De Re Rustica
The roaring street is hung for miles
With fierce electric fire.

~William Vaughan Moody, In New York
There is hardly one in three of us who live in the cities who is not sick with unused self.
~Ben Hecht
Suburb: a place that isn't city, isn't country, and isn't tolerable.
~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.

~William Wordsworth
God made the country, and man made the town.
~William Cowper, The Task, 1785
A city is a large community where people are lonesome together.
~Herbert Prochnow
I have an affection for a great city. I feel safe in the neighbourhood of man, and enjoy the sweet security of the streets.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
High mountains are a feeling, but the hum
Of human cities torture.

~George Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
To one who has been long in city pent,
'Tis very sweet to look into the fair
And open face of heaven, - to breathe a prayer
Full in the smile of the blue firmament.

~John Keats, Sonnet XIV
Cities are the abyss of the human species.
~Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Émile
In the country the darkness of night is friendly and familiar, but in a city, with its blaze of lights, it is unnatural, hostile and menacing. It is like a monstrous vulture that hovers, biding its time.
~Somerset Maugham
In Rome you long for the country; in the country - oh inconstant! - you praise the distant city to the stars.
~Horace, Satires