All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost.
So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their ending!
The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot forever fence it out.
Still round the corner there may wait, A new road or a secret gate.
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.
Not all those who wander are lost.
You have been chosen, and you must therefore use such strength and heart and wits as you have.
It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish.
I should like to save the Shire, if I could – though there have been times when I thought the inhabitants too stupid and dull for words, and have felt that an earthquake or an invasion of dragons might be good for them.
It may be the part of a friend to rebuke a friend’s folly.
Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
If you really want to know what Middle-earth is based on, it’s my wonder and delight in the earth as it is, particularly the natural earth.
It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.
Hobbits are an unobtrusive but very ancient people, more numerous formerly than they are today; for they love peace and quiet and good tilled earth: a well-ordered and well-farmed countryside was their favourite haunt.
They say it is the first step that costs the effort. I do not find it so. I am sure I could write unlimited ‘first chapters’. I have indeed written many.
I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
‘I wish life was not so short,’ he thought. ‘Languages take such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about.’
I don’t like allegories.
Myth and fairy-story must, as all art, reflect and contain in solution elements of moral and religious truth (or error), but not explicit, not in the known form of the primary ‘real’ world.
Short cuts make long delays.
The proper study of Man is anything but Man; and the most improper job of any man, even saints (who at any rate were at least unwilling to take it on), is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.
Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.
I dislike Allegory – the conscious and intentional allegory – yet any attempt to explain the purport of myth or fairytale must use allegorical language.
A safe fairyland is untrue to all worlds.
A pen is to me as a beak is to a hen.
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
A box without hinges, key, or lid, yet golden treasure inside is hid.
Don’t go getting mixed up in the business of your betters, or you’ll land in trouble too big for you.
A friend of mine tells that I talk in shorthand and then smudge it.