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JOHN RUSKIN
English writer, art critic and social reformer
(1819 - 1900)
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Perfect taste is the faculty of receiving the greatest possible pleasure from those material sources which are attractive to oar moral nature in its purity and perfection.
      - [Taste]

Poetry is the suggestion, by the imagination, of noble grounds for the noble emotions.
      - [Poetry]

Race is precisely of as much consequence in man as it is in any animal.
      - [Race]

Railway traveling is not traveling at all; it is merely being sent to a place, and very little different from becoming a parcel.
      - [Travel]

Remember always, in painting as in eloquence, the greater your strength, the quieter will be your manner, and the fewer your words; and in painting, as in all the arts and acts of life the secret of high success will be found, not in a fretful and various excellence, but in a quiet singleness of justly chosen aim.
      - [Art]

Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless; peacocks and lilies, for instance.
      - [Beauty]

Repose demands for its expression the implied capability of its opposite,--energy.
      - [Rest]

Science deals exclusively with things as they are in themselves.
      - [Science]

Sculpture is not the mere cutting of the form of anything in stone; it is the cutting of the effect of it. Very often the true form, in the marble, would not be in the least like itself.
      - [Sculpture]

Self-command is often thought a characteristic of high breeding. * * * A true gentleman has no need of self-command; he simply feels rightly in all directions on all occasions, and, desiring to express only so much of his feeling as it is right to express, does not need to command himself.
      - [Gentlemen]

Sky is the part of creation in which Nature has done more for the sake of pleasing man, more for the sole and evident purpose of talking to him and teaching him, than in any other of her works, and it is just the part in which we least attend to her.
      - [Sky]

Such help as we can give to each other in this world is a debt to each other; and the man who perceives a superiority or a capacity in a subordinate, and neither confesses nor assists it, is not merely the withholder of kindness, but the committer of injury.
      - [Help]

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces up, snow is exhilarating; there is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.
      - [Weather]

Superstition, in all times and among all nations, is the fear of a spirit whose passions are those of a man, whose acts are the acts of a man; who is present in some places, not in others; who makes no places holy and not others; who is kind to one person, unkind to another; who is pleased or angry according to the degree of attention you pay him, or praise you refuse to him; who is hostile generally to human pleasure, but may be bribed by sacrifice of a part of that pleasure into permitting the rest. This, whatever form of faith it colors, is the essence of superstition.
      - [Superstition]

Temperance, in the nobler sense, does not mean a subdued and imperfect energy; it does not mean a stopping short in any good thing, as in love and in faith; but it means the power which governs the most intense energy, and prevents its acting in way but as it ought.
      - [Temperance]

That which we foolishly call vastness is, rightly considered, not more wonderful, not more impressive, than that which we insolently call littleness; and the infinity of God is not mysterious, it is only unfathomable, not concealed, but incomprehensible: it is a clear infinity, the darkness of the pure, unsearchable sea.
      - [Infinite]

The art of nations is to be accumulative, just as science and history are; the work of living men not superseding, but building itself upon the work of the past.
      - [Progress]

The constant duty of every man to his fellows is to ascertain his own powers and special gifts, and to strengthen them for the help of others.
      - [Duty]

The Divine mind is as visible in its full energy of operation on every lowly bank and mouldering stone as in the lifting of the pillars of heaven, and settling the foundation of the earth.
      - [Omnipotence]

The enormous influence of novelty--the way in which it quickens observations, sharpens sensations, and exalts sentiment--is not half enough taken note of by us, and is to me a very sorrowful matter. And yet, if we try to obtain perpetual change, change itself will become monotonous.
      - [Novelty]

The eye is continually influenced by what it cannot detect; nay, it is not going too far, to say that it is most influenced by what it detects least. Let the painter define, if he can, the variations of lines on which depend the change of expression in the human countenance.
      - [Eyes]

The fact of our deriving constant pleasure from whatever is a type or semblance of divine attributes, and from nothing but that which is so, is the most glorious of all that can be demonstrated of human nature; it not only sets a great gulf of specific separation between us and the lower animals, but it seems a promise of a communion ultimately deep, close, and conscious, with the Being whose darkened manifestations we here feebly and unthinkingly delight in.
      - [Human Nature]

The finer the nature, the more flaws it will show through the clearness of it; and it is a law of this universe that the best things shall be seldomest seen in their best form.
      - [Imperfection]

The highest thoughts are those which are least dependent on language, and the dignity of any composition and praise to which it is entitled are in exact proportion to its dependency of language or expression.
      - [Thought]

The more readily we admit the possibility of our own cherished convictions being mixed with error, the more vital and helpful whatever is right in them will become; and no error is so conclusively fatal as the idea that God will not allow us to err, though He has allowed all other men to do so.
      - [Error]


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