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JOHN RUSKIN
English writer, art critic and social reformer
(1819 - 1900)
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He who has once stood beside the grave, to look back upon the companionship which has been forever closed, feeling how impotent there are the wild love, or the keen sorrow, to give one instant's pleasure to the pulseless heart, or atone in the lowest measure to the departed spirit for the hour of unkindness, will scarcely for the future incur that debt to the heart which can only be discharged to the dust.
      - [Unkindness]

Hundreds can talk to one who can think; thousands can think to one who can see.
      - [Thinking]

I believe that there is no test of greatness in periods, nations or men more sure than the development, among them or in them, of a noble grotesque, and no test of comparative smallness or limitation, of one kind or another, more sure than the absence of grotesque invention, or incapability of understanding it.
      - [Grotesque]

I believe the first test of a truly great man is humility.
      - [Humility]

I never heard my father's or mother's voice once raised in any question with each other; nor saw any angry or even slightly hurt or offended glance in the eyes of either. I never heard a servant scolded, nor even suddenly, passionately, or in any severe manner, blamed; and I never saw a moment's trouble or disorder in any household matter.
      - [Home]

If there be any one principle more widely than another confessed by every utterance, or more sternly than another imprinted on every atom of the visible creation, that principle is not liberty, but law.
      - [Law]

If you do not wish for His kingdom do not pray for it. But if you do you must do more than pray for it, you must work for it.
      - [Work]

If you want knowledge, you must toil for it; if food, you must toil for it; and if pleasure, you must toil for it: toil is the law.
      - [Labor]

Imperfection is in some sort essential to all that we know of life. It is the sign of life in a mortal body, that is to say, of a state of progress and change. Nothing that lives is, or can be rigidly perfect; part of it is decaying, part nascent. The foxglove blossom--a third part bud, a third part past, a third part in full bloom--is a type of the life of this world.
      - [Imperfection]

In all things that live there are certain irregularities, and deficiencies which are not only signs of life, but sources of beauty. No human face is exactly the same in its lines on each side, no leaf perfect in its lobes, no branch in its symmetry.
      - [Beauty]

In mortals there is a care for trifles which proceeds from love and conscience, and is most holy; and a care for trifles which comes of idleness and frivolity, and is most base. And so, also, there is a gravity proceeding from thought, which is most noble; and a gravity proceeding from dulness and mere incapability of enjoyment, which is most base.
      - [Trifles]

In old times men used their powers of painting to show the objects of faith; in later times. they used the objects of faith that they might show their powers of painting.
      - [Art]

In rattling showers dark November's rain,
  From every stormy cloud, descends amain.
      - [November]

In the utmost solitudes of nature, the existence of hell seems to me as legibly declared by a thousand spiritual utterances as that of heaven.
      - [Hell]

In the world's affairs there is no design so great or good but it will take twenty wise men to help it forward a few inches; and a single fool can stop it.
      - [Critics]

It is a matter of the simplest demonstration, that no man can be really appreciated but by his equal or superior.
      - [Appreciation]

It is excellent discipline for an author to feel that he must say all he has to say in the fewest possible words, or his reader is sure to skip them; and in the plainest possible words, or his reader will certainly misunderstand them. Generally, also, a downright fact may be told in a plain way; and we want downright facts at present more than anything else.
      - [Brevity]

It is far better to give work which is above the men than to educate the men to be above their work.
      - [Work]

It is far more difficult to be simple than to be complicated; far more difficult to sacrifice skill and cease exertion in the proper place, than to expend both indiscriminately.
      - [Simplicity : Style]

It is not so much in buying pictures as in being pictures, that you can encourage a noble school. The best patronage of art is not that which seeks for the pleasures of sentiment in a vague ideality, nor for beauty of form in a marble image, but that which educates your children into living heroes, and binds down the flights and the fondnesses of the heart into practical duty and faithful devotion.
      - [Art]

It is not the church we want, but the sacrifice; not the emotion of admiration, but the act of adoration; not the gift, but the giving.
      - [Religion]

It is not the weariness of mortality, but the strength of divinity, which we have to recognize in all mighty things; and that is just what we now never recognize, but think that we are to do great things by help of iron bars and perspiration. Alas! we shall do nothing that way but lose some pounds of our own weight.
      - [Power]

It is only by labor that thought can be made healthy, and only by thought that labor can be made happy; and the two cannot be separated with impunity.
      - [Thought]

It is, indeed, right that we should look for, and hasten, so far as in us lies, the coming of the day of God; but not that we should check any human effort by anticipations of its approach. We shall hasten it best by endeavoring to work out the tasks that are appointed for us here; and, therefore, reasoning as if the world were to continue under its existing dispensation, and the powers which have just been granted to us were to be continued through myriads of future ages.
      - [Millennium]

It will be found that they are the weakest winded and the hardest hearted men that most love change.
      - [Fickleness]


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