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PHILIP GILBERT HAMERTON
English art critic
(1834 - 1894)

A little bread and wine in a dungeon sufficed for the liturgy of the martyrs.
      - [Worship]

As there is no pleasure in military life for a soldier who fears death, so there is no independence in civil existence for the man who has an overpowering dread of solitude.
      - [Solitude]

Avowed work, even when uncongenial, is far less trying to patience than feigned pleasure.
      - [Work]

Content to do the best work he could, to preserve his own dignity, and leave the rest to future.
      - [Self-respect]

Conversation is interesting in proportion to the originality of the central ideas which serve as pivots and the fitness of the little facts and observations which are contributed by the talkers.
      - [Conversation]

Culture is like wealth; it makes us more ourselves, it enables us to express ourselves.
      - [Culture]

Few of us have been so exceptionally unfortunate as not to find, in our own age, some experienced friend who has helped us by precious counsel, never to be forgotten. We cannot render it in kind, but perhaps in the fulness of time it may become our noblest duty to aid another as we have ourselves been aided, and to transmit to him an invaluable treasure, the tradition of the intellectual life.
      - [Friends]

He was a democrat in the best sense, earnestly desiring the elevation of the people to a higher plane of intellectual and moral life, as well as their political emancipation.
      - [Democracy]

High culture always isolates, always drives men out of their class, and makes it more difficult for them to share naturally and easily the common class-life around them. They seek the few companions who can understand them, and when these are not to be had within a traversable distance, they sit and work alone.
      - [Culture]

I wonder how it is that so cheerful-looking a tree as the willow should ever have become associated with ideas of sadness.
      - [Trees]

Never be afraid of What is good; the good is always the road to what is true.
      - [Goodness]

Of all intellectual friendships, none are so beautiful as those which subsist between old and ripe men and their younger brethren in science or literature or art. It is, by these private friendships, even more than by public performance, that the tradition of sound thinking and great doing is perpetuated from age to age.
      - [Friendship]

People have prejudices against a nation in which they have no acquaintances.
      - [Prejudice]

Society is, and must be, based upon appearances, and not upon the deepest appearances, and not realities.
      - [Society]

Society will be obeyed; if you refuse obedience, you must take the consequences. Society has only one law, and that is custom. Even religion itself is socially powerful only just so far as it has custom on its side.
      - [Society]

Thackeray and Balzac will make it possible for our descendants to live over again the England and France of to-day. Seen in this light, the novelist has a higher office than merely and amuse his contemporaries.
      - [Novels]

That mere will and industry can enable any man to accomplish anything is a belief common enough amongst imperfectly educated man. * * * But no one of really cultivated intellect denies the variety of natural endowments.
      - [Versatility]

The art of painting does not proceed so much by intelligence as by sight and feeling and invention.
      - [Painting]

The art of reading is to skip judiciously. Whole libraries may be skipped in these days, when we have the results of them in our modern culture without going over the ground again.
      - [Reading]

The opinions of men who think are always growing and changing, like living children.
      - [Opinion]

Unless a man works he cannot find out what he is able to do.
      - [Work]

What delights us in the spring is more a sensation than an appearance, more a hope than any visible reality. There is something in the softness of the air, in the lengthening of the days, in the very sounds and odors of the sweet time, that caresses us and consoles us after the rigorous weeks of winter.
      - [Spring]

Woe unto him that is never alone, and cannot bear to be alone.
      - [Solitude]


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