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NATURE
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[ Also see Agriculture Animals Art Autumn Birds Character Clouds Country Country Life Creation Day Dew Earth Evening Flowers Forests Fruits Gardens Grass Life Morning Mountains Night Plants Rain Rainbows Scenery Science Sea Snow Solitude Spring Stars Sun Sunrise Sunset Trees Twilight Weeds Wilderness Wind World Zephyrs ]

The truths of nature are one eternal change, one infinite variety. There is no bush on the face of the globe exactly like another bush; there are no two trees in the forest whose boughs bend into the same network, nor two leaves on the same tree which could not be told one from the other, nor two waves in the sea exactly alike.
      - John Ruskin

There is religion in everything around us,--a calm and holy religion in the unbreathing things of nature, which man would do well to imitate.
      - John Ruskin

Though nature is constantly beautiful, she does not exhibit her highest powers of beauty constantly; for then they would satiate us, and pall upon our senses. It is necessary to their appreciation that they should be rarely shown. Her finest touches are things which must be watched for; her most perfect passages of beauty are the most evanescent.
      - John Ruskin

No, no! I do nature injustice. She gave us inventive faculty, and set us naked, and helpless on the shore of this great ocean,--the world; swim those who can, the heavy may go to the bottom.
      - Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller

The ideal should never touch the real;
  When nature conquers, Art must then give way.
    [Ger., Der Schein soll nie die Wirklichkeit erreichen
      Und siegt Natur, so muss die Kunst entweichen.]
      - Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller,
        to Goethe when he put Voltaire's "Mahomet" on the stage, st. 6

There is no solitude in nature.
      - Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller

Oh, Brignall banks are wild and fair,
  And Greta woods are green,
    And you may gather garlands there
      Would grace a summer queen.
      - Sir Walter Scott, Rokeby
         (canto III, st. 16)

Some touch of Nature's genial glow.
      - Sir Walter Scott, The Lord of the Isles
         (canto III, st. 14)

Nature ever provides for her own exigencies.
      - Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca)

This is the law of the Yukon, that only the Strong shall survive;
  That surely the Weak shall perish, and only the Fit survive.
    Dissolute, damned and despairful, crippled and palsied and slain,
      This is the Will of the Yukon,--Lo, how she makes it plain!
      - Robert William Service, Law of the Yukon

In nature, all is managed for the best with perfect frugality and just reserve, profuse to none, but bountiful to all; never employing on one thing more than enough, but with exact economy retrenching the superfluous, and adding force to what is principal in everything.
      - Lord Shaftesbury, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury (Anthony Ashley Cooper)

To hold as 'twere, the mirror up to nature.
      - William Shakespeare

In nature's infinite book of secrecy
  A little I can read.
      - William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra
         (Soothsayer at I, ii)

How hard it is to hide the sparks of nature!
      - William Shakespeare, Cymbeline
         (Belarius at III, iii)

For anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now. was and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature, to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Hamlet Prince of Denmark
         (Hamlet at III, ii)

Diseased nature oftentimes breaks forth
  In strange eruptions; oft the teeming earth
    Is with a kind of colic pinched and vexed
      By the imprisoning of unruly wind
        Within the womb, which, for enlargement striving,
          Shakes the old beldame earth and topples down
            Steeples and mossgrown towers.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Fourth, Part I
         (Hotspur at III, i)

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin,
  That all with one consent praise new-born gawds,
    Though they are made and moulded of things past,
      And give to dust that is a little gilt
        More laud than gilt o'er-dusted.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The History of Troilus and Cressida
         (Ulysses at III, iii)

Sir,
  For holy offices I have a time; a time
    To think upon the part of business which
      I bear i' th' state; and nature does require
        Her times of preservation, which perforce
          I, her frail son, amongst my brethren mortal,
            Must give my tendance to.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of King Henry the Eighth
         (Wolsey at III, ii)

How sometimes nature will betray its folly,
  Its tenderness, and make itself a pastime
    To harder bosoms!
      - William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale
         (Leontes at I, ii)

Say there be;
  Yet nature is made better by no mean
    But nature makes that mean. So, over that art
      Which you say adds to nature, is an art
        That nature makes.
      - William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale
         (Polixenes at IV, iv)

Love can be founded upon Nature only.
      - William Shenstone

My banks they are furnish'd with bees,
  Whose murmur invites one to sleep;
    My grottoes are shaded with trees,
      And my hills are white over with sheep.
      - William Shenstone, A Pastoral Ballad
         (pt. II, Hope)

Certainly nothing is unnatural that is not physically impossible.
      - Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The Critic
         (act II, sc. 1)

It is good for any man to be alone with nature and himself, or with a friend who knows when silence is more sociable than talk, "In the wilderness alone, there where nature worships God." It is well to be in places where man is little and God is great,--where what he sees all around him has the same look as it had a thousand years ago, and will have the same, in all likelihood, when he has been a thousand years in his grave. It abates and rectifies a man, if he is worth the process.
      - Sydney Smith

Nature and wisdom are not, but should be, companions.
      - Tobias George Smollett


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