John Ruskin - Famous Quotes
» A book worth reading is worth buying.» A great thing can only be done by a great person; and they do it without effort.» A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money.» A thing is worth what it can do for you, not what you choose to pay for it.» All books are divisible into two classes, the books of the hour, and the books of all time.» An unimaginative person can neither be reverent or kind.» Art is not a study of positive reality, it is the seeking for ideal truth.» As a camel beareth labor, and heat, and hunger, and thirst, through deserts of sand, and fainteth not; so the fortitude of a man shall sustain him through all perils.» Be humble as the blade of grass that is being trodden underneath the feet. The little ant tastes joyously the sweetness of honey and sugar. The mighty elephant trembles in pain under the agony of sharp goad.» Beauty deprived of its proper foils and adjuncts ceases to be enjoyed as beauty, just as light deprived of all shadows ceases to be enjoyed as light.» Books are divided into two classes, the books of the hour and the books of all time.» Civilization is the making of civil persons.» Cursing is invoking the assistance of a spirit to help you inflict suffering. Swearing on the other hand, is invoking, only the witness of a spirit to an statement you wish to make.» Do not think of your faults, still less of other's faults; look for what is good and strong, and try to imitate it. Your faults will drop off, like dead leaves, when their time comes.» Doing is the great thing, for if people resolutely do what is right, they come in time to like doing it.» Endurance is nobler than strength, and patience than beauty.» Every great person is always being helped by everybody; for their gift is to get good out of all things and all persons.» Fine art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together.» Give little love to a child, and you get a great deal back.» Great nations write their autobiographies in three manuscripts - the book of their deeds, the book of their words and the book of their art.» He is the greatest artist who has embodied, in the sum of his works, the greatest number of the greatest ideas.» He that would be angry and sin not, must not be angry with anything but sin.» How long most people would look at the best book before they would give the price of a large turbot for it?» I believe the first test of a truly great man is in his humility.» I have seen, and heard, much of Cockney impudence before now; but never expected to hear a coxcomb ask two hundred guineas for flinging a pot of paint in the public's face.» Imaginary evils soon become real one by indulging our reflections on them.» In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed: They must be fit for it. They must not do too much of it. And they must have a sense of success in it.» It is far more difficult to be simple than to be complicated; far more difficult to sacrifice skill and easy execution in the proper place, than to expand both indiscriminately.» It is his restraint that is honorable to a person, not their liberty.» It is not how much one makes but to what purpose one spends.» Large fortunes are all founded either on the occupation of land, or lending or the taxation of labor.» Let every dawn be to you as the beginning of life, and every setting sun be to you as its close.» Man's only true happiness is to live in hope of something to be won by him. Reverence something to be worshipped by him, and love something to be cherished by him, forever.» Men cannot not live by exchanging articles, but producing them. They live by work not trade.» Men don't and can't live by exchanging articles, but by producing them. They don't live by trade, but by work. Give up that foolish and vain title of Trades Unions; and take that of laborers Unions.» Modern education has devoted itself to the teaching of impudence, and then we complain that we can no longer control our mobs.» Modern travelling is not travelling at all; it is merely being sent to a place, and very little different from becoming a parcel.» Music when healthy, is the teacher of perfect order, and when depraved, the teacher of perfect disorder.» Natural abilities can almost compensate for the want of every kind of cultivation, but no cultivation of the mind can make up for the want of natural abilities.» Nearly all the powerful people of this age are unbelievers, the best of them in doubt and misery, the most in plodding hesitation, doing as well as they can, what practical work lies at hand.» No art can be noble which is incapable of expressing thought, and no art is capable of expressing thought which does not change.» No good is ever done to society by the pictorial representation of its diseases.» No lying knight or lying priest ever prospered in any age, but especially not in the dark ones. Men prospered then only in following an openly declared purpose, and preaching candidly beloved and trusted creeds.» No person who is well bred, kind and modest is ever offensively plain; all real deformity means want for manners or of heart.» Not only is there but one way of doing things rightly, but there is only one way of seeing them, and that is, seeing the whole of them.» Nothing can be beautiful which is not true.» Nothing is ever done beautifully which is done in rivalship: or nobly, which is done in pride.» Of all the things that oppress me, this sense of the evil working of nature herself - my disgust at her barbarity - clumsiness - darkness - bitter mockery of herself - is the most desolating.» One who does not know when to die, does not know how to live.» People are eternally divided into two classes, the believer, builder, and praiser, and the unbeliever, destroyer and critic.» Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.» Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless; peacocks and lilies for instance.» Skill is the unified force of experience, intellect and passion in their operation.» Some slaves are scoured to their work by whips, others by their restlessness and ambition.» Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.» Tell me what you like and I'll tell you what you are.» The child who desires education will be bettered by it; the child who dislikes it disgraced.» The distinguishing sign of slavery is to have a price, and to be bought for it.» The first condition of education is being able to put someone to wholesome and meaningful work.» The first test of a truly great man is his humility. By humility I don't mean doubt of his powers or hesitation in speaking his opinion, but merely an understanding of the relationship of what he can say and what he can do.» The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world... to see clearly is poetry, prophecy and religion all in one.» The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it.» The principle of all successful effort is to try to do not what is absolutely the best, but what is easily within our power, and suited for our temperament and condition.» The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love colour the most.» The sky is the part of creation in which nature has done for the sake of pleasing man.» The strength and power of a country depends absolutely on the quantity of good men and women in it.» The work of science is to substitute facts for appearances, and demonstrations for impressions.» There is no wealth but life.» They are good furniture pictures, unworthy of praise, and undeserving of blame.» To give alms is nothing unless you give thought also.» To make your children capable of honesty is the beginning of education.» Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you.» We require from buildings two kinds of goodness: first, the doing their practical duty well: then that they be graceful and pleasing in doing it.» When a man is wrapped up in himself, he makes a pretty small package.» When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.» When we build, let us think that we build for ever.» Whether for life or death, do your own work well.» You will find that the mere resolve not to be useless, and the honest desire to help other people, will, in the quickest and delicatest ways, improve yourself.» ...in order that a man may be happy, it is necessary that he should not only be capable of his work, but a good judge of his work.» Every increased possession loads us with new weariness.» Say all you have to say in the fewest possible words, or your reader will be sure to skip them; and in the plainest possible words or he will certainly misunderstand them.» Taste is not only a part and index of morality, it is the only morality. The first, and last, and closest trial question to any living creature is What do you like? Tell me what you like, I'll tell you what you are.» The highest reward for man's toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it.» There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply. The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey.» What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.» Of all the pulpits from which human voice is ever sent forth, there is none from which it reaches so far as from the grave.