John Ruskin Quotes (219 Quotes)


    The imagination is never governed, it is always the ruling and divine power.

    It is not how much one makes but to what purpose one spends.

    Let every dawn of the morning be to you as the beginning of life. And let every setting of the sun be to you as its close. Then let everyone of these short lives leave its sure record of some kindly thing done for others some good strength of knowledge gained for yourself.

    An architect should live as little in cities as a painter. Send him to our hills, and let him study there what nature understands by a buttress, and what by a dome.

    To be able to ask a question clearly is two-thirds of the way to getting it answered.


    It seems a fantastic paradox, but it is nevertheless a most important truth, that no architecture can be truly noble which is not imperfect.

    A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money.

    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.

    All great and beautiful work has come of first gazing without shrinking into the darkness.

    No good is ever done to society by the pictorial representation of its diseases.

    Out of suffering comes the serious mind out of salvation, the grateful heart out of endurance, fortitude out of deliverance faith.

    The noble grotesque involves the true appreciation of beauty.

    When I have been unhappy, I have heard an opera... and it seemed the shrieking of winds when I am happy, a sparrow's chirp is delicious to me. But it is not the chirp that makes me happy, but I that make it sweet.

    Will you not covet such power as this, and seek such throne as this, and be no more housewives, but queens There is no putting by that crown queens you must always be queens to your lovers queens to your husbands and sons queens of higher mystery to the world beyond.... But alas you are too often idle and careless queens, grasping at majesty in the least things, while you abdicate it in the greatest.

    Imaginary evils soon become real one by indulging our reflections on them.

    What right have you to take the word wealth, which originally meant ''well-being,'' and degrade and narrow it by confining it to certain sorts of material objects measured by money.

    Your honesty is not to be based either on religion or policy. Both your religion and policy must be based on it. Your honesty must be based, as the sun is, in vacant heaven poised, as the lights in the firmament, which have rule over the day and over the night.

    The distinguishing sign of slavery is to have a price, and to be bought for it.

    If men lived like men indeed, their houses would be temples -- temples which we should hardly dare to injure, and in which it would make us holy to be permitted to live and there must be a strange dissolution of natural affection, a strange unthankfulness for all that homes have given and parents taught, a strange consciousness that we have been unfaithful to our fathers honor, or that our own lives are not such as would make our dwellings sacred to our children, when each man would fain build to himself, and build for the little revolution of his own life only.

    There are no such things as Flowers there are only gladdened Leaves.

    Give a little love to a child, and you get a great deal back.

    A thing is worth what it can do for you, not what you choose to pay for it.

    The sky is the part of creation in which nature has done for the sake of pleasing man.

    You cannot get anything out of nature or from God by gambling only out of your neighbor.

    Our duty is to preserve what the past has had to say for itself, and to say for ourselves what shall be true for the future

    You may either win your peace or buy it: win it, by resistance to evil; buy it, by compromise with evil.

    No one can ask honestly or hopefully to be delivered from temptation unless he has himself honestly and firmly determined to do the best he can to keep out of it.

    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.

    Of all God's gifts to the sighted man, color is holiest, the most divine, the most solemn.

    Whereas it has long been known and declared that the poor have no right to the property of the rich, I wish it also to be known and declared that the rich have no right to the property of the poor.

    Let every dawn be to you as the beginning of life, and every setting sun be to you as its close.

    It does not matter what the whip is it is none the less a whip, because you have cut thongs for it out of your own souls.

    Mountains are the beginning and the end of all natural scenery.

    Labour without joy is base. Labour without sorrow is base. Sorrow without labour is base. Joy without labour is base.

    Books are divided into two classes, the books of the hour and the books of all time.

    It is better to be nobly remembered than nobly born

    To use books rightly, is to go to them for help to appeal to them when our own knowledge and power fail to be led by them into wider sight and purer conception than our own, and to receive from them the united sentence of the judges and councils of all time, against our solitary and unstable opinions.

    The strength and power of a country depends absolutely on the quantity of good men and women in it.

    The force of the guinea you have in your pocket depends wholly on the default of a guinea in your neighbours pocket. If he did not want it, it would be of no use to you.

    I believe the right question to ask, respecting all ornament, is simply this; was it done with enjoyment, was the carver happy while he was about it?

    The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it.

    No one can become rich by the efforts of only their toil, but only by the discovery of some method of taxing the labor of others.

    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.

    The persons who remain poor are the entirely foolish, the entirely wise, the idle, the reckless, the humble, the thoughtful, the dull, the imaginative, the sensitive, the well-informed, the improvident, the irregularly and impulsively wicked, the clu

    We may live without her, and worship without her, but we cannot remember without her. How cold is all history, how lifeless all imagery, compared to that which the living nation writes, and the uncorrupted marble bears

    Children see in their parents the past, their parents see in them the future and if we find more love in the parents for their children than in children for their parents, this is sad but natural. Who does not entertain his hopes more than his recollections.

    Civilization is the making of civil persons.

    Life without industry is guilt. Industry without Art is Brutality.

    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.

    They are the weakest-minded and the hardest-hearted men that most love change.


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    Man - Life - Education - Art - Work & Career - People - Efforts - Mind - Time - Money & Wealth - Business & Commerce - Labor - Perfection - Books - Beauty - World - Light - Law & Regulation - Wisdom & Knowledge - View All John Ruskin Quotations

    Related Authors


    Voltaire - Pablo Neruda - William Arthur Ward - Rudyard Kipling - Joseph Addison - Ivo Andric - Denis Waitley - Bram Stoker - Arthur C. Clarke - Antiphanes


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