John Ruskin Quotes (219 Quotes)

    In every person who comes near you look for what is good and strong.

    What do we, as a nation, care about books? How much do you think we spend altogether on our libraries, public or private, as compared with what we spend on our horses?

    Every great person is always being helped by everybody; for their gift is to get good out of all things and all persons.

    In great countries, children are always trying to remain children, and the parents want to make them into adults. In vile countries, the children are always wanting to be adults and the parents want to keep them children.

    Nothing is ever done beautifully which is done in rivalship: or nobly, which is done in pride.

    Life without industry is guilt, and industry without art is brutality

    Obey something, and you will have a chance to learn what is best to obey. But if you begin by obeying nothing, you will end by obeying the devil and all his invited friends.

    Modern education has devoted itself to the teaching of impudence, and then we complain that we can no longer control our mobs.

    Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you.

    He is the greatest artist who has embodied, in the sum of his works, the greatest number of the greatest ideas.

    I believe the first test of a truly great man is in his humility.

    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.

    All things are literally better, lovelier, and more beloved for the imperfections which have been divinely appointed, that the law of human life may be Effort, and the law of human judgment, Mercy.

    Skill is the unified force of experience, intellect and passion in their operation.

    The entire object of true education is to make people not merely do the right things, but enjoy the right things not merely industrious, but to love industry not merely learned, but to love knowledge not merely pure, but to love purity not merely just, but to hunger and thirst after justice.

    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.

    It is far better to give work that is above a person, than to educate the person to be above their work.

    In old times men used their powers of painting to show the objects of faith, in later times they use the objects of faith to show their powers of painting.

    There is never vulgarity in a whole truth, however commonplace. It may be unimportant or painful. It cannot be vulgar. Vulgarity is only in concealment of truth, or in affectation.

    That country is the richest which nourishes the greatest number of noble and happy human beings.

    No architecture is so haughty as that which is simple.

    Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless; peacocks and lilies for instance.

    Nearly all the evils in the Church have arisen from bishops desiring power more than light. They want authority, not outlook.

    The question is not what man can scorn, or disparage, or find fault with, but what he can love, and value, and appreciate.

    A great thing can only be done by a great person; and they do it without effort.

    Some slaves are scoured to their work by whips, others by their restlessness and ambition.

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

    No person who is well bred, kind and modest is ever offensively plain; all real deformity means want for manners or of heart.

    That thirst (for applause) if the last infirmity of noble minds, is also the first infirmity of weak ones.

    I hold it for indisputable, that the first duty of a State is to see that every child born therein shall be well housed, clothed, fed, and educated, till it attain years of discretion. But in order to the effecting this the Government must have an authority over the people of which we now do not so much as dream.

    However good you may be you have faults however dull you may be you can find out what some of them are, and however slight they may be you had better make some not too painful, but patient efforts to get rid of them.

    It is not, truly speaking, the labour that is divided but the men divided into mere segments of men broken into small fragments and crumbs of life, so that all the little piece of intelligence that is left in a man is not enough to make a pin, or a nail, but exhausts itself in making the point of a pin or the head of a nail.

    To make your children capable of honesty is the beginning of education.

    It takes a great deal of living to get a little deal of learning.

    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.

    People cannot live by lending money to one another.

    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.

    Life is a magic vase filled to the brim so made that you cannot dip into it nor draw from it but it overflows into the hand that drops treasures into it - drop in malice and it overflows hate drop in charity and it overflows lo.

    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.

    There is no law of history any more than of a kaleidoscope.

    Men were not intended to work with the accuracy of tools, to be precise and perfect in all their actions.

    Government and cooperation are in all things the laws of life anarchy and competition the laws of death.

    In health of mind and body, men should see with their own eyes, hear and speak without trumpets, walk on their feet, not on wheels, and work and war with their arms, not with engine-beams, nor rifles warranted to kill twenty men at a shot before you can see them.

    The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world... to see clearly is poetry, prophecy and religion all in one.

    How false is the conception, how frantic the pursuit, of that treacherous phantom which men call Liberty most treacherous, indeed, of all phantoms for the feeblest ray of reason might surely show us, that not only its attainment, but its being, was impossible. There is no such thing in the universe. There can never be. The stars have it not the earth has it not the sea has it not and we men have the mockery and semblance of it only for our heaviest punishment.

    Consider what heavy responsibility lies upon you in your youth, to determine, among realities, by what you will be delighted, and, among imaginations, by whose you will be led.

    Art is not a study of positive reality, it is the seeking for ideal truth.

    All violent feelings have the same effect. They produce in us a falseness in all our impressions of external things, which I would generally characterize as the pathetic fallacy.

    The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love colour the most.

    No person who is not a great sculptor or painter can be an architect. If he is not a sculptor or painter, he can only be a builder.

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