Quotes by John Ruskin

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John Ruskin (February 8, 1819 January 20, 1900) was an English author, poet and artist, although more famous for his work as art critic and social critic. Ruskin's thinking on art and architecture became the thinking of the ... more

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The best work never was and never will be done for money.

When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.
The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it.
When a man is wrapped up in himself he makes a pretty small package.
Books are divided into two classes, the books of the hour and the books of all time.
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.
Nothing can be beautiful which is not true.
No human being, however great, or powerful, was ever so free as a fish.
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.
No great intellectual thing was ever done by great effort.
The common practice of keeping up appearances with society is a mere selfish struggle of the vain with the vain.
Your labor only may be sold, your soul must not.
Out of suffering comes the serious mind; out of salvation, the grateful heart; out of endurance, fortitude; out of deliverance faith.
One who does not know when to die, does not know how to live.
A book worth reading is worth buying.
Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces up, snow is exhilarating; there is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.
The best thing in life aren't things.
If a great thing can be done, it can be done easily, but this ease is like the of ease of a tree blossoming after long years of gathering strength.
The imagination is never governed, it is always the ruling and divine power.
To make your children capable of honesty is the beginning of education.
Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless; peacocks and lilies, for instance.
You may either win your peace or buy it: win it, by resistance to evil; buy it, by compromise with evil.
What is the cheapest to you now is likely to be the dearest to you in the end.
Spiritual power begins by directing animal power to other than egoistic ends.
You may chisel a boy into shape, as you would a rock, or hammer him into it, if he be of a better kind, as you would a piece of bronze. But you cannot hammer a girl into anything. She grows as a flower does.
The child who desires education will be bettered by it; the child who dislikes it disgraced.
The root of almost every schism and heresy from which the Christian Church has suffered, has been because of the effort of men to earn, rather than receive their salvation; and the reason preaching is so commonly ineffective is, that it often calls on people to work for God rather than letting God work through them.
The distinctive character of a child is to always live in the tangible present.
You should read books like you take medicine, by advice, and not by advertisement.
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.
It is advisable that a person know at least three things, where they are, where they are going, and what they had best do under the circumstances.
Music when healthy, is the teacher of perfect order, and when depraved, the teacher of perfect disorder.
Great nations write their autobiographies in three manuscripts -- the book of their deeds, the book of their words and the book of their art.
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.
People are eternally divided into two classes, the believer, builder, and praiser, and the unbeliever, destroyer and critic.
In general, pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes.
Whether for life or death, do your own work well.
Fit yourself for the best society, and then, never enter it.
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?
The secret of language is the secret of sympathy and its full charm is possible only to the gentle.
Imaginary evils soon become real one by indulging our reflections on them.
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.
A great thing can only be done by a great person; and they do it without effort.
Give little love to a child, and you get a great deal back.
Doing is the great thing, for if people resolutely do what is right, they come in time to like doing it.
The first condition of education is being able to put someone to wholesome and meaningful work.
Tell me what you like and I'll tell you what you are.
A thing is worth what it can do for you, not what you choose to pay for it.
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.
The beginning and almost the end of all good law is that everyone shall work for their bread and receive good bread for their work.
People cannot live by lending money to one another.
Government and cooperation are in all things the laws of life. Anarchy and competition, the laws of death.
Along the iron veins that traverse the frame of our country, beat and flow the fiery pulses of its exertion, hotter and faster every hour. All vitality is concentrated through those throbbing arteries into the central cities; the country is passed over like a green sea by narrow bridges, and we are thrown back in continually closer crowds on the city gates.
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.
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.
There is no wealth but life.
They are good furniture pictures, unworthy of praise, and undeserving of blame.
It is not how much one makes but to what purpose one spends.
Mountains are to the rest of the body of the earth, what violent muscular action is to the body of man. The muscles and tendons of its anatomy are, in the mountain, brought out with force and convulsive energy, full of expression, passion, and strength.
The strength and power of a country depends absolutely on the quantity of good men and women in it.