Author

John
Ruskin
1819
1901

English Critic, Essayist, Social Reformer

Author Quotes

The entire object of true education is to make people not merely do the right thing, 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.

The highest reward for man's toil is not what he gets for it but what he becomes of it.

Taste is not only a part and an 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, an I’ll tell you what you are.

It is only by labor that thought can be made healthy, and only by thought that labor can be made happy; and the two cannot be separated with impunity.

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

Sin is not in the act, but in the choice.

It is not written, blessed is he that feedeth the poor, but he that considereth the poor. A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money.

It is far more difficult to be simple than to be complicated; far more difficult to sacrifice skill and cease exertion in the proper place, than to expend both indiscriminately.

It is not the church we want, but the sacrifice; not the emotion of admiration, but the act of adoration; not the gift, but the giving.

In mortals there is a care for trifles which proceeds from love and conscience, and is most holy; and a care for trifles which comes of idleness and frivolity, and is most base. And so, also, there is a gravity proceeding from thought, which is most noble, and a gravity proceeding from dullness and mere incapability of enjoyment, which is most base.

It is far better to give work which is above the men than to educate the men to be above their work.

If you want knowledge, you must toil for it; if food, you must toil for it; and if pleasure, you must toil for it: toil is the law.

In general, pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes.

If we do justice to our brother, even though we may not like him, we will come to love him; but if we do injustice to him because we do not love him we shall come to hate him.

If we pretend to have reached either perfection or satisfaction, we have degraded ourselves and our work.

I believe that the first test of a truly great man is his humility. I do not mean by humility, doubt of his own powers. But really great men have a curious feeling that the greatness is not in them, but through them. And they see something divine in every other man.

He who has truth in his heart need never fear the want of persuasion on his tongue.

Hundreds of people can talk for one who can think but thousands can think for one who can see. To see clearly is poetry, prophecy, and religion - all in one.

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

He who has once stood beside the grave, to look back upon the companionship which has been forever closed, feeling how impotent there are the wild love, or the keen sorrow, to give one instant’s pleasure to the measure to the departed spirit for the hour of unkindness, will scarcely for the future incur that debt to the heart which can only be discharged to the dust.

Every duty which we omit, obscures some truth which we should have known.

Endurance is nobler than strength, and patience than beauty.

Every duty we omit obscures some truth we should have known.

Education is the leading of human souls to what is best, and making what is best out of them; and these two objects are always attainable together and by the same means; the training which makes men happiest in themselves also makes them most serviceable to others.

Education does not mean teaching people what they do not know. It means teaching them to behave as they do not behave. It is not teaching the youth the shapes of letters and the tricks of numbers, and then leaving them to turn their arithmetic to roguery, and their literature to lust. It means, on the contrary, training them into the perfect exercise and kingly continence of their bodies and souls. It is a painful, continual and difficult work, to be done by kindness, by watching, by warning, by precept and by praise, but above all - by example.

First Name
John
Last Name
Ruskin
Birth Date
1819
Death Date
1901
Bio

English Critic, Essayist, Social Reformer