Wednesday, July 16, 2014

John Ruskin

London, Lower Regent Street, c. 1860

"Ask a great money-maker what he wants to do with his money, — he never knows. He doesn't make it to do anything with it. He gets it only that he may get it. "What will you make of what you have got?" you ask. "Well, I'll get more," he says. Just as at cricket, you get more runs. There's no use in the runs, but to get more of them than other people is the game. So all that great foul city of London there, — rattling, growling, smoking, stinking, — a ghastly heap of fermenting brickwork, pouring out poison at every pore, — you fancy it is a city of work? Not a street of it! It is a great city of play; very nasty play and very hard play, but still play."

John Ruskin, The Crown of Wild Olive, lecture I: Work, sections 23-24 (1866)

John Ruskin (1819-1900)
"We need examples of people who, leaving Heaven to decide whether they are to rise in the world, decide for themselves that they will be happy in it, and have resolved to seek — not greater wealth, but simpler pleasure; not higher fortune, but deeper felicity; making the first of possessions, self-possession; and honouring themselves in the harmless pride and calm pursuits of peace."

John Ruskin, Unto This Last, Essay IV: "Ad Valorem," (1860)

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