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Sesame and Lilies Sesame and Lilies by John Ruskin
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“All books are divisible into two classes: the books of the hours, and the books of all Time.”
John Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies
“Great men do not play stage tricks with the doctrines of life and death: only little men do that.”
John Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies
“A book is written, not to multiply the voice merely, not to carry it merely, but to preserve it. The author has something to say which he perceives to be true and useful, or beautifully helpful”
John Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies
“the true knowledge is disciplined and tested knowledge,—not the first thought that comes, so the true passion is disciplined and tested passion,—not the first passion that comes. The first that come are the vain, the false, the treacherous; if you yield to them they will lead you wildly and far, in vain pursuit, in hollow enthusiasm, till you have no true purpose and no true passion left. Not that any feeling possible to humanity is in itself wrong, but only wrong when undisciplined.”
John Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies
“For as in nothing is a gentleman better to be discerned from a vulgar person, so in nothing is a gentle nation (such nations have been) better to be discerned from a mob, than in this, - that their feelings are constant and just, results of due contemplation, and of equal thought. You can talk a mob into anything; its feelings may be - usually are - on a whole, generous and right; but it has no foundation for them, no hold of them; you may tease or tickle it into any, at your pleasure; it thinks by infection, for the most part, catching an opinion like a cold, and there is nothing so little that it will not roar itself wild about, when the fit is on; nothing so great but it will forget in an hour, when the fit is past.”
John Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies
“When you come to a good book, you must ask yourself, “Am I inclined to work as an Australian miner would? Are my pickaxes and shovels in good order, and am I in good trim myself, my sleeves well up to the elbow, and my breath good, and my temper?” And, keeping the figure a little longer, even at cost of tiresomeness, for it is a thoroughly useful one, the metal you are in search of being the author’s mind or meaning, his words are as the rock which you have to crush and smelt in order to get at it. And your pickaxes are your own care, wit, and learning; your smelting furnace is your own thoughtful soul. Do not hope to get at any good author’s meaning without those tools and that fire; often you will need sharpest, finest chiselling, and patientest fusing, before you can gather one grain of the metal.”
John Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies