If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.
(William Morris (1834-1896), British artist, writer, printer. Lecture, 1877. "The Decorative Arts: Their Relation to Modern Life and Progress," publ. As "The Lesser Arts" in Hopes and Fears for Art (1882).
Morris's first public lecture.)
We call the beautiful the highest, because it appears to us the golden mean, escaping the dowdiness of the good and the heartlessness of the true.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Speech, January 1842, at the Masonic Temple in Boston, repr. In The Dial (1843) and Nature, Addresses, and Lectures (1849). "The Transcendentalist," repr. in The Portable Emerson, ed. Carl Bode (1946, repr. 1981).)