... it is not the color of the skin that makes the man or the woman, but the principle formed in the soul. Brilliant wit will shine, come from whence it will; and genius and talent will not hide the brightness of its lustre.
(Maria Stewart (1803-1879), African American abolitionist and schoolteacher. As quoted in Black Women in Nineteenth-Century American Life, part 3, by Bert James Loewenberg and Ruth Bogin (1976).
Stewart, a free African American, said this in her September 21, 1833 "Farewell Address to Her Friends" in Boston. She moved on to New York, where she became a schoolteacher.)
A poet who makes use of a worse word instead of a better, because the former fits the rhyme or the measure, though it weakens the sense, is like a jeweller, who cuts a diamond into a brilliant, and diminishes the weight to make it shine more.
(Horace Walpole (1717-1797), British author. Horace Walpole's Miscellany 1786-1795, p. 20, ed. Lars E. Troide, Yale University Press (1978).
Originally written in 1786.)
White ... is not a mere absence of colour; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black.... God paints in many colours; but He never paints so gorgeously, I had almost said so gaudily, as when He paints in white.
(Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. "A Piece of Chalk," Tremendous Trifles (1909).)
To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature. Most persons do not see the sun. At least they have a very superficial seeing. The sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and the heart of the child.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Nature, ch. 1 (1836, revised and repr. 1849).)