It is perhaps the principal admirableness of the Gothic schools of architecture, that they receive the results of the labour of inferior minds; and out of fragments full of imperfection ... raise up a stately and unaccusable whole.
(John Ruskin (1819-1900), British art critic, author. The Stones of Venice, vol. II, ch. 6 (1853).)
They who have been bred in the school of politics fail now and always to face the facts. Their measures are half measures and makeshifts merely. They put off the day of settlement, and meanwhile the debt accumulates.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Slavery in Massachusetts" (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 388, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)
To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust. It is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically, but practically.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Economy," Walden (1854).)
The old saying of Buffon's that style is the man himself is as near the truth as we can getbut then most men mistake grammar for style, as they mistake correct spelling for words or schooling for education.
(Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British author. First published in 1903; this remark deleted from first publication by Butler's literary executor, R.A. Streatfield. Ernest Pontifex, or The Way of All Flesh, ch. 2, p. 7, Houghton Mifflin (1964).)
Bodily offspring I do not leave, but mental offspring I do. Well, my books do not have to be sent to school and college, and then insist on going into the church, or take to drinking, or marry their mother's maid.
(Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British author. First published in 1912. Samuel Butler's Notebooks, p. 153, E.P. Dutton & Company (1951).)