Thursday, August 25, 2016

'Proserpina: Studies of Wayside Flowers' by John Ruskin

WAYSIDE FLOWERS °01 
{ The best of John Ruskin }

"But how are we to separate the creatures whose office it is to abate the grief of ruin by their gentleness."


I.
I am at war with the botanists.”

II.
“Our natural and honest mistakes will often be suggestive of things we could not have discovered but by wandering.”

III.
“A root is not merely a passive sponge or absorbing thing, but an infinite subtle tongue, or tasting and eating thing. That is why it is always so fibrous and divided and entangled in the clinging earth.”

IV.
“Wise people live like laurels and cedars, and go on mining in the earth, while they adorn and embalm the air.”

V.
“An iris always completes itself to its own ideal.”

VI.
“I mean to call every flower either one thing or another, and not an 'aceous' thing, only half something or half other.”

VII.
“But a plant may be  hardy, and coarse of make, and able to live anywhere, and yet be no weed.”

VII.
“The ivy has been torn down from the towers of Kenilworth; the weeds from the arches of the Coliseum, and from the steps of the Araceli, irreverently, vilely, and in vain; but how are we to separate the creatures whose office it is to abate the grief of ruin by their gentleness.”◆


John Ruskin. Proserpina: Studies of wayside flowers, while the air was yet pure among the alps, and in the Scotland and England which my father knew, Vol. I. 1888.
Sandro Botticelli. Primavera (detail). c. 1470-80. Uffizi Gallery, Florence.
This article was originally published on a retired domain and has been republished for archival purposes.

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