Quotation by John Ruskin

Whatever difference, involving inferiority, there exists between him and Dante, in his conceptions of the relations between this world and the next, we may partly trace ... to the less noble character of the scenes around him in his youth; and admit that, though it was necessary for his special work that he should be put, as it were, on a level with his race, on those plains of Stratford, we should see in this a proof, instead of a negation, of the mountain power over human intellect. For breadth and perfectness of condescending sight, the Shakespearian mind stands alone; but in ascending sight it is limited. The breadth of grasp was innate; the stoop and slightness of it were given by the circumstances of scene; and the difference between those careless masques of heathen gods, or unbelieved, though mightily conceived visions of fairy, witch, or risen spirit, and the earnest faith of Dante's vision of Paradise, is the true measure of the difference in influence between the willowy banks of Avon, and the purple hills of Arno.
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