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He was also an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist.
In all of his writing, he emphasised the connections between nature, art and society.
He wrote on subjects ranging from geology to architecture, myth to ornithology, literature to education, and botany to political economy and was hugely influential in the latter half of the 19th century up to the First World War.
"Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours."
"A small hole not mended in time will become a big hole much more difficult to mend."
"Good riding at two anchors, men have told, for if the one fails, the other may hold."
"Have a mouth as sharp as a dagger but a heart as soft as tofu."
"If you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together."
"Don't ignore the small things. The kite flies because of its tail."