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gaols and pigstyes than of the houses of gentlemen and gentlewomen.

In Cruikshank the disease was connected with his incapacity of colour ;
but Hogarth and Bewick could both paint.

It may be noticed in connection with the matter that Gothic grotesque
sculpture is far more brutal in England than among the rudest continental
nations ; and the singular point of distraction is that such ugliness on the
Continent is only used with definitely vicious intent by degraded artists ; but
with us it -seems the main amusement of the virtuous ones !

1 [Perhaps the additional plate in the Examples of Venetian Architecture now
given at p. 350 of Vol. XL]

Studies in Grotesque.



[From the Daily Telegraph, February 11, 1884. Reprinted in Igdrasil, August
1890, vol. i. p. 300, and thence in Ruskiniana, part i., 1890, p. 54 (No. 51).]

To the Editor of the "Daily Telegraph"

HEBNE HILL, Feb. 10th [1884].

SIR, Will you permit me to enter a remonstrance against two general
assumptions in your yesterday's article on the Queen Square School of Art ?
the first, that no girl or woman will ever wish to paint except to get a
living; and the second, that the diversion of a portion of the wages fund
from the employment of girls in useful household work to their employment
in the production of Christmas cards must infallibly be a benefit to the
sex and the nation. Might not schools be instituted which should teach
the rich and poor alike the arts of painting and music ? and might not both
these arts be occasionally practised by the women of England in modes
beneficial to the public, yet not altogether dependent on its patronage ?

I am, Sir, your faithful servant,



[From the Pall Mall Gazette, February 29, 1884, thus introduced : " At the
annual conversazione of the Literary and Philosophical Society, held at Sheffield
last evening, considerable attention was given to a recently discovered water-colour
drawing by J. M. W. Turner. It was picked up at a second-hand shop by Mr.
Jackson Smith, a local manufacturer. Having a suspicion that it might be a
Turner, he sent it to Mr. Ruskin for his opinion, who replied," etc. The drawing
measured 13 in. x 10, and bore the words, " Lake near Lord Harewood's House,

[February, 1884.]

Your drawing is indeed a very curious and beautiful example of
Turner's earliest works. You are extremely wicked to trust it to the
post with only that bit of pasteboard, and it is a mercy it is not crushed
into a curl paper. In case you are ever disposed to part with it, I think
you might count on my being ready to outbid the dealer.


[From the Church Reformer, February 15, 1884, vol. iii. p. 25 ("We quote
the following from a welcome letter addressed by Mr. Ruskin to the editor").
Reprinted in the Pall Mall Gazette, February 15, 1884. The number for January
15, 1884, was sent to Ruskiu. Its attitude is sufficiently indicated in the full title
The Church Reformer: an Organ of Christian Socialism and Church Reform, edited by
Rev. Stewart D. Headlam, B.A.]

{February, 1884.]

I am very greatly obliged by your sending me the first number of
your this year's issue. I never yet looked through a paper I thought so
right, or likely to be so useful.



[This and the two following letters first appeared in the Manchester City News,
April 5, 12, and 19, 1884. They were reprinted in Igdrasil, July 1890, vol. i. pp. 249-
253, and thence in Ruskiniana, part i., 1890, pp. 41-45 (Nos. 38, 39, and 40).
The subject is the Dore and Chinley railway, projected by an independent company
in 1884, afterwards taken up by the Midland Company and completed in 1894. It
"opened up" the North Peak district (Castleton, etc.). Upon the subject of this
projected new railway a correspondent, " C. E. T.," had, in writing to the Manchester
City News, alluded to the opinions of Ruskin on railways. Thereupon Mr. J. F.
Uttley had pointed out that "C. E. T." was wrong in his views of what Ruskin's
opinions were. " If people," wrote Mr. Uttley, " would only read Mr. Ruskin's
works straight through instead of picking out and objecting to the little bits they
do read, there would be a great deal less misunderstanding of one of the greatest
of living Englishmen." In the same issue with Mr. Uttley's letter appeared another
letter, signed "Progress," in which the writer said, "We have no more right to
poison the air than we have to destroy the scenery. Yet it is done, and must be
done to an increasing extent every day." "Progress" empowered the editor to give
his name (which was done in the issue of April 5) Mr. S. Bramwell, of Cheetham
Hill, Manchester. For Ruskin on railways, see in this volume, pp. 135-143, 603-604.
There was a parody of Ruskin's letters in Punch, August 23, 1884 (" On all Fours

To the Editor of the "Manchester City News"

BRANTWOOD, 2nd April, 1884.

SIR, I am obliged by your insertion of Mr. Uttley's letter in your
impression of March 29, which has to-day been forwarded to me ; and I
should be glad to say a few words in reply to the letter next following
from the advocate of poisoned air, if he will give his real name. There
can be no possible reason for the concealment of it by so benevolent a

I am, Sir, your faithful servant,


To the Editor of the " Manchester City News "

BHANTWOOD, 7th April, 1884.

SIR, I will at once meet the frankness of your correspondent, Mr
Bramwell, by admitting, for the basis of all discussion, that he writes as a
philanthropist, and has no personal interest in the proceedings he defends.
On the other side, I confess myself no less frankly to write as a misan-
thrope. Not to the extent of wishing anybody any harm ; but quite dis-
tinctly to the point of wishing most people out of my way when I am
disposed to enjoy myself. Mine ease in mine inn 1 is not dependent on

1 [Part 1, King Henry IV., Act iii. sc. 3.]


the numbers of its table d'hote: when I walk, I particularly like to go at
my own pace, and not spend my breath in conversation. At a watering-
place, I take pleasure in the springs, but not in the drinkers ; and, were I
to visit the Hebrides, would rather meet a black-headed gull than either
the Lord of the Isles or Dr. Johnson.

But having openly made this admission, I beg that it may not be
supposed that I either wish or anticipate that the world and his wife
should keep themselves, either out of my way, or put themselves out of
their own. Whatever I have advised or deprecated as to their homes, or
their travels, has been absolutely in their interest, and from their point of
view, so far as I could conceive either. But it has always been written
also in a conviction founded on some knowledge of past history, that the
things which people immediately want are not always those that are best
for them, and that there may be other things which they don't in the
least want, or are even incapable at present of imagining, which would be
extremely good for them.

Take, for example, this singular unanimity of the inhabitants of Amble-
side that is to say, accurately, of the innkeepers, shopkeepers, guides, and
other ministers to the strangers in Ambleside for a railway from Lakeside
into their midst. I have long known their wish, with anticipation of its
probable success; and, having seen the results of railway enterprise from
the beginning, can perhaps carry forward the " progress " of improvement
in my imagination to a point beyond even the hopes of your philanthropic
correspondent. It is easy to conceive (I have seen far more wonderful
changes) a High Street of magnificent establishments in millinery and
" nouveautes," running along under the hills from Ambleside to Grasmere,
with the railway to Keswick immediately in their rear. I behold the
sublimity of Wordsworth Crescent and Silver How Circus, commanding the
esplanade which will encompass the waters of Rydal and Grasmere princi-
pally then, of necessity, composed of sewage ; while the " rivulets in May "
which once leaped with Louisa in the shade, 1 will be usefully disposed in
successive tanks, of which the scum will be inflammable. A " Lift " to the
top of Helvellyn, and a Refreshment Room on the summit, will prepare
the enthusiastic traveller for a " drop " to Ulleswater ; while beyond the
rectilinear shores of Thirlmere reservoir, the Vale of St. John will be laid
out in a succession of tennis grounds, and the billiard rooms of the Bridal
of Triermain 2 Casino be decorated in the ultimate exquisiteness of Parisian

Such development of our resources in the Lake District is, I suppose,
inevitable : I do not therefore question how far desirable. In Derbyshire,
on the contrary, there may perhaps be yet somewhat alleged in defence
of things as they are ; only, having time to write no more to-day, may I
first know from Mr. Bramwell whether, thus far, I have justly interpreted
his aspirations ?

I am, Sir, your faithful servant,


1 [For the lines from Wordsworth's Louisa, here referred to, see Vol. XXVIII.
p. 116.]

2 [For other references to the Vale of St. John (the scene of Scott's poem),
see above, p. 137.]


To the Editor of the " Manchester City News "

BRANTWOOD, Easter Day [April 13], 1884.

SIR, In what I would fain further say in defence of the Peak of
Derbyshire, I am compelled to admit not only the bias of my general
misanthropy, but that also of a private interest (so far as that word may
be conceived as having any other sense than that of Dividend). Much as
I have been wont to love Thirlmere and Helvellyn, there are in other
climes lovelier lakes and sweeter strands ; and though I should be driven
out of Brantwood by the trippers dancing on my lawn and the smokers
sauntering in my garden, I could still set up my rest where I could see
the lamb leap and hear the Windhover cry. 1 But, speaking still wholly
for myself, as an Epicurean Anchorite and Monastic Misanthrope, I pray
leave to submit, as a deeply oppressed and afflicted Brother of that Order,
that I can't find anything like Derbyshire anywhere else. "J'ai beau," as
our polite neighbours untranslatably express it, to scale the precipices of
the Wengern Alp with Manfred to penetrate with Faust the defiles of
the Brocken : the painlessly accessible turrets of Matlock High Tor, the
guiltlessly traceable Lovers' walks by the Derwent, have for me still more
attractive peril and a dearer witchery. Looking back to my past life, I
find, though not without surprise, that it owes more to the Via Gellia 2
than the Via Mala to the dripping wells of Matlock than the dust-rain
of Lauterbrunnen. And although I fully admit, as aforesaid, that we none
of us know what is good for us ; and though progressive England achiev-
ing her final purpose may one day be blessed, as eye hath not seen, 8 in
her life of the forge and factory, varied only by excursions from one coal-
hole to another, in the meantime I must beg Mr. Bramwell to understand
that we poor landscape lovers and painters at least know our own business
and our own likings ; and that it is perfectly open to him to ignore us ;
but neither to teach us nor to please. Let it be put to the vote by all
manner of franchise which of us is to have our way ; but do not hope to
explain to us that the virtues of the Black Country " no delighted beauty
lack." 4 If I admire, for instance, in my perversity, the statue of Psyche
at Naples, 5 and your correspondent wishes to make lime of it, by all
means let us vote about the matter with what triumph of majorities we
may. But if Mr. Bramwell advises me that it is proposed far from in-
juring, much to embellish my Psyche that her principal features are to
be left entirely unmodified, only a small smut put on the tip of her nose,
and, quite in the style of the inlaid jewelling of the ancients, but with
more propriety and economy, a red-hot cinder put into each of her eyes,
I may not be able to express to Mr. Bramwell what Mr. Wordsworth calls

1 [For Ruskin's delight in this bird, see Vol. XXIV. p. xxix., and Vol. XXVI.
p. 305.]

2 [The road that runs up Bonsall Dale, named in compliment to the family of
Cell of Hopton, through whose estate it passes. For Ruskin's various visits to
Matlock, see the General Index.]

* [Isaiah Ixiv. 4 ; 1 Corinthians ii. 9.]

* [Othello, Act i. sc. 3, line 290.]

6 [For another reference to the statue, see Vol. XII. p. 208.]


" the difference to me," l but I hope that he will admit the possibility of
my real discomfort, in an arrangement which is a matter of indifference
to him.

Enough said in my own cause. I now and I hope, after this candour,
now without suspicion take up that of the public public in the widest
sense, including the Derbyshire peasant, to whom his hills are, your corre-
spondent says, no more than a landmark the tripper from Manchester or
Birmingham, and the traveller from beyond sea. That little heap of crys-
talline hills, white over with sheep, white under with dog-tooth spar, is a
treasure alike to them all, richer than Cathay, brighter than Golconda.

" A landmark only ! " and Heaven bless the mark what better should
they be ? and who is he, and what is his guilt, who removes his neigh-
bour's landmark? 2

Birmingham tripper ! Oh, my expatiating friend, do you want to take
Birmingham with you wherever you go, then ? or think to refresh your-
selves from the foundry by picnic in a lime-kiln?

Learned traveller, gentle and simple but above all English Paterfamilias
think what this little piece of mid-England has brought into so narrow
compass, of all that should be most precious to you. In its very minute-
ness it is the most educational of all the districts of beautiful landscape
known to me. The vast masses, the luxurious colouring, the mingled
associations of great mountain scenery, amaze, excite, overwhelm, or exhaust
but too seldom teach ; the mind cannot choose where to begin. But
Derbyshire is a lovely child's alphabet ; an alluring first lesson in all that's
admirable, and powerful chiefly in the way it engages and fixes the atten-
tion. On its miniature cliffs a dark ivy leaf detaches itself as an object
of importance ; you distinguish with interest the species of mosses on the
top ; you count like many falling diamonds the magical drops of its petri-
fying well ; the cluster of violets in the shade is an Armida's garden to
you. 8 And the grace of it all ! and the suddenness of its enchanted changes,
and terrorless grotesque Grotesque par excellence! It was a meadow a
minute ago, now it is a cliff, and in an instant is a cave and here was a
brooklet, and now it is a whisper under ground ; turn but the corner of
the path, and it is a little green lake of incredible crystal ; and if the
trout in it lifted up their heads and talked to you, you would be no more
surprised than if it was in the Arabian Nights. And half a day's work of
half a dozen navvies, and a snuff-box full of dynamite, may blow it all
into Erebus, and diabolic Night, for ever and ever.

Think of it, how inexorable then the Deities, how irrevocable the
Deed. Your Psyche of Naples made lime of, there is yet marble in Paris
out of which Love may one day carve another, or if not, a Dovedale
milkmaid may perhaps please him no less. But, once your snowy cliff
blasted away, and your pure trout pool filled with potsherds, Nature
herself has no healing in all her compassion for you, Time no restitution
in all his ages. And there is yet this to be noted of the ghastly precision

1 [For another reference to the poem, " She dwelt among the untrodden ways,"
see Vol. XXV. p. 389.]

1 [Deuteronomy xix. 14.]

3 [See Rogers's Italy (" Como ") for a similar use of " Armida's palace " (in
Tasso) as a type of enchantment]


of the destroying force, in Derbyshire country, that it is in the very Eyes
of it that the fiery brand is plunged. In almost every other lovely hill-
district, and in all rich Lowland, the railway kills little more than its own
breadth and a square mile or two about every station, and what it leaves is
as good as what it takes. But in Derbyshire the whole gift of the country
is in its glens. The wide acreage of field or moor above is wholly without
interest ; it is only in the clefts of it, and the dingles, that the traveller
finds his joy, and in those clefts every charm depends on the alternate jut
and recess of rock and field, on the successive discovery of blanched height
and woody hollow ; and, above all, on the floretted banks and foam-crisped
wavelets of the sweetly wilful stream. Into the very heart and depth of
this, and mercilessly bending with the bends of it, your railway drags its
close clinging damnation. The rocks are not big enough to be tunnelled,
they are simply blasted away ; the brook is not wide enough to be bridged,
it is covered in, and is thenceforward a drain ; and the only scenery left
for you in the once delicious valley is alternation of embankments of slag
with pools of slime.

I have not said, I leave the clergyman and physician to say, what
moral or sanitary changes follow the disgrace of the gifts of Nature and
the wreck of her order. But I may at least advise your correspondent
that envenomed air is deadlier to the young than the old, and that, under
his progressive rule, women are seldom likely to attain the age at which
he ceases to pity them. But the question of to-day is not for the crone,
but the babe. What favours of high Destiny has England to promise to
her children, who have been reared in mephitic fume instead of mountain
breeze ; who have had for playground heaps of ashes instead of banks of
flowers ; whose Christmas holidays brought them no memory, whose Easter
sun no hope ; and from whose existence of the present, and the future,
Commerce has filched the Earth, and Science shut the Sky ?

I am, Sir, your faithful servant,



[From the Daily Telegraph, June 6, 1884. Reprinted in Igdrasil, August 1890,
vol. i. pp. 302-303, and thence in Rmkiniana, part i., 1890, pp. 58-59 (No. 58).]

To the Editor of the u Daily Telegraph "

BRANTWOOD [June 1884].

SIR, As you have honoured me by referring to my likes and dislikes
in your interesting article on games, will you kindly correct the impression
left on your readers that I "should dislike" either billiards or chess. I
am greatly interested in the dynamics of billiards, but I cannot play, and
I deeply deplore the popularity of the game among the lower classes on
the Continent. Chess, on the contrary, I urge pupils to learn, and enjoy
it myself, to the point of its becoming a temptation to waste of time often
very difficult to resist ; and I have really serious thoughts of publishing


a selection of favourite old games by chess-players of real genius and
imagination, as opposed to the stupidity called chess-playing in modern
days. Pleasant " play," truly ! in which the opponents sit calculating and
analysing for twelve hours, tire each other nearly into apoplexy or idiocy,
and end in a draw or a victory by an odd pawn !

I am, Sir, your faithful servant,



[Given in facsimile at the beginning of a little book with the following title-
page :

Rules of Perspective. | Explained, illustrated, and adapted | to practical
use. | By | M. M. Runciman. j With Letter of Approval | from | Professor
John Ruskin, M.A., Hon. LL.D., etc., etc. | Ars probat Artificem. | London :
| Winsor & Newton, Limited, 38, Rathbone Place, W.

The book was published in 1884. For Mr. Charles Runciman, Ruskin's first drawing
master, see Preeterita, i. 84, 87.]

4th June, '84.

DEAR Miss RUNCIMAN, I assure you it gave me true pleasure to see
your writing again ; and to learn that you had made the alterations sug-
gested in the arrangement of your Father's rules, before not wholly clear.
Your having done so enables me at once to guarantee the scientific accuracy
and easy applicability of the rules ; and with the greater security because
I myself learned all the perspective from them which I ever apply to land-
scape practice.

Believe me always, your faithful servant,



[The first of these letters is from the Chess Monthly, edited by L. Hoffer and
J. H. Zukertort (published by Jas. Wade, 18, Tavistock Street, Covent Garden,
W.C.), July 1884 (vol. v., No. 59, p. 321). Reprinted in Igdrasil, August 1890,
vol. i. pp. 305-306, and thence in Ruskiniana, pp. 59-60 (No. 59). Also reprinted
in the "Chess Column" of the Westminster Gazette, January 27, 1900.]

To the Editors of the " Chess Monthly "

BBANTWOOD, June 25, 1884.

GENTLEMEN, I have been much surprised and more flattered by the
notice taken of my short letter to the Telegraph on Amateur Chess ; l but
will you allow me a word of reply in your columns to the article on that

1 [That is, the preceding letter headed " Billiards."]


letter which appeared in Land and Water, 1 followed up by one from Mephisto
in Knowledge ? To the editor of Land and Water I would reply, that I
never think of chess as a game to be played for money. I find it for
myself a most useful means of turning my thoughts out of any too deeply
formed channel ; and I would teach it to boys and girls just as I would
teach them to ride and dance, without wishing them to rival the skill,
or even always to adopt the style, of professional riders and dancers. To
Mephisto and much more to the editor of Knowledge? whose ideas, it
seems to me, Mephisto is rather expressing than those of a great chess-
player I would reply that imagination, in all the arts, all the sciences,
and all the games of men, is worth just as much now as it was in New-
ton's time, and will always be worth what it is now ; that, however little
coveted by the people who have not got any, it is a source of extreme
pleasure to its possessors, and is an extremely interesting part of total
human nature. In painting and poetry the workers scorn analysis, and
the best work defies it ; and, so far as chess is capable of analysis, it is
neither art nor play. Mephisto tells us there is only one reliable opening
known, and analysis will be doubtless crowned by showing that, as in a
scientific game, there can only be one reliable beginning, so there can
only be one possible end.

Meantime I am encouraged (and partly, indeed, provoked) by the various
letters I have received on this subject to proceed in my notion of collect-
ing a few pretty and easily-read games for examples of chess style to
beginners, keeping the openings as irregular as possible, and never allow-
ing the number of moves to pass forty.* But in the meantime, as there
is no longer a chess column in Society, might not you, gentlemen, grace-
fully concede a little space to " social " chess, and record every now and
then an easy but graceful game, well followed, wittily concluded, and yet
comprehensible by the ordinary intellect of an amateur ?

I am, gentlemen, your faithful servant,


* For example of a perfectly intelligible and pretty game in twenty moves, I
may instance Captain Kennedy's, No. 86 in Mr. Bird's most useful collection of
Chess Masterpieces. The kind of game which, however masterly, I call radically
bad in style, may be as simply illustrated by the 58-move one, No. 70, in which
the combatants exchange first their bishops, then their queens, then their knights,
and then their rooks, and pass the rest of their time in skulking about the board
with the odd rooks in chase of each other's pawns.

1 [In the Chess Column of June 14 (vol. 37, p. 563) Ruskin's letter was quoted,
and the writer objected that though "the play of these times is wanting in vigour,
colourless and watery," yet " brilliant dodges and imaginative traps will not pay."]

1 [The late R. A. Proctor. "Mephisto," at the head of "Our Chess Column " in
Knowledge for June 13, 1884 (vol. vi. p. 446), had quoted Ruskin's letter, and in
the following week's issue he discussed it (pp. 467-468). The brilliant style of
the early masters had been succeeded by "more modern analysts," and "Chess in
this respect is only taking the same course which all other branches of human
research and human skill have taken ever since Newton discovered the law of
gravity. It is the ' positive ' substance of a thing physical or moral which determines
its relative position in the order of things. No amount of imagination can for a

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