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the season I think you might go to Genoa, thence to Turin and Susa
at the foot of Mont Cenis ; where, if with red campaniles, green and
white torrents, purple-grey and russet rocks, deep green pines, white

1 [" Some friends of excellent critical judgment prevailed upon him to omit this
phrase, which was, however, soon re-inserted : for it was originally the keynote of
the poem." (Note in Lord Tennyson's Memoir.)]

2 [Addressed to the Hotel des Princes, Nice. From Raskin, Rossetti, and Pre-
Raphaelitism, pp. 118-121.]



232 LETTERS OF RUSKIN VOL. I [1856

snows, and blue valley distance, you can't make up a sauce to your
satisfaction, I shan't pity you. 1

(April 6th.) Certainly, Ida, you and Rossetti have infected me with
your ways of going on. Never did I leave a letter so long in hand
before. One would think I had had to scratch out every word and
put it in again, as Rossetti always does when he is in any special
hurry.

However, I must despatch this, and that in all haste for I had
no notion how far the year was advanced, "and the peach-buds took
me by surprise the other day; and the main purport of this letter is
only to tell you that I think you should go up into Switzerland for
the summer, not come home. It is as different from Nice as possible,
and that is already saying much for it. I hate Nice myself as much
as I can hate any place within sight of any sort of hill, but I didn't
know what you would or wouldn't like, when you went off to Paris
instead of Normandy. Switzerland is all soft and pure air, clear water,
mossy rock, and infinite flowers I suppose you like that? If you do,
write me word directly, and I will without fail in answer send you a
letter of accurate advice; but it's no use my tiring myself if you are
going to come home as fast as you can. If you want to leave Nice
directly, and yet [not] to go to Switzerland, get (either over Corniche
or by sea) to Genoa, and so to Susa. It is quite mild there (Italy,
only in the Alps), and must be cheap living. Don't go north from
Nice into Dauphine ; it is a diabolical country, all pebbles and thunder.
If you write to me, it is better to address your letter enclosed to
Rossetti, as I may be going down to Oxford and might miss it at
home. He will have my address. Now do be a good girl and try
Switzerland, and believe me always affectionately yours,

I. RUSKIN.

To DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI 2

[DENMARK HILL. ? January 185C.]

DEAR R., You must have thought I had quite forgotten you. I
have had serious thoughts of refusing to give up the picture now
returned, lest you should spoil the Zficharias ; but it would be a pity
not to finish it.

Hunt is coming to-morrow ; but you mustn't come. I want to
talk over all your bad ways and scratchings-out with him. Could you

J [Plate XI. here introduced is a drawing made by Ruskin at Susa.]
* [From Ruskin, liomtetti, and Pre-Raphaelitism, p. 117. "The Zacharias" is
presumably one of the figures in Kossetti's "Passover in the Holy Family."]



1856] DRAWING LESSONS 233

and your brother (if he likes) take early dinner or lunch (/ dine)
on Saturday at half-past one? I want you to show me some things
in colour, and your brother would or might like looking round the
pictures meanwhile. Always affectionately yours, J. R.



To WILLIAM WARD l

DENMARK HILL, February 24th, 1856.

DEAR WARD, As I expect another drawing to-night from you, I
have doubled what I said.

I think I may soon want a drawing master, under me, to refer
pupils to, whom I have not time to undertake. I think you might
soon fit yourself for this, and that it might soon enable you to change
your mode of life. Truly yours, J. R.

To WILLIAM WARD S

[DENMARK HILL, March 1856.]

MY DEAR WARD, Look out at the Architectural Museum, Cannon
Row, Westminster (where the fly-leaf of this note will get you admis-
sion), a pretty, not too difficult, cast of a leaf. Pack it nicely, and
send it to Miss Agnes Harrison, Elmhurst, Upton, Essex. 3 With it
send a copy, consisting of a little bit of cast, drawn with the brush,
in grey, not in sepia, three times over. The first, to show how to begin ;
the second, carried farther ; the third, finished. Explain, as well as you
can in a letter, the mod a of working. A very little bit will do.

I have told Miss Harrison that she is to pay you two shillings
a letter, of course returning your drawing when done with, which M'ill
then do for other pupils. You will keep a note of expenses of
packing, etc. She will write to you, with her copies, for further
instruction. Truly yours, J. RUSKIN.

How did you get on the other night ? Monday or Tuesday will
do for Miss H(arrison)' ( s letter.

1 [No. 3 in Ward ; vol. i. p. 10. Mr. Ward accepted, and held for several years,
the post of drawing master under Ruskin.]

2 [No. 5 in Ward; vol. i. pp. 13-14. For Ruskin's interest in and lectures at
the Architectural Museum, see Vol. XII. pp. Ixx., Ixxi.j

3 {_' ' Miss Agnes Harrison (now Mrs. Agues Harrison Macdonell) is a niece
of the late Mary Howitt, and the authoress of Martin's Vineyard, For the King's
Dues, Quaker Cousins, and various shorter stories and biographies which have
appeared in English and American periodicals. She married Mr. John Macdonell,
of the American Bar" (W. W.).]



234 LETTERS OF RUSKIN VOL. I [\856

To DANTE GABRIEL RossErri 1

[1866? March.]

DEAR R., You asked me if you might duplicate that sketch for
Boyce. 2 Does Boyce pay you for these drawings ? If he does, offer
him the sketch at the price I gave you for it. That will always be
something in hand. But, if it is only friendship in which you paint
for him, see if you can sell that drawing, or the " Francesca," elsewhere ;
it will always be a help, and I will wait for other drawings when you
have time to do them. I am almost certain Ida, or Ida's travelling
incubus of a companion, will have more debts than they say. People
are always afraid to say all at once. Hence it is best to be prepared
for the worst.

I have changed my mind about Italy, but let Ida, if she really
likes scenery at all, try Savoy, near the Grande Chartreuse, as she
comes home. If she wants to come home, by all means she should ;
but if she would like to see some Alps and gentians, I think she
should. . . . Affectionately yours, J. R.

If any of the dealers would give you a good price for even the
" Dante " one (mine), you might take it at this pinch. I could not
send money to-day, it was so wet. Be in, please, to-morrow afternoon.



To DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI 3

[DENMARK HILL. ? March 1856.]

DEAR R., Your letter reached me to-day between one and two.

I send only the " Francesca." The Man and his Blue Wife 4 I won't
part with ; nothing else that I have would do you credit with ordinary
people. The "Passover" will explain well enough without the sketch
no\v, and I mean to keep the sketch in case anybody should come to

1 [From Ruskin, Ro&xetti, and Pre-Itaphaelitism, pp. 126-127.]

a [For George Price Boyce, the water-colour painter, see Vol. XIV. p. 162.
He had several of Rossetti's early works.]

* [From Ruskin, Roitsetti, and Pre-Raphaelititm, p. 12.3.]

4 [Mr. Marillier identifies the "Man and his Blue Wife" as the "Belle Dame
sans Merci," dubbed by Ruskin below (p. 235) the "man with boots and ladv with
golden hair.' ; "The 'reredos' must certainly have been intended for Llandaff
Cathedral. This note seems to imply that Rossetti expected to design a flower-
border for the roredoti, or for the framework connected with his picture 'The Seed
of David': I do not at all think that he ever did design any such matter"
(W. M. R.)-]



1856] SUSA AND NICE 235

see me whom I want to talk about you to. I shall rejoice in, and
subscribe largely to, reredos and flower-border, provided proper studies
are made Jirst. Always yours, J. R.

I only underline the last sentence in play, for I know you will
not go into a work of this kind carelessly.



To DANTE GABRIEL RossExri 1

[DENMARK HILL, 1856 ? March.]

DEAR ROSSETTI, You shall have thirty pounds to-morrow, and /
will ask Miss Heaton to lend the twenty-five in a way which will
leave it quite in her power to refuse comfortably; if she does, I will
immediately supply the rest. I am not at all put out; only I want
Ida to stay in Switzerland. Don't be jealous I shall not be near
her, for I want her to be on Italian side of Alps at Susa, and I shall
be all summer north of them ; but she must stay, as she is getting
better. We must get her out of that hole, Nice, however.

I shall write what little scolding I have which is for her com-
panion to you to-morrow. Always affectionately yours,

J. RUSKIN.

Please send me by bearer a little crumb of violet carmine, and
any black that you find vigorous not lamp-black if you have it.
Don't send the carmine if you are using it.



To DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI 2

[? 1856.]

DEAR R., I think I like that duet between Ida and you better
than anything you have done for me yet, for it has no faults and is
full of power, except and always that man with boots and lady with
golden hair. I have sent your "Beatrice" to-day to somebody who will

1 [From Ruskin, Rossetti, and Pre-Raphaelitism, pp. 125-126.]

2 [From Ruskin, Rossetti, and Pre-Raphaelitism, pp. 114, 115. "That duet be-
tween Ida and you" is possibly the "Paolo and Francesca." The "man with boots
and lady with golden hair" is "Belle Dame sans Merci" (see above, p. 234).
The other observations relate to the water-colour " Beatrice at a Marriage Feast
denies Dante her Salutation," referred to above, p. 228. The Plate (XII.) here
given is from a version of the same subject, which belonged to H. T. Wells, R.A.,
and which shows, unaltered, the points to which Ruskiu objected. The drawing
(which Rossetti touched in accordance with Ruskin's instructions) is in the posses-
sion of Professor Norton, having been given to him by Ruskiu in 1860 : see below.
p. 335.]



236 LETTERS OF RUSKIN VOL. I [1856

like to look at it ; it will be sent or brought to you on Monday.
Please leave word about reception of it, if you must go out. Please
put a dab of Chinese white into the hole in the cheek and paint it
over. People will say that Beatrice has been giving the other brides-
maids a "predestinate scratched face"; 1 also, a whitefaced bridesmaid
in mist behind is very ugly to look at like a skull or a body in
corruption. Also please ask Hunt about young fool who wants grapes,
and his colour of sleeve. Then I will tell you where this drawing
is to be sent next to be lectured upon, and am always affectionately
yours, J. RUSKIN.

To DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI *

[DENMARK HILL. ?1856.]

DEAR ROSSETTI, I always intended to mount in frame Ida's draw-
ings, but only proceeded so far as to cut off the edges of thin mounts
which I didn't like, preparatory to full bevelled mounts for them, but
time has always failed me.

Sister Helen is glorious, and I keep the witch drawing. 3 Therefore,
you shan't have it. Yours affectionately, J. R.

Remember, I am to see the oil-picture the moment it is done,
" St. Catharine." 4 I hope to take it at once for money, leaving old
debts to stand as long as you like.

To DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI 5

[DENMARK HILL. ?1856.]

DEAR ROSSETTI, I suppose that the girl who let me in was up to
telling you what I had said, and to show you what I had done. I
had told her to tell you that I was in such a passion that I was

1 [Much Ado about Nothing, Act i. sc. 1.]

; [From Ruskin, Roxxetti, and Pre-Raphaelitum, pp. 14,3-144. "As to Rossetti's
small oil-picture of 'St. Catharine' (which was painted in or about 18.57), and
Raskin's reference to ' old debts,' it will be understood that Ruskin from time to
time advanced money for paintings which were not always forthcoming at the
stipulated time, and Ruskin might have claimed the 'St. Catharine' as an equivalent
for some such money but here he waives his claim" (W. M. R.).l

3 [See above, p. 201. Rossetti's poem, Sister Helen, was first published in 185.3,
in an English version of the UHsseldorf Annual.]

4 [See below, p. 272.]

|_From Ruakin, Rosuctti, and Pre-ltaphaeKtism, pp. 115-11(5. As Ru^kin had
objected (see above) to a head in the water-colour of "Beatrice at a Marriage
Feast," Rossetti had taken the head entirely out, as a preparation for painting a
new one. Ruskin called at Rossetti's chambers daring the latter's absence, and
was dismayed at finding how thoroughly he had been taken at his word.]



1856] ROSSETTI'S "PASSOVER" 237

like to tear everything in the room to pieces at your daubing over
the head in that picture; and that it was no use to me now till you
had painted it in again. And I told her to show you that I had
carried off the " Passover " instead. However, I think it may be well
for you to have that picture out of your sight a little before you
begin to work on it again; so please send it me by bearer. Yours
affectionately, J. RUSKIN.

How you could think I could look at it with any pleasure in that
mess, I can't think. Before, the whole thing was explained there
was only a white respirator before the mouth. You have deprived
me of a great pleasure by your absurdity. I never, so long as I live,
will trust you to do anything again, out of my sight.



To DANTE GABRIEL RossExri 1

[1856.]

DEAR R., To-morrow at about half-past one I bring, I hope,
translations, etc. Patmore is very nice ; but what the mischief does
he mean by Symbolism ? I call that Passover plain prosy Fact. No
Symbolism at all. Ever yours, J. R.

To HENRY ACLAND, M.D.

27th April, 1856.

DEAR ACLAND, I write more comfortably and legibly on this paper, 2
being used to it, and I take more care in writing, that I may set your
mind at ease in reading. I know I give you a great deal of anxiety,
and must try to pacify you a little, first thanking you for so quickly
sending me the corrected sheets. 3 I have, of course, adopted all those

1 [From Ruskin, Rossetti, and Pre-Raphaelitism, p. 140. The reference is to a
letter from Patmore to Rossetti (ibid., p. 139, and Memoir and Correspondence of
Coventry Patmore, vol. ii. p. 231 ), discussing the artist's drawings of " Dante at
the Marriage Feast" and "The Passover in the Holy Family." With regard to
the former, Patmore said that he contemplated it " with greater delight and profit
than I ever received from any other picture without exception. For the time, it
has put me quite out of conceit with my own work, and 1 must forget the severe
and heavenly sweetness of that group of Bridesmaids before I shall be able to go
on contentedly in my less exalted strain. The other drawing, at its present stage,
does not affect me nearly so powerfully, though I feel the soft and burning glow
of colour. The symbolism is too remote and unobvious to strike me as effective ;
hut I do not pretend to set any value by my own opinion on such matters."]
[The letter is on lined blue foolscap, much used by Ruskin.]

3 [Of The Harbours of England. For the "unwashed decks" of the h ambler
merchant-vessels, as distinguished from the prouder vessels carrying wine and tea,
etc., see 15 (Vol. XIII. p. 26). For "80," ibid., p. 28; for "hip," ibid., p. 31
(10th line from foot).]



288 LETTERS OF RUSKIN VOL. 1 [1856

useful side-notes and proper and necessary corrections, " hip " for
"elbow," "80" for "120," etc.; but I have kept the nonsense, very
justly so called, about unwashed decks, because my feeling about such
matters is a simple fact, which, right or wrong, I cannot help, and
which I do not state as an argument at all, but as a piece of private
feeling, and truly if there were no more wine or tea either at Den-
mark Hill or anywhere else, I am not sure the world would be much
the worse.

I enjoyed the quiet time you were kind enough to spare to me at
Henley as much as you did perhaps more as I was under no panic
about your politics. And if you consider the following facts I don't
think you will see ground to fear mine.

First. I have a clear mathematical head. This is just as certain
as that I have a head at all, which I suppose is objectively certain. I
know it is a mathematical head, because at my little go I offered to
do any problem in Euclid's three first books without a diagram, writing
it out by reference to an imaginary diagram in my head. 1 I can do
that to this day, to almost any extent ; that is to say, reason out any
geometrical question without pen or paper, and dictate its statement
blindfold.

Secondly. I have reasoned out a good many principles of general
philosophy and political economy by myself, and I have always found
myself in concurrence with Bacon and Adam Smith as soon as I had
settled said principles to my own satisfaction ; and as I believe those
two people to have been no fools, I see no reason for concluding that
I am one myself. 2

Thirdly. I am forced by precisely the same instinct to the con-
sideration of political questions that urges me to examine the laws of
architectural or mountain forms. I cannot help doing so ; the questions
suggest themselves to me, and I am compelled to work them out. I
cannot rest till I have got them clear.

Fourthly. I am perfectly honest in all my purposes. It is precisely
and accurately against my own dearest interests that I am acting in
praising Turner. No landed proprietor ever coveted land more earnestly
than I covet possession of Turners. Yet I am every day putting my
whole strength into the declaration of their merit to others, raising
their price to myself. I have proved a right to say, therefore, that I
am upright in my other purposes.

1 rcomuare Praterita, i. 228 (Vol. XXXV. p. 201).]

2 [For Bacon Raskin's admiration remained unabated (see, e.g., Vol. XXVIII.
pp. .51<>, 510). With regard to Adam Smith, though he continued to recognise
the validity of the Free Trade theory, he came to condemn the hypothesis on
which much of Smith's Political Economy was based : see Vol. XVII. p. 2G.]



1856] THE AUTHOR'S CHARACTER 239

Fifthly. I am good-natured, and desirous of making people about
me happy, if I can. There are many people who are pr&itdly honest,
yet hard-hearted : I am instinctively honest, yet kind-hearted. I do
not mean that I am affectionate l that is to say, dependent for my
pleasure on the society of others, far from it ; but I am kind, in a
general way, to all human creatures.

Sixthly. I am wholly unambitious. I don't mean I am not vain
that is, fond of praise ; I am intensely fond of it, and very much pained
by blame. But I don't care for POWER, unless it be to be useful with ;
the mere feeling of power and responsibility is a bore to me, and I
would give any amount of authority for a few hours of Peace.

Seventhly. I have perfect leisure for inquiry into whatever I want
to know. I am untroubled by any sort of care or anxiety, unconnected
with any particular interest or group of persons, unaffected by feelings
of Party, of llace, of social partialities, or of early prejudice, having
been bred a Tory and gradually developed myself into an Indescribable
thing certainly not a Tory.

Eighthly. I am by nature and instinct Conservative, loving old
things because they are old, and hating new ones merely because they
are new. If, therefore, I bring forward any doctrine of Innovation,
assuredly it must be against the grain of me; and this in political
matters is of infinite importance.

Lastly, I have respect for religion, and accept the practical precepts
of the Bible to their full extent.

Consider now all those qualifications one by one. Consider how
seldom it is that they all are likely to meet in one person, and whether
there be, on the whole, chance of greater good or evil accruing to people
in general from the political speculations of such a person.

I ought to have added one more qualification to the list. I know
the Laws of Work, and this is a great advantage over Idle Speculations.

Against all these qualifications you will perhaps allege one at first
ugly-looking disqualification. " You live out of the world, and cannot
know anything- about it."

I believe that is almost the only thing you can say, but it does
sound ugly at first, and sweeping. I answer, that just because I live
out of it, I know more about it. Who do you suppose know most
about the lake of Geneva I, or the Fish in it? It is quite true the
Fish know a thing or two that I don't certain matters about feeding
places, deep holes, and various other characters of Bottom. Neverthe-
less as to the general nature of the lake of Geneva, future prospects
of it, and probabilities of all said fish ever being entirely broiled by

1 [Compare Pratterita, Vol. XXXV. p. 457-]



240 LETTERS OF RUSK1N Voi, I [1856

a volcanic explosion, or petrified in their beloved bottom by advance
of delta, I know more than they.

I do not suppose you will answer as other people might that I
am too conceited to know anything about it. There are two kinds of
self-estimation a fool's, and that which every man who knows his
business has of himself. They look like each other in expression, but
they are not the same. 1 And I mean to send you an essay on political
economy, 2 perhaps even soon, with a quiet echo of Albert Durer's
assertion about his engraving " Sir, it cannot be better done. 11

Meantime I am still busy enough, having my critique on Academy
and Water-colour to write, and another little book to get out, 8 beside
the Harbours, before going abroad, so I shall not be able to write again,
I fear, till I get to Interlachen, whence I shall advise you of my plans,
as soon as I am able to form any.

I was very happy with you, in spite of the Elements of Disturbance
which exist in that household Economy of yours. It seems to me,
however, that the house with field and Poney will one day become
essential, whereat you might go "home to dinner" like any other
workman and be inaccessible.

Those are all nice children of yours. I forgot to ask if Harry ever
got my letter about his stick. I should be very sorry if he thought I
had not answered his to me. So Good-bye for a little. This letter
won^ give you very much trouble though rather longer than is fair
for it is pretty legible, I think. I got the books all right. I will send
photographs as soon as I can get into London to choose one. Best
love to Harry, Willy, Angie. Best small-size love to Theodore. Best
regards to Mama. Compliments, of an admiring character, to Fat
and Obedient Baby. And Love and thanks to yourself. Always affec-
tionately yours, J. RUSKIN.

To WILLIAM WARD *

THUN, July 1st, 1856.

DEAR WARD, My not having written to you before was owing
to my doubt as to what I should be able to do in work while
abroad. I am well enough, but quite unable for work of head, for

1 [Compare Vol. XVI. p. 150, and the other passages there noted.]

2 [Probably The Political Economy of Art, which Kuskiu always considered one
of his best books : see (iu the next volume) a letter of November 28, 1878. For
Durer's saying, see Vol. XIX. p. 52.]

! [Apparently (from Ruskin's letter to W. AVard) The Elements of Drawing. ]
* [No. 8 in Ward; vol. i. pp. 18-19. The little book is The Elements of

Dravnng (ultimately issued in June 1857), in which (Vol. XV. p. 18) Iluskin referred

to Mr. Ward.]



1856] LOWELL'S "FABLE FOR CRITICS" 241

the present ; and I can't yet get out the little book I spoke of for
some time.

But I want you to work for me; and I should like to know
whether you have yet got any situation, or whether you could get
one not requiring all your time (perhaps only a certain number of
days in the week, for a smaller salary), if I could secure you a certain
sum annually say ="50 to eke it out.

Meantime I enclose a cheque for ^20, for any work you may
have been doing for me; and write to me with full accounts of your
prospects (Poste Restante, Villeneuve, Canton Vaud, Switzerland).
Most truly yours, J. RUSKIN.



To CHARLES ELIOT NORTON l

[GENEVA, 18 July, 1856.]

I am truly obliged to you for showing me this book. Lowell
must be a noble fellow. 2 The " Fable for Critics " in animal spirit
and fervour is almost beyond anything I know, and it is very interest-
ing to see, in the rest, the stern seriousness of a man so little soured
so fresh and young at heart.

I hope you have enjoyed yourselves. Can you send me a line to
Union Hotel, Chamouni, to say you have? Pray come to see me, if
you can, before leaving England. Truly yours, J. RUSKIN.



To DANTE GABRIEL RossETTi 3

CHAMOUNI, 14 August [1856].

DEAR ROSSETTI, You would have heard from me before now, but
I did not know if you were in town, and whether I could safely send
a cheque to Ch[atham] Place. Luckily, Miss Heaton has just paid us



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