and oblige me, by helping Jones a little just now. He has been very
ill is deeply depressed about Rossetti 1 and much about his own work.
If you would buy something of him you would be doing a kindness
and service, and you would get not a first-rate work by any means,
but a work with some qualities of the highest order, quite unique and
unapproachable, in a most pure and lovely way of their own. I will
look what he has and tell you. Yours gratefully, J. RUSKIN.
To FRANCIS TURNER
... I looked at your book it is very nice but I have come to
feel profoundly how right Turner was in always telling me that criti-
cism was useless. If the public don't know music when they hear it
nor painting when they see it nor sculpture when they feel it no
talk will teach them. It seems to do good but in truth does none
or more harm than good. (Art is an emanation of national character :
not a taught accomplishment.) This is not a cheerful or very kind
acknowledgment of your memory of me: but I am glad of it for all
that. . . .
To CHARLES ELIOT NORTON 3
DENMARK HILL, 28// April, 1802.
elseif (getClientWidth() > 430)
DEAR NORTON, . . . Where one's friends are, one's home ought to
be, I know whenever they want us ; but every day finds me, neverthe-
less, sickening more and more for perfect rest less and less able for
1 [See below, p. 411.]
1 \Frands Turner Pulgrare: his Journal and Memories of his Life, by Gwenllian
F. Palgrave, 18!H), pp. 72-7-5. Palgrave, says his daughter, marked this letter as
"Very true." The letter was written in acknowledgment of Palgrave's Handbook
to the Fine Art Collections of the Exhibition of 18(>2.J
3 [Atlantic Monthly, July MM)4, vol. 1)4, p. I, 1 }. No. .31 in Norton; vol. i.
1862] THE NEED OF A HOME 407
change of scene or thought, least of all for any collision with the
energies of such a country and race as yours. Nay, you will say, it
would not be collision, but communion you could give me some of
your life. I know you would if you could. But what could you do
with a creature who actually does not mean to enter the doors of this
Exhibition of all nations, within five miles of his own door?
I have kept this hoping to be able to tell you some cheerful thing
about myself, but few such occur to me. To-morrow I leave England
for Switzerland; and whether I stay in Switzerland or elsewhere, to
England I shall seldom return. I must find a home or at least the
Shadow of a Roof of my own, somewhere; certainly not here.
May all good be with you and yours. Ever your affectionate
Look in Fraser^s Magazine for next month June please. 1
To RAWDON BROWN 2
DENMARK HILL, May Wth, 1862.
DEAR Mu. BROWN, So many and many thanks for all your kind
and kindest letters. I can't write letters just now. I am always
tired, somehow, but I mean to take your advice and hope to get
round a little, yet. I have no house of my own not even rooms ;
and living with two old people, however good, is not good for a
man. I should have tried to get abroad again before this, but found
they had let all the Turner drawings get mildewed at the National
Gallery during its repairs. 3 So I stayed to get the mildew off' as well
as I could, and henceforward IVe done with the whole business ; and
have told them they must take it off themselves, next time, or leave
it on, if they like. I shall not enter the Exhibition ; it is merely a
donkey race among the shop-keepers of the world ; and when once I
get away this year, say in a week or ten days, if I don't break down,
I will try and follow your advice.
I do not care the least about people's religious opinions. What I
meant to say was, that for a man who has once at any time had any
1 [In which number appeared the first of the essays afterwards called Munera
Pulveris: see Vol. XVII. p. 119.]
[No. 12 in Various Correspondents, pp. 42-40.]
[On this subject, see Vol. XIII. p. xliv.]
408 LETTERS OF HUSKIN VOL. I [i86a
hope of life in another world, the arrival at conviction that he has
nothing to look for but the worn-out candle end of life in this, is
not at first cheerful.
The Boot Jack has come : come for a long time too. I like it,
but I've no boots to pull off' for the present, but thank my good old
collaborateur and friend for it very heartily. It will be a very pretty
little piece of furniture, if ever I have a house of my own; but I
never shall have the " heart " as people say " want of heart," as
they ought to say to tread on white carved marble with dirty boots.
This note was begun, with a better pen, three weeks ago, as you
may see. Since then my discomforts have come to a climax, and, I
think, to an end (one way or another, for I feel so languid that I'm
not sure I'm not dying), but to an end of better comfort, if I live.
For the only people whom I at all seriously care for, in this British
group of islands, and who, in any degree of reciprocity, seriously care
for me (there are many who care for me without my caring, and vice
rersd), wrote three days ago to offer me a little cottage dwelling-house,
and garden, and field, just beside their own river, and outside their
park wall. And the river being clear, and brown, and rocky ; the
windows within sight of blue hills ; the park wall having no broken
glass on the top ; and the people, husband and wife and two girls
and one boy, being all in their various ways good and gracious, I've
written to say I'll come, when I please ; which will, I suppose, be
when I want rest and quiet, and get the sense of some kindness near
me. Meantime I am coming, if it may be, as far towards you as
Milan, to see the Spring in Italy once more. But I don't think I can
come to Venice, even to see you. I should be too sad in thinking
not of ten, but of twenty no, sixteen years ago when I was working
there from six in the morning till ten at night, in all the joy of
Will you send me a line to Poste Restante, Lucerne, in case I don't
get so far as Milan ? And believe me ever affectionately yours,
To AM FATHER
PAIUS, Monday Morning [May 19, 1862].
I went to dinner uncomfortable and with a headache, but returned
much cheered I never knew anything like the kindness of them all.
I suppose you had been putting them up to it, but they were all
quite irresistible, and I was forced to promise seriously and absolutely
that I would visit Mine, de Maison, Mine, des Roys, and Mine, clc
1862] A DINNER-PARTY IN PARIS 409
Bethune, in the course of the summer. They were all five there, 1 and
ail kind I was surprised most by Cecile's courtesy, as she was appa-
rently quite indifferent ten years ago. I was surprised also to find
how, in spite of the apparent fatigue of talking and hearing, I was
less wearied by far at the end of the evening than at the beginning.
The intensity of the animal spirit and gaiety seemed magnetic.
Jeanne (Mdlle. des Roys) was there, very sweet and nice. Caroline's
boy is very beautiful, so like his father. The Grandfather, the old
Prince de Bethune (eighty-six), was the life of the whole circle shouts
of laughter round him all the evening it was very wonderful.
The Vicomtesse des Roys says she is going to write me such long
letters. Her husband says, if I'll take his wife and daughter over to
England, they'll come, but not otherwise. I can't conceive how it is
that people can be so affectionate after twenty years and to me, of all
people, it seems to me, the dullest and unlikest to them.
. P.S. I forgot to say in printing Unto this Last the words are too
often seen, if on every page. Let the titles of chapters be put on
both sides of the book, at tops.
To Mr. and Mrs. BURNE- JONES 2
[MILAN, June 28, 1862.]
MY DEAUEST CHILDREN, Harry the Sth's a good King, but the
notion of his interfering with the Venetian senate in this way is too
bad. If Ned's well (I have the letter about Murano, so nice, and
Ned's about Lido ; and of course I assume Harry the 8th to be well
too if he's ill, I've nothing to say) and bettering in health and
painting, you ought not to move so soon. And don't make such
mighty grand sketches. I want a very slight one of the St. Sebastian
in St. Rocco (Scuola), 3 and a rough sketch in colour of the High Priest
in the Circumcision, in Scuola by the stair foot. And I want you a
week here. - I will have ever so many cwt. of candles lighted in the
1 [That is, the five daughters of M. Domecq Diane (Mme. de Maison) ; Clotilde,
see above, p. 402 ; Ce'cile ; Elise (Mme. des Roys), and Caroline (Mnie. ue Bethune),
see above, p. 375. Diane, the eldest, is mentioned in Prceteriia, i. $ 226 ; Clotilde
is the Adele of Ruskin's poems ; the other sisters are mentioned in Prceterita, i.
205 (Vol. XXXV. pp. 178-181, 199).]
2 [Part of this letter is printed in Memorials of Edward Burnc-Jones, vol. i.
p. 247. Mr. and Mrs. Burne-Jones had now parted from Ruskin and were at
Venice, proposing an immediate return to England in order to rejoin their boy.
"Harry the 8th" was a name Ruskin had given to their child.]
3 [The study of this subject made for Ruskin is at Oxford : Xo. 139 in the
Reference Series (Vol. XXI. p. 40). For Ruskin's description of the picture, see
Vol. XI. p. 419.]
410 LETTERS OF RUSKIN VOL. I [1862
Monastero, 1 and you must sketch the two Christs for me, please. This
is more important than anything at Venice to me.
I don't care about the Salute Cana one, 2 but finish it as is best for
your own work. I'm pretty well, and ever your aft'ecte.
PAPA, J. R.
To his FATHER
[MILAN] Wednesday [July 2, 18G2].
Fine weather and St. Catherine 3 still going on well.
Reading over your yesterday's and some other letters, I can't help
being a little amused by your sudden desire for my "reticence" as to
my feelings recommended by Lady M. Montagu and others. Your
great favourite Lord Byron was especially reticent as to his feelings ?
My favourite Dante in the same measure. You did not mind my
proclaiming to all the world in print the foolish passions of a boy, but
you are frightened at my telling my own few friends the difficulties in
which the strong life of the man needs their help or patience. But
vou need not fear my reserve the fear is lest I should be too reserved. 4
There is not at this moment a living creature to whom I choose to
tell either my inner thoughts or my final plans, and you will find me
always in future, if I live, wasting aw/thing rather than words. I often
wish other people had been more reticent. St. Paul, for instance, with
his " Oh wretched man that I am,'' 5 etc., which has been the origin of
religious whining over all the Christian world of which the quantity is
as incalculable as the mischief unspeakable.
But every man who is worth anything, in this world, must, in his
own piece of the Christian membership, find the echo of that saying
and has in his own weak way to say it or not say it as he determines.
Not to speak of the Master's saying which His servants again have
all in some sort to feel, if not to utter " My soul is exceeding sorrowful
even to death." Which, by the way, whenever people do feel the
1 [The Monastero Maggiore, or San Maurizio, painted by Luini. " I am drawing
from a fresco," wrote Burne-Joues, "that has never been seen since the day it
was painted, in jet darkness, in a chapel where candlesticks, paper flowers, and
wooden dolls abound freely. Kuskin, by treacherous smiles and winning courtesies
and delicate tips, has wheedled the very candlesticks off the altar for my use, and
the saint's table and his everything that was his, and I draw every day now by the
light of eight altar candles" (Memorials of Kdward littrne-Jonex, vol. i. p. 24H).]
2 [That is, he did not care about Runic-Jones making a study of it; the picture
itself, he greatly admired : see Vol. XI. p. 42!).]
J [The copy of Luini's fresco on which Kuskin was engaged : see the frontispiece
to Vol. XIX., and pp. Ixxiii., Ixxiv. ]
4 [Compare below, p. .572.]
* [Romans vii. 24 ; and (below) Matthew xxvi. 38.]
1862] RETICENCE 411
meaning of it, is a sign that their friends are pretty sure in the mean-
time to fall asleep or run away.
The most reticent man 1 know is Goethe and if I live people will
know just as little what to make of me in my small way as of him in
I get on better here for my reticence. I am certainly gaining strength
but still no flesh. However, I walked half round the town, 3| miles,
and out and in two miles more, by way of rest after drawing to-day.
Nice paper to-day with fine row in the House Mr. Cowper in scrape.
Times and Mr. Higgins delicious. 1
To DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI 2
MILAN, 12 July, 1862.
MY DEAR ROSSETTI, So often Fve tried to write, and could not,
having had to fight with various fears and sicknesses such as I never
knew before, and not thinking it well to burden you with them.
I write now only to thank you for your kind words in your letter to
Jones. I do trust that henceforward I may be more with you, as I am
able now better to feel your great powers of mind, and am myself
more in need of the kindness with which they are joined. There are
many plans in my thoughts: assuredly I can no more go on living
as I have done. Jones will tell you what an aspen-leaf and flying
speck of dust in the wind my purposelessness makes me. They are
dear creatures, he and his wife both, and have done much to help me;
and I believe there is nothing they would not do if they could.
1 [The reference is to t'i dispute about the Thames Embankment, iu which
Ruskin's friend, the Right Hon. William Cowper (then First Commissioner of
' Works) was concerned. The Committee, to whom the matter had been referred,
had just reported, and was charged by the Times with having been subservient, in
its recommendations, to the interests of the Duke of Buccleuch. It was suggested
by Lord Robert Montagu that the line of the Times was inspired indirectly by
Mr. Cowper, who had written on the subject to its contributor, Matthew James
Higgins (famous as "Jacob Omnium"). There had been a comedy of errors about
this communication, for Mr. Cowper had inadvertently addressed his letter to the
wrong Mr. Higgins. The latter was represented by Lord 11. Montagu as having
authorised a disclosure ; the right Mr. Higgins was authorised by the wrong Mr.
Higgins to deny this, and so forth, and so forth. There was a motion for the
adjournment of the subject on June 27, and a further debate on June 30. On the
latter occasion Lord Palmerston intervened with the remark, " There is nothing in
the world more calculated to lead to no result than a discussion about what ' I
said' and 'you said' and somebody else said, because it is quite certain that no
two individuals will agree as to what was said." If, however, any reader desires
to hear more on the subject, he may refer to Hansard, 3rd ser., vol. 167, pp. 1138-
2 [From Rossetti Papers, pp. 13-14. Rossetti's wife had died from an overdose
of laudanum on February 11, 18G2.]
412 LETTERS OF RUSKIN VOL. I [1862
I am vexed, and much (perhaps more than about any other of the
inconveniences caused by being ill), that I have missed William, who
must be bv this time at Venice, as far as I can hear. A letter of
his, received just as I was leaving town, got thrown into a drawer
by mistake instead of my desk, and I could not answer it.
Among the shadowy plans above spoken of, the one that looks
most like light is one of spending large part of every year in Italy,
measuring and copying old frescoes. Perhaps some time we might
have happy days together, if there were any place in Italy where you
cared to study, or be idle. I've been thinking of asking if I could
rent a room in your Chelsea house ; l but I'm so tottery in mind that
I have no business to tease any one by asking questions.
Jones has done me some divine sketches. How he does love you,
and reverence your work ! Did Norton of course he did write to
you about the Banner picture ? 2 I've kept his letter to me about it.
How he appreciated it ! I never knew a picture so enjoyed.
I don't deserve a letter, but I've had things sometimes before now
that I didn't. I'm here at all events, if you have word to say to me.
Remember me with deep and sincere respect to your sister, and believe
me ever affectionately yours, J. HUSKIN.
To LADY NAESMYTH
MILAN, 18th July.
DEAR LADY NAESMYTH, I find it is unreasonable in me any longer
to hope for a return by Lucerne ; the work I began here taking me
twice as long as I thought, and a couple of papers on Polit. Econ.
which I have had to do for Froude 8 as well as I could, occupying all
the little amount of intelligence that is in me, so that I am obliged
to keep to my quiet and dreamy life or half-life. I say obliged ; but
the truth is that the state of indignation in which I have lived for
these three or four last years, mixed with considerable personal suffering,
have made me for the present dislike face of man. I can't speak for
horror at the way things are done and undone ; these American and
Austrian wars, and our English brutal avarice and stupidity, force me
now to dead silence and keeping out of people's way. No friends are
1 [Nothing came of Iluskin's suggestion that lie might possibly become an
inmate of tbe bouse which Rossetti had now taken in Cheyne Walk (see above,
p. xlvii.). Tbe actual sub-tenants for a time were Mr. Swinburne, Mr. Meredith, and
Mr. William llossetti : see the hitter's Dante (,'iihnet Jhssetli, J8i)o, vol. i. p. L'2.]
[The water-colour called " Keforc the JJattle": see above, p. 404.]
* [The essays (afterwards called Munera 1'ufmri*) in Eraser's Magazine, edited
1862] THE PEACE OF VILLAFRANCA 418
of any use to me a year's ploughing or digging or fishing would be
if I had strength for it, which I have not; nevertheless, by help of
mute work of some temperate sort, I hope still to keep alive. You
say I want kindness and love ; I don't, because I can no longer answer
them ; all men are alike to me, except one or two whom the world
hates, and whom I can be of no help to. Sir John wrote in his
last kind letter that a pleasant dream of his would be dissipated, if
I could not come back to you. If so indeed, and I am pleased to
think it so, let him remember that my change from what I was once,
capable of giving and taking kindness, to a hard and helpless creature,
is merely part, and an infinitely small part, of the wreck which is taking
place everywhere through the baseness of the national feeling of Eng-
land. Mrs. Browning was killed by the peace of Villafranca. / have
never been the same since nor shall be and what are we compared
to the myriads of noble souls whose blood is poured out as water,
while smooth English propriety maintains the Austrians at Venice and
the Pope at Rome and the Devil everywhere ? You will think this
letter wildly morbid, of course. It must read so, unless I could show
you all the long courses of thoughts which lead to such states of feeling.
But I cannot, and you must think of me as hardly or as contemp-
tuously nay, not that you will not. But don't think that soothing
does me any good. If men were being shot in the street beneath me,
I could shut the shutters and work or sit still. But I couldn't go
out to breakfast, and chat pleasantly and enjoy myself.
I can shut my shutters here, and fiercely draw lines or write
sentences or sit silent. But I can't come and see you or any one.
Forgive me, and believe me gratefully and always yours,
Sincere regards to Sir John and your daughter. I don't say love,
for I don't love anybody, and one shouldn't use noble words lightly.
To LADY TREVELYAN
MILAN, ZQth July, 1862.
DEAR LADY TREVELYAN, I have your nice rambling letter about
everything, and answer forthwith though I have nothing to say, for
I do not know how I am, nor what I am going to do, and I don't
know anything about anything. You ask if I have been ill I wish I
knew. There are symptoms about me which may be nothing or may
be everything but I am better than I was, and when I can be quiet,
it seems to me that some strength is coming back, but the least bustle
or worry puts me all wrong again. I know my father is ill, but I
414 LETTERS OF RUSKIN VOL. I [1862
cannot stay at home just now, or should fall indubitably ill myself,
also, which would make him worse. He has more pleasure if I am
able to write to him a cheerful letter than generally when I'm there
for we disagree about all the Universe, and it vexes him, and much
more than vexes me. If he loved me less, and believed in me more,
we should get on; but his whole life is bound up in me, and yet he
thinks me a fool that is to say, he is mightily pleased if I write any-
thing that has big words and no sense in it, and would give half his
fortune to make me a member of Parliament if he thought I would
talk, provided only the talk hurt nobody, and was all in the papers.
This form of affection galls me like hot iron, and I am in a state
of subdued fury whenever I am at home, which dries all the marrow
out of every bone in me. Then he hates all my friends (except you),
and I have had to keep them all out of the house and have lost all
the best of Rossetti and of his poor dead wife, who was a creature
of ten thousand and other such ; I must have a house of my own
now somewhere. The Irish plan l fell through in various unspeakable
somewhat sorrowful ways. I've had a fine quarrel with Hosie ever since
for not helping me enough. Whom do you mean that my father is
glad I should be with, if he thinks they do me good ? Who does do
me good in his present belief? Fve had the Joneses (you know them,
do you not?) a good deal with me on this journey the hotel waiters
much puz/led to make out whether he was my son or Georgie my
daughter. I really didn't think I looked so old but nobody ever has
thought she belonged to me, except the mate of the Folkestone steamer,
and that was only because I took care of her when hrr husband
couldn't. But they're very nice, both of them, and he loves me very
much. What a funny thing a mother is ! She had left her baby at
home in her sister's charge, and she seemed to see everything through
a mist of baby. I took them to see the best ravine in Mont Pilate,
and nothing would serve her but her husband must draw her baby
for her on the sand of the stream. I kept looking up Massacres of
the Innocents, and anything else in that way that I could to please her
he has made me some good sketches. I'm only doing St. Catherine
in water-colour 2 body white, thick, is very like fresco. The dress has
come all very well but I can't say as much for the face yet. Thanks
for notice of Carlyle, Lady Ashbfurton], Dr. Brown, etc. . . .
By the way, haven't you got a new clog yet ? 3 Peter used to
write part of your letters for you, I fancy they've been a little
stupider since he died. There are nice little ones about the streets
1 [See above, p. 408.]
* [See the frontispiece to Vol. XIX.]
3 Kor "Peter," .see above, p. 31)5.]
1862] HIS FATHER'S CENSORSHIP 415
here who take to the national institution of muzzle with the greatest
spirit, and turn up their wired noses at unmuzzled dogs, like the
American reporters. Did you see the Times on the Church Congress at
Oxford isn't it nice? 1 I should like to see Henry Acland reading
It is too hot to write any more to-day, the first really hot day we
have had, though it has been blue and soft enough. It is no wonder
Sir Walter has gout from what I hear of your weather in London.
Come here. If you'll telegraph you're coming I'll wait for you there's
no chance of my ever getting north of London ; I hate cold and
moors and nasty rivers all over green moss. I'm getting quite fond
of the Renaissance architecture, because it looks civilised and not like
Northumberland. Come and see. Love to Sir Walter. Ever affec-
tionately yours, J. RUSKIN.
To his FATHER
MILAN, 22nd July, 1862.
I have your letter stating receipt of second part of paper. 2 I am
quite content that you should do anything with it that you like in
your present state of health, but as far as mine is concerned the one
only thing you can do for me is to let me follow out my work in my
own way and in peace. All interference with me torments me and
makes me quite as ill as any amount of work. That letter written
under the poplars was just at the time when I had got into my subject
again with some interest, and was taken by it from painful thoughts
now the putting off this publication disheartens me checks me in
what I was next doing, and has very considerably spoiled my two