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record their meetings in 1882 and subsequent years. 5

The more important of Ruskin's published Letters to G. F. Watts
have been given in an earlier volume, 6 but the present Collection con-
tains a few additional notes (pp. 111-112). In a letter to Mrs. Acland
Ruskin refers to Watts as one of the five wayward geniuses known
to him (p. 217). Watts on his side entertained to the end an
affectionate admiration for Ruskin. Like George Eliot, 7 he found in
Ruskin's writings the inspiration of a Hebrew prophet. " Oh," he
wrote to a friend, in deploring the insincerities of the age, " for one who
would write like a Hebrew ! The only one who did so, I think, was
clear John Ruskin the only one who, while denouncing the bad, told
us what we should do." 8 One of the latest occasions on which Ruskin
signed his name was that of an Address to Watts on his eightieth
birthday; 9 and when, soon afterwards, Ruskin passed away, Watts cut

1 See Vol. XIV. p. 2G.

2 See his citation of Raskin's words in a letter of 1853: The Life of Lord
Leighton, vol. i. p. 109.

3 If/id., p. 212, and ii. p. 122. Compare vol. i. pp. 234, -2-\7, 248.

4 Ihid., vol. ii. p. 59.

5 Vol. XXXVII. pp. 424, 500.
Vol. XIV. pp. 471-473.

7 See Vol. in. p. xxxix.

* Reminiscences of (1. F. Wntts, by Mrs. Russell Barrington, p. 185.

9 At about the same time ho signed a protest against the "restoration" of
Peterborough Cathedral : this signature is reproduced in a memorial notice of
Ruskin in the Report of the Society for the I'rotcctiati f Ancient HuiMinyK, 190U.
Ruskin's last signature, still more infirm in handwriting, was attached in 1899
to a memorial to the 1'rimo Minister asking that a Civil List pension might be
accorded to the widow of Mr. (ileeson White.


a wreath from his garden to be laid upon the coffin of his friend. 1
Watts was to have come to Brantwood in 1898 to make a portrait
of Ruskin, and the day of his arrival was fixed, but the painter was
taken ill and could not come.

Among other painters with whom Ruskin was in friendly relations
in the years of Academy Notes were John Brett and J. W. Inchbold,
to each of whom he rendered much help and encouragement. Refer-
ences to them have been made in earlier volumes. An interesting
series of letters to James Smetham and an appreciation of Thomas
Seddon have also been printed. 2 In the present Collection there are
some interesting letters to Mr. Frederic Shields, who, "as man and
artist both," owes, he has testified, " to Ruskin's teaching a debt of
inexpressible and reverential gratitude."" 3 To Ruskin's friendship for
artists of a later generation, reference will be found below (p. Ixxiii.).

We must now go back, in order of time, to the days of Ruskin's
class at the Working Men's College in order to pick up other threads
in the web of his friendships.

One of these was with Dr. F. J. Furnivall, only six years Ruskin's
junior, and still in his eighty- third year (1908) working and even
rowing as hard as ever. To him, as to so many other young men
of the time, the first two volumes of Modern Painters had been a
"revelation," and Ruskin "became one of his gods. 114 He chanced
to meet Ruskin at an " at home, 11 and was asked to call. 5 Ruskin
took strongly to his new friend, to whom he sent all his books and
pamphlets, receiving in return many books in which Furnivall him-
self was interested. He was at this time reading in Bellenden Ker's
conveyancing chambers in Lincoln's Inn. One of Ker's old pupils
was Mr. J. M. Ludlow ; through him Furnivall became acquainted
with F. D. Maurice and interested in the Christian Socialist move-
ment. When Ruskin^ theological pamphlet, called Sheepfolds, ap-
peared in 1851, Furnivall sent it to Maurice, and correspondence
ensued. 6 Later letters to Furnivall show Ruskin corresponding vigo-
rously with him on books, and Furnivall staunch to him at a time

1 See Vol. XXXV. p. xlvi.

2 For Brett, see Vol. XIV. p. 171 n. ; for Inchbold, ibid., p. 21 n. ; for the
letters to Smetham, ibid., pp. 460-463 ; and for Seddon, ibid., pp. 464-470.

3 The Bookman, October 1908, p. 30. For Raskin's letters, see below, pp. 372,
376, 482.

* " Forewords," p. 7, to the privately-printed Two Letters concerning " Notes on
the Construction of Shecpfolds," 1890.

5 For his account of the visit, see Vol. VIII. p. xxxiv.

6 See Vol. XII. pp. 561-572.


of domestic trial. Presently Maurice started the Working Men's Col-
lege, and Furnivall enlisted Ruskin's help. He too it was who arranged
for the benefit of the College the Separate reprint of Ruskin's Nature
of Gothic. Several of the letters in the present Collection relate to
College business, and as long as Ruskin remained at Denmark Hill,
Dr. Furnivall continued to see and correspond with him. "Disagree
with him as one may," writes Furnivall "and as I in much do no
one who has been once under his magic spell can think of him with
aught but gratitude and love." 1

Another friendship made at the Working Men's College was with
Mr. Frederic Harrison, who took a class in history there. He was
often a visitor at Denmark Hill, and has written many accounts of
Ruskin and his parents. 2 His views and Ruskin's were often in colli-
sion, as the letters given in a previous volume sufficiently show ; 3 but
except in opinions, they did not disagree. Ruskin's letters to him are
affectionate, and his Memoir of Ruskin, often cited in this edition, is
evidence of warm admiration for his friend.

Among pupils at the Working Men's College, Ruskin made ac-
quaintance of two in particular who became closely connected with his
subsequent work and life, and who will often be met in the correspond-
ence contained in these volumes. One of these was the late Mr. William
Ward (1829-1908). He was the son of a commercial traveller a man
of philosophical and mystical bent, the author of several pamphlets ;
there is a reference by Ruskin to one of them in the correspondence. 4
Mr. Ward was intended for a commercial career, and at the time
of his marriage was a clerk in the City of London. He has described
his introduction to Ruskin in his Preface to the collection of Letters
which he allowed to be printed for private circulation :

"Some time in 1854, a friend Mr. Henry Swan, late curator of the Ruskin
Museum at Sheffield called upon me, bringing with him Ruskin's Seven
Lamps of Architecture, of which he read a few pages. The words came
like a revelation, and made a deep impression upon me. I longed to know
more ; and, learning that the author was actually teaching a drawing class
at the Working Men's College (then at No. 31 Red Lion Square), I as
soon as possible enrolled myself as a pupil. ... I was first set to copy a
white leather ball, suspended by a string, and told to draw exactly what
I saw making no outline, but merely shading the paper where I saw

1 " Forewords " in the privately-printed Two Letters concerning " Notes on the
Construction of Sheepfolds," p. 14.

2 See, for instance, above, p. xvii.

3 Vol. XXIX. pp. 505-569. 4 See Vol. XXXVII. p. 704.

.Jo 1) n R 11 s U i 11


shade. The result was rather a feeble affair ; but I remember that Mr.
Ruskin was much taken with my attempt at extreme accuracy by putting
in even the filaments of the string. After the ball came plaster casts of
leaves, | fruit, and various natural objects. A tree cut down was sent from
Denmark Hill and fixed in a corner of the class-room for light arid shade
studies. To our great delight, Mr. Ruskin used continually to bring us
treasures from his own collection. . . . His delightful way of talking about
these things afforded us most valuable lessons. To give an example :
he one evening took for his subject a cap, and with pen and ink showed
us how Rembrandt would have etched, and Albert Diirer engraved it.
. . . He made everything living and full of interest, and disliked servile
copying and ' niggling.' Excessive care he admired, but not work for
work's sake. To show this, he would make a rapid drawing by the side
of a student's work, that he might see how, with all his elaboration,
he had missed the 'go' of a thing. ... A delightful reminiscence is that
of some pleasant rambles a few of us (who could command the leisure)
had with Mr. Ruskin through Dulwich Wood now, alas ! covered with villas.
On these occasions we took our sketching materials, and sitting in a
favourable spot, perhaps opposite a broken bank partly covered with
brambles and topped by a few trees, spoiled a few sheets of paper in
trying to make something of it. The result on paper was not worth
much ; but Mr. Ruskin's criticisms, and a few touches on our woi'k, gave
us some ideas that were worth a great deal. As a wind-up to these sketch-
ing parties, we adjourned to the Greyhound to tea and some very inter-
esting talk. Upon one of these occasions I gave Mr. Ruskin a favourite
book of mine, the Poems of Emerson, which he had not seen. He told me
at a subsequent meeting that the poem he liked best was ' The Mountain
and the Squirrel.' x He afterwards gave me the Poems of Rogers, illustrated
with Turner's exquisite vignettes. These were a great delight, and I felt
myself in possession of a small Turner gallery."

Under Ruskhr's teaching Mr. Ward's latent artistic ability was quickly
developed. Already, in 1856, we read of Ruskin proposing that he
should become a drawing-master (p. 233). He relinquished his com-
mercial career, and henceforth devoted himself wholly to art begin-
ning as a drawing-master upon Ruskin's system. In The Elements of
Drawing (1857) Ruskin publicly recommended him in that capacity.
Several of the letters, of no importance in themselves, are interesting
as introducing us to pupils whom Ruskin passed on to Mr. Ward. 2
Somewhat later he began the work by which his name became
known to many lovers of art the copying of Turner's water-colour

1 The short piece called "Fable."

2 See below, pp. 233, 276, and Vol. XXXVII. pp. 702 (No. 4), 703 (No. 12).


drawings, at first at Marlborough House and afterwards at the National
Gallery; a work which he executed with singular fidelity and success,
and continued for many years. We have seen in an earlier volume
how highly Ruskin esteemed these copies, 1 and the correspondence
shows how deeply he was interested in his assistant's progress in this
direction. Of an episode in the work, to which some of the letters
refer (pp. 534, 535), Mr. Ward gives an interesting note :

" As a relief from close work at the National Gallery, Mr. Ruskin sent
me, in company with Mr. George Allen, for a walking tour up the valley
of the Meuse, to see and sketch some of the subjects of Turner's draw-
ings. I afterwards went to Luxembourg, a favourite sketching-ground of
Turner's, with the same object. It was not an easy matter to discover
Turner's points of view, but when they were discovered, I always found
that I required two pages of my sketch-book to get in as much of the
subject as Turner had compressed into one page of his."

This copying and sketching in Turner's footsteps was the founda-
tion of Mr. Ward's intimate knowledge of the master's work, upon
which, as collector and dealer, he became a recognised authority.
With these occupations he combined, particularly in the earlier years,
a great deal of original work, executed almost entirely in water-
colours. His subjects were landscape and still-life, exhibited at the
Royal Academy and other exhibitions from 1860 to 1875. He was,
like his masters Turner and Ruskin, a lover of colour ; and at one
time he made a practice for twelve months together of rising before
sunrise and sketching the effects of dawn. 2 Ruskin's letters to Mr.
Ward extend from 1855 to 1886, and touch on the various matters
indicated above, as also upon Mr. Ward's services as agent for the
distribution of photographs illustrating the books. The letters show
in a pleasant manner the thoughtful consideration of the master for the
pupil, and the patient devotion of the pupil to the master.

The other pupil at the Working Men's College who became
closely connected with Ruskin was Mr. George Allen. At the time
when he began attending the classes he was a joiner, in which craft he
was extremely skilful. A note upon some fine work which he executed
at Dorchester House has been given in an earlier volume, 3 and his
skill is attested by the fact that when Morris mid Rossetti founded
their famous Firm, Mr. Allen was invited to become a partner and
take charge of the Furniture Department. He was also ottered an

1 Vol. XIII. p. f>7. r ). - See Vol. XXXVII. p. 710 n.

8 Munera Pulreris, g 151 (Vol. XVII. p 27. r >).


appointment under Government as Superintendent of the Furnishing
of the Royal Palaces. These offers, however, he declined in order to
devote himself entirely to Buskin's service, in which he remained suc-
cessively as general assistant, engraver, and publisher for fifty years.
He had, as related in Prceterita? married the maid of Ruskin's mother,
and he thenceforward became attached, in one capacity or another,
to all Ruskin's varied undertakings. His recollections of the classes
at the Working Men's College, where he soon became one of the
most promising draughtsmen, have been already given. 2 " Some time
during the early part of 1856, I made," said Mr. Allen, "a copy in
sepia of the Mild may Sea-piece (one of the Liber Studiorum), which
pleased Mr. Ruskin greatly, and his father, by way of encouragement
to me, afterwards bought the copy. Later on I became Mr. Ruskin's
assistant drawing-master in connexion with the classes." 3 On one occa-
sion Mr. Allen was engaged with another pupil in copying an Albert
Dlirer, and Ruskin wrote : " By examining these two drawings together
the student will, I hope, learn to appreciate the delicacy of touch in-
volved in fine carpentry, for it was simply the transference to the pen
and pencil of the fine qualities of finger that had been acquired by
handling the carpenter's tools that I obtained results at once of this
extreme precision ; in each case, of course, the innate disposition for
art having existed." 4 Ruskin presently encouraged Mr. Allen to
specialise in the art of engraving, which he studied, as some of the
letters show (pp. 336, 315), under J. H. Le Keux, the engraver of
many of the finest plates in Modern Painters. He proved a very apt
pupil, and Ruskin, who was very exacting in the engraving of his
plates, came gradually to rely almost exclusively on Mr. Allen's fine-
ness of hand. In addition to learning line-engraving from Le Keux,
he had studied mezzotint under Lupton, who engraved some of the
original Liber plates for Turner. Mr. Allen's knowledge of these two
methods of engraving enabled him to produce plates of mixed styles,
such as the " Peacock's Feather " in The Laws of Fesole, with which
Ruskin was particularly pleased, and the "Branch of Phillyrea" in
Aratra, to which he referred as a rare example of the use of acid in
combination with mezzotinting on an etching ground. 5 It is owing to
Mr. Allen's judicious mixture of styles that, instead of good impressions
being limited to a few possessors, there are thousands of Ruskin's

1 Vol. XXXV. p. 488. 2 See Vol. V. p. xxxviii.

3 From an obituary notice of Mr. Allen in the Daily Telegraph, September 7,

4 Vol.XXI. p. 287. 8 See Vol. XXI. p. 288 and n.


readers who have secured and enjoyed books with fine examples of the
engravings. Had such plates been produced in mez/otint alone, their
beauty would not have lasted for more than a few hundred impres-
sions, whereas from many of the plates in Ruskin^s later books 5000
impressions were taken with only a very slight perception of wear.
In engraving Buskin's work, Mr. Allen was keenly observant of any
subtle gradations, and always carefully recorded any concentrated
darks or lights a characteristic charm, he used to say, in Ruskin's
drawings. Of the original illustrations in Modem Painters, three were
from drawings by Mr. Allen; he also engraved three plates for the
edition of 1888, and in all executed ninety other plates for Ruskin. 1
Many of his studies are included among the examples in the Ruskin
Drawing School at Oxford ; 2 and he is one of three or four assistants
whose work has often been mistaken for Ruskin's. 3

In addition to his work of engraving and copying for Ruskin,
Mr. Allen was employed as confidential factotum. Many of his remi-
niscences were of distinguished visitors to Denmark Hill to whom he
was instructed to show the collection of Turner drawings. It was he,
again, with others, who assisted Ruskin in sorting and arranging the
Turner drawings and sketches at the National Gallery. 4 In 1862,
when Ruskin was bent upon making a home for himself among the
Savoy mountains, Mr. Allen and his family settled at Mornex in order
that Ruskin might have his assistance (p. 418). Ruskin in a letter
to his father (p. 435) relates his satisfaction at finding how good
an eye Mr. Allen possessed for the "lie 11 of rocks. He was, in fact,
an excellent geologist, and Ruskin often trusted to his' observations
in this field. 5 Like Ruskin himself, Mr. Allen was an enthusiastic
collector of minerals ; his collection, in which he took great pride
and interest, has after his death been acquired by the University of
Oxford. He had a further community of taste with the Master in

1 Namely, 12 Plates for Fi'^-o/c, 20 for Proserpina, 12 for Deucalion, 7 after
Turner, 18 for the "Oxford Art School Series," and 21 for various other works.

2 See references in Vol. XXI. p. 319.

a A beautiful drawing, which Mr. Allen preserved, had the following inscription
by Ruskin : " Sketch by my pupil-assistant, Mr. George Allen, from nature ; elm-
bark and ivy. The ivy leaves are touched with the brush. All the rest is worked
entirely with the point (steel pen, with Prussian blue and black), the whole
intended as a study for practice in etching. Exquisite where completed, but
wanting in breadth." (Daily Tt'lt'arafih, September 7, 1907.) In the Coniston
Museum a large drawing in sepia of Rouen Cathedral, there ascribed to Buskin,
is the work of Mr. Allen.

4 Some recollections of his in this connexion have been given in Vol. XIII.
p. xxxvi.

4 See Vol. XXVI. pp. xl., xli. ; and Vol. XXXVII. p. 114.


love of flowers and bees a taste which is incidentally recorded in
Fors ClavigeraJ 1 Mr. Allen had many reminiscences of foreign travel
and study with Ruskin, and some of these have already been printed. 2
He was, in his early years, an enthusiastic Volunteer, and "one
remembers him telling with gusto of his rifle-shooting experiments
in Switzerland. He managed to smuggle out rifle and ammunition,
and to fix an ingenious iron target among the mountains; and he
certainly put to shame the shooting of the native riflemen. Oddly
enough, Ruskin took no offence, and did not regard this as dese-
cration of the mountains ; indeed, he was decidedly interested in his
friend's enterprise and prowess." 3 In every direction in which Ruskin
was interested, Mr. Allen assisted him with such thoroughness, sin-
cerity, and ability, that when a new departure was to be made, he
was turned to as a matter of course. Thus it was, as already related,
that at a week's notice Mr. Allen, with no previous experience what-
ever of the trade, was set up in business as Ruskin's publisher. The
story of this venture of its initial difficulties and discouragements,
and of its ultimate success has been fully told in earlier volumes, 4
and echoes of the fight come to us in the present correspondence. 5
Mr. Allen was much assisted by his sons, and his eldest daughter (Miss
Grace Allen), the present members of the publishing firm. He was
one of the original Companions of the St. George's Guild, and was a
familiar figure at all " Ruskinian " gatherings. His unaffected simpli-
city and sterling character made him many friends, among whom it
was matter for deep regret that he did not live to see the completion
of the present edition of his Master's works. He died in September
1907, in his seventy-sixth year.

Between Ruskin and an assistant who was thus for so many years
closely connected with him, the volume of correspondence was naturally
very large. Some 1300 letters from Ruskin to Mr. Allen have passed
through the editors 1 hands. The majority of these are either of a
business character or contain minute directions with regard to engrav-
ings, whilst many are of general interest, either for their own sake or
as throwing light upon Ruskin's books and schemes. Several have been
incidentally quoted in previous volumes; and many others, as well as
a few to Miss Grace Allen, are included in the General Collection.
They attest, as will be seen, the affectionate and grateful regard
Avhich Ruskin entertained for his friend and publisher.

\ Vol. XXIX. p. 190. 2 Vol. XVII. pp. Ixi., Ixviii., Ixxiii., 275.

3 From a notice of Mr. Allen in the Athenaeum, September 14, 1907.

4 Vol. XXVII. pp. Ixxxii. seq.; Vol. XXX. pp. 358-362.

5 Vol. XXXVII. pp. 277, 400.


Two other pupils at the Working Men's College became Ruskin's
assistants. One of these was Mr. George Butterworth, also a carpenter
by trade, to whom reference has been made in earlier volumes. 1 Another
was J. W. Bunney, of whom some account has already been given. 2
"The son of a merchant captain," says a fellow-student, "Bunney
had, when very young, made several voyages round the world. At
an early age he took to drawing, but the death of his father com-
pelled him to abandon art and apply himself to less attractive work.
When I first joined the Drawing Class, he was engaged at a book-
seller's, and was a hard-working student whose work was greatly
admired by Ruskin. For a time his work was hard, but in 1858
he made a number of drawings in Derbyshire which so charmed Mr.
Ruskin that he gave Bunney commissions to make drawings in Italv
and in Switzerland." 3 A letter, addressed to his widow, shows Ruskin's
regard for that faithful and conscientious artist. 4


Yet another pupil (though not at first at the Working Men's
College) was J. J. Laing. He was a young Scottish architect, who
had written to Ruskin for assistance and advice. " I had him one
evening to tea," wrote Ruskin from Edinburgh (November 27, 1853).
" A wonderfully accurate draughtsman, and I think has genius. Very
modest, but has power." Whether it was that Ruskin had not at
first sight read the young man's character aright, or that the praise
of his power by the great critic unduly elated him, I do not know ;
but presently, as the letters show, Ruskin had to warn him against
the dangers of overweening ambition. It is the tragedy of his
short life that is told in Letter 9 of Fors Clavigera. 5 He came up
to London, as there described, to put himself under Ruskin ; was
employed by him as copyist; left for a while to enter an architect's
office; returned to Ruskin's employment; wore himself out "in agony
of vain effort," and died in 1862. Some further account of him has
been given among notices of other assistants employed in connexion
with the illustrations of Modern Painter*.'-' The letters to him are
characteristic of the solicitude which Ruskin took for the welfare,
moral and material, of young men who sought his advice and attached
themselves to him.

1 See Vol. XXI. pp. 287-288, and Vol. XXXV. p. 488 ; and see below, pp. 283,

2 See Vol. XXI. p. 33 n.

3 "Recollections of Ruskin," by J. P. p^mslio, in The Working ^fcn's College
Journal, Jnno 1908, vol. x. p. 345.

See Vol. XXXIV. p. 503. 5 Vol. XXVII. pp. 150, 131.

See Vol. V. p. Ixii.


An incident in Ruskin's life, later than the first classes at the
Working Men's College, which introduces a fresh group into the circle
of his correspondents, was his patronage of Miss Bell's school at
Winnington the scene of The Ethics of the Dust. 1 Of those whom
Ruskin called comprehensively his pets, several had made his first
acquaintance in their school-days at Winnington. Some letters in
this Collection are addressed to one of their number the Lily of The
Ethics, daughter of Serjeant Armstrong, M.P. for Sligo, and afterwards
married to Captain Kevill Davies. Ruskin's letters to girl-friends seem
to me delightful in their mixture of good sense, 2 graceful playfulness,
and chivalrous affection. 3

It would be a mistake, however, to suppose that every girl to whom
Ruskin became a "most affectionate" or even "loving" correspondent

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