nice little rout of funny little German children not too many for
clearness of figure and a bit of landscape with the cavern opening in
the hillside ; but all simple and bright and clear, with broad lines :
the landscape in Curdken running after his hat, 1 for instance, or the
superb bit with the cottage in " Thumbling picked up by the Giant,"
are done with the kind of line I want, and I should like the vignette
as small as possible full of design and meat not of labour or light
and shade. 2
I would always rather have two small vignettes than one large one.
And I will give any price that Mr. Cruikshank would like, but he
must forgive me for taking so much upon me as to make the thick
firm line a condition, for I cannot bear to see his fine hand waste
itself in scratching middle tints and covering mere spaces, as in the
Cinderella 3 and other later works. The Peewit vignette, with the
people jumping into the lake, 4 I have always thought one of the very
finest things ever done by anybody in pure line. It is so bold, so
luminous; so intensely real, so full of humour, and expression, and
character, to the last dot.
I send you my Browning marked with the subject at page 315,
elseif (getClientWidth() > 430)
combining 1 and 2, and perhaps in the distance there might be the
merest suggestion of a Town Council, 3 but I leave this wholly to
Mr. Cruikshank's feeling.
Please explain all this to him, for I dare not write to him these
impertinences without more really heartfelt apology than I have time,
or words, to-day to express. Ever affectionately yours,
To C. A. HOWELL 5
DENMARK HILL [April 9th, 1866].
DEAR HOWELL, I do not know anything that has given me so
much pleasure for a long time as the thought of the feeling with
1 [See Cruikshank's vignette illustrating "The Goose-Girl," at p. 154 of the
edition of German Popular Stories, for which Ruskin wrote an introduction ; and
for "the superb bit with the cottage," etc., p. 182.]
2 [The design which Cruikshank made and etched accordingly is here for the
first time printed (Plate XX.).]
3 [A volume of George Cruikshank's Fairy Library Cinderella and the Glass
Slipper, edited and illustrated with ten subjects. Designed and etched on steel by
George Cruikshank. London : David Bogue, 86, Fleet Street. Small 4to, with
six etchings (1854).]
1 [See p. 202 of German Popular Stories.]
6 [New Review, March 1892, p. 277-]
506 LETTERS OF RUSKIN VOL. I [1866
which Cruikshank will read this list of his Committee. You're a jolly
fellow you are, and Tm very grateful to you, and ever affectionately
yours, J. RUSKIN.
I re-enclose Cruikshank's letter, which is very beautiful. I think
you must say 100 (a hundred) for me.
Letter just received so many thanks. It's delightful about Cruik-
To his MOTHER
HOTEL MEURICE, Thursday, 20 April, 1866.
MY DEAREST MOTHER, The weather has been so superb here, that
it cannot but have been beautiful with you too. But here it has been
just what I remember of best in French weather, perfect balm of air,
and burning sunshine, all day long. The lilacs were all out, and some
over, and the flags in full bloom in that garden at Amiens where my
father and you came on Sunday after church. We had a lovely walk
in Boulogne market-place in the morning, seeing French children, and
then we went to Mme. Hurefs l and found her a little in deshabille
Joan will tell you all about it. My godson is a splendid fellow, with
eyes as black as two cherries, and the children were delighted. We had
a luxurious drive to Paris in a carriage to ourselves, and are here in
pleasant front rooms at Meurice's, but the Hotel is now in the hands
of a company, and all that I see of Paris and of France, as changed
from what it was even three years ago, is wholly towards the most
degrading conditions of senseless evil. But I must be off to the Louvre,
the light is so lovely.
The children - are going for a drive with Sir Walter and Lady T.
Ever, my dearest mother, your most affectionate son,
J. RUSK IN. 3
To C. A. HOWELL 4
PARIS, 27th April, 1800.
DEAR HOWELL, We are getting on nicely. My address will be
Poste Restante, Vevay, Canton Vaud, Suisse. Send me as little as you
possibly can. Tie up the knocker say I am sick Fm dead. (Flatter-
ing and love letters, please in any attainable quantity. Nothing else.)
1 [Widow of the Boulogne pilot, who had taught Ruskin "to steer a lugger" :
see Vol. XXIX. p. 50.]
2 [Miss .loan Agiiew and Miss Constance Milliard.]
1 [JSo Ruskin's letters to his mother always ended.]
* [New Iteview, Marcli 189:i, p. L'78.]
1866] A SWISS TOUR 507
Necessary business, in your own words, if possible, shortly, as you
would if I was really paralytic or broken-ribbed, or anything else
dreadful ; and after all explanation and abbreviation don't expect any
answer till I come back ! But, in fact, IVe a fair appetite for one
dinner a day. My cousin likes two, but I only carve at one of them.
Tell Ned this. The Continent is quite ghastly in unspeakable degrada-
tions and ill-omenedness of ignoble vice, everywhere. Ever affection-
ately yours, J. RUSKIN.
To his MOTHER
HOTEL BELLEVUE, THUN, 20th May, 1866.
We got here yesterday at three o'clock, in the most glorious day
conceivable ; all the Alps clear as we came near ; and this town and
place are still, to my amazement, unchanged except only that your
terrace, on which you used to come out and walk before your bedroom
windows, has been built upon ; a series of narrow rooms raised on it,
up to the top of the house, so that Joan and Constance slept last
night above that balcony terrace of yours. They slept like two dormice,
and I had nearly to beat their door down to wake them at seven
o'clock, when I was going out, and they weren't ready for breakfast
when I came in ; and lost all the beauty of the morning ; so I'm
going to depose them to-day to a room with half the view, and take
the best room myself, for it's of no use to them; a box full of wool
would be the right place for them.
I have just taken them for a walk in the woods, and down by the
lakeside road. We met peasants returning from church in full costume
and I think, on the whole, that pleased them more than all the
mountains, or woods either. I had really no idea what a power dress
had over the minds of girls, even such intelligent ones as Constance's.
But the costumes zvere very beautiful and perfect; more so than I
ever saw them before : I am pleased at this and think it a hopeful
sign of the country. The younger women nearly all had their straw
hats with wreaths of scarlet and blue and white flowers quite round ;
and superb silver chains over their velvet bodices, and deep red
patterned petticoats, and looked really as complete as they do in the
picture-books. In the ten minutes we spent at Berne we saw one very
beautiful girl in splendid dress ; she must have been at a wedding or
something she was the first Constance had seen, and Con was struck
speechless it was so much more than she expected, for I had told her
she must not be disappointed if she saw little costume. I am but just
in time for post to-day. All our loves.
508 LETTERS OF RUSKIN VOL. I [1866
To his MOTHER
INTKRLACHEN, llth June, 1866.
It is a perfect clay at last; cloudless; the Jungfrau bright, like
silver frosted ; and the haymakers in their white sleeves busy in the
meadows; and the place itself quiet the war having kept the English
out of it, hitherto, to the great sorrow of the shopkeepers but to my
I fear I have given you too many envelopes for the Giessbach ; what
you have now sent there will be forwarded to Lucerne ; but I shall be
without news of you now for two or three days (perhaps I can get
one back from the Giessbach here on Thursday) we shall be on the
Wengern Alp, I hope all day, to-morrow.
I have a pleasant line from Lady Waterford. She says : *' I am
grieved to hear of Lady Trevelyan's death ; though I did not know
her, I had heard much of her and knew she was one of the best of
women. 11 I have sent the note to Sir Walter. I enclose you a nice
one from Professor Owen, and a signed requisition about the Oxford
Professorship of Poetry, 1 which you may like to have to show to some
friends. I can register my letter to-day, for once.
I look up to the Jungfrau from the table at which I write with
window wide open. I never yet saw it so splendid from this place,
that I recollect.
In looking over some of your past letters I see you ask about a
waterfall which Joan wrote about, on the lake of Thun. You never
saw it, nor did I before. It comes out of a cave, and is joined by
various springs at the mouth of it, and then leaps down to the lake
in a labyrinth of happy streamlets all flash and play with no appal-
ling strength or terror; the waterfall I took the children to see on
Sunday was another kind of thing a great torrent leaping a cliff
full three times as high as St. Paul's, but there was no getting near
it through the colossal spray cloud ; and the children could not con-
ceive its size, but were much impressed, nevertheless (for them ; though,
as Carlyle says, " a canary bird can hold only its own quantity of
astonishment"). They're mighty busy packing wooden toys this morn-
ing. We dine at one (always now breakfast at seven ! and then drive
up to Lauterbrunnen, to tea).
I have told Tyrwhitt they may do what they like about the Poetry
Professorship at Oxford.
1 [On this subject, see Vol. XVIII. p. xliv. ; and below, p. 524.]
1866] LADY TREVELYAN 509
To RAWDON BROWN
INTEBLACHEN, June llth, 1866.
MY DEAR BROWN, I received some time since the notification of
the arrival of the parcel of photographs with your letter. I had then
been for some days on my way to Venice ! with two old friends, and
two young ones nice little ladies, whom 1 thought to get to sing for
you by moonlight in gondolas. Well or rather, 111 (how much fitter
that other word would be for a general conjunction) one of my old
friends Lady Trevelyan who had long been ill, but for whom we all
hoped much from the air of Italy, became suddenly worse, and died at
Neuchatel three weeks ago. I had to do what best I could for her
husband, but the best was little, and it was all very sad. When he
left me, with the two children to take care of, the rumours of war were
loud, and I did not like to write to you till we knew what it would be
wisest to do. And now, at last, we have had to give up all hopes. If
I had not been planning this journey to Venice, I should not have
been so long silent, but I thought to surprise you. Your last letter
needed an answer, for it was very kind (all your letters are that)
and it asked some questions. You said you wanted to hear more of
" Mary." x But there is nothing to be heard of her, except that she
is a very good girl whom I like to help and talk to ; the child of whom
I wrote to you is not at all mentioned or alluded to in that school
book. I may perhaps be able to tell you about her some day perhaps
never ; at present she is still suffering from the effects of long illness,
and does not like to talk seriously of anything, least of all of anything
likely to give pain either to her parents or to me, and she knows she
can't please both. So she stays my child pet, and puts her finger
up if ever I look grave. But they won't let her write to me any
more now, and I suppose the end will be as it should be that she
will be a good girl and do as she is bid, and that I shall settle
down to fifteenth-century documents, as you've always told me I
Meantime I've thus had much discomfort this winter, and the deaths
of Mrs. Carlyle and of Lady Trevelyan take from me my two best
women friends of older power; and I am not very zealous about any-
thing: but as soon as I get home, I hope to give you report upon
the photographs, and I'm very glad to have this printed record about
1 [One of the characters in The Ethics of the Dust : see Vol. XVIII.
p. Ixxii. M.]
510 LETTERS OF RUSKIN VOL. I [1866
the Bacchus, and its companions. 1 Please tell Signer Lorenzi so with
my love, and believe me ever your affectionate J. RUSKIN.
Do you stay at Venice ? I should like to know if you get this
could you send me a line to Poste Restante, Schaffhausen ?
To C. A. HOWELL 2
GENEVA, 4th July .
DEAR HOWELL, All's right now. I have all your packets, and will
send some talk to-morrow. I can only [say] to-day that I'm delighted
about the Cruikshank matters, and if the dear old man will do any-
thing he likes more from the old Grimms it will be capital. Edward
and Morris and you and I will choose the others together.
My little daisy, Miss Hilliard, is wild to-day about jewellers'" shops,
but not so wild as to have no love to send you. So here you have it,
and some from the other one, too, though she's rather worse than the
little one, because of a new bracelet. They've been behaving pretty
well lately, and only broke a chair nearly in two this morning, running
after each other. Ever your affectionate J. RUSKIN.
You did very nicely about Munro. I return the signed cheque.
Please send it with my love, for I can't write to-day. Is he better?
To Miss LILY ARMSTRONG 3
DENMARK HILL, 3rd August, 1866.
MY DEAREST LILY, I was very glad to see your little square letter,
for I had heard of your being ill, and wished to write, but was hindered.
Indeed, I should like to see you once more, but there is no chance of
my being able to come to Ireland or to Winnington my mother cannot
spare me any more this vear. I was longer away from her than I
intended, owing to the death of a friend who was travelling with me.
I suppose there is no chance, neither, of mama and papa's being able
or willing to spare you for a day or two to come and see me; so I
must just recollect my little Lily when she rm.v little, and be content
without seeing her changed perhaps I should not think her so nice
(I couldnt think her nicer).
1 [The pictures by Tin to ret painted for the Anticollegio in the Ducal Palace.
The document referring 1 to the paintings is No. H80 (p. 44'.)) in Lorenzi's hook (for
which, see above, p. 480 ?.).]
- \Xetr Itericw, March 1HS>2, p. 27'.).]
3 (Daughter of Serjeant Armstrong, M.P. ; the "Lily" of JHhicy uf iht- I>nst ;
afterwards Mrs. Kevill Davies.]
1866] TRUE VOTES 511
I have not noticed the votes on this great Parliamentary quarrel
yet. 1 Can you tell me which side Papa voted on ? I should like to
know what he thought. To me all suffrage questions are wholly im-
material. All good men's " votes " are deeds of helping forward good
men whenever they can, and depressing bad ones. . . .
To CHARLES ELIOT NORTON 2
DENMARK HILL, 18 August, 1866.
DEAR NORTON, I have been in hopes every day of announcing com-
pletion of drawing for you, but Edward works at it and gets angry
with himself, and then gives in ; he is not well, and has gone into the
country for a week or two. I have not drawn your cheque. Ill get
him on if I can, as soon as he conies back.
I've had rather a bad summer. I went abroad with an old friend,
Lady Trevelyan, and her husband. She died at Neuchatel. ... I am
not well myself, and do not care to write nothing but grumbles to you.
I am working at botany and mineralogy, however, with some success.
My mother is pretty well, and I daresay if ever I get any strength
again, I shall find I've learned something through all this darkness.
Howbeit, I fancy Emerson's essay on Compensation must have been
written when he was very comfortable. Forgive this line I have put
it off so long and you can't write to me while I'm swindling you out
of your fifty pounds, without seeming to dun me for it.
I am drawing some slight things rather better than of old. That's
the only promising point at present. Ever affectionately yours,
To C. A. HOWELL 3
DENMARK HILL, 22nd August .
DEAR HOWELL, The enclosed is from a funny, rather nice, half
crazy old French lady (guessing at her from her letters), and I have a
curiosity to know what kind of a being it is. Would you kindly call
on her to ask her for further information about the " perdicament,"
and, if you think it at all curable or transitable, I'll advance her 20
without interest ? I've only told her you will call to " inquire into the
circumstances of the case." Ever affectionately yours, J. RUSKIN.
1 [Lord John Russell's Government had been defeated by 11 votes (315 to 304)
,on an amendment to the Reform Bill. Serjeant Armstrong was M.P. for Sligo.]
2 [No. 46 in Norton; vol. i. pp. 159-160.']
3 [New Review, March 1892, p 280.]
512 LETTERS OF RUSKIN VOL. I [1866
To C. A. HOWELL *
DENMARK HILL, 2nd Sept., 1866.
DEAR HOWELL, I am wholly obliged to you for these Cruikshanks.
The Jack Shepherd one 2 is quite awful, and a miracle of skill and com-
mand of means. The others are all splendid in their way the morning
one with the far-away street I like the best; the officials with the
children are glorious too, 3 withering : if one understands it. But who
does? or ever did? The sense of loss and vanity of all good art until
we are better people increases on me daily.
I can't understand the dear old lady's letters, nor see the main
point i.e., if she has got the receipt from Maple. I sent them a
cheque as soon as you had left. I suppose it is all right, but I return
you the letters. Please look after her a little. I shouldn't mind re-
placing the overcharge sum at her banker's besides.
Also look over the enclosed from B . I'm very sorry about
this man anything more wretched than the whole business can't be.
He'll never paint ! and how to keep him from starvation and madness,
I can't see. I can't keep every unhappy creature who mistakes their
vocation. What can I do ? I've rather a mind to send him this fifty
pounds, which would be the simplest way to me of getting quit of him
but I can't get quit of the thought of him. Is his wife nice, do you
know, or if you don't, would you kindly go and see ? I've written to
him to write to you, or to explain things to you, if you call. What
a tidy, nice way you have of doing things the hymn to Proserpine
looks like a set of pictures. What did you find among the photos
of Llewellyn Correspondence ? The man wrote to me yesterday for a
letter of Lord Derby's. I knew no more who he was than the Emperor
of China. Ever affectionately yours, J. RUSKIX.
I - wrote to me in a worry for money, the day before yesterday.
I wrote I couldn't help him. All the earlier part of the week an old
friend of my father's, a staff writer on the Times, was bothering and
sending his wife out here in cabs in the rain, to lend him I\800, on
no security to speak of, and yesterday comes a letter from Edinburgh
saying my old friend Dr. John Brown is gone mad owing to, among
1 [New Review, March 1892, p. 280, where "I " is identified as "a very
well-known painter of great merit, recently dead." It is believed that " K
also is now dead.]
[This should he Jack ^he]>)mrd, the reference being to one or other of the 27
etclied plates hy Cruikshank (perhaps "Jack Sheppard visits his mother in Bedlam")
in Harrison Ainsworth's novel, published in lientlcifs Miscc/lany, 18.3!).]
3 [These are etchings in Xhct<-hex In/ lio.z. The "morning one" is "The Streets
Morning" (the first of the "Scenes"); the "officials witli the children" is the illus-
tration to " Public Dinners," in which portraits of Dickens and Cruikshank are intro-
duced among the officials who conduct the procession of "Indigent Orphans."]
1866] THE LAND AT CHAMOUNI 513
other matters, pecuniary affairs (after a whole life of goodness and
At page 449 of the Venetian Documents l is Paul Veronese's estimate
of the Tintoret pictures of which you have two photos at 50 ducats
each pretty well for those days ?
To Mrs. JOHN SIMON
DENMARK HILL, 7<A Sept. '66.
MY DEAR MRS. SIMON, I thank you, heartily, for your long letter
just received. There is much in it that gives me pleasure nothing that
alters my opinions or feelings in any serious degree. I never doubted
of, or failed in, affection to Mme. Eisenkraemer for a single instant.
I would not receive her because I did not feel able to speak on the
subject 2 before her, nor to be with her husband, as she would have
expected me to be. I thought it would be his part to explain to her,
as he would feel, why it was.
Couttet I know better, as I think, than he knows himself, having
long been in the habit of playing into his foibles, that he might not
think I saw them. I never doubted his trustworthiness in whatever
was definitely trusted to him, and of which he perceived the importance.
But he doubted of my word before I doubted his- I left him in charge
of that land, telling him no wood was to be cut upon it, though Eisen-
kraemer was to have the pasture of it for that year, and that I would
buy it in the autumn on my return cash down. This point of cutting
no wood was a special one, as I had favourite trees, five or six hundred
On my return, I found the place covered with charcoal burners'
refuse many of my favourite trees destroyed. I was in a violent
passion, but said little. Couttet answered to the little I did say, " Quand
Targent est paye la terre est a vous pas avant on ne scait pas a
quoi s'en tenir" (an unforgiveable speech, to rne}.
This whole matter was apparently a little thing, but it is one of
many by which I judge of Couttet' s "regard" for rne. There is not
a word in your letter which does not principally regard himself the
movement with the hat most of all.
Such, however, being the feeling in the valley, I will write a simple
statement of the facts, and of my feelings to them, and have it put
in good French and print it, and send it for whosoever cares to read
1 [Collected by Lorenzi : see above, p. 439 n.~]
2 [Ruskin's purchase of land at Chamouni : see above, p. 44.5.]
xxxvi. 2 K
514 LETTERS OF RUSKIN VOL. I [1866
it. I never, of course, countenanced my lawyer in that act of violence
to Payot; he shall himself answer for it to you, and to Mr. Simon,
and to everybody else. He will probably, however, ask first to be
satisfied why the deed of sale itself was removed by Eisenkraemer's
lawyer from the public office in which it ought to have been found,
and found only by my lawyer's energy, among his effects after his
My lawyer's entire subsequent action and mine was under the advice
of the leading lawyer in Geneva.
Thank you for all your trouble and kind feeling in the matter.
Let the land be assured to me, within due limits (no boundaries could
be traced, or even agreed upon, when I was there), and I am ready to
take it still, at the price agreed upon. I have never retreated from
my bargain. I said I will to-day buy the land, if you can give it me
not if you cannot.
I'm afraid this letter and its enclosure are alike too late, but you
give me no new address. Ever affectionately yours, J. RUSKIN.
To C. A. HOWELL 1
DENMARK HILL [Sept., 18(56].
DEAR HOWELL, I send you the Rhine, with much love. I'm so
glad you don't like those north stories. Wouldn't Cruikshank choose
himself subjects out of Grimm ? If not, to begin with, the old soldier
having lost his way in a wood comes to a cottage with a light in it
shining through the trees. At its door is a witch spinning of whom
he asks lodging. She says " He must dig in her garden, then." 2
Ever affectionately yours, J. RUSKIX.
To C. A. HOWELL 3
DENMARK HII.L [11 th Sept., I860].
MY DEAR HOWELL, Thank you for all trouble and for the etchings,
etc. I have been looking at the fairy tales, but don't like any. I
think the best way would be to make that old Grimm a little richer,
there are plenty of subjects in it.
1 [New Kcrieu', March 1H!)2, p. 281. "The Rhine," as appears from the next
letter, was a drawing by Prout.]
* [The design which Cruikshank made and etched accordingly is here for the
first time published (Plate XXL). It illustrates the opening of the story called
"The Blue Light" in Cermnn Popular Stories, p. 108.]
8 [New Review, March 18!)2, p. 281.]
The Soldier and the Witch
1866] CARLYLE'S SORROW 515
How horrid all that is like a story in Dickens about the old lady
and lawyers. Thank your cousin for all her niceness. Look here
without saying who it is for, or talking about it, whenever you come
across any pencil drawing of Prout's, tell me of it. I'm glad I had
that one for you, for I think you must sometimes enjoy it a little.
I've got plenty for myself, but I've a plan about them. Ever affec-
tionately yours, J. R.