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tion, and some necessary re-arrangement.

So they accepted and asked me to write to Mr. King about it. I
really want to do this, and unless I have some stimulus and poking

1 [No. 34 in Art and Literature, pp. 8G-88.]


periodically, I never shall. When it was all done., I would add some
important new bits, put it all into better form and then, if you liked,
you should publish it yourselves, being the practical art of Modern
Painters, separated from the Criticism, Theology, "Natural" Descrip-
tions, and Politics. You might make your own terms with Messrs.
Routledge for the permission to have the bare extracts periodically.
/ shall charge them nothing for these, nor add anything of import-
ance till all is done.

My mother begs her kindest regards. Ever most truly yours,



20th November, 1867.

DEAR NORTON, If I could have replied with any certainty to your
questions about the Turners, I should have done so long ago ; but
I have had a great deal more of various doubt and suffering to go
through, of which I can at present say nothing, except only this, that
while I can still do what my hand finds to do, I am incapable of any
right speaking or feeling, and am as numb as if every nerve in me
had been cut ; but I am putting my old work together, that had been
wasted, and drawing a little not ill, and variously getting myself
together, what is left of me.

In the meantime your letters have given to me continual plea-
sure. . . . Also, your various presents. Longfellow's excellent Dante
and your own Vita Miova, 2 with all their good help to me, came to
hand, one by one they are all in my special own shelf of bookcase,
and will take me back again to long-ceased Dante studies, though in
returning to him, the terrible " What do you mean, or believe of all
this?" fronts me with appalling strangeness. Longfellow's translation
is excellent and most helpful. The Vita Nuova falls in much with my
own mind but, when death or life depends on such things, suppose
it should be morte nuova day by day ? I am also working at Greek
myths and art, and the like, and hope to give you some account of
myself one day, and of my time.

Of the Turners I can tell you nothing, except that I wholly concur
in your judgment of their relative merits, and that the subjects you
inquire about are, I think, all on the Rhine, but none of them

1 [Atlantic Monthly, July 1904, vol. 94, p. 19. The first part (" If 1 could . . .
been cut; but") was omitted. No. 51 in Norton; vol. i. pp. 169-171.]

2 The New Life of Dante, translated by C. E. Norton : 1867. Originally pub-
lished, in a limited edition, in. 1859, and mentioned by Kuskiii in a letter of 1860
(see above, p. 335). Longfellow's translation of the Divina Commedia was published
in 1867.]

xxxvi. 2 M

546 LETTERS OF RUSKIN Vox, I [1868

absolutely known to me. I shall try and find one or two more for
you, and give you some better account of them.

I am thankful that you believe such things can be of service in
America. My own impression is that they are useless, everywhere
but better times may come.

I wish you would come here once again I need you now. I only
enjoyed you before. Ever your affectionate J. RUSKIN.


[The early months of this year were spent at Denmark Hill : see Vol. XIX.
pp. xxxv.-xxxviii. After a visit to Wilmington, Ruskin went to Dublin to deliver
his lectare on "The Mystery of Life and its Arts." At the end of Aagust he
went for two months to Abbeville. Extracts from his diary written there are given
in Vol. XIX. pp. xxxviii.-xliv. On his return home he was much occupied upon
a Committee for the Relief of the Unemployed.]


DENMARK HILL, 9M January, 1868.

DEAR MRS. PATMORE, I have been truly desirous of waiting upon
you this week, to thank you for the happiness I had, and which 1
think you must have seen I had, in the hours of Friday evening.
But the weather has at last beaten me down with an oppressive cold,
and I cannot leave the house.

Pray, however little I may be able to avail myself of the great
privilege which I feel it to be, to know your husband and you, do
not ever doubt my respect and regard.

I cannot break through the too long fixed habits of my secluded life,
and may perhaps only get glimpses of you and your children from time
to time, but be assured always of my faithful rejoicing in your happiness.

I send a little book of Richter's, a favourite of mine if my little
Godson 2 has it not, I should like him to have it from me (nor will
you be without pleasure in it). But if he has it, give it to any of
your child-friends who would care for it. With great love to your
husband, ever faithfully yours, J. RUSKIX.

I did so like my left-hand companion that evening too and look-
ing over at the quiet, intelligent sweetness of vour daughter's face. 3

1 [Memoirt and Correspondence of Coventry I'atnwre, vol. ii. pp. 21)8-299. Ad-
dressed to Patmore's second wife; married 1804.]

2 [Henry John, Patmore's youngest son.]

3 [Kmily Honoria Patmore, Patmore's eldest daughter (by his first wife), horn



DENMARK HILL [Jan. 10, '68].

. . . Do you recollect Miss Helps and I having such hard work
over " that book " in the study ? It was the Queen's, which I see is
just out. 1 A fine bother I had of it, for Mr. Helps wanted to put
all the " Queen's English " to rights and I insisted on keeping it as
it was written only cutting out what wouldn't do at all. There were
some little bits wonderfully funny in their simplicity, but I got most
of them kept in. But I didn't want the book to be published at all,
for though all the mamas and nurses will like it, there are some failing
points in it which are serious if people find them out. However, I
did my duty in the advice I gave and now I'm very glad it wasn't
taken. I always hoped it wouldn't be, for several reasons which I mean
to keep to myself.


DENMARK HILL, 20th February, 1868.

MY DEAR HARRISON, Many thanks for the shells. I do not know
the fossils of these upper beds, nor indeed the fossils of any beds, my
quests being only among the wilder hills where the fossils are few or
effaced but my impression is that these are cockles from the hats of
pilgrims who bowed before a Pre-Historic Pan Anglican Synod, 2 and
dropped the shells out of their hat-bands in making their reverences
as low as possible.

Not but that Pan-Anglia Ecclesiastica has done something worth
doing, after all. I think the sheet of Newspaper I had in my hand
at breakfast this morning (Daily Telegraph but I suppose others had
the same) with its announcement of the ratification of the Primate's
letter by the Commons, 3 the most important bit of rag and type I
ever had between fingers, since I had fingers.

I have not yet answered, in seriousness, the part of your beautiful
speech on the 8th about " dissolved partnership." Do not think, in
verity, that I am less sensible of your kindness and of its value if I
ever write anything serious again, you shall see every sentence. But

1 [Leaves from the Journal of our Life, in the Highlands from 1846-1861 (Smith,
Elder & Co.', 1868 ; edited by Sir Arthur Helps).]

- [The first Pan-Anglican Lambeth Conference had been in session during Sep-
tember and December 1867, and had, inter alia, discussed at great length, and (as
Ruskin would have thought) with much futility, the heresies of Bishop Colenso.]

3 [So in the transcript of the letter supplied to the editors^ but "Commons"
should be the Lower House of Convocation. The Telegraph, Times, and other papers
of February 20 reported the endorsement by that body of the letter (known as "The
Address to the Faithful") written by Archbishop Longley, on the occasion of the
Lambeth Conference, to the Patriarchs of the Eastern Church.]


that letter book l contained things that I thought you would remon-
strate and bother about, and so I did it on the sly. Ever your
affectionate J. RUSKIN.


DENMARK HILL, 4th March, 1868.

... I make you a poor little present (though, indeed, the poorest
present to my wee amie would be any foolish trinket that thought
it could make her look prettier!). This is only a foolish trinket, that
will try to amuse her. Respecting which, however, she may sometimes,
not unprofitably, reflect

1. That the great virtue of Kinghood is to be unmoved on attack.

2. That the worthiest person on the field is a woman.

3. That Knights are active creatures who never let anything stand

in their way.

4. That Bishops are people who never look or move straight

before them.

5. That Castles may not unwisely be built in the air, if they are

carried by an Elephant who is the type of prudence. And
that a Castle which has been useless on one side, may usefully
pass to the other.

6. That Pawns and Patience can do anything.

7th and generally. That when things are seemingly at the worst,
they may often mend that we should always look well about
us; and that everybody is wrong who isn't helping everybody
else within his reach.

Finally let me hope for you that in all things, as in chess, you
may bear an equal mind in loss or conquest, and remain your
gentle self in both.


DKNMAHK HILL, 2G7A April, 18(58.

MY DEAR PATMORE, You know that I am bound to write no need-
less word. It is needful to thank you for the book you sent me, and
for these odes ; it is, I hope, needless to tell you that I recognize the
nobleness of the last, and that the first shall help me, as it may.
Ever faithfully yours, J. RUSKIN.

1 [Time and Tide, issued in December 18(57. Ruskin refers, in his paper on
Harrison, to "printing his political economy on the sly" : see Vol. XXXIV. p. J)4.]

'-' [Memoirs and Correspondence of Coventry Pat more, vol. ii. p. 284. The "hook"
alluded to \vas probably some treatise on Roman Catholicism. The other \va.s
Patmore's ~\ine Odes, privately printed (18(58}.]

1868] -JOANNA'S CARE" 549


WINNINGTON, Friday Morning [May, 1868].

I hope for a little letter to-day, but I write this before I get one,
to tell you how sorry I am to let you leave me, and how little all
the pleasantness and brightness of affection which I receive here makes
up to me for the want of the perfect rest which I have in your con-
stant and simple regard. There are many here who care deeply for
me, but I am always afraid of hurting them or of not saying the
right thing to them or even of not being myself grateful enough
grateful though I always am for affection more than most to deserve
the regard they give me. But with you I am always now at rest
being sure that you know how I value you, and that whatever I say
or don't say to you, you won't mind ; besides all the help that I get
from your knowledge of all my little ways and inner thoughts. So I
am rather sulky just now even with my best pets though I value
some of them more than ever. . . . Do you know, I am making an
approach to a curious conclusion namely, that people who write very
firm, consistent, immoveable hands are false, or capable of falsehood.
. . . I'm very glad yours goes first \ this way and then that / way
and then some other way.


DUBLIN, 14A May. Evening.

We are all going, except Lady Napier, on an excursion into the
country to-morrow, by an early train, and I merely enclose envelope.
(No, I need not, for there is no answering post till Monday morning,
when you shall have one.)

I was pulled about, all day, to different institutions yesterday
was as polite as I could be but am more and more struck every day
by the intense egotism of humanity always pleasing themselves, by
way of pleasing other people never taking a moment's time to consider
what other people really wish and doing it.

But everybody means to be kind.

Your letters are lovely.

The morning was wet we stayed for later train and I've got a
line from Mrs. Cowper enclosing one from Hose, in which she says I
may tell you that this has been a happy May to me, happy enough
to throw a light over all the rest of the year, however cloudy that
may be.



Monday, 25th May, 1808.

I am very glad my longer account of things gave you pleasure
my \rriting is so entirely at present the picture of my mind, that it
seems to me as if the one must be as inscrutable as the other. For
indeed I am quite unable from any present circumstances to judge
of what is best for me to do; there is so much misery and error in
the world which I see I could have immense power to set various
human influences against, by giving up my science and art, and wholly
trying to teach peace and justice ; and yet my own gifts seem so
specially directed towards quiet investigation of beautiful things, that
I cannot make up my mind, and my writing is as vacillating as my

However, I am very thankful that I came here, and that I know
this family. I have never imagined anything more beautiful than their
relations to each other and to their widowed father. I think I told
you, did I not ? that I had accepted Froude^ invitation to spend some
time at his Irish place, near Killarney. Everybody tells me it is more
beautiful than Killarney itself, but I do not quite know when I shall
go. Meantime, as I said, I hope to be with you on Saturday. There
are several things I want to see and arrange at Winnington, and I
promised to return either before or after their holidays, but it will be
better at once, so I send you envelope for it.


WINNINOTO.V, May 2Qth, '68. Friday.

I have your sweet letter of yesterday certainly the dates are a little
loss of time, but they make the letters more entirely model letters. I
wish mine were. I am more and more delighted with Mr. Williams
the Engineer. I went up to see him at his house. He has the loveliest
ferns, convolvuluses, amaryllises, and those coloured leaves that Downs
is so fond of, but all in the most athletic and superabundant health
that I ever saw in plants he is a chemist, photographer, optician, all
beside his work of entire superintendence of the river and its locks. He
showed me a photograph of one of his lately built locks, with sluices
to let the water in at the sides, so that the smallest and most deeply
laden boats may be unaffected by the rush of water though the gates
such a lovely bit of building !

If I chose to give up my own studying and writing and to use
my social influence now to the utmost, I see I could do no end of
good. It is curious that in these days in which I do no work of


my own, but all for other people, though I have no pleasure in the
day, I have no serious despondency. But when I am at work, I enjoy
my work as long as I can go on, exceedingly but am wholly depressed
and melancholy afterwards. The worst of sociality is the terrible quantity
of inevitable note and letter writing now required, and the continual
feeling of neglecting or mortifying six, while you please the seventh
from school girls up to Doctors of divinity. But I believe it is on the
whole the best thing to be done.


DENMARK HILL, 8th July, 1868.

DEAR MR. HARRISON, I thank you much for your letter, and
shall be most happy to hear of the principles you state in it being
promulgated, under any man's name, but my own work is already
done. I proposed those questions ironically, not as being in any wise
questions to me. I worked them all out in the year 1862, and their
answers are given in the most accurate and brief English I am master
of, in the papers I wrote for Froude in that year. 2 I cannot now,
being occupied with my own more special natural-history work, read
through a severe philosophical treatise, merely to ascertain that its
author is or was before me, of one mind with me as to two and two's
usually making four: nor do I care at present to ascertain wherein
Comte differs from me, which he certainly does (I hear) in some views
respecting the spiritual powers affecting animal ones. In all that is
necessary at present to be taught, of political economy, all men who
can think, and who will think honestly, must soon agree ; both you
and Mr. Ludlow 3 see, and have long seen, quite clearly how matters
stand ; and in your practical and earnest work, my independent deter-
mination of the same laws which Comte has made the basis of his
system should be a far greater accession of strength to you than
any mere coherence to an aggregate of disciples : but it seems to me
that I have gone farther in definition of " welfare " in that I have
separated distinctly the productive occupations, which maintain life,
from those which refine it, and shown how the common political
economy fails in enunciation even of the first ; and I have been not
a little provoked both with Ludlow and you for not helping me
long ago to beat at least this into people's heads that very different

1 [For Ruskin's friendship with Mr. Harrison, see the Introduction ; above,
p. Iviii. The questions "proposed ironically" are those which Ruskin had sub-
mitted on July 4 to a meeting of the Social Science Association : see Vol. XVII.
pp. 537-538.]

[Munera Pulveris.~\

3 [Mr. J. M. Ludlow, C.B., one of the founders of the Working Men's College.]


consequences were likely to result from making a cannon-ball, or a

However, it is now for you to find out as many people as you can
who have agreed in what is right, and to use their testimony collec-
tively. I have seen your papers with great interest, 1 and admire them
always. You know how happy I am always to see you yourself. My
cousin and I dine quietly at five nearly always. She is rarely out /
never and if you care to come so far to tell me more about Positivism,
I shall delightedly listen. Ever most truly yours, JOHN RUSKIN.


DENMARK HIM,, July 10th, 1808.

MY DEAREST NORTON, I am very deeply glad that you are with
us again. I cannot write to you cannot think of you rightly when
you are so far away. I will be here at any time for you, but the
sooner you come the better, as exhibitions are fast closing.

My mother, confined now unhappily to the level of her room, re-
quires both quiet and space in that story of the house, and in many
ways this renders it impossible for me to make arrangements that
would be comfortable in receiving friends. I can always make up a
bed for you, but could not make it at all right for Mrs. Norton also ;
you will see, when you come, how it is so; come soon, please but yet
(except for exhibitions) not in any haste interfering with your comfort.
I must be here for three or four weeks longer at all events. Ever
your affectionate JOHN RUSKIN.

My true regards to all with you.


DKNMARK HIM,, 22>id August, 18GM.

MY DEAR CHARLES, Five of the little pebbles were sent yesterday
to be polished, and will be sent, or brought to you, next week ; if the
children are told on "Saturday" next, they can't be disappointed. I
have looked out to-day a few fossils of the chalk Hints and the like


of which I know nothing, though I have them as illustrations of
certain methods of mineralisation. But they will show you what kind
of things are now under your feet, and in the roadside heaps of stones ;

on The Political Future of the Working Classes (18(58).]

\AtUmtic Monthly, August 15)04, vol. 5)4, p. 162. No. 52 in Norton; vol. i.
pp. 17'.- !<>.]

* [Atlantic Monthly, August 15)04, vol. 5)4, pp. 102-103. No. ,W in Norton;
vol. i. pp. 17U-181'.] '


and the first time Darwin takes them in his hand l they will become
Prim-Stones to you (I am glad to escape writing the other word after
" Prim "), and Stones-IAps, instead of Cows. Not that they're worth
his looking at, otherwise than as the least things have been. (They
are worth carriage to America, however, as you haven't chalk there.)
But the little group of shattered vertebrae in the square piece of chalk
may have belonged to some beast of character and promise. When is
he going to write ask him the " Retrogression " of Species or the
Origin of Nothing? I am far down on my way into a flint-sponge.
Note the little chalcedony casts of spicula in the sea-urchins (wrapt
up more carefully than the rest).

Next, as Mrs. Norton remembered that bird of Hunt's, I thought
she might like to have one a little like it, which would otherwise only
be put away just now, and IVe sent it, and a shell and bit of stone
of my own which I'm rather proud of (I want Darwin to see the shell
only don't say I did, please). I can do much better, but it looked
shelly and nice, and I left it. ... Ever your affectionate




MY DEAREST CHARLES, Just send me the merest line here to say
how you all are. I am settled now to my work, and am the better
for my rest. When it is a little more forward, I shall try to persuade
you to spend a couple of days with me here, as you will never, afte"
this autumn, see such a piece of late Gothic as the front of St.
Wulfran in its original state, more ; it is the last I know left un-
touched, and it is to be " restored " in the spring. It is not good,
but wonderful, and worth setting sight on before its death, and there

1 [Professor Norton with his family was established during the summer of 18(58
at Keston, with Darwin for a neighbour. On Raskin's return from Abbeville,
Professor Norton arranged a meeting. "I will come to-morrow," wrote Rtiskin, "and
shall have very great pleasure in meeting Mr. Darwin." "They had never before
met," says Professor Norton, ' ' and each was interested to see the other. The
contrast between them was complete, and each in his own way was unique and
delightful. Lluskin's gracious courtesy was matched by Darwin's charming and
genial simplicity, lluskin was full of questions which interested the elder naturalist
by the keenness of observation and the variety of scientific attainment which they
indicated, and their animated talk afforded striking illustration of the many sym-
pathies that underlay the divergence of their points of view, and of their methods
of thought. The next morning Darwin rode over on horseback to say a pleasant
word about lluskin, and two days afterward lluskin wrote, ' Mr. Darwin was
delightful '" {Norton, vol. i. pp. 1 l)4-19o;. For lluskin's later meetings with Darwin,
see Vol. XIX. pp. xliv.-xlv. ; Vol. XXV. p. xlvi. ; Vol. XXXIII. p. xxi.]

2 [No. .54 in Norton; vol. i. pp. 182-183.]


are other things I shall have found out to show you. It is only six
hours from that pretty English home of yours.

I daresay you have been writing something to me; but my letters
could not be sent on, as I did not know where I should be. So now
send me just a word, for it is dull here, somewhat, among the grey
stones and ghastliness of Catholicism in decadence.

Love to all with you. Ever your affectionate J. RUSKIN.

To his MOTHER 1

ABBEVILLE, 1st September, 18G8.

MY DEAREST MOTHER, I may first give you the pleasant birthday
news that you never sent me a more beautifully written letter than
yesterday's enclosing Mr. Richmond's. It is quite wonderful in decision
and freedom. Also, it will be pleasant for you to hear that I am
certainly getting into a good line of useful and peaceful work ; for I
feel convinced that the sketches I make now will please people, and be
important records of things now soon to pass away. And thirdly I
may hope, for you, that in the sense of my being undisturbedly and
healthily occupied, in a way to bring out whatever genius I have,
poetical or not (for there is room for every kind of sentiment in the
treatment of drawings), you will have much happiness even when I am
absent from you, and a happiness gathering up what seemed to be lost
when I come back. Nor do I think that you will be much troubled
now with people in the house, even when I return, for I hope to come
back in so much stronger health as to enable me to pursue my work
steadily, and justify me in refusing visitors, and I have no doubt that
with more quiet, all these nervous feelings will go away and leave you to
enjoy perhaps the best part of your old age that has yet been possible.

The day is exquisite here, and if to-morrow is like it, you may
think of me as happily at work in the brightest and purest air in the
world (which that of North France is, to my thinking), and every now

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