was in fact a personal friend. Some of his books, and one of the most
widely read of them Sesame and Lilies in particular, make special
appeal to girls, and he thus had innumerable admirers among them.
He was, as there has often been occasion to say in these Introductions,
a born teacher, always avid of opportunities for exercising influence.
Except sometimes in moods of irritation, his good-nature in answering
those who asked his advice was unfailing; and many girls, with the
merest loophole of reason or excuse, would enter into correspondence
with him. If there was anything in their letters which at all took his
fancy, or if he saw any likelihood of exercising an influence for good,
he on his side would, with pleasant flattery, become their " most affec-
tionate " friend ; in many cases without ever seeing his correspondents
at all. A large number of such letters to unknown or little-known
girl-friends have passed through the editors' hands, and a still larger
1 See Vol. XVIII. pp. Ixiii. seq.
- See, for example, those in Vol. XXXVII. pp. 481, 486, 528, 582, 595.
3 Many of Ruskin's letters, both to young friends and to the intimate circle
elseif (getClientWidth() > 430)
of Brantwood, are written in a playful little language which must make them appear
extravagant, and perhaps ridiculous, to those outside it. To this language he
refers in a letter to Mrs. Severn (below, p. 581). He was himself an only child,
brought up in a somewhat precise and formal household. When Mrs. Severn, one
of a large family, first came to Denmark Hill, the use of pet names and special
language was something new to him. It greatly took his fancy, and he cultivated
it as, it might be, some new plant. His own names, in the home circle, of " Di Pa "
(as in the letter to Mr. Severn, Vol. XXXVII. p. 180), " Cuz," and " Fess "
(dear papa, cousin, professor), are examples of it ; so are those of other inmates,
as, for instance, " Doanie " and " Arfie " for Joan and Arthur ; and there was a small
vocabulary of other words,, such as " t\vite " for " quite/' " tebby " for " terrible,"
"soo" for "sure," etc., etc. Letters written largely in this language are clearly not
for the printer, but many such are extant, and an account of Ruskin's correspond-
ence would not be complete without some mention of them. Some of his corre-
spondents have published letters containing some of the words mentioned above,
such as "Fessy " (Vol. XXXVII. p. 620, No.' 6) and "tebby" (Vol. XXXVII. p. 330).
number doubtless exist unknown to them. The letters of this kind,
occasionally introduced into this Collection, sufficiently show his ap-
proachableness, his good-nature, and not less his good sense. Even at
the close of his working days, when he was weak and much depressed,
he still found time and will to send notes of advice and encouragement,
as well as presents of books, to unknown girl-friends. One of the very
latest letters in our Collection is of such a kind. He was hardly less
ready to respond to young men who sought, or seemed to seek, his
counsel with a genuine desire for moral or intellectual aid. He was,
indeed, impatient of idle inquirers, but the trouble which he would
take with other correspondents was unbounded, and to appeals for
material, no less than moral, aid he was always open.
Another large class of what may be called Ruskin's Letters of
Advice consists of those addressed to students or amateurs of drawing.
His correspondents in this sort were drawn from all classes of society.
Some account of his friendship with that brilliant amateur, Louisa,
Marchioness of Waterford, has been given in an earlier volume. 1 When
it was a question of art-teaching, Ruskin was no flatterer, and he was,
as has been said in the place just referred to, an exacting critic of
Lady Waterford's work. " I have been interested," she wrote to a
friend in 1865, " in Ruskin's beginning of his new book on Art, which
has the pedantic name of the Cestus of Aglaia. One thing strikes
me in it apropos of Art ; I believe it is so true. He says careless work
is a proof of something wrong in a person's whole moral character.
Now, in smaller ways, one knows the different mood one is in when
' taking pains " or not, and hating and hurrying over work is surely a
bad sign. 1 ' 2 What he wrote in his books, he said face to face. Lady
Waterford was sometimes provoked by him, 3 but often allowed that his
criticism was just :
" I think I am beginning to understand a little better/' she wrote to him
(November 30, 1863) from Ford Castle, " what you mean by always doing
right. I know it, when I look at my drawings and see where I have begun
to hate my work and have put evil into the lines, vainly expecting that the
accident might transform them into right. I believe it is when the ideal
vanishes and there is disappointment in every stroke that this happens ;
and yet when things come rery easily, they are always the best. I cannot
yet quite make it out ; but I promise to do my best, and will not attempt
1 Vol. XV. pp. xvi., xvii.
- Augustus J. 0. Hare, The Story of Tiro Xoblc Lire*, vol. iii. pp. 255-250.
3 See ibid., p. 257.
much, but it shall be well and right done. ... I wish to do really good
things, and I have a mind fairly to go to school again. Any praise I get
for what is not really good I cannot bear ; and that is why I have always
believed and trusted in your opinion, for you have not falsely praised.
" But I have to quarrel with you yet about the Cheviot country. You
are not fair about it. Its winter colour is as beautiful as its summer, and
these early sunsets are sometimes extraordinarily gorgeous and beautiful.
If I could catch some of the effects of dark outline beautifully distinct
against a crimson or lemon-coloured sky, and all reflected in the Till, if
I could draw and colour this truly and rightly, I would send it to you to
show you how unjust you can be and not know it."
In going through his .correspondence in later years, Ruskin kept this
letter, endorsing it " Cheviot Hills and the Till lovely."
The mass of Raskin's Drawing-lesson Letters is very large, but the
specimens, already appended in this edition to The Elements of Drawing*
are typical of the whole. An interesting series, here reprinted from an
Australian newspaper (pp. 484-488), is addressed to Miss Ironside, a
lady of real though misdirected talent, who did not live long enough to
profit by Ruskin's advice. His letters to her are, as usual, playful and
affectionate, but they are conspicuous for their sound sense and useful
instruction. He often went to her studio to supplement his written
directions. Sometimes his lessons were given entirely by letter, and the
trouble which he took in such cases is remarkable. A series of letters
to Mr. Harris, a drawing-master, 2 and occasional letters to other corre-
spondents, 3 introduced to illustrate this continual element in Ruskin^s
daily round, will show the reader how accessible and helpful he was.
Passing next to Ruskin's appointment as Slade Professor at Oxford,
we are introduced to a new circle of friends and acquaintances. The
old friends, more especially Professor Acland and Dean Liddell, again
appear among his correspondents. The pleasant relations which existed
between him and other members of the Corpus Common Room have
been shown in the recollections of two of their number. 4 He had
few wiser friends during his later years at Oxford than Jowett, whose
correspondence, however, was destroyed by his executors. Among
Ruskin's new friends at Oxford, there was, first, Mr. Alexander Macdonald,
whom Ruskin appointed as drawing-master, on whose assistance he
greatly relied, to whose services he often bore record, in whose house
1 Vol. XV. pp. 489, 490.
2 Vol. XXXVII. pp. 662-665.
3 See, for instance, pp. '223, 264.
4 Vol. XX. pp. xxx. se(].
he often stayed, and with whom he was in constant correspondence.
The larger part of this correspondence is either concerned with scholastic
details or with chess; but the letters included in the collection show
how much the Professor relied upon the affectionate assistance of his
Among Ruskin's Oxford pupils, Mr. Collingwood, Dr. Daw trey
Drewitt, and Mr. Wedderburn are those to whom he himself refers in
Pncterita. 1 Mr. Collingwood is already well known to all readers of
this edition ; his reminiscences of Kuskin, and letters from him, are
the sources of much information. 2 To Dr. Dawtrey Drewitt, just
taking his degree at Christ Church when Ruskin came up as Pro-
fessor, Ruskin was attracted by his friend's love of natural history.
An interesting series of letters to Mr. Wedderburn, recounting the
pursuit of the title Arrows of the Chace, has already been printed ; 3
another letter, characteristic of Ruskin's relations with pupils, is given
in the next volume (p. 183). " My friendship with Ruskin," says Mr.
Wedderburn, " began with Hincksey and went on with the Xenophon
(see Vols. XX. and XXXI.). After my first stay at Brantwood
in 1875 I constantly stayed there, and helped Ruskin with some of
whatever work he had in hand, e.g., the Travellers 1 Edition of Stones
of Venice, the second volume of which I took through the press. Then
I started Arrows of the Chace, On the Old Road, and the indices to
all Ruskin's books. At one time he put all his diaries and private
papers in my hands, with the idea that I might ultimately write his
life. But this was before Pnvterita. Ultimately he by his will made
me one of his literary executors. 11 The letters in the present Collec-
tion addressed to the late Mr. James Reddie Anderson, of Balliol, are
of interest in connexion with the Hincksey diggings ; those to the Rev.
E. P. Barrow relate to other branches of Ruskin's work at Oxford.
Some of the most interesting letters in the Collection are those
addressed to H.R.H. Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, and to his
widow the Duchess, by whose gracious permission they are here printed.
The Prince, as already related, 4 sat under Ruskin at Oxford, and
between him and the Professor an affectionate friendship sprung up.
The Prince made recognition in his first public Address of his debt to
Ruskin's teaching, and Ruskin was deeply grateful to him for help
Vol. XXXV. pp. 424-42.-).
* For a collation of Raskin's letters printed by Mr. Collingwood, and in
many cases addicted to him, see the Bibliographical Appendix, Vol. XXXVII.
3 Vol. XXXIV. pp. xxxix., xl.
4 Vol. XX. pp. >:xxv., xxxvi.
rendered on more than one occasion. The Letters show how Ruskin
sought to interest the Prince in the purchase of the Castellani collec-
tion for the British Museum, and how the Prince assisted him to obtain
the loan of a collection of Turner drawings for Oxford. 1 It was at
Prince Leopold's suggestion that Ruskin returned to his Venetian studies
and wrote St. Mark's Rest. When the Prince visited Venice, he made
acquaintance with Ruskin's old friend, Rawdon Brown, whom he greatly
liked and respected. Some letters in the Collection refer to a visit
which Ruskin paid to Prince Leopold at Windsor Castle. 2 Ruskin's
letters to His Royal Highness are stately, but beneath their ceremonial
form a true respect and affection makes itself felt. That these feelings
were reciprocated is shown by a letter from the Prince, which we are
allowed here to print. It is of interest, both as expressing his love for
painting and music, and as linking with him in affectionate remem-
brance the names of Ruskin and Rawdon Brown :
"FARNLEY HALL, OTLEY, October 12, 1883.
" MY DEAR MR. RUSKIN, When we met at Oxford, you asked me to
write to you. I have not forgotten, but I have had nothing to tell you
that would interest. Now that I find myself in this beautiful old house,
and living in a room formerly inhabited by Turner, with a picture of your-
self opposite to me, I feel that it will please you to hear from me. You
know the glorious pictures with which one is surrounded here, and I have
been shown the pictures that you admire most among them. What a plea-
sure it is to be able to live among such pictures, and see them at one's
ease, and not in a dreadful picture-gallery. You taught me years ago how
to admire Turner, and you know what opportunities one has here. I feel
quite at home among them, and it is pleasant to see how thoroughly worthy
the possessors of these treasures are of them. Mrs. Fawkes told me she
had asked you to come here : what a pity that you have not done so ! I
must refer in this letter to a. great and mutual loss which we have both
sustained not long since, in the death of dear Rawdon Brown. Literally,
a ' Stone of Venice ' gone ! When he and I parted five and a half years ago
on the steps of the Ca' Gussoni, he cried and said we should never meet
again, and I, with the decided intention of returning very soon to my dear
Venice, said ' Nonsense/ and joked with him ; and now his words have
come true I have never been able to return since then. I thought much
of you on hearing the sad news, which I did long after the event had
happened, as I was far away in Germany at the time. I look upon it as
one of the good fortunes of my life that I met and knew that noble char-
acter. What will poor Toni do ?
1 Vol. XXXVII. pp. 194, 238. 2 Vol. XXXVII. pp. 235, 236.
" I have been here officially, as President of the Leeds Musical Festival,
where I have had the great pleasure of hearing beautiful music beautifully
performed ; and now I go on for public work at Huddersfield. Next week
I shall be at home again at Claremont. When will you visit us there ? and
see our child ? You know you will be always welcome, and will find us
quite alone there, whenever you choose to come. Yours affectionately,
" LEOPOLD. 1
"The Duchess sends you her kindest regards."
The Prince, alas ! was too soon to follow Rawdon Brown to the grave ;
and a few months after the date of this letter, Ruskin was to pay a
visit of condolence to the bereaved Duchess. The epitaph which he
wrote at her request has been printed in a previous volume. 2 His
affection for the Duke formed a tie of sympathy which, as later
letters to the Duchess show, 3 was not to be broken. Ruskin was also
on terms of intimate friendship with the Prince's tutor, and afterwards
Comptroller of his Household, Sir Robert Collins, K.C.B. 4 Several letters
to him are included in our Collection.
To the time of the second tenure of the Oxford professorship
belongs the personal acquaintance with M. Ernest Chesneau one of
the three critics, himself intermediate between M. Milsand and M. de
la Sizeranne, who have introduced Ruskin's work to French readers.
There had been correspondence with M. Chesneau, for some time past;
but it was not until 1884 that they met. He was a most enthusiastic
and affectionate admirer of Ruskin (as appears from letters of his at
Brant wood, which may almost be called gushing), and his delight was
very great when Ruskin undertook to write the Preface for the English
translation of his English School of Painting? A collection of Ruskin's
letters to M. Chesneau was privately printed in 1894; and these are
included in the present Collection. 6
1 It was during this visit to Farnley that the Prince said to Mrs. Fawkes that
" Mr. Ruskin had been born three hundred years too late " a remark which recurred
to her memory when Ruskin, at Farnley in the following year, said, "An English-
man of the time of Queen Elizabeth was the most glorious creature that ever was
created, whereas the cockney of to-day was the loathsome slime of an abominable
rascal" ("Mr. Ruskin at Farnley," in the Nineteenth Century, April 1900, p. 6:23).
2 See Vol. XXXIV. p. 647.
3 Vol. XXXVII. pp. 549, 553, 577.
* Sir Robert died in November 1008: for an obituary notice, see the Times,
1 See Vol. XXXIV. p. 437.
For particulars, see the Bibliographical Appendix, Vol. XXXVII. p. 635.
Mr. Frank Randal, ir. a brief note prefixed to the volume of Letters from John
Ruxkin to Krnent f'hesncnn, records a visit to M. Chesneau in June 1889 "at his
apartment in the Rue St. Louis-en-1'ile. . . . Ho was then a great sufferer, so far
To Raskin's Oxford period belongs his friendship with a painter
who, as such, has little in common with his other artist-friends the
late H. Stacy Marks, R.A. " I have often wondered," wrote Marks
with characteristic modesty, " how so firm and fast a friendship came
to exist between a man of such wide and varied learning, such great
intellect, and myself." 1 And there are sides of Raskin's character,
pursuits, and tastes which might seem to have little in common with
the jovial painter, known to all his friends as " Marco." Yet the
letters show that the two men were on the terms of warm friendship,
and in one of them Ruskin says that among all his friends there
was none with whom he had so complete sympathy. 2 They had first
met, as already related, in 1856 in connexion with a skit which Marks
had written on Ruskin's Academy Notes. 3 It does not appear, how-
ever, that the acquaintance was then pursued. It was resumed twenty
years later, when Marks was arranging an exhibition of the works of
his friend Frederick Walker, A. R.A. Ruskin sent Marks a letter for
publication on that occasion ; 4 they met again, and presently became fast
friends. The modest, sincere, and, within its range, accomplished work
of Marks won the approbation of the critic ; his genial humour attracted
the sympathy of the man. They were alike in their love of old times,
and of animals, and soon became on the footing of old friends. Like
every one else who came in friendly contact with Ruskin, Marks found
him unaffected and courteous. " However heterodox some of my opinions
on art may have seemed to him, he never showed the least irritation."
says Marks, "but would smilingly put me right with a phrase, half joke,
half earnest."" 5 The words fit more than one of the letters. Marks
was full of quips and an excellent mimic, and he found Ruskin " the
best and most easily amused man it was ever my lot to play the
fool before."" One of his performances was a musical and pantomimic
rendering of H. S. Leigh's song " Uncle John " (" I never loved a dear
gazelle"); this was a favourite diversion, and Buskin became "L T ncle
John" to Marks and his family some of the letters are so signed.
The merry evenings with Marks were much enjoyed by Ruskin; a
day they spent together at the Zoological Gardens seems to have been
less successful. Ruskin complained that the birds were always moulting,
as I could judge, though he rarely spoke of himself. I believe his ailment was
paralysis in the lower limbs. He was compelled to sit at his library table in a
mechanical chair, and to wheel himself from one room to another. He died in
1890, in his 57th year." There is mention of Chesneau in M. Firmin Maillard's
La Cite des Intellectuels (1907).
1 Pen and Pencil Sketches, vol. ii. p. 169. - Vol. XXXVII. p. 229.
3 Vol. XIV. p. xxviii. 4 Ibid., pp. 339-345.
5 Pen and Pencil Sketches, vol. ii. p. 166.
and the snakes always shedding their coats, and he wanted to know
the mechanism of a bird's flight and the superintendent could not tell
him. The love of birds was one of the links of the sympathy between
Ruskin and Marks, which is illustrated very pleasantly in the letters.
The enterprises connected with St. George's Guild, started during
Ruskin's Oxford professorship, introduce us to a new and wide circle
of his friends and acquaintances including, among " Companions " or
helpers of the Guild, Mr. George Baker, Mr. George Thomson, Mrs.
Talbot (of Bar mouth), Mr. John Morgan (of Aberdeen), Mr. Moss
(of Sheffield), and Mr. Henry Willett (of Brighton). 1 Letters to them
have for the most part been brought together in the volume dealing
with the affairs of the Guild, 2 but a few more will be found in the
present Collection. There are other letters in the Collection addressed
to members of the Guild or to inquiries about its rules and purposes ;
such letters are notable alike for the excellence of their advice and
the pointed terms in which it is conveyed. 3
A friend whom Ruskin made in connexion with his May Day
Festivals was the Rev. John Pincher Faunthorpe, for many years Prin-
cipal of the Whitelands Training College at Chelsea, and appointed
by Ruskin, by way of familiar name, " chaplain " of the St. George's
Guild. Several of Ruskin's letters to him have been given in an earlier
volume; 4 others, included in this Collection, relate to Ruskin's interest
in Whitelands College and its students. An interesting series of letters
to successive May Queens has already been printed. 5
Another clerical correspondent who received a great many letters from
Ruskin was his neighbour in the Lake Country, the Rev. Frederick
Amadeus Malleson. These letters have been described, and many of
them printed, in a previous volume. A few others are included in
the Principal Collection.
Ruskin's letters to the artists employed in painting for the St.
George's Guild Mr. Fairfax Murray and Mr. T. M. Rooke among the
1 Mr. Henry Willett, of whom previous mention has often been made (see
General Index), died in 1905, at the age of eighty-two. He made a considerable
fortune as a brewer, and was a generous supporter of local charities. He was a
collector of old pictures, earthenware, and porcelain. Oliver Wendell Holmes has
vritten of the " generous host " with whom thirty out of his Hundred Days in
Europe were spent. Mr. Willett was also a friend of Cobden, Bright, and Fawcett
(obituary notice in the Tiinrx, March 3, 1905). Mr. Willett had specially interested
himself in the republication of some of Ruskin's books : see Vol. XIV. p. 255.
2 Vol. XXX. pp. xxviii., 299-304, 314-322. 8ee also the letters to Mr. Brooke
in Vol. XXIX. pp. 5 17 nefj., and one to Mr. Walker, ?'///>/., p. 572.
3 See, for instance, Vol. XXXVII. pp. G3, CO. * Vol. XXIX. pp. 553 w<?.
s Vol. XXX. pp. 340-347. 5 Vol. XXXIV. pp. 179 scq.
chief of them have for the most part been printed in the Introduc-
tion describing the Museum. 1 They are very interesting and character-
istic; a few more, to Signer Alessandri and Mr. Randal respectively,
have been reserved for the present Collection. Several will also be
found addressed to Mr. Albert Goodwin, between whom and Ruskin
there was an affectionate friendship. Another artist who owed
something to Ruskin's encouragement is Mr. Frank Short, A.R.A. 2
The letters to him show the keen interest which Ruskin took in his
replicas, and ultimately his completion, of Turner's Liber Shtdiorum.
It was to Ruskin that he submitted the first experimental proofs, and
the response, speedily forthcoming, 3 that induced him to commit him-
self definitely to the undertaking. A prospectus was printed and sub-
mitted to Ruskin, who inserted the word "unqualified" in a paragraph
mentioning his " approval " of the work. Presently Ruskin visited the
artist in his studio, 4 and later letters show the friendly encouragement
which he gave to this notable essay in the arts of engraving.
A further circle of Ruskin's friends and acquaintances, included in
this Collection, may be grouped round the British Museum. He was
acquainted with Sir Richard Owen (p. 362), who was for many years
superintendent of the Natural History collections (1856-1883). He was
a friend of Professor Story- Maskelyne, for many years Keeper of the
Minerals; letters to him and his daughter (Mrs. Arnold-Forster) are
included. In later years Ruskin much enjoyed the society and help of
the present Keeper, Mr. L. Fletcher, F.R.S. Many letters to him have
already been printed, 5 and another is now added.
Ruskin, intolerant (in print) of " men of science " in general, was
always drawn to them individually. He saw a good deal, at one time
or another, of Darwin ; there is a letter in the present Collection which
records their first meeting in 1837 (below, p. 14). Two of his dearest
and closest friends were Professor Acland, F.R.S., and Sir John Simon,
F.R.S. " Ruskin always spoke, 1 ' says Dr. George Harley, F.R.S. an
acquaintance of later years " in the softest, gentlest voice, was deferen-
tial to others, never dictatorial in anything, even art, and keenly
appreciative of any information." 6 This was the impression made also
1 Vol. XXX. pp. Ivii. secj.
2 See Mr. E. F. Strange's Introduction to The Etched and Engraved Work of
Frank Short, A.K.A., I?. E.," 1908, pp. xiii.-xix.
3 Vol. XXXVII. pp. 512, 514. * Ilrid., p. 536. 5 Vol. XXVI. pp. l.-liv.