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and then thinking of you and Denmark Hill.

I will not tax your sight with more, for my hand is always diffi-
cult, though better than it was once. It was not because I was nervous
about you that I thought of coming home, but only in case you were
feeling too lonely. Now I am going to my afternoon's work, which
would not be done so well but that I trust you will still be able to
see and enjoy some of it ; and that for many a day yet to come.

Ever, my dearest mother, believe me, with every prayer for you,
your most affectionate son, J. RUSKIN.

1 [A few lines of this letter have been printed in Vol. XIX. p. xli.]



1868] AUTOBIOGRAPHY 555

To CHARLES ELIOT NORTON l

ABBEVILLE, llth September, 1868.

MY DEAREST CHARLES, . . . Come whenever it is most convenient
to you; I shall have my work in a more comfortable state in about a
week's time than it is now, but come at your own time. . . .

I have often thought of setting down some notes of my life, but I
know not how. I should have to accuse my own folly bitterly; but
not less, as far as I can judge, that of the fondest, faithfullest, most
devoted, most mistaken parents that ever child was blest with, or
ruined by. For myself, I could speak of my follies and my sins ; I
could not speak of my good. If I did, people would know the one
was true; few would believe the other. Many of my own thoughts
for better things I have forgotten; I cannot judge myself I can only
despise and pity. In my good nature, I have no merit but much
weakness and folly. In my genius I am curiously imperfect and broken.
The best and strongest part of it could not be explained. And the
greatest part of my life as Life (and not merely as an investigating
or observant energy) has been ... a series of delights which are gone
for ever, and of griefs which remain for ever ; and my one necessity of
strength or of being is to turn away my thoughts from what they
refuse to forget. Some day, but not now, I will set down a few things,
but the more you understand, the less you will care for me. I am
dishonest enough to want you to take me for what I am to you, by
your own feeling not for what I am in the hollowness of me. I
bought a cane of palm-tree a week ago ; it was a delightful cane to
me, but it has come untwisted; it is all hollow inside. It is not the
poor cane's fault; it would let me lean upon it if it could. . . .
Ever your affectionate J. RUSKIN.

To CHARLES ELIOT NORTON 2

ABBEVILLE, 22nd September, 18G8.

MY DEAREST CHARLES, . . . The time you have named will do
excellently for me 3 and it is worth your while to come, for I can
show you as much of the principles of declining French architecture

1 [Atlantic Monthly, August 1904, vol. 94, p. 163. No. 55 in Norton; vol. i.
pp. 183-185.]

2 [No. 56 in Norton; vol. i. pp. 185-186.]

3 [Professor Norton paid the visit, and a day or two after his return to England
Ruskin wrote (Abbeville, October 9) :

" It is cold, and I am spoiled a little by Paris and Americans. But the light
is lovely, and I feel well up to my work (for me)" (Norton, vol. i. p. 179).]



556 LETTERS OF RUSKIN VOL. I [1868

here, and explain to you more of my own mistakes and delights in
the Seven Lamps epoch, than I could in any other place in the
world. I shall let you go on by yourself to Chartres; but 1 want to
arrange to meet you at Paris on your return (or at Rouen, and so
back here through Paris), that we may have a talk in the Louvre
together and see the Hours of St. Louis together. Fve never seen it,
and I know it is the only thirteenth-century MS. in the world which
can match the one you have two leaves of. 1

Love to you all. Ever your affectionate J. RUSKIX.

Fve a great deal to say, but I can't write.

To Miss JOAN AGNEW

ABBEVILLE, 8th Oct., 18G8.

. . . Longfellow dined with Norton and me yesterday, and we all
enjoyed it. Norton said I was more than usually agreeable, and I
thought things went smoothly myself. Then they both came as far
as Amiens this morning with me, or rather, I as far with them ;
they going on to England. I wanted to see Amiens again, so said
good-bye there. Longfellow is a quiet and simple gentleman, neither
specially frank nor reserved, somewhat grave, very pleasant, not amus-
ing, strangely innocent and calm, caring little for things out of his
own serene sphere. . . .

I should be grateful to you if you would now take means of ascer-
taining when this Glasgow election is decided, 2 as I have several plans
just now, held in abeyance by the possibility of this Scottish journey.
And please find out for me also, accurately, what will be required of
me and when in case of the election being favourable to me.

To CHARLES ELIOT NORTON 3

ABHKVILI.E, Thursday Evening [18 October, 18G8].

MY DEAREST CHARLES, I have been walking along the brow of the
hill opposite that on which we walked on that dark evening on the
other side of the valley, and feeling very dull without you. . . .

I WHS glad that I stopped at Amiens. Fearfully destroyed- it is

1 [That is, the leaves of the Psalter and Hours iunv in the library of Mr.
H. Y. Thompson (sec Vol. XXI. p. 15 ?/.). ^ee above, p. J}oO.]

1 [It would appear from this tli.it there was some idea of bringing forward
Kuskin as a candidate for the Lord Rectorship. The candidate" ultimately nomi-
nated were, however, Lord Stanley and Mr. Lowe.]
[No. o~ in Norton; vol. i. pp. ](}(>- 1 {!".]



1868] LONGFELLOW 557

still majestic and pure, and in its interior, far beyond what I remem-
bered. I have much gained in feeling and judgment lately.

I think you must come there not here in November. Tell me
how the little doll with the shoulder straps is liked. Ever your affec-
tionate J. R.

To CHARLES ELIOT NORTON l

ABBEVILLE, Monday [21 October, 1868],

MY DEAREST CHARLES, I was struck by a wearisome little feverish
cold on the Saturday after I left you, which has kept me from writing
even to thank you for the lovely message from Longfellow, and from
working since ; and now I must come home because of the Employ-
ment committee, and I'm a little sad at leaving but that is my
destiny plans unaccomplished, of every kind, in little and great things ;
I can't finish a word properly. If you could dine and sleep at Den-
mark Hill either on Saturday or Sunday (or both) ... we could talk
over Employment of Roughs (much either of us know about those
Antipodes of ours). I am so vexed not to be able to go to Paris
again to call on Mr. Longfellow, and the vexing myself variously
keeps the cold upon me ; but I am beating it gradually.

Tuesday's post (to-morrow's) will still find me here. After that
write home. I have got the negatives of all the best of those photos.
Thanks for letter about government. Love to you all. Ever your
affectionate J. RUSKIN.

To ERNEST CnESNEAU 2

DENMARK HILL, October 25th, 1868

MY DEAR SIR, Arriving at home, I find your very interesting book 3
and your obliging letter. I am very proud of the interest which you
do me the honour to take in my work ; but all that I have said or
tried to say, is so incomplete and so brokenly arranged, that I have
little satisfaction in any one's reading it until I can, if life is spared
me, fill up the deficient and confused portions, and then reduce all
into clearer form. My secretary rightly sent you the volume contain-
ing the clearest statements of principle respecting landscape which have
yet been possible to me. Your work seems to have been most con-
scientiously performed, and the characteristics of the different schools

1 [Xo. 58 iu Norton; vol. i. pp. 187-188.]

2 [^Xo. 4 in Chesneau ; pp. 8-9.]

3 [Probably L' Art et les Artistes Mod-ernes en France et en Angleterre (1863).]



558 LETTERS OF RUSKIN VOL. I [is6s

admirably delineated. But I think you interest yourself in too many
people. There are never more than one or two great painters in any
nation at one time; and when they are once understood, the school-
work is easily massed around them. Nevertheless I admit that there
is considerable interest in all modern schools, about the men who have
missed their destiny, and would have been great, if this or that evil
star had not afflicted them. Believe me, my dear Sir, sincerely and
respectfully yours, J. RUSKIN.

To Mrs. CHAHLES ELIOT NORTON l

[October, I860.]

MY DEAR SUSAN, I can't come to-day after all. Committee ad-
journed. Fight confused between the men who consider the poor ;i
nuisance to be repressed, and those who consider them a material to
be worked up. Twelve o'clock to-day, meeting. I mean to define the
two parties if I can get the last into mass. Sir W. Crofton is to be
there. I mean to propose, and carry if I can, the resolution on the
opposite side of this; you can make it out I can't copy it. Every-
body sends me their opinions privately ; I pick out what I want and
prepare it as Mr. So and So's, patting it hard on the back, but it's
hard work. Ever your affectionate J. RUSKIN.

[Resolution]

That this society believes that no ultimate good will be effected by
any law which is based on the separation of the poor from other classes
of society as objects of a scornful charity or recipients of unearned relief;
but that every increasing social evil may be attacked at its foundation by
the giving of useful employment at fixed rates of remuneration to all who
are capable of work, and by the training to such useful employments of
those who are now capable of them, under such systems of discipline as
ma}- tend at once to the encouragement of manly and honourable prin-
ciples, and the direct repression of crime.

(No thick note paper in drawer !)



To Mrs. CHARLES ELIOT NORTON -

DKN.MAHK HILL, Saturday.

MY DEAR SUSAN. ... I am tired to-day, for I had two com-
mittees yesterday one -tub; one general and hard fighting and harder

1 fXo. 51) in Xorton; vol. i. pp. 189-11)0.1
[Xo. (50 in Norton; vol. i. pp. 1UO-192.J



1868] COMMITTEE TACTICS 559

flattering, in both. In the sub three only of the five members came,
including me; three were a quorum, and I was one against two only
able to hold my own by fencing for two hours. I got harm averted,
and we parted like the three friends of the lake of Uri.

In the general committee I had hard straight fighting with an old
stick of a Social Science man Mr. Hill for another two hours, but
with the majority of the committee helping me, however, or at least
backing me. The hard part of the fighting was in holding my tongue
and watching for breaks in squares. At last I got him into a bad
temper. Archbishop Manning smoothed him down, and he got worse,
and at last, to my intense delight, he threatened the Committee with
the penalty of his retirement from their body if they didn't pass his
motion. Whereupon, we managed to get the Archbishop to prepare
an amendment (nobody else seemed inclined to venture in face of the
penalty) which I seconded, and it was carried at once. It took another
two hours (as I said) two and a half, nearly to get this one victory
(the old gentleman held his own by talking against time for a long
while), and everything else had to be adjourned till Tuesday ; but
they appointed a sub-committee, Archb. Manning, Sir W. Crofton,
Mr. Fuller, me (and somebody else I think, but am not sure), with
an excellent whip in Mr. Jolly, the Independent Clergyman (I like
him so much, really) and now I think we shall get on. Ever your
affectionate J. RUSKIN.



To Mrs. CHARLES ELIOT NORTON l

DENMARK HILT.,, Friday.

MY DEAR SITSAX, . . . Yes, I wish I could have talked over this
business with somebody but not in the immediate push of it. Getting
things through Committee which is like threading many needles not
in a line (and some restive) with a thread fluffy at the end is bad
enough ; when one has a thing to do one^s self, one must do it. I've
never found two heads better than one, unless neither could be much
worse for being alone, or unless the weakest was uppermost. I accept
the adage under quite a different I hope to you acceptable reading :
" Two hearts are better than one." We poor bachelors, whose worka-
day ones are so early cracked into chequers that the water of life runs
out through them and the chimes all ring dead should be very glad
if we had a spare one handy.

1 [Xo. 61 in Norton; vol. i. pp. 192-193.]



560 LETTERS OF RUSKIN VOL. I [1868

To Mrs. CHARLES ELIOT NORTON l

DENMARK HIM,. November 5 [1868].

MY DEAR SUSAN, ... I should have been over to-day, but have
received a note from a poor little sick girl who is kept in London by
spine complaint, very painful, and wants to see me, and trusts me to
come so I can't fail her. She is a Roman Catholic of the old Scotch
Kerr race; her brother, once (and very young) captain of a ship
of the line, has become a monk ; and I had a walk with the only
sister she has out of convent, up Rhymer's glen at Melrose last year, 2
which was the likest thing to a scene in the beginning of a Waverley
novel that ever I had fortune of any part in the girl being truly
one of Walter Scott's women, as opposed to the heroines of modern
romance. In this sick one the disease has touched the brain, and she
is wildly gentle, inconsistent, restless, wonder-stricken like a person
half changed into a child with great joy and peace in her religion.
It's a wild, ungentle world, with its broken wrecks of spirits and of
Fates. Ever affectionately yours, J. RUSKIN.

To Miss JOAN AGNKW

1th Nov.

... If you are about on the rocks at all, pull me some of that
deep large moss that grows in wettish places, five or six inches long,
with starry leaves, and any other nice bits of tufts of moss; please
put in a little basket and bring with you, for I've just chanced to be
thrown upon some difficult moss-questions.

I've such a beautiful letter from Longfellow this morning. He
says : " The lamplight picture of the four-at-table, in the little room
at Meurice's, is precious to me." I'm afraid of trusting the letter
itself by post but here is the envelope, which will give you a nice
idea of the hand.

To his MOTHER

BROADLANDB, Sunday, 6th December, 18(58.

We got down quite comfortably, and found every one well, and
very kind and glad to see us. But the longer I live, or rather the
nearer I come to the end of life, the more I am oppressed and
unhappy unless when I am at my own pursuits and in my quiet

home.

1 r\o. (i-2 in Xm-tnn; vol. i. pp. 11)3-11)4.]

2 [See above, p. 5:30.]



1868] FATHER AND SON 561

Joanna has, I hope, enjoyed herself, and I think Mrs. Cowper is
very fond of her. Lady Palmerston is very kind and nice to her, and
I am glad she has had this opportunity of seeing people whom you
have so long been interested in. But I cannot stand more of it just
now, and so we hope to be with you again to-morrow about four
o'clock. I will not try your eyes with more writing. Dinner at seven
as usual. Or perhaps, as Joan will not have had much lunch, I had
better say six,

To GEORGE RICHMOND, R.A.

DENMARK HILL, 19th Dec., 1868.

DEAR RICHMOND, I return you at once this very valuable letter of
your son's, which surely ought to make you very happy. The excita-
bility, error, and vacillations of youth are as inevitable as the changes
of form and feature, or passings by of one phase of thought as better
knowledge opens the field of another ; but the one thing that is neces-
sary between father and child is absolute confidence; all happiness
is possible where that exists love only deepens the suffering of the
truest hearts, where it does not.

And that it may exist, the older and the wiser must be able to
bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please himself. The
Father must be prepared beforehand to endure quietly the difference of
mind between himself and his child, which is the law of heaven while
one generation passes away and another cometh keeping in mind that
the great Authority of his Fatherhood is granted him because he of
all men ought to be able with least selfishness with most self-abnega-
tion to judge and guide his child; and the greatest trial, to good
people, is this of seeing their children thinking wrong; but the one
great need is that the children should always fearlessly tell their
thoughts avow their acts hide nothing to avoid giving pain. A
noble youth can bear his father's anger, but not his grief; and is
likely to draw aside from him chiefly for fear of hurting him. I have

not written to , for I do not feel as if the sense of any one's

coming between you and him would be good for him, but if you only
laugh at his first letter, and thank him for his second, and beg him
always to tell you all he thinks, and to spend his fretfulness on you
rather than on anybody else, he will be so grateful happy and safe
that you will thank the Pope and the "poor" powder-lighters for all
they have troubled him and you in. Only, you know, you must be

prepared for 's thinking dreadful things ! He would not be strong

in his art if he were not intense in his belief and his disbeliefs. And

xxxvi. 2 N



562 LETTERS OF RUSKIN VOL. I [1569

the world is now in a state to make us all very uncomfortable if we

look at it. And must look at it. You need only look at what

you like of it, for you have chosen your part. But - has to

choose. We all have, some day or other, and his day has come, or is
coming you cannot avert you can only help him to sustain. Ever
affectionately yours, J. HUSKIN.



1869

[In January of this year Ruskin delivered a lecture on Abbeville, and was then
engaged in writing The Queen of the Air. At the end of April he went abroad,
and remained in Switzerland and Italy till the end of August. Letters written
thence, in addition to those here given, are printed in Vol. XIX. pp. xlvii.-lxi.
He was called home by his appointment to the Slade Professorship at Oxford : see
Vol. XX. pp. xix.-xxi. The latter months were spent at Denmark Hill, in pre-
paration for his lectures.]

To CHARLES ELIOT NORTON l

DENMARK HILL, February, 18(39.

MY DEARKST CHARLES, The enclosed is not a Washington auto-
graph, but I think you will like to have it, as evidently the first
sketch of the Moral Theory of his work by the great author of
Modern Painters. . . . Ever your affectionate J. 11.

The Guide came all right it is so very useful.



To GEORGE RICHMOND, K.A.

DENMARK HILL, Uth March, '09.

MY DEAR GEORGE, I am much glad of your letter of Christian
name greatly. It used to chill me a little because you did not take
it when Tom did, long ago.

And there is truly no man living whom I would have so much
desired to please in my way of doing or saying anything that I want
to do or say so as to reach sympathy. I know that you would not
have liked it 2 unless it had been right, and it gives me confidence in
my power of rendering what is in me; for though I know that the

1 [Atlantic Monthly, August 1904, vol. 94, pp. IG.'J-KM. No. 0,'} in Xnrtun ;
vol. i. p. 19<5. The enclosures were the letter and verses printed above, pp. '2. '3.\

2 [Raskin's lecture on "(ireek Myths of Storm," given at I'niversity College,
London, on March 9, 18(59, and printed as Lecture i. in The Queen of the Air: see
Vol. XIX. p. 295.]



1869] "THE QUEEN OF THE AIR" 563

innermost strong feeling in me is good and is a true desire to enforce
truth still there is so much upper weakness of vanity and self-con-
sciousness that I was always afraid these meaner feelings showed more
than the stronger ones and above all, I have never been comfortable
about voice, fancying it was both wooden and weak. So I am im-
mensely happy that you came, and were pleased.

Also I hope that I may be selfish enough to pursue this subject
of Greek mythology in the pleasure it gives me, without the evil
conscience of wasting time. I am much torn by various dispositions
to work in fifty ways at once, and can only hold on when I find people
are pleased.

I was very happy in Julians visit, and in all she told me of Willie
as well as of herself. What a pretty letter that last of Willie's is !

But whatever the picture may be, I shall try to persuade him to
trust a little the public voice of call.

The more I see, and the older I grow, the more I am sure that
men's true and good gifts always make the " Borgo Allegri," 1 though
it is (as there are easy mockeries of all good) too often made joyful
by their evil gifts instead. Ever your affectionate "JOHN."



To CHARLES ELIOT NORTON 2

DENMAKK HILL, April 12, 18G9.

DEAREST CHARLES, I must stay six days longer till Monday
fortnight, this work has grown under my hands so. It is to be called
The Queen of the Air, and divided into three sections :

1. Athena in the Heavens.

2. Athena in the Earth.

3. Athena in the Heart.

That is to say, of course, the spirit in the winds, the spirit in the
potter's clay, and in the Invention of Arts ; and Fm going to get what
I mainly mean about " didactic Art " said unmistakably in the last
section, 3 against the rascally " immoral Gift "" set of people on the
one side.

I've sent you three uncorrected sheets about species ; please look at
them and tell me what you think the scientific people will say. . . .
Ever yours, J. R.

1 [See Vol. XXIII. p. 330.]

2 [No. 04 in Xorton; vol. i. pp. 199-200.]

3 [See S 1^8,, 110; and for the passage about species, 62-63 (Vol. XIX.
pp. 394, 395, 358, 359).]



564 LETTERS OF RUSKIN VOL. I [1869

To CHARLES ELIOT NORTON l

DENMARK HILL, S.E., April 13, '69.

MY DEAREST CHARLES, It will indeed be a help of the very highest
value to me if you can glance through the proofs in their present state
marking anything that you chance to notice wrong or mendable.
Here is the first section ; there's a good deal added at the end which
is at least interesting to me myself I think Mars' opinion of Minerva
at page 56 2 is great fun. I have never thanked Susan yet for my
lovely Japan cup. The children were so happy with her and you
last night.

I fear I cannot afford the Rievaulx I know it, and wholly agree
with your estimate of it. But I must have Nemi and Terni. They
are Athena pure; and there are six more Hakewells'in the next sale,
and a hopu of a Yorkshire or two beside. And the Rievaulx will
bring Heaven knows what. But of all the England drawings, except
Carnarvon, it is perhaps the loveliest. Ever your loving J. R.



To CHARLES ELIOT NORTON*

April 27, 1869.

DEAREST CHARLES, I have referred printers and everybody to you. 5
My old friend Mr. Harrison may be a little troublesome, but bear with
him, for he is very good, and has seen all my large books through
press; I'll soon write from abroad.

Meantime, please come out to Denmark Hill. I've addressed the
bookcase key to you on my right as I sit in study.

Open this, and in the two upper drawers of it you'll find St. Louis
and my other favourite manuscripts. I have not had time to put them
up, and you may like to look at them. Please take them away at
your leisure, and leave them at the British Museum with Mr. Edward

1 [No. 65 in Norton; vol. i. pp. 201-202.]

* [Of ed. 1 of The queen of the Air: 40 (Vol. XIX. p. 341).]

3 [Drawings by Turner for Hakewell's Italy, which with the other drawings
named were to he sold at Christie's. The Nemi fetched '388, 10s. ; the Terni,
.51)3, 5s. ; and the Rievaulx, 1029.]

4 [No. 66 in Norton; vol. i. pp. 202-203.]

* [Before setting out for Italy : see Vol. XIX. p. xlvi. " He had overworked
himself," says Professor Norton, "in spite of his conviction, of which he had recently
written to me, that ' one never quite recovers from overwork,' and at length he got
into such a worried and nervously overstrained condition, that lie broke away from
home, regardless of engagements and of half-completed matters of important con-
cern. He left me in charge of many of these matters, tossing them pall-mall into
my hands, with full authority, but with scanty specific direction."]



1869] -SARTOR RESARTUS" 565

A. Bond, sealed up and addressed to me, or to Charles Norton, Esq.,
so that you could get them at once, if anything happened to me.
Ever your loving J. R.

To CHARLES ELIOT NORTON x

HOTEL MEITRICE, 28 April, 1869.

MY DEAREST CHARLES, It makes me feel as if you were always
coming in at the door, ... to be here again. We had a lovely day
yesterday, and leave by 11 train for Dijon to-day; but I shall stop at
Vevay till you write to me with anything you have to say. Please
look over the part of preface already written (I've still to add a word
or two), and write me a title-page accordingly, . . . i.e., a title to go
with all the series, and with the "Queen of the Air" subordinate. 2

Love to you all. Ever your affectionate J. R.

Til write better to-morrow.



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