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Roism, and with defiant squeaks
Take Fortune's twitches and her tweaks,

* Mind you read with the Hamlet phrase. I haven't left room enough
to mark the pause after "you."

1869] A PIG RHYME 585

As ancient Greeks met ancient Greeks,

Or clansmen, bred on Scottish peaks

To more of bravery than breeks,

Will quarrel for their tartan streaks,

Or Welshmen in the praise of leeks,

Or virtuosi for antiques,

Or ladies for their castes and cliques,

Or churches for their days and weeks,

Or pirates for convenient creeks,

Or anything with claws or beaks

For the poor ravin that it seeks.

Dear little pigs, if Lord and Knight

Would do but half the honest fight

In dragging people to do right

You've done to-day to drag them wrong,

We'd have the crooked straight, eve long.'"'

Ever your loving J. RUSKIN.


GIESSBACH, 18th August [1869].

MY DEAREST CHARLES, I have your letter from Lugano. . . .

I must get that book on Italian irrigation. 2 Strangely enough, I
have just finished and folded a letter to the banker Carlo Blumenthal
at Venice, with some notes on a pamphlet he lent me by the engineer
who has the management of the lagoons. My letter was to show that
the Lagoon question was finally insoluble, except as one of many con-
nected with the water-system of Lombardy ; and that the elevation of
the bed of the Po was the first evil they had to deal with being
merely the exponent of the quantity of waste water which they allowed
to drain from the Alps, charged with soil it had no business to bring
down, when every drop of it was absolutely a spangle of gold let fall
from Heaven, if they would only take the infinitesimally small trouble
of catching said drop where it fell (and keeping it till they wanted it)
instead of letting it drown the valleys of the Ticino and Adige first,
and then flood (eventually) Lombardy in the meantime running waste

1 [No. 78 in Norton; vol. i. pp. 235-237.]

2 {Italian Irrigation: a Report on the Agricultural Canals of Piedmont and Lombardy,
by Captain Richard Baircl Smith, 2 vols., London, 1852. " The great system of
irrigation by means of canals which has been carried out by the Government of
India during the last fifty years was begun with the construction of the Ganges
Canal, and Captain Baird Smith, one of the ablest officers of the corps of Bengal
Engineers, had been sent to study the system and methods of canalisation and
the distribution of water in upper Italy. His admirable report is a book of
permanent value, and it has interest, not only for the student in its special
subject, but also for the student of Italian economical history, and especially of
the engineering work and practical inventions of Leonardo da Vinci." C. E. N.]


into the lagoons and bordering all the plain with fever-marsh. I shall
hold on quietly, enforcing this on every one who will listen, getting
especially at such Alpine Club men as have sense or heart, and so
gradually work on, with this very simple principle of Utopian perfection,
"Every field its pond every ravine its reservoir" (and that on both
sides of the Alps), or reservoir*, if necessary, all down, off the bed ;
but proper upper pools would generally be all that was wanted on the
main tributaries of each torrent, just where they came together off the
rounded ground. Then, beautifully planned drainage to throw the
weight of water to the hardest part of the hill, where it could be
dealt with sternly, and to relieve shingle and slate, as far as possible,
from attrition. And so on. . . . Ever, my dear Charles, your affec-
tionate J. R.


DIJON, 30th August, 1869.

I do not know what it was in my last letter- that gave you the
impression of arrogance. I never wrote with less pride in my heart.
Was it my comparing myself to the Antiquary and you to Lovel ? Is
not Lovel, throughout, the more sensible of the two ? 3

It was very natural that you should think me ungrateful in the
matter of the Will. But remember, in all that you did for me in
that, you were really working for the feelings of others after I am
dead not for me. I do not care two straws what people think of
me after I am dead. . . .

But I do care, and very much, for what is said of me while I live.
It makes an immense difference to me now, whether Joan and Dora 4
find a flattering review of me in the morning papers, or one which
stints and torments them, and me through them. And the only vexa-


tion of my life which you have it really in your power to allay is the
continual provocation I receive from the universal assumption that I
know nothing of political economy, and am a fool so far for talking
of it. ...

Now, I am going to write arrogantly if you like but it is right
that you should know what I think, be it arrogant or not. ... I came
yesterday on a sentence of Ste.-Beuve's, which put me upon writing
this letter (it is he who is your favourite critic, is it not?): "Phidias
et Raphael faisaient admirablement les divinites, et nV croyaient plus." 5

1 No. 79 in Norton; vol. i. pp. 238-242.]

' ;"Tbat of August 18th."- ( . E. N.]

' See letter of 21st June ; above, p. .573.]

4 [See above, p. 506.]

6 fKrom the article on M. Victor de Laprade in Xoureau.r Lundis, vol. i. p. 12.]


Now, this is a sentence of a quite incurably and irrevocably shallow
person of one who knows everything who is exquisitely keen and
right within his limits, sure to be fatally wrong beyond them. And
I think your work and life force you to read too much of, and com-
panion too much with, this kind of polished contemplation of superficies,
so that I find I have influence over you, and hurt you by external
ruggednesses, of some of which I was wholly unconscious, and did not
fancy that those I was conscious of would be felt by you.

But, whether this be so or not, there is really no question but that
a man such as you should once for all master the real principles of
political economy; know what its laics are for it has its laws as
inevitable all as gravitation ; know what national poverty really means,
and what it is caused by. and how far the teachings of present pro-
fessors are eternally false or true. And then I want you to say
publicly, in Atlantic Monthly, or elsewhere, what you then will think
respecting my political economy, and Mill's.

And what I meant by saying that I could not love you rightly till
you did this, was simply that until you did it, you were to me what
many of my other friends and lovers -have been, a seeker of my
good in your own way, not in mine. If I had asked my father to
give me forty thousand pounds to spend in giving dinners in London,
I could have had it at once, but he would not give me ten thousand
to buy all the existing water-colours of Turner with, and thought
me a fool for wanting to buy them. I did not understand his love
for me, but I could not love him as much as if he had done what
I wanted.

So, I know perfectly well that you would work for five years, to
write a nice life of me ; but I don't care about having my life written,
and I know that no one can write a nice life of me, for my life has
not been nice, and can never be satisfactory.

But if you work for one year at what will really be useful to you
yourself (though I admit some discourtesy in my so much leaning on
this yet I should not urge you to help me if it would be all lost
time to you), you can ascertain whether I am right or wrong in one
of the main works of my life, and authoritatively assist or check me.

Before you see the Crucifixion at Lugano, you must study Luini
carefully at Milan, giving several days to him. If you saw the Cruci-
fixion first, its faults would be too painful to you deficiencies, I
mean, for Luini has no " faults, 11 at least, no sins, for " fault " is
deficiency and I will ask Count Borromeo to show you his. Ever,
with faithful love to you all, your affectionate J. RUSKIX.



PARIS, 31st August [1869].

MY DEAREST CHARLES, It was a happy, or wise, thought to write
to me here. I got your letter after a somewhat weary day to give
more zest to a pleasant arrival in the luxuriously minute, luxuriously
quiet cell of Mem-ice's.

I walked, after dining, up the Rue de la Paix, and to Rue Tronchet,
and got a prettily, and I hope strongly, bound copy of the Cent
Ballades. 2 I have always "meant to" conquer that old French, and
shall work at it all the way home to-day. Already I have got much
out of the songs. What a lovely one that " nul n'y peut nuire, si
non Dieu " ! 3

The printing is beautiful, but wanting in legibility to aged eyes.
I am going to do all I can to get a fine, quiet, and graceful type
introduced. But there is no such thing as Cheapness in the universe.
Everything costs its own Cost, and one of our best virtues is a just
desire to pay it. Cheapness, in the modern notion of it, is least of
all to be sought in books. The price of a month's eating is enough
to supply any of us with all the books we need the price of a month's
pleasure of any other kind, with all the books we could delight in,
provided the books needful and delightful were in print, which they
are not, always; and well-bound books, well treated, will last for
three generations. Had I a son, he would now be reading, under
orders of trust, my father's first edition of the Waverley novels, from
which not a leaf is shed on which not a stain has fallen. . . .

I will send you the Queen of the Air and which is all I want you
to read carefully the four papers on Economy I wrote for Froude. 4

Even the few people who read them at the time did not see their
meaning, because they thought the leaning on verbal derivation frivo-
lous. But the first point in definition is to fix one's idea clearly ; the
second to fix the word for it which the best authors use, that we

[No. 80 in Norton; vol. i. pp. 242-244.]

\Le Livre des Cent Ballades . . . puldie d'apres trois manuscrits . . . par h
Marquis de Queux de Saint-Hilaire : see Vol. XXIII. p. xxiii.]

3 [No. Ixxxv. (p. 169) :

" Donques, mon tres doulx drier enfant,
Se pour tel meschef eschever,
Et pour recevoir joie grant,
Et pour tost en hault pris monter,
Vous plaist loiaute forjurer,
Au moiiis d'amer en un seul lieu,
Vos maulx verrez en bien tourner :
Nul n'y peut nuire si non Uieu."]

4 [Munera Pulreris (Vol. XVII.).]

1 P

1869] COST AND PRICE 589

may be able to read them without mistake. If the reader knows the
essential difference between "cost" and "price," it does not matter
at present which he calls which; but it matters much that he should
understand the relation of the words Consto, and Pretium, in Horace;
and the relation between "For it Cost more to redeem his brother,"
and " A goodly pi-ice that I was prized at of them " in the Bible. 1
Ever your affectionate J. It.


DENMARK HIIX,, 2nd September, 1869.

DEAR MR. CARLYLE, I am at home at last. I only got your lovely
letter to-day it was sent to a wrong address abroad, as well as Joan's
account of all your goodness to her.

I will come to-morrow evening if I may. I would have come
to-night, but it is my mother's birthday.

I should have written to you again and again from abroad, if all
things had not been full of sadness to me and of labour also detain-
ing me for this year from my happy work on your German Castles. 3
Italy is in a ghostly state of ruin, and I did all I could on a few
things I shall never see more. Your German castles will, I think, be
yet long spared but I hope to get some of them next year.

Just send a verbal " Yes " by the bearer if I may come to-morrow.
Ever your affectionate J. RUSKTN.

To the Rt. Hon. W. COWPEE-TEMPLE

DENMARK HILL, 4th September, 1869.

MY DEAR ^I'AO?, Yes, I knew you would ! I told &i\.r) you would
laugh at me ages ago. Never mind I'll have my dig in spite of
you, and get my roots too and live in a cave. I'm not going to be
kept in England by this thing. I've taken it because I believed I
could on the whole teach more scund and necessary things than any
one else was likely to do. But I am not going to be the Oxford
drawing master I do not say my own work is one bit higher than
that would be, well done but 1 am not going to make Oxford a
main business of my declining life; I shall set things, as far as, with
the help of the many good men who, I know, are ready to help me

1 [Psalms xlix. 7, 8 (Prayer-book version) ; Zechariah xi. 13.]

2 [In reply to Carlyle's letter of August 17 (printed in Vol. XIX. p. Ixx.).]

3 [This the drawing of " the old castles that were the cradles of German,
life " was a task commended by Ruskin to his Oxford pupils : see Vol. XX.
p. 106.]

590 LETTERS OF RUSKIN Voi, I [1869

there, I can put them in right train, and say as much, in the course
of the year, as any one is likely to remember in a quiet way. But
Til bridle that Rhone, or Til know why. All the arts began in Italy
with good engineering and all the pieties begin with good washing.
And your flood of pauperism will find then work and land both. I
was shocked by the Rhone and Toccia Valley as I went into Italy.

But the Ticino Valley was worse than either. Every tributary of
the Ticino comes down into it off granite not a drop is caught by
the way, and the streams seemed one and all to have chosen in their
fury to go each straight through a village. In Giornico, not one house
in three was left standing. Well, come home as soon as you can, and
laugh at everybody else, as well as poor me, they all deserve it
worse.- Ever afi'ect. yours, J. RUSKIX.

Love to ^t'A-ij. Say to her she may write whatever she likes to
write about to me ; I shall not mistake light in the West for light in
the East now I know the evening and morning.


[DENMARK HILL] Sunday, 12th September, 18(!9.

MY BKARKST CHARLES, It seems that, last session in Parliament,
Mr. Bright declared and the saying was not in any grave manner
questioned that " in a common sense commercial community the adul-
teration of food was to be looked upon only as a form of competition."

The words are from the PaH Mall Gazette, presumably approxi-
mating to the true ones.-

Now, my dear Charles, when I accused you of being a supporter
of American ill-manners, I was wholly in play (my bad habit of
mingling play with earnest has of late led you into some mistakes
about my letters which have caused you pain).

But when I accuse Mill of being the root of nearly all immediate
evil among us in England, I am in earnest the man being looked up
to as "the greatest thinker" when he is in truth an utterlv shallow
and wretched segment of a human creature, incapable of understanding
Anything in the ultimate conditions of it, and countenancing with an
unhappy fortune whatever is fatallest in the popular error of English

I want you to look a little at the really great statements of

1 [No. 81 in Xorton; vol. i. pp. l!-l/>-247.]

[For the ,'ictual words, see Fors Clamgcra, Letter ;>7, 4 (Vcl. XX VI 1 1. p. 17).]

1 [For this plirasi-, see Vol. XXVJI. pp. Ixxvii.. ',:>'), 04, i ;.">.]


Economical principle made by the true Men of all time ; and you will

gradually feel what deadly cast skin of the carcasses of every error

they abhorred, modern "Economists'" have patched up their hide with.

Here is the last sentence of Linnaeus^s preface to the Sy sterna

Naturaz :

" Omnes res creatae sunt divinae sapientiae et potentiae testes, divitiae
felicitatis humanae ; ex harum usu bonitas Creatoris ; ex pulchritudine
sapientia Domini ; ex oeconomia in Conservatione, Proportione, Renovatione,
potentia Majestatis elucet. Earum itaque indagatio ... a vere eruditis et
sapientibus semper exculta ; male 1 doctis et barbaris, semper inimica fuit." 2

The use of the word " Economy " in this sentence and in the one
just preceding, " Naturalis quum scientia trium regnorum fundamen-
tum sit omnis Diaetae, Medicinae, Oeconomiae, tarn privatae quam
ipsius naturae," is, of course, the eternally right and sound one ; the
vulgar abuse of the term itself is one of the first causes of blunder
in the modern systems the great part of which consist only in the
explanation of the methods by which one pedlar, under favourable
circumstances, may get an advantage over another. Ever your affec-
tionate J. R.


DENMAHK HILL, 2.1st September, 1869.

MY DEAREST CHARLES, . . . Yes, that Republican voice of thunder
is very terrible. Does it never make you feel how much of what will
most destroy true Liberty (e\ev0epia) has arisen from those who were
the first guides of the new passion having invoked " Liberty " instead
of " Justice " ?

Do not, in reading anything of mine on " Economy," confuse what
I acid about Government with the science itself. It is a point of
Economical Science that a house must be kept in order. But whether
it can be kept in order best by a Master, or by the discussions and
votes of the operative helps, may be questionable. Doubt my con-
clusions as much as you will, but distinguish them always from the

1 ["The original reads ' perverse,' as I find in Raskin's own copy, once that
of the poet Gray, and full of notes and drawings by him " (C. E. N.). iluskin
mentions the book in Proserpina (Vol. XXV. p. 200 n,), where it should be noted
by way of correction that the book was after lluskin's death given by Mrs. Severn
to Mr. Norton, who published The Poet Gray as a Naturalist, with Selections from
}tis Xotes on the Systema Datura; of Linnams, and Facsimiles of some of his Drawings :
Boston, 1903.]

2 [From vol. i. p. 8 of CaroK Linna>i . . . Systema Xaturce, Editio Dscima : 1758.
For other references to the spirit in which Linnaeus undertook his work, si-e
Vol. IV. pp. 4-5, Vol. XXVI. pp. 339, 343.]

1 [No. 82 in Norton ; vol. i. pp. 247-249.]


facts which are the base of them. I claim to have established the
principles of the Science, not their final results.

And, again, do not confuse my Spiritual Platonism with my Econo-
mical abstractions. It is not Platonism, but a mathematical axiom,
that a Line is length without breadth. Nor is it Platonism, but an
economical axiom, that wealth means that which conduces to life.

So far from studying things that Are not, one of the chief purposes
of Mujiera Pulveris is to show that wealth as at present gathered is
an eiSaXov Phantasm ; and to prove what substance is, and is not,
in it.

I have =50,000.

What does mean ?

I have not 50,000 sovereigns.

Nor could I have them, if everybody else who suppose themselves
to have money asked for theirs at the same time. What I really have
is fifty thousand possibilities of a quite uncertain amount of posses-
sion, which depends wholly on other people's fancy and poverty. For,
if everybody had fifty thousand pounds, everybody would be as helpless
as if he had nothing.

Also, remember this great distinction, All common political eco-
nomy is bound on the axiom, " Man is a beast of prey." (It was so
stated in those words by Mr. Mill at a social science meeting. 1 ) My
political economy is based on the axiom, " Man is an animal whose
physical power depends on its social faiths and affections.""

Which of these principles do you reckon as a theory, and which
as a Fact?

Ever your " affectionate " (theoretically and platonically)



DENMARK HILL, 25th Septeml>er, 1869.

MY DEAR ACLAXD, I have a somewhat heavy cold upon me in its
beginnings, but I could easily come and see you next week only I
don't think there would be much good in it. I have not yet thought
out anything rightly of what is to be done and I can only do it
slowly. Right thoughts only come of themselves in quiet it will be
three months before I can talk about any of these things to any one.
But I could come and see you.

What can be done at Oxford in any wise depends on wide matters.

1 [Not by Mill, but by Mr. T. J. Dunning: see Vol. XXVIII. p. 1^2 n., and
for the actual passage, ibid., p. lot).]


To be the best drawing master in the world (if I were) would be
of no use there. Nor would I be a drawing master.

We are on the edge of a revolution in all countries, of which none
of us can know the issue. But we must be armed for any issue
otherwise than with palettes and pen-knives be sure of that.

Also please remember this many men who live emotional lives
die at fifty. 1 And I have gone through what would have made some
men die earlier and have at present considerable difficulty in keeping
myself alive ; I cannot count (even in any human modification of hope)
on more than very few years of active and healthy power, and I am
as jealous of every hour as of beaten gold.

Remember, whatever I now do or say, I do or say as a man does
on his deathbed. Not the worse for that, I hope nor the less gaily,
sometimes. Nevertheless, you must henceforward think more of what
you can do for me than of what I can do for you. For I can do
little except the work that is in my hand.

I read your brother's sermon, 2 and your preface to it. But you
are both of you dreaming, yet ; and only half conscious of what is
coming. Ever affectionately yours, J. RUSKIN.


DENMARK HILL, Sept. 3Qth, 1869.

MY DEAR ACLAND, I am very grateful for your kind letter. I saw
it was Tom who wrote that introduction as I read it; but forgot, in
thinking it over again.

Yes; there are other facts hopeful and beautiful. But all evil
succeeds. In its own time, and kingdom, it is always powerful to its
utmost. Every blot is effective as far as it reaches ; while a hundred
good touches may yet at last fail in their result for want of a
hundred and first and be as though they had not been. Now the
evil of this time is a marvellous evil. Nothing that I yet know of, in
the records of human stupidity, equals the saying of Bright, in the
House, that " in a common-sense mercantile community the adulteration
of food can only be considered a form of competition." 3 And, as far
as I can read history, nations as well as men are punished more for
their follies than their crimes. The greater part of English wrong
is unconscious and idiotic. But every jot of it is set down to our

1 [Compare the Preface to Deucalion, Vol. XXVI. p. 95.]

2 [A sermou by the Rev. Peter Leopold Dyke Acland.]

3 [See above, p. 590.]

xxxvi. 2 p


account, for future payment. Whereas what you, and the best of other
Englishmen are doing, may be altogether, and must be greatly, in vain,
yet for a time.

Take this following fact also, and balance it with good, if you

I have been three months this summer in two of the chief towns
of Italy. During all that time, I have not seen among the Italians
one truly happy face, nor one nobly intelligent face. The best were
the bronzed, melancholy, enduring, partly animal-like in strength, of
the peasantry. In the towns, all countenances were evil or mean : and
some of those of the younger men, and boys, the most dreadful in
utter insolence and cruelty I have ever yet seen in sunk creatures.

I would come, not only without being teazed, but joyfully, were I
at all able to speak. But I cannot say what I am thinking whatever
I say is too little, or wrong, and never truly gives any account of the
things I mean. I cannot bear to speak even to my best friends; and
I have so much now of old thought in various states of crystallization,
shapeless yet taking shape that I can receive no more till I have
got these into order. (See I cannot even write intelligibly.) This is.
no reason for not coming to pass a Sunday with you in not speaking.
But I am putting some notes in order, to be got done with before I
turn to the Oxford work ; and it would greatly disturb me to come
and see the gallery, and get into that work, whether I would or no
for the gallery would set me thinking, and I could not stop.

With your help and the Dean's I hope to keep out of it, while I
am with you (or at least out of sight, in it), all useless and second-rate
art, and give to what good art may be there its full power whatever
that may be and the lectures that I must give will ultimately, I trust,
contain a quiet statement of principles of art as they have been told,
or acknowledged, by all its great masters. . . .



MY DEAR HARRISON, I have read the proof, 1 and return it, for fear

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