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Title: Ruskin Relics
Author: Collingwood, W. G. (William Gershom)
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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_Twelve chapters are here reprinted, with some additions, from "Good
Words," by the courtesy of the Editor and Publishers. Another, on
Ruskin's Drawings, is adapted, by permission, from the author's
"Prefatory Notes to the Catalogue of the Ruskin Exhibition at the
Gallery of the Royal Society of Painters in Water Colours" in 1901. The
first chapter is newly written for this book._

  _W. G. C._

  _Coniston, September 1903_


  CHAPTER                         PAGE

  I.    Ruskin's Chair               1

  II.   Ruskin's "Jump"             13

  III.  Ruskin's Gardening          29

  IV.   Ruskin's Old Road           45

  V.    Ruskin's "Cashbook"         63

  VI.   Ruskin's Ilaria             83

  VII.  Ruskin's Maps              105

  VIII. Ruskin's Drawings          119

  IX.   Ruskin's Hand              133

  X.    Ruskin's Music             149

  XI.   Ruskin's Jewels            165

  XII.  Ruskin's Library           179

  XIII. Ruskin's Bibles            193

  XIV.  Ruskin's "Isola"           213

        Index                      299


  _Ruskin's Study at Brantwood_                                       5

  _Brantwood Harbour in the Seventies_                               17

  _Coniston Hall and Boathouse_                                      18

  _Ruskin's "Jump" adrift off Brantwood_                             19

  _The Ruskin Museum, Coniston_                                      22

  _Trial Model for the Jumping Jenny_                                25

  _The Waterfall at Brantwood Door_                                  33

  _Ruskin's Reservoir, Brantwood_                                    37

  _Ruskin's Moorland Garden_                                         41

  _On Ruskin's Old Road, between Morez and Les Rousses, 1882_        53

  _Lake of Geneva and Dent d'Oches under the Smoke-cloud_            57

  _The Gorge of Monnetier and Buttresses of the Salève, 1882_        61

  _Mont Blanc clearing; Sallenches, Sept. 1882_                      67

  _The Head of the Lake of Annecy_                                   71

  _The Mont Cenis Tunnel in Snow, Nov. 11, 1882_                     75

  _A Savoy Town in Snow, Nov. 1882_                                  79

  _The Palace of Paolo Guinigi, Lucca_                               87

  _Ilaria del Carretto; head of the Effigy_                          91

  _Thunderstorm clearing, Lucca_                                     95

  _The Marble Mountains of Carrara from the Lucca Hills_             99

  _Ruskin's first Map of Italy_                                     108

  _Geology on the Old Road, by John Ruskin_                         109

  _Sketch of Spain, by John Ruskin_                                 112

  _Physical Sketch of Savoy, by John Ruskin_                        113

  _The History of France, by John Ruskin_                           117

  _Early Journal at Coniston, by John Ruskin_                       137

  _Ruskin's Handwriting in 1836_                                    139

  _Ruskin's Handwriting in 1837_                                    141

  _Notes for "Stones of Venice," by John Ruskin_                    143

  _Ruskin's Handwriting in 1875_                                    145

  _Ruskin's Piano in Brantwood Drawing-room_                        153

  _John Ruskin in the Seventies, by Prof. B. Creswick_              157

  _At Marmion's Grave; air by John Ruskin_ (_two pages of Music_)   160

  _"Trust Thou Thy Love," facsimile of music by John Ruskin_        163

  _Gold as it Grows_                                                169

  _Native Silver, by John Ruskin_                                   170

  _Page from an early Mineral Catalogue, by John Ruskin_            171

  _Letter on Snow Crystals, by John Ruskin_                         174

  _Diamond Diagrams, by John Ruskin_                                175

  _Ruskin's Swiss Figure_                                           185

  _His "Nuremberg Chronicle" and Pocket "Horace"_                   189

  _The Bible from which John Ruskin learnt in Childhood_            197

  _Sermon-book written by Ruskin as a Boy_                          199

  _Greek Gospels with Annotations by Ruskin_                        201

  _King Hakon's Bible, owned by Ruskin_                             203

  _An Illuminated Page of King Hakon's Bible_                       207

  _Lady Mount Temple, portrait by Edward Clifford_                  217

  _Lady Mount Temple, chalk drawing by G. F. Watts, R.A_            221

  _Lady Mount Temple, 1886_                                         223

  _Lady Mount Temple, 1889_                                         224





"This is all very well," said a visitor, after looking over the
sketches and books of the Ruskin Museum at Coniston, "but what the
public would prefer is to see the chair he sat in." Something tangible,
that brings before us the person, rather than his work, is what we
all like; for though successful workers are continually asking us to
judge them by what they have done, we know there is more. We want
to see their portraits; their faces will tell us--better than their
books--whether we can trust them. We want to know their lives by signs
and tokens unconsciously left, before we fall down and worship them for
what, after all, may be only a lucky accident of success. They cry out
indignantly that this should not be; but so it is.

Relics of heroes even the ancient Romans treasured. Relics of saints
our forefathers would fight for and die for. Relics of those who in
modern times have made our lives better and brighter we need not
be ashamed of preserving. And among relics I count all the little
incidents, the by-play of life, the anecdotes which betray character,
so long as they are truly told and "lovingly," as George Richmond said
about his portrait of Ruskin. "Have not you flattered him?" asked the
severe parents. "No; it is only the truth lovingly told."

In his study you see two chairs; one, half-drawn from the table, with
pen and ink laid out before it, where he used to sit at his writing;
the light from the bay window coming broadly in at his left hand, and
the hills, when he lifted his eyes, for his help. The other, by the
fireside, was the arm chair into which he migrated for those last ten
years of patience, no longer with his own books but others' books
before him. Then, turning to the chapter on his Music, you can see the
chair by the drawing-room table, in which, making a pulpit of it, he
preached his baby sermon--"People, be dood!"

[Illustration: (_Miss Brickhill, photographer_)


But it is about another kind of chair that I have more to say in this
first chapter, if you will forgive the pun; the metaphorical chair
which professors are supposed to fill at the University. Ruskin's
was nominally that of Fine Art, but he was really a sort of teaching
Teufelsdröckh, Professor of Things in General. His chair stood on four
legs, or even more, like some antique settles of carved oak; very
unlike the Swiss milking-stool of the modern specialist. Not that
it stood more firmly; good business-folk, whose sons fell under his
influence, and dons with an eye to college successes in the schools,
thought his teaching deplorable; and from their point of view much was
to be said. It cannot be denied, also, that like the born teacher he
was, he sometimes tried to make silk purses out of sows' ears.

He taught none of us to paint saleable pictures nor to write popular
books. A pupil once asked him outright to do so. "I hope you're not
serious," he replied. To learn the artist's trade he definitely advised
going to the Royal Academy schools; his drawing school at Oxford was
meant for an almost opposite purpose--to show the average amateur
that really Fine Art is a worshipful thing, far beyond him; to be
appreciated (and that alone is worth while) after a course of training,
but never to be attained unless by birth-gift.

At the start this school, provided by the Professor at his own cost of
time, trouble and money, was well attended; in the second year there
were rarely more than three pupils. It was in 1872 that I joined it,
having seen him before, introduced by Mr. Alfred W. Hunt, R.W.S.,
the landscape painter. Ruskin asked to see what I had been doing, and
I showed him a niggled and panoramic bit of lake-scenery. "Yes, you
have been looking at Hunt and Inchbold." I hoped I had been looking
at Nature. "You must learn to draw." Dear me! thought I, and I have
been exhibiting landscapes. "And you try to put in more than you can
manage." Well, I supposed he would have given me a good word for that!

So he set me to facsimile what seemed like a tangle of scrabbles in
charcoal, and I bungled it. Whereupon I had to do it again, and was a
most miserable undergraduate. But the nice thing about him was that he
did not say, "Go away; you are no good"; but set me something drier
and harder still. I had not the least idea what it was all coming to;
though there was the satisfaction of looking through the sliding cases
between whiles at "Liber Studiorum" plates--rather ugly, some of them,
I whispered to myself--and little scraps of Holbein and Burne-Jones,
quite delicious, for I had the pre-Raphaelite measles badly just then,
in reaction from the water-colour landscape in which I had been brought
up. Only I was too ignorant to see, till he showed me, that the virtue
of real pre-Raphaelite draughtsmanship was in faithfulness to natural
form, and resulting sensitiveness to harmony of line; nothing to do
with sham mediævalism and hard contours.

By-and-by he promoted me to Burne-Jones's "Psyche received into
Heaven." What rapture at the start, and what trials before that
facsimile was completed! And when all was done, "That's not the way to
draw a foot," said a popular artist who saw the copy. But that was the
way to use the pure line, and who but Ruskin taught it at the time?

Later, he set painful tasks of morsels from Turner, distasteful at
first, but gradually fascinating; for he would not let one off before
getting at the bottom of the affair, whether it was merely a knock-in
of the balanced colour-masses or the absolute imitation of the little
wavy clouds, an eighth of an inch long, left apparently ragged by
the mezzotinter's scraper. All this does not make a professional
picture-painter, but such teaching must have opened many pupils' eyes
to certain points in art not universally perceived.

That was one leg of the chair; another was the literary leg. He
contemplated his "Bibliotheca Pastorum," anticipating in a different
form the best hundred books, only there were to be far less. The
first, as suited in his mind for country readers on St. George's
farms, was the "Economist" of Xenophon, and two of his undergraduate
friends undertook the translation. Of these, Wedderburn of Balliol,
now K.C., and Ruskin's literary executor, was one; and the other was
Montefiore of Balliol, who was already in weak health (he did not
live long after those days) and passed on his share in the work to
me. That was the beginning of many interesting afternoons in Ruskin's
rooms, where I read my bit of translation to him, and he compared it
with the Greek, revising and Ruskinising the schoolboy exercise. His
method of translation was quite new to me. The Greek was not to be so
turned into English as to lose its Greek flavour; one should know it
for a rendering out of a foreign tongue. The same word in Greek was
to be represented by the same word in English. He would have no more
"freedom" in this than in anything else. But he came down heavily on
all the catchwords and commonplaces dear to Bohn's cribs, and for a
phrase like "to boot" had no mercy. On the other hand, he invented
quaint renderings of his own, such as "courtesy" for _philanthropia_.
The book is still in print for the curious to read; he gave his
translators the profits: "It will keep you in raspberry jam," he said,
and I have had a postal order for my share regularly these nearly
thirty years. But the lesson one learns at school in Latin, how to make
mosaic of words and decorative patterns of phrases, no master ever
tried to teach me in English, as Ruskin taught it over the tea-cups in
those afternoons at Corpus.

There was a third leg to the chair, which we might call the dignity of
labour. When his first group of men would not draw, he made them dig
at Hinksey. I was slack at the Hinksey diggings, but he made me dig
at Coniston. When the Xenophon was nearly ready, the translators were
asked to Brantwood in the summer of 1875 to finish it. At my earliest
visit, two years before, he had no harbour; the boats were exposed
to the big waves from the south-west storms, and it was an almost
daily task for the gardeners to keep them aground on the shore and to
bale them. In '74 he began some harbour-works, which we were set to
complete. We dug and built every afternoon, and enjoyed it, though we
had not time to finish the job. After us the local mason was called in,
so that the harbour you now see is professional work. But he bade them
leave three of my steps standing as a monument of that summer's doings,
and there they are to this day.

It seemed a kind of joke to make Oxford men dig, and I think the
Hinksey work was devised partly in despair of otherwise holding his
class together. But he had reasons for accustoming them to the labour
by which far the greater part of humanity has to live. Not to make
them into navvies, but to give them a respect for the skilled use of a
pick and a trowel, was his intention; just as the drawing school was
not to make them artists, but to show them how hard it was. In his
own undergraduate days the yokel and the mob were outside the pale of
the gownsman's interests. There was condescending charity, of course,
and comradeship in sport with the keeper and the groom; but "your
real gentleman," said Byron, "never perspires." On the contrary, said
Ruskin, when Adam delved, in the sweat of his brow, life was nearest
to Eden-gates. "To draw hard breath over ploughshare and spade" was
the glory of living. And so, to make these youngsters dig was an
object-lesson in ethics, the first rudiments of human fellowship, which
branched upward into all the moralities.

A fourth leg to his chair was nature study. In those days "science" was
supposed to be the only true natural history: Gilbert White was out of
date. Ruskin's teaching was a protest, and it has prevailed.

From any master we learn no more than we are capable of learning, and
he never gave me many of the tasks he put upon others of his pupils.
Less for any use he made of it, but always with the suggestion that
it was for a practical end, he set me to draw glaciers and glaciated
rocks at Chamouni; on the Coniston fells demonstrated his method
of taking dip and strike from any bit of rock showing cleavage and
stratification, and on his own piece of moor made me survey and
elaborate a model to scale. It was treated as a form of sport,
enjoyable as any game; but not to be scamped. There was always the
insistence on accuracy above all things, and fulness of observation,
with care about trifles which I had not dreamed of before, and never
expected from him. It was only much later that I understood, from his
note-books and sketch-books, what an immense amount of dry, hard work
underlay the easy eloquence of his paragraphs. For instance, "Love's
Meinie" seems to be a slight performance; but to serve for it he had
a vast collection of unstuffed bird-skins, and to get at the secret
of flight planned and commissioned from a skilled artificer sets of
quill-feathers, enormously magnified, in exact imitation of the true
forms and proportions in the bird's wing. One of these is on view in
the Coniston museum, which holds so many of his relics; a complete set
are still at Brantwood. To show the village children how the wheels of
heaven go round, and how the stars have been grouped into pictures of
the world--old myths of nature, he planned a revolving globe into which
you could climb and see a blue sky pierced for the greater and the
lesser lights, and painted with the constellation figures. The globe
has perished, but the object-lesson in education remains.

I have mentioned four lines of his teaching, four legs to his chair.
Other traits of his many-sided mind are given in the following
chapters, and even these are not exhaustive. They will serve to show
him as he was seen at close quarters, not merely through the medium
of print--the last of the sages, lingering into an era of specialists.
I do not rate him as an infallible authority, neither in taste, nor
in ethics, nor in anything. But he was a great teacher, because he
took you by the hand as he went on his voyage of discovery through the
world; he made you see what he saw, and taught you to look for yourself.

One thing he never taught me was to keep a diary. He used to lament how
many beautiful sunsets he had not sketched, and how many interesting
facts he had lost for want of the scratch of a pencil. In trying to
recall these bygones one begins to perceive their loss: so little one
can save from the wreckage of time. Once, when his talk was rather
confidential, I said, "Never mind, I'm not Boswell taking notes." "I
think," he replied, "you might do worse."





"Jump" was the Brantwood vernacular for "Jumping Jenny"; and she was
Ruskin's own private, particular "water sulky," as the Autocrat of the
Breakfast Table put it. There is hardly any need to say that she was
named after the famous though somewhat disreputable brig, commanded
and partly owned by the late Anthony Ewart, not unknown to readers of
Ruskin's favourite novel "Redgauntlet." I do not mean to commit myself
to any statement of literary criticism in calling "Redgauntlet" his
favourite novel, or to imply that he thought it the best book ever
written: but it was one which he continually quoted in conversation
and discussed with pleasure in his autobiography. Of all the novels
he read in those evenings of "auld lang syne," when he pulled the
four candles close to him at the drawing-room table, and we sketched
furtively in corners, Laurence Hilliard and I, and the ladies plied
their needles--no novel was read with more delight and effect. It was
a pretty way of passing the evening, but not so easy to imitate unless
you have a Ruskin to read to you. He had a trick of suggesting the
dramatic variety of the conversations without trying to be stagey, and
a skill in "cutting" the long paragraphs of Scott's descriptions which
made it all as good as a play. He did not make you hot and ready to
scream, as many readers do in their anxiety to act the scene.

Ruskin was no sailor, and never went for a real voyage; but he was
very fond of boats and shipping, and all that came from the sea. One
of his grandfathers had been a sailor. As far as I can make out,
this grandfather was an East-coast skipper of small craft, very much
like one of the captains of "Many Cargoes" and "Sea Urchins." He had
passed out of this world before John Ruskin came into it, and the
little genius never had the luck to hear sea-stories and to learn
the mysteries of reef-knots and clove-hitch from an old captain
grandfather. It would have been so good for him! But one must not
forget that in the making of John Ruskin there was a quarter of the
blood of a seafarer. It is a rather curious fact, also, and one which
has not, I believe, been mentioned in print, that the earliest Ruskin
of all was a sea captain. Mr. W. Hutton Brayshay tells me that he has
found in the Record Office a notice of the name in the fourteenth
century; this mediæval Ruskin was captain of one of Edward III.'s
ships. We cannot connect him with John Ruskin's family, any more than
we can connect the Ruskins of Dalton-in-Furness in the sixteenth
century; but this identity of name suggests that they may have been
ancestors. It is a problem which can only be solved by research, but it
should be possible, if one had time and money to work out the pedigree
from wills and registers.

Turner was his real teacher in seafaring matters, giving him, if
nothing more, a true interest in the look of waves and ships. It was
for Turner's sake that he wrote the fine essay on "the boat in art and
poetry" which forms the introduction to "Harbours of England"; and this
glorification of the coast fishing-craft and the old ship of the line
was not merely a literary man's concoction, but the outcome of much
study and sketching at Deal, where he spent the summer of 1855 to steep
himself in the subject. In the early sixties, again, he stayed for some
time at Boulogne in lodgings under the sandhills north of the pier,
and made friends with a French pilot and mackerel fisher who, after
due apprenticeship, actually promoted him to the tiller--an honour of
which he was really prouder than that election to the membership of a
foreign Academy which he forgot to answer until it was too late to say
any more about it.

[Illustration: (_Sutcliffe, photographer, Whitby_)


[Illustration: (_Herbert Severn, Esq., photographer_)


So when he came to Coniston, and had his own house on his own lake,
he could not be without boats. There was a landing-place on the shore
beneath Brantwood, shown in our photograph as it was in the earlier
stages of its development, with Mrs. Arthur Severn and Miss Constance
Hilliard (Mrs. W. H. Churchill) on the first primitive breakwater,
and Mr. Severn's sailboat in the distance. Ruskin did not care for
lake-sailing; a busy man hardly has time to wait for the moving of the
water; and he got one of the indigenous tubs for the diversion of
rowing. He did not fish, and he had the greatest scorn for rowing as
it is done at Oxford. "That's not rowing; that's galley-slaves' work!"
he used to tell us. "To bend to the stroke, and time your oars to the
beat of the waves," was his ideal: he liked going out when there was
a little sea on, and white horses; and he would paddle away before
the wind with great enjoyment. But when there is a little sea on, at
Coniston, it means a good deal of wind; though the waves are not very
high they gather a fair amount of force in their four or five miles'
career up the long waterway; and the fun of riding with them is quite
different from the struggle of getting your boat home again. Now Ruskin
was a very practical man in some things. "When you have too much to do,
don't do it," he used to say. So after a wild water-gallop, he simply
landed and walked home. When the wind changed he could bring back
his boat. There was no use in making a pain of a pleasure.

[Illustration: (_From a Sketch by W. G. Collingwood_)


The Lake district rowing-boat is built for the Lake fisherman, and it
is as neatly adapted to its purpose as the Windermere yacht which, for
the peculiar winds and waters of the place, is pretty nearly perfect.
The fishers used to have two chief requirements, whether they netted or
trolled; the boat must travel easily in lumpy but not violent water,
for the men had far to go in reaching their "drawing-up spots," and in
taking their fish to market of an evening; and it must carry a good
deal of tackle. In netting, there were always two partners, and so two
thwarts and two pairs of sculls were used; in trolling, one went out
alone, but there were rods and lines which needed space for convenient
stowage. Consequently the boats were rather long, and rather low in the
water; the sculls were fixed on pins, so that you could drop them when
you got a bite, or landed hastily to take the hair-rope at your end
of the net in drawing up. Feathering the oar was quite unknown; great
speed unnecessary; great stability desirable; but not what a sailor
would call seaworthiness. On the whole, for pleasure-boating on the
lakes, these boats are safe and convenient; accidents are extremely
rare, though hundreds and perhaps thousands of hopelessly unskilled
people every summer try their hands at rowing, and do everything you
ought not to do in a boat. It is impossible to insist on an experienced
boatman going out with every party, and not always possible to prevent
overcrowding. Local authorities have no powers, except to hang
life-buoys (at their own personal expense) on convenient points along
the shore. You will see one of the Coniston parish council's buoys on
the boathouse in our photograph of the Hall: but you will be glad to
know that it has hung there for years without being wanted for a rescue.

[Illustration: (_Hargreaves, photographer_)


After some seasons' trial of the local boat, Ruskin thought he could
improve upon it for his own purpose. He wanted something less cumbrous
and more seaworthy, and he was always trying experiments, uprooting
notions to find how they grew, planting them upside down to see what
happened, grafting one idea upon another, to the bewilderment of
onlookers. In the matter of boats he had a very willing and capable
helper in Laurence Hilliard, who was the cleverest and neatest-fingered
boy that ever rigged a model; and many were the models he designed and
finished with exquisite perfection of detail in the outhouse-workshop
at Brantwood. Laurie, as every one called him, was deep in Scott
Russell at that time, working away on the ponderous (and now
discredited) folio as if he were getting it up for an examination, and
covering sheets of cartridge-paper with sections and calculations. He
was only too pleased to have a hand in a real job, and turned out the
drawings and the model for the new boat in workmanlike fashion. This
was in 1879 or 1880.

Just opposite Brantwood, across the lake, is the old Coniston Hall,
built in the fifteenth century as the home of the Flemings of Coniston,
but nearly two hundred years ago abandoned and left to ruin. Mrs.
Radcliffe, who wrote the "Mysteries of Udolpho"--known to most readers
nowadays less for itself than as the book that so excited the heroine
of "Northanger Abbey"--about 1794 came to Coniston, and mistook the
old Coniston Hall for Conishead Priory, as it seems: and with an odd
fallacy of romance described the "solemn vesper that once swelled
along the lake from those consecrated walls, and awakened, perhaps,
the enthusiasm of the voyager, while evening stole upon the scene."
But she was right enough in being charmed with the spot, as Ruskin was
in his boyish visits, long before he dreamed of living--and dying--in
view of the old round chimneys among the trees, with the ripple of lake
below and the peak of the Old Man rising above. Early in the nineteenth
century the ruins were fitted up as a farm, and, somewhat later,
the boathouse close by came to be the workshop of the man who built
Ruskin's "Jump."

Mr. William Bell was one of the celebrities of this dale. In his youth
he had been a sort of right-hand man of John Beever of the Thwaite,
brother to the ladies of "Hortus Inclusus," and author of "Practical
Fly-Fishing." On the death of his father, William Bell became the
leading carpenter of the place, and the leading Liberal, and during Mr.
Gladstone's last Administration he was nominated for a Justice of the
Peace. Ruskin was told of his neighbour, and sent word that he would
like to come and have a talk about politics. Now the carpenter was used
to Conservative orators and Liberal arguers, but he knew that Ruskin
was a different sort of man; and all day long before the hour fixed
for the visit he was in a greatly perturbed state of mind, walking
up and down and wondering--a new thing for him--how he should tackle
this unknown personality. At last the distinguished guest arrived. He
was solemnly welcomed and shown into the parlour. The door was shut
upon the twain. The son (Mr. John Bell), who felt he had brought into
contact the irresistible force and the irremovable post, waited about
hoping it would be all right, but in much trepidation as the sound of
talk inside rose from a murmur to a rumble, and from a rumble to a
roar. At last his father's well-known voice came through the partition
in no trembling accents: "Ye're wrong to rags, Mr. Ruskin!" Then he
knew it _was_ all right, and went about his work. And after that Ruskin
and "ald Will Bell" were firm friends in spite of differences.

So Will Bell built the "Jump"--or, to be accurate, was master-builder,
employing at this job Mont. Barrow, well known to boat-owners on
Windermere for one of the most skilful of craftsmen, as his father
was before him--and one fine day in spring she was launched at the
boat-house with great ceremony. A wreath of daffodils was hung round
her bows, and Miss Martha Gale christened her, with this little
versicle which Ruskin made for the occasion:

    Waves give place to thee!
    Heaven send grace to thee!
    Fortune to ferry
    Kind hearts and merry!

There was one strange face in the group, one uninvited visitor. The
people then at the Hall were not successful managers, though they
had interested Ruskin, perhaps more through the idyllic prettiness of
their homestead than otherwise. He had helped to stave off the failure
by lending them £300, which they proposed to pay in geese! And the
stranger at the launch was the man in possession. Alas! for "these
consecrated walls," and the disillusionments of our Arcadia. Perhaps it
is wise to add, in plain words, that twenty years have wrought changes
at the Hall, and that the present tenants are quite different people.

[Illustration: (_Hargreaves, photographer_)


The "Jump," so launched at last, was always Ruskin's own boat, for his
private particular use. Sometimes as a special honour the favoured
guest was sent across the lake in her, rather than in a common boat;
but to say the truth, if it wasn't for the honour of the thing, as the
Irishman remarked when the bottom of the sedan-chair came out, we had
as soon walk round. She rode the waves beautifully, but you didn't
seem to get forrarder with her. Perhaps it was the fallacy of the
Scott Russell lines that made her heavy, or must we put all the blame
upon Ruskin? He tried to build a boat that would sail and row equally
well, and that is not easy. She was never sailed, though the model,
now in the Coniston Museum, is rigged. The "Jump," still on the water
and often used, is treasured, I think, chiefly as a relic--Ruskin's
flagship. When she is repainted, the old pattern round the gunwale,
his device, and the brilliant blue, his favourite colour, are always
reproduced, and she looks sound enough to outlast us all.

At a later time, when he was staying at Sandgate (1887-88), he reverted
to his fondness for boating, and had several very beautiful models
built and rigged by Charles Dalby, of Folkestone, a past-master in the
mystery. These models--the old Dover packet, old-style cutter and yawl,
and so forth--are still at Brantwood.

In the spring of 1882, during a visit to London, Mr. Froude described
to him the discovery of a Viking ship, which roused great interest.
Writing home, he sketched it endwise and sidewise, with notes of its
construction, and--"Froude told me she had a horse at the head."
To most of his readers Ruskin has been exclusively the arm-chair
philosopher, the dilettante of prints and pictures; but there was
a vein of the old blood in him, as in the rest of us, which warmed
to the rough sea-life that created Venice (read his prose poem
thereon in "Modern Painters," vol. v., "The Wings of the Lion"), and
England:--"Bare head, bare fist, bare foot, and blue jacket. If these
will not save us, nothing will." He has told me of talks with Carlyle,
who regretted he had not taken up the Kings of Norway earlier in life,
instead of Frederick the Great, and spent his better strength upon the
better subject; and Ruskin himself, though too late for evidences of
the taste to appear in his writings, liked to hear of our seafaring
ancestors of the North. It was a touch of this feeling that made him
so scornful of "sailing-machines," not calling them boats at all. He
would not even have a boat-house for his "Jump"; it would be too like
yachting, and she must lie on the beach, in open harbour, in the good
old way. When we used to laugh at Laurence Hilliard's "Snail," a
Morecambe Bay fisherman's craft that wouldn't go, Ruskin always took
her part. "You boys can't be content unless you are going fast. I won't
have her called the 'Snail'; she is--" and this with his own peculiar
lifting emphasis--"a Real Sea Boat."





There are two quite different sorts of garden lovers--those who raise
flowers, and those who look for the landscape effect. I shall be
scolded for saying so, but the first often make their gardens into
museums; very interesting, no doubt, but not so pleasant to live with
as the half-wild bit of ground--lawn, trees and shrubbery, without a
pane of glass in evidence--where there are just enough flowers, hardy
perennials perhaps, to give a touch of colour in their season, but in
the main a sense of green repose. I think the garden which the Lord
planted eastward in Eden was like that; a pleasance, where He could
walk in the cool of the evening with Adam, and Adam had no need to run
away, every minute, to look for slugs.

Ruskin, though he wrote about botany, and tried to be his own Linnæus,
and though he loved well enough to see flowers (especially wild ones)
on his table and outside his window, yet in his practical gardening
was quite the landscapist. He liked making paths and contriving pretty
nooks, building steps and bridges, laying out beds, woodcutting and so
forth; but I never remember him potting and grafting and layering and
budding; and as to the rarity of any plants in his garden, I believe he
took far more pleasure in the wood-anemone--Silvia, he called it--than
in anything buyable from the nurseryman's catalogue.

The Brantwood gardens as they now are, enlarged and tended by a
mistress who loves and understands flowers, and glorified by their
charming position on the shore of a mountain lake, are as near the
perfect blend of detailed interest and picturesque beauty as anything
can be in this northern climate. But they are not Ruskin's gardens.
When the first glass-house went up, he used to apologise for it to his
visitors; it was to please Mrs. Severn; it was to grow a few grapes for
his friends; he did not believe in hot-houses: and he would take you
up the steps he had contrived at the back of the house and point out
the tiny wild growths in their crannies, as he led the way to his own
private plot.

Sir Edwin Arnold, in a pleasant essay on Japanese rock-gardens,
quoting Ruskin on the beauty of stones, wonders whether he would not
have sympathised in these quaint tastes of the Far East. Ruskin had
little to say in praise of Japanese art as he knew it, because they
could not draw pretty figures, and he had no admiration for dwarfs
or monsters; but one cannot help thinking that if he had seen Japan,
and if it is all that travellers tell us, he might have written some
enthusiastic passages on a people who love stones for their own sake
and tub themselves daily. To him, his rock gardens were a joy for
ever; and in his working years he set an example of Lake-district
landscape-gardening which still, for all I know, remains unfollowed,
and is worth a few paragraphs of record. You can see little of it now.
During that last decade, when he wandered about his small domain like
the ghost of his former self, no one could carry on his work. The paths
he made and tended gradually became overgrown, the rocky watercourses
were choked with stones, his private plot filled with weeds, for he
could no longer dig in it; and now you can only trace what it has been
in the little solitude left sacred to memory.


It was in the heart of the wood, approached by the steps and winding
path--not gravelled, but true woodland track. About as large as a
cottager's kitchen-garden, it was fenced on two sides with a wooden
paling, and an old stone wall, mossy and ivied, kept off the trees
and their undergrowth on the higher side, up the hill. The trees, when
he came, were the coppice of the country, oak and hazel, periodically
cut down to the stubs, and used for turning bobbins and burning
charcoal. This clearance is always a sad thing for the moment, when
the leafy thicket is rased away, leaving bare earth and hacked stumps
and the toppings strewn about to rot into soil; but next spring there
are sure to be galaxies of primroses, if not daffodils and bluebells
to follow, and foxgloves as the summer goes on; and so the kindness
of nature heals the wound. Next year there are shoots from the stubs,
a miniature forest which might even attract a Japanese; and as the
saplings grow the flowers thin out, until in two or three seasons the
children wonder why there are no primroses in the primrose-wood, and
cannot believe they are gone to sleep for ten years. In the plantations
of larch and timber trees the great bracken takes the place of this
aftergrowth of flowerets, shooting up six or eight feet high where a
clearing gives it a chance, and then again dwindles as the trees regain
their strength, until under a well-grown larchwood there is nothing but
a soft, deep, tressy grass, not rank and full tinted like the sward of
the meadows, but grey-green and delicate and dry, though so thick and
rich that there is no easier couch for a woodland dreamer.

When Ruskin came to Brantwood he would have his coppice cut no more.
He let it grow, only taking off the weaker shoots and dead wood. It
spindled up to great tall stems, slender and sinuous, promising no
timber, and past the age for all commercial use or time-honoured wont.
Neighbours shook their heads, but they did not know the pictures of
Botticelli, and Ruskin had made his coppice into an early Italian
altar-piece. Among those slender-pillared aisles you would not be
surprised to see goddesses appear out of the green depths; and looking
westward, the sun-dazzle of the lake and the dark blue of the mountains
gazed in between the leaves. It was what the old Venetians had seen in
landward holidays and tried to remember for their backgrounds. That in
itself was one form of Ruskin's gardening. To keep his forest at this
delightful point of mystery, his billhook and gloves were always lying
on the hall table, and after the morning's writing he would go up to
the Brant (steep) Wood and chop for half an hour before luncheon. It
was not the heroic axe-work of Mr. Gladstone, but such pruning as a
Garden of Eden required to dress it and to keep it.

Then in that private plot he had his espalier of apples and a little
gooseberry patch and a few standard fruit-trees and some strawberries,
mixed with flowers. In one corner there were beehives in the
old-fashioned penthouse, trailed over with creepers. The fourth side
was unfenced, but parted from the wood by a deep and steep watercourse,
a succession of cascades (unless the weather were dry, which is not
often the case at Coniston) over hard slate rock. He used sometimes
humorously to complain of the trouble it cost him to keep the beck
clear of stones, and he could deduce you many a lesson in geology on
the way his rivulet filled, rather than deepened, its bed.

It was crossed by a rough wooden bridge. I remember at the building of
this bridge he was considerably annoyed because the workman, thinking
to please him with unusually rude lines, had made the planks so flimsy
that it was hardly safe. He insisted on solidity and security, though
his stone steps were so irregular as to contradict all the rules which
bid you make stairs in a flight equal, for fear of tripping your


Over the bridge and within the wood there were frequent hummocks and
bosses of rock pushing through the soil, and each with its special
interest of fern or flower. Many a visitor must have recalled or

    Who loved the little rock, and set
    Upon its head the coronet?

while Ruskin led the way, pointing out each trail of ivy (convolvulus
not allowed for fear of strangling the stems) and nest of moss, as
a gardener of the other species might point out his orchids. Then
suddenly forth of the wood you came upon the tennis-lawn--another
concession to youthful visitors, for he played no athletic games. But
in the creation of this glade he took the keenest delight, believing,
as he said, in diggings of all sorts. He was the engineer, and the work
was done in great part by the young people who were to play tennis on
the ground when it was levelled--a rather distant hope, but eventually
fulfilled. The tall, thin saplings have run up higher and higher all
round the green: on one side you look through their veil to the long
expanse of lake; on the other, up the dark, wooded hill; and on a
sunny afternoon it has a curious touch of poetry. There is no statue
on a pedestal or fountain playing in a basin, but on the mossy bank,
beneath the graceful lines of virginal forestry, Decamerons might have
been told. It is an oasis in the North-country farmer's neighbourhood,
this Lake district which the tripper thinks just "country" as God made
it, quoting Cowper, and not dreaming of the "native's" view that the
land is an unroofed mutton-factory, with every inch of it "proputty,
proputty, proputty."

I do not mean to imply that Ruskin's gardening was wilfully
anti-utilitarian. The charm of it was that it brought the natural
advantages and local usages into a new light, with just the refinement
of feeling which made a flight of steps into a rock-garden and a
tennis-ground into a Purist painter's glade. Who but he would have
planted his field with narcissus, scattered thinly among the grass,
to surprise you with a reminiscence of Vevey? And in the old garden
below, though he did not create it, you can trace his feeling in
the terraced zigzag of paths, hedged with apple and the cotoneaster
which flourishes at Coniston, and filled in with sloping patches of
strawberry and gooseberry. The average proprietor would have levelled
his walks and capped his dwarf walls with flat slabs. This irregularity
and cottage-garden business would have offended those new-comers who
buy a bit of nature at the Lakes and improve away all its beauties.

It was in the late 'seventies, when the first illness had forced him
to spend most of his time at Brantwood, and in the early 'eighties,
before final illness put an end to his activity, that Ruskin, having
completed his woodland paths and gardens, and all the "diggings" at his
harbour, went higher up the hill for new worlds to conquer. His bit of
moor above the wood was opened out into a new sort of garden, quite
as charming in its way as any other. It was a steep patch of hillside
grandly overlooking the lake, with a foreground of foliage below and
a background of mountains above; but as Nature left it--or rather as
Nature made it after the original wild growth of oak and birch and
holly had been cleared away by the charcoal-burners and sheep-farmers
of past centuries. Strongly marked ridges of slate-rock cropped out
slantwise, across and across the slope, their backs tufted over
with heather and juniper, and their hollows holding water in sodden
quagmires. Down the slope, from the bogs of the great moor behind,
rising to a thousand feet above the sea in some places, there were two
little streamlets which leapt the ridges and pooled in the hollows
among ferns and mosses. All the green fields and farms of the dalesmen
were once made out of such ground, and many of them at quite as great
a height; indeed the actual elevation of this plot nowhere reaches
five hundred feet. The problem was to take advantage of whatever
useful features the site afforded without destroying its native charm.
To drain and clear an intake and put it under grass, or to plant it
outright, had been done before; but that was to do away with the
moorland character altogether. Just as a portrait-painter studies to
pose his sitter in such a light and in such an attitude as to bring out
the most individual points and get the revelation of a personality, so
Ruskin studied his moor, to develop its resources.


First, there were the streams; and his old theory of saving the water
suggested impounding the trickle in a series of reservoirs; it might
be useful in case of drought or fire. So we were marshalled with pick
and spade every fair afternoon to the "Board of Works," as we called
it; and the old game of the Hinksey diggings was played over again. For
what reason I never clearly understood, juniper was condemned on the
moor as convolvulus in the wood: and every savin-bush, as it is called
in the district, was to be uprooted, while the heather was treasured,
in spite of the farmers' rule to burn the heather off, now and then,
for the sake of the grass which grows, for a while, in its place.
Ruskin always regretted these heather fires, for they do not really
make good grass-land, while they ruin the natural garden of ling and

When the basins were formed he found to his regret that no mere earthen
bank would hold the water; and skilled labour had to be called in to
build dams of stone and cement, less pretty than the concealed dyke he
had intended. But there was some consolation in devising sluices and
clever gates with long lever handles, artistically curved, to shut and
open the slit. One would have thought, sometimes, to see his eagerness
over these inventions, that he had missed his vocation; and he had
indeed a keen admiration for the civil engineer, wherever the road and
bridge, mine and harbour, did not come into open conflict with natural
beauties which he thought just as essential to human life as the
material advantages of business. And when his reservoirs were made, it
was a favourite entertainment to send up somebody to turn the water on
and produce a roaring cascade among the laurels opposite the front door.

Next, to illustrate his theory of reclaiming wastes, he set about his
moorland garden. At the upper corner of this beck-course there was
one ragged bit of ground against the fence wall. From the more rocky
parts we were set to carry the soil to make terraces, which we walled
up with the rough stones found in plenty under the surface. One wetter
patch was planted with cranberries, and some apple- and cherry-trees
were put in, where the soil was deep and drainage provided. No wall or
wire parted this little space of tillage from the wilder moor and its
rabbits, for the design was to enlarge the cultivated area and make
the moor a paradise of terraces like the top of the purgatorial mount
in Dante; and since this fragment of an experiment was completed, when
strength no longer allowed him to stride up to this once favourite
height, the whole has been left to Nature again. The apple-trees grew,
but untended; they still blossom. The cherries have run wild and are
left to the birds. The rough steps from the rock-platform to the
orchard terrace are disjointed, and fern is creeping through the grass.

    But yet from out the little hill
    Oozes the slender springlet still,

as it did in those old Brantwood days when we picked and shovelled
together, first unearthing its miniature ravine; and as perhaps
it may--for no one can foretell the fate of any sacred spot--when
the pilgrim of the future tries to identify by its help alone the
whereabouts of Ruskin's deserted garden.





In the Life of Ruskin three pages are given to his tour abroad in 1882,
a journey of importance to him, because at a critical moment it gave
him a new lease of life, and of unusual interest to his biographer, who
accompanied him as secretary, which is to say "man-jack-of-all-trades."
In such companionship much personality comes out; and the gossip of
this period, at greater length than the proportions of a biography
allowed, may help to fill in some of the details of his portrait.

Very much broken down in health, despairing of himself and his mission,
he left London on Thursday, August 10, 1882. Calais Tower roused none
of the old enthusiasm; he said rather bitterly, "I wonder how I came to
write about it." But even in his depression the habit of work made him
sketch once more the tracery of the Hôtel de Ville. He found out the
trick of its geometrical pattern, and explained it, delighted. Then the
old _chef_ at the Hôtel Dessein was still in the flesh, and remembered
former visits and sent up a capital dinner; so the first day on foreign
soil augured hopefully.

On the Saturday he woke up to sunshine at Laon, and took me round the
town, setting me to work on various points. He began a drawing of the
cathedral front, which he finished on the Monday before leaving. It was
always rather wonderful how he would make use of every moment, even
when ill-health and the fatigue of travelling might seem a good reason
for idling. At once on arriving anywhere he was ready to sketch, and up
to the minute of departure he went on with his drawing unperturbed. In
the afternoons he usually dropped the harder work of the morning, and
went for a ramble out into the country; at Laon the hayfields and pear
orchards south of the town gave him, it seemed, just as much pleasure
as Chamouni.

Reims bored him; the cathedral he called confectioner's Gothic, and he
could not get rid of the idea of champagne and all the vanities and
vulgarities which hang on to the very word. There was an ugly prison,
too, put up next the cathedral; and even St. Remi did not make amends.
So he hastened on to Troyes, spending a few hours between trains at
Châlons, where we "did" the town in the regular tourist fashion,
finding, however, beautiful features of early Gothic at Nôtre Dame and
the Madeleine.

At Troyes he spent the 17th, sketching hard at St. Urbain and the
cathedral, and next morning reached Sens, a place loved of old for
associations with parents and friends, and not less for its little
gutter-brooks in the streets, which he pointed out with a sort of
boyish glee. The afternoon walk in the valley of the Yonne and up
the chalk hills brought much talk of the geology of flints and the
especial charm of _coteau_ scenery, which he said had never been cared
for until Turner saw it and glorified this comparatively humble aspect
of mountains in the "Rivers of France." He set me to draw the defaced
statues on the porch of the cathedral, the "finest north of Alps" he
declared; but we were getting on rather too fast, and he began to feel
the reaction of fatigue. The weather was sultry, and on the 19th our
journey to Avallon was followed by distant thunder-storms.

At Avallon he stayed till the end of the month. The place was new
to him, but I think he was attracted to it by one of those obscure
associations which so often ran in his mind--it must be interesting
because it was named Avallon--Avalon he called it always, dominated
by the idea of the island-valley of repose where King Arthur found
the immortality of fairyland. The first morning's work at the early
church of St. Ladre, and the first afternoon's walk down the valley
of the Cousin, with brilliant ling in blossom among bold red granite
rocks, fully justified his choice. The town, on its Durham-like hill,
swept round by the deep river-course, and unspoilt by modernisms, and
the wooded, flowery, rocky neighbourhood, full of all that is most
charming in French scenery--there are Roman remains, too, but of these
he took less note--and the curious details of the twelfth-century
church all attracted him mightily. The only drawback was the weather,
which broke down with the thunder and gave us cold east winds and dark
haze, in which sketching was a penance. This told upon him at once;
he even dined alone, wearied out of evenings, and still trying to fix
his mind on the writing work he always took with him--in this instance
the new edition of "Sesame and Lilies" and the "Bible of Amiens." He
burned the candle at both ends; out early to draw elusive detail of
battered sculptures, walking far in the afternoon, and writing hard at
night, impatient of remonstrance even from those who were much better
qualified to order him about than a secretary.

To meet him here came Mr. Frank Randal, who was employed on drawings
for "St. George's Work," and making bright, sunny sketches in which
the neatest of outline was reconciled with the freshest of colouring.
Also came his friend, Mr. Maundrell, to whom I take this chance of
offering an apology which makes me blush to record. Among Ruskin's
drawings was one, much in his Proutesque style, of a chapel at Rue,
near Abbeville. It had been passed as his, when Mrs. Severn went
through the portfolios with him, noting the subjects on the back of the
mounts; and--with some hesitation, I confess, and neglect of the good
rule "When in doubt, don't"--it was shown at both Ruskin Exhibitions as
a work by the master, and greatly admired. Too late for correction, it
was found to be Mr. Maundrell's. Others have nearly caught Ruskin's
style at times--"Bunney's, not mine," he has written on sketches by
an assistant, for this very reason; but for all the more important
drawings there is a good pedigree, and most of the smaller bits which
have been shown or published have come from his sketch-books.

One good excursion from Avallon was to the church of Vézelay, the
twelfth-century place elaborately restored by Viollet-le-Duc, and
interesting for the meeting of Richard Cœur-de-Lion with the other
leaders of the Crusade famous in "Ivanhoe" and "The Talisman." To
Ruskin any restoration meant ruin; but as he went round the aisles,
disdainful at first but gradually warming to the intelligence and skill
of the great modern architect, he confessed that if restoration might
be done at all it could not be better done. What pleased him much more
was a hunt, on the way back, for the exact spot where the Avallon
granite joined the limestone; he found the two rocks side by side in a
hummock near the road, and was triumphant.

Montréal was another place of pilgrimage, and there the church with
quaint wood-carvings and the picturesque village gave him a happy day.
In his diary (on which see the next chapter) he scolded himself, after
this excursion, for forgetting the good times; of a walk in the rain
to the little oratory of St. Jean des Bons Hommes he said: "I ought to
vignette it for a title to my books!" and of the Avallon neighbourhood
he notes: "Altogether lovely, and like Dovedale and the Meuse and the
glens of Fribourg in all that each has of best, and like Chamouni in
granite cleavage, and like--itself, in sweet French looks and ways....
The miraculous fairy valley ... one of the sweetest ever made by
heaven. The Cyclopean walls, of blocks seven and eight feet long, and
three feet thick--the largest--all averaging two and a half (feet)
cube, at a guess, laid with their smooth cleavages to the outside,
fitted like mosaic--the chinks filled with smaller stones, altogether
peculiar to this district of cleaving, and little twisting, granite."
It was not only the scenery that he cared for, but the evidences of
happy pastoral life, adapting Nature's gifts to human needs. But when,
off the kindly granite and on the cold, grey limestone country, we
passed a forlorn homestead, ruinous and dirty, he shrank back in the
carriage, as if some one had thrown a stone at him.

On the last day of August he left Avallon, and with a short stay at
Sémur reached his old quarters at the Hôtel de la Cloche, Dijon. He was
already contemplating "Præterita," picking up the memories of early
days, and planning a drive by the old road through Jura as his parents
used to do it in the pre-railway period. He began by showing me where
he bit his "Seven Lamps" plate in the wash-hand basin, and where Nurse
Anne used to wake him of mornings. Meanwhile, for the book to be called
"Our Fathers have told us," continuing "The Bible of Amiens," he would
spend two days with the monks. Cîteaux, the home of the Cistercians,
was the first day's trip, marred by the heat and dust, and by finding
all vestiges of the monks replaced by an industrial school of the
ugliest, which, nevertheless, he inspected with nicely restrained
impatience. A moated grange on the wayside homeward caught his eye, and
as he sketched it he tried to make me believe that this must at least
be a bit of the monks' work, and the journey not in vain. But next day
there were far more interesting experiences in a visit to St. Bernard's
birthplace. He has described this fully in his lecture called "Mending
the Sieve," in the volume of "Verona, &c.," and I need only recall the
surprise of a bystander not wholly unsympathetic, when Ruskin knelt
down on the spot of the great saint's nativity, and stayed long in
prayer. He was little given to outward show of piety, and his talk,
though enthusiastic, had been no preparation for this burst of intense

Later on the same day (Saturday, September 2) he left Dijon for the
Jura drive. We passed Poligny, a usual resting-place in bygone
journeys, by train, and stayed at Champagnole, where the old Hôtel de
la Poste used to be one of his "homes." It had been splendid weather
for the last few days, after a cold August in Central France; and the
first Jura walk was across the hill to the gorge of the Ain. I had
often been through the Jura, as a blind, benighted modern, but never
before loitered from slab to slab of its fissured limestone summits,
looking for the foreground loveliness of nestling flowers which
contrast so delicately with the quaint, crannied rock; there is nothing
which gives the same lyrical feeling except some of Nature's gardens
in wild Icelandic lava-fields. How eager he was, and delighted with
this open upland! You know there is only one place where he speaks of
"liberty" as a good thing, and there it means the liberty of this Jura
walk, enjoyed that afternoon.

By-and-by we came to a wood. He cast about a little for the way through
the trees, then bade me notice that the flowers of spring were gone:
"You ought to have seen the wood-anemones, and oxalis, and violets";
and then, picking his steps to find the exact spot by a twisted
larch-tree, and gripping my arm to hold me back on the brink of the
abyss, "That's where the hawk sailed off the crag, in one of my old
books; do you remember?"



There were thunder clouds over the plain-country that evening, and we
made no stop to sketch. On our drive next day up to the flat, high
country of St. Laurent, with its pine forests and scattered cottages,
and down into Morez, the weather worsened. Thence the road climbs by
the side of the valley to the highest back of Jura at Les Rousses; the
road, he says, "walked most of the way, was mere enchantment." At a
halt I sketched, when a break in the clouds gave sunbeams darting into
the valley beneath, and wisps of white wreathed the steep forests.
You see where he got that beautiful cadence to a fine passage, after
comparing the Jura upland with a Yorkshire moor, and contrasting the
becks of our fells with the enchanted silence of open Jura. "The
raincloud clasps her cliffs, and floats along her fields; it passes,
and in an hour the rocks are dry, and only beads of dew left in the
Alchemilla leaves--but of rivulet or brook, no vestige, yesterday
or to-day or to-morrow. Through unseen fissures and filmy crannies
the waters of cliff and plain have alike vanished; only far down in
the depth of the main valley glides the strong river, unconscious of

Up at Les Rousses he pointed out the fort, then in building or newly
built, with scorn--as if the Swiss on the one side or the French on
the other could be kept in their bounds by stone walls, when real war
comes; and then crossing the frontier there was the elation of getting
into Switzerland. "Why do you like it better than France?" he asked.
I was just trying to say why, that it is a free country and some more
innocent gush, when the Swiss Customs officers ran up, and insisted
on overhauling us, for they don't often see travellers as in the old
days at Les Rousses. I was mightily crestfallen and he not a little
delighted at this exemplification of "liberty"; but he did not make the
incident a horrid example in "Præterita."

Here we diverged a little from the old road of his youth, by going east
a few miles to St. Cergues instead of making for the Col de la Faucille
at once. The clean inn delighted him; pine boards on the floor,
scrubbed white, and no needless furniture. Here he said we should stay
a week and rest; he had much to write--first ideas for "Præterita,"
you understand. But the next days were wet, and he sat in his bedroom
writing diligently at first, while I caught some bright intervals for a
sketch, though we never saw the line of the Alps quite clear.

In the lecture on "the Storm Cloud of the Nineteenth Century," one of
his least convincing though most sincerely meant utterances, there
are references to the strange weather of those days. All the way up
from Morez he wanted me to come into the carriage and shut the window
because of a treacherous east wind, and in my sketch you can see a
certain smoky, not only thundery, look in the clouds. At St. Cergues
this east wind haze was still more pronounced, the Lake of Geneva
ruffled and white, with patches of shadow from small "sailor-boy"
clouds, while the whole range opposite was not exactly shrouded but
veiled in a persistent thickness of air. Above, the sky was bright,
with blue and streaky cirrus, and between the showers the sun glittered
on the trees. That fitful wind with the brownish-grey haze he called
the plague-wind, and in all his lecture there is no very definite
explanation of it, but much declamation against it as the ruin of
landscape, and some vague hints of portent, almost as if he had been a
prophet of old seeing the burden of modern Babylon in the darkened sun.

It is smoke. Any one who haunts our Lake district hills knows it well.
On coronation night I saw it trailing from Barrow and Carnforth up
the Lune valley as far as Tebay, always low and level, leaving the
upper hills clear, perfectly continuous and distinct from the mist of
water. This winter, from the top of Wetherlam on a brilliant frosty
day, I saw it gradually invade the Lake district from the south-east;
the horizontal, clean-cut, upper surface at about 2000 feet; the body
of it dun and semi-transparent; its thick veil fouling the little
cotton-woolly clouds that nestled in the coves of the Kirkstone group,
quite separate from the smoke-pall; and by sunset it had reached to
Dungeon Gill, leaving the Bow Fell valleys clear. Coming down by
moonlight I found the dales in a dry, cold fog, and heard that there
had been no sunshine at Coniston that afternoon. This is Ruskin's
plague-cloud, and the real enemy of the weather not only in England but
in the Alps. You will see it, according to the wind, on either side of
Zurich most notably, and the distance this blight will travel is more
than the casual reader might believe. A strong wind carries it away,
but only to deposit it somewhere else, cutting off the sun's rays, and
breeding rain and storm. This was not understood twenty years ago, but
Ruskin's observations of the weather were perfectly accurate and
his regrets at the changed aspect of Alpine landscape were only too



On Thursday, September 7, he had tired of dull weather at St. Cergues,
and written up his notes for "Præterita"; he proposed to climb the Dôle
and get onward to Geneva. It is a very easy walk of about a couple of
hours up the gently sloping backs of the Helvellyn-like Jura range; and
from its top one should get a grand view of the lake and the Alps to
Mont Blanc. He walked up as briskly as ever; there was a cold wind but
sun overhead, though the mountains to the south and east were still in
the "plague-cloud." There was no sketching to be done, and we followed
the ridge down to the Col de la Faucille. If you look at his map of
the Jura, facsimiled at page 109 of this volume, the Col is where the
road suddenly turns round into zigzags after going straight south-west
behind the Dôle; and you remember how he names the whole chapter from
this one spot, as a chief landmark in his memories, for there he always
used to get his first full view of the "Mount Beloved." Few travellers
know it, he says; but it is far from unknown to all who have lived in
la Suisse Romande. There, they take school-children up mountains. Far
better than Helvellyn is known to the English school child, the "dear
Dôle" is known to every youngster who has learnt to sing (to the tune
of "Life let us cherish") the song of

    La Suisse est belle,
    Oh qu'il la faut chérir!

We were not quite without our view. For a moment, too short for a
sketch, Mont Blanc loomed through the dull haze, red in the sunset,
brick red, not Alpine rose; and then all was grey. We found our
carriage and drove down. I was waked in the darkness by Ruskin saying,
"This is where Voltaire lived." "Oh, indeed!" said I.

Next morning, from his old front rooms at the Hôtel des Bergues, where
he had already begun a sketch of the houses opposite, merely for
love of them, we went out in the heat to see the Rhône. All the haze
had gone, at least from the nearer view, and he seemed never tired of
looking at the water from the footbridge and wherever it was visible.
I wondered why he would not come on; but now I know. "Fifteen feet
thick--of not flowing but flying water"--I will not quote the wonderful
pages which every lover of Ruskin, of landscape, and of English
undefiled, must know--the "one mighty wave that was always itself, and
every fluted swirl of it constant as the wreathing of a shell"; and
then the bit about its blue, and "the innocent way" of it, and its
dancing and rippling and glittering, "and the dear old decrepit town
as safe in the embracing sweep of it as if it were set in a brooch of
sapphire"--that was what he was thinking, and storing up in his mind
the famous description which showed that even so late, in shattered
health and, as people said, impaired powers, he could talk and write as
brilliantly as ever.

That afternoon in the glaring sunshine we drove out of Geneva through
suburban villadom--he much amused at the modern fashion of house-names,
"Mon Repos," "Chez Nous," and so forth--towards Monnetier. He was at
the moment healthily interested in Alpine structure, the geology of
scenery, and could forget "St. George" in his eagerness to expound his
views on the cleavage of the Salève. I made a slight note of the lines,
the cathedral-like buttresses which flank the level-bedded masonry of
the great mountain-wall with masses of a different rock, vertically
cloven; and the gorge of Monnetier which cuts the range across with an
unexpected breach; and we went over his old debate with the Genevese
geologists. Then we climbed the Echelle, and from the top found the
Annecy Alps fairly clear, but I think the same heaviness over the
greater snow-peaks. At last we reached Mornex, his old home in the
'sixties, when he was writing "Munera Pulveris" and first seriously
grappling with the social problems which afterwards became his chief
theme in so many lectures and books.


A letter he wrote that evening, to describe the visit, has recently
been published; how he found his old house a restaurant, with people
drinking on the terrace. He was, though he did not say so, rather cast
down by the change--he who always deplored changes; but brightened when
the landlord guessed who he must be, and quite cheered up--with that
last infirmity of noble minds--on hearing that the English sometimes
came to see Ruskin's house. Indeed, it was more his home than many a
house in England where he spent longer years, for it was of choice, not
of necessity, that he lived there, and would have continued there to
his own great advantage but for his father's death, which recalled him
to the care of his widowed mother.

One phrase in that letter as now printed seems to have pained and
alarmed some of his friends; but surely without cause. He says to
account for beginning his letter on the wrong side of the paper--as
most people seem to do nowadays--that he had taken a glass too much
Burgundy. The son of the sherry-merchant, with old-fashioned notions on
the fitness of things, always took a glass or two of wine at dinner;
one of his sayings was, "A glass of good wine never hurt anybody."
But I am sure all his personal friends will bear me out that it never
went beyond the glass or two. He was no drinker, and his very strong
anti-teetotal attitude was simply the expression of his own habitual
and easy temperance. That evening's dinner I remember well. After our
walk from Veyrier to Pont d'Etrembières, and more sauntering by the
Rhône in a beautiful red sunset, we came in late. At table we had some
debate about the pictures on the walls of the hotel sitting-room, and
he would not have it that Madame Vigée Lebrun's portrait of herself and
her daughter was charming. "No decent woman," he said, "would paint
herself with bare arms, like that!"--which was quite his usual way of
thinking about a much-discussed question of art. And then we settled to
a little after-dinner writing, and you will not be surprised if we both
nodded over our pens after that long hot day--_and_, of course, the





So it is lettered on the back; but his titles, as every one knows, are
far-fetched. There are some accounts in this volume, but most of it is
filled with a diary of the tour abroad in 1882, and subsequent entries,
very neatly written; the red lines for £ _s._ _d._ serving to keep the
manuscript within margins, just like print.

Ruskin's journals, I understand, are not to be published. The bulk of
their contents--landscape descriptions and various notes on natural
history, architecture, and many different subjects--have been worked
into his books. The remainder consists of daily jottings about the
weather, always important to one whose chief pleasure was in scenery,
with fragmentary hints of his occupations or travels, and still more
fragmentary mention of persons. They are not exactly memoranda; still
less the memoirs of a literary man, written with one eye on the public.
They are mere soliloquies of the moment, gossip of himself to himself
before breakfast.

While he lived, though I had often occasion to refer to these journals,
I never felt quite at liberty to open this "Cashbook," with its
private notes on a period when I was practically alone with him; his
valet, Baxter, was also of the party, but at meals and at work, on
walks and drives, he had usually to put up with my company. He was
exceedingly and unfailingly kind, but exacting; it would have needed
great self-confidence to be sure of his good opinion. But now that
these papers require it, to paint his portrait as he was at that time,
I have taken advantage of Mrs. Severn's kind leave; and in continuing
the story of the tour I can sometimes add to my reminiscences Ruskin's
impressions on the spot as recorded by himself.

From Geneva we went up to Sallenches (September 9, 1882), hoping to see
the Alps, in spite of the smoke-cloud. He was at the moment thinking
and talking chiefly of "artistic geology," if one may coin a parallel
to "artistic anatomy"--the old subject of his "Modern Painters," vol.
iv. In the chapter on the Old Road I said _healthily_ interested, for
any work on Nature was good for him personally, and this tour was for
the sake of health after long and recurrent attacks of illness.

In those days, and to the few who cared much more for himself than
his mission, St. George and St. Benedict were the enemies; his Guild
and all the worries connected with it, and his ethico-socio-political
meditations, mixed with much wandering into Greek and mediæval
mythology, always meant mischief to him. So after the visit to Cîteaux
and the birthplace of St. Bernard, it was good to see him eager for
the mountains, and looking out for well-known twists in the limestone
strata, and clefts and cascades, points of view and distant glimpses,
all the way up the valley. If only the smoke-cloud would lift, and
a spell of fair weather would tempt him to linger among the Alps,
hammering rocks and sketching cottages, the object of the journey would
be gained.

There was a horrid new road being made high up on the flank of his
favourite mountain, the Brezon, whose top he had wanted to possess. At
Cluses, what were those sticks in the meadow? I asked; and learnt that
they marked out the long-intended railway. A railway in the valley of
the Arve! It meant to him simply the end of all that made the glory and
grandeur of this classic ground. But he was partly comforted by the
thought that after all it might not be, or, at least, not in his time.
Maglans and the Nant d'Arpenaz were still as Turner painted them; and
though his old familiar resting-place at St. Martin was no longer open
as an inn, we could stay across the valley at Sallenches, within easy
walks of many favourite haunts.

The next day was Sunday, which he usually spent more quietly than other
days. We took the walk his father and he used to take on many Sundays
passed in that neighbourhood, up a glen to the south of the village.
In his diary that day he began an analysis of the Psalms--he had been
taking them for his morning Bible-readings; and I find that at St.
Cergues, on the 5th, he had thankfully noted the arrival of a telegram
with good news from home, just as he was reading me the 104th Psalm.
He did not hold "family prayers" as a habit, but sometimes when he was
delighted with a nice chapter he couldn't keep it to himself.



Early next morning Mont Blanc was clear, though soon clouded (the diary
is quoted in the "Storm-cloud" lecture); and then, in pursuance of the
geology study he had begun he set to work "to do a little Deucalion,"
but opened Job instead, at xi. 16, and read on "with comfort" the
"glorious natural history" of the old book. Next day he noted the
second speech of Zophar as "the leading piece of political economy"
which he ought to have quoted in "Fors."

In spite of the dull weather we had a good ramble up the valley he
called "Norton's Glen," from the remembrance of walks there with
Professor Charles Eliot Norton; and though sketching was little use, he
was happy in the contemplation of boulders. It was in coming down from
that walk (if I remember right; the diary does not mention it) that I
got such a scolding for proposing to extract a fossil from a stone in a
vineyard terrace-wall: "You bad boy! Have you no respect for property?"
or words to that effect; and I had to leave the specimen _in situ_.
But next day I "scored" with a careful drawing of the Nant d'Arpenaz,
disentangling the contorted beds of limestone; and in the diary is a
copy from my sketch, a subject, he said, he had often tried in vain. On
the way back to Sallenches we looked at the old Hôtel du Mont Blanc at
St. Martin, which gives a title to one of the chapters of "Præterita,"
and need not be described here; but he was so taken with it and its
memories that he asked whether it was for sale, and really formed a
plan of buying it, and coming to live there. The diary gives various
reasons, ending with one of the oddest; I had made some verses about
the place, rather on the lines his talk had suggested, but ending with
more optimism, and these, too, he notes, contributed to the "leadings"
which pointed him to a new home in Savoy. A little later there came a
letter addressed to "MM. Ruskin et Collingwood"--"Quite like a firm,"
he said; "I wonder what they think we're travelling in; but I hope
we'll always be partners"--the terms of the offer I forget, but they
did not seem practicable, or Coniston might have known him no more.

At least, it was possible, and it would have been good in many ways
for him; but there were ties to think of. Next day, after rain in the
valley and snow on the Varens, and swallows gathering in crowds along
the eaves and cornices of the square, there was a grand clearance
at sunset, and he wrote to Miss Beever the note printed in "Hortus
Inclusus" about seeing Mont Blanc--"a sight which always redeems me
to what I am capable of at my poor little best, and to what loves and
memories are most precious to me. So I write to _you_, one of the
few true loves left. The snow has fallen fresh on the hills, and it
makes me feel that I must soon be seeking shelter at Brantwood and
the Thwaite." And yet he was greatly tempted to stay. On the splendid
morning which followed he wrote in his journal, "Perfect light on the
Dorons, and the Varens a miracle of aerial majesty. I--happy in a more
solemn way than of old. Read a bit of Ezra and referred to Haggai ii.
9--'In this place will I give peace.'"



Letters, however, were expected at Geneva, and with many plans for Sixt
and Chamouni he turned his back on Sallenches for the time and had
a "marvellous drive through the valley of Cluse; C---- sectionising
(making notes of limestone strata) all the way. Divine walk to old
spring under Brezon." Then he reproves himself for his annoyance at
the "plague-wind" and tiresome letters at Geneva, "for I shall try to
remember the Aiguille de Bionassay of the 13th at evening and the Nant
d'Arpenaz looked back at yesterday morning--with my morning walk once
more among the dew above Sallenches--for ever and a day."

Without keeping constantly before one's mind his passionate love of
scenery it is impossible to put a right estimate on much that he has
written. There are comparatively few people whose chief pleasure is
in taking a walk and looking at the country, without any notion of
sport or games to eke out the interest. It is true that he sketched
and wrote, but his pleasure was in seeing. It was his admiration of
Nature that had brought him to admire Art in his youth, and I think it
is not too much to say that Art was always a secondary thing to him
personally. The desire to see Art healthily and nobly practised made
him study the life of the craftsman and the craftsman's surroundings,
spiritual and material. The material needs of Victorian society pressed
upon him "Unto this Last" and "St. George"; the spiritual needs drove
him back upon ancient religious ideals, "The Queen of the Air" and "St.
Benedict." All these various strands of thought were closely woven
together in his life, but from the beginning to the end the love for
natural scenery was the core of the cable. You gather already from this
"Cashbook" that a few days among the Alps had quite restored him to
physical strength, and given him hopes and happiness.

On Saturday, September 16, we left Geneva for Annecy, intending more
limestone geology, and thenceforward had many days' driving with the
"Mephistopheles coachman and the Black Dog," as he put it at first.
Later on he became enthusiastic over the same coachman for his capital
driving and care of his horses, and because of the story of the dog
Tom, whom, the man said, he had rescued from death at the hands of an
American owner at Nice. Tom, with his spiked fur collar, was usually
absent at the start. The driver said he was shut up so that he might
not annoy Messieurs; but he always appeared, was scolded, and forgiven,
and petted for the rest of the way. Affection for animals appealed to
Ruskin, and in France one sees much of it. On one of these drives we
stopped for lunch out of doors before a wayside inn. To this lunch
there came a little dog, two cats, and a pet sheep, and shared our
wine, bread, and Savoy sponge-cakes. The sheep at last got to putting
its feet on the table, and the landlady rushed out and carried him off
in her arms into the house; but Ruskin, I think, would quite as soon
have let the creature stay. At Annecy the landlord told me stories of
his big St. Bernard dog, how he was defended from other dogs by the
cat, and how sometimes they quarrelled, and then the dog had to go
and sit on the mat out of doors until the cat had forgiven him; how
the cat also was in the habit of catching swallows on the wing, and
bringing them in to show--as, certainly, cats do with the mice they
catch--and then she would let them go uninjured. This delighted Ruskin
at dinner, and may have suggested the dream which I see he records in
his "Cashbook"--"dreamt of a fine old lion who was quite good if he
wasn't kept prisoner; but when I had got him out, I didn't know what
to do with him." The parting with Tom and his master I have mentioned
elsewhere--how he gave the man twenty francs for a _bonne main_ and two
francs over for a _bonne patte_, he said, to the dog!



At Annecy, in the pleasant Hôtel Verdun, he confessed himself already
stronger, and fit for anything but proofs and business letters; but the
"plague-cloud" still hung over the view. He noted that the smoke from
the factory chimneys could not be told from the clouds except by its
density, and mixed with the mist so as to throw a pall over the lake
from the town to the Tournette--the great mountain of the neighbourhood
above Talloires. But still he did not see that the black, ragged, dirty
weather was caused by the smoke, though he compared it with a London
November. The nearer scenery was visible and beautiful. The blue lake,
always blue, with a light of its own, and Talloires, with pleasant
associations and unspoiled surroundings of most romantic character,
charmed him as of old. We drove there the first Sunday; he took me up
to Eugène Sue's house and then on to the cascade, two and a half hours'
walk, and then sauntered among the vineyards and along the bay, under
the plane-tree avenues, driving home in an open carriage, and said he
had not spent such an idle day for ten years. Next day we "did" the
Gorge of the Fier, and discussed the possible causes of this great
ravine, through which the river plunges so unexpectedly and, one would
think, unnecessarily. Then to Talloires again, and planned return for

Meanwhile he had made appointments in Italy. He talked of a rush to
Rome and hasty visits to Lucca and Florence, coming back soon to the
Alps. But this turned out to be a longer journey than he had meant.
His seal-motto was "To-day," and the business of the moment was always
the most important with him; and so the Italian tour was prolonged to
nearly two months. It ended in his catching a thorough cold at Pisa
through sketching in November winds, and in his longing for the clear
air of the Alps again, before returning to London for the lecture he
had promised to give in December. This was the lecture announced as
"Crystallography," but delivered as "Cistercian Architecture," about
which he said, joking at his own expense, that it would probably have
come to much the same thing whatever the title had been. I did not
quite see why he should lecture on either; but he declared himself
quite well, and as we had dropped crystallography--the chief subject
before the tour--for cathedrals and abbeys in Italy, he shut himself
up at Pisa, cold and all, to write his lecture. Then having, as he
thought, mastered it, we ran north. He wanted to stay at St. Michel,
a favourite place on the Mont Cenis line, but high, and likely to be
bleak in November for a man with a bad cold, I thought--very possibly
mistaken. I took tickets for Aix-les-Bains, and we had our only quarrel
on that trip. I felt particularly guilty as he recounted to me, in an
injured tone, the horrors of Aix, the one place he abominated, and the
beauties of St. Michel, while the train climbed the Dora valley to
Bardonecchia in fairly fine weather.

On the French side it was deep snow and bitter weather as we ran
down to Aix. The next day was delightful, but I always shirked the
recollection of my misdemeanour until I found how his diary-entries
ignored it. "The cold's quite gone! Friday in glowing sunshine, Pisa
to Turin; Saturday in frightful damp and cold, Turin to Aix; but quite
easy days both. Sun coming out now. Dent de Bourget over mist and low
cloud, very lovely, as I dressed."

The next entry I copy because it shows that he was not as entirely
hostile to railways as the casual reader imagines. Writing of the
ride to Annecy he says in the "Cashbook": "An entirely divine
railway-_coupé_ drive from Aix by the river gorges; one enchantment of
golden trees and ruby hills." But it was a splendid day. In clumsier
phrasing I wrote home of "all the prettiest autumn colours that ever
were made out of remnants of old rainbows patched up into a gala dress
for the world."

[Illustration: A SAVOY TOWN IN SNOW]

At Annecy we delayed only long enough for me to get rooms in the
Hôtel de l'Abbaye at Talloires, where we stayed from the 14th to
the 22nd in stormy, snowy weather. He was quite well at first, and
proud of leading the way down the steep mountain-tracks--well known
to him--in the dark after long walks; but some days we could not
get out at all. I sat writing by the log fire in the dining-room;
he preferring his bedroom, with what glimpses could be got of the
lake through snowstorms; and in the night the wind howled through
deserted corridors--for the place was once a real monastery--until it
became quite uncanny. His bad dreams had gone, but he could not get
exercise enough to sleep well. The lecture was variously rewritten,
monks and myths chasing one another through his brain, instead of the
crystal-cleavages and rock-forms he had set out to study. St. Benedict
had been too strong for us, and the ghost of St. Bernard of Talloires
(or of Menthon, not the St. Bernard of his former pilgrimage, but a
tenth-century hermit, whose cave is still shown) who saw "not the Lake
of Annecy, but the dead between Martigny and Aosta," and founded the
hospice that bears his name--as Ruskin would fain have founded, in
another way, a refuge for those who fall in the nineteenth-century
struggle for life; but fell himself in attempting it.

I did not know at the time that he was meditating a return to his
Professorship at Oxford. He kept that a secret, and sent me off on a
special mission to draw Alps in snow. Rejoining him at Geneva I found
him in the depths of misery, with the weather bad and his work going
too slowly forward, and the glamour all gone out of his "mother town"
of Geneva, "or what was once Geneva," he said, ruined by touristry and
luxury into a mere suburb of Paris, which was a suburb of hell. So
through cold and flooded France he took his way homeward. At Paris,
Hôtel Meurice was no longer what it had been; the pneumatic clock in
his room, with its minute-gun of a tick and a jerk, got on his nerves,
and he demanded of the bewildered waiter that it should be stopped. The
Tuileries were in ruins, placarded for sale as building material. In
the bookshops he could not buy the books he sought, but, as it seemed,
only photographs of actresses. The Louvre, even, in such surroundings
gave him only suggestions of irritation. And it was a thankful
secretary who saw him safely over the Channel and back to Herne Hill on
the first Saturday in December.

But the journey was not a failure. At Lucca he made some of his best
drawings, and the descriptive passages in "Præterita" and elsewhere,
written on that tour, or from notes then made, are among his finest;
and he was able to write in his "Cashbook" on December 3: "Slept well,
and hope to be fit for lecture to-morrow; very happy in showing our
drawings and complete sense of rest after three months' tossing."
Early in the next year he found himself able to take up his old work
at Oxford, and for awhile--but only for awhile--it seemed that the
storm-cloud of his life had cleared away.





On Friday, September 22, 1882, we were at Turin. "Filthy city," Ruskin
wrote in his diary. "One pestilence now of noise and smoke; and I got
fearfully sad and discouraged, not only by this, but by not caring the
least any more for my old pets of pictures, and not being able to see
the minerals in close, dark rooms." But he adds, "Note the unique white
amianth," and so forth, and he seemed to know the collection by heart.
As to the pictures, the way he pointed out how Vandyck _enjoyed_ the
laying on of his colour, in a portrait of King Charles, gloating over
the horse's mane and the delicate dexterity of the armour, makes me
hope that even the steam tramways of Turin had not utterly darkened his

Once out of the town his spirits rose. "Alps clear, within twenty
or thirty miles of Monte Viso; then through sandhills of Brà to
Montenotte, down among the strange mounds and dells of the Apennine
gneiss, to Savona walled down to the sea, beside a dismantled fortress
which is certainly one of Turner's late subjects. Then among the olives
and palms, and by the green serpentines, under darkening clouds, with
constant boom and sigh of waves, to Cogoleto." But at Genoa the Sunday
was "a day of disgust at all things. Proud palaces, foolish little St.
Georges over their doors. Duomo in my pet style, not doing it credit;
and a long climb over rocks, and road of black limestone veined with
white, commanding all the heaps, rather than hills, of the mouldering
earth, looking almost barren in its dull grass, on which the suburbs
of Genoa, hamlet and villa, are scattered far and wide; the vast new
cemetery, their principal object of view and glorification, seen by the
winding of the waterless river-bed."

To most of us there is nothing more exhilarating than the
platform-shout when the south express starts--"Parrr--tenza per
Spezia--Pisa--Livorno--Firenze--Civitavecchia--Roooma!" and the
clattering dash through tunnel after tunnel, among the rocks and green
breakers of that wonderful coast. But it only worried and unnerved him.
It was not his old road.

It was dull weather at Pisa after the first dewy morning for the Campo
Santo; and there were "entirely diabolical" trams and chimneys in the
town since his last visit. The streets, every reach of them loved of
old for some jewel of mellowed architecture, were changing with modern
progress. The town was noisier and dirtier than in days of yore. He
had come to meet Nicola Pisano and company; but the ghosts wouldn't
rise. "Penny whistles from the railroad perpetual, and view of town
from river totally destroyed by iron pedestrian bridge. Lay awake very
sad from one to half-past four, but when I sleep my dreams are now
almost always pleasant, often very rational. A really rather beautiful
one of consoling an idiot youth who had been driven fierce, and making
him gentle, might be a lesson about Italy. But what is Italy without
her sky--or her religion?" So he broke off work in the Baptistery on
Michaelmas Day at noon, and ordered the carriage for Lucca.


Every one knows the route; over the Maremma, between the sea and the
mountains. Peaks of Carrara clouded to the north; ruins of Ripafratta
frowning over the crags; "vines, olives, precipices." At last you see
a neat little town, boxed up in four neat walls, with rows of trees on
the ramparts and towers looking over the trees; it is just like the
mediæval town in the background of a triptych. Silk-mills there are,
but not in evidence--at least, so it was twenty years ago.

As we drove up to the gate that afternoon the Customs officers turned
out, and we laughed when the coachman shouted: "English family! Nothing
to declare!" and the officers bowed, unquestioning. "So much nicer,
isn't it?" said Ruskin, "than being bundled about among trucks and all
the hideous things they heap round railway stations"; and in a few
minutes we were in front of the Hotel Royal of the Universe. Signor
Ruskino was expected; family and servants were at the door; everybody
shook hands. The cook was busy with the dinner, I think; for when we
had seen our rooms--he took the plainest of the tall, partitioned suite
with rococo decorations, palatial but tarnished--"First," he said, "I
must go and see the cook"; and so away to the kitchen.

He was patient of life's little worries; but he liked a good dinner
when it was there. I remember the serviette full of crumbly chestnuts,
and the Hermitage--afternoon sun meanwhile beating through half-shut
persianes in dusty air, and a peep of greeny-blue hills over the
square--Ruskin lifting his glass for a birthday toast. There was a
certain damsel, whose own folk called her the Michaelmas goose; he put
it more prettily: "Here's to St. Michael, and Dorrie, and All Angels!"

Then he went out to see Ilaria.

She was an early flame of his. He must have seen Ilaria before 1845,
but it was in that eventful year he fell in love. Ilaria was, of
course, the marble Lady of Lucca; but falling in love is not too strong
a word.

The Forty-five in the nineteenth century had its Rebellion almost as
full of consequences as the Forty-five of the century before. The raid
of Prince Charlie opened up the Highlands, and gave us Ossian and Scott
and Romanticism; little else. The raid of John Ruskin, in 1845, for the
first time wandering free and working out his own thoughts among the
Old Masters and mediæval ruins of Italy, started the whole movement
which made British art decorative and philanthropic. There were others
helping, but he led the way; and it was in that Forty-five that he
"went up the Three Steps and in at the Door."

The passage in which he first described Ilaria is almost hackneyed.
"She is lying on a simple couch with a hound at her feet.... The hair
is bound in a flat braid over the fair brow, the sweet and arched eyes
are closed, the tenderness of the loving lips is set and quiet; there
is that about them which forbids breath; something which is not death
nor sleep, but the pure image of both."

Who or what the lady might have been in the flesh he hardly seems to
have cared; at least he never dwelt on the story. She was daughter of
a Marquis of Carretto, and wife of Paolo Guinigi, chief of a powerful
family in Lucca. In 1405 she died. In 1413 Paolo was building that
palace with the tower, now a poor-house, from which he ruled his fellow
townsmen with a rod of iron. She never saw the arcaded palace, and the
frowning, machicolated tower; she could never have had part or lot in
the tyranny of his later rule. We often read in history of a woman
keeping within bounds the nascent fierceness of a man who--losing
her--let himself go and became the scourge of his world. But in all his
pride Paolo remembered the pretty wife, untimely lost.



The very year he built his castle he tempted away the greatest sculptor
of the age from his native town and thronging engagements to carve
her a tomb. Jacopo della Quercia came to Lucca in 1413, and six years
later left after finishing this and other sculptures there. He could
hardly have known Ilaria; he must have worked from very insufficient
materials in getting her portrait, and it must have been a tiresome
and delicate business to satisfy his patron, his tyrant. But then
Quercia was "a most amiable and modest man," and he had the secret
of noble portraiture, "Truth lovingly told." The sort of critics who
do not gush say of this work that it is the first masterpiece of the
Early Renaissance. It has all the best qualities of mediæval art--its
severe symbolism and decorative effect, with all the best of the later
classicism--its reality, softness and sweetness.

Paolo's enemies before long drove him out of Lucca, and the city
wreaked vengeance on the tyrant by shattering his wife's tomb, this
masterpiece. Somehow the effigy itself was spared, and set up again
with bits of the wreck against the bare church wall. It was this dead
lady, this marble lady, with browned, translucent cheeks, and little
nose just bruised away at the tip, that took Ruskin's imagination in
his youth. In his age he wrote, "It is forty years since I first saw
it, and I have never found its like."

For a month, with an interval at Florence, he kept me pretty closely
at work drawing Ilaria--side-face, full-face, three-quarters, every
way; together with bits of detail from the early thirteenth-century
porch of St. Martin's and other churches, and some copies in the
picture gallery. He painted hard himself, and never did better work in
his life. Two studies, "half-imperial," of the façade of St. Martin's
are especially well known; one was at the Academy (winter 1901) and
one at the same time at the Royal Water-colour Society's Exhibition.
He used to sit in quaint attitudes on his camp-stool in the square,
manipulating his drawing-board with one hand and his paint-brush
with the other; Baxter, his valet, holding the colour-box up for him
to dip into, and a little crowd of chatterers looking on. He rather
enjoyed an audience, and sometimes used to bring back odd gleanings of
their remarks when he came in to luncheon. One ragged boy, personally
conducting a friend from the country, was overheard enumerating the
strangers' meals at the hotel: "They eat much, much, these English!" Of
course, most in the crowd knew him, or about him. The dean and chapter
came to approve, the choir to grin, and the gendarmes to patronise; a
few French tourists hovered round, but no English that I remember.

After these long mornings of work--inside when it rained, outside when
it shone--we always went for a ramble or a drive. One venturesome start
in a thunderstorm I recollect, for Ruskin was not the least timid, as
you might expect from his highly-strung temperament. He used to walk
planks and look down precipices, too, like a regular steeple-jack, and
handle all sorts of animals fearlessly. This thunderstorm gave us grand
Turneresque effects, of which I have a sketch, but no description; but
I have borrowed an old letter of the time which gives a fair sample of
an afternoon with Ruskin. It is dated October 28, 1882.

"A biting scirocco was blowing, but we started in the usual carriage
driven by the boy with the red tie. As we left the hotel an army of
beggars hailed the Professor, who solemnly distributed pence, to
lighten his pocket and his mind. Then we scampered through the streets,
which are all pavement, and none broader than Hanway Street; but
everybody drives furiously in them as a point of Lucchese and Tuscan
honour, and nobody seems to be run over.

"Out through the city walls you are in the country at once. Indeed, I
can't help thinking of the town as a garden where houses are bedded out
instead of flowers; they are so close packed, so varied and pretty.
But out at the gate it is a wide stretch of plain with mountains all
round, and bright cottages, cadmium-yellow in the stubble-fields and
cane-brakes, for they thatch the maize-heads over the roofs by way of
storage. Out of one quite decent-looking farm-house a decent-looking
woman came rushing and gesticulating after the carriage. The Professor
called on the driver to stop; and the woman, out of breath, declared
she was the mother of five and wanted charity. He gave her a note;
notes, you know, can be a good deal less than five pounds in Italy.


"At the foot of the hills, south of Lucca, we left the carriage and
walked up the road; Baxter, too, with the umbrella, coat, camp-stool
and geological hammer as usual. The road goes up through chestnuts and
under vines, till you get to some farms and a church on the top of the
buttress-hills, with a splendid view of Lucca and the valley, behind
rich slopes of autumn colours, and a monastery with its cypresses in
the middle distance. Then we dived into a valley and crossed a marble
quarry, for all the stones here are marble; the road is mended with
marble, and the pigstyes are built of marble; and then we scrambled up
the main hill. There is a sort of track through chestnut and myrtle
and arbutus with scarlet fruit against the sky. Girls were gathering
chestnuts and arbutus berries--such a picture!

"So with an hour's scrambling we came out through a wood of stone
pines to the top, a sort of marble platform. The scirocco had blown
us up fine weather; the Carrara hills were clear, and the Apennines
for miles; fantastic peaks, all sorts of gables, pyramids, cones,
and domes. The sea was ridged and beating hard on the shore of the
Maremma; the bay of Spezia in the distance, and little Lucca, tidy
and square below, tucked into its four walls like a baby in a cot
with a patchwork quilt. I stayed ten minutes to get a sketch, while
the Professor and Baxter howked out a particularly contorted bit of
marble, and then we plunged through the pines on the back of the ridge
to get a view southward. This, you know, is the wood where Ugolino in
Dante dreamed he was hunting when they had shut him up to starve in the
Famine Tower at Pisa, and it deserves its fame. It is quite another
world from the hot rich valleys below; among the trees there are fresh,
English-looking meadows with daisies very big and very pink, and
beyond--the wonderful Mediterranean coast, rose colour in the sunset.
Pisa far down there showed every detail distinct, cathedral and leaning
tower like toys; even at Leghorn we could see the ships in port. It was
like looking on the world from the angels' point of view; a glimpse
through the centuries.

"But the sun was half-way below the sea, and we turned and raced the
darkness down to the valley, along a path some six inches wide, with
a marble precipice below and a clay bank above. Then the moon rose; a
regular conventional Italian moon, chequering the path like sunshine,
lamping the cypresses and campaniles. Our driver was asleep; we stirred
him out and drove through misty by-roads to the town gates. Out came
the Customs officer. 'Have you anything to declare, gentlemen?'
'Nothing, sir!' 'Felice sera, signori!' 'A happy evening, sir!'

"The streets were very quiet though it was not late. By the Dominican
convent, in the moonlight, there was a woman kissing the great
crucifix; few other folk about; and we made the square ring again when
we chased the moon into the plane-trees and rattled up to the hotel

One morning toward the end of October, soon before we left Lucca, I
went to work on a last drawing of Ilaria (since honoured by Ruskin
with a place in his Sheffield museum) and found the marble wet and
fouled. Somebody had been taking a cast. After long days in the quiet
cathedral, among so many haunting thoughts, studying the face, it had
grown almost as alive to me as it always was to him. Even I felt a
little shock. It was a liberty, somebody taking a cast! At breakfast
entered a not very prepossessing fellow carrying a plaster mask. Signor
Ruskin had asked at the shop; one was now made.


I never saw him more moved. In a storm of anger he left the room,
crying out, "Send him away." Fortunately we had with us Henry R.
Newman, the American artist, then working for Ruskin at Florence. He
could do the talking to the disappointed, enraged Italian, and got rid
of him--and a Napoleon of mine--after awhile. I was thankful to Newman
for getting rid of the cast as well; and when the coast was clear
Ruskin looked in, rather apologetic after his outburst. "I hope you
didn't give the fellow anything," he said, and, of course, I was much
too weak-minded to fight the case.

But I still think the object-lesson was well worth a Napoleon. That
ghastly thing was not our Ilaria; any cast is a hard, dead caricature
if once you have really known the living, ancient marble. And the wrath
of Ruskin laid his secret bare. Do you think he could have stirred
the world with mere flourishes from the pen? Falling in love was not
too strong a word for the feeling that dictated, over Ilaria's marble
portrait, his plea for sincerity in art: "If any of us, after staying
for a time beside this tomb, could see, through his tears, one of the
vain and unkind encumbrances of the grave, which, in these hollow and
heartless days, feigned sorrow builds to foolish pride, he would, I
believe, receive such a lesson of love as no coldness could refuse, no
fatuity forget, and no insolence disobey."

To gather up the threads it may be worth while noting briefly the chief
incidents in this Italian tour, with a few comments from Ruskin's
unpublished diary, showing how rapidly pleasure and pain alternated in
his moods.

On arrival, walking round the town, first to Ilaria and last to San
Romano, he notes: "Found all. D. G." The next day he heard of the
death of J. W. Bunney, who had done so much work for him at Venice,
notably the large picture of St. Mark's now in the Sheffield museum.
We often thought Ruskin did not feel these losses, and was a little
hard when news came that old friends were gone. But under the apparent
stoicism there was much real emotion; indeed, some of his later attacks
of mental illness followed such events. I do not say they were the
only causes, but they contributed. In April 1887, the sudden death
of Laurence Hilliard, on board ship in the Ægean, undoubtedly turned
the balance, and intensified weakness and worry into illness of many
months' duration. In this case he wrote: "A heavy warning to me, were
warning needed. But I fear death too constantly, and feel it too
fatally, as it is." I think his fear of death was purely the dread
of leaving his work undone, with some shrinking of the possible pain;
his sense of death was in the growing limitation of his powers, which
he could only forget in the presence of beautiful landscape. Thus next
day, on the Lucca mountains, he "sat long watching the soft sunlighted
classic hills, plumed and downy with wood, the burning russet of fallen
chestnuts for foreground, thinking how lovely the world was in its
light, when given."

At Florence on Oct. 4: "Hotel Gran Bretagna once more; good dinner
and flask of Aleatico. Nothing hurt of Ponte Vecchio or the rest."
Next morning the pendulum swung the other way, partly, I am afraid,
because he could not get me to be ecstatic about the Duomo, and I
almost argued him into a good word for Bronzino's "Judith." Then,
again, a drive to Bellosguardo and a beautiful walk made it all right
again, and a visit to Fiesole in sunshine redeemed the character of
the neighbourhood. But the great event was his introduction to Mrs.
and Miss Francesca Alexander, brought about through Mr. Newman, and
followed by a friendship which had a great and happy influence on his
later life. Miss Alexander's beautiful handwriting, and the pathos of
her manuscript "Story of Ida," and her pen-drawings to the "Roadside
Songs of Tuscany," which he then and there bought for "St. George"
and the world, were a great discovery, to him as if he had found "the
famous stone which turneth all to gold."

Returning to Lucca on the 11th he worked with zeal and power on his
drawings of the Duomo, and wrote his diary with animation. Here is a
vignette from it: "Sat. 14th. Wet afternoon; bought cheese and hunted
for honey. Found the only view from ramparts in the evening. Tanneries
and cotton-mills spoil the north-west side. Girls singing in a milly,
cicadesque, incomprehensible manner. An old priest standing to hear
them--thinking--I would give much to know what!"

During this October at Lucca he was visited by Mr. and Mrs. E. R.
Robson; Mr. Robson was then preparing (or intended by the authorities
to prepare) plans for a museum at Sheffield, which should hold the
collection belonging to the St. George's Guild. Mr. Charles Fairfax
Murray also came to see him; he, like Randal, Newman, Rooke, Alessandri
and one or two others, was employed by Ruskin on drawings for this
museum. From the 27th to the 29th he went alone to Florence, on a
farewell visit to the Alexanders, returning to Lucca for a couple of
days' work before going to Pisa, where he had asked Angelo Alessandri,
the Venetian painter, and Giacomo Boni, the Venetian architect, to meet
him. Signor Boni is now world-famous by his antiquarian work at Rome;
one sees his name in the papers, expounding the Forum to our king in
the King's English, with a strange legend of his Oxford pupilship to

He and Signor Alessandri, however, were not strictly pupils of Ruskin,
who had met them during the winter of 1876-77 at Venice, and, so to
say, adopted them. At this second meeting he liked them and their
work more than ever. His character of them is given in the first of
his lectures on returning next year to Oxford: "Clever ones, yes; but
not cleverer than a great many of you; eminent only, among the young
people of the present day whom I chance to know, in being extremely
old-fashioned; and--don't be spiteful when I say so--but really they
are, all the four of them--two lads and two lassies--quite provokingly
good." The two lads were Boni and Alessandri, one of the lady artists
was Miss Alexander. But it was a compliment to his audience to call
them cleverer than Boni, whose great power already showed itself in
his keen eye and square shoulders. Napoleon Bonaparte must have looked
something like him, I thought, when he began to charm the fierce
Republic; but there the comparison ends. Ruskin set him to measure Pisa
cathedral all over, to see why it was so irregular; and for a little
holiday one heavenly morning before breakfast, Boni took me up the
Baptistery, outside, even to the skirts of the great St. John on the
top of the dome--all Pisa beneath, and the Maremma in sheaves of mist
as if angels were haymaking, and the sea and the mountains bathed in
blue atmosphere around.

These days of busy work and evenings of bright talk were too soon
ended, and on November 10 we took our first stage northward and





Reading the map is as great a pleasure to some people as reading a
story-book. You will see them pore over the atlas for an hour together,
going on dream-journeys. It is a cheap way of globe-trotting, and gets
rid of the discomforts; only one must have imagination to turn the
wriggling hair-lines into vistas of river scenery, and the woolly-bear
shading into forested crests and peaks against the sunset. It needs a
good deal of imagination to get over the ugliness of most modern maps;
but why should maps be ugly?

That is a question which Ruskin often asked, and he gave a great deal
of trouble and time to the subject: not enough to carry out such a
reformation as his energetic preaching and teaching did effect in some
other things, but perhaps we have not quite come to the end of the
story yet.

Anyway, the map-readers, and all who have known the bliss of owning a
Bible with a "Palestine" for solace during sermon-time in childhood,
or have realised the privileges of even Bradshaw's ugly chart on a
long journey--all these will not think it strange to be told that
Ruskin was a map-lover too, and that he was nearly as fond of plans as
of pictures. Indeed, the old complaint against his art criticism was
that he wanted pictures to be maps, decoratively coloured diagrams of
nature, in which you could find your way about, know the points of the
compass, latitude, altitude, geology, botany, fauna, flora, and the
universal gazetteer.



He says in the Notes on his Turner Exhibition that he began to learn
drawing by copying maps, and only came to pictures later. It is a
biographical fact that his first use of a paint-box was to tint seas
blue--not skies; and to ornament his outline with a good full red and
green and yellow. Here is his first map of Italy, facsimiled from
the coloured original. You see how he tried to be neat, and how he
knew, without having to amend his lettering, to put one D and two
R's in "MEDITERRANEAN." About Germany he was always antagonistic or
inattentive; here, you see, he thinks it is in Austria! It is hardly
possible that he was really copying when he made that characteristic



Why do we refer to these childishnesses? Because he--the art critic and
art teacher--began his art career not by sketching people or cottages
or flowers, but by copying maps; and because he ended his career
in bidding his hearers do likewise. Of course the value of advice
entirely depends upon what you mean to do with it. If you want to make
colourable imitations of fashionable pictures, don't take Ruskin's word
for anything. If you want to be a scholar in the school of the Old
Masters, then you might do worse than listen to him. They "leant on a
firm and determined outline"--that is Sir Joshua Reynolds; they started
with painstaking draughtmanship, and added colour tint by tint; and so
he says, "I place map-making first among the elementary exercises," and
so forth, and made his young pupils begin with simple facsimile--"If
you can draw Italy you know something about form"--and then paint the
globe with its conflicting shade and local colour. Afterwards, in
setting one at Turner, he would say, "I want you to make a map of the
subject. Get the masses outlined, and fill in the spaces with the main
colours; and that will do."

The next photograph is from a coloured drawing of the same size;
the pale spaces are pink and yellow and green, and the Lake of
Geneva, which looks rather blotchy in the print, is more pleasant in
ultramarine. This is one of a set of geological maps made to illustrate
the course of the usual tour through France and the Alps, perhaps, to
judge by the handwriting, for the journey of 1835, when he made special
preparations to study geology. He could hardly carry a bulky sheet or
atlas, and so extracted just what he required, in a series of neat
little pages, put together into a home-made case, ready for use at any
moment. Youngsters who take this kind of trouble are likely to become
men of weight; at least, they get to know how interesting the world
is. Ruskin on a journey was never bored, unless he was ill; he looked
out of window and poked you up: "Now, put away that book; we are just
coming to the chalk"; or, "Are you looking out for the great twist in
the limestone?" And the changes in the face of the country, with new
flowers and varying crops, were a continual entertainment.

[Illustration: SKETCH OF SPAIN


Another use of maps to Ruskin was in writing the descriptive eloquence
for which most readers chiefly admire him. I remember a very good judge
of pictures and books once choosing the best passage of Ruskin--not
that such "bests" come to much--and fixing on the bird's-eye-view
passage in which he takes you with the stork and the swallow on their
northward flight over the varying scenery of Europe ("Stones of
Venice," II., vi., § 8; "Selections," I., § 20). Now this has all the
imaginative charm of Hans Christian Andersen's "Snow Queen," or George
Macdonald's "At the Back of the North Wind"; but it is nothing more nor
less than notes on the map of Europe--of course, by a map-lover.



To help in such work he collected maps wherever he went. He kept
them in a special set of drawers in his study, some mounted on spent
diagram-cards from his lectures, and some dropping to pieces with
wear and tear. Among these are still his first map of the Lakes,
from Jonathan Otley's or Wordsworth's Guide, and his old Keller's
"Switzerland" of 1844, which he used forty years later, saying that
he did not want the railways, and no new map showed the roads better.
Of favourite towns, such as Venice and Amiens, there are large scale
plans, the best that could be bought; and of some Swiss districts, like
Neuchâtel, there is quite a library of cartology. A highly detailed map
of Médoc, from a wine advertisement, was found useful; likewise Britain
with the centres of Trinity College, London, which he kept for its
clearness. Philip's "Authentic Map of England" is endorsed "good common
use," and he even kept close at hand a set of children's dissecting
maps. The Ordnance Survey is fully represented, but because too much
was put into these beautiful six-inch sheets, he has coloured them
fancifully and vigorously, to get clear divisions of important parts.
Clearness and distinctness, every one must feel, are not the strong
points of modern cartography, hence the use of sketch-maps: such as
this of Spain, scribbled on a sheet of foolscap to keep him in mind of
the graceful, swinging coastline and the proportions of the provinces.

The overloaded modern map is a work of reference--it is a dictionary,
not a book. Ruskin felt that it was useless for educational or literary
purposes, and he was continually trying to improve away the detail
and to substitute graphic statistics. One line of this attempt was in
the direction of models. Beck's raised map of Switzerland (1853) was
often in use, but it was spoilt for him by the shining surface, which
catches high lights and distracts the eye: all models ought to be
painted in dead colours, except the water, which needs the shine for
the sake of transparency.

So, in 1881, when he was working at the physical geology of the
Coniston neighbourhood, he tried to make a model of the hills and
dales, to see how the strike and dip of strata and the faults and
dykes in the rock came out in relation to ups and downs, lake-basins
and crags, and so forth. He found modelling too tedious to carry out
himself, and, with characteristic oddness in his employment of means
to ends, he set his gardener, the late Dawson Herdson, on the job.
Herdson made a very fair general sketch in clay of the Old Man, and the
main features as seen from the Coniston side; but he had not pegged
out his distances, and when Dow Crag was built up into emphatic gloom,
and Leverswater hollowed into depth, the smaller heights had no space
left for them, and the effect was altogether too willow-patterned. Then
Ruskin put another of his employés to work, and after much labour the
model now in the Coniston Museum was evolved.

This was intended to be photographed or engraved in a side-light, as
one of a series of physical maps. Another was to have been Savoy, for
which Ruskin made the sketch here shown. The black Lake of Geneva is
dark blue in his drawing; the valleys are green, and the mountains
roughly knocked in with lamp-black and Chinese white, tinted over
with yellow for limestone, pink for Mont Blanc protogine, and red for
gneiss. Rough as the sketch is, you see the structure of the Alps, the
lie of the land, at a glance. Towns, roads, and all the rest should be
shown, he said, on separate plans.

Towards this purpose he collected bird's-eye views in great variety,
from Maclure and Macdonald's lithograph of the Soudan, to quaint
old panoramas, of which one--the mountains seen from the Buet--is
quite like a William Blake design of Heaven and Hell, and fit to
serve as a background to all the mythologies. Also, for their
pleasant picturesqueness, he liked the queer productions of ancient
cartographers, such as Edmund Squib's funny map of China (1655), and
a seventeenth-century production called "The New Map of Muscovy," and
"The Course of the Great River Wolga," by A. Olearius; with pictures
of Russian peasants along the banks, and the camels of "the Tartar who
dwells on the plains of Thibet." Such maps have the charm of graphic
expression; they don't pretend to be gazetteers, but they take you
about the country with the entertainment of a traveller's tale.



They are decorative also; that was another appeal to Ruskin. William
Morris has shown in the illustrations to the Saga Library how maps can
become picturesque designs, and this was much on the lines that Ruskin
would have followed. He might not have inserted dragons of the deep,
nor, as in Drayton's "Polyolbion," nymphs and shepherds on the hills
and lakes, out of all proportion and possibility; but he thought a map
could be far more explanatory and ornamental than the usual school

His attempt at a diagrammatic history of France, sketched on a page of
note-paper, was engraved for "Our Fathers have Told Us"--his projected
school history of the "Nice Things that have Happened." You see--and
for lack of space I must leave it for your further insight--how he
designed to show the roses of Provence and the lilies of France in this
garden of Gaul, at one time feebly struggling, then blowing fully and
freely spreading, then broken in upon by the wild beast of war; the
lily bed trampled and ruined; Aquitaine wasted to blankness, and so
forth. Worked out completely, an atlas of history on this plan might be
as pretty as any picture-book. A child accustomed to such maps would
have little trouble in remembering the outlines of national growth,
and the whole tedious business of dates and uncouth names would be
infinitely lightened. Perhaps, some day, Ruskin's hint will be taken,
and his suggestions will bear fruit.

He never cared for worship and admiration, when they did not mean the
understanding of his aims, and the carrying out of his work. He knew
his gift was to irrigate, as he said--to suggest and stimulate. People
called him an egoist; but how wise in its humility was the close of his
preface to "Loves Meinie!"--"It has been throughout my trust, that if
Death should write on these, 'What this man began to build, he was not
able to finish,' God may also write on them, not in anger but in aid,
'A stronger than he cometh.'" And for much that he has left to do, no
greater strength is needed, but only the glory of going on.





In his introduction to the Catalogue of a Ruskin Exhibition at
Boston, U.S.A., in 1879, Professor Charles Eliot Norton wrote a
paragraph which, as the verdict of a severely discriminating--though
friendly--critic, is worth reading more than once again. He said: "The
character of this collection is unique. These drawings are not the work
of an artist by profession; there is not a 'picture' among them. They
are the studies of one who, by patience and industry, by single-minded
devotion to each special task, and by concentrated attention upon
it, has trained an eye of exceptional keenness and penetration, and
a hand of equally exceptional delicacy and firmness of touch, to be
the responsive instruments of faculties of observation and perception
such as have seldom been bestowed on artist or on poet. Few of these
drawings were undertaken as an end in themselves, but most of them as
means by which to acquire exact knowledge of the facts of nature, or to
obtain the data from which to deduce a principle in art, or to preserve
a record of the work of periods in which art gave better expression to
the higher interests and motives of life than at the present day. These
studies may consequently afford lessons to the proficients in art not
less than to the fresh beginners. The beauty of some of them will be
obvious to an untrained eye; but no one may hope to appreciate them at
their worth who will not, in a respectful and modest spirit, give time
and patience to their study."

In his childhood, long before he thought of drawing from Nature, he
had learnt great neatness of hand by amusing himself with copying out
his juvenile verses to look like print, by drawing maps and by making
facsimiles of George Cruikshank's etchings in his "Grimm's Goblins."
His father used to sketch a little in the pre-historic style, and was
fond of pictures; but they never dreamed of making John an artist. At
last, when he was thirteen, and his adopted sister, Mary, was taking
drawing lessons at school with much satisfaction to the family, he,
too, was allowed to "learn drawing." Mr. Runciman, his master, gave
him "copies"--the old, bold pencil copies--which he tried to imitate
in a kind of stipple, at first, but soon picked up the manner, and
in a year, as we find from old letters, was talking like a book
about perspective and composition, and going to begin painting "on
grey paper, with a few of the simplest colours, in order to learn
the effects of light and shade." Mr. Runciman must have been a good
teacher, for this method of his, on grey paper with a few simple
colours, to get light and shade, is exactly what John Ruskin learnt
thoroughly after awhile, and taught energetically in his turn all his
life. But Mr. Runciman could not bring him to paint in oil, and does
not seem to have had much of a system; for one of John Ruskin's letters
in verse to his father, written early in 1834, says:

    "I cannot bear to paint in oil.
      C. Fielding's tints alone for me!
    The other costs me double toil,
      And wants some fifty coats to be
      Splashed on each spot successively."

In his later years he used to say that the practical reason why he
never went on with oil painting was that he had to draw--and to keep
his drawings--among books and papers, and oils were messy, and did
not smell nice. But no doubt the real fact was that his drawings
were mainly meant for book-illustration, done for the engraver,
and intended, on a small scale, to get as much form as possible.
All his experiments in oil seem to have been suppressed; though his
water-colour practice, especially in later times, was to use Chinese
white, and often a good deal of it, very nearly as if it had been flake

After some feeble attempts by himself at sketching from Nature, in
1831 and 1832, he went abroad with his parents for the summer of
1833, and drew diligently. He had received for a birthday present the
volume of Rogers's "Italy," with Turner's vignettes, and intended to
make something like it, in a book of verses neatly copied out, with
vignettes reproduced in fine pen-work from his sketches on the spot.
Whenever the carriage stopped he would snatch a sketch, and whenever
they put up for the night he would write up his poetical diary. Coming
home, he began his great work, but school lessons interfered; not
before he had half filled the blank book, and pasted in a number of
neat and pretty vignettes, of which the best is _The Jungfrau from
Lauterbrunnen_, reproduced in "The Poems of John Ruskin," on the same

Meanwhile, he had come under the influence of Samuel Prout, whose work
his father admired; and on the next tour, in 1835, Turner was forgotten
in the attempt to be Prout. The drawings of this "great year," as he
called it, when they are put in order, show a wonderful progress from
the first stiff and timid studies, fresh from the attempt to copy
Prout's lithographs, to a free and quite masterly adaptation of Prout's
"line and dot" manner. By the time he reached the Oberland and Venice,
he had "got his hand in," and the subject went down upon the paper with
ease and decision, always abstracted and mannered, but with a feeling
after style which was entirely Ruskin. Both in drawing and in writing,
much as he talked of truth and simplicity, he was, first and foremost,
the stylist: and through half his life the conscious imitator of other
men's styles--Hooker or Carlyle, Prout or Turner. But there was always
more of Ruskin than of his model; and even in those juvenile essays,
when style so completely overwhelms fact, as in some sketches at
Venice or Innsbruck, there is a precocious completeness and charm, as
in the art of youthful nations, early Greeks, pre-Norman English, or
pre-Renaissance Italians.

The pen-drawings of this year have less interest, for they were made
from the originals to illustrate another intended manuscript, and the
life, of course, went out of them. Some of these pen-drawings, as well
as some of the original and superior pencil-drawings, are published in
facsimile in the "Poems" and "Poetry of Architecture" (large editions
of 1891 and 1893). Other facsimiles are given in "Studies in Both
Arts" and "Verona." The plates in these volumes very fairly represent
Ruskin's handiwork at different periods, and are indispensable to any
one who wishes to study it. Plates in "Modern Painters" and "Stones of
Venice," nearly all by engravers _after_ his work, do not represent it
in the same authentic manner.

Before he had completed his new book he wanted more skill in colour,
and took lessons from Copley Fielding, with no great result, except
that the style which he had gained by practice abroad was lost in
trying after new models. The sketches of his period as an Oxford
undergraduate are comparatively tame and commonplace (1836-1839),
though he did some neat bits for Mr. Loudon's wood engraver to spoil
in the papers on "The Poetry of Architecture," in the _Architectural
Magazine_, which were his first published writings on art.

In 1840 he broke down in health, after winning the Newdigate prize
for poetry at Oxford, and before taking his degree. His parents went
with him in the autumn to spend the winter abroad, as a cure for
consumption. He did the best for himself, according to new lights on
the subject of hygiene, by spending nearly all his time sketching
in the open air. Through France to the Loire and Auvergne, round
the Riviera to Pisa and Florence and Rome, we can trace him by his
drawings, made now on a new method. David Roberts had been showing his
Syrian sketches, hard pencil on grey paper, with yellow lights in body
colour, and the new style caught young Ruskin's attention before he
started for his journey, so that he set out with the resolve of being
Roberts now. The same decision of line shows itself on this much larger
scale; he always seems to know what he wants, and to get it without
trouble; though when one remembers that these half-imperial drawings
were done by an ailing lad, supposed to be within danger of death, it
is not a little remarkable to see in them such evidences of tenacity
and pluck.

At the beginning of 1841 they moved on to Naples, and made excursions
to Salerno, Amalfi and the neighbourhood, always with a drawing to
bring back; and when he was on his way home, through North Italy, he
wrote triumphantly to a friend that he had "got forty-seven large and
thirty-four small sketches."

But what he could do with the stimulus of travel he could not do
again in the reaction after it was over. He was not quite well yet,
and went to Leamington to be under a doctor, in dull lodgings, and
without any mountains. Still he drew. By this time he had dropped David
Roberts, and taken up Turner, whose art he had already thought of
defending against the magazine critics. It was in these circumstances
that he made the _Amboise_, from a sketch of the year before, and
certain vignettes for engraving, which were published in "Friendship's
Offering," with his poems. In the new Library edition, vol. ii.,
photographs from the original _Amboise_, and from the old engraving
after it, are given, well worth comparing.

He was not naturally a colourist. In later life he found out for
himself the ways and means of producing bits of very sweet opalescent
colour, but at any time was capable of relapsing into gaudiness, in
hours of fatigue or ill-health; and throughout his earlier life he was
much more at home in light and shade, or in work with the point. It
was not that he did not see and enjoy colour. To judge by his writings,
one would think that he lived for it, almost: and the splendid passage
in the first volume of "Modern Painters," so often quoted for its
word-painting of colour, was written from his diary-notes on the way
back from Naples in 1841. He made a drawing of the scene he described;
one would expect at least an attempt at "purple, and crimson, and
scarlet, like the curtains of God's tabernacle"; but it is merely
washed with faint tints over an elaborate outline of the architecture.

So the passing mood in sickness, which had led him to try after
Turnerian colour, left him in health, for the more attainable method
of Turner's "Liber Studiorum," and he began, in 1842, to make this
his own. A slight pencil blocking out, firm and emphatic quill-pen to
represent the etched line, and brushwork in brown, rarely in black,
sometimes with a little colour, over paper usually grey--this was
after all the manner that suited him best, and very nearly what Mr.
Runciman had talked about, ten years before. By degrees, year after
year, the pen work became finer, and the colour more predominant; the
solid white, used at first for high lights, invaded the tints and gave
a mystery to the outline, and in ten years more he had found out his
central style, a manner quite his own, producing beautiful results
but inimitable by engraving, whether the old style of steel-plate or
the new style of photographic process. That style in turn developed
into the delicate and often dainty water-colour painting of his later
years--passing by the way through a phase in which the pencil took the
place of the pen, useful for getting notes of architectural detail and
mountain form--and never quite abandoned, though the pencil drawings
of the later period became a distinct series, free and emphatic and
suggestive, apart from the more laborious elaboration of his last

In 1845 he went alone, unaccompanied by parents and family, to Italy,
and found adventures. He made the acquaintance of the primitive
masters at Lucca and Florence, and copied a little; then to the Alps
to look for Turner's subjects in the Alpine sketches of 1842, which
had so taken his heart. Turner did not like it; it was dangerous to
have a writing young man looking behind the scenes of imaginative
picture production; but Ruskin found out Turner, and was all the more
enthusiastic for the discovery. He drew the Pass of Faido, and saw what
Turner had seen, and what he had invented, more wonderful than any
transcript from Nature; and afterwards filled half a volume with the
endeavour to expound the same. Then, with his versatility of sympathy,
he met J. D. Harding, who was not so much his teacher as a valued
friend, and together they went to Venice. One sketch-book leaf of this
time is particularly interesting--with a pen and tint drawing of a
mill at Baveno on one side, and a slapdash sunset on the other, almost
Harding. These are photogravured in the "Poems."

The drawings of 1846 were the first serious mountain studies,
afterwards used for "Modern Painters," though many things intervened.
Sickness at first, and the visit to Crossmount in the Highlands,
recorded in some drawings, not his best; and then "Seven Lamps of
Architecture," for which he studied in Normandy in 1848, and etched
the plates himself in soft ground--strong, sketchy plates which were
thought a failure at the time, and re-engraved in a queer imitation of
the originals by a professional engraver for the next edition. Then he
set to work upon "Stones of Venice."

He had already some material, but most of the drawings were made in
two winters, November 1849 to March 1850, and September 1851 to June
1852. Many of the best have been dispersed, some are in America, but
enough remain to show what a busy time it was, and how much downright
drawing went to the making of that book: how much _more_ drawing, and
of how much finer quality than one can guess at from reading the book.
The large plates in "Examples of the Architecture of Venice" were not
only from his sketches, but from carefully prepared working drawings.
For a mezzotint, like the _St. Mark's Portico_ or the _Arch of Ca'
Contarini Porta di Ferro_, he drew the outline separately for etching,
and made another drawing with the tint for the completed engraving. To
do a subject over again seemed no grievance with him, and there are
many examples of his patience in trying the identical view in different
aspects or lights, or even redrawing it from Nature without alteration,
merely to get a result more to his mind. That the result was worth
while in the end we need not stop to declare. "Stones of Venice" was a
revelation to architects and the public, and for a long while exerted
an enormous influence upon English taste. Suppose, for a moment, such
a book had been written, with all the enthusiasm and learning in the
world, by a man who could not draw!

The later volumes of "Modern Painters," which followed this, owed their
success in great measure to the same cause. The engravings, beautiful
as they are, hardly show the originals; though from the book one knows
that its author had dwelt upon the aspects of Nature with more than a
tourist's glance, and that he had struggled with the problems of art
with more than an amateur's attention. His Aiguilles and Matterhorns,
his Aspen and his mossy stones, his repeated studies from Turner and
the Old Masters, down to the enlargements from illuminated missals,
all tell the same tale of passionate interest in the subject and
penetrative insight into the situation. They are not, as Professor
Norton says, pictures; but incomplete as they are, there is in them an
appeal to which most of those who love pictures will respond.

During the progress of "Modern Painters," Mr. Ruskin planned a "History
of Swiss Towns," for which he spent several summers in gathering
material. His drawings for this series were more full of detail,
handled with extremest fineness in some parts and with great breadth,
often carelessness, in others; intended for completion and engraving
when time should serve. But this time never came. He was led into the
interests in political and social economy which, in these later years,
with a public tired of hearing about Ruskin and art, have given him
a place among the prophets. He was led into further studies of the
geology of scenery, lightly touched in "Modern Painters," and, during
long residence in Savoy and Switzerland, drew Alps chiefly for their
cleavages, and threw the drawings aside. He was led into botanical
and mineral researches, and Egyptology and Greek coins, and other
by-ways, always, however, drawing as he went, but drawing subjects
less interesting to the general onlooker. But from this backwater
he emerged into a new and more developed style which began to show
results in 1866, on a long summer tour in the Oberland, when he made
the sketch _On the Reuss below Lucerne_, in "Poetry of Architecture"--a
combination of such breadth and delicacy as he had hardly attained
before, and much fine work with the point.

Next year but one, 1868, his ancient love for French Gothic took him to
Abbeville. There the new style had full scope in the delicate drawings
of that date, a long way in advance of old "Seven Lamps" period: and
the same kind of work was continued in the next year at Verona (May to
September), a summer of very busy painting in the company of his two
assistants, Mr. William Ward and the late Mr. J. W. Bunney.

The Abbeville drawings were shown in a semi-public manner at a little
exhibition to illustrate his lecture on the "Flamboyant Architecture
of the Valley of the Somme," at the Royal Institution, January 29,
1869; and the Verona drawings at a similar lecture at the same place on
February 4, 1870. The catalogue of the latter is printed in "On the Old
Road," vol. i., part 2, with twenty pieces marked as his own.

In this year he entered on his duties as Slade Professor at Oxford,
and before long had established a drawing-school there, which took
up a great part of his attention. Of this period is a sketch "Done
with my pupils afield," and he used sometimes to draw in the school,
and often to draw for the school. A _Candle_, finely shaded, and
various botanical studies, were meant as "copies" or as examples of
the treatment he proposed to his students; and the catalogue of the
Ruskin Drawing School at Oxford contains a very large number of items
by himself, from the great _St. Catherine_, after Luini, to little
memoranda of plant forms. Several of these examples of his hand have
been engraved in Mr. E. T. Cook's "Studies in Ruskin."

In 1870 and 1872 he was again drawing at Venice. The elaborate
beginning of the "Riva de' Schiavoni," and the effective _Rialto_ (in
the possession of Miss Hilliard, Coniston), done one morning before
breakfast, are of the former year. In 1874, after a breakdown in
health, he visited Assisi, Rome, and Sicily, and beside the notes of
Mount Etna and Scylla he brought home a series of careful copies from
parts of the Botticelli frescoes at the Sistine Chapel, and the fully
realised, though not completed, _Glacier des Bossons_, a remarkable
piece of landscape work. In 1876 he went again to Venice, this time
chiefly to copy Carpaccio, though some of his best later views of
canals and palaces bear that date, or the early part of 1877, for he
stayed on until May of that year. _Casa Foscari_ (in the possession of
Mrs. Cunliffe, Ambleside) may be named as a characteristic example of
his daring point of view, and success in giving the mass of building in
steep perspective.

In 1878 an exhibition of his drawings by Turner was held at the
Fine Art Society's Galleries in New Bond Street. During the show he
was taken seriously ill, and while convalescent he amused himself
by arranging a small collection of his own sketches to add to the
exhibition. His catalogue and remarks are given in the later editions
of "Notes on his Drawings by Turner," &c., 1878. Next year a number
of his studies were shown in Boston, U.S.A., under the management of
Professor Charles Eliot Norton, whose appreciative paragraph we have

It seemed as though his working life had come to an end at the time,
with that crisis of illness. A visit to Amiens in 1880, with Mr. Arthur
Severn and Mr. Brabazon, gave him the subject for writing the "Bible of
Amiens," but his sketches were less vigorous and full. But in 1882 he
was ordered away again for rest; and, as forty years before, he took
his rest--the best rest for a tired brain--in sketching. He gradually
warmed to work; at Avallon, in Central France, he began with a few
sketches of detail, but in Italy the ancient love of architecture took
hold of him, and he drew the _Porch at Lucca_ assiduously. His two
chief drawings of this subject were shown in the next exhibition of
the R.W.S., and one of them at the R.A. in 1901. He exhibited on many
occasions at the Royal Society of Painters in Water Colours, having
been elected an honorary member in 1873. He said at the time to a
visitor--"Nothing ever pleased me more. I have always been abusing the
artists, and now they have complimented me. They always said I couldn't
draw, and it's very nice to think they give me credit for knowing
something about art."

Later than this there is little to chronicle. Ill-health came down upon
him, and his last drawings were done to amuse his friend of "Hortus
Inclusus" in 1886, though he made a few pencil notes of Langdale Pikes
and Calder Abbey in 1889.

After his death an exhibition of his sketches, with some personal
relics and added examples of the art about which he had written, was
held at Coniston in the summer of 1900. It attracted over 10,000
visitors to the village, and to many was a revelation of Ruskin in a
new character, and of a kind of art which charmed in spite of all they
had been accustomed to look for in pictures.

In January and February 1901, a similar exhibition was held at the
Royal Society of Painters in Water Colours, London. Many of the
drawings then shown, with a large series of engravings after his work,
are on view in the Ruskin Museum at the Institute, Coniston; where, in
1903, the Fourth Annual Exhibition contained a further instalment of
Ruskin sketches not previously shown in public, giving examples of his
great variety in subject and treatment, ranging from an early outline
of Dover (1831), to sketches at Avallon and Cîteaux (1882; see above,
pages 48-51); from geological studies of Alps to notes of lions and
tigers at the Zoo, and the head of the Venus de' Medici, elaborately
shaded; and from the carefully finished and daintily detailed pen and
tint _Valley of Lauterbrunnen_, in which the lens is needed to make out
tiny châlets, smaller than a letter of this type, to large splashes
of water-colour, one of which (on a sheet 42 by 23 inches in size) is
identical in subject with the view by Laurence Hilliard given at page
33 of this volume.

One pair of sketches among these has a curious biographical interest.
When Turner's _Sun of Venice Going out to Sea_ was exhibited at the
Academy (1843), Ruskin was greatly impressed with its wonderful colour
and truth, but especially with the reflections and eddies of the calm
water, on which he wrote a well-known page in "Modern Painters" (vol.
i. p. 357). Accustomed to write from notes with pen and pencil, he
forgot, or ignored, the rule forbidding visitors at the Exhibition to
copy the pictures. These are the sketches he made, and for making them
was expelled from the Exhibition.





It was only the other day that a friend showed me a bundle of old
papers, saying, "Some of these are in his writing, but I don't know
what to make of the rest." I turned them over and said, "Second volume
of 'Modern Painters'; original manuscript!" He had just found them,
rolled up in brown paper, in a cupboard, where they had been for years.
My friend, who was intimate with Ruskin from his childhood, and of
course knew the Professor's later handwriting well, hardly believed me;
the difference between the early and later styles is so great.

There may be other letters and papers of Ruskin's in existence and
unrecognised; not, perhaps, unprinted, but still of great value, even
in hard cash. Correspondents who beg for a Ruskin autograph and a bit
of his writing from those whom they suppose to have plenty, are often
surprised to hear that others have been before them, and that now the
only way is through the dealers at a guinea a page or more. He told
me that he thought the manuscripts of his best-known works had been
destroyed, and no doubt had forgotten that many of them had been given
away to those who treasured them. Since his death a considerable part
has been brought to light, but of the vast quantity of writing--notes,
rough copies, fair copies, and letters, done in a busy life of sixty
working years--there may be much more to find scattered through the
world: for Ruskin's hand, like Nuremberg's, goes through every land.

In 1881 a Mr. Atkinson was sent to Coniston to make a bust of Ruskin.
With his usual good nature to every one who came personally into
contact with him--the roughness was only that of his sharp pen--the
Professor treated the unknown as his visitor, found him lodgings and a
workshop, and a place at his table for a great while, during which the
bust made but slow progress. One reason, perhaps, for Mr. Atkinson's
difficulty was that Ruskin had just grown a beard, and the well-known
face was no longer there to mould. "Can't you treat the beard early
Greek fashion; I should like to be a Bearded Bacchus!" he said. In
spite of the admitted failure, he gave further work to the sculptor
in casting leaves and other detail "for St. George's Schools"--that
visionary object on which so much labour and thought were spent; and
this use of casts from natural leaves, I am told by Mr. E. Cooke, was
really originated by Ruskin in the Working Men's College days, though
now pretty widely known. Some of Mr. Atkinson's casts, I may add, are
on view in the Coniston Museum. But the sculptor's chief personal wish
was to get a mould of Ruskin's hand. He used to say that there was
more in it than in his face; at least, it was the most characteristic
feature, and representable in solid form, while the face, depending on
the bright blue eye and changeful expression, evaded him as it evaded
more celebrated sculptors. But Ruskin did not like being oiled and
moulded, and though Mr. Atkinson made enticing demonstrations on less
worthy fingers, till we were all up to our elbows in plaster of Paris,
he never to my knowledge won his point.

"Such a funny hand," says Browning's lover, "it was like a claw!"
Ruskin's was all finger-grip; long, strong talons, curiously
delicate-skinned and refined in form, though not academically
beautiful. Those whose personal acquaintance with him dated only
from the later years never knew his hand, for then it had lost its
nervous strength; and in cold weather--the greatest half of the year
in the North--the hand suffered more than the head. But his palm, and
especially the back of the hand, was tiny. When he rowed his boat he
held the oars entirely in his fingers; when he shook hands you felt
the pressure of the fingers, not of the palm. In writing, he held the
pen as we are taught to hold a drawing-pencil, and the long fingers
gave much more play to the point than is usual in formed penmanship.
Knowing that, it is not surprising to find that his writing varies,
not only from one period to another, but with passing moods. Everybody
shows some of this variety, but Ruskin's hand was as flexible and as
impressionable as his whole being.

[Illustration: CONISTON


He had an odd way, down to the last, of "printing" an inscription on
the fly-leaf of a book or on the mount of a drawing, in neat, square
Roman type, inked between double lines ruled in pencil. Sometimes
giving a present to a favoured visitor he would say, "Stay, I must
write your name in it"; and you expected the well-known autograph
cheque-signature, scribbled with a flourish. But no! Spectacles, and
ruler, and pencil first; two carefully ruled lines, an eighth of an
inch apart; then the cork-handled, fine steel pen, and laborious
regularity of inscription; till the onlooking recipient laughed
outright at all this time and trouble spent on a trifle. But Ruskin was
quite grave about it.

This was a reversion to early habits. His juvenile MSS., of which many
were kept by his parents and still remain at Brantwood, contain many
pages of similar calligraphy. His first Latin and French declensions
are printed in pencil; at the age of seven he wrote the first copies
of his "Harry and Lucy" in this way, pencilled first and penned over,
thinking he was an author making a book. Many children do, but not
with his tenacity and taste. In 1828 (age nine) he had brought this
self-imposed education to something like perfection with the tiny
"print" of "Eudosia," page after page showing wonderful steadiness of
hand and eye; and at the end of that year he executed the masterpiece
of childish ingenuity which he described in the autobiographical "Harry
and Lucy"--the poem in "double print," all the down-strokes doubled:
"And it was most beautifully done, you may be sure," says the saucy
infant, not untruly. Some of his early mineral catalogues, begun at
this time, appear to have been continued later, though the difference
can hardly be told from any improvement in the penmanship.


Meanwhile his ordinary running hand was a shocking scribble, but in
the middle of it he seems to have pulled himself up continually,
or he was pulled up by an overlooking mother, and the wild scrawl
becomes tidy and neat. I suspect that his earlier home lessons did not
include much copybook work. He developed his own writing like other
precocious boys and girls, though there is some trace of teaching at
the very start. But after 1830 he exchanged, perhaps at the instance
of superior orders, his "print" for copperplate; the "Iteriad" (1831)
is fair-copied in a large, regular round-hand, and the Tour poems of
1833 are in a smaller, less anxious, but more formed business style.
One sees the father's influence coming in, and all his letters to the
old-fashioned business man show the obvious desire to please. "My
dear papa" is flourished around in the most approved writing-master's
manner, and "John Ruskin" at the end is in black letter, finishing a
sheet of impeccable commercial-hand, in which the free-and-easy wording
contrasts quite ludicrously with the formal writing.

[Illustration: RUSKIN'S HANDWRITING IN 1837]

It was only, or chiefly, to his father that such letters were written.
For his mother he had another hand; for his friends and for himself
an assortment of varying scribbles. But there, I think, comes out one
of the leading points in his character. To be a man of strong thought
and will, innovator in art, science, politics, morality, and religion,
there never was such a chameleon, always ready to colour his mind
after his surroundings; all things to all men. To the opponent he was
an opponent; to the admirer an admirer, without at once testing the
sincerity of the admiration or the source of the opposition. It was the
cause of many regretted incidents in public life, but in private life
the ground of his charm. Nobody who approached him in kindness failed
of being met more than half way, while impertinence and rudeness,
however unintended, struck a discord at once. So much of a chameleon
he was, that he could persuade himself into liking, for the moment,
and for the sake of his companion on the spot, many a thing he had
denounced or derided; and sometimes he could do curious things out of
the same unrecognised sympathy. Once after a lecture, leading Taglioni
to her carriage in the midst of a crowd of onlookers, I saw him cross
the London pavement with an old-world minuet-step, hardly conscious, I
am sure, of the quaint homage he was paying to the great dancer he had
admired in his boyhood.

Those flourishes of the pen for his father's pleasure never appear
in his own private scribble. His ideas came too quickly to leave him
time for ornament, and he had no need to idle in dots and circles
between the phrases. His spelling was always good, but he never stopped
to punctuate; a dash was enough for most kinds of stops. Letters of
1845 and 1852 are curious for the underlining or interlining of long
passages, not, apparently, for emphasis; possibly to mark sections of
these general epistles home for copying. In all this early writing
there is an effort to keep pace with the flow of thoughts, even in the
verse; he wrote so much that mere economy of time must have driven him
at speed to the shortest way of getting the matter down. In diaries of
the period are some shorthand notes which I take to be his; but if he
ever tried shorthand he dropped it soon.



The model upon which Ruskin's usual handwriting was at last formed was
his mother's. It is perhaps a commonplace to say that we all betray in
our writing the greatest personal influence of our earlier years. While
penning this very page, a letter has just been brought to me which at
first glance put me in mind of a friend long since dead: it is from
his school-master. Not Ruskin's father nor any of his teachers appear
to have influenced him like his mother. Her more deliberate writing
was extremely elegant; rather small, moderately sloping, with a pretty
combination of curve and angle, and capitals carefully formed. In the
note-book in which he composed verses from 1831 to 1838 you can see the
development of his hand from a spiky and cramped boyish scribble to the
more open and slightly more upright style of 1835 and 1836, the year of
his matriculation at Oxford; a neat and educated penmanship, easy to
read and regular, though differing slightly from day to day in size and
slope. The backward switch of his _y_ and forward toss of the tail to
his angular _t_ are already there; and the dainty shaping of capitals,
based on Italic or Elzevir print, like his mother's, with suggestion
of the _sérif_ in a little elegant curl to _H_ and _F_. Instead of
spasmodic reform, as earlier, there is perfect steadiness for page
after page.

At Oxford his writing became rather larger and looser, perhaps from
Latin exercises, in which indubitable distinctness is required. The
"Poetry of Architecture" fair copy can be seen in a facsimile in the
new Library Edition; the draft scribbled in a sketch-book during Oxford
vacation is reproduced (p. 141); you note the tendency to round the
foot of the down-stroke and the length of the greater limbs of the
letters. He used to tell his secretary to take no notice of a letter in
which _h_ and _l_ looked like _n_ and _e_.

Leaving Oxford and writing hard at "Modern Painters" earlier volumes,
which cost a great deal of pen-work, he went back to the smaller hand
of voluminous authors, and the constant attention to one subject
gave it regularity. But the letters of the time are naturally more
impulsive; indeed, in 1849 there are bits which prefigure his latest
style in its upright and loose sketchiness. From 1849 or 1850 for some
years the chief work was "Stones of Venice," and the note-books and
studies for this are fairly represented by the page on "Sta. Maria
dell' Orto." This is the earlier "Modern Painters" manner. You see the
growing freedom, but it is not yet wild and whirling.

[Illustration: RUSKIN'S HANDWRITING IN 1875]

The difference is shown at a glance in comparing this with the sample
of his well-known later hand. It was by the end of the 'fifties that
the regular and tight spikiness began finally to disappear and give
place to far-flung curves. The great turn in his life which took place
about 1860 showed itself in his penmanship as well as in his thought,
and the final style became formed, which, with merely the differences
of better or worse, lasted until all writing was over. After the summer
of 1889 it was at very rare intervals that he took pen in hand. For
some time before his death by mere disuse he seemed to have lost the
very power of writing at all. At last, one day, being asked for his
signature, he set down with shaking fingers the first few letters of
it, and broke off with "Dear me! I seem to have forgotten how to write
my own name!" And he wrote no more.

There have been authors and journalists whose printed work, no
doubt, exceeds his in quantity; but in reckoning the sum total of his
penmanship we must not forget that every printed page meant, for him,
several written pages, especially in earlier books; also, that he
was a conscientious correspondent, and every day wrote many letters.
It may be set off against this that he sometimes used the help of an
amanuensis, though he rarely dictated, and it was only when he had
hammered his subject into shape that he had it copied for the printer.
Occasionally in late years he let it be type-written, but most of his
work was done before the age of type-writers. He would use the most
unlikely copyists, as when he got the little girls of his Brantwood
class to write out his notes. All he asked was a distinct hand and a
docile scribe. His secretary, like the secretary in "Gil Blas," did
everything but write, and sometimes was packing parcels or sweeping
leaves while the valet was copying lectures on Greek art. Some early
MSS. are in the hand of George Hobbs; many of the later were written
by Crawley; none by Baxter. At other times he requisitioned the young
ladies; it was for this that Mrs. Severn formed her large, round,
upright hand, and Miss Anderson had many a copying task, as well as
others whose work will be valued by collectors for its corrections from
the master's pen, like the quartz which holds the sparkle of gold.

But he taught them to write distinctly--that was his great requirement.
Once, on a sleepless night, he called me, with many apologies, to write
from dictation. Naturally I wrote fast to get my job done and return
to my slumbers; but he continually pulled me up with, "I'm sure you're
scribbling. Let me see if I can read it." Out on the fells, taking the
dip and strike of strata, or among the cathedrals making notes and
measurements, he would often warn his assistant of the folly of hasty
scrawling. "I've lost so much time and trouble by my now bad writing,"
he used to say.

It has been told already how he was struck at first by Miss Francesca
Alexander's handwriting before he had seen her drawing, which
afterwards he praised so highly. The distinct neatness of her beautiful
calligraphy appealed to his love for missals and the lost art, as
he feared, of the true scribe. But of queer and quaint writing he
was impatient. Words were to be read, not played with in decorative
affectations. The baser sort of business-hand roused him to scorn, and
he had a sharp eye for the characteristics of a cranky or insincere
correspondent. When postcards came in, like many others he did not
approve of them and never used them. One of his household sometimes got
postcards written in Runes, and, seeing the mystic inscriptions, he
wanted to know why. "So that people may not read it," was the answer.
"What's the use of that?" replied Ruskin. "Isn't language given you to
conceal your thoughts?"

       *       *       *       *       *

[For further illustrations of his handwriting, see his earliest
"printing" at seven or eight, with his latest current style, actual
size, on page 108; a pencil scribble at ten or eleven, page 171; his
neater writing of the same period, on page 199; his ordinary careful
penmanship about 1835, on page 109; and his looser final hand, pages
163 and 174.]





"It is well known," says a recent newspaper writer, "that Ruskin's
ear was as deaf to musical sound as his eye was sensitive to natural
beauty." On the other hand, Miss Wakefield, the celebrated singer and
the originator of country Musical Competitions, has put together a
volume of 158 pages--most of them, certainly, in rather big type--under
the title of "Ruskin on Music." The inference, of course, to an
unbelieving world is that he wrote about what he did not understand.
But Miss Wakefield understands; and she says, "what is to be admired in
what he has said of the art is the beautiful way in which its spiritual
meaning and teaching have been expressed by him, in the short passages
which he has devoted to it, and in which no one has ever excelled him."

For his thoughts on music there is that book to read; but for Ruskin's
quest of music, for his lifelong attempts to qualify as a musician,
there is nothing to show. The story has not yet been told, because it
has little bearing on his life's main work, and--to put it roughly--it
is the story of a failure. Perhaps there are admirers who would rather
not know about the failure; and yet--you shall judge when you have
heard it!

There are still in existence the bound volumes of piano-pieces and
operatic songs which he learnt when he was an undergraduate at Oxford.
One of these volumes is open on the piano, in our photograph of the
Brantwood drawing-room, arranged as it used to be when he strummed a
little before dinner and read at the four candles after dinner. Each
piece is inscribed by the Oxford music-master with the usual vague
respect of Town to Gown in the formula, "-- Ruskin, Esq., Ch.Ch." The
master does not seem to have known his Christian name, but he evidently
dragged him through a great deal of Bellini, and Donizetti, and Mozart;
and "forty years on--shorter in wind, though in memory long" Ruskin
had a keen recollection of these pieces, and liked to go over them
with any young friend, showing how they used to sing "Non più andrai"
or "Prendero quel brunettino," with all the flourishes. There are his
fingering exercises, as elaborately annotated as all his old books are;
he must have spent much time and taken great pains, in those early
days, over his music. It was not for want of opportunity, nor for lack
of intention, that he did not become a musician.

When he left Oxford he still continued his lessons, especially the
singing. I have never heard of his singing in company, but I can hardly
doubt that the lessons did much for his voice. Any one who has heard
him lecture, or read, or even talk, knows how resonant and flexible
it was, and how thoroughly under his command. He had naturally a weak
chest; he caught cold easily, and his throat was often affected; but
he always, I think, was able to lecture, and his voice was the first
thing that attracted an audience. The singing lessons were not without

[Illustration: (_Photograph by A. E. Brickhill_)



In later years his music-master was George Frederick West, who taught
him--or tried to teach him--something of composition. I can remember
Mr. West coming to give him a lesson at Herne Hill, but I don't think
I was ever present at the ordeal. You can imagine that "Dr. Ruskin,"
as Mr. West always called him, was a most difficult pupil, wanting at
every turn to know why; incredulous of the best authority; impatient of
the compromises and conventions, the "wohl-temperirtes Klavier"; and
eager to upset everything and start afresh. It is Mrs. Severn who can
describe these droll interviews and Mr. West's despairing appeal, "But
you wouldn't be ungrammatical, Doctor Ruskin?"

I am not so sure about that; but Mr. Ruskin learnt what he wanted. One
thing he could do to perfection. He could easily and readily transpose
and copy a song that was too high or too low, and he liked doing so. It
does not imply great scholarship, but it is wonderful, as Dr. Johnson
said of the performing dog, that he should do it at all. He might have
been spending his time to better purpose, you think?

Music lessons went on, at all available intervals, down to the close
of his active life. At Sandgate in 1887-88 he was learning from Mr.
Roberts. In his lodgings, besides the cottage piano already there, he
got a grand piano and a harmonium (the last was afterwards given to a
chapel in Coniston), and because he had few chances of hearing music
in that retirement, he engaged a young lady professional to play of
evenings to himself and the friends who were staying with him.

In his books there are several hard hits at concerts and concert-goers;
but just as he wrote against railways and yet, he said, "used them
himself, few people more," so he was an energetic concert-goer. On
arriving at Paris or any great foreign town his first question was,
"What about the opera?" With classical Italian opera he was familiar
from his youth up. He loved it, indignant when pestilent modernism
hurried the tempo or took liberties with the well-known score.
In London he usually had a season ticket for the Crystal Palace
concerts--you remember how he abused the Crystal Palace!--and when he
was driven away by the "autumn cleaning," a great business in old Mrs.
Ruskin's scrupulous housekeeping at Denmark Hill, he would stay at the
Queen's Hotel in Norwood, "to be near the Manns concerts."

He has just mentioned Charles Hallé in "Ethics of the Dust," but in
private letters comes out his real admiration of the great pianist.
John Hullah was one of his friends; his copy of Hullah's "Manual" is
scribbled with devices for simplifying the teaching of the keyboard.
Indeed, being as he was a born teacher, and counting as he did music an
essential to education, he even taught--or tried to teach--what he knew
of it whenever there was a chance. That class of little country girls
at Brantwood had to learn music too; it was in his time of failing
strength, and the story is tragi-comic; but in such times the real
heart reveals itself through all weaknesses, and it was a very kindly
and earnest nature that made him write out neat cards of music-lore
reduced to its lowest terms for the cottage lasses whose lives he tried
to raise and brighten.

It was only on evenings of actual illness or serious trouble that
he passed the time without music, and he generally managed to have
somebody in the house who could play and sing. One of his admirations
was "Claribel" (Mrs. Barnard), whom he met at Jean Ingelow's; she sang
her own songs to his great delight. Later, among many, there were the
Misses Bateman and Miss Wakefield; in "Joanna's Care" he has told his
readers about the charm of Mrs. Severn's singing. And it was not only
comic songs and nigger ballads that he would listen to; he liked fun,
as his readers ought to know by now, and a good funny song, if the tune
was sound, made him clap his hands in a quaint gesture and laugh all
over--the more that there was much sadness in his thoughts. I remember
Sir Edward Burne-Jones's account of a visit to the Christy Minstrels;
how the Professor dragged him there, to a front seat, and those
burnt-corked people anticked and shouted, and Burne-Jones wanted to go,
and Ruskin wouldn't, but sat laughing through the whole performance as
if he loved it. An afternoon, to him, of oblivion to the cares of life;
an odd experience; but he would not call it music. "Now let us have
something different," he used to say when he had laughed enough.

[Illustration: (_Miss Hargreaves, photographer_)



The old songs were his delight, old English and French and Scotch.
German songs, German music, and everything German, except Dürer and
Holbein, he could not abide; German love-songs especially, "songs
of seduction," he called them. He would just endure a bit of Swiss
carolling, with its breezy reminder of the Alps; but the unlucky
individual who tried him with Fesca has cause to remember the event.
Haydn and Mozart he classed with the Italians, and Handel with the good
old standards; but Mendelssohn was not to be named. Worst of all he
misliked execution without feeling: the brilliant young lady pianist
had no welcome from Ruskin. Gaiety, or else tenderness, appealed; even
among the old songs there were those he cast out of the programme. Of
"Charmante Gabrielle" he said once, "it might do when a king sang it."

Corelli was one of his favourite composers; that was another link with
"Redgauntlet" and Wandering Willie; and though he was never a collector
of rarities as such, he bought all the Corelli he could meet with, as
well as various old editions of early music at Chappell's sales.

[Music illustration: AT MARMION'S GRAVE



  But yet from out the lit-tle hill
  Ooz-es the slen-der spring-let still, And
  shep-herd boys re-pair To seek the wat-er-
  flag and rush, And plait their gar-lands fair;
  When thou shalt find the lit-tle hill
  With thy heart com-mune, and be still.]

From about 1880 for some years he took to making little compositions of
his own; curious experiments. It need hardly be said, and it need never
be regretted, that these were not workmanlike performances. The mere
fact of his trying to compose is curious; and though it is not part of
his life's work, it explains some passages and turns of his thought. It
would be really more wonderful if he had succeeded in learning to be a
musician, along with all the other things he attempted. But look at his
face, in the truthful if not sentimental portrait by Mr. Creswick. I
do not much believe in physiognomy, and yet in the faces of those who
have the gift of execution--quite a separate power from intellectual or
emotional appreciation, or even from composition--I think you notice
that the groove which marks off the wing of the nose, _ala nasi_,
at the top is strongly developed; sometimes it is so sharp as to be
almost a deformity. There is none in Ruskin's face. That trait may mean
nothing; but the fact remains that so able a man spent time and labour
in vain over an art which many learn easily, without a hundredth part
of his general power. In a word, he had a great love for music, and
within certain limits a true taste, but no talent.

There were, however, friends of his who could find his little tunes
interesting and enjoyable, and even pay him pretty compliments about
them. Without attaching too much importance to it, I venture to quote
part of a letter from Ernest Chesneau (author of "The English School
of Painting") to John Ruskin, dated "Oxford, 12 juin, 1884, 8^{h.} ½

"Hier à 5 heures, nous sommes allés réclamer à miss Macdonald junior
la chanson de notre John. L'aimable enfant n'a pas eu le temps encore
de l'écrire et me l'a promise pour demain; mais pour me consoler de ma
déception, que son fin regard de fillette a bien lue sur mon visage,
elle m'en a chanté une autre; et je lui ai fait redire la première.
En écoutant ces doux petits airs simples, naïfs et touchants, ma
mémoire évoquait--sans que ma volonté y eût part--le souvenir d'une
grande fugue du vieux Bach que l'orgue de New College avait fort bien
joué la veille. Et ma pensée inconsciement associait, rapprochait la
magnificence du Bach et la timide délicatesse du Ruskin. Et la douce
petite chanson m'apparaissait comme ces exquises graminées dont la
graine, apportie par les oiseaux du ciel, fleurit aux frontons de
marbre des palais ou aux corniches de pierre des cathédrales. Et la
fleurette apportée des champs voisins se perpétuera à travers les
âges, quand les somptuosités créées de main d'homme ne seront plus que
des ruines où s'arrêtera le regard curieux de l'artiste. C'est que
la petite fleur des champs et la naïve chanson expriment l'âme des
simples; et que la fugue comme le temple ou le palais expriment les
raffinements des scholastiques, c'est à dire l'éphémère de l'art."

In "Elements of English Prosody," written 1880, there is a good deal
about his views on music, made sadly unreadable, not by the error of
his ideas, but by his perverse neglect of recognised technicalities.
Among the rest is an attempt at a setting of "Ye Mariners of England,"
with bars inserted as if to mark the feet of the prosody instead of the
beat of the melody, which was part of his scheme, though it naturally
offends a musician.

[Music illustration: "TRUST THOU THY LOVE"


His little output of musical composition need never see the light.
Once he had "Blow, blow thou winter wind" set up in type, but it was
discreetly blotted. The manuscript page of "On Old Ægina's Rocks" is
in the Coniston Museum for the curious to behold. Others were little
rhymes for children--the words printed in his "Poems," or fragments
from Scott and Shakespeare, "How should I thy truelove know," "From
Wigton to the foot of Ayr," "Come unto these yellow sands," "From the
east to western Ind," and so forth, with a couple of odes of Horace,
"Faune, Nympharum" and "Tu ne quæsieris." Here, as specimens, it is
enough to give a little scrap from "Marmion," to which he set the air
and sketched the accompaniment; and his own rough draft of a songlet,
of which the words, at any rate, are lovely, and intimately Ruskin.
They might be the motto to the Queen's Gardens of "Sesame":

    Trust thou thy Love; if she be proud, is she not sweet?
      Trust thou thy Love; if she be mute, is she not pure?
    Lay thou thy soul full in her hands, low at her feet;
      Fail, Sun and Breath;--yet, for thy peace, she shall endure!





A standing treat for Ruskin's visitors was to look at minerals. Some
people, it was known, did not appreciate Turners, but everybody was
sure to show emotion over the diamonds and nuggets. It was not an
ordinary collection, with a bit of this and a bit of that, samples of
all the ores in the handbook; there were only certain sorts, but each
specimen was the pick of the market and of many years' selection, and
every sort was a type of beauty.

Ruskin was not a "scientific" mineralogist, though he was an F.G.S.
from an early age, and used the word "science" pretty freely in his
writings. He really knew a great deal about minerals, too; but his
knowledge was that of the artist and collector, taking little notice of
the mathematics and chemistry which you read about, yet finding deep
and keen interest in the forms and colours, the development, the "Life
of Stones," "Ethics of the Dust," as he put it, about which science, up
to his time, had nothing to say. And yet, as he showed his collection,
you could not but feel that this was a kind of Nature-study not only
fascinating, but of real importance.

A standard work, under the heading, "Native Gold," tells us: "The
octahedron and dodecahedron are the most common forms. Crystals
sometimes acicular ... also passing into filiform, reticulated, and
arborescent shapes; and occasionally spongiform," &c. But it does
not show you, as Ruskin could--pulling out drawer after drawer of his
plush-lined cabinets, and letting you handle and peer into the dainty
things with a lens--what gold, as Nature makes it, actually is. The
scientific book never asks why some gold is born in the shape of tiny,
solid, squarish crystals, as truly crystals as the uncut diamonds
lying beside them, or the quartz in which they nestle; or why other
samples are spun into hair, or woven into wisps, or ravelled into knots
of natural gold lace; or again, why these have grown into the shape
of exquisitely finished moss, and those into seaweed leaves, flat
and curly, and powdered with dust of gold crystals, springing from
the rough brown stone, or semi-transparent spar, inside of which you
can see them like flower-stalks in water. Here is quite a new world
of wonder and mystery, and that is the kind of "science" he puzzled
over. Some more solid masses, not water-worn nuggets, are like a tiny
_netsuke_; he had a miniature cobra, chased with its scales--all by
the art of Nature; and others so like early Greek coins that one might
fancy they had given suggestions to primitive mint-masters, who like
all good artists modelled their work on Nature. What a happy world,
he used to say, if all the gold were in its native fronds; and even
for jewellery how much prettier these leaves of gold as it grew, than
anything the manufacturing goldsmith sells you. I have drawn a group of
eight such fronds, arranged as a cross, the centre piece with two tiny
crystals of quartz naturally set into it, a gift from his collection
to a friend, as an instance of what Ruskin called a jewel: and from
his own rapid sketch in colour (over leaf) is a knot of natural silver
wire, for silver, too, has its "arborescent filiform" shapes.

[Illustration: GOLD AS IT GROWS


After gold and silver and diamonds you might think the interest of the
mineral-drawers would begin to wane. But no! we come to richer colours
and still more striking forms. This big pebble, rosy pink, with hazy
streaks inside which catch the light as you turn it about, and reveal
mysterious inner architecture--that is a ruby; and this also, a bit
of frozen raspberry jam engraved with mystic triangles, one inside
another like a dwarf-wrought seal of a fairy king. Then hold up this
slab of talc to the light; the dark patch in it glows like a red lamp
with the intense colour of the garnet. Lower down the cabinet there are
bunches of beryls, angelica stalks Queen Thyri would not have scorned;
or trimmed by Nature into quaint likeness to those six-sided Austrian
pencils, point and all: emeralds in short and snapped-off sticks of
mossy green; pale pink rods of tourmaline; clippings of a baby's hair,
but crimson, and so fragile you must not breathe on them--that is
ruby copper, chalcotrichite; black needles of rutile piercing through
and through the solid, glassy quartz-crystals; amianthus, plush on a
stone, tow on a distaff, waving seaweed in a motionless aquarium of
hard spar. Why were these dainty things created, or how did they grow,
hidden away from all possible light for their colours to develop or
sight of man to enjoy them, until mining folk dug them up from their
lurking-places? And then there are those which even when found show
little of their beauty until they are polished; agates, and Labrador
spar, and malachites, and fire opals; what theory of Nature accounts
for this latent loveliness? he would say; how little this kind of
beauty is known and enjoyed by people who are satisfied with jewellery
from the price-list! One of his plans was to form a jewel-museum in
which the curator should exhibit, with lens and leisurely explanations,
such treasures to admiring groups of visitors. The place, indeed, was
fixed, at Keswick; the curator named. But the curator designate shirked
the too responsible honour.

[Illustration: NATIVE SILVER




Less for pure beauty but still wonderful were all the many forms of
chalcedony and kindred minerals toward the end of his entertainment.
One is a specimen of hyalite--a sort of ropy, waxy glass-bubble holding
water inside. He would tell how he wanted to know why the water was in
it, and what sort of mysterious liquid was so sealed up and treasured
by the powers that be; so he had it carefully sawn asunder and the
sacred ichor collected and analysed. It turned out to be just like
Thames water.

The page photographed from one of his earliest writings--the mineral
dictionary he made at ten or eleven in a shorthand which, later on, he
could not read himself--is now in the Coniston Museum. It shows his
very early interest and diligence, at the time when he cared nothing
for pictures or political economy, but loved Nature in all her ways.
This page begins his juvenile account of Galena, a word which in later
days often brought out a smile and a story. For years, he said, he
was wretched because his great and glorious specimen of this same
Lead Glance had a flaw in it, an angular notch, breaking the dainty
exactitude of the big, black, shining crystal, otherwise as regular as
the most consummate art could plane and polish it. One day, with the
lens, he noticed that the form of the notch corresponded with the shape
of a crystal of calcite embedded in another specimen. His galena had
not been damaged; it was Nature's work, all the more wonderful now; and
life was still worth living.

Few Ruskin readers know his papers on Agates in back numbers of the
_Geological Magazine_, with their fine coloured plates illustrating
some of the best in his grand series; but this was one of his pet
studies, and it was a great regret of his declining age that he had
never carried it through. By careful drawing he learned, as any one
must, far more of the secrets of agate-structure than can be found by
merely looking and talking, and he thought that the usual explanation
was quite insufficient; agates were not made in layers poured one
after another into the hollows of the rock, but by some kind of
"segregation," the withdrawal of different materials from a mixed mass.
This is not the place to discuss his theory; but only to note that
duplicates of his own set, in illustration of his papers, are now in
the Coniston Museum, which indeed was founded by his gift of a general
mineral collection in 1887.



His "Catalogue of a series of specimens in the British Museum (Natural
History) illustrative of the more common forms of Native Silica"
(George Allen, 1884) to a certain extent suggests his agate theory.
This is well worth looking through when a visit to the Museum gives
the reader an opportunity of comparing these beautiful stones, many of
them presented by Ruskin, who also gave the great jewels he called the
Colenso diamond and the Edwardes ruby (after his friend Sir Herbert
Edwardes, whose life he wrote in "A Knight's Faith").

[Illustration: DIAMOND DIAGRAM


Another printed catalogue, running to fifty pages, was written to
expound a collection given to St. David's School, Reigate (the Rev.
W. H. Churchill's, now at Stonehouse, Broadstairs) in 1883. A third
collection, similarly catalogued, was given to Kirkcudbright Museum,
and others to Whitelands College, Chelsea, and the St. George's (now
called the Ruskin) Museum, Sheffield. These do not exhaust the list of
his gifts, but serve to show how eager he was to share his interests
with boys and girls, working men and the big public, who must surely,
he thought, love these phases of Nature's beauty when they had
opportunity of seeing them.

After the illness of 1878 which set him aside from Oxford work, he took
to stones of all sorts with ardour. Even at Oxford he had not quite
forgotten them: the lecture called "The Iris of the Earth" (given in
London, February 1876) is a poetical miscellany of jewel-lore. While
he was at work on this at Oxford he sent the college messenger round
with a pressing note for one of his pupils to come at once. "I want to
know what _gules_ means. Run to Professor ---- and Professor ---- and
find out. The books say it means _gueule_, the red of a wild beast's
throat, but that is too nasty." "Why not _gul_? I think that is Persian
for _rose_," said the pupil. "Wonderful!" said he; "_In the gardens of
Gul!_ Of course!" And down it went in the lecture.

At Brantwood in the early 'eighties there was a busy time with
minerals. He was trying to get deeper into the secret, and to look up
the more scientific side of the question. He even got a microscope,
and his secretary had to make drawings of diamond anatomy, which I am
afraid only confirmed him in his distrust of microscopes. He pored over
crystallography, and tried to rub up his mathematics, only to find that
nothing of the sort explained why gold made itself into fronds, and
snow into stars, and diamonds into marvellous domes built up of shield
within shield, round-sided triangles--not round-sided after all, but
mysteriously straight lines, simulating curves, and so blended and
harmonised and perfected that a good uncut diamond is perhaps the most
bewilderingly beautiful thing in Nature. Here is one of his sketches
giving a diagram of the big "St. George's" diamond he bought for £1000,
and studied, and made his secretary study, for weeks together. It ought
perhaps to be said that the diagram represents only one facet, and that
this is magnified fully two diameters; the diamond is large, but not
so large as all that. I cannot reproduce the best drawing made at the
time, too elaborate in its attempt at transparency and detail; "That
style of drawing was too utter by far," he said; but his diagram may
give some hint of the reason why he preached "uncut diamonds" as well
as the jewellery of native gold.

He put his theory into practice more than once; especially in a fine
pendant he gave to Mrs. Severn, who designed the setting. It is about
two and three-quarter inches long, not including the clasp. Two
large moonstones _en cabochon_ but irregular in outline are set in
an arrangement of gold leaves and twigs; among them are nine spikes
of uncut sapphire each about half an inch long, radiating from the
moonstones, which are joined by two uncut diamonds, one round and one
triangular; a quantity of small rubies are dotted about the group to
give contrast of colour. The effect is most picturesque, but of course
it has not the glitter--the vulgar glitter, Ruskin called it--of
ordinary jewellery. To see the special charm you have to look close.

A much more entertaining and to him satisfactory line of research was
in finding illustrations of crystal form and banded structure among the
stones of the neighbourhood, with which his porch became encumbered,
or in sugar and salt and coloured pastry, or tracing the diffusion
of cream in fruit-juice, which makes a temporary agate. It was more
fun for the secretary too, than working problems in the kitchen after
bedtime, the only chance for a smoke; and who can tackle geometry of
three dimensions without a pipe? If Ruskin had smoked he might have
mastered his Miller and Cloiseaux; but it was better that he should
satisfy himself that their ways were not his ways. The poetry of
jewel-lore can't be stated in terms of _h. k. l._

Those pie-crust experiments were everybody's delight. They are partly
told in "Deucalion," illustrated with drawings by Laurence Hilliard,
who became expert at bogus mineralogy on his own account. After
displays of nature's wonders and Ruskin's eloquence, the visitor at
luncheon or tea (tea was at the dining-room table) often did not know
whether to laugh or look shocked when Laurie made minerals of bread
and jam, or anything handy, irresistibly like; and described them
gravely in the very accents of the Professor, who found it "entirely
lovely," and sometimes even suggestive. He was always looking out for
analogies, and could make bogus minerals too. One day, showing his
jewels to a very young lady, he brought out of its purple plush nook
in the glittering drawer a wonderful specimen, ropy, arborescent,
semi-transparent, lustrous; descanting the while on stalactitic growth,
chalcedony, chrysoprase, hyalite. "And what is this called?" she asked.
"Wax, my dear; I got it at the candle myself."





In any strange house, while you wait for your host or hostess, how much
you gather of their tastes and ways from the books on the table and
in the shelves! You cannot help noticing either the presence or the
absence of literature, and you do not need to open the volumes to guess
what sort of reading the good people like. Well-known bindings and
styles of binding betray them at once; and unless they are abnormally
tidy their pet books are sure to be somewhere in the room they use. Of
course, one must discount the evidence of a cover which too obviously
matches the furniture; and if you are an author, and expected to call,
be not too lifted up on spying your own book gracefully displayed. You
may assume that working books, professional tools, are in the workshop;
and there are few houses without a certain litter of ephemeral
printing, magazines and library volumes, necessary for intelligent
conversation. But if the people read, you will soon know it, and learn
at a glance much about their tastes and characters.

When you know your friends well enough to browse among their books you
learn still more. The way they cut their pages, skipping or plodding;
and if they ever do scribble on the margins, what they have marked; and
which books are much used, and which are exiled to top shelves; and how
they are kept--unbound, or perhaps all too beautifully bound; these
things tell you more than an autobiography would, more than many years
of ordinary acquaintance.

Ruskin's library was scattered all over his house--and though he has
been dead these three years, and for many years earlier made little
use of his books, the bulk of them still remain pretty much as he
left them. At one time, when he was busy upon literary work, he was
continually buying, and every corner was heaped with new purchases and
old lots weeded out to be given away or sold; but the net result of his
choice and taste, what he personally cared for and kept, can be seen
by a visitor at Brantwood--the books for constant use in the study,
and favourite reading in his bedroom, and the rest dispersed about
the place. Most of these books I remember in just these same places
twenty-five years ago, or more; so that in taking you into his study I
am showing you the workshop where he wrote "Oxford Lectures" and "Fors
Clavigera," and handling the tools he used.

Art and Political Economy were the main subjects of those lectures
and letters, and I suppose the public assumes that these were the
subjects most interesting to him. Whether you are of those who think
him great on Art but astray on Economics, or of the later school who
have resolved that he never knew anything of Art, but had real insight
and foresight in matters social and political, you would expect to find
evidences of both--rows of reference volumes, and all the standard
works. But they are not here; Art and Political Economy are conspicuous
by their absence.

Perhaps you will query my sweeping statement as you take down a volume
of Crowe and Cavalcaselle from the "history bookcase" to the right of
the fireplace: but see, it is only a stray volume!--and open it; only
a few pages are cut, and those considerably bescribbled with dissent.
Ought he to have known by heart these authorities on Italian painting?
It might have saved him from an error or two, and from some useless
discussions; but he knew the pictures themselves, and his business
was not to write handbooks, but to bring his readers directly into
touch with the generalised human view he took of painting. There is,
however, the "Dictionnaire de l'Architecture" of Viollet-le-Duc, much
used in parts, for he alternately admired the research and quarrelled
with the conclusions of the great French architect, whose name he
persisted in spelling "Violet." There are some very successful artists
whose perspective is always wrong; and others whose drawing can always
be corrected by an art student; but they can paint pictures! Ruskin's
work is full of little faults; _de minimis non curat_; but he got at
the root of the matter, mostly, and he could make you see it. All the
tinkering criticism about his mistakes only shows that he thought
"first-hand," so to say, and wrote with a full pen.

This bookcase is chiefly made up of Carlyle, Gibbon, Alison, Milman,
and the old standards, of course thickly annotated. There are also
some volumes of Mr. W. S. Lilly, but you may open them and find no
sign of life; Ruskin may have read but he has not marked. There is his
old copy of Lord Lindsay's "Christian Art" (1847), reviewed by him in
the June _Quarterly_ of that year. It is stamped with "Mr. Murray's
compliments," but that must refer to the previous owner. You see his
name in queer cramped pencil "Burgon: Oriel," with Greek e--Burgon of
the Greek vase, the High Churchman, whose dark thin face and bright
eyes, and humorous contempt for all "doxies" but his own, make him
so well remembered by Oxford men of the passing generation. There is
something odd in Ruskin's early excursion into primitive Italian art
being, as it were, "_vice_ Burgon, resigned." Then there is "Roman
Antiquities," by Alexander Adam, LL.D., 1819, doubly ear-marked by
"John J. Ruskin," and kept for his father's sake, and for the sake of
his father's old school-master. Ruskin, at all times, was open to the
appeal of associations; all his judgments about men, women and things
must be corrected by the personal equation, and without his biography
one can never quite rightly appraise his works.

The "Bible of Amiens" and some passages in the latest lectures hint
that he was really interested in Anglo-Saxons and Irish Saints.
There is the Venerable Bede, evidently studied, and the life of
St. Patrick--you know he was always respectful to the patron of
Ireland--but not a leaf cut! There is J. R. Green's "Making of
England," appreciatively annotated, and Sharon Turner, much marked
and cut down in a reckless way to fit the shelf. A much worse example
of this chopping of books is Westwood's "Miniatures and Ornaments of
Anglo-Saxon and Irish MSS.," a most valuable folio, from which Ruskin
has sawn the top edge and ripped out all the best plates. As in the
case of his mediæval missals, scribbled on the margin by his irreverent
pen, he would say that his books were for use and not for curiosities.
These plates were ripped out, not for wanton mischief or in vulgar
carelessness, but to show to his classes at lectures. The margins
were cut, so that the books might be put away in shelves or cabinets,
clearing the workshop of a busy man, instead of leaving them about
to be mishandled and dog-eared; for the best of housemaids cannot be
expected always to treat the master's litter as if they loved it. None
of these volumes are so damaged that a little vamping would not set
them right; though of course they would not be the tall copies prized
by bibliomaniacs. But how many of these tall copies are read by their

[Illustration: (_Miss Brickhill, photographer_)


On the other hand he bound some volumes much more sumptuously than
they deserved. On this shelf there is a very splendid tome, lettered
on the back "SWISSE HISTOR.," evidently bound abroad, which on opening
you find to be Gaullieur's "La Suisse Historique," much used for
intended work on Swiss towns; and another grand, thick, bevelled,
gilded, crushed-morocco series lettered "HEPHAESTUS," which turns out
to be "Les Ouvriers des Deux Mondes" (Paris, 1857)--the only sample we
can find of the Political Economy we were looking for. Nor is there
anything of the sort elsewhere in the room.

On the other side of the fireplace is a nest of shelves filling
the corner; you see it in the picture of Ruskin's study, above his
armchair. These shelves are full of maps and scraps, presented poems at
the top and other gleanings awaiting removal when he should next put
his room in order; old Baedekers and chess-books lower down, with the
set of chessmen and the little travelling board handy for a game after
tea; and boxes filled with the British Museum reproductions of those
bonny Greek coins, thick, rich and bossy, like nuggets come to life or
fossils in metal.

Over the fire are no books, but, as many pictures of the Brantwood
study have shown, a della Robbia relief, replacing the Turner which
once hung there; and the stuffed kingfisher, Cyprus pottery and
figurines, a bit or two of colour in Japanese enamel and Broseley
lustre, and in the middle of the mantelpiece the Swiss girl which
we have photographed. It is a brown old wood-carving, nearly a foot
high, with the vineyard pruning-hook (now broken away) and the _hotte_
or creel full of vine-leaves (they use the word _hot_ for a pannier
or creel in the Cumberland dialect also); and though the drapery is
commonplace--kerchief, corset and skirt--there is something of the fine
school of sculpture about the lines, not unworthy of a good Nuremberg
bronze. I do not know how or whence this figure came to the family,
but it was old Mrs. Ruskin's before it was brought to Brantwood, and
here it is, so to say, the very centrepiece of the house. When he
sat writing at his usual place and looked up, his eye would light on
it first of all, before rising to the Florentine Madonna above or
wandering to the Turners on the wall to the right, or out of window to
the lake and mountains and Coniston Old Hall opposite. What has he not
said about the beauty of the peasant-girl in the fields as compared
with the proud ideals of classic art?--that the painting we most need
is to paint cheeks red with health, and so on? Here was always the
reminder of that bedrock principle of his thought. You know how George
Borrow describes a writer who used to find his inspiration in a queer
portrait over the fireplace? This, I think--though I never heard Ruskin
say so, and perhaps it is rather the symbol than the cause--gives us
the keynote of his study and the work that went on in it.

The rest of his library represents not so much his professed occupation
as what you might call his hobbies. To the left, within reach of the
writing-table, all is Botany, and not very modern botany either. Beyond
the cases full of Turners in sliding frames, and drawers of business
papers, all is Geology and Natural History, mostly out of date, or
shall we call it "classical"? There is Mineralogy, old Jameson, and
Cloiseaux, gorgeously bound, and Miller, and perhaps a larger number
of the handbook class, in French and English, and of more modern date,
than in any other department. There are his old friends Forbes and
Phillips on glaciers and geology, and some more recent three-volume
treatises with uncomplimentary scribblings on their margins. There is
Yarrell's "Birds"--he never could endure the cuts; and three sets of
Bewick. One of the most used is Donovan's "British Insects," eight
volumes, with coloured plates.

Opposite you find more botany; the nineteen massive folios of
"Floræ Danicæ Descriptio," the twenty-seven volumes of the old, old
_Botanical Magazine_, with the beautiful plates of Sowerby, the
three dozen volumes and index of Sowerby's "English Botany," the six
volumes of Baxter's "Island Plants," the nine volumes of Lecoq's
"Géographie Botanique," and so forth; all showing his purely artistic
and "unscientific" interest in natural history. Modern anatomy and
evolution were nothing to him; what he cared about was the beauty of
the creatures and the sentiments that clustered round them in mythology
and poetry.

[Illustration: (_Miss Hargreaves, photographer_)


Of poetry and _belles-lettres_ he had a great assortment, as might
be expected, and mostly in volumes interesting for their history,
though not chosen as rare editions. He kept his grandfather's "Burns,"
his father's "Byron," his own college "Aristophanes," with copious
lecture-notes and sketches of the Poetry of Architecture in blank
spaces. He had Morris's "Earthly Paradise," "from his friend the
author"; a "Linnæus" that had belonged to Ray, the great Cumbrian
botanist; "A Dyaloge of Syr Thomas More Knyghte" (1530), with the neat
autograph, "ffrancis Bacons booke," apparently that of the famous Lord
Bacon; and, of course, his Scott manuscripts have been often described
by visitors to Brantwood. One little token of unexpected reverence
for a name which hasty readers might think was not to be spoken in
Ruskin's study, is a tiny duodecimo in yellow silk--"Dialogo di
Antonio Manetti," about the size, form, and measurements of Dante's
Hell--inscribed apparently by the great artist "di Michelagnol

Greek authors, and a few translations like Jowett's "Plato";
Missals and Bibles in mediæval Greek and Latin; a few old printed
books--"Danthe" (1491), and a couple more "fourteeners"--but only on
subjects in which he was interested, such as heraldry--Randle Holmes
(1688), and Guillim (1638), coloured by Ruskin and much marked;
Douglas's "Virgil" (1553), Chapman's "Homer," the original "Cowley"
of 1668, various copies of "Poliphilo," together with standard poets,
complete what may be called the bric-à-brac of the shelves above the
mineral collection. Some readers of Omar Khayyam may be interested in
his dissent to stanza 34, and energetic assent to 21, 25, 45 and 46,
scored on the margins in the edition of 1879; and some of his artistic
readers, will they be sympathetic or scandalised at his collection of
Rodolph Toepffer's Genevese caricatures? There is very little about Art
in all these lines of books: Millingen's "Greek Vases," and the still
greater work of Lenormant and De Witte are there indeed, but the only
other art books are those of two old friends, Prout's "Sketches at Home
and Abroad," and Harding's "Elementary Art."

Some of the books he used for special work are in other parts of the
house, and many must have been sold or given away when they were done
with. A number of those he gave away are in a case at the Coniston
Museum, from which we photograph a fine Nuremberg Chronicle side by
side with the tiny "Horace" he used to carry in his pocket on journeys
abroad. In his bedroom he kept a great deal of favourite reading for
wakeful nights--Carlyle and Helps, Scott and Byron, Shakespeare and
Spenser, Miss Edgeworth and Madame de Genlis, and the books of his
youth, a most curious collection of dingy antiquity, with not a few
French novels: and elsewhere are the ponderous tomes from which he
gleaned. His work was not done without much reference to books; but,
after all, it was never compilation. Perhaps it is a truism, but this
look round Ruskin's library gives it some freshness and force--that
the writing which makes its mark in the world is not the second-hand,
patchwork sort, however laborious and however learned. He looked at
Nature, and wrote down what he saw; he felt deeply, and wrote what he





"Ruskin et la bible"--who would have expected it?--is the title of a
French book, written by a science professor, and published in Paris.

We all know that his works, from "Modern Painters" to "Præterita,"
are full of the Bible. Sometimes his allusions and quotations are
merely ornamental, and sometimes his remarks are sharp enough to pain
the reader; for Ruskin went through many phases of faith, or, rather,
through a long period of doubt, from which he came, in his later years,
into a new and very simple acceptance of the Christian hope. But at
all times he took the Bible seriously, and in many a passage he has
made its thoughts and stories live for us with marvellous reality. Hear
him tell the Death of Moses or the Call of Peter in those well-known
pages of his masterpiece, or follow him in "Fors" through unpalatable
deductions from neglected commands, and you cannot but feel that he was
a great preacher, "a man of one book," and that book was the Bible.

How he was brought up upon it he tells us in his autobiography. In
Coniston Museum not the least interesting of the Ruskin relics is the
Bible from which, as he noted on the fly-leaf, his mother taught him
the paraphrases. Turning it over one sees how the parts he has named as
especially studied, Psalm cxix. above all, have been soiled; for even
little John Ruskin, model of home-bred boys, was like Tommy Grimes the
scamp--he couldn't always be good--and continual thumbing embrowns the

It was his mother to whom he owed this youthful training in a close
knowledge of the text, "without note or comment." This was her Bible in
the earlier days. Later in life she laid the somewhat worn volume aside
for a new one, a nonpareil Oxford Bible with references, 1852, with
inscription in her husband's handwriting--




--and a bearded thistle-head is fastened for a memento on the fly-leaf.
To the end of her life she read in it every day, and every day learned
two verses by heart; she has pencilled on the margins the dates in her
last two years, 1870 and 1871; and after the daily reading she always
put the volume away in its yellow silk bag with purple strings. This
curious habit of dating came out also in her son's old age; perhaps the
modern psychologist will diagnose in it some form of degeneracy, but in
old times dates were important from a lingering respect for astrology,
which is betrayed--most likely unintended--in the precision with which
John Ruskin's father noted the exact hour of his birth. It is in a
Baskett Bible of 1741, with engraved title-page, and a pencil drawing,
probably by John in his boyhood, stuck in as a sort of frontispiece--a
copy from a picture of Jesus Mocked. Opposite to it is written: "John
Ruskin, son of John James Ruskin and Margaret Ruskin, Born 8 February
1819 at ¼ past 7 o'clock Morning. Babtized (_sic_) 20 Feby 1819
by the Rev^d Mr. Boyd"--the father, I understand, of "A.K.H.B." To
emphasise the Scottish character of the family one may note that this
volume has bound up with it at the end "The Psalms of David in Meeter,"
printed at Edinburgh, 1738. It is most curious that Mr. J. J. Ruskin,
a distinctly well-educated man, should have made the mistake in
spelling, and carried on the old tradition of providing material for
the horoscope.

[Illustration: (_Miss Hargreaves, photographer_)


Another Baskett Bible of 1749, nicely rebound in old red morocco,
handsomely tooled, bears the family's earliest register. It is written
in a big, unscholarly hand in the blank space of the last page of
Maccabees; for this volume contained an Apocrypha, and the page
becoming worn, it was stuck down on the cover. "John Ruskin, Baptized
Aprill 9th, 1732 O.S." (_i.e._, 1733 new style), and then follow the
children of this John, with dates and hours of birth, between 1756
and 1772--Margaret, Mary, William, John Thomas, Elizabeth, Robert,
and James. John Thomas, born October 22, 1761, was the father of John
James, the father of John. Like many other remarkable men who owed
their fame to their powers rather than to their circumstances, Ruskin
came of a line of decent, respectable, bourgeois folk, who read their
Bibles, "feared God, and took their own part when required."

His earliest literary training, so to say, was closely connected with
Bible study: for every Sunday he had to take notes of the sermon and
write out a report of the discourse. One of his childish sermon-books
is preserved in the Coniston Museum, and a page is reproduced here to
show the care of writing and choice of wording insisted upon. In the
stories and verses with which he amused himself, he learned a good deal
of freedom and ease: in these he learned dignity of style, a corrective
to boyish flippancy. Also he got the habit of thinking with his pen, so
that he nearly always scribbled when most people would only meditate.
His father's Bible (a small pica 8vo, Oxford edition of 1846, on the
fly-leaf "Margaret Ruskin to her husband John James Ruskin, 1850,"
finely rebound in tawny leather, gilt) was used by him in later times,
and side-lined vigorously; all the blank spaces are scribbled over with
the thoughts that came as he read.

[Illustration: (_Miss Brickhill, photographer_)


There is a grand Old Testament in Greek MS. The back is lettered
"tenth century," but Dr. Caspar René Gregory, who spent some time in
examining the books at Brantwood, pointed out that the Greek date for
1463 could be dimly seen printed off from the lost final leaf. It was
bound in vellum in or after 1817, to judge from the water-mark in the
fly-leaves; the binding alone is worm-eaten, leaving the body of the
book untouched. The pages, a little waterstained, are written large and
quaint with the reed pen, and adorned with strips of painted pattern
and Byzantine portraits of the authors of the books--Solomon as a
young king, Isaiah and the prophets in varying phases of grey-bearded
dignity and elaborate robes of many colours, rather coarsely but
very richly painted. Such a book to most would be quite too sacred
for anything but occasional turning with careful finger-tips, or a
paper-knife delicately inserted at the outer margin of the leaves; not
to say too crabbed in its contractions and old style calligraphy to
be read with ease. But Ruskin read it, and annotated as he read. He
did the same with the Greek Psalter in the Coniston Museum, shown in
the illustration on p. 197; he did it still more copiously, and in
ink, not merely in erasable pencil, in his most valuable tenth-century
Greek Gospels, or rather Book of Lessons, from which we have a page
photographed. I am very far from saying that this is a practice to be
imitated; but any one who wishes to follow Ruskin in his more intimate
thoughts on the Bible, at the time of crisis in 1875 when he was busy
on this book, and when he was beginning to turn from the agnostic
attitude of his middle life to the old-fashioned piety of his age--any
one who wants to get at his mind would find it here.

[Illustration: (_Miss Brickhill, photographer_)


Some of the remarks merely comment on the grammatical forms, or the
contractions, or the style of writing. Where a page is written with
a free hand, evidently to the scribe's enjoyment, he notes the fact;
and likewise where the scribe found it dull, and penned perfunctorily.
That is quite like him, to ask how the man felt at his work! But there
are many curious hints of questioning, and then confessions of his
doubts about the doubts, that go to one's heart to read. "I have always
profound sympathy for Thomas," he scribbles. "Well questioned, Jude!"
"This reads like a piece of truth (John xviii. 16). How little one
thinks of John's being by, in that scene!" "The hour being unknown, as
well as unlooked for (Matt. xxiv. 42), the Lord comes, and the servant
does not know that He has--(and has his portion, unknowingly?)." To
the cry for Barabbas (Matt. xxvii. 20) he adds, "Remember! it was not
the mob's fault, except for acting as a mob"; and to verse 24 (Pilate
washing his hands)--"How any popular electionist or yielding governor
can read these passages of Matthew and not shrivel!" On the parable
of the vine, the earlier note to the verse about the withered branch
cast into the fire and burned is--"How useless! and how weak and vain
the whole over-fatigued metaphor!" But then--"I do not remember when I
wrote this note, but the 'over-fatigued metaphor' comes to me to-day,
8th Nov. 1877, in connection with the καθὼς ἠγάπησε [Greek: kathôs
êgapêse], as the most precious and direct help and life." You remember
John xv. 9: "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you; continue
ye in my love." That word was the help and life he found.

[Illustration: (_Miss Brickhill, photographer_)


He used to read his Latin Bibles too, but most of these were collected
rather for their artistic value than otherwise. Of printed bibles
there were few in his library; one, a Latin version in three volumes,
purple morocco, printed by Fran. Gryphius, 1541, and adorned, as the
title puts it, with images suitable no less for their beauty than
for their truth, has the cuts resembling Holbein's work in "Icones
Historiarum Veteris Testamenti" (Lyons, apud Joannem Frellonium, 1547).
But he loved mediæval illumination, and owned too many thirteenth- and
fourteenth-century Bibles, Psalters, and Missals to be described in
this chapter.

Mention may be made of a few, such as the big fourteenth-century Latin
Bible, splendidly written in double columns with stiff Gothic patterns
in red and blue, and dainty little decorative initials, each a picture.
Some of these he used to set his pupils and assistants to enlarge; and
a very difficult job it was to get the curves to Ruskin's mind. If you
made them too circular he would expound the spring of the lines until
you felt that you had been guilty of all the vices of the vulgarest
architect's draughtsman, an awful character in the true Ruskinian's
eyes. If you insisted on the "infinite" and hyperbolic sweep of
the contour--and you can't magnify a sixpence into a dinner-plate
without some _parti pris_--then you had the lecture on Moderation and
Restraint. But Ruskin was always very good-humoured and patient in
these lessons; in the end a happy mean was found between Licence and
Formality, and such works as the "Noah's Ark"--now, I believe, in the
Sheffield museum--were elaborated. Perhaps photography would have been
a shorter cut; but it should have been capital training, if one had
known what use to make of it.

Then there is a Versio Vulgata MS. of the thirteenth century, poorly
half bound in shabby boards, with a pencil note--not by Ruskin, of
course--"bo^t at Naples 1826 for 21/-." Twice or thrice as many pounds
would be cheap for it now, I suppose. A pleasant story is told by
Bishop Nicolson in his diary of the year when Queen Anne came to the
throne, of his meeting the famous Dr. Bentley on the Queen's birthday
(February 8, 1702), and how the great Cambridge scholar laughed at the
mania for possessing rare editions--a fancy by no means exclusively of
these latter days. "He ridicul'd ye Expensive humour of purchaseing old
Editions of Books at extravagant Rates; a Vanity to wch ye present E.
of Sunderland and B(ishop) of N(orwich) much subject. The former bought
a piece of Cicero's works out of Dr. Fr. Bernard's Auction, printed
about 1480, at ye Rate of 3lb. 2s. 6d. which Dr. Bentley himself had
presented to yt physitian, and wch cost him no more than the odd half
Crown." The Bishop of Barrow-in-Furness in editing the diary has tried
to trace the subsequent fortune of the book for which Bentley thought
£3 2s. 6d. too high a price. There seem to have been two volumes, each
of which might answer to the description, sold at the dispersal of the
Blenheim library in 1881; and of these one fetched £54, and the other
£38, both prices greatly below their market value at the present time.

Very like the last mentioned in Ruskin's collection is his small
thirteenth-century Bible, with minute double-columned writing, as
tiny as newspaper print, but perfectly readable, and lovely to look
at. This is an English-written book, with a glossary of names at the
end; it came from the library of the Hon. Archibald Fraser, son of
the celebrated Lord Lovat. Another small thirteenth-century Bible is
Italian work; a German MS. Latin prayer-book and psalter dating from
about 1220, with rich bold pictures and ornament in broad bands of
blue and burnished masses of gold, bound in grey-green velvet, was a
great treasure. His so-called St. Louis Psalter and the prayer-book of
Yolande of Navarre have been often mentioned by him, but to go into
these would take us away from our subject--his Bibles.

[Illustration: (_Herr K. Koren, photographer_)


The one he prized most is known as King Hakon's Bible, from a reference
on the fly-leaf to King Hakon V. of Norway. It is a small volume
(shown in our illustration as standing in front of the embroidered
cover in which his Birthday Addresses are kept) with 613 leaves of the
thinnest vellum, measuring no more than 4¼ by 6¼ inches, and
written in tiny black-letter, double columned, every page ornamented;
there are more than eighty delicately painted pictures, and hundreds
of daintily coloured initials, a perfect treasury of decorative art.
The binding is of the sixteenth century, and thought to be English;
boards covered with brown leather, brass bosses and clasps, and stamped
with panels of griffins in relief, and the motto repeated between
them of "Jhesus help." The book is French work of the middle of the
thirteenth century, and the black-letter inscription reads, "Anno dni.
M^o. CCC^o. X^o. istum librum emit fr. hanricus prior provīcialis a
conventu hathersleu. de dono dnī. regis Norwegie," which is to say:
"In 1310 brother Henry, provincial prior, bought this book from the
Conventus (whatever that means) at Haderslev (in Sleswig) out of the
gift of my lord the king of Norway." It hardly seems as though the king
had owned the book, as Ruskin believed when he bought it, but it is not
surprising that the keepers of the National Library at Christiania were
disappointed in finding that it had gone into his hands from Quaritch's
catalogue, just too soon for them; and that the Norwegians sent a
scholar to report upon it, Herr Kristian Koren, and on Ruskin's death
again tried to become possessors, though Ruskin's heirs have, so far,
not seen their way to part with the treasure he so much valued. To Herr
Koren I owe the photograph of one of its pages, here reproduced.

These were all library Bibles, kept in his study, and used there;
but in travelling he had various little testaments which he carried
with him, such as the set shown in the Ruskin Exhibition at Coniston
in 1900. In his bedroom, for reading on wakeful nights, he had the
"Stereotype Clarendon Press Bible, Printed by Samuel Collingwood and
Co." in six volumes, one being the Apocrypha, and this, like others,
bears marks of much use in notes and pencillings. He had more respect
for the Apocrypha than most Protestant Bible-readers. At one time
(1881) he presented several copies of this Clarendon Press edition,
bound just like his own, to a few friends whom he hoped to interest in
"St. George's work," with the inscription, "From the Master." To the
same he gave little squares of the pure gold, beaten thin, out of which
he meant to strike his "St. George's coinage," saying, "Now you have
taken St. George's money; and whether you call yourself one or no, you
are a member of my Guild. I have caught you with guile!"

It is rather curious, and characteristic of his old-fashioned ways,
that he used a bookmarker in his Bible--a dark blue ribbon, an inch
wide, sewn to a card, on which was the text, "Day by day we magnify
Thee," written and painted with a fifteenth-century style of ornament.

Quite at the end, his eyesight failed him for smaller type, and Mrs.
Severn bought him a larger-typed Bible, which he read, or had read to
him, constantly, up to his death. The only bit of his writing in it
is a note of his sadder moods, "The burden of London, Isaiah xxiv.";
I suppose he refers to the words, "Behold, the Lord maketh the earth
empty ... From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs,
even glory to the righteous. But I said, My leanness, my leanness,
woe unto me!..." Those who read "Fors" know how little he trusted our
imperialistic optimism.

Such a Bible-reader, one might think, would have collected something
in the way of a theological library, what are called helps to
Bible-reading. But no! he read neither commentators nor modern critics,
and I believe he had no interest in anybody's views about exegesis or
analysis. He kept by him a few volumes of reference: Smith's "Bible
Dictionary," Cruden, the "Englishman's Greek Concordance," Sharpe's
"Translation of the Hebrew Scriptures" (he knew no Hebrew), and there
were two copies of Finden's "Landscape Illustrations of the Bible,"
one for his study and one for his bedroom. But even these few were
little used; to him the plain old text was the book he studied all
through his eighty years, and knew as not many in this generation
know it. Once in his rooms at Oxford I remember getting into a
difficulty about the correct quotation of some passage. "Haven't you a
concordance?" I asked. "I'm ashamed to say I have," he said. I did not
quite understand him. "Well," he explained, "you and I oughtn't to need





"I gave her that name," he said once, "because she is so

When he was a very young man he saw her first in Rome. He had been
sent there for the winter because it was supposed he was going into a
consumption. He had certainly been working very hard at Oxford--not
only doing the necessary reading for honours, which need kill nobody,
but all manner of literature, art, antiquities and science into the
bargain, as his manner was; and he had taken terribly to heart the loss
of the pretty French girl, on whom his boyish affections had been set
for years. So he was in Rome as an invalid, restless and discontented;
and he didn't like Raphael, and he didn't like the other things people
ought to like. It must have been a difficult time for his parents; but
then one can't expect to bring up a genius without a certain amount of

In a while he took a turn, and condescended to go with them to musical
services. They were energetic anti-Romanists; but they went to St.
Peter's to see the show, and to hear the singing. They thought he was
beginning to develop an interest in music. But it was just the old

There was a beautiful Miss Tollemache in Rome that winter; "a fair
English girl," he says, "who was not only the admitted Queen of beauty
in the English circle of that winter in Rome, but was so, in the kind
of beauty which I had only hitherto dreamed of as possible, but never
yet seen living; statuesque severity with womanly sweetness joined. I
don't think I ever succeeded in getting nearer than within fifty yards
of her; but she was the light and solace of all the Roman winter to me,
in the mere chance glimpses of her far away, and the hope of them."

It was very like Ruskin, and it says very much for the reality of the
romantic ideal he preached, that a few glimpses of a far-away beauty,
whom he had neither the chance nor the intention of approaching, should
have made a man of him, out of a pining, love-sick boy. Open-air
sketching helped him out of his consumption, or whatever the disease
was; but the moral stimulus and reawakening of healthy imagination and
power to work were given him by this pure enthusiasm for a beautiful
face, fifty yards away.



He never saw her again for about ten years, not until she was a wedded
wife. She had married a younger son of Earl Cowper and his wife,
daughter of Lord and Lady Melbourne, and by second marriage wife of
Lord Palmerston. The Hon. William Cowper was one of the most shining
examples of the type--one does not see much about it in newspapers or
histories, but private memoirs describe it in all ages, and no doubt it
exists even in this--the type of good men in great positions, men who
are in the world and very actively engaged in it, but quite unspotted.
He began life as aide-de-camp to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland in
1830, and went into Parliament in 1835; he was a Lord of the Treasury
in 1845, then a Lord of the Admiralty, then President of the Board of
Health, Vice-President of the Board of Trade, Paymaster-General, Chief
Commissioner of Works, Vice-President of the Education Department of
the Privy Council, Chairman of Mr. Fawcett's Committee on the Enclosure
Acts; it was he who saved Epping Forest in 1871, and was prime mover
in the preservation of open spaces and in granting allotments to the
poor; he passed the Medical Bill in 1858, the Thames Embankment
Bill in 1862-3, and the Courts of Justice Building Bill in 1863; the
"Cowper-Temple Clause," to secure the reading of the Bible in Board
Schools, was his; he was the great reconstructor of the London Parks
and inventor of the scheme for distributing the Park flowers to
hospitals, work-houses and schools. It would be long to tell how he
made politics philanthropic and brought art into the public service.
After 45 years in Parliament he was raised to the peerage as Lord Mount
Temple, and died in 1888.

All these things are known, or knowable, to the public; but what is
more to the point, Histories of Our Own Times don't tell us: how the
lively Eton boy, always in scrapes, occasionally flogged, had according
to Gladstone's reminiscence "the stamp of purity, modesty, gentleness
upon him in a peculiar degree": how the dandy officer in the Blues
wanted to go into the Church "as a means of escaping," he wrote, "the
imminent dominion of the sins which it seemed so difficult to avoid":
how the busy M.P. and official, Palmerston's step-son and favourite,
kept through all distractions a perfectly holy and saintly life, a
sense of nearness to God and devotion to His will, that should put much
professional piety to shame.

For instance, in his diary he noted Queen Victoria's coronation, which,
of course, he had attended--he had dined with the Queen a couple of
days before--and continued, "The main object to be pursued in life is
communion with God. It is a good method of testing any way of spending
my time to ask, does it render me more ready for communion with God?"
At twenty-seven he had long known all that evangelical piety at its
best can teach; and he always kept the faith. Ten years later, his
young wife--the Miss Tollemache of Ruskin's admiration, and the Lady
Mount Temple laid in 1901 to rest by her husband's side--asked him,
at a large party at the Palmerston's, what interested him most. "Oh,
nothing," he answered, "compares in interest with communion with my
Master, and work for Him." "This," she added, in her privately printed
volume of _Memorials_, "this was the spirit of his life, through all
the blessed years I lived with him."

So after a long interval during which Ruskin had become a famous
writer, and the girl at Rome had become the true helpmate of such
a man, they met once more. It is rather curious to compare their
two separate accounts of the meeting. The lady says, referring to
the earlier part of her married life, in the 'fifties and 'sixties,
"Another great delight to us at this time was going up occasionally
to Denmark Hill for a happy day with Mr. Ruskin. It seems that, quite
unknown to myself, he had noticed me when we were in Rome together
in 1840! I was then eighteen. It was rather humiliating that when we
met again, after about ten years, he did not recognise me. We became
great friends: I was fond of his cousin Joan"--Mrs. Arthur Severn.
Ruskin's way of putting it was rather different, and the mere man
doesn't quite see where the humiliation comes in. He hated going to
parties, he says; but one evening was introduced to a lady who was "too
pretty to be looked at and yet keep one's wits about one"--that is
very characteristic of him: so he talked a little with his eyes on the
ground. "Presently, in some reference to Raphael or Michael Angelo, or
the musical glasses, the word 'Rome' occurred; and a minute afterwards,
something about Christmas in 1840. I looked up with a start; and saw
that the face was oval--fair--the hair, light brown. After a pause I
was rude enough to repeat her words, 'Christmas in 1840!--were you in
Rome then?' 'Yes,' she said, a little surprised, and now meeting my
eyes with hers, inquiringly. Another tenth of a minute passed before I
spoke again. 'Why, I lost all that winter in Rome in hunting _you_!'
It was Egeria herself! then Mrs. Cowper-Temple. She was not angry; and
became from that time forward a tutelary power, of the brightest and
happiest. Egeria always had her own way everywhere, thought that I also
should have mine, and generally got it for me."

[Illustration: (_F. Hollyer, photographer, 9 Pembroke Square, W._)



[Illustration: LADY MOUNT TEMPLE


By the kindness of Mrs. Arthur Severn I have by me the long series
of Ruskin's letters to Lord and Lady Mount Temple. To any one who
knew the people and circumstances touched upon, they would be most
interesting; delightfully amusing for the most part, but sometimes
intensely painful, where the fiery genius poured out his woes and
disappointments, public and private, into their kindly ears. She was
his confidant in all that unhappy love-story which ended so tragically
for his later life: she was his sympathetic adviser in much of his
work. Mr. Cowper-Temple, too, was a kindly and helpful friend. In the
early days he introduced Ruskin to Palmerston, and smoothed the way for
various plans connected with the National Gallery and public art-works,
many of which owed their promotion to Ruskin in the first instance.
I cannot trace his direct influence in the philanthropic labours of
Mr. Cowper-Temple and the politicians of his circle; but Ruskin was
personally admired and loved by many of them, and certainly had an
indirect share in much that was done for the help of the people. When
he attempted to found his Guild of St. George, Mr. Cowper-Temple was
one of the Trustees; not with great faith in the scheme, but with much
affection for the schemer.

[Illustration: LADY MOUNT TEMPLE


After some years of "Mr. and Mrs. Cowper" the acquaintance warmed into
a closer friendship. They became Ruskin's "φίλος" [Greek: philos] and
"φίλη" [Greek: philê], for he always nicknamed his intimates, and often
so whimsically that his letters are quite ludicrously unprintable.
To them he was "St. C."--Saint Chrysostom, the "golden-mouthed"; and
sometimes, he liked to think, St. Christopher. When he was very ill
at Matlock in 1871 Mrs. Cowper-Temple came to nurse him, and from that
time he was her "Loving little boy," and his friends were his "Dearest
Mama" and "Dear Papa." His view of life was that he grew younger as the
years went on--and so from being "Dearest Mama" she became "Darling
Grannie," and he signed "Ever your poor, grateful little boy." It is
perhaps all very absurd; but one certainly does not understand Ruskin
without knowing this queer side of his character, part sentimental,
part grotesque, which creeps out even in his most serious writing, and
makes it so impossible to take his every word for gospel message. But
very often he wrote to her and of her as Isola--the island--"Isola
Bella" standing alone and unapproachable by all ordinary roads, and
yet open on all sides to the waifs of the waves, claiming haven and
rest in her sympathy. Here is the whole of a little note written in a
dark time in his later years: "Is there no Isola indeed, where we can
find refuge--and give it? I have never yet been so hopeless of doing
anything more in this wide-wasting and wasted earth, unless--we seize
and fortify with love--a new Atlantis. Ever your devoted St. C."

There are very few bits in the letters of general interest. Of
somebody's sketches sent for him to look at he wrote: "Alas, there's
no genius in these drawings. Genius never exists without intense
industry. Industry is not genius, but is the vital element of it."
In Bible reading--"I noticed, curiously for the first time, two most
important mistranslations. Fancy never having noticed before that
'Sufficient unto the day is its evil,' ought to be 'Let the day's evil
suffice for it.' And 'chasteneth' ought in several cases to be merely
'bringeth up, teacheth!'" Here is what he urged upon his friends in
all seriousness, and most strangely if you think who the friends were:
"You are compromising somehow between God and Satan, and therefore
don't see your way. Satan appears to you as an angel of the most
exquisite light--I can see that well enough; but how many real angels
he has got himself mixed up with I don't know. However, for the three
and fortieth time--in Ireland or England or France, or under the _Ara
cœli_ perhaps best of all, take an acre of ground, make it lovely, give
what food comes of it to people who need it--and take no rent of it
yourselves. 'But that strikes at the very foundations of Society?' It
does; and therefore, do it. For the Foundations of Society are rotten
with every imaginable plague, and must be struck at and swept away,
and others built in Christ, instead of on the back of the Leviathan of
the Northern Foam. Ever your affectionate St. C.--not the Professor."
It was to Lady Mount Temple he wrote the pretty letter telling her
to arrange her party just as if Christ were coming to dinner--it is
printed in "Fors Clavigera"--"I suppose Him to have just sent Gabriel
to tell you He's coming, but that you're not to make any alterations in
your company on His account."

Perhaps she hardly needed a Ruskin to tell her that: but she kept
the letter, and did what it bade. Those who know anything about the
Broadlands Conferences, those remarkable meetings of men and women in
all ranks and of every shade of religious belief, come together "for
the deepening of spiritual life," know what singular influence was
wielded by Lady Mount Temple, and how far-reaching that influence has

Ruskin used sometimes to visit at Broadlands. One winter he spent
several weeks there, and Lady Mount Temple says in the volume already
quoted: "We found him, as always, most delightful and instructive
company; his talk full and brilliant, and his kindness increasing to
all the house, giving a halo to life. He set us all to manual work! He
himself undertook to clean out the fountain in the garden, and made
us all, from Juliet (Madame Deschamps, Lady Mount Temple's adopted
daughter) to Mr. Russell Gurney, pick up the fallen wood and make it up
into bundles of faggots for the poor!"

His friends also came to see him at Brantwood. Mrs. Arthur Severn has
a lively story of an excursion with them to the Monk Coniston Tarn, a
pretty bit of water on the hills, with a fine panorama of mountains all
round, the show-place of Coniston. It was a foggy morning, but he hoped
it would clear; and they drove up through the woods in expectation,
but it was still foggy. They got out of the carriage and walked to the
finest point of view; still the fog would not lift. Then Ruskin waved
his hand and pointed to the scene they ought to see; and in his best
eloquence, and with growing warmth described the lakelet embosomed in
its woods and moors, Helvellyn and the Pikes, Bow Fell and Wetherlam,
and the Coniston Old Man. For a moment it seemed as if the whole was
before their eyes; and then they burst out laughing. "After all," said
Lady Mount Temple, "is not this the best treat we could have?" "And to
me," said Ruskin, with his old-fashioned courtliness, "what view could
be so entirely delightful?"


  Agates, Ruskin's theory of, 173

  Aix-les-Bains, 78

  Alessandri, A., 103

  Alexander, Mrs. and Miss Francesca, 102, 103, 146

  Animals, Ruskin's love of, 74

  Annecy, 74-78

  Apocrypha, 210

  Arnold, Sir Edwin, 32

  Art-study under Ruskin, 4, 7, 111, 205

  Atkinson, Mr., 136

  Autographs of Ruskin, 135, 145
    owned by him, 183, 189, 190

  Avallon, 48-51

  Barrow-in-Furness, Bishop of, 206

  Barrow, Mont., 24

  Bateman, the Misses, 156

  Baxter, Mr., 65, 93, 97

  Bell, William, J.P., 23, 24

  Beever, John, 23
    Miss Susanna, 70

  "Bible of Amiens," 49, 51, 131

  Bible-reading of Ruskin, 69, 70, 195, 202, 210, 225

  "Bibliotheca Pastorum," 8

  Bibliomania under Queen Anne, 206

  Boating experiences of Ruskin, 16, 18, 26

  Boni, Signor G., 103

  Boyd, Rev. Mr., 196

  Brabazon, Mr., 131

  Brantwood gardens, 31, 32, 36, 43, 44
    harbour, 9, 17
    library, 182-190, 196-210
    moor, 10, 40
    woods, 32-39

  Brayshay, Mr. W. Hutton, 16

  Bronzino's Judith, 102

  Bunney, J. W., 50, 101, 129

  Burne-Jones, Sir Edward, 156

  Calais, 47

  Casts from natural leaves, 136
    sculpture, 98

  Chair, Ruskin's, 3, 4

  Châlons, 48

  Champagnole, 52

  Chesneau, Ernest, 162

  Christy Minstrels, 156

  Churchill, Mrs. W. H., 17
    Rev. W. H., 175

  Cîteaux, 51

  Claribel, 156

  Cluses, 66

  Col de la Faucille, 59

  Colouring of Ruskin's drawings, 108, 122, 125, 126

  Coniston Hall, 21, 23, 24

  Coniston Ruskin Exhibitions, 131, 132
    Museum, 3, 10, 25, 131, 136, 174, 195, 198, 201

  Cook, Mr. E. T., 130

  Cooke, Mr. E., 136

  Cowper-Temple, Mr. and Mrs., 216-225

  Creswick, Prof. B., 159

  Crystallography, 77, 176

  Cunliffe, Mrs., 130

  Dalby, Charles, 26

  Deschamps, Madame, 226

  "Deucalion," 177

  Diamonds, 174-176

  Digging, 9

  Dijon, 51

  Dog stories, 74

  Dôle, Mt., 59

  Drawings by Ruskin, 47, 49, 50, 82, 93, 102, 121-132

  Engineering, Ruskin's turn for, 43

  Exhibitions of Ruskin's drawings, 130-132

  Fielding, Copley, 122, 124

  Fiesole and Florence, 102

  Froude, J. A., 26

  Gale, Miss, 24

  Galena, story of Ruskin's, 173

  Gardens, 31, 32, 43, 44

  Geneva, 60, 81

  _Geological Magazine_, Ruskin's papers, 173

  Geology, Ruskin's interest in, 10, 50, 60, 66, 97, 111, 116

  Globe of the stars, 10

  Gold as it grows, 168

  Gorge of the Ain, 52
    Fier, 77

  Granite of central France, 50, 51

  Gregory, Dr. C. R., 198

  Guinigi of Lucca, 90, 93

  Gules and gul, 176

  Hakon's Bible, 206-209

  Hallé, Charles, 155

  Hand of Ruskin, 136

  Handwriting, development of Ruskin's, 138-145

  "Harbours of England," 16

  Harding, J. D., 127, 190

  Herdson, Dawson, 116

  Hilliard, Laurence J., 15, 22, 26, 101, 177
    Miss C., 17
    Miss, 130

  Hinksey, 9

  History in graphic statistics, 118

  "Hortus Inclusus," 23, 70, 131

  Hullah, John, 156

  Hunt, Alfred W., 7

  Ilaria del Carretto, 89-93, 98

  "Iris of the Earth," 175

  Isola, 215, 225

  Journals of Ruskin, 65, 123
    quoted, 50, 69, 70, 73, 74, 78, 82, 85, 86, 101, 102

  Jumping Jenny, 15, 23-26

  Jura Mts., 52-59

  Juvenile works of Ruskin, 138, 141

  Keswick, intended jewel-museum 170

  Kirkcudbright, Ruskin's gift of minerals, 175

  Koren, Herr Kristian, 209

  Lake-district boats, 21

  Laon, 47, 48

  Lebrun, Madame Vigée, 62

  Les Rousses, 52, 55

  Liberty, Ruskin on, 52

  Limestone country, 51, 52

  "Love's Meinie," 10, 118

  Lucca, 86-101

  Macdonald, Miss, 162

  Manuscripts of Ruskin, 135
    owned by him, 189, 198-209

  Map-drawings by Ruskin, 108-118

  Maps used by him, 115, 116

  Maundrell, Mr., 49

  Mephistopheles coachman and dog Tom, 73, 74

  Minerals, Ruskin's interest in, 85, 167-178

  Model of Brantwood moor, 10
    Coniston fells, 116
    feathers, 10
    Jumping Jenny, 23, 25
    South-coast boats, 26

  "Modern Painters," 26, 66, 124, 126, 128, 129, 135, 144, 145

  Monk-Coniston tarns, 227

  Monnetier, 60

  Mont Blanc, 59, 69, 70

  Montréal, 50

  Moorland garden, 40-44

  Mornex, 60, 61

  Morris, William, 118, 189

  Mount Temple, Lord and Lady, 216-227

  "Munera Pulveris," 60

  Murray, Mr. C. F., 103

  Music, compositions of Ruskin, 159-164
    lessons, 151-155
    preferences of Ruskin, 155, 156, 159

  Nant d'Arpenaz, 69, 70, 73

  Natural history, Ruskin's interest, 10 (_And see_ Geology, &c.)

  Newman, Mr. H. R., 98, 102, 103

  Nicknames of Ruskin and his friends, 224, 225

  Norton, Prof. C. E., 69, 121, 128

  "Notes on the Turner Exhibition," 108

  Oil-painting, Ruskin's attempts, 122

  Omar Khayyam, Ruskin on, 190

  "Our Fathers Have Told Us," 51, 118

  Oxford Drawing-school, 4, 7

  Palmerston, Lord, 216, 223

  Paris, 81

  Pedigree of Ruskin, contributions to, 16, 196, 197

  Pisa, 77, 86, 97, 103, 104

  Plague-wind, 56, 73, 74

  "Poems of John Ruskin," 123, 124, 127

  "Poetry of Architecture," 124, 129, 144

  "Præterita," 51, 55, 59, 70, 82

  Print-style writing, 137, 138

  Prout, Samuel, 123, 190

  Quercia, Jacopo della, 90

  Railways, Ruskin on, 66, 78

  Randal, Mr. F., 49, 103

  Reading aloud, 15

  "Redgauntlet," 15, 159

  Reims, 48

  Religion of Ruskin, 51, 69, 195, 202, 210, 226

  Reservoirs at Brantwood, 43

  Restoration of churches, 50

  Rhône at Geneva, 60

  Richmond, George, 3

  "Roadside Songs of Tuscany," 102

  Roberts, David, 125
    Mr., 155

  Robson, Mr. E. R., 103

  Rooke, Mr. T. M., 103

  Rowing, Ruskin on, 18

  Royal Academy, Ruskin exhibit, 131
    Ruskin expelled, 132

  Runciman, Mr., 122

  "Ruskin et la Bible" (_by_ H. J. Brunhes), 195

  Ruskin, J. J., 122, 141, 142, 183, 196-198
    Mrs. (John Ruskin's mother), 142, 144, 155, 187, 196, 198

  Sailor ancestors of Ruskin, 16

  St. Benedict, 66, 73, 81

  St. Bernard of Menthon, 81

  St. Bernard's birthplace, 51

  St. Cergues, 55-59

  St. George's Guild and work, 8, 49, 66, 73, 102, 103, 210, 223.
    (_And see_ Sheffield Ruskin Museum)

  St. Martin, Sallenches, 70

  Salève, 60

  Sallenches, 66-73

  Sea-studies of Ruskin, 16, 26

  Sens, 48

  Sermons reported by Ruskin, 198

  "Sesame and Lilies," 49

  "Seven Lamps of Architecture," 51, 127, 129

  Severn, Mr. Arthur, 17, 131
    Mrs. Arthur, 17, 32, 49, 66, 146, 155, 156, 176, 210, 220, 223, 227

  Sheffield Ruskin Museum, 98, 101, 103, 175, 205

  Shorthand notes by Ruskin, 143

  Smoke-plague, 56, 74, 77

  Snail (sailboat), 26, 27

  "Stones of Venice," 124, 127, 128, 145

  "Storm-cloud of the Nineteenth Century," 55, 69

  "Studies in Both Arts," 124

  Swiss statuette, 187

  Swiss towns, intended history, 128

  Taglioni and Ruskin, 142

  Talloires, 77-81

  To-day, Ruskin's motto, 77

  Tollemache, Miss, 215

  Translation, Ruskin's method, 8

  Troyes, 48

  Turin, 85

  Turner and the sea, 16
    Coteau scenery, 48
    Pass of Faido, 127
    Riviera subject, 85
    Sun of Venice, 132

  Ugolino's mountain, 97

  Vandyck's enjoyment in painting, 85

  "Verona and other Lectures," 51, 124

  Verses by Ruskin, 24, 164

  Vézelay, 50

  Viking ship, 26

  Viollet-le-Duc, 50, 183

  Wakefield, Miss, 151, 156

  Ward, Mr. W., 129

  Wedderburn, Mr. A., K.C., 8

  West, Mr. G. F., 152

  Whitelands College, 175

  Wine, Ruskin on, 61

  Writing from maps and sketches, 112, 115, 132

  Xenophon's "Economist," 8


  Italic text is denoted by _underscores_.
  Superscripts are denoted by ^  eg 8^{h.}

  Obvious typographical errors and punctuation errors have been
  corrected after careful comparison with other occurrences within
  the text and consultation of external sources.

  Except for those changes noted below, misspelling by the author,
  inconsistent or archaic usage, has been retained. For example,
  arm-chair, arm chair, armchair; boathouse, boat-house; well known,

  p. vii  'Ruskin's Isola' changed to 'Ruskin's "Isola"'.
  p.  ix  '109' changed to '108'.
  p.  ix  '110' changed to '109'.
  p.   x  '156' changed to '157'.
  p.   x  '220' changed to '221'.
  p. 175  'Kircudbright' changed to 'Kirkcudbright'.
  p. 197  'writted' changed to 'written'.
  p. 201  'erasible' changed to 'erasable'.

  Index: 'Omar-Khayyam' changed to 'Omar Khayyam'.
  Index: 'Rhone' changed to 'Rhône'.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Ruskin Relics" ***

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