The Collected Letters, Volume 26


TC TO JOHN RUSKIN; 9 March 1851; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18510309-TC-JRU-01; CL 26: 43-44


Chelsea, 9 March, 1851.

Dear Ruskin,—

I did not know yesterday till your servant was gone that there was any note in the parcel; nor at all what a feat you had done! A loan of the gallant young man's Memoirs1 was what I expected; and here, in the most chivalrous style comes a gift of them. This, I think, must be in the style prior to the Renaissance! What can I do but accept your kindness with pleasure and gratitude, though it is far beyond my deserts? Perhaps the next man I meet will use me as much below them; and so bring matters straight again! Truly I am much obliged, and return you many hearty thanks.

I was already deep in the “Stones”;2 and clearly purpose to hold on there. A strange, unexpected, and, I believe, most true and excellent Sermon in Stones3—as well as the best piece of School-mastering in Architectonics; from which I hope to learn in a4 great many ways. The spirit and purport of these Critical Studies of yours are a singular sign of these times to me, and a very gratifying one. Right good speed to you, and victorious arrival on the farther shore!— It is a quite new “renaissance,” I believe, we are getting into just now;—either towards new wider manhood, high again as the external stars; or else into final death, and the murk of gehenna5 forevermore! A dreadful process, but a needful and inevitable one; nor do I doubt at all which way the issue will be,—tho' which of the extant nations are to get included in it, and which to be trampled out and abolished in the process, may be very doubtful. God is great:—and sure enough, the changes in the construction of Sheepfolds,6 as well as in other things, will require to be very considerable!—

We are still labouring under the foul fiend of Influenza here, I not far from emancipated, my poor Wife still deep in the business, tho' I hope past the deepest. Am I to understand that you too are seized? In a day or two I hope to ascertain that you are well again.— Adieu, here is an interruption,7 here also is the end of the paper.

With many thanks and regards,

[signature cut away]