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and it was on this topic that the letters were begun, though the writer went on to criticise the various social ideals then popular, and to propose his own. He had already done something of the sort in "Unto this Last; " but " Time and Tide" is much more complete, and the result of seven years' farther thought and experience. His "Fors Clavigera" is a continuation of these letters, but written at a time when other work and ill-health

broke in upon his strength. "Time and Tide" is not only the statement of his social scheme as he saw it in his central period, but, written as these letters were,1-at a stroke, so to speak, condensed in exposition and simple in language, they deserve the most careful reading by the student of Ruskin.

The earlier letters are mainly a criticism of popular ideals, and the panaceas which were prescribed for the body politic. There was parliamentary reform, about which he says that it would be useless without a much more complete and generally accepted programme than existed, while, on the other hand, if such a programme could be adopted, there would be little need of parliamentary reform to carry it. There was coöperation, good so far as it went; but leaving untouched the competition between different societies in the same place or trade, and giving no guarantee to the workman against mismanagement and failure.

1 During February, March, and April, 1867, and published in the Manchester Examiner and the Leeds Mercury.

Competition as a principle he denounced; national competition, on which the theory of trade was based, meant national animosity, and the recurrent necessity of war meant standing armaments and heavy taxation; individual competition, the struggle for life, he considered barbarous; and the whole object of morality, of government, of civilization was to make it unnecessary. The mere preaching of thrift, and content in a life of toil, he did not approve; for man is made for joy as well as sorrow, and for play as well as work, and one of his complaints against modern society was that no good amusements were to be had; on the other hand, he discouraged improvident marriage, while pointing out that, as things went, public opinion and public charity put a premium on self-indulgence. Another panacea was education, whose supporters, he said, were in this dilemma; that if it were effectual in raising everybody to the rank of gentlemen and scholars, who would do the dirty work? if it as he believed - tended to widen the difference between more and less able persons, what good would be got by those who were left behind in the race? Religion, in an age of doubt, could not be made the basis of reform; waiting on providence was foolish, for vice and crime and folly will never disappear of themselves, and must be kept in check by some kind of law and order. And lastly, while he could not entertain the idea that any man had a right to take rent, or any other form of unearned increment, he considered

it useless to divide the land among a shifting and growing population. Such, put briefly, were Mr. Ruskin's criticisms on the popular ideals of 1867.

Then he proceeded to construct his own ideal, as Plato had done in his " Republic," only within much less fanciful limits. He points out repeatedly that this is an ideal, and not a suggestion for immediate adoption; and yet it differs from other people's Utopias in being far nearer realization. It is, indeed, though he does not definitely say so, -based on a system which has already worked well, the system by which the barbarian Teutonic tribes and degraded Latin races of the lower empire were gradually developed into the great kingdoms of Europe, evolving the religion, laws, arts, and sciences which the Renaissance found at its coming. And if it be true that we are now in much the same position, mutatis mutandis, as in Charlemagne's days, - our degenerate "upper classes" with their Renaissance culture and traditions representing the Roman element, and our discontented "lower classes" with their restlessness and vitality and overwhelming preponderance representing the invaders, if the problem be to weld these into a new cohesion, and out of them to create a new civilization, then it was surely well thought of, to apply the ancient cure, mutatis mutandis, to the parallel case.

To state the ideal constitution as shortly and conveniently as possible, we might put it under four heads, though the author does not so divide

it; but he seems to have adopted, and adapted, from the Middle Ages their guild system, their chivalry, their church, and something of their feudal scheme.

To get entirely rid of competition, he proposed an organization of labor akin to the ancient guilds, which he regarded as the combination, in each trade and in every kind of manufacture, agriculture, and art, of all the masters with all the men. But while the old guilds were local, he would have them universal. By their own rules, and for their own advantage, they would secure good workmanship, honest production; they would fix fair wages for their men and provide against the bankruptcy of their members who were masters. Retail trade would be neither precarious nor degrading if it were carried on by the salaried officers of the guild. The workman, holding a well-defined position, and possessing some share of control, through the trade council, over his work and his wages, would have no ground for discontent. And the masters for Carlyle's Elisha had no idea of a world without masters - would be "captains of labor," the friends and not the enemies of their men; with their superior talents recognized and used, not without a certain pecuniary advantage, but without that disproportion of income, and of responsibility, which is the plague of modern commerce and manufacture.

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Book-learning, we saw, was not Mr. Ruskin's notion of education; and while he would have

everybody educated, he would not make every boy and girl learned, for, as Sylvestre Bonnard says, he wishes them well. The physical and moral education he proposes would make finer creatures of them; would go a long way, of itself, to eradicate disease and stupidity and vulgarity. To do this more effectually he proposed to regulate marriage by permitting it only to those young people who had qualified themselves by attaining a certain standard of general physical and moral culture," bachelors" and "rosières" they might be dubbed, on the analogy of chivalry. To insure the sufficient and yet frugal bringing up of a family, he would secure them an income from the state, if necessary, for the first seven years; or, if they were of the wealthier class, keep them down to that income, and reserve the surplus for their use later on. Indeed he would limit all incomes to some fixed maximum; on attaining which, if a man were independent, he might retire, to pursue his own hobbies or to serve the state. But in his polity it would be the part of gentlefolks for some would still be unavoidably both wealthier and more refined than others to set the example of plain living and high thinking.

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As to the church, that, as in the "Notes on Sheepfolds,” was to be strictly a state-church, in the sense that such officers as it possessed would be salaried by the government, and that their work would be in harmony with the state, not opposed to it, nor independent of it, in sects and

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