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in the proving of youth, —Lead them not into temptation, but deliver them from evil.'
Long and hearty cheers greeted the learned lecturer from all parts of the Senate House as he resumed his seat."
In this lecture we see the germ of the ideas, as well as the beginning of the style, of the Oxford inaugural course, and the “ Eagle's Nest;" something quite different in type from the style and teaching of the addresses to working men, or to mixed popular audiences at Edinburgh or Manchester, or even at the Royal Institution. At this latter place, on June 4th, Sir Henry Holland in the chair, he lectured on “ The Present State of
· Modern Art, with reference to advisable arrangement of the National Gallery,” repeating much of what he had said in “ Time and Tide” about the taste for the horrible and absence of true feeling for pure and dignified art in the theatrical shows of the day, and in the admiration for Gustave Doré, then a new fashion. Mr. Ruskin could never endure that the man who had illustrated Balzac's “Contes Drôlatiques ” should be chosen by the religious public of England as the exponent of their most sacred aspirations and ideals.
In July he went to Keswick for a few weeks, from whence he wrote the rhymed letters to his cousin at home, quoted (with the date wrongly given as 1857) in “ Præterita" to illustrate his “ heraldic character” of “Little Pigs” and to shock cxotcric admirers. Like, for example, Rossetti
and Carlyle, Mr. Ruskin is fond of playful nicknames and grotesque terms of endearment. He does not stand upon his dignity with intimates ; and he is ready to allow the liberties he takes, much to the surprise of strangers. And when these things creep into print, or are reflected in passages of comical vituperation, half jest, half earnest, the public is scandalized, not knowing its man and his ways.
I wish I had not to chronicle so many illnesses; but it seems as though Mr. Ruskin could never go through any spell of hard work, or emotional strain of any kind, without suffering for it in a physical illness. He has been called a valetudinarian; but it would have been better for him if he could have merited the name, and taken care of himself. Now, on returning from Keswick he was ill again, and more seriously than the “hot muffins” and hasty lunch“ before ascending Red Pike,” which the “Little Pigs” record, can account for. He was attacked, he says in his notice of Arthur Burgess, with the first warnings of his later illness, in giddiness and mistiness of the head and eyes; drawing and thinking were stopped for the time. But after spending the latter part of September at a health resort, under the care of Dr. Powell, he was able to return home, prepare “ Time and Tide" for publication, and write the
, preface on December 14th. On the 19th the book was out, and immediately bought up. A month later the second edition was issued.
AGATES AND CRYSTALS.
And whenever the way seemed long,
Or his heart began to fail,
Of less interest to the general reader, though too important a part of Mr. Ruskin's life and work to be passed over without mention, are his studies in mineralogy. We have heard of his early interest in spars and ores; of his juvenile dictionary in forgotten hieroglyphics; and of his studies in the field and at the British Museum. He had made a splendid collection, and knew the various museums of Europe as familiarly as he knew the picture-galleries. In the “ Ethics of the Dust” he had chosen crystallography as the subject in which to exemplify his method of education; and in 1867, after finishing the letters to Thomas Dixon, he took refuge, as before, among the stones, from the stress of more agitating problems.
In the lecture on the Savoy Alps in 1863 he had referred to a hint of Saussure's, that the contorted beds of the limestones might possibly be due to some sort of internal action, resembling on a large scale that separation into concentric or curved bands which is seen in calcareous deposits. The contortions of gneiss were similarly analogous, it was suggested, to those of the various forms of silica. Mr. Ruskin did not adopt the theory, but put it by for examination, in contrast with the usual explanation of these phenomena as the simple mechanical thrust of the contracting surface of the earth.
In 1863 and 1866 he had been among the Nagelflüh of Northern Switzerland, studying the pudding-stones and breccias. He saw that the difference between these formations, in their structural aspect, and the hand-specimens in his collection of pisolitic and brecciated minerals was chiefly a matter of size; and that the resemblances in form were very close. And so he concluded that if the structure of the minerals could be fully understood, a clue might be found to the very puzzling question of the origin of mountain-structure.
Hence his attempt to analyze the structure of agates and similar banded and brecciated minerals, in the series of papers in the “Geological Magazine;"1 an attempt which, though it was never properly completed, and fails to come to any general conclusion, is extremely interesting? as
1 August and November, 1867 ; January, April, and May, 1868 ; December, 1869; and January, 1870; illustrated with very fine mezzotint plates and woodcuts.
? See the testimony of Prof. Rupert Jones, F. R. S., in the Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, vol. iv., No. 7.
an account of beautiful and curious natural forms too little noticed by ordinary scientific mineralogists.
Mr. Ruskin began by naming the different ways in which solid rocks became fragmentary; of which one was by homogeneous segregation, as seen in oölites and pisolites; and another, by segregation of distinct substances from a homogeneous paste. He showed how this latter way might explain some curious conditions of jasper; how an example of brecciated malachite proved that the banded structure was not prior to the fractures, but that both tendencies were at work together; and how in many forms of agate the same phenomena made it impossible to believe that simple successive deposition, and violent concussion from without, wholly explained their origin. He thought that enough attention had not been drawn to the processes of segregation; and suggested that many conglomerates might not be merely a collection of pebbles, but concretionary, like orbicular granite (Napoleonite) and other nodule-structures in metamorphic rock.
On these analogies he suspected that some contortions and faults on a large scale might not be the result of mechanical violence, but colossal phenomena of retractation and contraction; and even that many apparent strata had been produced by segregation. This idea, he said, had been suggested to him by a paper of Mr. George Maw, the son of the Mr. Maw who took him to