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years. How little the thousands who read the preface to his catalogue, with its sad sketch of Turner's fate, and what they supposed to be its "customary burst of terminal eloquence," understood that it was indeed the cry of one who had been wounded in the house of his friends, and was now believing every day that dawned on him to be his last. He told of Turner's youthful picture of the Coniston Fells and its invocation to the mists of morning, bidding them "in honor to the world's great Author, rise," and then how Turner's “health, and with it in great degree his mind, failed suddenly, with snap of some vital chord," after the sunset splendors of his last, dazzling efforts. "Morning breaks, as I write, along those Coniston Fells, and the level mists, motionless and gray beneath the rose of the moorlands, veil the lower woods, and the sleeping village, and the long lawns by the lake-shore.
"Oh that some one had but told me, in my youth, when all my heart seemed to be set on these colors and clouds, that appear for a little while and then vanish away, how little my love of them would serve me, when the silence of lawn and wood in the dews of morning should be completed; and all my thoughts should be of those whom, by neither, I was to meet more!"
The catalogue was finished, and hurried off to the printers. A week of agitating suspense at
1 Fors was taken up again, at intervals, later on; but never with the same purpose and continuity,
home, and then it could no longer be concealed. Friends and foes alike were startled and saddened with the news of his "sudden and dangerous illness."
It was some form of inflammation of the brain, the result of overwork, but still more immediately of the emotional strain from which he had been suffering. It took him quite at unawares; for though he knew as well as others that he had lost that peace and strength which he had found in Venice, and that his mind was alternately stimulated to unwonted activity and depressed into helplessness, yet he had not received definite warning, as from any sort of headache, to which he had always been a stranger, nor from approach to the delirium which now was the chief feature of his disease.
On March 4th, the Turner exhibition opened, and day by day the bulletins from Brantwood announcing his condition were read by multitudes of visitors with eager and sorrowful interest. Newspapers all the world over copied the daily reports; even in the towns of the Far West of America the same telegrams were posted, and they say even a more demonstrative sympathy was shown. Nor was the feeling confined to the Englishspeaking public. The Oxford Proctor in Convocation of April 24th, when, after the first burst of the storm, the patient was slowly drifting back into calmer waters, thought it worth while, in the course of his speech, to mention that in Italy,
where he had lately been on an Easter vacation tour, he had witnessed a widespread anxiety about Mr. Ruskin, and heard prayers put up for his recovery: "Nec multum abfuit quin nuper desideraret Academia morbo letali abreptum Professorem, in sua materie unicum, Joannem Ruskin. 'Sed multæ urbes et publica vota vicerunt.' Neque id indignum memoratu puto quod nuperrime mihi in Italia commoranti contigit videre quantæ sollicitudines ob ejus salutem, quantæ preces moverentur, in ea terra cujus ille artes et monumenta tam disertissime illustraverit."
By May 10th he was so much better that he could complete the catalogue with some gossip about those Alpine drawings of 1842 (see vol. i., p. 100), which he regarded as the climax of Turner's work. The first and best in some ways of the series was the Splügen, which had been bought by Mr. Munro, of Novar, in the absence of Mr. Ruskin's father; and now he believed it had been sold lately at Christie's.
Without any word to him, the diligence of kind friends and the help of a wide circle of admirers. traced the drawing and subscribed its price,1000 guineas, to which Mr. Agnew generously added his commission, and it was presented to Mr. Ruskin as a token of sympathy and respect. It was a timely and very welcome tribute. It showed him that he still had the ear of the public; that they cared for himself, if not for his schemes. He would have preferred support for St. George's
work, but he was not insensible to the personal compliment implied, and by way of some answer he spent the first few days of his convalescence in arranging and annotating a series of drawings by himself, and engravings, illustrating the Turners, to add to his show during the remainder of the season. When they were sent off (early in June) to Bond Street, he left home with the Severns to complete his recovery at Malham.
There was another reason why that spontaneous testimonial was welcome at the moment, for a curious and unaccustomed ordeal was impending for Mr. Ruskin's claims as an art critic. On his return from Venice after months of intercourse with the great Old Masters, he found the Grosvenor Gallery just opened for the first time, with its memorable exhibition of the different extraacademical schools. It placed before the public, in sharp contrast, the final outcome of Pre-Raphaelitism, for which Mr. Ruskin had fought many a year before, and samples of the last new fashion from Paris. The maturer works of Mr. BurneJones had been practically unseen by the public, and Mr. Ruskin took the opportunity of their exhibition to write his praise of the youngest of the Old Masters in the current number of " Fors," and afterwards in two papers on the "Three Colors of Pre-Raphaelitism" ("Nineteenth Century Maga zine," November and December, 1878). But in the same "Fors" he dismissed with half a paragraph of contempt Mr. Whistler's eccentric sketch
of Fireworks. Long before, in 1863, when he was working with various artists connected with the Pre-Raphaelite circle, Mr. Whistler had made overtures to the great critic through Mr. Swinburne, the poet; but he had not been taken seriously. Now he had become the missionary in England of the new French gospel of "impressionism," which to Mr. Ruskin was one of those half-truths which are ever the worst of heresies. Mr. Whistler appealed to the law. He brought an action for libel, which was tried on November 25th and 26th before Baron Huddleston, and recovered a farthing damages. Mr. Ruskin's costs
amounting to £386 12s. 4d. — were paid by a public subscription to which one hundred and twenty persons, including many strangers, contributed.
By that time Mr. Ruskin was fully recovering from his illness, back at Coniston, after a short visit to Liverpool. It was forbidden to him to attempt any exciting work. He had given up "Fors" and Oxford lecturing, and was devoting himself again to quiet studies for "Proserpina and "Deucalion." On the first day of the trial the St. George's Guild was registered as a company; on the second day he wrote to Miss Beever:
"I have entirely resigned all hope of ever thanking you rightly for bread, sweet odors, roses and pearls, and must just allow myself to be fed, scented, rose-garlanded and bepearled, as if I were