We deal at length in another column with the personality
and influence of Mr. Ruskin, who passed away on Saturday last in his eighty-first year. The son of a wealthy Edinburgh wine merchant and art connoisseur, well equipped by foreign travel, uncommon skill as a draughtsman, and a passionate, though by no means indiscriminate, love of beauty, he became by virtue of his magnificently picturesque style and intense earnestness one of the most illuminating influences of his time. As time went on, he preached and theorised on ethics and economics even more than on art, but always with the same fervour, the same uncompromising scorn of conventionality, opportunism, and industrialism. But there was always an element of nobility even in his extravagance and violence ; and though his hatred of machinery amounted almost to a superstition, his efforts to preserve the amenity of the English landscape are happily bearing fruit in a variety of effective movements. Perhaps the best key to the nature of the man is to be found in the words, " Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Ruskin was pure in heart, and saw God and the beauty of holiness in all things He shoved the world that a man may fix his heart on beauty and not be a Hedonist, may be at once a seeker and worshipper of all that is beautiful and yet a Puritan,—for a Puritan Ruskin was. That was a lesson worth teachmg to the world, and he taught it.