14 AUGUST 1880, Page 14


(TO THE EDITOR OR THE "SPECTATOR."] 81H,—Will you allow me to point out that in your admirable article on Wordsworth in last week's issue, you do the Brothers Smith an injustice in identifying them with Mr. Ruskin's latest vagary ? In the last edition of " Rejected Addresses," published during their life-time, the authors wrote :—" In no instance were we ever betrayed into a greater injustice than in the case of Mr. Wordsworth, the touching sentiment, profound wisdom, and copious harmony of whose lofty writings we left unnoticed' in the desire of burlesquing them ; while we pounced upon his popular ballads, and exerted ourselves to push their simplioity into puerility and silliness. With pride and pleasure do we now claim to be ranked among the most ardent admirers of this true poet." Those of us who owe much to Mr. Ruskin, as well as to Wordsworth, will place this last literary criticism of his on a par with Voltaire's criticism on Shakespeare, Byron's criticism on Chaucer, Wordsworth's criticism on Carlyle (that he and

Emerson ought to be left to their appropriate reward,—mutual admiration), and a thousand and one such like aberrations of great men.—I am, Sir, &c.,

P.S.—Is there any connection between Mr. Ruskin's verdict on Wordsworth—whom in so many respects he seems to re- semble—and the judgment of the Sage of Chelsea, pronounced many years ago, that in comparison with Schiller, Wordsworth's poetry is "mere drivel F"