The editors of the Library Edition designated this bound manuscript as MS IA, fitting it into the series of manuscripts originally numbered by W. G. Collingwood in his “Preliminary Note on the Original MSS of the Poems” for Poems (1891) (Poems [4o, 1891], 1:261–67; Poems [8o, 1891], 1:262–68). The manuscript had “been bound up since Ruskinʼs death”, the editors explained, and hence formed “an addition to the list” in Collingwoodʼs “Note” (“Preliminary Note on the Original MSS of the Poems [Revised and Completed from the Edition of 1891]”, in Ruskin, Works, 2:530 n. 1). See also Provenance.
Beinecke Library, Yale University, catalogued as “Early Poems MS IA, Autograph Manuscript, 1827–1842”. The contents are now unbound and included among other unbound manuscripts in box 31 of the Ruskin Collection (a box also known as “Ruskin, John, 1819–1900 / Miscellaneous Manuscripts”). The box contains a folder labeled “Early Poems IA”, but the box also holds folders for other items that were probably originally bound in MS IA, along with folders containing items unrelated to MS IA. See Description.
The provenance of the separate manuscripts that were bound together to make up MS IA is probably identical to that of the Red Books and other early manuscript notebooks originally listed and numbered in Collingwoodʼs “Preliminary Note on the Original MSS. of the Poems”; that is, apart from manuscripts that Ruskin had given to others, the MS IA manuscripts lay along with others in his study, and at least some of them were known to W. G. Collingwood in the course of his editing of Poems (1891). (For evidence that two manuscripts originally contained in MS IA were known to Collingwood while preparing his edition, see Account of a Tour on the Continent: Manuscripts.) It is possible that some other manuscripts now in MS IA had been discovered by or returned to the literary executors in the years since Collingwood had undertaken his bibliographical labor, or that some were originally included among the unspecified manuscripts in “an envelope containing collected loose papers, including poems; fair‐copied by the author as presents, chiefly to his father; or copied by others” (Collingwood, “Preliminary Note on the Original MSS of the Poems”, Poems [4o, 1891], 1:266; Poems [8o, 1891], 1:268; see MS XI).
In the course of the Sothebyʼs 1931 sale, Charles Goodspeed purchased MS IA, which subsequently suffered the ravages of his house fire in 1941. In the aftermath of the fire, Goodspeed discovered MS IA and donated the charred remains to Yale, as documented in a 4 November 1942 letter from Goodspeed to Chauncey B. Tinker:
Yesterday in rummaging about my library I was happy to come upon a folder of Ruskin manuscripts which I knew had escaped destruction, but which I had been unable to locate. I am sending them to you to go with the others. To me they are of particular interest, and they include one piece which, with one possible exception, is I imagine the earliest example known of Ruskinʼs handwriting. The one beginning “Come on, good horse” is particularly interesting for its reference to “Glendarg Glen” [i.e., Glendearg] of Scottʼs Monastery [see “The Monastery”], which Ruskin mentions in the early chapters of Praeterita. The list which goes with the manuscripts is, of course, in [Alexander] Wedderburnʼs hand. The two pieces marked with a “G” on this list I am keeping myself for the present at least.
The “list . . . in Wedderburnʼs hand” refers to the frontmatter of MS IA in Alexander Wedderburnʼs holograph, consisting of a title page and a contents page. On the contents page, the two items flagged with a circled “G” are “Papa whats time a figure or a sense” [“Time: Blank Verse”] and “Bosworth Field”.
In his letter, Goodspeed must have meant that the contents of MS IA had escaped total destruction, given that several of the items known to have been bound in MS IA—items that, according to all descriptions, had always been included in the compilation (see Contents)—presently retain signs of charring. Indeed, charring is visible on the very items mentioned in Goodspeedʼs letter to Tinker: the contents page Wedderburnʼs hand, and the blank mounting sheet to which is affixed the manuscript, “come on good horse and let us see”, a holograph draft fragment of “The Monastery”.
MS IA is no longer bound as a “thin folio” in “red cloth”, as described by the editors of the Library Edition (Ruskin, Works, 2:530). This description is consistent with the red buckram covering other manuscripts assembled and bound by Alexander Wedderburn in the course of editing the Library Edition after Ruskinʼs death. Given the size of paper used for the surviving frontmatter, the title page and contents page, the binding would have measured approximately 30.5 cm tall by 18 cm wide (i.e., approximately 12 by 7 inches).
The original red buckram must still have been in place when Charles Goodspeed acquired MS IA (see Provenance), since the booksellerʼs catalogue (Goodspeedʼs Book Shop, A Catalogue of Paintings, Drawings and Manuscripts by John Ruskin) describes the contents as “mounted and bound in a small folio cloth volume” (p. 20). This description matches that in the catalogue for the sale from which Goodspeed acquired the manuscript collection, Sotheby & Co., Catalogue of the Final Portion of the Manuscripts & Library of John Ruskin, which lists the item as no. II, lot 27 (p. 6), consisting of “early poetry and prose writings”, which were “all bound in cloth”.
The loss of this binding is not significant in itself, since, as Alexander Wedderburn remarks on his holograph title page for MS IA, the collection had “been bound since the publication of the Poems in 1891” (i.e., Poems ), and the compilation appears to have been governed by no rationale other than ordering the contents chronologically according to the editorsʼ dating. The manuscripts originally collected in the binding are miscellaneous, suggesting that the editors gathered togetehr odds and ends, and numbered and inserted the resulting collection into Collingwoodʼs bibliography between MS I and MS II because they believed that the first items listed in the contents, “Very early MSS. ‘come on, good horse’ &c”, fell chronologically between those two Red Books, which Collingwood had dated respectively as 1826–January 1827 and 1828 (“Preliminary Note on the Original MSS. of the Poems”, Poems [4o, 1891], 1:262; Poems [8o, 1891], 1:263; see also Date, and “The Monastery”: Date.
Perhaps the folio was disassembled from its binding as a consequence of damage from Goodspeedʼs fire, but in his letter to Tinker (see Provenance), Goodspeed refers to a “folder of Ruskin manuscripts” rather than to a bound item, suggesting that the dealer may have removed the binding prior to the fire. Given his interest in the very early manuscripts in the collection, two of which he initially held back from Yale, perhaps Goodspeed considered keeping those manuscripts for himself or dealing with them separately from the other manuscripts in his keeping. Of course, Goodspeed could not have retained two poems, and sent the others separately, unless he had already removed the binding, whether before or after the fire. Certainly, the items forming MS IA were loose when delivered to Yale University Library as (or among) “31 sheets of poems” that Goodspeed donated following the fire (“Notes on Recent Acquisitions” [Jan. 1943], 59).
As presently preserved by the Beinecke Library, the larger items belonging to MS IA, whose edges would have been more exposed to the heat of the Goodspeed fire, have been encased in clear plastic to protect the seared paper.
As originally bound, the collection opened with the and the , which as Goodspeed recognized was written in the hand of Alexander Wedderburn. :#FN2#
- Very early MSS. Come on, good horse &c. 1–3.
- Papa, whatʼs time, a figure or a sense. 5.
- Bosworth Field. 6.
- Vesuvius; Trafalgar; The Yew 7–10.
- Death. 11.
- My fatherʼs birthday. 1833. 12.
- Calais [MSIA] &c. (2 items) 13.
- Lille [MSIA], The Meuse &c 14.
- To his father. Birthday ode 1834. 15.
- Twelve months all rolling round have past 16.
- Ode to his father 1836. 17.
- Mont Blanc. 18.
- Athens 19.
- A visit to the Hospice of St. Bernard. 20
- A Scythian Banquet Song. 24.25.
- The Broken Chain. (Stanzas 17.26.) 26
- Prose translation of the Iliad i. ii 1–127 28
Fire damage doubtless accounts for the loss of the original binding of MS IA (see Description), and possibly accounts for the loss of certain items contained therein (see Content, a; and Content, b). The items that Goodspeed, as mentioned in his letter, marked G on Wedderburnʼs list (i.e., “Time: Blank Verse“, and “Bosworth Field”), he gave to the library in the following year (“Notes on Recent Acquisitions” [Oct. 1943], 36), and at the Beinecke they are now included in the “Early Poems IA” folder (see Location). Another item in Wedderburnʼs list, “A Visit to the Hospice of St. Bernard” (i.e., “The Ascent of the St. Bernard: A Dramatic Sketch”), is notated in Goodspeedʼs hand as “sent separately”; this manuscript also is present in the “Early Poems IA” folder. (Perhaps that notation explains what Goodspeed means in his letter to Tinker by “sending [the remaining MS IA items] to you to go with the others”‐that is, the “others” being the “Hospice” manuscript as well as the Praeterita manuscript donated in 1941, and other Ruskin manuscripts purchased by Yale from Goodspeed in earlier years (see Provenance).
Possible discrepancies exist between the items as presently disposed in the folder MS IA or elsewhere in the box Miscellaneous Manuscripts and their description in earlier accounts. The discrepancies, if they represent actual losses and not merely confusions arising from inadequate descriptions, might well be blamed on destruction by Goodspeedʼs fire; however, with the exception of one, rather slender piece of evidence (see [b] below), documentation is too scanty to confirm if, when, or how the losses occurred. If Goodspeed disassembled MS IA prior to the fire, it is even possible that he had already misplaced an item or two or sold them separately, their present whereabouts unknown. a) In the folder Early Poems IA, draft for portion of The Monastery, no. 46, single torn sheet, 12 × 20 cm; 34 lines in ink beginning come on good horse and let us see, from the third book of the poem, lines 26–59, as fair‐copied in MS III (with minor variants and deleted lines). On verso, 12 lines in very rough pencil draft of two passages from the third book of the poem as fair‐copied in MS III: martin took his task a[s(?)] guide / [(?)]d all the women did in him confide, which are interesting variants of lines 86–87 of fair copy; and, following a horizontal line, draft of lines 14–25 of the fair copy. On the verso, portions of the pencil draft were lost with tears at the edges, which is not the case with the ink script on the other side, Ruskin writing around the tears. Thus, the ink copy must have been written after the pencil (the lines are sequential, except for lines 86–87), and therefore, I believe, Ruskin was fair‐copying in MS III as he drafted. This is one of several indications that The Monastery draft, far from offering the earliest example known of Ruskinʼs handwriting, was composed in 1829 like its fair copy. This manuscript must have been the first item in MS IA when bound since Wedderburn heads his table of contents Very early MSS. “Come on, good horse” &c. Goodspeedʼs Catalogue. also lists it as the first item (79.A.1) and quotes from the manuscript extensively. Goodspeed describes the manuscript as consisting of 2 pp., and, if he means two sides of one sheet, then this item fully matches his description. As already mentioned (Description, above) Ruskinʼs sheet is mounted onto a slightly larger sheet watermarked [(?)]ETOWGOOD FINE, which I assume to have been cut from the bound MS IA. The mounting sheet, but not the manuscript itself, shows slight evidence of charring. The Yale box Miscellaneous Manuscripts holds another folder labeled The Monastery, containing a 12.5 × 20–cm sheet written in pencil, 34 lines in pencil from the second book of the poem as fair‐copied in MS III, lines 29–63, beginning now must we leave poor martin there and continuing to bottom of its verso, you are under my protection then I say goodbye. These lines together with those on the MS IA sheet thus add up to the Library Editionʼs listing of The Monastery versified, 80 lines in the original MS IA (Ruskin, Works, 2:530). The Library Edition dates these 80 lines as 1827, but the two manuscripts suggest no reason for dating their drafts from books II or III much earlier than their 1829 fair copy in MS III, since the manuscripts are similar in paper, size, and pencil handwriting. Moreover, Ruskin appears not to have used longhand earlier than 1828 (see no. 21; see also no. 46 for further remarks on the dating of The Monastery ). The pencil draft in the separate folder must have formed part of the second item in MS IA when bound, since Goodspeedʼs Catalogue. lists in second place (item 79.A.2, following the ink manuscript of The Monastery ) 4 pp. in pencil [of] a metrical transcription from Scottʼs Monastery. But if by 4 pp. Goodspeed means the rectos and versos of two sheets, and if his item 79.A.2 truly consisted entirely of The Monastery, then one sheet is presently missing. Goodspeed left other evidence that he knew of a another sheet. The pencil draft, like the ink draft in the MS IA folder, is mounted on a slightly larger, charred sheet (watermark showing only a seated Brittania in an oval surmounted by a crown). On this sheet, Goodspeed wrote below the manuscript, This (with the previous pp.) is a rhymed version of passages from chapter II of The Monastery (first edition), vol. 1, 182[(?)] / CEG 19[(?)] (my emphasis; part of the note lost with trimmed, burnt edges of the mounting sheet). Since Goodspeed apparently counted pages or rectos and versos of sheets, Goodspeedʼs pp. might have referred only to the ink manuscript (come on good horse ), which remains extant, and not to that manuscript plus another unknown one; but, if so, he would have erred in identifying both the ink manuscript and the pencil draft as versifying chapter two of Scottʼs novel, for the ink manuscript is taken from chapter three. The problem is not clarified by comparing Goodspeedʼs records with Wedderburnʼs. Wedderburnʼs table of contents included with MS IA lists three sheets of Very early MSS., starting with come on good horse—this entry certainly referring to the first, ink manuscript of The Monastery but also to two other unnamed items, whether he means manuscript sheets (recto and verso) or sheets used to mount manuscripts. Wedderburnʼs other two items may have been Goodspeedʼs two sheets ( 4 pp. ) of pencil manuscript of The Monastery, again pointing to a presently missing second sheet. But, again, the Library Edition specifies 80 lines, which are presently accountable in two manuscripts. (Goodspeedʼs Catalogue fails to mention the total number of lines in either his 2 pp. or his 4 pp. manuscripts, just as, annoyingly, the Library Edition fails to mention the number of sheets.) Thus, in summary, inconclusive evidence points to a missing sheet of Monastery draft—Wedderburnʼs third sheet, or Goodspeedʼs two more pages. To identify that missing sheet, we might look to manuscript, not of The Monastery, but of The Constellations, b below. This item, however, raises problems of its own. b) Also in the Yale folder labeled The Monastery is a 12.5 × 20‐cm folded sheet, written on all four sides in pencil, beginning Orpheus and bootes now. This is partial draft of The Constellations, no. 21, which survives in other copies. This manuscript is pasted onto a sheet that, like the mounting for the ink Monastery manuscript, is watermarked [(?)]ETOWGOOD FINE and is slightly charred. The Library Edition mentions The Constellations as having been bound in MS IA following The Monastery (Ruskin, Works, 2:530), and one might suspect that here is the third item in Wedderburnʼs table of contents as well as Goodspeedʼs additional Monastery manuscript, which he misidentified; and, indeed, this draft of The Constellations does physically resemble the pencil draft of The Monastery. But this solution founders, since, first, the folded sheet comprises four pages, not Goodspeedʼs two; second, Goodspeed does separately itemize The Constellations as following both the ink and the pencil Monastery manuscripts (Cat., item 79.A.3). Compounding the mystery, Goodspeed describes a 6 pp. manuscript, not a four‐page folded sheet, suggesting that a single sheet (i.e., 2 pp. ) is presently missing from this poem, as well. Wedderburnʼs table of contents included with MS IA fails to list The Constellations altogether, unless he included it among the three items of Very Early MSS. ; that is, Wedderburnʼs 1–3 may correspond to Goodspeedʼs item 79.A.1–3 if Wedderburn counted the ink manuscript of The Monastery as one item, the pencil manuscript as a second, and The Constellations as a third. In both Wedderburnʼs table of contents and Goodspeedʼs Catalogue, these items are followed by “Papa whats time”. But, as already explained, Goodspeedʼs page count cannot be reconciled with the extant manuscripts. Moreover, why does Wedderburnʼs table of contents list Papa whats time as a fifth item, skipping over a fourth enumeration? Could Wedderburnʼs 1–3 have referred only to the individual sheets of The Monastery, including the now missing sheet, while the skipped fourth item in his list was The Constellations? Owing to the sketchiness of Wedderburnʼs manner of describing the contents of MS IA, one returns to Goodspeedʼs Catalogue as the more accurate description when MS IA was still bound, and this description clearly indicates a sheet of The Constellations that, like a sheet of the The Monastery, cannot presently be accounted for. In Viljoenʼs transcription of The Constellations (from the MS III version) among her papers at the Morgan Library, she points to the line Orpheus and bootes new [sic] and remarks, Here begins version in Goodspeed ms. ; that is, the MS IA version begins at line 27 of the complete poem as fair‐copied in MS III—and the manuscript does appear fragmentary—and carries through to the end. Viljoenʼs gloss suggests that a sheet (perhaps containing draft of the opening 26 lines) may have been unavailable to her, as well as to us (HGVP, box F.X), which may tend to confirm that nothing has been lost or misplaced at least since MS IA arrived at Yale (see Description above; Viljoenʼs transcription is undated, but she had been steadily transcribing Ruskin material since the late 1920s and probably examined the Goodspeed collection not long after it came to Yale in 1942). As discussed in the note to no. 21, Lancaster holds two photographs (one of the front and one of the back) of another manuscript of The Constellations different from the extant Yale manuscript, a photograph that was made in the course of compiling the Library Edition. The existence or location of the original of this manuscript is unknown, but it was clearly intermediate between the MS IA draft and the MS III fair copy: it showed a printed fair copy of the MS IA draft version, with longhand revisions that were carried into the MS III version. The lost intermediate fair copy tends to support the probable loss of Constellations material from MS IA, since the photograph shows orpheus and bootes now as line 27, proving that draft of the first 26 lines must once have existed. Could the photograph show the lost IA manuscript itself? The photograph reveals what looks like a binding behind the perimeter of the manuscript. If this was the red‐cloth, thin folio of the early descriptions of MS IA, the photograph must significantly have reduced its actual size (as compared, for example, with the paper for Wedderburnʼs table of contents, which is larger). Even if the photograph reduced the original, however, it still fails to resolve the mystery. Instead of the presumably missing two pages, or unfolded single sheet, of The Constellations, the photograph shows a folded sheet (i.e., 4 pages, although the manuscript itself is unnumbered), with the poem fair‐copied on 1r‐v and revisions scrawled on 2r‐v. The sheet appears to have been laid open flat against some sort of backing and photographed, first, from the front (showing pp. 4 and 1) and, second, from the back (showing pp. 2 and 3). Photographed in this manner, front and back, the manuscript cannot have been bound permanently along its fold. If the manuscript had been bound, the photograph would show, first on the left, the back page of an unrelated manuscript, and then on the right, the first page of The Constellations, followed by the inside spread of the poem. That this is not the case is proved by a revised line of the poem, which was begun on p. 3, being finished on p. 4, the page to the left of p. 1 in the photograph. Of course, the folded sheet shown in the photograph could have been bound afterward in MS IA. In that case, in order for Goodspeed to arrive at the six pages mentioned in his Catalogue, he would have to have counted, along with the four‐page draft extant in MS IA, only the two pages of fair copy on the folded sheet in the photograph, ignoring the revisions on pp. 3–4. This seems to me improbable, since, while Goodspeed might have ignored blank pages (see, e.g., c below), he would not have discounted draft revision. c) A copy of Papa whats time a figure or a sense (no. 4, as reprinted and described in Burd, ed., Ruskin Family Letters, 150–51) is a 12.5 × 20–cm folded sheet. It is listed as following The Constellations in Goodspeed,Catalogue, item 79.A.4, and in Ruskin, Works, 2:530; and the title occurs following the first entry, Very Early MSS., in Wedderburnʼs table of contents. Goodspeed describes 2 pp. in pencil, rather than the expected four pages, presumably because p. 1v is blank, and 2v holds only the superscription described in Burd, ed., Ruskin Family Letters, 150 (headnote). The manuscript is undamaged by fire and lies loose in the Yale folder Early Poems IA. d) All descriptions (Goodspeed, Catalogue, item 79.B; Ruskin, Works, 2:530; Wedderburnʼs table of contents for MS IA) place Bosworth Field (no. 69) following c above. The 19 × 11.5–cm fair copy is undamaged by fire and lies loose in the Yale folder Early Poems IA. Like c above, the manuscript is a presentation copy, a folded sheet with ink fair copy on the facing inside spread. Both blank outer pages are used for addresses: on one, “For my Papa / from J. Ruskin / 1 January 1830 / Age 10¾ years” ; on the other, “For my Papa and, in John Jamesʼs hand, Aged 10¾ years / 1 Jany 1830”. Accordingly, in their dated list for MS IA (Ruskin, Works, 2:530), Cook and Wedderburn correctly ascribe the poem to late 1829—that is, composition in late 1829 for New Yearʼs presentation. e) Goodspeed, Catalogue, item 79.C, cites Poems—Vesuvius, Trafalgar, The Yew and Death—a similar MS. to the foregoing [i.e., Bosworth Field,ʼ d above]. 8 pp. ‘For [sic] my Papa February 8th 1830.’—‘by J. Ruskin aged 11 years this day 8 Feby 1830.’ Goodspeed has associated the four poems (8 pp. total) with a cover sheet for an unnamed presentation poem, inscribed “by Ruskin To my Papa / February 8th 1830, and annotated by his father by J. Ruskin aged 11 years / this day / 8 Feby 1830”. This cover sheet, like the four sheets (8 pp.) containing the poems, lies loose (and undamaged by fire) in the Yale folder Early Poems IA. Almost certainly, only Vesuvius, Trafalgar, and The Yew (nos. 70–72) belong with the cover sheet, while Death (no. 73) should be separated from the group. Vesuvius, Trafalgar, and The Yew are fair‐copied successively on both sides of three 20.5 × 12.5–cm sheets identical to the cover sheet. When the folds and torn edges are matched up, the cover proves to have followed the last poem, The Yew, with the address on the outside. This physical evidence is confirmed independently by the February 1830 dates ascribed to Vesuvius and Trafalgar, nos. 70–71, by Ruskin himself in their MS V copies. The fourth poem, Death (no. 73) probably does not belong to this group, since it is copied on a separate sheet of a slightly different size (19.75 × 12.5 cm), different watermark ( J WHA[(?)] / TURKE[(?)] / 18[(?)] as compared to HOLDSWORTH / & / PHILLIPS used for the other three poems), and unmatching horizontal folds. This copy of Death should be dated, rather, by its MS V copy, which Ruskin assigned to March 1830 It is true, however, that the lettering style for this presentation copy is very similar to that for the other three poems, as well as for Bosworth Field, d above. The early editors, as so often, contribute only obfuscation. In Ruskin, Works, 2:530, the editors group together Bosworth Field, Vesuvius, Trafalgar, and The Yew under 1829, and they assign Death alone to 1830, apparently pairing Death with the cover sheet. This would be the least probable grouping. The 1 January 1830 (composed 1829) Bosworth Field manuscript has nothing to do, physically, with the other manuscripts, and the other poems are independently ascribable to 1830, not 1829. Wedderburnʼs table of contents for MS IA does properly distinguish between Bosworth Field, Death, and the trio Vesuvius, Trafalgar, and The Yew as three separate items. His sketchy description does not mention the 8 February 1830 cover sheet, much less whether it might still have been physically attached to the trio of poems at this time. It is possible, however, that his cryptic 7–10 for Vesuvius, Trafalgar, and The Yew included the cover sheet to make a total of four sheets. f) All descriptions (Goodspeed,Catalogue, item 79.D; Ruskin, Works, 2:530; Wedderburnʼs table of contents for MS IA) list My Fatherʼs Birthday for 1833 ( The month of May, the month of May, no. 178), which is in the Yale folder Early Poems IA. Goodspeed describes the manuscript as 1½ pp., 4to —i.e., two 20 × 25‐cm sheets, one of them taken up by the poem on its recto and its verso, and the other devoted only to the address To my Father / 10th May 183. The sheets, burned on the left and right edges, are enclosed in plastic. Burd ascribes his printing of the poem (Burd, ed., Ruskin Family Letters, 277–78) to RMS I (i.e., MS XI), but I have been unable to locate a copy of the poem either in that volumeʼs table of contents or in the volume itself. I would assume, therefore, that Burd has confused MS XI with MS IA, except that his printing shows a few slight variants from the MS IA copy. These may be errors or carry‐overs from the Library Edition printing. g) The parts of Account of a Tour on the Continent, no. 180, as they were described in earlier accounts of MS IA, all appear to be extant, either in the folder Early Poems IA or elsewhere in the box Miscellaneous Manuscripts. In the folder IA are two sheets (20.2 × 25.2 cm) containing copies (perhaps draft or semifinal copy) of the first five poems (without their prose sections) of no. 180, in the order those poems appear in the fair copy, MS IX. Ruskin numbered the lines of these poems sequentially—that is, without starting his numbering anew with each poem—showing that he had established their order for the fair copy in MS IX. The first of these two sheets contains the following: Calais (poem only, lines numbered by Ruskin 1–24, complete as fair‐copied in MS IX; copy in John Jamesʼs hand). Cassel (poem only, untitled in manuscript, lines numbered by Ruskin 25–51, i.e., lines 1–27 as fair‐copied in MS IX; copy in John Jamesʼs hand from line 25 to 42, and in Ruskinʼs hand from line 43 to 51 [i.e., Ruskinʼs hand starts with the ecclesiastical procession, While far beneath in long array, etc.). A key for a code, nearly every letter of the alphabet represented by a code symbol (not employed in any known manuscript; see no. 99), at bottom of recto and in Ruskinʼs hand. As noted, this sheet is largely in John Jamesʼs hand. It must therefore be Goodspeed, Catalogue, item 79.E, Calais. (MS., 2 pp., 4to, in the hand of Ruskinʼs father), although the dealer is incorrect to ascribe the copy to John James entirely. By 4to, Goodspeed means the large size of the sheet. Although only slightly darkened by fire on one edge, the sheet is enclosed in plastic. The second sheet of this manuscript resumes Cassel and includes three more poems: Cassel (poem only, lines numbered by Ruskin 52–62, i.e., lines 28–38 as fair‐copied in MS IX). Lille (poem only, lines numbered by Ruskin 63–112, i.e., complete as fair‐copied in MS IX). Brussels (poem only, lines numbered by Ruskin 113–73, i.e., complete as fair‐copied in MS IX). The Meuse (poem only, written sideways in the margin, front side of the sheet, i.e., the side with Cassel and part of Lille ; complete as fair‐copied in MS IX). This second sheet is entirely in Ruskinʼs hand. It must be Goodspeed,Catalogue, item 79.G, from which he quotes eight lines of the poem Lille, and which he describes identically to item 79.E above as 2 pp., 4to. This sheet is more seriously damaged than its mate and is enclosed in plastic. This second sheet is what Wedderburn lists as Lille, The Meuse in his table of contents, while the first sheet must be represented by one of the items in the entry Calais (2 items). As I remarked above ( Description ), however, the penciled gloss (2 items) appears to be Goodspeedʼs. In a separate folder in the Yale box and labeled Calais, more material from no. 180 is fair‐copied on a folded sheet, 12.6 × 20.2 cm. This is Goodspeed, Catalogue., item 79.F ( Prose and verse—Calais, Passing the Alps, Milan Cathedral, Andernacht and St. Goar—4 pp. ), and presumably the second of the (2 items), according to the notation next to Calais in Wedderburnʼs table of contents. (Wedderburnʼs description Calais could fit either of the two sheets starting with Calais, prose or verse, with the &c. standing for the other poems on the respective sheets. His ascription of the single digit 13 to the item(s) is as obscure as his other enumerations.) This small folded sheet escaped fire damage, as did other manuscripts of its size in IA. Ruskin numbered lines of poetry on this manuscript, as well. It consists of the following: Calais (prose only, complete as fair‐copied in MS IX). Passing the Alps (poem; lines numbered by Ruskin 324–59; a unique copy of this poem, neither fair‐copied in MS IX nor drafted in MS VIII). Milan Cathedral (poem; lines numbered by Ruskin 360–77; a unique copy, neither fair‐copied in MS IX nor drafted in MS VIII). Andernacht (poem; lines numbered by Ruskin 378–403; complete as fair‐copied in MS IX and printed Ruskin, Works, 2:354 n.—i.e., not the main copytext used for Ruskin, Works, 2:353–54, which is from a later revision of Andernacht). St. Goar (poem; lines numbered by Ruskin 404–29; complete as fair‐copied in MS IX and printed Ruskin, Works, 2:359 n. 1—i.e., not the main copytext used for Ruskin, Works, 2:359–60, which is from a later revision of St. Goar). This copy of selected prose and verse—like the two sheets containing the poems Calais, Cassel, Lille, Brussels, and The Meuse —probably dates from relatively early in Ruskinʼs project, no. 180, since Andernacht and St. Goar were later revised, perhaps sometime in 1835, for publication in Friendshipʼs Offering (see note to no. 180). h) Goodspeed, Catalogue, (item 79.H) and Ruskin, Works (2:530) list Ruskinʼs 1834 birthday address to his father, no. 192, together with The Crystal Hunter, no. 188. Wedderburnʼs table of contents for MS IA is more ambiguous, but he probably means to include both poems under the entry To his father. Birthday ode 1834 since, in the presentation copy itself, The Crystal Hunter begins on the verso of the prefatory address My Dearest Father. (In MS VIII, however, no. 192 is headed differently as The Address and drafted separately from no. 188.) Goodspeed cites 3 pp. for this manuscript, an error that seems unaccountable except as a confusion with j below, which is fair‐copied on the same size paper. The 1834 poem is fair‐copied on four 25 × 20‐cm sheets (i.e., 8 pp.), badly charred on the top and bottom edges and sealed in plastic, and contained in the Yale folder Early Poems IA. The sheets are written on seven sides and numbered 1–7 by Ruskin, with the final page left blank except for To my Father. On p. 7, there is a notation, almost obliterated by the burnt edge, [Johns(?)] poetry / May 1834. This birthday poem marks a departure from Ruskinʼs earlier method of fashioning presentation copies, which was to fold a single sheet sideways to form a small (approximately 12 × 20‐cm) pamphlet. Here, two columns of text are written on a full sheet broadside, and two more on the verso broadside. The text on the verso is written upside‐down to the text on the front, so that, when the sheet is flipped over, the text still appears right‐side‐up. These more spacious presentations become the rule after the mid‐1830s. i) Twelve months all rolling round have past, no. 164, is listed in all descriptions: Wedderburnʼs table of contents for MS IA; Goodspeed,Catalogue, item 79.I (as another birthday poem to his father, 4 pp., undated ); and Ruskin, Works, 2:530. The poem is untitled and undated but listed as 1831 in the Library Edition. Like other items of its size in MS IA, it was unaffected by fire. When this manuscript is compared against Ruskinʼs ode for his fatherʼs birthday of 1831, bound in MS XI (see Content, g), the two manuscripts can be seen to match in every particular: they are both 20 × 12.3‐cm folded sheets of light blue‐green paper, display the same copperplate hand (Ruskinʼs fancy scripts can vary, but the capital letters in these two manuscripts are clearly imitated from the same source), and even match up in their horizontal folds. Obviously, when the MS XI manuscript declares at the bottom of 1v that I here do beg to give you an ensample, the reader is meant to look for the ensample at the top of the folded insert—i.e., what is now the MS IA manuscript—which begins Twelve months all rolling round have past. In his printing of the MS XI ode, Burd breaks off with I here do beg to give you an ensample but remarks in a note that the draft in MS VIII extends beyond this line, adding fifty‐four lines to illustrate both the comic and ‘flowery’ styles of poetry and that these additional lines begin Twelve months all rolling round have past (Burd, ed., Ruskin Family Letters, 256). The fair copy of those lines (albeit with revisions from the MS VIII version) became separated from the fair copy of the poemʼs opening. For the relation between Ruskinʼs birthday odes to his father for 1831 and 1832, and for prior confusion over dating of these odes, see nos. 118a and 164. j) All descriptions (Goodspeed,Catalogue, item 79.J; Ruskin, Works, 2:530; Wedderburnʼs table of contents for MS IA) list Ruskinʼs 1836 birthday poem for his father, Congratu— (no. 231). Goodspeed describes this manuscript as 3 pp., 4to. —correctly, if he was counting sides of sheets, as usual. The text is written on three sides of two 20 × 25‐cm sheets, with the fourth given to the address To my Father / May 10th 1836 Like h above and unlike birthday presentation poems of earlier years, Congratu— is written out using the full sides of sheets, not half‐pages pamphlet style—only here, the text is written top to bottom, not broadside as in h. With their left and right edges charred, the sheets are enclosed in plastic and contained in the folder Early Poems IA. k) All descriptions (Goodspeed,Catalogue, item 79.K; Ruskin, Works, 2:530; Wedderburnʼs table of contents for MS IA) list Mont Blanc. This 19.7 × 13.2‐cm sheet, written on both sides, is correctly noted in all accounts as a transcription in Margaret Ruskinʼs hand. Although the Library Edition declares this the only complete copy (Ruskin, Works, 2:468), the manuscript can only be deemed longer than the MS VII version, not necessarily complete, since the writing extends top to bottom on both sides of this torn half‐sheet. For speculation about the poemʼs dating, see Undatable Pieces, B. The manuscript is not damaged by fire and lies in the folder Early Poems IA. l) All descriptions (Goodspeed,Catalogue, item 79.L; Ruskin, Works, 2:530; Wedderburnʼs table of contents for MS IA) list Athens (no. 135), a 19.7 × 12.2‐cm folded sheet. None of the descriptions mentions the handwriting, however, which appears to be Margaret Ruskinʼs. The title and one correction are in pencil (possibly Ruskinʼs own hand), the stanzas in ink (Margaretʼs hand?). The copy contains only seven unnumbered stanzas of this much longer, although unfinished, poem; but, since the manuscript is written on only three sides, it may represent all that had been composed at the time of its transcription. If so, Goodspeed (Catalogue, item 79.L) and Cook and Wedderburn (Ruskin, Works, 2:530) are correct to attribute this manuscript to 1831, while the entire poem should be dated 1831–32, as Cook and Wedderburn correctly note (Ruskin, Works, 2:537). For complete information on dating, see no. 135. This manuscript is undamaged and lies loose in the folder Early Poems IA. m) All descriptions (Goodspeed,Catalogue, item 79.M; Ruskin, Works, 2:530; Wedderburnʼs table of contents for MS IA) list A Visit to the Hospice of St. Bernard (no. 209). The manuscript consists of 12 sheets, 19.5 × 25 cm, watermarked 1834, with the pages numbered 1–24 by a hand other than Ruskinʼs. The text is neatly disposed on hand‐ruled lines. This fair copy, as the Library Edition remarks, goes no further than the opening of Scene 5 (Ruskin, Works, 1:505 n. 1); specifically, p. 24 ends with the phrase “torrent of the Drance, whose dark waters have worn.” Since this phrase extends to the bottom right corner, further fair copy could have existed, although the extant draft in MS VIII continues only through some portion of scene 6. The sheets of the fair copy are charred on the left and right edges, and encased in plastic. The ink is badly faded, especially from p. 8 to the end. The sheets are contained in the folder Early Poems IA. n) All descriptions (Goodspeed,Catalogue, item 79.N; Ruskin, Works, 2:530; Wedderburnʼs table of contents for MS IA) list A Scythian Banquet Song (no. 259). Goodspeedʼs description of 4 pp. must be revised to take account of fire damage. Of the 4 pp. —or two 19.5 × 25‐cm sheets (one watermarked 1837) written on both sides, now in the folder Early Poems IA —one sheet has been separated at its fold into two 19.5 × 12.5‐cm sheets, so that the manuscript is now encased in a total of three plastic sleeves. The manuscript suffered especially intrusive charring, costing some lines at the top and bottom of the sheets, which have been trimmed in places. The manuscript holds only the first 16 stanzas of the 27‐stanza poem, presented in the manner of h above—the stanzas written in two columns broadside and continued in the same style on the verso. All four sides of the original sheets are filled, suggesting that this fair copy could have once continued onto further sheets, but Goodspeedʼs 4 pp. indicates that only these two sheets were included in the bound MS IA. Wedderburn, in his table of contents, enumerates the manuscript as 24.25., as if it consisted of two sheets, but his meaning is obscure, since he does not so designate other manuscripts consisting of multiple sheets. The Library Edition fails to clarify whether the MS IA copy, as the editors knew it, was complete (Ruskin, Works, 2:57 n.). The manuscript is early enough to record a change in title, #FN01# A Scythian Banquet #FN02# Song, and the headnote differs from the published version: The taste of the Scythians #FN03# in household furniture if we may trust to Herodotus was somewhat peculiar: their drinking cups for instance, being generally the skulls of their enemies (Ruskin, Works, 2:57). A few minor changes in wording #FN04# in the final lines of stanzas 1 and 7, respectively) are accounted for in the published text. Otherwise, the manuscript is neatly written, perhaps too neat to be the original draft that, as appears from letters to W. H. Harrison, was composed in a single day, before March 1838 (Ruskin, Works, 2:57 n. 1). Note that, in another letter to Harrison of 1 August 1838, Ruskin still entitles the poem a Drinking Song (Works, 2:69), so the MS IA copy—or at least the revisions on this copy—may date from after that time. o) All descriptions (Goodspeed,Catalogue, item 79.O; Ruskin, Works, 2:530; Wedderburnʼs table of contents for MS IA) list The Broken Chain, no. 245a. This is a 21 × 13.5–cm, 16–page sewn booklet, with pp. 2–10 numbered by the original hand and with pp. 11–16 left blank and uncut. This fair copy, which is in John Jamesʼs hand, contains only stanzas 17–26 of part V; however, nothing has been lost from MS IA, since Wedderburnʼs table of contents specifies Stanzas 17.26, and both Works (2:530) and Goodspeed,Catalogue, concur. The manuscript is undamaged by fire and lies loose in the folder Early Poems IA. p) The 1832 prose translation of the Iliad, misdated as 1842 by Cook and Wedderburn (Ruskin, Works, 2:530; see no. 160a), is contained in the MS IA folder. This is a fair copy on six 31.5 × 19‐–cm sheets; each sheet was folded once vertically, so the sheets could be assembled as a quire, forming a booklet with 16 × 19–cm pages, each page holding two vertical columns of text. The paper is hand‐ruled and the text obsessively neat, resembling (except in its double‐column format) the Sermon Books, MSS IIA‐E. In its present condition, the quire has been separated into individual sheets, each sheet laid flat and enclosed in clear plastic, owing to fire damage. Thus, each sheet consists of four pages. Since neither the pages nor the sheets are numbered, the following list conjecturally orders them. The pages are identified by their first and last words: Sheet 1 (p. 1, Now tell through Argos far ; p. 2, from her through hecatombs un ; pp. 23–24, blank). Sheet 2 (p. 3, paid through dark ; p. 4, eyed through me that ; pp. 21–22, blank). Sheet 3 (p. 5, the value through much more ; p. 6, than thee through the dark– ; pp. 19–20, blank). Sheet 4 (p. 7, eyed through orator of ; p. 8, whom through not me ; p. 17, ed words through of ten [end of fair copy, column left incomplete, with 127 (i.e., line 129) in pencil and in Wedderburnʼs hand added at end]; p. 18, blank). Sheet 5 (p. 9, and I will through left to me ; p. 10, to turn through Greeks took ; p. 15, the Greeks through and spoke ; p. 16, Hear me through with wing ). Sheet 6 (p. 11, to Chryses through with the ; p. 12, hecatomb through ascen– ; p. 13, ded soon through of the Greeks ; p. 14, Then answered through ships of ). None of the manuscript is missing, since Wedderburnʼs table of contents and Ruskin, Works, 2:50 specify the translation as extending only to book 2, line 127. Goodspeed (Catalogue, item 79.P) describes 16 pp., double column, an odd way of counting since he includes only the full double‐column pages, omitting p. 17 with its single incomplete column. Footnotes: #FN01#: “Th” crossed out by Ruskin. “A” used instead. #FN02#: “Drinking Song” crossed out by Ruskin. “Banquet” song used instead. Th A Scythian Drinking Song Banquet Song #FN03#: “if we ma”. Crossed out by Ruskin. #FN04#: “darkness” crossed out and silence was used in its place; “waves” was crossed out breeze was used in its place.
- Item belonging to Group A.
- First item belonging to Group B.
- Second item belonging to Group B.
- Third item belonging to Group B.
- Item belonging to Group C.
The dates of the contents of MS IA range from 1827 or 1828 to 1842. As a bound collection, the compiling and binding of MS IA must have been nearly contemporaneous with the preparation of the first two volumes of the Library Edition. Wedderburnʼs remarks about the binding on the title page of the manuscript itself (“bound since the publication of the Poems in 1891 / and may be added to the list of MS. given there, as IA”) is very like the editorsʼ comment in Ruskin, Works, 2:530 (“this volume has been bound up since Ruskinʼs death, and is thus an addition to the list in the Poems, 1891”), suggesting that the collection was compiled shortly prior to publication of volume 2 (1903) of the Library Edition. The fact that Wedderburnʼs table of contents for the manuscript is somewhat confused (see Description) further argues for the manuscriptʼs compilation during the hectic lead‐up to initial publication of the Library Edition (see ???).
A common tie linking these individual manuscripts is that the works are all poems, except for a single prose piece, Ruskinʼs Translation of Homerʼs Iliad, and even that item could reasonably have been classified as a poem for purposes of inclusion here. Also, these poetry manuscripts were gathered and bound following publication of Poems (1891), possibly because its editor, W. G. Collingwood, had overlooked the manuscripts altogether or had consulted without identifying them in his “Preliminary Note on the Original MSS. of the Poems" (see Title). Given his thorough care in other respects, it seems likely that Collingwood was unacquainted with these manuscripts, and that they must have surfaced after Ruskinʼs death, in the course of the literary executorsʼ search of Ruskinʼs study.
MS IA did contain works published by Collingwood, but he drew on other manuscript versions of those works, without acknowledging the versions that came to be bound in MS IA. For example, in his introduction to Poems (1891), Collingwood quotes “Time: Blank Verse” in its entirety without identifying the source, but variants in the title and line 22 definitely point to MS III as his copytext. Nor were the MS IA manuscripts included among those in MS XI, which Collingwood describes in “Preliminary Note on the Original MSS. of the Poems” as consisting of “an envelope containing loose papers, including poems; fair‐copied by the author as presents, chiefly to his father; or copied by others” (Poems [4o, 1891], 1:266; Poems (8o, 1891), 1:268). While some of the MS IA manuscripts are inscribed as fair copies made for Ruskinʼs father, including “Bosworth Field”; probably the trio “Vesuvius”, “Trafalgar”, and “The Yew” (see Contents, e); and the birthday odes. One possibility is that Collingwood had simply overlooked these items among the papers at Brantwood when researching his edition. Meanwhile, in 1889, even prior to the publication of Poems (1891), MS XI had been bound—despite Collingwoodʼs description of it as an “envelope”—and the items accidentally omitted were in due course gathered up to form MS IA. (Years later, MS XI was rebound to take account of still other omissions; see MS XI: Date; and MS XI: Description).
Another possibility is that the miscellany in MS IA is not accidental, but reflects some matter of provenance, now unrecoverable. The seemingly appropriate gathering for these items, MS XI, was a gift by Ruskin to Alexander Wedderburn; and Collingwoodʼs description of MS XI in his “Preliminary Note”, which fails to take account of a binding added since he wrote the note, may indicate, not a failure to revise, but limited access. Other language might be construed as a euphemism for the fact that he knew only what Wedderburn chose to tell him about MS XI: its contents, Collingwood added, “are useful as fixing dates in some cases; e.g., the New Yearʼs Address, 1827; and as supplying corrections or additions in other instances” (Poems [4o, 1891], 1:266; Poems [8o, 1891], 1:268). (The ”New Yearʼs Address, 1827”, is “The Sun” which is dated in its MS XI version, and not in MS III, which Collingwood may have used for copy‐text.) Similarly, was there some tension concerning ownership and use of the items in MS IA, items that Collingwood appears not to have consulted at all, and that by their nature belonged in MS XI, a collection to which he may have allowed only limited access? The suggestion is entirely speculative. It is noteworthy, however, that in the closing paragraph of the “Preliminary Note”, which immediately follows the discussion of MS XI, Collingwood somewhat unnecessarily refers to the “excessively rare” Poems (1850) along with mention of T. J. Wise. It is a reminder that of the atmosphere of the 1890s, rife with jealousies and acquisitiveness of book collectors.
Composition & Sources