Page images
PDF
EPUB

(68

a

the fragen

A centari pertain of the work of
that is hi Labon, with

fu
bue bread and
the nueat of his face to accomplished on
clail task n and ended

dais laskaita
Sui each das an doil head
Bub another fton palaa Mans unk in

that is wheel
accades

this

por qoft and strength he canin toward the peuporer lugar en la his face aceth his Sue their

Andyt oond ite: adelo actif lempe i hedh

in i tre of tue craftmans cal bequerit lui work

rahat of the mental of work of this will

it Future

he it here

[ocr errors]

to t
oun jupee and

a part

e and of all

[ocr errors]

-che

of the hands

In the

life

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

hir

[ocr errors]

Ч

th

[ocr errors]

it

suits in one and like a today

cre

othen ai

Openi the angels mas in

ria place year

the work of in
this unk
in

They will & cui
Heaven ,

,
e tabern
But the trilon hand and heart, howerth - fi.
the future of life ?

op
which when well don

Perfected

" Did it throught
of which befan an yer an closed the permite
lay
Securent d God ' He chall see

of the havaal
1 his Saul, and shall be latested:

Prfecit opees

arel

hi

t

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

THE MEANING OF “MINE” AND “WORK”

537

his poor separate gift and strength, he carries forward the purposes of God for his Race ; accepts from his Sires their Morality and their Art; adds to the temple his little stone of true craftsman's cutting; bequeaths his own piece and part of the Immortal work of this World, and therefore of all others, to the Future, in his own place. And the prayer for this work is: “Yea, the work of our hands, establish thou it.” And the toil of the hands, honestly, for our own life of to-day, is our « labour.”

But the toil of hand and heart, honestly, for the future life of others, is our Opus”; of which, when well done, the angels may say,

« Perfecit opus”—Perfected.

Did it thoroughly, and of which, before his eyes are closed, the promise is to every servant of God: “ He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.”

6

THE WORTH OF A VOTE

[See Letter 29, § 16 (Vol. XXVII. p. 544)]

That is the value I set on my own right of voting. But my correspondent is in a passion with me because I would deprive him (he thinks) of his ; I never said so. He may be perhaps one of the persons to whose vote I should attach particular importance. His vote, respecting me, for instance, is that I treat politics with levity, because after separating ten of the best years of life for the study of political economy, and writing a book upon it in the most finished accuracy of terms I could contrive,? I now decline to teach him the science by private correspondence. Can he not vote, with similar perspicacity, for somebody who is capable of treating politics with seriousness ? Who on earth can hinder him, however much they wished it? May not he vote, he and his unanimous friends, for any man, woman, or child in the United Kingdom whose politics they approve; set their elect on the top of Wrekin-within telescopic view of all England and Wales—and listen to his, or her, or its oratory, from that position without any shadow of opposition from the other side of the Houseand proceed also to whatever proceedings they may be thereby persuaded -without the smallest reference to me? Who am I, to stand in their way? And if the police happened to do so, why, the police have also, I suppose, a right to their votes: but may be outvoted, with a sufficient number of sticks.

My correspondent will, I hope, not allow his mind to be disturbed further on the subject of his vote. No mortal, nor any mass of mortals, can take that from him. But they can seriously interfere with his other properties, which, for my part, I hold even of greatly more importance than my vote. For instance, those little properties of wife and children, which the Cornhill Magazine says, looking from its Arable standing-point, are inadmissible for the Agricultural labourer till he is forty-five ? 3 How of his rights to these. If my general readers, to whom I must now pass, though closing with regret my talk with my republican correspondent, will look back to the piece of translation from Marmontel's Contes Moraur, * they will find that the French peasant there described, says of his wife and children that "there is nothing else worth having but that.” And I may now further confess that it was for the sake of that sentence alone that I translated the whole passage. For it is a divinely and eternally true sentence.

1 [This passage, headed Fors-May,” is printed from sheets of MS. at Brantwood. It was written to follow the note where Ruskin says, “I have never in my life voted for any candidate for Parliament.”]

? (For the care with which Unto this Last was written, see Vol. XVII. p. XXV., and Letter 48, § 18 (Vol. XXVIII. p. 218).] 3 [See Letter 28, § 19 (Vol. XXVII. p. 521). [See Letter 17, Vol. XXVII. p. 301.]

538

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »