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man, in human and common sense ? Now you have assuredly common sense enough, and divine spirit enough, to understand the difference between this Lie-definition and the true one. “Money is an order for goods." And you can see that though the Bible sentence will not read so musically, it will read as truly, and with much more meaning, when you substitute this definition: “ The love of Orders for Goods is the root of all Evil." That is to say, the love of Power, to begin with, and of Consumption, to end with. The endeavour to get the grasp of Goods, instead of to produce them, and to get the privilege of devouring them, instead of the faculty of creating them.
You can see, also, that when you define the terms farther this true definition becomes a hundred-fold more precious. For you have to define the word “Goods," and to distinguish "Goods” from “Evils,” which to do is of all the work proposed in any Training College the precisely Primary. I am going to print this letter in next Fors; and probably also for separate circulation.
But will you first give me an answer to be printed with it? And be assured that I should not have written it unless, first, I had trusted much in your friendship, your courage, and your sincerity; and, secondly, so much admired both the substance and arrangement of this volume of yours on Household Science, as to hope with all my heart that it may become oracular in every English and un-English Household, alike to those that are far off, and to them that are nigh.? Ever yours respectfully and affectionately,
J. Ruskin. The Rev. J. P. FAUNTHORPE, M.A.
Postscript.-Note to be put to the question, “Where is the Medium," when the letter is published. You would probably at first answer, “ It is not a penny,
knowledge, that I really exchange with the baker for bread, and the penny is the Medium' of that exchange!”
But, if the Baker wanted your knowledge, you would not need the penny, nor he take it.
He would give you the loaf for the Latin lesson at once. That exchange needs no “ Medium,” and can have none.
The exchange of English coals for American meat indeed needs the “Medium" of a ship, but not of money. If there were none in the world the exchange would still take place, as it does now, and a tally of notches on the masts would express every condition of debt and credit, And
will find, in every other conceivable instance, that money is not a “ Medium of Exchange," but an “Order for Goods"; and that, therefore, its reality as Money depends on there being Goods to Order,--which your vulgar economist, and your England taught by him, never considers it his or her business to ascertain ! And the essential difference between having a thousand pounds in your pocket-book, or only a penny in your purse, is not that you can become a Mediator of your Exchanges, but that you can become a consumer of more goods.
BRANTWOOD, CONISTON, LANCASHIRE
(December, 1880). DEAR MR. FAUNTHORPE,—You would see that my letter was written hastily, in the first passion of sorrow at finding you still in that net of the Fowler, and amid noisome pestilence. My secretary sent it off before I had revised either it or your article, and I must throw it into completer form. But the first appeal of it, the main thing, is the question, Why you do not examine into the truth of this mighty thing, this accurate Enemy of God?
Your whole article is a series of confusions between Coin, Money, and Goods, not worth separate notice, but leading to such terrific generalizations, as "if everybody agreed to take tin, tin would do as well,” etc., etc., and “the use of money is to buy what we want," as if it could not be used to produce it also; as if it could not be abused, in that fatallest of all ways, for reproducing itself! Not but that, for your simple readers, the immediate purchase is of course the thing to be lectured on first, but how of saving ? how of living ? The postscript, scribbled yesterday, then copied that you might see it clearer, I send to-day, copy and manuscript draft, in case you like to keep the letter by itself! There are all sorts of verbal niceties requiring to be dealt with in your definitions. " Means," in English, has entirely ceased, like "moyen," to translate "medium.” That word is properly used in science (and in Spiritualism ?), but in your article it stands for “instrument," method of, way of, a totally different thing. Again, “Money is the measure of value”; consider what equivocation is in that sentence. It is the denomination of value, but not the means, instrumentum of measurement. A pint pot does measure bulk of liquids, a foot rule bulk of solids, and a pound weight the weight of both. But the thing that you say Money is the measure of, Value ? What is that itself? You mean that Money measures Money price—i.e., is the denominator of it. But, what is it that money price measures ?
Ever affectionately yours,
BRANTWOOD, Coniston, LANCASHIRE,
December 23rd, 1880. Dear MR. FAUNTHORPE,—I am deeply grateful for your kind letter. It, with others equally kind, but not a thousandth part as important, must be only thanked to-day, for Christmas brings more duties than I am able for, and I have only read yet the beginning and end of yours.
But at once let me pray you to reconsider your first sentence, “ The essence of a lie is its intention.” The essence of being a liar is intention ; the essence of a Lie is—its own falsehood. If you affectionately tell a child that hemlock is good for him, the memory of your intentions may make your regret light, but not the earth on his coffin. I criticise your book for your readers, not for you. And I used the ugly word “lie’ the equivalent of a Falsehoodfirst, because it is shorter and plainer ;
(Psalms xci. 3.]
secondly, because (not by you, but by those whose teaching you have followed) the Falsehood is intended, deliberate, continual, and in its work Deadly, more than the black plague. I can say no more to-day, but am ever, Faithfully and affectionately yours,
BRANTWOOD, Coniston, LANCASHIRE,
December 24th, 1880. DEAR MR. FAUNTHORPE,—I wish you a Happy Christmas. But so I do to the robins, and the wrens. You cannot but have a Thoughtful Christmas, if a happy one, being a Messenger of Christ. And are you not also by vow a priest of the Most High God? And are you not trusted with the training of the trainers of Christ's little ones in the way they should go-govern-esses, to whom, more than to their mothers, England now trusts her girl-souls ? the mothers, being mostly incompetent, and having wings only like butterAlies, not hens.
Governesses, or Schoolmistresses, or teachers in schools of this or that useful thing, whatever they are to be, in whatever rank, over whatever rank, what a mighty power this is given to you! I do not know, clearly, how wide it is, or how deep. For the lowlier it is, the deeper it is, and the more necessary it should be true and pure in its teaching. The Mistress may learn at any time of her life, but the Servant must at the village school, if ever.
To you, therefore, if to any ordained man in all this England, comes straight and close home St. Paul's charge:1 “ Thou, O Man of God, flee these things, and follow after righteousness. I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ, who before Pilate bore the good confession, thou who before many witnesses hast confessed the good confession, that thou keep the commandment spotless, unrebukable, until the Epiphany of our Lord.” Flee these things! What things ? Keep the Commandment! What Commandment ? Will you look, and tell me, What things ? What Commandment? and if you are minded to obey it, or to dispute it?
Ever your loving friend,
P.S.--Perhaps this letter may begin a quieter and more accurately arranged examination of the matter at issue between us,
my hastily written appeal to you. And, for the first step in the scientific part of it, will you tell me why, if money be a Medium of Exchange, and no more than that, we may not all of us have all we want of it, and equal use of it. Why should not the government issue any quantity; and why should a miser be looked on as unkind, if the thing he pleases himself in hoarding can be supplied for the asking to everybody else? Why should any soul of us be poor, if the issuing of bank-notes by the ton would make us rich ? Can a Medium of Exchange in your pocket be rendered useless by putting more of it in mine?
1 [1 Timothy vi. 11-14. Ruskin's translation differs somewhat from the Authorised Version)
BRANTWOOD, CONISTON, LANCASHIRE,
December 31st, 1880.
But I have written to you in weariness and painfulness, and I must have answer to the three quite definite questions in my last letter before I speak of any of the matters entered upon in your non-answer of two days ago. You cannot possibly begin the year with any work more pertinent, or more imperative. Very earnestly I wish you health, and power, and peace in its days. And am,
Your faithful friend,
JOHN RUSKIN. THE Rev. J. P. FAUNTHORPE, M.A.
BRANTWOOD, CONISTON, LANCASHIRE,
January 2nd, 1881, DEAR MR. FAUNTHORPE, -I am most truly grateful for your loving and kind letter. A good deal of what is worst in the bottom of me, and saddest in the midst, had been stirred up by the implication in your former letter that I was likely to engage you in oppositions of science, falsely so called ;1 and by the reading of the Whitelands Annual, which I will not speak of to-day, but only ask you to add to your present compliance with me the careful reading of paragraphs 120 to 137 in the old copy of the Queen of the Air, which perhaps you may like to keep, only you must make some of the girls copy the corrections on a copy? I will send for that operation; and please let them also copy the enclosed note 4 into it, and into their own, which I will send also if they haven't one.
I have sent a book to Whitelands, which, if they could study every word of (I doubt not their willingness) would be an education better than any living queen’s.
Ever yours affectionately,
1 [1 Timothy vi. 20.]
2 (For $$ 120–127 (in part), see Vol. XIX. pp. 400-406. The rest of $ 127, $S 128-132 (in part), and § 134 (in part) in the original edition were reprinted from the Notes on the General Principles of Employment: see Vol. XVII. pp. 541-546. For the rest of § 132, § 133, and the rest of § 134, see Vol. XIX. pp. 406–408. $$ 135–137 in the original edition were reprinted from Cestus of Aglaia: see Vol. XIX. pp. 72–76.]
3 [These corrections were made by Ruskin on a copy of the first (1869) edition of the Queen of the Air. They were, however, but trivial, and were made use of by Mr. Faunthorpe when preparing the fourth (1883) edition of the work, which he edited for Ruskin. See Vol. XIX. pp. lxxi., 285.]
· [The “Note" referred to follows this letter, below, p. 558.]
• [The edition of 1710 (with glossary) of Virgil's Æneid, translated into Scottish Verse by Professor Gawin Douglas, Bishop of Dunkeld. See references to it in Letters 61 (Vol. XXVIII. p. 500), and 92 (above, p. 455).]
[The following is the “Note” referred to in the preceding letter. It is to be observed that the Note is headed “Denmark Hill,” although the letter itself is addressed from Brantwood. Doubtless it was an old note, written in London at some earlier date, and now for the first time made use of.]
DENMARK HILL, S.E. Real value, as opposed to mere price in market, which is the received value among buyers and sellers of it under particular circumstances.
The conditions of real money-value may be best understood by supposing the represented property first infinitely large, and then infinitely small.
Imagine a territory so richly productive as to require no labour. Every kind of necessary or pleasant food, fruit or flower, laid up in store or gatherable on the instant, and only a few inhabitants on it unable to consume the thousandth part of its abundance. No one would have to pay for anything but the trouble of carriage, and for an incommensurably small sum might possess whatever he chose—the value of money being thus infinitely large, and passing through that infinity into nothing.
Suppose, on the contrary, the food consumed by pestilence, gradually to the last grain of corn; the inhabitants would gradually pay more and more for a little food, their whole fortune at last for a handful of corn, and the value of money thus becoming infinitely small, would pass on this side also, as the last food was consumed, into zero.
Between these two zeros, the uselessness which signifies that everything may be got without money, and the uselessness which signifies that nothing can be got with it, the real value of money oscillates according to the actually attainable quantity of goods, and the market value of money according to the caprices and panics of commercial minds.