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SELECTIONS FROM RUSKIN

(ON READING AND OTHER SUBJECTS)

BY EDWIN GINN

With Notes and a Sketch of Ruskin's Life

By D. H. M.

BOSTON
GINN & COMPANY, PUBLISHERS

1892

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PREFATORY NOTE.

THIS volume contains Ruskin's four lectures on Books and

Reading, War, and Work, selected from “Sesame and Lilies," and the “Crown of Wild Olive,” and slightly abridged for

school use.

Such notes have been added as seemed necessary for the complete understanding of the text.

JOHN RUSKIN.

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OHN RUSKIN, “the greatest living master of English

prose,” was born nearly seventy years ago (1819), in a dreary London street not far from the British Museum. He was an only and a lonely child, having no other prospect during his early years “than that of the brick walls over the way,” and such amusements as he could find for himself in counting the bricks in those walls, watching the filling of the water-cart at the hydrant, and the like. With such slender resources the boy unconsciously began that method of self-instruction which was ultimately to make him one of the leading minds and educators of the age.

Of his parents he says: “My father began business as a wine-merchant, with no capital, and a considerable amount of debts bequeathed him by my grandfather. He accepted the bequest, and paid them all before he began to lay by anything for himself, for which his best friends called him a fool, and I, without expressing any opinion as to his wisdom, which I knew in such matters to be at least equal to mine, have written on the granite slab over his grave that he was 'an entirely honest merchant.'” 1

1 These and the following quoted passages are taken chiefly from Ruskin's “Præterita,” a series of autobiographic sketches now in course of publication, and from his “ Fors Clavigera.”

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