say, now forty years later, with certitude, that they could not have been much better done. I knew absolutely nothing of architecture proper, had never drawn a section nor a leaf moulding; but liked, as Turner did to the end of his days, anything that was graceful and rich, whether Gothic or Renaissance; was entirely certain and delicate in pencil-touch; and drew with an acuteness of delight in the thing as it actually stood, which makes the sketch living and like, from corner to corner. Thus much I could do, and did do, for the last time. Next year I began trying to do what I could not, and have gone on ever since, spending half of my days in that manner.
57. I find a sentence in diary on 8th May, which seems inconsistent with what I have said of the centres of my life work:1-
“Thank God I am here; it is the Paradise of cities.
* * * * * * *
This, and Chamouni, are my two homes of Earth.”2
But then, I knew neither Rouen nor Pisa, though I had seen both. (Geneva, when I spoke of it with them, is meant to include Chamouni.) Venice I regard more and more as a vain temptation. The diary says (where the stars are):3 “There is moon enough to make half the sanities of the earth lunatic, striking its pure flashes of light on the grey water.”
From Venice, by Padua, where St. Antonio,-by Milan, where the Duomo,-were still faultless to me, and each a perfect bliss; to Turin-to Susa; my health still bettering in the sight of Alps, and what breeze came down from them-and over Cenis for the first time. I woke from a
1 [See i. § 180; above, p. 156.]
2 [The diary of 1841 shows that Ruskin wrote “homes,” not “bournes” (as hitherto printed).]
3 [The sense of this passage has hitherto been curiously destroyed by wrong punctuation. The full stop after “temptation” has been placed after “where the stars are”-thus, “... as a vain temptation-the diary says-where the stars are. ‘There is moon enough ...’” But “the stars” refer to the asterisks in the text-the sentence “There is moon enough,” etc., being (as the diary shows) part of a longer passage which Ruskin omits.]
[Version 0.04: March 2008]