[A variant in the MS. of the passage from this point to the end of § 3 is as follows:]

CHAMPAGNOLE, April 19. . . . I have been walking in the woods beside the river on the ascent towards St. Laurent, and I have never seen anything like the luxuriance of the wood anemone and oxalis ; I think Shelley's " pearled Arcturi of the earth" would apply better to the anemone than the daisy, for the star shape is seen more definitely at a little distance, and reminded me over and over again of constellations. The oxalis is, however, the more exquisite flower, two or three vertical and dark clefts in the limestone being filled with them as with snow, and touched with ivy besides, like the rock of Titian's St. Jerome, ivy lighter and lovelier in leaf than ours, one wreath of it upon a pine trunk looking like vine ; and the ground all blue with violets besides, and cowslips in sunny clusters, and wild strawberries, though these had only come into blossom on one high rock in the more open sunshine, and raspberries (these rarer) all on cushions of moss richer than I ever saw even among the Alps, with clusters of beech stem and ash chiefly the latter, glittering among the solemn pine trunks ; and in the more open ground the vetch and comfrey and mezereon, and a lovely four-petaled lilac flower in clusters on a long stalk, and the delicate blue flower that I found on the granite rocks of the Glacier des Bois, though this seemed not in a place of its liking. And when I got to the edge of the ravine, and an abrupt one it is enough (seen on the right in the dark sketch of yesterday in the little book), and commanded the steep and far ridges of the higher Jura, there was a hawk sailing slowly along the opposite cliff, just off the brow of it so as to get the deep river under him, and the solemn roar of the water came up from beneath, mixed with the singing of the thrushes among the pine branches. I felt it more than usual, but it struck me suddenly how utterly different the impression of such a scene would be, if it were in a strange land, and in one without history ; how dear to the feeling is the pine of Switzerland compared to that of Canada. I have allowed too little weight to these deep sympathies, for I think if that pine forest had been among the Alleghenys, or if the stream had been Niagara, I should only have looked at them with intense melancholy and desire for home."

Shelley's line "Daisies, those pearled Arcturi of the earth" occurs in the poem of 1820, entitled "The Question." For Ruskin's fondness for the Oxalis acetosella, see Modern Painters, vol. i. pt. ii. §. i. ch. vii. n. (Vol. III. p. 175 of this edition, and cf. Vol. IV. p. 172 .) F <>r Titian's "St. Jerome," see Vol. III. p. 180, Vol. IV. p. 247. The “little book” mentioned in line 20 of the extract is of course one of Ruskin's sketch-books. With the general sentiment of 1 contrast Modern Painters, vol. ii. sec. i. ch. iv. 8 (Vol. IV. p. 71 and n.), and cf. as to the power of local associations, The Two Paths, 12 ("Stand fast, Craig Ellachie"). See also Præterita, i. ch. ix. 191, where Ruskin refers to the connection between admiration of natural beauty and human sympathy.]


Last modified 9 July 2010

6 May 2019