Lille Street with Wagon [drawing]
Lille Street with Wagon
Pen and ink, approx. 5.5 × 4.1 cm (image only). The editors of the Library Edition describe the image as a “sketch of a street, with waggon and horses in the foreground” (Ruskin, Works, 2:344 n. 2). The vignette is drawn in the manner of Samuel Prout (17831852), suggesting without specifically copying “Ghent” in Facsimiles of Sketches Made in Flanders and Germany (1833).
"Lille" [section title]
"Lille" [poem]
Oh red the blushing east awoke
And bright the morn on Cassel broke
Along the green hillside we flew,
Flashed the clear sunshine in the dew
That on the clustering herbage hung
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That to the tangled copse‐wood clung
That shot like stars through every shade
And glanced on every wildwood glade.
At length by many a wind descending
That ever to the plain were bending
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Farther, and farther still we pressed
From Cassels insulated 1 crest
That back retiring fainter still,
Showed the rich outlines of its hill,
And faded in the purple haze,
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That spoke the coming noontide blaze.
That noontide blaze delayed not long
On Tournays towʼrs 2 twas fierce and strong
And ere we gained the middle way
The glow was like an Afric day
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Full upon Lilles high ramparts round 3
On massive wall and moated mound
Shot the fierce sun his glaring ray
As bent we on our burning way
Till past the narrow drawbridge length
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The massive gates portcullised strength
And moat whose waves found steepy shore 4
Where forward high the bastion bore 5
And where the sentinels were set
High on the dizzy parapet
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Till the last portals echoes woke,
And Lille upon us sudden broke
Giving to view another scene,
So clear, so noble, so serene,
Twould seem enchantments varied hue
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On palace street and avenue
Those ancient piles rose huge and high,
In rich irregularity
Colossal form and figure fair,
Seemed moving, breathing, living there,
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The vaulted arch where sunlight pure
Might never pierce the deep obscure
Where broadly barred, the ancient door,
Was with rich carving imaged oer
The bending Gothic gable roof
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Of past magnificence gave proof
The modern windows formal square,
With Saxon arch was mingled there
Whose stern recesses dark and deep
The figured iron stanchions 6 keep. a
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Lille Battlement [drawing]
Lille Battlement
Pen and ink, approx. ?? × ?? cm (image only). The editors of the Library Edition describe the image as a “sketch from inside the walls of a fortified town, with cannon” (Ruskin, Works, 2:345 n. 2). The cannon is viewed from the rear, and it points through a battlement overlooking a plain.
"Lille" [essay]
Passeport, Monsieur, sʼil vous plait—. I hate
fortified towns, in general, that is.— Their
houses, are like barracks, their public buildings,
like prisons, their population, like so many rats
in a rat trap, they are arduous to get in, c dif‐
ficult to get out, and disagreeable to remain in.
To all this however, Lille is an exception, except in
one circumstance, its difficulty of access.— We were
detained after a long days journey, under a bur d
ning sun, hot, hungry, and stupid, while our
passport was examined. Slowly the sentinel
unfolded the paper, spelled over its contents with
tiresome coolness, and provoking minuteness
slowly returned it, and then came— Passez. 7
And pass we did, right gladly.— Lille is a

beautiful, a most beautiful town,— I have seen
none equal to it, for grandeur of effect, for the
massive magnificence, of its edifices, for the pal‐
ace like nobility of its streets, except Genoa.— The
day also on which we entered it was almost
Italian, the sky was of such a deep and unbro‐
ken blue, and a stream of rich, glowing, tawny
light shot upon the full fretwork, & elaborate
carving, of the upper parts of the houses — but
their bases, owing to the narrowness of the streets
and the enormous height of the opposing build‐
ings, were wrapt in shade, deep, gloomily deep
when contrasted with the flood of sunshine, that
glanced on the gable roofs, and almost gave to
life f the many statues of the virgin, that stood
beneath their Gothic niches, really very respec‐
tably sculptured, at every angle of the streets. 8