“Insulated” (MS IA, g.1; MS IX; Poems [1891]; Works [1903])—The Oxford English Dictionary defines as “made into an island; surrounded by water,” here used figuratively; and the dictionary cites an 1820 example, which would have been well known to Ruskin, from The Monastery by Walter Scott (1771–1832): “The bridge‐keeper . . . resided with his family in the second and third stories of the tower, which, when both draw‐bridges were raised, formed an insulated fortalice in the midst of the river” (“insulated, adj.,” OED Online, accessed 2 October 2014). See below, “steepy shore,” for how Ruskin develops this figure.


“Tournays towers” (MS IA, g.1; MS IX; Poems [1891]; Works [1903])—Tournai (the spelling is Anglicized as Tournay likewise in John Murray IIIʼs 1836 guidebook to the Continent) is situated in Belgium, across the border from France; and thus Ruskinʼs “middle way” (line 19) refers to Lille as a stage between Cassel, from which the family has departed, and their first stop in Belgium. The “towers” of Tournai viewed from a distance probably refer to those of the cathedral—built “in what the English call the Saxon or Norman style”, Murray informs the traveler—and to the towers of other important churches, as well, along with the cityʼs fourteenth‐century belfry (Handbook for Travellers on the Continent, 87, 88). Below, in line 48, Ruskin mentions the architecture of Lille as mixing the “formal square” of modern windows with “Saxon arch”. It is not clear what he means by the latter term, which W. G. Collingwood remarks as betraying “the student, till then, of architecture exclusively English” ( Poems [4o, 1891], 1: 281; Poems [8o, 1891], 1: 282–83).


“Lilles high ramparts” (MS IA, g.1; MS IX; Poems [1891]; Works [1903])—Murrayʼs 1836 guidebook describes Lille as “one of the strongest places in France. Its citadel is considered a masterpiece of the skill of [the military engineer] Vauban [1633–1707] who was governor of it for many years” (Hand-book for Travellers on the Continent, 87). Construction of the pentagonal citadel was begun in 1667. Mary Richardsonʼs journal records that the family toured the cathedral and the citadel in Lille on May 17, and that John drew (Diary of Mary Richardson, 1833, p. 4).


“steepy shore” (MS IA, g.1; MS IX; Poems [1891]; Works [1903])—Steepy occurs several times in Marmion (1808) by Walter Scott to describe both gothic castle architecture and mountainous landscape, including a deep ravine near Scottʼs home until 1811, Ashestiel. See Scott, Marmion, ed. Bayne, which notes the usage as Elizabethan (p. 188). Steepy also occurs in Lord Byron, Childe Haroldʼs Pilgrimage, canto 2 (1812), stanza 22: “Through Calpeʼs straits survey the steepy shore; / Europe and Afric on each other gaze!“ Harold departs from Spain and Portugal to sail toward Greece; and as he passes through the Straits of Gibraltar, he gazes at the steep shores opposite one another beneath “Hecateʼs blaze” (Byron, Complete Poetical Works, ed. McGann, 2:51). Lord Byronʼs lines provide Ruskin also with the adjective for his “Afric day” (line 20) with its “noontide blaze” (line 16). Using Walter Scottʼs adjective “insulated” for Mont Cassel (see above), Ruskinʼs narrator leaves behind the islanded hill, like Haroldʼs Gibraltar, to bend on “burning way” (line 23) for a “steepy shore,” which in this case describes the sides of a gothic moat. Byronʼs figures for a southern voyage bridge Scottʼs figures for northern gothic, just as the Ruskins are spanning north and south on their Continental tour.


“huge the bastion bore” (MS IA, g.1; Poems [1891])—Collingwood prefers the variant huge, which is substituted for high in MS IA, g.1, whereas the editors of the Library Edition revert, like Ruskin in MS IX, to the original choice of high.


“figured iron stanchions” (MS IA, g.1; MS IX; Poems [1891]; Works [1903])—A stanchion or stancheon is an upright bar in a window (Oxford English Dictionary, “stanchion, n.,” 1.b). Ruskin could have found the term used in a number of texts by Walter Scott (1771–1832), often in association with imprisonment, as in chapter 25 of The Monastery, in which Halbert Glendinningʼs escape from the castle of Julian Avenel is impeded by the stanchions in his chamber window.


“We were detained . . . Passez” (MS IX; Works [1903])—In her journal of the tour, Mary Richardson does not mention that the family was detained while their passports were examined. She does comment, however, in connection with passport control between France and Beligium, that, when departing from Lille, the family observed officers probing carts carrying goods “by pushing swords among the things”; by comparison, Mary considered the Belgian “officers [at Tournai] very polite did not search boxes and would not take money” (Diary of Mary Richardson, 1833, p. 5).


“light shot upon the full fretwork . . . at every angle of the streets” (MS IX; Works [1903])—This picturesque effect of showing carved house fronts in deep shadow at street level, while bathing the houses' high gables in sunlight, is a characteristic device of Samuel Prout (17831852), in such drawings as Maline and Sachsenhausen, Francfort in Facsimiles.