Saturday, May 14, 2016


Worth a Visit?

John Ruskin (1819-1900), Aratra Pentelici: Seven Lectures on the Elements of Sculpture, III, § 85:
Above one of these is another placard, stating that this is the Victoria Embankment. The steps themselves—some forty of them—descend under a tunnel, which the shattered gas-lamp lights by night, and nothing by day. They are covered with filthy dust, shaken off from infinitude of filthy feet; mixed up with shreds of paper, orange-peel, foul straw, rags, and cigar-ends, and ashes; the whole agglutinated, more or less, by dry saliva into slippery blotches and patches; or, when not so fastened, blown dismally by the sooty wind hither and thither, or into the faces of those who ascend and descend. The place is worth your visit, for you are not likely to find elsewhere a spot which, either in costly and ponderous brutality of building, or in the squalid and indecent accompaniment of it, is so far separated from the peace and grace of nature, and so accurately indicative of the methods of our national resistance to the Grace, Mercy, and Peace of Heaven.

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