[Letter from Gerard Manley Hopkins (Manor Farm, Shanklin, Isle of Wight) to Alexander William Mowbray Baillie, in which he proves 'syllogistically' that Baillie is a 'fool'. Discusses the 'Princess'; his social life; country and sea life; etc.]

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Letter from Gerard Manley Hopkins (Manor Farm, Shanklin, Isle of Wight) to Alexander William Mowbray Baillie, in which he proves 'syllogistically' that Baillie is a 'fool'. Discusses the 'Princess'; his social life; country and sea life; Millais' art; his sketching, reading and painting. Written: Manor Farm, Shanklin, Isle of Wight, 10 July 1863.

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to see her once more I put myself in her way as she went to the station and got a good passing look, and, as I was alone at the particular spot, I think a bow, the Princess is different every time I see her, but in all her phases is beautiful.

We all got through Smalls Hardy after the seizure of his testa[mur] became light-headed, light-hearted, light-heeled. He, Brown, and I proceeded to booze, at the Mitre, and I forgot to pay my share, but I believe Hardy meant to feast us, in his delight.

For the first week of the long I read the Georgics with Bond, tam ing him en passant but he takes longer to tame than you. Now I am with all, our tribe at Shanklin. In the mornings I read the Histories

Gerard Hopkins July 10 1863

Dear Baillie, Yes. You are a fool. I can shew it syllogistically, by an epi mediculum or paradoxling. For you will allow that he who lies is a fool in the long run, and that he who lies without any object to gain there by is immediately and directly a fool. Now you are not a fool. But you say you are a fool, therefore you lie syllogistically then.

MAJOR PREMISS

He who lies without an object to gain is a fool.

MINOR PREMISS

You have lied without an object to gain.

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CONCLUSION

Therefore you are a fool. Epimendicularly proved. However it con tains two assumptions you might not perhaps allow me.

I do not see the precise object of your tirade; I am afraid I must call it tirade, or - a favourite word of mine - rhodomontade. It is weak, you know; and conscious. What you say about a man whose powers are above mediocrity being a "greater fool than a simple, decently well-in formed etc." contains thought and truth. You remember that after More's execution, one of his contemporaries doubted whether to call him a foolish wise man or a wise fool. Some one of the same age also says of some one else that he had not wit enough to play the fool. Indeed it is a sub ject on which I have theories, but as it may be said latius patere we will dogmatize more at leizure at another time.

The princess did not come. I might have known she would not. Whene ver I wait on a contingency like that, inevitably I am disappointed. I am the victim of false alarms. I have waited to see the Queen come up to Miss Burdett Coutts's at High gate in the same way, and on num berless other like occasions have had the same success. However, determined

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wild and beautiful, sketches charming, walking tours and excursions, poetic downs and the lovely Chine, fine cliffs, everything (except odious Fashionables.) My brothers and cousin catch us shrimps, prawns and lobsters, and keep aquariums. Ah and I will tell you a Popehenic anecdote. I thought it would look strikingly graceful etc to wear sea-anemones round my forehead. (Mermaids do it, you know. Fragment from an unpublished ?) So I put a large one on in the middle, and it fixed itself correctly. Now one has heard of their stinging, but I had handled them so often unharmed, and who could have imagined a creature stinging with its - base, you call it in Sea

anemones? But it did, loudly, and when the pain had ceased a mark remained, which is now a large red scar.

About Millais' Eve of S. Agnes, you ought to have known me well enough to be sure I should like it. Of course I do intensely - not wholly perhaps as Keats' Madeline but as the conception of her by a genius. I think over this picture, which I could only unhappily see once, and it, or the memory of it, grows upon me. Those three pictures by Millais in this years' Academy have opened my eyes. I see that he is the greatest English painter, one of the greatest of the world. Eddis, the painter, said to me that he thought some of its best men - he instanced Millais - were leaving the school. Very unfairly, as you will

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see. If Millais becomes drops his mannerisms and becomes only so far prominent from others' styles as high excellence stands out from mediocrity, then how unfair to say he is leaving his school, when that school, represented in the greatest perfection by him, passing through stage after stage, is at last arriving at Nature's self, which is of no school - inasmuch as different schools represent Nature in their own more or less truthful different ways, Nature meanwhile having only one way.

I will be humble to you on one of your tenets, I mean General Rules. Although I had had opinions resembling yours before, yet you had arrived at a definite decision on them before which I could not at first fully enter into. You were in advance. I am now seeing the

of Tacitus. I must say they are very hard, and the [cruces?] have a hopelessness about them which I do not think I find any where else in the classics. I have Tacitus and Cicero's Philippics to read (enough certainly) alone, for would you believe it? I have no Greek lexicon of any kind here. Shanklin is a delightful place. If you were here you would have soon

-- forgot the clouded Forth, The gloom that saddens heaven and earth, The biting East, the misty summer And grey metropolis of the North, where I do not envy you. The sea is brilliantly coloured and always calm, bathing delight edful, horses and boats to be obtained, walks

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truth of your objection to them. My daily experience is stumbling on them and rubs its shins cursing; if you see the force of the metaphor.

I am sketching (in pencil chiefly) a good deal. I venture to hope you will approve of some of the ^sketches in a Ruskinese point of view: - if you do not, who will, my sole congenial thinker on art? There are the most deliciously graceful Giottesque ashes (should one say ashs?) here--I do not mean Giottesque, though, Perugines que, Fra-Angelical (!), in Raphael's earlier manner. I think I have told you that I have particular periods of admiration for particular things in Nature; for a certain time I am astonished at the beauty of a tree, shape, effect etc, then when the passion, so to speak, has subsided, it is consigned to my treasury of explored

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