respectively in November and December 1868, and January and February 1869. Of the first two volumes, the edition consisted of three thousand copies each; but the sale was not rapid, and of the last two volumes only two thousand were printed. Browning presented Mrs. Smith with the manuscript. Thenceforth Smith was, for the rest of Browning's life, his only publisher, and he also took over the works of Mrs. Browning from Chapman & Hall. The two men were soon on very intimate terms. In 1871 he accepted Browning's poem of 'Hervé Riel' for the 'Cornhill Magazine.' Browning had asked him to buy it so that he might forward a subscription to the fund for the relief of the people of Paris after the siege. Smith sent the poet 100l. by return of post. Fifteen separate volumes of new verse by Browning appeared with Smith, Elder, & Co.'s imprint between 1871 and the date of the poet's death late in 1889. In 1888, too. Smith began a new collected edition which extended to seventeen volumes, and yielded handsome gains (in 1896 he brought out a cheaper complete collection in two volumes). He thus had the satisfaction of presiding over the fortunes of Browning's works when, for the first time in his long life, they brought their author substantial profit. Though Browning, like many other eminent English poets, was a man of affairs, he left his publishing concerns entirely in Smith's hands. No cloud ever darkened their private or professional intercourse. The poet's last letter to his publisher, dated from Asolo, 27 Sept. 1889, contained the words 'and now to our immediate business [the proofs of the volume 'Asolando' were going through the press at the moment], which is only to keep thanking you for your constant goodness, present and future.' Almost Browning's last words on his deathbed were to bid his son seek George Smith's advice whenever he had need of good counsel. Smith superintended the arrangements for Browning's funeral in Westminster Abbey on 31 Dec. 1889, and was justly accorded a place among the pall-bearers.
While the association with Browning was growing close Smith reluctantly parted company with another great author whose works he had published continuously from the start of each in life. A rift in the intimacy between Ruskin and Smith had begun when the issue of 'Unto this Last' in the 'Cornhill' was broken off in 1861, and the death of Ruskin's father in 1864 severed a strong link in the chain that originally united them. But more than ten years passed before the alienation became complete. For no author did the firm publish a greater number of separate volumes. During the forties they published three volumes by Ruskin; during the fifties no less than twenty-six; during the sixties as many as eight, including 'The Crown of Wild Olive,' 'Sesame and Lilies,' and 'Queen of the Air.' In the early seventies Ruskin's pen was especially active. In 1871 he entrusted Smith with the first number of 'Fors Clavigera.' In 1872 the firm brought out four new works: 'The Eagle's Nest,' 'Munera Pulveris,' 'Aratra Pentelici,' and 'Michael Angelo and Tintoret.' But by that date Ruskin had matured views about the distribution of books which were out of harmony with existing practice. He wished his volumes to be sold to booksellers at the advertised price without discount and