Page images

competition, at which the maximum age was nineteen, was held in July, 1878, and all candidates selected then or later were required to reside during their years of probation at some University as a condition of receiving the stipend allowed them by the Secretary of State.

Though his proposals had not been accepted, Jowett lost none of his interest in the matter. He at once took steps for bringing the selected candidates to Oxford. As early as 1875 the Master and Fellows of Balliol College had sent a communication to the candidates for the Indian Civil Service expressing their willingness to receive in College, without further examination, a number of the selected candidates, and to make arrangements, with the assistance of the University Lecturers, for their instruction; and a notice to that effect was published in the Times. But when the changes which have been described came into force, a College committee was formed to take charge of the students who came into residence; and Arnold Toynbee was appointed their Tutor. About the same time the Lord Almoner's Chair of Arabic-one of two Arabic Chairs in the Universitybecame vacant, and the suggestion was made that a Professor should be elected who added to a knowledge of Arabic a familiarity with some other of the languages of India. Professor Palmer, of Cambridge, whose wide knowledge of Oriental languages had already proved of use to the students at Cambridge, was strongly in favour of such a step. He wrote as follows :

[ocr errors]

At Cambridge there is a strongly expressed desire, which Wright backs up, to separate the two Chairs of Arabic in future, ,

, so as to make one-the old one-lean to Semitic studies proper, and the other to the Indian languages. Now if a good Arabic and Indian man were appointed at Oxford this time, it would greatly help in directing the tendency of the Chair for the future.' A committee of the Hebdomadal Council, of which Jowett was one, was chosen to consider the matter; and on their recommendation the Lord Almoner (Dean Wellesley) appointed to the Chair Mr. G. F. Nicholl, who had long been known in London as a most energetic and successful teacher of Oriental languages to the Indian Civil Servants. Jowett lost no time in securing Professor Nicholl's services for the Indian students in the University'. In 1878 he was appointed Lecturer in Oriental Languages at Balliol, where for many years he occupied rooms and gave lectures to the Indian probationers both in and out of the College.


A good deal of irritation was caused by Jowett's action in this matter. Some persons thought the Lord Almoner's Chair should have remained what it had hitherto been, a Chair of pure Arabic. Others said that Balliol was endeavouring to obtain a College Tutor at the expense of the University; or that Colleges who had Indian Civil Service students would not care to send them to Balliol for tuition; or that Balliol had contrived to make the new arrangements about the Service a source of advantage to herself. Such charges are easily made and readily believed. Jowett now became ‘an unpopular man.' His hand was traced everywhere, and his motives were always suspected. Balliol College was the embodiment of selfishness and greed; the Master the apostle of meddling and managing. This was most unjust. Jowett's love of his College and his ardent desire for its success never led him to prefer its interests to those of the public service. The studies of the probationers were carried on almost entirely

1 Jowett had little or nothing approved of it, and did his utmost to do with the appointment of to make it of use to the Indian Professor Nicholl, but he heartily students, as it was intended to be.

outside the College curriculum, in subjects not recognized in the Schools of the University; and a College might well have shrunk from the difficult experiment of receiving a large number of men who did not come into the hands of the College Tutors at all. But it was Jowett's opinion that men should be prepared at a University for the public service, and he never ceased to devote his energies to this end. At a later time he endeavoured to carry out a large scheme for bringing candidates for the army up to Oxford ? ; and to the end of his life he was considering how it was possible to make the College more useful to those who were desirous to enter the Home Civil Service. These are not schemes which a man would wish to promote if he sought only the advantage of his own College. And if, as was sometimes thought, Jowett seemed too exacting in his demands for reform, and proposed schemes which involved a large expenditure by the University or by other Colleges, it must be remembered that with him reforms began at home. He did not spare himself or his College. It was indeed his heart's dearest wish to see Balliol maintaining the foremost place in the established Schools of the University, especially in that of Literae Humaniores, and in the University Scholarships, but this did not prevent him from opening the College to other classes of students. He not only brought the Indian probationers in large numbers to Balliol, as we have seen, but he carried a scheme to enable men above the ordinary age at which undergraduates come to the University to reside in College for a year or two, while studying some special subject. Foreigners also found a ready welcome-Japanese, Armenians, Siamese, and natives of India, as well as Frenchmen and Germans. These - schemes added nothing to the success of the College in the Schools, and perhaps they did not add to its reputation in the University—but Jowett was not to be turned from his purpose. He wished, while retaining the efficiency of the College, to extend its influence as far as he could. The College should do far more than it has done hitherto;' 'we are not doing as much as we ought to do'-these and similar expressions were constantly on his lips.

i See below, p. 293.




(Aet. 61-62)

LITERARY work-Hospitality-Sir S. Northcote --George Eliot'Schliemann's discoveries-- Knight's illness - Jowett at West MalvernUndergraduates' ball at Balliol—Translation of Thucydides-Notes on books; on Oxford life and teaching-Plan of reading-Depression and shyness-Women's education-Letters. IF I can get over my dread of the sea and of the heat'

-so Jowett wrote to Morier on February 16, 1878– 'I shall come to see you next summer.

But I am very anxious to keep well and live for fifteen years longer, in order to finish my works, on which my mind gets more and more set every year. I shall have made a mess of life if I don't accomplish them. And this makes me very desirous to consider health in the first place. 'I shall have finished the translation with notes of Thucydides and the Politics in the course of the year ; the edition of the Republic will be finished by Campbell. Another of my pupils is translating Demosthenes ; another I have set to work upon Aristotle ; another is editing

; and translating Sophocles and will go on to Aeschylus. That is what I hope to get done in my lifetime for Greek literature. The time for minute criticism on the classics, or on most of them, has passed. I want to get them turned into English classics and sent far and wide through the world. If I am spared a few years longer I shall give myself wholly to Theology and Moral Philosophy, and gather up the fragments and add to them. If I am not able to do this, I shall consider myself to have failed. You will think all this too ambitious,

« PreviousContinue »