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hardly fair. Do you hear anything of politics? I am afraid that the Ministry are a good deal shaken, and I have less confidence that they know where they are going. If Dizzy were sitting on the opening of the bottomless pit, and about to drop into it, he has such pluck and power of face that nothing in his looks would ever indicate it. It seems to me that Sir Bartle Frere cannot be defended, and though it will be said that the Ministry ought to have superseded or not to have censured him, it is quite possible that the middle course was best under the circumstances. They could not approve him, but they could not at the moment part with him.

I received yesterday from Bishop Colenso a striking sermon upon the war, something like the words of a Jewish prophet, in which he denounces the Government. How curious, when Sir Bartle Frere is quoting the destruction of the Canaanites as a justification for the Boers.

I wonder what will be the religion of the next generation. Certainly it has very rapidly disappeared in this. But I sometimes hope that we are near the end both of Rationalism and Ritualism and are beginning to understand that they are both exhausted. There seems to follow the absurdity that there must be a new religion; not exactly so, but people must believe more strongly in a few truths which we all acknowledge, and they must apply them more vigorously to practical life. There is less of unsettlement than there was, because young men entering life better understand the altered state of circumstances. But I doubt whether they have the same aspirations after good.

TO DEAN Stanley.


I write to thank you for the biography of your father and mother', which I have read with great interest. It reminded me of the old days when I used to be with you at Norwich. The diary is extremely good, full of thought and of anticipation of the thoughts which have become familiar to another generation. I was very much pleased and struck with

1 Memoirs of Edward and Catharine Stanley, by Dean Stanley, 1879.

the book. Whether it has a considerable sale or not, it leaves such an impression as you would desire to create in the minds of others about your father and mother. It is a filial duty well performed.

I heard some rumour about your coming to Oxford this Term. If you do I hope that you will come here when you are at leisure. At any rate I shall expect you next Term with the posse comitatus to preach in the Chapel.

We have just been before the Commission, who were very civil to us. Everything is being done for Oxford that can be done, but I am not sure whether Oxford somehow is not wanting to herself.


BRILL, June 29, 1879.

I have been wanting to write to you ever since I received the Sophocles, but did not get your address until yesterday. What can I say to your dedication and Preface? A thousand thanks and blessings to you for your attachment to me. Indeed I know the value of such a friend; I only wish that I could make a better return.

The new volume of Sophocles will set your name high as a scholar. It will not be appreciated by the schoolmasters, for reasons which we have often discussed: but students of Greek who have no paedagogic interest will acknowledge it to be the most considerable work of pure scholarship since Porson and Elmsley. I hope that you will finish the remaining four plays in the course of the year, and then leave Sophocles for a while and return to Plato. Then I do not despair of Aeschylus, which is a real need. I hope that you will keep it in view in reading. An edition of Aeschylus is much more important than reflections upon it.

I cannot help remembering, as I write, how much I was assisted by you in the Plato, especially when we were at Askrigg together in days which seem to be very old now.

You and I have many things to do in life, both separately and together. And the first condition of doing them is to take care of health, and not get ill again, which is worse than

a folly, it is a sin; and the second condition is to waste no time except what is required for health.

If you have a play ready when I come to Scotland in the autumn, we will go over it together. We hope to have the text of Thucydides printed by the end of August: then come the notes which are written, and the long Introduction which is hardly written at all.


OXFORD, August 26, 1879.

The feeling which we have about an elder and a younger generation is very different. The one seem to have lived long enough and to go to their rest naturally; in many cases it would be cruel to wish them to linger. The others are torn from life, and the great hopes which we had of them fade away.

How many recollections come back to us in the loss of a father and mother-of childhood, of places in which we lived, and persons whom we knew, of loves and affections which have been a part of us, and all the long tale of joy and sorrow. I do not say that we ought to be happier as we get older, but we ought to be calmer, knowing better what life is and looking forward to another, which we believe to be a reality though we cannot tell what it means.



September 26, 1879.

If a man does not marry, I would have him lead an ideal life. I mean living for knowledge or for the good of others, or for his country or something of that sort. All this may be combined with married life, but the bachelor has the advantage of freedom and independence. And he should be consistent and determined in carrying out his plan of life and not make the worst of both worlds. . .

If I were a young lady, instead of working at altar-cloths, I would ornament a church or a house with painting and

sculpture. This would be a very pleasant and not absolutely useless manner of passing life. One church or one house would be quite sufficient for a life, and it should be perfect.


OXFORD, October 3, 1879.

Memory is allied to sense, and partakes more than any other of our faculties of the state of the body. It is also the lowest of them, though a necessary one. There are many helps to it, such as greater system, taking notes, &c. It is very different at different times, in a good or bad climate, when tired or refreshed, after taking a cup of coffee, &c. Will you make these reflections and add some more of your own? The truth seems to me that you are not yet perfectly recovered from illness, and that the strain which has been put upon you does in some degree affect the brain-perhaps more than I can imagine, though I have a good deal of personal experience of a sort of inanity of mind (absolutely nothing there, and not a fact accurately remembered or a word to say to anybody). I would not have you imagine in your own case that this, if you feel it, is permanent, or that you will not recover from it, though in memory, as in some other things, we have to allow for the effect of increasing years. Less memory and more judgement would be a very good exchange, which we may all of us have if we like.


Like you I read a book through and do not remember a word of it. I think however that the reading of the book has an effect, and if I read it again I understand it better. I believe that as we lose our powers of memory we may increase the power of reminiscence, that is, of recalling what we want in small quantities for a short time.

Therefore be cheerful and do not let your mind be clouded with these fancies, or overlaid with cobwebs. We all of us have mental and intellectual trials, like bodily ones, and we must bear them and study them and perhaps keep them to ourselves, like the bodily trials. We keep them to ourselves because they are easier to bear, and if they pass away we do not create a false impression about them among our friends. If

you were suffering with pain you would try and keep the mind above the body, and no one would be braver or more patient. You must try and keep the mind above the mind, that is, the reason above the fancies of the mind.



December 31, 1879.

Will you think me formal if I send best wishes to you on New Year's day?

I believe that you and I have a common interest about life and character. You know that I wish you to be happy; and how can any words of mine make you so? People have trials of many sorts, and they can only minister' to themselves. The trials must be borne and considered and met; they must not be weak when they need strength. They must not mind the little things of family or social life, or expect others to be pitched in the same key, or cast in the same mould as themselves. They may have greater causes of sorrow, which cannot with advantage be spoken of to any one: let them lay them before God and seek a remedy for them. Troubles of all sorts should be minimized, not exaggerated by feeling. Let the mind clear up and get the better of external circumstances; when all is fair and sunny without, and 'so much to be thankful for,' we should not allow a cloud to rest upon us within.

And we should avoid making mistakes; those who are sensitive and affectionate and impressionable are really in greater danger than others. The want of sympathy is a great snare and weakness, and leads us to say and do things which we afterwards regret, and to have confidences which do no good. The world is always looking on and gossiping, and is delighted to pounce upon this sort of (often very innocent) folly; most trials, whether fanciful or real, are best borne in silence. A year afterwards we are glad that we never mentioned them. They must be overcome, and then we are masters of ourselves; we have set things to rights, and keep them right the suffering is converted into a struggle, and at last we become happy.

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