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said a few words about the Dean's illness, and did not again return to the subject. To Morier he wrote:

'WEST MALVERN, August 10, 1881. '... Thank you for what you say about Arthur Stanley, whose death was the saddest loss I could have had, and alters a good deal the colour of my life. I seem to see his character more truly now than I did when he was alive, and I feel that I could have done more for him, if I had understood him better. He was the oldest friend I had; we were first acquainted in the year 1836, and intimate friends from 1838 onward. In 1844 and 1845 we travelled together, and in 1848 I dare say that you remember his coming to visit us at Oban. Let me in passing tell you with what pleasure I remember the time that I spent with you then and the following year. It was the beginning of a custom which has been continued, with the exception of a single year, ever since, and has, I believe, contributed as much as anything to the success of Balliol. The months spent in this way have not been unpleasant, and I think that they have been the most satisfactory of my life. How much I owe to others, and to you, perhaps, more than any one!

'A. P. S. was wonderfully good, with a natural kind of goodness-blameless, innocent, never going wrong in word, thought or act. He was not always trying to improve his character, but then he did not need it. He was very impressible by circumstances: Oxford, Canterbury Cathedral, the Abbey, the Court, &c.; but he was absolutely regardless of popularity and not at all a courtier. When I first knew him he was very shy; in later years he became a delight of society. Considering all that he did, and his simplicity and energy, I should call him a really great man, if greatness is not to be confined to force of will or great imaginative power.'

Jowett came to Clifton with the hope of helping me to translate Demosthenes. For some time I had amused myself with the idea that I could write the history of Greece in the Fourth Century B. C., by translating the Greek orators. Jowett encouraged me,

but at length, finding out, I suppose, that I did not prosper as he wished, he offered to come and go over the De Corona with me. All the mornings of the week that he was at Clifton we devoted to this task. He would sit in an easy chair, or lie on the sofa, while I read my translation, which he corrected or replaced. with a rendering of his own. Sometimes when we came upon a very obstinate phrase or sentence, he would say, 'Let me go to sleep for a few minutes and then I will do it'; and he did go to sleep for about five minutes, after which he woke up invigorated, and struck out some idiomatic rendering. The translation, in spite of his help, has come to nothing, but the visit was not altogether wasted, for it gave rise to a valuable letter on the art of translating from Greek1.

Jowett was always at home with children, and delighted in having them with him. He would draw them to his side and tell them stories, from Homer it might be, or of the common story-book kind, and invite them to tell him stories in return 2. During this week I had a niece staying with me, a child of seven or eight years, and when she and Jowett met at luncheon, a good deal of the time was occupied in story-telling. Sometimes Jowett was critical -when was he not?—and would object to a story as too long or as beginning in too commonplace a manner. 'That is a good story, but you should not begin with "Once upon a time." This was an ipse dixit for which he gave no reason.

For the rest of the summer he was occupied with philology and philosophy, 'living the life of a gentleman, reading and not writing,' and keeping two note-books

1 See below, pp. 203, 204.

2 See below, p. 323, and vol. i. pp. 244, 288, 361.


going, one on each subject. He read Bentley's Epistles to Phalaris, and made many notes on the author, of whom he had a great dislike.

'How can a homuncio like you venture to attack so great a man as Bentley? I answer: If you mean to make an attack or comparison in respect of reading, of attainments, of force of mind, no one can feel the difference more strongly than I do myself. It is not without a kind of shame that I touch the reputation of any eminent man, feeling how great has been the stimulus which they have given to knowledge, and how considerable the additions which they have made to it. But when I see the baneful influence which a great philologer, like a great philosopher, may have on whole generations of his followers-for how many wasted lives he may be responsible, what a false tendency he has given to the human mind, how inconsistent he is with himself, what silly and unmeaning commendation he has received from those who are incapable of appreciating him: I am tempted to make the still small voice of reason heard against him, homuncio as I am.'

While acknowledging Bentley's extraordinary powers, Jowett thought him wanting in judgement, which is 'the first element in criticism.' The great scholar fell into the mistake of reasoning exactly from inexact premisses-i. e. from statements by authors on whom no reliance can be placed, such as Iamblichus and Suidas.

'He had an excellent familiar knowledge of Greek, and was a great interpreter. Yet it must be remembered that he never tried his art upon the more difficult authors. He was better acquainted with the Anthology, Lucian, Suidas, Iamblichus, than with Plato, Thucydides, Sophocles, Aeschylus, Pindar, Herodotus, who owe nothing to him. Upon the whole he keeps bad company in literature.'

In philosophy he returned for a time to old studies. 'I have been reading German philosophy,' he writes on August 10-'an old love to which I return. It has died

in Germany and come to England. But it is with regret I see the amount of genius that has been spent in spinning imaginary systems. Yet I seem to get something from them, though not what their authors intended.' Another work which he read with care was Sidgwick's Method of Ethics, though he had little in common with the opinions of the author or with any form of utilitarian philosophy. In the next summer (1882) he sketched a course of philosophical reading which was to last through the remainder of the year. Five weeks were allotted to Comte, two to Burke, two to Descartes, two to Spinoza, two to Hobbes, two to Locke, the same to Shaftesbury and Berkeley, three to Hume, two each to Kant, Hegel, and Lotze. But this seems to have been nothing more than a scheme, for during a great part of the time which was to be given to these authors, he was staying with friends, and engaged in reading Aristotle.

Comte however he did read, and with care, making many observations, chiefly of a disparaging kind, but not without an appreciation of the philosopher's genius. He must be read, he remarks, as an ancient philosopher is read, in whom there are many absurd things and many things of the highest value. In every chapter we must ask the question, not what he meant or imagined, but what application of his words is possible. He brings before us in a striking manner the decadence of old beliefs, the continuity of history, the failing influence of the Church. But of the promised science of Sociology, which is a monstrous fiction, I see no hint at all. Try it by the test which Comte acknowledged to be the true test of science-Prevision.' Jowett disliked Comte as much or more than he disliked his philosophy. When the Fellows of the College were considering an offer of a bust of Kant as a proper ornament for Balliol Library,

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he happened to mishear the name as Comte, and exclaimed, 'You would not put a fellow like that in the Library, would you 1?'

Jowett's opinion of utilitarianism was unchanged by the perusal of Sidgwick's book.


'We cannot indeed escape from utilitarianism,' he observes, as one element of morality, but its extreme vagueness and contradiction to experience render it useless except as a correction of error. The practical value lies in this, that it helps us to get rid of perplexities, to supply motives, to offer an elevated view of life which may silently mould the character. Yet it often fails us when we most need its help. For nothing comes into the mind less naturally than the greatest happiness of the greatest number. Even when applied to politics it will not answer the question-"Shall I go to war?" For who can balance the freedom or power of a people against the sufferings of war?'

In Jowett's view moral philosophy was closely bound up with religion: 'the essence of religion,' he called it; 'the great support and test of religion; for though there are differences of opinion about religion, morality is or may become, speaking generally, the same for all.' And therefore morality is inseparably connected with a future life, and Jowett in brooding over the subject is brought back to the old theme:

'The more we think of reason as the highest thing in the world, and of man as a rational being, the more disposed we shall be to think of human beings as immortal. We cannot set limits to this, nor say: "What human beings?" or "What immortality?" Whether in another life the servant shall be equal to the master, the child to the grown-up man, the fool to the philosopher, the Hottentot to the Englishman; whether animals will have a share in the happiness of men; whether the common moral qualities of men shall be the essence of

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