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"There is a good deal of magnetism in society. How great is the difference made by the absence or presence of a single person! The kindly receptive power, the readiness to attend to anything which is said by a person who says nothing, has a great effect.
A party is a whole, a work of art. Eight or ten is the right number.'
In the Summer Term of 1873 Jowett's health somewhat failed. Though he was not ill, he found himself unable to work as usual, and felt the need of a change. This was perhaps the reason why he abandoned his old summer resort at Tummel Bridge for Grantown on the Spey, in an outlying part of Inverness-shire. Here we find him in July, surrounded as usual by a number of undergraduates and other friends. Mr. Harrison was one of the party, and once more we can quote from his letters :
It is not nearly so good as Tummel ; the country is too open, and there is no great mountain overshadowing us behind and no swift stream dashing in front. But it is the most fragrant land I ever was in, and Dr. John Brown, the man who wrote “Pet Marjorie,” told Jowett that there was no spot so healthy in all Scotland.
+ The village is commonplace enough, consisting of one long street, gray, stone-built, clean and well-to-do, which stretches from MacGillivray's lodgings, where we live, to a fine park of pines and beeches, where Lord Seafield lives. The country round is well wooded, and bright with flowers and flowering bushes. Swinburne says he has seen no place comparable with it for flowers except among the Apennines. Our chief pride is in our river, which runs a few hundred yards from the house, though not in sight from it. It is no stream like the Tummel, but a real river broad and swift, its banks thick with woods and its hedges fringed with wild roses and the yellow broom. One reach is very lovely, and your view is closed by the distant Cairngorm Mountains, on whose peaks and in whose clefts you see the snow still lingering. Besides Swin
burne and the Master we have Higgs here, whom you know, and Roe, a Scholar of Balliol. Five we are in all, and fill the lodgings of MacGillivray.'
GRANTOWN, August 2. On Tuesday the Master and Swinburne and I dined with Mr. Grant, a banker of this place, at a pretty cottage about fifteen miles away. There we met Mr. Martineau and his two daughters. Martineau has been ill lately, and his face bears the marks of it. But it is a noble face, and might have been worn by some mediaeval monk.
'Over our wine we fell into a keen discussion on education. I was maintaining the duty of the State to provide free education of all kinds, from the highest to the lowest ; whilst Martineau argued against State interference even in primary schools, on the ground that it sapped the autonomy of the family.
'Martineau. “If you give education, why not food ? You are steering straight for communism.”
' H. (hotly). “And a very good port, too!"
Jowett (who had been listening with an amused smile). “I think we may draw a distinction. It may be bad to feed men and yet good to educate them. You cannot do harm by helping people to help themselves." '
Jowett himself writes to Morier, July 21, 1873:
"Here I am at the same occupation as twenty-five years ago, when I went with you to Oban in the year 1848. And now we are all growing old together, and even the persons who were young then are growing old too. Nevertheless “ do not let us old fellows be discouraging one another”; we are but in the “vaward of our youth” (where does that come from ?) and there is time yet. Great things have been done too by men who had the gout, as for example your great prototype and Lord Chatham, though I heartily hope that you are delivered from that plague and curse. “As you love me 5,” do mend your
· See Boswell's Life of Johnson, iii. 303 (Clarendon Press), and Shakespeare, 2 Henry IV, i. 2.
3 Ah! no more of that, Hal, an thou lovest me.'- Shakespeare, i Henry IV, ii. 4.
ways about diet (in which I cannot think you by any means perfect, though you are improved), and live to the age of Cornaro' and your excellent father.
'I have not been very well myself this Term, but I mean to alter, and am beginning by coming to this alpine climate, where I shall put my second volume in training for the press; after that, about the last week in August, I shall go abroad. Will you be in any accessible place at that time ?
'Falstaff says 3 :- I would rather go fifty miles on horse than budge two yards on foot; and I say :- I would rather go a hundred miles to see a friend than write four sides of a letter. Therefore consider my affection in writing this.'
While at Grantown he heard of the death of Lord Westbury, for whose abilities he had the greatest admiration and of whose character he never would allow any evil to be said. By the same post came the news of the death of Bishop Wilberforce. Mr. Harrison writes :
'The Times brought us news of the deaths of Westbury and Wilberforce. Jowett was displeased with the fulsome obituaries of the bishop. He thought Lord Westbury "a man of higher character, certainly possessed of more uncommon abilities.”
'I had met Lord Westbury, once at Jowett's table in Oxford, where he was as good as a play.” He made some bons mots and repeated some of his old ones, and ended with an Apologia pro vita sua. “I have been much maligned," he said. “Many have spoken of me as aggressive and satirical. That is a calumny. Patience, meekness, gentleness, the long-suffering of the worm that never turns—these have been my prevailing characteristics throughout life; and it is only”-turning to
Luigi Cornaro died at Padua, April 26, 1566, aged ninety-eight years. He was the author of a treatise, De vitae sobriae commodis. See the account of him in Chalmers' Biographical Dictionary, and Spectator, No. 195.
? Of the revised translation of Plato.
3 In a play which, I fear, was never written! But cf. i Henry IV, ii. 2: •Eight yards of uneven ground is threescore and ten miles afoot with me, and the stonyhearted villains know it well enough.' Cf. ib. ii. 4 iii. 3.E. A.
Jowett—“it is only since I have read the Master's Plato that I have begun to cultivate a little Socratic irony.
Jowett's own thoughts on Westbury and Wilberforce are expressed in a letter to Morier :
So poor Lord Westbury is gone. He was a very remark. able man, and it grieves me to think how very much his life is a vie manquée. People call him unprincipled, but that is not my view of him. He was a man of genius, by accident converted into a lawyer. With extraordinary abilities and great cunning, he was also very simple and childish in some respects--the notion that he was a sceptic or hypocrite is quite a mistake. I should have said that though, I suppose, very loose in his life, he was naturally religious and never gave in to rationalist explanations more than he could help. He was also one of the kindest men in private life whom I have ever known. A lady told me once "he was an esprit faux," but I do not think that this was true, although, like Plato, he could invent Egyptians or anything else.
And the Bishop of Winchester, of whom we talked so much, is gone too. I am always sorry when an eminent man dies, even when I think the continuance of his life rather an evil than a good ; yet I do not think that he was worse than about half the bishops, but he was more versatile and able. The truth is that the whole system of appointing bishops-giving great prizes generally for moderation, and sometimes for dishonesty-is demoralizing. If a man wants to get on in the Church he must say what is expedient and not what is right or true, and he must say this with a sanctimonious expression of countenance, first fancying himself, and then making other people believe, that he is better than they are, and the Church better than the world.
• If you have time to write I shall be glad to hear from you, and especially to hear of any literary work which you are carrying on. I do not give up my Life of Christ, for which I am extracting and making reflections, but I think that I shall deliver the lectures in Balliol College Chapel, and not in a London church. This Term I was not well enough to do
anything. I have a great desire both for you and myself that we should live to say “It is finished.”
"We are just beginning building at College. The Hall not yet—that depends on the contributions of the faithful. I think that the College prospers on the whole. We have also a great scheme for the examination of the Public Schools conjointly with Cambridge on hand, and various plans for increasing the Professoriate, &c., as always at Oxford.'
Later in the summer he went on the Continent with W. Rogers, and afterwards visited Morier at Munich, where he discussed political topics, above all Bismarck, who was now making his onslaught on the Roman Catholic Church. The rest and refreshment of a foreign tour and the companionship of an old friend were much needed, as we may see from the following letter to Dean Stanley :
MUNICH, September 23, 1873‘You are very good to write and ask about my health. I am much the same (thank you) as I was when I stayed at your house; that is to say, not up to much intellectual work, but not otherwise unwell. I intend to work about half-time during the coming year. It is a little discouraging to have so many things to do and to find one's powers of doing them decrease. Still I hope that both our lives may go on “broadening to the end."
'I was disappointed to find that you were not made Bishop of Winchester ; more for the sake of others than of yourself. People say that the most distinguished clergyman of the English Church should not have been passed over. I am not of the opinion of those who think that you can possibly have as much influence as a Dean as you would have as a Bishop, though you probably have a quieter life. You know my old theory that the last years of life ought to be the best and the most distinguished and most useful. I still hold to this, though I am a little laid on the shelf at present, and I pray that it may be so both for
you 'I return to England at the end of next week, being at