« PreviousContinue »
To DEAN STANLEY.
OXFORD, December 10, (1872). I think that a real effort has been made by the Liberal party to bring up voters.
I wrote a paper which I wanted them to sign, but they would not : the wiser heads thought it better to be colourless.
The Liberal party here seem to me extreme in opinion and feeble in action. But I suppose that we must take people as they are. They have the weakness of all Liberal parties-- not being very much in earnest. If any of them wish for the vote being rejected to-morrow, this is not because of their enmity to the Church, but because of a desire to get rid of Convocation. I read an article in the Pall Mall about this business, of which I did not approve. These people have such a habit of cynicism that they cannot support any object consistently.
I have received several most indignant letters, which do credit to the hearts of the writers. You are quite right in thinking that the annulling of the nomination is no loss
It will create an additional interest about your sermons and make your opponents disliked.
But what is to become of religion or truth amid all this fetishism and intolerance I do not see.
And why are you so anxious about the English Church unless you can improve it?
To DEAN STANLEY.
December 11, (1872). You will have heard by telegram that we have won by sixty-two.
The victory is not of great importance to the University or to the Liberal party, for I believe that the opposite faction will resort to the same practices again ; and of course we have succeeded because their leaders thought it imprudent to incur the unpopularity of the attempt. They calculated also on the deterrent effect which their resistance will have on future Vice-Chancellors.
But I am glad that we have won, and in one point of view especially glad. I do not think that we could have won with anybody but you. I was surprised to find the number of persons who came up unbidden out of regard and respect for you. And though in these wretched contests there is not much to rejoice in, I think that you and Lady Augusta may really rejoice in the proof which a great many persons, hardly known to you, have given of their attachment.
THE COLLEGE AT BRISTOL.
THE REVISED PLATO
JOWETT's hospitality - Notes on society-Jowett at Grantown-At Munich (1873)—At Malvern—The College at Bristol (1874)—Jowett's speech and views on education Tyndall at Belfast-Science and religion-Jowett's sermon-Colenso-Arnold Toynbee-Jowett at Munich (1875) Reads Euripides At Malvern - Interest in architecture—The Encaenia of 1875—Proposed reforms—Jowett's views–Ruskin at Oxford-Aestheticism; Spiritualism-Memoranda: G.'s metaphysical sermon; Memory in later life; Infidels ; Head of a College; Speaking out; Maxims for statesmen; Old age-Death of Lancaster-Literature and Dogma-Plans for life (1876) — Tour with Lord Ramsay—The Grande Chartreuse—The Revised Plato-Notes on the Life of Christ, &c.—Letters. NE of the chief pleasures which Jowett anticipated
from his new position was the entertainment of his friends in his own house. He was the most hospitable of men.
When his stipend as Greek Professor was increased, the fact was brought home to us, his pupils, by the increase in the plates and dishes which his servant piled up on the stairs leading to his room. He had undergraduates with him at almost every meal; he wished to know as much of them as possible—' for everybody is a good sort of fellow, when you know him,' he would say, applying a sentence of Plato
and by entertaining them he hoped to draw them out. Sometimes they were only too well aware of this. 'He asked me if I would have a glass of wine, so I poured out a glass and drank it; then he asked me if I would eat an apple, so I ate an apple. But he said nothing, and I said nothing. I'm told that he asks you to wine that he may find out what sort of a fellow you are, but I wasn't going to let him see what sort of a fellow I am.' So observed one of the Scholars of the College, now an eminent man.
When he became Master he had both the means and the leisure to indulge his inclination more freely. For many years the entertainments at Balliol Lodge were a feature of Oxford and even of London life. Perhaps they were at times too catholic—iniquae mensae (I believe they were spoken of as 'Jowett's Jumbles '), but if they were, it was because he thought that those whom he brought together would be the better for knowing one another. I think he sometimes had in his mind that dinner, so vividly described by Boswell, at which Wilkes and Johnson met-a remarkable instance of what a dinner can do in rubbing off angles and removing prejudices. Often too his hospitality had a definite purpose. It was a means of introducing young men of promise, who were just leaving College for a profession, to those who had been successful in the career upon which they were entering. If he had distinguished lawyers with him, he would go through the College list and ask those who were going to the Bar to dine with him and make the acquaintance of men who were what they wished to be. For he never, in anything that he did, forgot the College or the undergraduates, and nothing was more remarkable in him than the pains which he took about the future career of his young men.'
This was in his opinion one of the chief duties of the Head of a College ?
From Miss Knight, who was with him for twenty years as housekeeper, I learn that when she came to join her father and mother at the Lodge in 1873, Jowett told her that one of the principal things he would require of her would be to take charge of his visitors, to see that they were made comfortable in every way, and to make his house a home to them for the time that they were there.
'He said that he had many “delightful and dear” friends, and that it would be pleasant for them to see me about, and very good for me to be with them. And this was one of my chief duties throughout all those twenty years. I used to look forward with the keenest interest to the brilliant and happy gatherings, so often seen at Balliol.
'As a rule we had fifteen or sixteen such parties in the course of each year. Many of his old friends of course came again and again ; but he was always making new ones, and his first wish was to see them at his house, to meet some of those whose friendship he had enjoyed so long. Amongst those who visited him in the early part of my time were the Dean of Westminster and Lady Augusta Stanley, Canon Pearson, Bishop Colenso, M. Turguenieff, “ George Eliot” and Mr. Lewes, Professor Ruskin, Mr. William Spottiswoode, Lady Charlotte Elliot, Professor and Mrs. Fawcett, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Matthew Arnold, Sir Alexander Grant, Professor Tyndall, Lady Marian Alford, and Lord Sherbrooke.'
In a note-book of 1876 I find the following remarks on social entertainment:
*The art of society is never studied ; yet it is full of subtle influences. A good start to a party is essential ; suitable persons must be brought together and the party must not be too large.
1 Cf. below, p. 78.