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not only Fox How itself with each particular tree, the growth of which he had watched, and each particular spot in the grounds, associated by him with the playful names of his children; but also the whole valley in which it lay became consecrated with something of a domestic feeling. Rydal Chapel, with the congregation to which he had so often preached-the new circle of friends and acquaintance with whom he kept up so familiar an intercourse—the gorges and rocky pools which owed their nomenclature to him, all became part of his habitual thoughts. He delighted to derive his imagery from the hills and lakes of Westmoreland, and to trace in them the likenesses of his favourite scenes in poetry and history; even their minutest features were of a kind that were most attractive to him; "the running streams” which were to him “the most beautiful objects in nature ;-—the wild flowers on the mountain sides, which were to him, he said, “his music; and which, whether in their scarcity at Rugby, or their profusion in Westmoreland, “loving them," as he used to say, “as a child loves them,” he could not bear to see removed from their natural places by the wayside, where others might enjoy them as well as himself. The very peacefulness of all the historical and moral associations of the scenery, -free alike from the remains of feudal ages in the past, and suggesting comparatively so little of suffering or of evil in the present, -rendered doubly grateful to him the refreshment which he there found from the rough world in the school, or the sad feelings awakened in his mind by the thoughts of his Church and country. There he hoped, when the time should have come for his retreat fron Rugby, to spend his declining years. Other visions, indeed, of a more practical and laborious life, from time to time passed before him, but Fox How was the image, which most constantly presented itself to him in all prospects for the suture; there he intended to have lived in peace, maintaining his connexion with the rising generation by receiving pupils from the Universities; there, under the shade of the trees of his own planting, he hoped in his old age to give to the world the fruits of his former experience and labours, by executing those works for which at Rugby he felt himself able only to prepare the way, or lay the first foundations, and never again leave his retirement till (io use his own expression) “his bones should go to Grasmere churchyard, to lie under the yews which Wordsworth planted, and to have the Rotha with its deep and silent pools passing by." CHAPTER V.
LIFE AND CORRESPONDENCE, AUGUST 1828 TO AUGUST 1830.
The two first years of Dr. Arnold's life at Rugby remarkably exhibit the natural sanguineness of his character, whether in the feeling with which he entered on the business of the school, or in the hopefulness with which he regarded public affairs, and which, more or less, pervaded all that he wrote at this time.
The first volume of sermons, and the first volume of his edition of Thucydides, containing, as they did, in many respects the basis of his theological and historical views, were published in February, 1829, and May, 1830; and little need be added to what has already been said of them. To the latter, indeed, an additional interest is imparted from its being the first attempt in English philology to investigate not merely the phrases and formulæ, but the general principles of the Greek language, and to illustrate, not merely the words, but the history and geography of a Greek historian. And in the Essay on the different periods of national existence appended to this first volume, but, in fact, belonging more to his general views of history and politics than to any particular illustration of Thucydides, is brought out more forcibly than in any other of his writings, his belief in the progress and inherent excellence of popular principles; in the distinct stages of civilization through which nations have to pass; and in the philosophical divisions of ancient and modern history, of which he made so much use in treating of either of them. But the work which naturally excited most public attention, was a pamphlet on "the Christian Duty of conceding the claims of the Roman Catholics,” published in February, 1929. To those who knew him in later life, it may appear strange that he should have treated at length of the question of Ireland, which he was accustomed to shun as a problem of inextricable difficulty, and on which nothing but a sense of justice could ever prevail upon him to enter. But this sense of justice was, at this time, quickened by the deep conviction which, for some years past, he had entertained of the alarming state of the Irish nation. “ There is more to be done there," he writes in 1828, from Laleham, “than in any corner of the world. I had, at one time, a notion of going over there, and taking Irish pupils, to try what one man could do towards civilizing the people by trying to civilize and Christianize their gentry." And the particular crisis of the Roman Catholic Relief Act was exactly one of those occasions which brought him into direct collision both with the tone of the Liberal party, who assumed that, as being a political measure, it could not be argued on religious grounds ; and of the Tory party, who assumed that, as being a religious question, it was one on which the almost united authority of the English clergy ought to have decisive weight; whereas, his own views of course led him to maintain that, being a great national question of right and wrong, it must, on the one hand, be argued on Christian grounds, and yet, on the other hand, that the clergy would not be the best judges of it, because the origin, rights, and successive revolutions of society were subjects which they avowedly neglected to study.” The pamphlet was published at so late a stage of the controversy, that it had not time to reach a second edition before the act was passed. But the grounds of solemn duty on which his vindication of the Relief Act was based, as the best mode of repairing the sin and mischief, never yet effaced, of the original conquest of Ireland, and as a right, which, as being still a distinct national society, the Irish people justly claimed, -attracted considerable attention. Other parts, such as that in which he denied the competence of the clergy to pronounce upon historical questions, created an impression against him in the great body of his profession, which, perhaps, was never wholly removed. Its intrinsic interest, independent of the particular controversy, consists in its being his first and most emphatic protest against the divorce of religion and politics, and the most complete statement of his abstract views of political science, as his Appendix to Thucydides furnished his statement of their historical development.
I. TO J. T. COLERIDGE, ESQ.
Rugby, August 29, 1828. Here we are actually at Rugby, and the school will open
I cannot tell you with what deep regret we left Laleham, where we had been so peaceful and so happy, and left my mother, aunt, and sisters for the first time in my life, except during my school and college absences. It was quite “ feror exul in altum,” &c., but then we both looked upon Rugby as on our Italy, and entered it, I think, with hope and with thankfulness. . . . But the things which I have had to settle, and the people whom I have had to see on business, have been almost endless ; to me, unused as I was to business, it seemed quite a chaos ; but, thank God, being in high health and spirits, and gaining daily more knowledge of the state of affairs, I get on tolerably well. Next week, however, will be the grand experiment ; and I look to it naturally with great anxiety. I trust, I feel how great and solemn a duty I have to fulfil
, and that I shall be enabled to fulfil it by that help which can alone give the “spirit of power and love, and of a sound mind;" the three great requisites, I imagine, in a schoolmaster.
You need not fear my reforming furiously; there, I think, I can assure you ; but, of my success in introducing a religious principle into education, I must be doubtful; it is my most earnest wish, and I pray God that it may be my constant labour and prayer; but to do this would be to succeed beyond all my hopes; it would be a happiness so great, that, I think, the world could yield me nothing comparable to it. Tą do it, however imperfectly, would far more than repay twenty years of labour and anxiety.
Saturday, August 30th. I have been receiving, this morning, a constant succession of visitors, and now, before I go out to return -- August 31st. I was again interrupted, and now, I think, that I had better at once finish my letter. I have entered twenty-nine new boys, and have got four more to enter ; and I have to-day commenced my business by calling over names and going into chapel, where I was glad to see that the boys behaved very well. I cannot tell you how odd it seems to me, recalling, at once my school-days more vividly than I could have thought possible.
TO REV. F. C. BLACKSTONE.
Rugby, September 28, 1828. It is, indeed, a long time since I wrote to you, and there has been much of intense interest in the period which has elapsed since I did write. But it has been quite an engrossing occupation; and Thucydides and every thing else has gone to sleep while I have been attending to it. Now it is becoming more familiar to me, but still the actual employment of time is very great, and the matters for thought which it affords are almost endless. Still I get my daily exercise and bathing very happily, so that I have been, and am, perfectly well, and equal in strength and spirits to the work. . . For myself, I like it hitherto beyond my expectation, but, of course, a month is a very short time to judge from. (After speaking of the details of the school, and expressing his generally favourable impression of it.] I am trying to establish something of a friendly intercourse with the Sixth Form, by asking them, in succession, in parties of four, to dinner with us, and I have them each separately up into my room to look over their exercises.
I mean to bring in something like “ gatherings" before it is long, for they understand that I have not done with my alterations, nor probably ever shall have ; and I am going to have an Examination for every form in the school, at the end of the short half-year, in all the business of the half-year, Divinity, Greek and Latin, Arithmetic, History, Geography, and Chronology, with first and second classes, and prize books for those who do well. I find that my power is perfectly absolute, so that I have no excuse if I do not try to make the school something like my beau ideal—it is sure to fall far enough short in reality. There has been no flogging yet, (and I hope that there will be none,) and surprisingly few irregularities. I chastise, at first, by very gentle impositions, which are raised for a repetition of offences—flogging will be only my ratio ultima—and talking I shall try to the utmost. I believe that boys may be governed a great deal by gentle methods and kindness, and appealing to their better feelings, if you show that you are not afraid of them; I have seen great boys, six feet high, shed tears when I have sent for them up into my room and spoken to them quietly, in private, for not knowing their lesson, and I have found that this treatment produced its effects afterwards, in making them do better. But, of course, deeds must second words when needful, or words will soon be laughed at.
Laleham, Dec. 19, 1828. I should have greatly enjoyed seeing you again and seeing you with your wife, and at your own home, to say nothing of resuming some of the matters we discussed a little in the summer. The constitutional tone of different minds naturally gives a different complexion to their view of things, even when they may agree in the main; and in discussing matters besides, one, or at least I, am apt to dwell on my points of difference with a man rather than on my points of agreement with him, because, in one case, I may get my own opinions modified and modify his—in the other, we only end where we began. I confess that it does pain me when I find my friends shocked at the expression of my sentiments, because, if a man had entered on the same particular inquiry himself, although he should have come to a wholly different conclusion at last, still, if he gave me credit for sincerity, he ought not to be shocked at my not having as yet come to the same conclusion with himself, and would rather quietly try to bring me there—and if he had not inquired into the subject, then he certainly ought not to be shocked ; as giving me credit for the same fundamental principles with himself, he ought not to think that non-inquiry would lead to truth, and inquiry to error. In your case, I know that your mind is entirely candid; and that no man will conduct an inquiry with more perfect fairness ; you have, therefore, the less reason for abstaining from inquiry altogether. I can assure you, that I never remember to have held a conversation such as those which we had last summer, without deriving benefit in some way or other from the remarks urged in opposition to my own views; very often they have modified my opinions, sometimes entirely changed them—and when they have done neither, they have led me to consider myself and my own state of mind; lest even whilst holding the truth, I might have bought the possession of it too dearly (I mean, of course, in lesser matters) by exercising the understanding too much, and the affections too little. ..
TO THE REV. JULIUS HARE.
Rugby, March 30, 1829. I am much obliged to you for sending me your Defence of Niebuhr; and still more for the most kind and gratifying manner in which you have mentioned me in it; there are few things more delightful than to be so spoken of by those whom we entirely respect, and whose good opinion and regard we have wished to gain.
I should not have troubled you with my pamphlet on the Catholic question, had it not involved points beyond the mere question now at issue, and on which I was desirous to offer you some explanation, as I think our opinions respecting them are widely different. From what you say in the Guesses at Truth, and again in your Defence of Niebuhr, you appear to me to look upon the past with feelings of reverence, in which I cannot participate. It is not that I think we are better than our fathers in proportion to our lights, or that our powers are at all greater; on the contrary, they deserve more admiration, considering the difficulties they had to struggle with ; yet still I cannot but think, that the habit of looking back upon them as models, and more especially in all political