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mixed pleasure in its going on,-perhaps, just under actual circumstances, more than at some former time, because I think it is more wanted. We shall soon lose Lake and Simpkinson and the others, who go up this year to the University. There is always a melancholy feeling in seeing the last sheaf carried of a good harvest; for who knows what may be the crop of the next year? But this, happily for us, is, both in the natural and in the moral harvest, in the hands of Him who can make disappointment and scarcity do his work, no less than success and plenty.
TO A. P. STANLEY, ESQ.
Rugby, October 7, 1835. I am delighted to find that you are coming to Rugby ; in fact, I was going to write to you to try whether we could not get you here either in your way to or from Oxford,—as I suppose that, even after all the length of the long vacation, you will be at liberty before us at Christmas. Thank you for your congratulations on my little boy's birth : he grows so much and Fan so little, that I think he will soon overtake her; though it will be well if ever he rivals her in quickness and liveliness.
I think it probable that about the time when his old companions are beginning their new course of earthly life at the Universities, Hatch will be entering upon the beginning of his eternal life. He grows so much worse, that yesterday he was hardly expected to outlive the day. I think myself that his trial will be somewhat longer; but I believe that his work is over, and am no less persuaded that his rest in Christ is sure.
I shall be glad to talk over all things with you when we meet: be sure that you cannot come here too often :- I never was less disposed than I am at this moment to let drop or to intermit my intercourse with my old pupils ; which is to me one of the freshest springs of my life.
TO AN OLD PUPIL. (B.)
Rugby, October 30, 1835. I am a little disturbed by what you tell :ne of your health, and can readily understand that it makes you look at all things with a less cheerful eye than I could wish. Besides, all great changes in life are solemn things, when we think of them, and have naturally their grave side as well as their merely happy one. This is in itself only wholesome, but the grave side may be unduly darkened if we who look on it are ourselves out of tune. I am glad that you have written again to Thomson : his report of you to me was very satisfactory, and I have great faith in his skill. Remember, however, that exercise must not be wearisome, and especially not wearisome to the mind, if it is to be really beneficial. I never have regarded a regular walk along a road, talking the while on subjects of interest, as exercise in the true sense of the term. A skirmish over the country is a very different thing, and so is all that partakes of the character of play or sport.
Believe me that it is a great pleasure to me to hear from you, and you must not think that any parts of your letters are unnoticed by me, or uninteresting, if I do not especially reply to them. I value very much the depression of your feelings, and I think have a very true sympathy with them.
TO MR. JUSTICE COLERIDGE.
Rugby, October 12, 1835. Our visit to Westmoreland was short, for we returned home early in August, to be ready for my wife's confinement. But I could not have enjoyed three weeks more ; for the first we had so much rain that the Rotha flooded a part of our grass. Afterwards we had the most brilliant weather, which brought our flowers out in the greatest beauty ; but the preceding rain kept us quite green, and the contrast was grievous in that respect when we came back to the brown fields of Warwickshire. But I cannot tell you, how I enjoyed our fortnight at Rugby before the school opened. It quite reminded me of Oxford, when Mand I used to sit out in the garden under the enormous elms of the school-field, which almost overhang the house, and saw the line of our battlemen'ed roofs and the pinnacles and cross of our Chapel cutting the unclouded sky. And I had divers happy little matches at cricket with my own boys in the school-field,-on the very cricket-ground of the “eleven,” that is, of the best players in the school, on which, when the school is assembled, no profane person may encroach. Then came my wife's happy confinement, before which we had a very happy visit of a day from the whole family of Hulls, and which was succeeded by a no less happy visit from the whole family of Whatelys.
Have you seen our Rugby Magazine, of which the second number has just made its appearance? It is written wholly either by boys actually at the school, or by under-graduates within their first year. I delight in the spirit of it, and think there is much ability in many of the articles. I think also that it is likely to do good to the school.
We have lost this year more than half of our Sixth Form, so that the influx of new elements has been rather disproportionately great ; and unluckily the average of talent just in this part of the school is not high. We have a very good promise below, but at present we shall have difficulty in maintaining our ground; and then I always fear that, where the intellect is low, the animal part will predominate; and that moral evils will increase, as well as intellectual proficiency decline, under such a state of things. At present I think that the boys seem very well disposed, and I trust that, in this far more important matter, we shall work through our time of less bright sunshine without material injury. It would overpay me for far greater uneasiness and labour than I have ever had at Rugby, to see the feeling both towards the school and towards myself personally, with which some of our boys have been lately leaving us. One staid with us in the house for his last week at Rugby, dreading the approach of the day which should take him to Oxford, although he was going up to a delightful society of old friends ; and, when he actually came to take leave, I really think that the parting was like that of a father and his son. And it is delightful to me to find how glad all the better boys are to come back here after they have left it, and how much they seem to enjoy staying with me; while a sure instinct keeps at a distance all whose recollections of the place are connected with no comfortable reflections. Mean time I write nothing, and read barely enough to keep my mind in the state of a running stream, which I think it ought to be if it would form or feed other minds; for it is ill drinking out of a pond, whose stock of water is merely the remains of the long past rains of the winter and spring, evaporating and diminishing with every successive day of drought. We are reading now Plato's Phædon, which I suppose must be nearly the perfection of human language. The admirabie precision of the great Attic writers is to me very striking. When you get a thorough knowledge of the language, they are clearer than I think an English writer can be from the inferiority of his instrument. I often think that I could have understood your Uncle better if he had written in Platonic Greek. His Table Talk marks him, in my judgment, ..... as a very great man indeed, whose equal I know not where to find in England. It amused me to recognize, in your contributions to the book, divers anecdotes which used to excite the open-mouthed adiniration of the C.C.C. Junior Common Room in the Easter and Act Terms of 1811, after your Easter vacation spent with Mr. May at Richmond. My paper is at an end, but not my matter. Perhaps I may see you in the winter in town.
LIFE AND CORRESPONDENCE, SEPTEMBER 1835 TO NOVEMBER 1838.
There is little to distinguish the next three years of Dr. Arnold's life from those which precede. The strong feeling against him, though with some abatement of its vehemence, still continued; the effect of it was perhaps visible in the slight falling off in the numbers of his school in 1937–38, at the time of the very height of its academical reputation; and in his own profession it appeared so generally to prevail, that, on occasion of a proposal to him from the present Bishop of Norwich to preach his Consecration Sermon at Lambeth, the Archbishop of Canterbury thought it his duty to withhold his permission, solely on the ground of the unfavourable reception which he supposed it would meet among the clergy. But his letters, and some of the Sermons in the fourth volume, preached at this time, show how this period of comparative silence was yet, both in thought and action, most emphatically his period of battle; when, as if tired of acting on the defensive, he was at last roused to attack in return. The vehemence of the outcry by which he had been assailed, drove him into a more controversial atmosphere. The fact of the more positive formation of his own opinions brought him more immediately into collision with the positive opinions of others. The view with which he thus entered on his chief actual contests with what he conceived to be the two great evils of the age, is expressed in the twentieth Sermon in the fourth volume, preached September, 1836, on the opposite idols of unbelief and superstition, and on the only mode by which, in his judgment, either could be counteracted. These two contests were, on the one hand, against the school then dominant in the London University ; on the other hand, against the school then dominant in Oxford.
I. And first, with regard to Oxford. From the earliest formation of his opinions he had looked upon (so-called) High Church doctrines as a great obstruction to the full development of national Christianity. But, up to the time here spoken of, these doctrines were held in a form too vague and impalpable to come into immediate collision with any of his own views. When he wrote the pamphlet on the Roman Catholic question in 1829, he could refer to a sermon of the Rev. W.F. Hook, on the Apostolical Succession, as a strange exception to the general tone of English clergymen. When he wrote his pamphlet on Church Reform in 1833, he could still speak of those extraordinary persons who gravely maintain that primitive episcopacy, and episcopacy as it now exists in England, are essentially the same.” (Postscript, p. 13.) No definite system seemed to stand in the way of what he conceived to be the best method of saving the English Church and nation; and if, in any instances deeper principles than those of the Old High Church party were at work, his sense of disagreement seemed almost lost in the affectionate reverence, with which he regarded the friends of his youth who held them. His foremost thought in speaking of them was of “men at once pious, high-minded, intelligent, and full of all kindly feelings, whose intense love for the forms of the Church, fostered as it has been by all the blest associations of their pure and holy lives, has absolutely engrossed their whole nature, so that they have neither eyes to see of themselves any defect in the Liturgy and Articles, nor ears to hear of such, when alleged by others." His statement of his own opinions was blended with the bitter regret, that “they will not be willing to believe how deeply painful it is to my mind to know that I am regarded by them as an adversary, still more to feel that I am associated in their judgment with principles and with a party which I abhor as deeply as they do." (Church Reform, p. 83.)
But in 1834, 35, 36, he found his path crossed suddenly, and for the first time, by a compact body, round which all the floating elements of High Church opinions seemed to crystallize, as round a natural centre: and to him, seeing, as he did from the very first, the unexpected revival of what he conceived to be the worst evils of Roman Catholicism, the mere shock of astonishment was such as can hardly be imagined by those who did not share with him the sense either of the suddenness of its first appearance, or of the consequences contained in it. And further, this first impression was of a kind peculiarly offensive to all the tendencies of his nature, positive as well as negative. Almost the only subject insisted upon in the two first volumes of the Tracts for the Times,” 1832-36, (so far as they consisted of original papers,) was the importance of "the Apostolical Succession" of the clergy, and the consequent exclusive claims of the Church of England to be regarded as the only true Church in England, if not in the world. In other words, the one doctrine which was then put forward as the cure for the moral and social evils of the couniry, which he felt so keenly, was the one point in their system, which he always regarded as morally powerless, and intellectually indefensible; as incompatible with all sound notions of law and government; and as tending above all things to substitute a ceremonial for a spiritual Christianity; whilst of the many later developments of the system,' which had been objects of his admiration and aspirations, long before or altogether independently of the Tracts in question, little was said at all, and hardly any thing urged prominently:
On this new portent, as he deemed it, thus brought before his notice, the dislike, which he naturally entertained towards the principles embodied in its appearance, became at once concentrated. For individual members of the party he often testified his respect; and towards those whom he had known personally he never lost his affection, or relinquished his endeavours to maintain a friendly intercourse with them., Still for the future he looked upon the body itselt, not as formerly, through the medium of its constituent members, but of its principles; the almost imploring appeal to their sympathy, which had been quoted from the close of the Pamphlet of 1933, was never repeated. He no longer dwelt on the reflection that "in the Church of England even bigotry often wears a softer and a nobler aspect,” and that “it could be no ordinary Church to have inspired such devoted adoration in such men, nor they ordinary men, over whom a sense of high moral beauty should have obtained so complete a mastery,” (Ib. p. 83.) He rather felt himself called to insist on what he regarded as the dark side of the picture; "on the fanaticism which has been the peculiar disgrace of the Church of England," " a dress, a ritual, a name, a ceremony, a technical phraseology,—the superstition of a priesthood without its power,—the form of Episcopal governmen: without its substance-a system imperfect and paralyzed, not independent, not sovereign,-afraid to cast off the subjection against which it was perpetually murmuring, -objects so pitiful, that, if gained ever so completely, they would make no man the wiser, or the better; they would lead to no good, intellectual, moral, or spiritual." (Ed. Rev. vol. Ixiii. p. 233.)
And all his feelings of local and historical associations combined to aggravate the unfavourable aspect, under which this school presented itself to him. Those only who knew his love for Oxford, as he thought it ought to be, can understand his indignation against it, as he thought it was; nor were the passion
1) As one out of many instances may be mentioned the views already quoted,