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may show the opinion which I even then entertained of him, that I carefully preserved from the beginning every letter which I ever received from him: you have had an opportunity of judging of the value of the collection.
After I had ceased to reside, a small debating society called the Attic Society was formed in Oxford“, which held its meetings in the rooms of the members by turns. Arnold was among the earliest members, and was, I believe, an embarrassed speaker. This I should have expected; for, however he might appear a confident advancer of his own opinions, he was in truth bashful, and at the same time had so acute a perception of what was ill-seasoned or irrelevant, that he would want that freedom from restraint which is essential at least to young speakers. This society was the germ of the Union, but I believe he never belonged to it.
In our days, the religious controversies had not begun, by which the minds of young men at Oxford are, I fear, now prematurely and too much occupied; the routine theological studies of the University were, I admit, deplorably low, but the earnest ones amongst us were diligent readers of Barrow, Hooker and Taylor. Arnold was among these, but I have no recollection of anything at that time distinctive in his religious opinions. What occurred afterwards does not properly fall within my chapter, yet it is not unconnected with it, and I believe I can sum up all that need be said on such a subject, as shortly and as accurately, from the sources of information in my hands, as any other person can. His was an anxiously inquisitive mind, a scrupulously conscientious heart; his inquiries, previously to his taking orders, led him on to distressing doubts on certain points in the Articles; these were not low nor rationalistic in their tendency, according to the bad sense of that term; there was no indisposition in him to believe merely because the article transcended his reason; he doubted the proof and the interpretation of the textual authority. His state was very painful, and I think morbid; for I remarked that the two occasions on which I was privy to his distress, were precisely those in which to doubt was against his dearest schemes of worldly happiness; and the consciousness of this seemed to make him distrustful of the arguments which were intended to lead his mind to acquiescence. Upon the first occasion to which I allude, he was a Fellow of Oriel, and in close intercourse with one of the friends I have before mentioned, then also a Fellow of the same college: to him as well as to me he opened his mind, and from him he received the wisest advice, which he had the wisdom to act upon; he was bid to pause in his inquiries, to pray earnestly for help and light from above, and turn himself more strongly than ever to the practical duties of a holy life; he did so, and through severe trials, was finally blessed with perfect peace of mind, and a settled conviction. If there be any so unwise as to rejoice that Arnold in his youth had doubts on important doctrines, let him be sobered with the conclusion of those doubts, when Arnold's mind had not become weaker, nor his pursuit of truth less honest or ardent, but when his abilities were matured, his knowledge greater, his judgment more sober; if there be any who, in youth, are suffering the same distress which befell him, let his conduct be their example, and the blessing which was vouchsafed to him, their hope and consolation. In a letter from that friend to myself, of the date of February 14, 1819, I find the following extract, which gives so true and so considerate an account of this passage in Arnold's life, that you may be pleased to insert it.
* In this society he formed or confirmed his acquaintance with a new circle of friends, chiefly of other colleges, whose names will appear in the ensuing correspondence by the side of tho of an earlier date from Corpus, and of a somewhat later date from Oriel, Mr. Lowe, Mr. Hull, Mr. Randall, Mr. Blackstone, and Mr. Hare, and through him with his Cambridge brother, now Archdeacon Hare.
“I have not talked with Arnold lately on the distressing thoughts which he wrote to you about, but I am fearful, from his manner at times, that he has by no means got rid of them, though I feel quite confident that all will be well in the end. The subject of them is that most awful one, on which all very inquisitive reasoning minds are, I believe, most liable to such temptations—I mean the doctrine of the blessed Trinity. Do not start, my dear Coleridge; I do not believe that Arnold has any serious scruples of the understanding about it, but it is a defect
of his mind that he cannot get rid of a certain feeling of objections—and particularly when, as he fancies, the bias is so strong upon him to decide one way from interest: he scruples doing what I advise him, which is, to put down the objections by main force whenever they arise in his mind, fearful that in so doing he shall be violating his conscience for a maintenance' sake. I am still inclined to think with you that the wisest thing he could do would be to take John M. (a young pupil whom I was desirous of placing under his care) and a curacy somewhere or other, and cure himself not by physic, i.e. reading and controversy, but by diet and regimen, i. e. holy living. In the mean time what an excellent fellow he is. I do think that one might safely say as some one did of some other, “ One had better have Arnold's doubts than most men's certainties.” a
I believe I have exhausted my recollections; and if I have accomplished as I ought, what I proposed to myself, it will be hardly necessary for me to sum up formally his character as an Oxford under-graduate. At the commencement a boy-and at the close retaining, not ungracefully, much of boyish spirits, frolic, and simplicity; in mind vigorous, active, clear-sighted, industrious, and daily accumulating and assimilating treasures of knowledge; not averse to poetry, but delighting rather in dialectics, philosophy, and history, with less of imaginative than reasoning power; in argument bold almost to presumption, and vehement; in temper easily roused to indignation, yet more easily appeased and entirely free from bitterness ; fired indeed, by what he deemed ungenerous or unjust to others, rather than by any sense of personal wrong; somewhat too little deferential to authority; yet without any real inconsistency loving what was good and great in antiquity the more ardently and reverently because it was ancient; a casual or unkind observer might have pronounced him somewhat too pugnacious in conversation and too positive. I have given, I believe, the true explanation; scarcely anything would have pained him more than to be convinced that he had been guilty of want of modesty, or of deference where it was justly due; no one thought these virtues of more sacred obligation. In heart, if I can speak with con
* On this subject see further, the note in Chapter IX.
fidence of any of the friends of my youth, I can of his, that it was devout and pure, simple, sincere, affectionate and faithful.
It is time that I should close : already, I fear, I have dwelt with something like an old man's prolixity on passages of my youth, forgetting that no one can take the same interest in them which I do myself; that deep personal interest must, however, be my excuse. Whoever sets a right value on the events of his life for good or for evil, will agree that next in importance to the rectitude of his own course and the selection of his partner for life, and far beyond all the wealth or honours which may reward his labour, far even beyond the unspeakable gift of bodily health, are the friendships which he forms in youth. That is the season when natures soft and pliant grow together, each becoming part of the other, and coloured by it; thus to become one in heart with the good, and generous, and devout, is, by God's grace, to become, in measure, good, and generous, and devout. Arnold's friendship has been one of the many blessings of my life. I cherish the memory of it with mournful gratitude, and I cannot but dwell with lingering fondness on the scene and the period which first brought us together. Within the peaceful walls of Corpus I made friends, of whom all are spared me but Arnold-he has fallen asleep-but the bond there formed, which the lapse of years and our differing walks in life did not unloosen, and which strong opposition of opinions only rendered more intimate; though interrupted in time, I feel not to be broken-may I venture, without unseasonable solemnity, to express the firm trust, that it will endure for ever in eternity.
Believe me, my dear Stanley,
Very truly yours,
J. T. C.
LIFE AT LALEHAM.
The society of the Fellows of Oriel College then, as for some time afterwards, numbered amongst its members some of the most rising men in the University, and it is curious to observe the list which, when the youthful scholar of Corpus was added to it, contained the names of Copleston, Davison, Whately, Keble, Hawkins, and Hampden, and shortly after he left it, those of Newman and Pusey, the former of whom was elected into his vacant Fellowship. Amongst the friends with whom he thus became acquainted for the first time, may chiefly be mentioned Dr. Hawkins, since Provost of Oriel, to whom in the last year of his life he dedicated his Lectures on Modern History, and Dr. Whately, afterwards Principal of St. Alban’s Hall, and now Archbishop of Dublin, towards whom his regard was enhanced by the domestic intercourse which was constantly interchanged in later years between their respective families, and to whose writings and conversations he took an early opportunity of expressing his obligations in the Preface to his first volume of Sermons, in speaking of the various points on which the communication of his friend's views had “extended or confirmed his own." For the next four years he remained at Oxford taking private pupils and reading extensively in the Oxford libraries, an advantage which he never ceased to remember gratefully himself, and to impress upon others, and of which the immediate results remain in a great number of MSS., both in the form of abstracts of other works, and of original sketches on history and theology. They are remarkable rather as proofs