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some of them he had a yet deeper feeling of aversion. It was not till 1835 that he ever had himself read the plays of Aristophanes, and though he was then much struck with the “ Clouds,” and ultimately introduced the partial use of his Comedies in the school, yet his strong moral disapprobation always interfered with his sense of the genius both of that poet and Juvenal.
But of the classical lessons generally his enjoyment was complete. When asked once whether he did not find the repetition of the same lessons irksome to him, “ No," he said, “there is a constant freshness in them; I find something new in them every time that I go over them.” His scholars have long afterwards recalled to their minds the delight with which, when a fine passage occurred in the lesson, he would hang over it, reading it over and over again; the value which he set on both the public and private orations of Demosthenes, and the burst of enthusiasm in which he would sometimes indulge in the midst of them; the affectionate familiarity which he used to show towards Thucydides, knowing as he did the substance of
every single chapter by itself; the revival of youthful interest with which he would recur to portions of the works of Aristotle; the keen sense of a new world opening before him, with which in later years, with ever increasing pleasure, he entered into the works of Plato; -above all, his child-like enjoyment of Herodotus, and that “fountain of beauty and delight, which no man,” he said, “can ever drain dry,” the poetry of Homer. The simple language of that early age was exactly what he was most able to reproduce in his own simple and touching translations, and his eyes
would fill with tears, when he came to the story which told how Cleobis and Bito, as a reward for their filial piety, lay down in the temple, and fell asleep and died.
To his pupils, perhaps, of ordinary lessons, the most attractive were the weekly ones on Modern History. He had always a difficulty in finding any work which he could use with satisfaction as a text book. “Gibbon, which in many respects would answer the purpose so well, I dare not use.” Accordingly, the work, whatever it might be, was made the groundwork of his own observations, and of other reading from such works as the school library contained. Russell's Modern Europe,
for example, a work which he estimated very low, though regarding it, perhaps from his own early acquaintance with it at Winchester, with less dislike than might have been expected, served this purpose for several years; and on a chapter of this he would engraft, or cause the boys to engraft, additional information from Hallam, Guizot, or any other historian who happened to treat of the same period, whilst he himself, with that familiar interest which belonged to his favourite study of history, and of geography, which he always maintained could only be taught in connexion with it, would by his searching and significant questions gather the thoughts of his scholars round the peculiar characteristics of the age or the country on which he wished to fix their attention.
Before entering on his instructions in theology, which both for himself and his scholars had most peculiar interest, it may be necessary to notice the religious character which more or less pervaded the rest of the lessons. When his pupils heard him in
preaching recommend them “ to note in any common work that they read, such judgments of men and things, and such a tone in speaking of them as are manifestly at variance with the Spirit of Christ," (Serm. vol. iii. p. 116,) or when they heard him ask “ whether the Christian ever feels more keenly awake to the purity of the spirit of the Gospel, than when he reads the history of crimes related with no true sense of their evil,” (Serm. vol. ii. p. 223,) instances would immediately occur to them from his own practice, to prove how truly he felt what he said. No direct instruction could leave on their minds a livelier image of his disgust at moral evil, than the black cloud of indignation which passed over his face when speaking of the crimes of Napoleon, or of Cæsar, and the dead pause which followed, as if the acts had just been committed in his very presence. No expression of his reverence for a high standard of Christian excellence could have been more striking than the almost involuntary expressions of admiration which broke from him whenever mention was made of St. Louis of France. No general teaching of the providential government of the world could have left a deeper impression, than the casual allusions to it, which occurred as they came to any of the critical moments in the history of Greece and Rome; no more forcible contrast could have been drawn between the value of Christianity and of heathenism, than the manner with which, for example, after reading in the earlier part of the lesson one of the Scripture descriptions of the Gentile world, “Now," he said, as he opened the Satires of Horace, “we shall see what it was."
Still it was in the Scripturelessons that this found most scope.
In the lower forms it was rather that most prominence was given to them, and that they were placed under better regulations than that they were increased in amount. In the Sixth Form, besides the lectures on Sunday, he also introduced two lectures on the Old or New Testament in the course of the week, so that a boy who remained there three years would often have read through a great part of the New Testament, much of the Old Testament, and especially of the Psalms in the Septuagint version, and also committed much of them to memory; whilst at times he would deliver lectures on the history of the early Church, or of the English Reformation. In these lessons he would insist much on the importance of familiarity with the very words of Scripture, and of the exact place where passages occurred; on their thorough acquaintance with the different parts of the story contained in the several Gospels, that they might be able at once to refer to them ; on their knowledge of the times at which, and the persons to whom, the Epistles were addressed. In their translation of the New Testament, whilst he encouraged them to use the language of the authorized version as much as possible, he was very particular in not allowing them to use words which fail to convey the meaning of the original, or which by frequent use have lost all definite meaning of their own,—such as “edification,” or “the Gospel.” Whatever dogmatical instruction he gave was conveyed
a For his own feeling about them, see Sermons, vol. iv. pp. 317. 321.
almost entirely in a practical or exegetical shape; and it was very rarely indeed that he made any allusion to existing parties or controversies within the Church of England. His own peculiar views, which need not be noticed in this place, transpired more or less throughout; but the great proportion of his interpretations were such as most of his pupils, of whatever opinions, eagerly collected and preserved for their own use in after life.
But more important than any details was the union of reverence and reality in his whole manner of treating the Scriptures, which so distinguished these lessons from such as may in themselves almost as little deserve the name of religious instruction as many lessons commonly called secular. The same searching questions, the same vividness which marked his historical lessons,—the same anxiety to bring all that he said home to their own feelings, which made him, in preparing them for confirmation, endeavour to make them say, “ Christ died for me,” instead of the general phrase, “ Christ died for us,”—must often, when applied to the natural vagueness of boys' notions on religious subjects, have dispelled it for ever. “ He appeared to me,” writes a pupil, whose intercourse with him never extended beyond these lessons, “ to be remarkable for his habit of realizing every thing that we are told in Scripture. You know how frequently we can ourselves, and how constantly we hear others go prosing on in a sort of religious cant or slang, which is as easy to learn as any other technical jargon, without seeing as it were by that faculty, which all possess, of picturing to the mind, and acting as if we really saw things unseen belong