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and remember that I want to have full and free censures, reserving to myself, of course, the privilege of following them or not, as I shall see cause, but promising to give them the fullest attention. I think I might rely on the Provost's being kind enough to give me his criticisms, as he has already done it to some of the earlier chapters, and almost all bis suggestions are such as I shall thankfully follow. I am a little anxious that our Oxford edition of Thucydides should be as good as any which they are publishing in Germany.
TO REV. JOHN TUCKER.
Laleham, March 4, 1827. I meant to have written almost immediately upon my return home from Kent; for delightful as is the recollection of my short visit to you on every other ground, I was, and have been ever since, a good deal annoyed by some part of our conversation, i. e. by observing the impression produced on your mind by some of the opinions which I expressed. It is to me personally a very great pain that I should have excited feelings of disapprobation in the mind of a man whom I so entirely approve and love, and yet that I cannot feel the disapprobation to be deserved, and therefore cannot remove the cause of it. And on more general grounds it makes me fear, that those engaged in the same great cause will never heartily sink their little differences of opinion, when I find that you, who have known me so long, cannot hear them without thinking them not merely erroneous, but morally wrong, and such, therefore, as give you pain when uttered. I am not in the least going to renew the argument; it is very likely that I was wrong in it; and I am sure it would not annoy me that you should think me so, just as I may think you wrong in any point, or as I think J. Keble wrong in half an hundred, yet without being grieved that he should hold them, that is, grieved as at a fault. You may say that a great many erroneous opinions imply no moral fault at all, but that mine did, namely, the fault of an unsubmissive understanding. But it seems to me that of all faults, this is the most difficult to define or to discern: for who shall say where the understanding ought to submit itself, unless where it is inclined to advocate any thing immoral? We know that what in one age has been called the spirit of rebellious reason, has in another been allowed by all good men to have been nothing but a sound judgment exempt from superstition. We know that the Catholics look with as great horror on the consequences of denying the infallibility of the Church as you can do on those of denying the entire inspiration of the Scriptures; and that, to come nearer to the point, the inspiration of the Scriptures in points of physical science was once insisted on as stoutly as it is now maintained with regard to matter of history. Now it may be correct to deny their inspiration in one and not in the other; but I think it is hard to ascribe the one opinion to any thing morally faulty more than the other. I am far from thinking myself so good a man by many degrees as you are. I am not so advanced a Christian. But I am sure that my love for the Gospel is as sincere, and my desire to bring every thought into the obedience of Christ is one which I think I do not deceive myself in believing that I honestly feel. It is very painful, therefore, to be suspected of paying them only a divided homage, or to be deficient in reverence to Him whom every year that I live my whole soul and spirit own with a more entire certainty and love. Let me again say, that I am neither defending the truth of the particular opinions which I expressed to you, nor yet disavowing them. I only think that it is a pity that they should shock you; as I think we ought to know one another's principles well enough by this time, not certainly to make us acquiesce in all each other's opinions, but to be satisfied that they may be entertained innocently, and that, therefore, we may differ from each other without pain. But enough of this; only it has annoyed me a great deal, and has made me doubt where I can find a person to whom I may speak freely if I cannot do so even
LETTERS RELATING TO THE ELECTION AT RUGBY.
TO REV. E. HAWKINS.
Laleham, October 21, 1827. I feel most sincerely obliged to you and my other friends in Oxford for the kind interest which you show in my behalf, in wishing to procure for me the head-mastership at Rugby. Of its being a great deal more lucrative than my present employment I have no doubt ; nor of its being in itself a situation of more extensive usefulness; but I do doubt whether it would be so in my hands, and how far I am fitted for the place of head-master of a large school.
.. I confess that I should very much object to undertake a charge in which I was not invested with pretty full discretion. According to my notions of what large schools are, founded on all I know and all I have ever heard of them, expulsion should be practised much oftener than it is. Now, I know that trustees, in general, are averse to this plan, because it has a tendency to lessen the numbers of the school, and they regard quantity more than quality. In fact, my opinions on this point might, perhaps, generally be considered as disqualifying me for the situation of master of a great school; yet I could not consent to tolerate much that I know is tolerated generally, and, therefore, I should not like to enter on an office which I could not discharge according to my own views of what is right. I do not believe myself, that my system would be, in fact, a cruel or a harsh one, and I believe that with much care on the part of the masters, it would be seldom necessary to proceed to the ratio ultima; only I would have it clearly
understood, that I would most unscrupulously resort to it, at whatever inconvenience, where there was a perseverance in any habit inconsistent with a boy's duties.
TO REV. GEORGE CORNISH.
Laleham, November 30, 1827. You have often wanted me to be master at Winchester, so I think you will be glad to hear that I am actually a candidate for Rugby. I was strongly urged to stand, and money tempted me, but I cannot in my heart be sorry to stay where both M. and myself are so entirely happy. If I do get it, I feel as if I could set to work very heartily, and, with God's blessing, I should like to try whether my notions of Christian education are really impracticable, whether our system of public schools has not in it some noble elements which, under the blessing of the Spirit of all holiness and wisdom, might produce fruit even to life eternal. When I think about it thus, I really long to take rod in hand; but when I think of the após tò ténos, the perfect vileness which I must daily contemplate, the certainty that this can at best be only partially remedied, the irksomeness of “ fortemque Gyan fortemque Cloanthum," and the greater form and publicity of the life which we should there lead, when I could no more bathe daily in the clear Thames, nor wear old coats and Russia duck trousers, nor hang on a gallows, nor climb a pole, I grieve to think of the possibility of a change; but as there are about thirty candidates, and I only applied very late, I think I need not disquiet myself.
TO REV. E. HAWKINS. (AFTER THE ELECTION.)
Laleham, December 28, 1827. Your kind little note ought not to have remained thus long unanswered, especially as you have a most particular claim on my thanks for your active kindness in the whole business, and for your character of me to Sir H. Halford, that I was likely to improve generally the system of public education, a statement which Sir H. Halford told me had weighed most strongly in my favour. You would not, I am sure, have recommended me, if you had supposed that I should alter things violently or for the pleasure of altering; but, as I have at different times expressed in conversation my disapprobation of much of the existing system, I find that some people expect that I am going to sweep away root and branch, quod absit! I need not tell you how wholly unexpected this result has been to us, and I hope I need not say also what a solemn and almost overwhelming responsibility I feel is imposed on me. I would hope to have the prayers of my friends, together with my own, for a supply of that true wisdom which is required for such a business. To be sure, how small in comparison is the importance of my teaching the boys to read Greek, and how light would be a schoolmaster's duty if that were all of it. Yet, if my bealth and strength continue as they have been for the last eight years, I do not fear the labour, and really enjoy the prospect of it. I am so glad that we are likely to meet soon in Oxford.
a His gymnastic exercises.
TO REV. JOHN TUCKER.
Laleham, March 2. With regard to reforms at Rugby, give me credit, I must beg of you, for a most sincere desire to make it a place of Christian education. At the same time my object will be, if possible, to form Christian men, for Christian boys I can scarcely hope to make; I mean that, from the natural imperfect state of boyhood, they are not susceptible of Christian principles in their full development upon their practice, and I suspect that a low standard of morals in