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A Writer's Recollections (In Two Volumes), Volume I by Mrs. Humphry Ward

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The climate, indeed, had already begun its deadly attack upon an
organism as fine and sensitive as any of the myriad victims which the
secret forces of India's sun and soil have exacted from her European
invaders. In 1853, William Delafield Arnold came home invalided, with
his wife and his elder two children. The third, Oakeley (the future War
Minister in Mr. Balfour's Government), was born in England in 1855.
There were projects of giving up India and settling at home. The young
soldier whose literary gift, always conspicuous among the nine in the
old childish Fox How days, and already shown in _Oakfield_, was becoming
more and more marked, was at this time a frequent contributor to the
_Times_, the _Economist_, and _Fraser_, and was presently offered the
editorship of the _Economist_. But just as he was about to accept it,
came a flattering offer from India, no doubt through the influence of
Sir John Lawrence, of the Directorship of Public Instruction in the
Punjaub. He thought himself bound to accept it, and with his wife and
two children went out again at the end of 1855. His business was to
organize the whole of native education in the Punjaub, and he did it so
well during the short time that remained to him before the Mutiny broke
out, that during all that time of terror, education in the Punjaub was
never interrupted, the attendances at the schools never dropped, and the
young Director went about his work, not knowing often, indeed, whether
the whole province might not be aflame within twenty-four hours, and its
Anglo-Indian administration wiped out, but none the less undaunted and

To this day, three portrait medals in gold and silver are given every
year to the best pupils in the schools of the Punjaub, the product of a
fund raised immediately after his death by William Arnold's
fellow-workers there, in order to commemorate his short heroic course in
that far land, and to preserve, if they could, some record of that
"sweet stateliness" of aspect, to use the expression of one who loved
him, which "had so fascinated his friends."

The Mutiny passed. Sir John Lawrence paid public and flattering tribute
to the young official who had so amply justified a great man's choice.
And before the storm had actually died away, within a fortnight of the
fall of Delhi, while it was not yet certain that the troops on their way
would arrive in time to prevent further mischief, my uncle, writing to
my father of the awful days of suspense from the 14th to the 30th of
September, says:

A more afflicted country than this has been since I returned to it
in November. 1855--afflicted by Dearth--Deluge--Pestilence--far
worse than war, it would be hard to imagine. _In the midst of it
all, the happiness of our domestic life has been almost perfect_.

With that touching sentence the letters to my father, so far, at least,
as I possess them, come to an end. Alas! In the following year the
gentle wife and mother, worn out by India, died at a hill-station in the
Himalayas, and a few months later her husband, ill and heartbroken, sent
his motherless children home by long sea, and followed himself by the
overland route. Too late! He was taken ill in Egypt, struggled on to
Malta, and was put ashore at Gibraltar to die. From Cairo he had written
to the beloved mother who was waiting for him in that mountain home he
so longed to reach, that he hoped to be able to travel in a fortnight.

But do not trust to this.... Do not in fact expect me till you hear
that I am in London. I much fear that it may be long before I see
dear, dear Fox How. In London I must have advice, and I feel sure
I shall be ordered to the South of England till the hot weather is
well advanced. I must wait too in London for the darling children.
But once in London, I cannot but think my dearest mother will
manage to see me, and I have even had visions of your making one
of your spring tours, and going with me to Torquay or wherever I
may go.... Plans--plans--plans! They will keep.

And a few days later:

As I said before, do not expect me in England till you hear I am
there. Perhaps I was too eager to get home. Assuredly I have been
checked, and I feel as if there were much trouble between me and
home yet.... I see in the papers the death of dear Mrs.

Ever my beloved mother ...

Your very loving son,


He started for England, but at Gibraltar, a dying man, was carried
ashore. His younger brother, sent out from England in post haste, missed
him by ill chance at Alexandria and Malta, and arrived too late. He was
buried under the shelter of the Rock of Spain and the British flag. His
intimate friend, Meredith Townsend, the joint editor and creator of the
_Spectator_, wrote to the _Times_ shortly after his death:

William Arnold did not live long enough (he was thirty-one) to gain
his true place in the world, but he had time enough given him to
make himself of importance to a Government like that of Lord
Dalhousie, to mold the education of a great province, and to win
the enduring love of all with whom he ever came in contact.

It was left, however, for his poet-brother to build upon his early grave
"the living record of his memory." A month after "Willy's" death, "Matt"
was wandering where--

beneath me, bright and wide
Lay the low coast of Brittany--

with the thought of "Willy" in his mind, as he turns to the sea that
will never now bring the wanderer home.

O, could he once have reached the air
Freshened by plunging tides, by showers!
Have felt this breath he loved, of fair
Cool northern fields, and grain, and flowers.

He longed for it--pressed on!--In vain!
At the Straits failed that spirit brave,
The south was parent of his pain,
The south is mistress of his grave.

Or again, in "A Southern Night"--where he muses on the "two jaded
English," man and wife, who lie, one under the Himalayas, the other
beside "the soft Mediterranean." And his first thought is that for the
"spent ones of a work-day age," such graves are out of keeping.

In cities should we English lie
Where cries are rising ever new,
And men's incessant stream goes by!--
* * * * *
Not by those hoary Indian hills,
Not by this gracious Midland sea
Whose floor to-night sweet moonshine fills
Should our graves be!

Some Eastern sage pursuing "the pure goal of being"--"He by those Indian
mountains old, might well repose." Crusader, troubadour, or maiden dying
for love--

Such by these waters of romance
'Twas meet to lay!

And then he turns upon himself. For what is beauty, what wisdom, what
romance if not the tender goodness of women, if not the high soul of

Mild o'er her grave, ye mountains, shine!
Gently by his, ye waters, glide!
To that in you which is divine
They were allied.

* * * * *

Only a few days after their father's death, the four orphan children of
the William Arnolds arrived at Fox How. They were immediately adopted as
their own by William and Jane Forster, who had no children; and later
they added the name of Forster to that of Arnold. At that moment I was
at school at Ambleside, and I remember well my first meeting with the
Indian children, and how I wondered at their fair skins and golden hair
and frail, ethereal looks.

By this time Fox How was in truth a second home to me. But I have still
to complete the tale of those who made it so. Edward Penrose, the
Doctor's fourth son, who died in 1878, on the threshold of fifty, was a
handsome, bearded man of winning presence and of many friends. He was at
Balliol, then a Fellow of All Souls, and in Orders. But he first found
his real vocation as an Inspector of Schools in Devon and Cornwall, and
for eighteen years, from 1860 to 1878, through the great changes in
elementary education produced by his brother-in-law's Education Act, he
was the ever-welcome friend of teachers and children all over the wide
and often remote districts of the West country which his work covered.
He had not the gifts of his elder brothers--neither the genius of
Matthew nor the restless energy and initiative of William Delafield, nor
the scholarly and researching tastes of my father; and his later life
was always a struggle against ill-health. But he had Matthew's kindness,
and Matthew's humor--the "chaff" between the two brothers was
endless!--and a large allowance of William's charm. His unconscious talk
in his last illness was often of children. He seemed to see them before
him in the country school-rooms, where his coming--the coming of "the
tall gentleman with the kind blue eyes," as an eye-witness describes
him--was a festa, excellent official though he was. He carried
enthusiasm into the cause of popular education, and that is not a very
common enthusiasm in this country of ours. Yet the cause is nothing more
nor less than the cause of _the international intelligence_, and its
sharpening for the national tasks. But education has always been the
Cinderella of politics; this nation apparently does not love to be
taught! Those who grapple with its stubbornness in this field can never
expect the ready palm that falls to the workers in a dozen other fields.
But in the seed sown, and the human duty done, they find their reward.

"Aunt Mary," Arnold's second daughter, I have already spoken of. When my
father and mother reached England from Tasmania, she had just married
again, a Leicestershire clergyman, with a house and small estate near
Loughborough. Her home--Woodhouse--on the borders of Charnwood Forest,
and the beautiful Beaumanoir Park, was another fairyland to me and to my
cousins. Its ponds and woods and reed-beds; its distant summer-house
between two waters, where one might live and read and dream through long
summer hours, undisturbed; its pleasant rooms, above all the "tapestry
room" where I generally slept, and which I always connected with the
description of the huntsman on the "arras," in "Tristram and Iseult";
the Scott novels I devoured there, and the "Court" nights at Beaumanoir,
where some feudal customs were still kept up, and its beautiful
mistress, Mrs. Herrick, the young wife of an old man, queened it very
graciously over neighbors and tenants--all these are among the lasting
memories of life. Mrs. Herrick became identified in my imagination with
each successive Scott heroine,--Rowena, Isabella, Rose Bradwardine, the
White Lady of Avenel, and the rest. But it was Aunt Mary herself, after
all, who held the scene. In that Leicestershire world of High Toryism,
she raised the Liberal flag--her father's flag--with indomitable
courage, but also with a humor which, after the tragic hours of her
youth, flowered out in her like something new and unexpectedly
delightful. It must have been always there, but not till marriage and
motherhood, and F.D. Maurice's influence, had given her peace of soul
does it seem to have shown itself as I remember it--a golden and
pervading quality, which made life unfailingly pleasant beside her. Her
clear, dark eyes, with their sweet sincerity, and the touch in them of a
quiet laughter, of which the causes were not always clear to the
bystanders, her strong face with its points of likeness to her father's,
and all her warm and most human personality--they are still vividly
present to me, though it is nearly thirty years since, after an hour or
two's pain, she died suddenly and unexpectedly, of the same malady that
killed her father. Consumed in her youth by a passionate idealism, she
had accepted at the hands of life, and by the age of four and twenty, a
lot by no means ideal--a home in the depths of the country, among
neighbors often uncongenial, and far from the intellectual pleasures she
had tasted during her young widowhood in London. But out of this lot she
made something beautiful, and all her own--by sheer goodness,
conscience, intelligence. She had her angles and inconsistencies; she
often puzzled those who loved her; but she had a large brain and a large
heart; and for us colonial children, conscious of many disadvantages
beside our English-born cousins, she had a peculiar tenderness, a
peculiar laughing sympathy, that led us to feel in "Aunt Maria" one of
our best friends.

Susan Arnold, the Doctor's fourth daughter, married Mr. John Cropper in
1858, and here, too, in her house beside the Mersey, among fields and
trees that still maintain a green though besmutted oasis in the busy
heart of Liverpool, that girdles them now on all sides, and will soon
engulf them, there were kindness and welcome for the little Tasmanians.
She died a few years ago, mourned and missed by her own people--those
lifelong neighbors who know truly what we are. Of the fifth daughter,
Frances, "Aunt Fan," I may not speak, because she is still with us in
the old house--alive to every political and intellectual interest of
these darkened days, beloved by innumerable friends in many worlds, and
making sunshine still for Arnold's grandchildren and their children's
children. But it was to her that my own stormy childhood was chiefly
confided, at Fox How; it was she who taught the Tasmanian child to read,
and grappled with her tempers; and while she is there the same magic as
of old clings about Fox How for those of us who have loved it, and all
it stands for, so long.



It remains for me now to say something of those friends of Fox How and
my father whose influence, or whose living presence, made the atmosphere
in which the second generation of children who loved Fox How grew up.

Wordsworth died in 1850, the year before I was born. He and my
grandfather were much attached to each other--"old Coleridge," says my
grandfather, "inoculated a little knot of us with the love of
Wordsworth"--though their politics were widely different, and the poet
sometimes found it hard to put up with the reforming views of the
younger man. In a letter printed in Stanley's _Life_ my grandfather
mentions "a good fight" with Wordsworth over the Reform Bill of 1832, on
a walk to Greenhead Ghyll. And there is a story told of a girl friend of
the family who, once when Wordsworth had been paying a visit at Fox How,
accompanied him and the Doctor part of the way home to Rydal Mount.
Something was inadvertently said to stir the old man's Toryism, and he
broke out in indignant denunciation of some views expressed by Arnold.
The storm lasted all the way to Pelter Bridge, and the girl on Arnold's
left stole various alarmed glances at him to see how he was taking it.
He said little or nothing, and at Pelter Bridge they all parted,
Wordsworth going on to Rydal Mount, and the other two turning back
toward Fox How. Arnold paced along, his hands behind his back, his eyes
on the ground, and his companion watched him, till he suddenly threw
back his head with a laugh of enjoyment.--"What _beautiful_ English the
old man talks!"

The poet complained sometimes--as I find from an amusing passage in the
letter to Mr. Howson quoted below, that he could not see enough of his
neighbor, the Doctor, on a mountain walk, because Arnold was always so
surrounded with children and pupils, "like little dogs" running round
and after him. But no differences, great or small, interfered with his
constant friendship to Fox How. The garden there was largely planned by
him during the family absences at Rugby; the round chimneys of the house
are said to be of his design; and it was for Fox How, which still
possesses the MS., that the fine sonnet was written, beginning--

Wansfell, this household has a favored lot
Living with liberty on thee to gaze--

a sonnet which contains, surely, two or three of the most magical lines
that Wordsworth ever wrote.

It is of course no purpose of these notes to give any fresh account of
Wordsworth at Rydal, or any exhaustive record of the relations between
the Wordsworths and Fox How, especially after the recent publication of
Professor Harper's fresh, interesting, though debatable biography. But
from the letters in my hands I glean a few things worth recording. Here,
for instance, is a passing picture of Matthew Arnold and Wordsworth in
the Fox How drawing-room together, in January, 1848, which I find in a
letter from my grandmother to my father:

Matt has been very much pleased, I think, by what he has seen of dear
old Wordsworth since he has been at home, and certainly he manages to
draw him out very well. The old man was here yesterday, and as he sat
on the stool in the corner beside the fire which you knew so well,
he talked of various subjects of interest, of Italian poetry, of
Coleridge, etc., etc.; and he looked and spoke with more vigor than
he has often done lately.

But the poet's health was failing. His daughter Dora's death in 1847 had
hit him terribly hard, and his sister's state--the helpless though
gentle insanity of the unique, the beloved Dorothy--weighed heavily on
his weakening strength. I find a touching picture of him in the
unpublished letter referred to on a previous page, written in this very
year--1848--to Dean Howson, as a young man, by his former pupil, the
late Duke of Argyll, the distinguished author of _The Reign of
Law_--which Dean Howson's son and the Duke's grandson allow me to print.
The Rev. J.S. Howson, afterward Dean of Chester, married a sister of the
John Cropper who married Susan Arnold, and was thus a few years later
brought into connection with the Arnolds and Fox How. The Duke and
Duchess had set out to visit both the Lakes and the Lakes
"celebrities," advised, evidently, as to their tour, by the Duke's old
tutor, who was already familiar with the valleys and some of their
inmates. Their visit to Fox How is only briefly mentioned, but of
Wordsworth and Rydal Mount the Duke gives a long account. The picture,
first, of drooping health and spirits, and then of the flaming out of
the old poetic fire, will, I think, interest any true Wordsworthian.

On Saturday [writes the Duke] we reached Ambleside and soon after
drove to Rydal Mount. We found the Poet seated at his fireside,
and a little languid in manner. He became less so as he talked.
... He talked incessantly, but not generally interestingly.... I
looked at him often and asked myself if that was the man who had
stamped the impress of his own mind so decidedly on a great part
of the literature of his age! He took us to see a waterfall near
his house, and talked and chattered, but said nothing remarkable
or even thoughtful. Yet I could see that all this was only that
we were on the surface, and did not indicate any decay of mental
powers. [Still] we went away with no other impression than the
vaguest of having seen the man, whose writings we knew so well--
and with no feeling that we had seen anything of the mind which
spoke through them.

On the following day, Sunday, the Duke with a friend walked over to
Rydal, but found no one at the Mount but an invalid lady, very old, and
apparently paralyzed, "drawn in a bath chair by a servant." They did not
realize that the poor sufferer, with her wandering speech and looks, was
Dorothy Wordsworth, whose share in her great brother's fame will never
be forgotten while literature lasts.

In the evening, however--

... after visiting Mrs. Arnold we drove together to bid Wordsworth
good-by, as we were to go next morning. We found the old man as
before, seated by the fireside and languid and sleepy in manner.
Again he awakened as conversation went on, and, a stranger coming
in, we rose to go away. He seemed unwilling that we should go so
soon, and said he would walk out with us. We went to the mound in
front, and the Duchess then asked if he would repeat some of his own
lines to us. He said he hardly thought he could do that, but that he
would have been glad to read some to us. We stood looking at the
view for some time, when Mrs. Wordsworth came out and asked us back
to the house to take some tea. This was just what we wanted. We sat
for about half an hour at tea, during which I tried to direct the
conversation to interesting subjects--Coleridge, Southey, etc. He
gave a very different impression from the preceding evening. His
memory seemed clear and unclouded--his remarks forcible and
decided--with some tendency to run off to irrelevant anecdote.

When tea was over, we renewed our request that he should read to us.
He said, "Oh dear, that is terrible!" but consented, asking what we
chose. He jumped at "Tintern Abbey" in preference to any part of the

He told us he had written "Tintern Abbey" in 1798, taking four days
to compose it; the last twenty lines or so being composed as he
walked down the hill from Clifton to Bristol. It was curious to feel
that we were to hear a Poet read his own verses composed fifty years

He read the introductory lines descriptive of the scenery in a low,
clear voice. But when he came to the thoughtful and reflective
lines, his tones deepened and he poured them forth with a fervor and
almost passion of delivery which was very striking and beautiful. I
observed that Mrs. Wordsworth was strongly affected during the
reading. The strong emphasis that he put on the words addressed to
the person to whom the poem is written struck me as almost unnatural
at the time. "My DEAR, DEAR friend!"--and on the words, "In thy wild
eyes." It was not till after the reading was over that we found out
that the poor paralytic invalid we had seen in the morning was the
_sister_ to whom "Tintern Abbey" was addressed, and her condition,
now, accounted for the fervor with which the old Poet read lines
which reminded him of their better days. But it was melancholy to
think that the vacant gaze we had seen in the morning was from the
"wild eyes" of 1798.

... We could not have had a better opportunity of bringing out in
his reading the source of the inspiration of his poetry, which it
was impossible not to feel was the poetry of the heart. Mrs.
Wordsworth told me it was the first time he had read since his
daughter's death, and that she was thankful to us for having made
him do it, as he was apt to fall into a listless, languid state. We
asked him to come to Inverary. He said he had not courage; as he had
last gone through that country with his daughter, and he feared it
would be too much for him.

Less than two years after this visit, on April 23, 1850, the deathday of
Shakespeare and Cervantes, Arnold's youngest daughter, now Miss Arnold
of Fox How, was walking with her sister Susan on the side of Loughrigg
which overlooks Rydal Mount. They knew that the last hour of a great
poet was near--to my aunts, not only a great poet, but the familiar
friend of their dead father and all their kindred. They moved through
the April day, along the mountainside, under the shadow of death; and,
suddenly, as they looked at the old house opposite, unseen hands drew
down the blinds; and by the darkened windows they knew that the life of
Wordsworth had gone out.

Henceforward, in the family letters to my father, it is Mrs. Wordsworth
who comes into the foreground. The old age prophesied for her by her
poet bridegroom in the early Grasmere days was about her for the nine
years of her widowhood, "lovely as a Lapland night"; or rather like one
of her own Rydal evenings when the sky is clear over the perfect little
lake, and the reflections of island and wood and fell go down and down,
unearthly far into the quiet depths, and Wansfell still "parleys with
the setting sun." My grandmother writes of her--of "her sweet grace and
dignity," and the little friendly acts she is always doing for this
person and that, gentle or simple, in the valley--with a tender
enthusiasm. She is "dear Mrs. Wordsworth" always, for them all. And it
is my joy that in the year 1856 or 1857 my grandmother took me to Rydal
Mount, and that I can vividly recollect sitting on a footstool at Mrs.
Wordsworth's feet. I see still the little room, with its plain
furniture, the chair beside the fire, and the old lady in it. I can
still recall the childish feeling that this was no common visit, and the
house no common house--that a presence still haunted it. Instinctively
the childish mind said to itself, "Remember!"--and I have always

A few years later I was again, as a child of eight, in Rydal Mount. Mrs.
Wordsworth was dead, and there was a sale in the house. From far and
near the neighbors came, very curious, very full of real regret, and a
little awe-stricken. They streamed through the rooms where the furniture
was arranged in lots. I wandered about by myself, and presently came
upon something which absorbed me so that I forgot everything else--a
store of Easter eggs, with wonderful drawings and devices, made by
"James," the Rydal Mount factotum, in the poet's day. I recollect
sitting down with them in a nearly empty room, dreaming over them in a
kind of ecstasy, because of their pretty, strange colors and pictures.

Fifty-two years passed, and I found myself, in September, 1911, the
tenant of a renovated and rebuilt Rydal Mount, for a few autumn weeks.
The house was occupied then, and is still occupied by Wordsworth's
great-granddaughter and her husband--Mr. and Mrs. Fisher Wordsworth. My
eldest daughter was with me, and a strange thing happened to us. I
arrived at the Mount before my husband and daughter. She joined me there
on September 13th. I remember how eagerly I showed her the many
Wordsworthiana in the house, collected by the piety of its mistress--the
Haydon portrait on the stairs, and the books, in the small low-ceiled
room to the right of the hall, which is still just as it was in
Wordsworth's day; the garden, too, and the poet's walk. All my own early
recollections were alive; we chattered long and late. And now let the
account of what happened afterward be given in my daughter's words as
she wrote it down for me the following morning.

RYDAL MOUNT, _September 14, 1911._

Last night, my first at Rydal Mount, I slept in the corner room,
over the small sitting-room. I had drawn up the blind about half-way
up the window before going to bed, and had drawn the curtain aside,
over the back of a wooden arm-chair that stood against the window.
The window, a casement, was wide open. I slept soundly, but woke
quite suddenly, at what hour I do not know, and found myself sitting
bolt upright in bed, looking toward the window. Very bright
moonlight was shining into the room and I could just see the corner
of Loughrigg out in the distance. My first impression was of bright
moonlight, but then I became strongly conscious of the moonlight
striking on something, and I saw perfectly clearly the figure of an
old man sitting in the arm-chair by the window. I said to myself,
"That's Wordsworth!" He was sitting with either hand resting on the
arms of the chair, leaning back, his head rather bent, and he seemed
to be looking down straight in front of him with a rapt expression.
He was not looking at me, nor out of the window. The moonlight lit
up the top of his head and the silvery hair and I noticed that the
hair was very thin. The whole impression was of something solemn and
beautiful, and I was not in the very least frightened. As I looked--
I cannot say, when I looked again, for I have no recollection of
ceasing to look, or looking away--the figure disappeared and I
became aware of the empty chair.--I lay back again, and thought for
a moment in a pleased and contented way, "That was Wordsworth." And
almost immediately I must have fallen asleep again. I had not, to my
knowledge, been dreaming about Wordsworth before I awoke; but I had
been reading Hutton's essay on "Wordsworth's Two Styles" out of
Knight's _Wordsworthiana_, before I fell asleep.

I should add that I had a distinct impression of the high collar and
stock, the same as in the picture on the stairs in this house.

Neither the seer of this striking vision--unique in her experience--nor
I, to whom she told it within eight hours, make any claim for it to a
supernatural origin. It seemed to us an interesting example of the
influence of mind and association on the visualizing power of the brain.
A member of the Psychical Society, to whom I sent the contemporary
record, classified it as "a visual hallucination," and I don't know that
there is anything more to be said about it. But the pathetic coincidence
remains still to be noted--we did not know it till afterward--that the
seer of the vision was sleeping in Dorothy Wordsworth's room, where
Dorothy spent so many sad years of death-in-life; and that in that very
corner by the window Wordsworth must have sat, day after day, when he
came to visit what remained to him of that creature of fire and dew,
that child of genius, who had been the inspiration and support of his
poetic youth.

In these rapid sketches of the surroundings and personal influences amid
which my own childhood was passed I have already said something of my
father's intimate friend Arthur Hugh Clough. Clough was, of course, a
Rugbeian, and one of Arnold's ablest and most devoted pupils. He was
about three years older than my father, and was already a Fellow of
Oriel when Thomas Arnold, the younger, was reading for his First. But
the difference of age made no difference to the friendship which grew up
between them in Oxford, a friendship only less enduring and close than
that between Clough and Matthew Arnold, which has been "eternized," to
use a word of Fulke Greville's, by the noble dirge of "Thyrsis." Not
many years before his own death, in 1895, my father wrote of the friend
of his youth:

I loved him, oh, so well: and also respected him more profoundly
than any man, anywhere near my own age, whom I ever met. His pure
soul was without stain: he seemed incapable of being inflamed by
wrath, or tempted to vice, or enslaved by any unworthy passion of
any sort. As to "Philip," something that he saw in me helped to
suggest the character--that was all. There is much in Philip that is
Clough himself, and there is a dialectic force in him that certainly
was never in me. A great yearning for possessing one's soul in
freedom--for trampling on ceremony and palaver, for trying
experiments in equality, being common to me and Philip, sent me out
to New Zealand; and in the two years before I sailed (December,
1847) Clough and I were a great deal together.

It was partly also the visit paid by my father and his friend, John
Campbell Shairp, afterward Principal Shairp of St. Andrew's, to Clough's
reading party at Drumnadrochit in 1845, and their report of incidents
which had happened to them on their way along the shores of Loch Ericht,
which suggested the scheme of the "Bothie." One of the half-dozen short
poems of Clough which have entered permanently into literature--_Qui
laborat oral_--was found by my father one morning on the table of his
bachelor rooms in Mount Street, after Clough had spent the night on a
shake-up in his sitting-room, and on his early departure had left the
poem behind him as payment for his night's lodging. In one of Clough's
letters to New Zealand I find, "Say not the struggle nought
availeth"--another of the half-dozen--written out by him; and the
original copy--_tibi primo confisum_, of the pretty, though unequal
verses, "A London Idyll." The little volume of miscellaneous poems,
called _Ambarvalia,_ and the "Bothie of Tober-na-Vuo-lich" were sent out
to New Zealand by Clough, at the same moment that Matt was sending his
brother the _Poems by A_.

Clough writes from Liverpool in February, 1849--having just received
Matt's volume:

At last our own Matt's book! Read mine first, my child, if our
volumes go forth together. Otherwise you won't read
mine--_Ambarvalia_, at any rate--at all. Froude also has published a
new book of religious biography, auto or otherwise (_The Nemesis of
Faith_), and therewithal resigns his Fellowship. But the Rector (of
Exeter) talks of not accepting the resignation, but having an
expulsion--fire and fagot fashion. _Quo usque_?

But when the books arrive, my father writes to his sister with
affectionate welcome indeed of the _Poems by A_, but with enthusiasm of
the "Bothie."

It greatly surpasses my expectations! It is on the whole a noble
poem, well held together, clear, full of purpose, and full of
promise. With joy I see the old fellow bestiring himself, "awakening
like a strong man out of sleep and shaking his invincible locks";
and if he remains true and works, I think there is nothing too high
or too great to be expected from him.

"True," and a worker, Clough remained to the last hours of his short
life. But in spite of a happy marriage, the burden and perplexity of
philosophic thought, together with the strain of failing health,
checked, before long, the strong poetic impulse shown in the "Bothie,"
its buoyant delight in natural beauty, and in the simplicities of human
feeling and passion. The "music" of his "rustic flute".

Kept not for long its happy, country tone;
Lost it too soon, and learnt a stormy note
Of men contention-tost, of men who groan.

The poet of the "Bothie" becomes the poet of "Dipsychus," "Easter Day,"
and the "Amours de Voyage"; and the young republican who writes in
triumph--all humorous joy and animation--to my father, from the Paris of
1848, which has just seen the overthrow of Louis Philippe, says, a year
later--February 24, 1849:

To-day, my dear brother republican, is the glorious anniversary of
'48, whereof what shall I now say? Put not your trust in republics,
nor in any constitution of man! God be praised for the downfall of
Louis Philippe. This with a faint feeble echo of that loud last
year's scream of "_À bas Guizot_!" seems to be the sum total. Or are
we to salute the rising sun, with "_Vive l'Empereur!"_ and the green
liveries? President for life I think they'll make him, and then
begin to tire of him. Meanwhile the Great Powers are to restore the
Pope and crush the renascent Roman Republic, of which Joseph Mazzini
has just been declared a citizen!

A few months later, the writer--at Rome--"was in at the death" of this
same Roman Republic, listening to the French bombardment in bitterness
of soul.

I saw the French enter [he writes to my father]. Unto this has come
our grand Lib. Eq. and Frat. revolution! And then I went to Naples--
and home. I am full of admiration for Mazzini.... But on the
whole--"Farewell Politics!" utterly!--What can I do? Study is much
more to the purpose.

So in disillusion and disappointment, "Citizen Clough," leaving Oxford
and politics behind him, settled down to educational work in London,
married, and became the happy father of children, wrote much that was
remarkable, and will be long read--whether it be poetry or no--by those
who find perennial attraction in the lesser-known ways of literature and
thought, and at last closed his short life at Florence in 1862, at the
age of forty-one, leaving an indelible memory in the hearts of those who
had talked and lived with him.

To a boon southern country he is fled, And now in happier air,
Wandering with the Great Mother's train divine (And purer or more
subtle soul than thee, I trow the mighty Mother doth not see) Within
a folding of the Apennine,

Thou hearest the immortal chants of old!--

But I remember him, in an English setting, and on the slopes of English
hills. In the year 1858, as a child of seven, I was an inmate of a
little school kept at Ambleside, by Miss Anne Clough, the poet's sister,
afterward the well-known head of Newnham College, Cambridge, and wisest
leader in the cause of women. It was a small day-school for Ambleside
children of all ranks, and I was one of two boarders, spending my
Sundays often at Fox How. I can recall one or two golden days, at long
intervals, when my father came for me, with "Mr. Clough," and the two
old friends, who, after nine years' separation, had recently met again,
walked up the Sweden Bridge lane into the heart of Scandale Fell, while
I, paying no more attention to them than they--after a first ten
minutes--did to me, went wandering and skipping and dreaming by myself.
In those days every rock along the mountain lane, every boggy patch,
every stretch of silken, flower-sown grass, every bend of the wild
stream, and all its sounds, whether it chattered gently over stony
shallows or leaped full-throated into deep pools, swimming with foam--
were to me the never-ending joys of a "land of pure delight." Should I
find a ripe wild strawberry in a patch under a particular rock I knew by
heart?--or the first Grass of Parnassus, or the big auricula, or
streaming cotton-plant, amid a stretch of wet moss ahead? I might quite
safely explore these enchanted spots under male eyes, since they took no
account, mercifully, of a child's boots and stockings--male tongues,
besides, being safely busy with books and politics. Was that a dipper,
rising and falling along the stream, or--positively--a fat brown trout
in hiding under that shady bank?--or that a buzzard, hovering overhead.
Such hopes and doubts kept a child's heart and eyes as quick and busy as
the "beck" itself. It was a point of honor with me to get to Sweden
Bridge--a rough crossing for the shepherds and sheep, near the head of
the valley--before my companions; and I would sit dangling my feet over
the unprotected edge of its grass-grown arch, blissfully conscious on a
summer day of the warm stretches of golden fell folding in the stream,
the sheep, the hovering hawks, the stony path that wound up and up to
regions beyond the ken of thought; and of myself, queening it there on
the weather-worn keystone of the bridge, dissolved in the mere physical
joy of each contented sense--the sun on my cotton dress, the scents from
grass and moss, the marvelous rush of cloud-shadow along the hills, the
brilliant browns and blues in the water, the little white stones on its
tiny beaches, or the purples of the bigger rocks, whether in the stream
or on the mountain-side. How did they come there--those big rocks? I
puzzled my head about them a good deal, especially as my father, in the
walks we had to ourselves, would sometimes try and teach me a little

I have used the words "physical joy," because, although such passionate
pleasure in natural things as has been my constant Helper (in the sense
of the Greek [Greek: epikouros]) through life, has connected itself, no
doubt, in process of time, with various intimate beliefs, philosophic or
religious, as to the Beauty which is Truth, and therewith the only
conceivable key to man's experience, yet I could not myself indorse the
famous contrast in Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey," between the "haunting
passion" of youth's delight in Nature, and the more complex feeling of
later years when Nature takes an aspect colored by our own moods and
memories, when our sorrows and reflections enter so much into what we
feel about the "bright and intricate device" of earth and her seasons,
that "in our life alone doth Nature live." No one can answer for the
changing moods that the future, long or short, may bring with it. But so
far, I am inclined to think of this quick, intense pleasure in natural
things, which I notice in myself and others, as something involuntary
and inbred; independent--often selfishly independent--of the real human
experience. I have been sometimes ashamed--pricked even with self-
contempt--to remember how in the course of some tragic or sorrowful
hours, concerning myself, or others of great account to me, I could not
help observing some change in the clouds, some effect of color in the
garden, some picture on the wall, which pleased me--even for the
moment--intensely. The impression would be gone, perhaps, as soon as
felt, rebuked by something like a flash of remorse. But it was not in my
power to prevent its recurrence. And the delight in natural things--
colors, forms, scents--when there was nothing to restrain or hamper it,
has often been a kind of intoxication, in which thought and
consciousness seemed suspended--"as though of hemlock one had drunk."
Wordsworth has of course expressed it constantly, though increasingly,
as life went on, in combination with his pantheistic philosophy. But it
is my belief that it survived in him in its primitive form, almost to
the end.

The best and noblest people I have known have been, on the whole--except
in first youth--without this correspondence between some constant
pleasure-sense in the mind, and natural beauty. It cannot, therefore, be
anything to be proud of. But it is certainly something to be glad
of--"amid the chances and changes of this mortal life"; it is one of the
joys "in widest commonalty spread"--and that may last longest. It is
therefore surely to be encouraged both in oneself and in children; and
that, although I have often felt that there is something inhuman, or
infrahuman, in it, as though the earth-gods in us all--Pan, or Demeter--
laid ghostly hands again, for a space, upon the soul and sense that
nobler or sadder faiths have ravished from them.

In these Westmorland walks, however, my father had sometimes another
companion--a frequent visitor at Fox How, where he was almost another
son to my grandmother, and an elder brother to her children. How shall
one ever make the later generation understand the charm of Arthur
Stanley? There are many--very many--still living, in whom the sense of
it leaps up, at the very mention of his name. But for those who never
saw him, who are still in their twenties and thirties, what shall I say?
That he was the son of a Bishop of Norwich and a member of the old
Cheshire family of the Stanleys of Alderley; that he was a Rugby boy and
a devoted pupil of Arnold, whose _Life_ he wrote, so that it stands out
among the biographies of the century, not only for its literary merit,
but for its wide and varied influence on feeling and opinion; that he
was an Oxford tutor and Professor all through the great struggle of
Liberal thought against the reactionary influences let loose by Newman
and the Tractarian movement; that, as Regius Professor at Oxford, and
Canon of Canterbury, if he added little to learning, or research, he at
least kept alive--by his power of turning all he knew into image and
color--that great "art" of history which the Dryasdusts so willingly let
die; that as Dean of Westminster, he was still the life and soul of all
the Liberalism in the Church, still the same generous friend and
champion of all the spiritually oppressed that he had ever been? None of
the old "causes" beloved of his youth could ever have said of him, as of
so many others:

Just for a handful of silver he left us, Just for a ribbon to stick in
his coat--

He was, no doubt, the friend of kings and princes, and keenly conscious,
always, of things long-descended, with picturesque or heroic
associations. But it was he who invited Colenso to preach in the Abbey,
after his excommunication by the fanatical and now forgotten Bishop of
Cape Town; it was he who brought about that famous Communion of the
Revisers in the Abbey, where the Unitarian received the Sacrament of
Christ's death beside the Wesleyan and the Anglican, and who bore with
unflinching courage the idle tumult which followed; it was he, too, who
first took special pains to open the historical Abbey to working-men,
and to give them an insight into the meaning of its treasures. He was
not a social reformer in the modern sense; that was not his business.
But his unfailing power of seeing and pouncing upon the _interesting_--
the _dramatic_--in any human lot, soon brought him into relation with
men of callings and types the most different from his own; and for the
rest he fulfilled to perfection that hard duty--"the duty to our
equals"--on which Mr. Jowett once preached a caustic and suggestive
sermon. But for him John Richard Green would have abandoned history, and
student after student, heretic after heretic, found in him the man who
eagerly understood them and chivalrously fought for them.

And then, what a joy he was to the eye! His small spare figure,
miraculously light, his delicate face of tinted ivory--only that ivory
is not sensitive and subtle, and incredibly expressive, as were the
features of the little Dean; the eager, thin-lipped mouth, varying with
every shade of feeling in the innocent great soul behind it; the clear
eyes of china blue; the glistening white hair, still with the wave and
spring of youth in it; the slender legs, and Dean's dress, which becomes
all but the portly, with, on festal occasions, the red ribbon of the
Bath crossing the mercurial frame: there are still a few pictures and
photographs by which these characteristics are dimly recalled to those
at least who knew the living man. To my father, who called him "Arthur,"
and to all the Fox How circle, he was the most faithful of friends,
though no doubt my father's conversion to Catholicism to some extent, in
later years, separated him from Stanley. In the letter I have printed on
a former page, written on the night before my father left England for
New Zealand in 1847, and cherished by its recipient all his life, there
is a yearning, personal note, which was, perhaps, sometimes lacking in
the much-surrounded, much-courted Dean of later life. It was not that
Arthur Stanley, any more than Matthew Arnold, ever became a worldling in
the ordinary sense. But "the world" asks too much of such men as
Stanley. It heaps all its honors and all its tasks upon them, and
without some slight stiffening of its substance the exquisite instrument
cannot meet the strain.

Mr. Hughes always strongly denied that the George Arthur of _Tom Brown's
Schooldays_ had anything whatever to do with Arthur Stanley. But I
should like to believe that some anecdote of Stanley's schooldays had
entered at least into the well-known scene where Arthur, in class,
breaks down in construing the last address of Helen to the dead Hector.
Stanley's memory, indeed, was alive with the great things or the
picturesque detail of literature and history, no less than with the
humorous or striking things of contemporary life. I remember an amusing
instance of it at my own wedding breakfast. Stanley married us, and a
few days before he had buried Frederick Denison Maurice. His historical
sense was pleased by the juxtaposition of the two names Maurice and
Arnold, suggested by the funeral of Maurice and the marriage of Arnold's
granddaughter. The consequence was that his speech at the wedding
breakfast was quite as much concerned with "graves and worms and
epitaphs" as with things hymeneal. But from "the little Dean" all things
were welcome.

My personal memory of him goes back to much earlier days. As a child at
Fox How, he roused in me a mingled fascination and terror. To listen to
him quoting Shakspeare or Scott or Macaulay was fascination; to find his
eye fixed on one, and his slender finger darting toward one, as he asked
a sudden historical question--"Where did Edward the First die?"--"Where
was the Black Prince buried?"--was terror, lest, at seven years old, one
should not be able to play up. I remember a particular visit of his to
Fox How, when the dates and places of these royal deaths and burials
kept us--myself in particular--in a perpetual ferment. It must, I think,
have been when he was still at Canterbury, investigating, almost with
the zest and passion of the explorer of Troy or Mycenae, what bones lie
hid, and where, under the Cathedral floor, what sands--"fallen from the
ruined sides of Kings"--that this passion of deaths and dates was upon
him. I can see myself as a child of seven or eight, standing outside the
drawing-room door at Fox How, bracing myself in a mixture of delight and
fear, as to what "Doctor Stanley" might ask me when the door was opened;
then the opening, and the sudden sharp turn of the slight figure,
writing letters at the middle table, at the sight of "little Mary"--and
the expected thunderbolt:

"_Where did Henry the Fourth die_?"

Confusion--and blank ignorance!

But memory leaps forward to a day four or five years later, when my
father and I invaded the dark high room in the old Deanery, and the
little Dean standing at his reading-desk. He looks round--sees "Tom,"
and the child with him. His charming face breaks into a broad smile; he
remembers instantly, though it is some years since he and "little Mary"
met. He holds out both his hands to the little girl--

"Come and see the place where Henry the Fourth died!"

And off we ran together to the Jerusalem Chamber.




How little those who are school-girls of to-day can realize what it was
to be a school-girl in the fifties or the early sixties of the last
century! A modern girls' school, equipped as scores are now equipped
throughout the country, was of course not to be found in 1858, when I
first became a school boarder, or in 1867, when I ceased to be one. The
games, the gymnastics, the solid grounding in drawing and music,
together with the enormously improved teaching in elementary science, or
literature and language, which are at the service of the school-girl of
to-day, had not begun to be when I was at school. As far as intellectual
training was concerned, my nine years from seven to sixteen were
practically wasted. I learned nothing thoroughly or accurately, and the
German, French, and Latin which I soon discovered after my marriage to
be essential to the kind of literary work I wanted to do, had all to be
relearned before they could be of any real use to me; nor was it ever
possible for me-who married at twenty--to get that firm hold on the
structure and literary history of any language, ancient or modern, which
my brother William, only fifteen months my junior, got from his six
years at Rugby, and his training there in Latin and Greek. What I
learned during those years was learned from personalities; from contact
with a nature so simple, sincere, and strong as that of Miss Clough;
from the kindly old German governess, whose affection for me helped me
through some rather hard and lonely school-years spent at a school in
Shropshire; and from a gentle and high-minded woman, an ardent
Evangelical, with whom, a little later, at the age of fourteen or
fifteen, I fell headlong in love, as was the manner of school-girls
then, and is, I understand, frequently the case with school-girls now,
in spite of the greatly increased variety of subjects on which they may
spend their minds.

English girls' schools to-day providing the higher education are, so far
as my knowledge goes, worthily representative of that astonishing rise
in the intellectual standards of women which has taken place in the last
half-century. They are almost entirely taught by women, and women with
whom, in many cases, education--the shaping of the immature human
creature to noble ends--is the sincerest of passions; who find, indeed,
in the task that same creative joy which belongs to literature or art,
or philanthropic experiment. The schoolmistress to whom money is the
sole or even the chief motive of her work, is, in my experience, rare
to-day, though we have all in our time heard tales of modern "academies"
of the Miss Pinkerton type, brought up to date--fashionable, exclusive,
and luxurious--where, as in some boys' preparatory schools (before the
war!) the more the parents paid, the better they were pleased. But I
have not come across them. The leading boarding-schools in England and
America, at present, no less than the excellent day-schools for girls of
the middle class, with which this country has been covered since 1870,
are genuine products of that Women's Movement, as we vaguely call it, in
the early educational phases of which I myself was much engaged; whereof
the results are now widely apparent, though as yet only half-grown. If
one tracks it back to somewhere near its origins, its superficial
origins, at any rate, one is brought up, I think, as in the case of so
much else, against one leading cause--_railways_! With railways and a
cheap press, in the second third of the nineteenth century, there came
in, as we all know, the break-up of a thousand mental stagnations,
answering to the old physical disabilities and inconveniences. And the
break-up has nowhere had more startling results than in the world of
women, and the training of women for life. We have only to ask ourselves
what the women of Benjamin Constant, or of Beyle, or Balzac, would have
made of the keen school-girl and college girl of the present day, to
feel how vast is the change through which some of us have lived.
Exceptional women, of course, have led much the same kind of lives in
all generations. Mrs. Sidney Webb has gone through a very different sort
of self-education from that of Harriet Martineau; but she has not
thought more widely, and she will hardly influence her world so much as
that stanch fighter of the past. It is the rank and file--the average
woman--for whom the world has opened up so astonishingly. The revelation
of her wide-spread and various capacity that the present war has brought
about is only the suddenly conspicuous result of the liberating forces
set in action by the scientific and mechanical development of the
nineteenth century. It rests still with that world "after the war," to
which we are all looking forward with mingled hope and fear, to
determine the new forms, sociological and political, through which this
capacity, this heightened faculty, must some day organically express

In the years when I was at school, however--1858 to 1867--these good
days were only beginning to dawn. Poor teaching, poor school-books, and,
in many cases, indifferent food and much ignorance as to the physical
care of girls--these things were common in my school-time. I loved
nearly all my teachers; but it was not till I went home to live at
Oxford, in 1867, that I awoke intellectually to a hundred interests and
influences that begin much earlier nowadays to affect any clever child.
I had few tools and little grounding; and I was much more childish than
I need have been. A few vivid impressions stand out from these years:
the great and to me mysterious figure of Newman haunting the streets of
Edgbaston, where, in 1861, my father became head classical master of the
Oratory School; the news of the murder of Lincoln, coming suddenly into
a quiet garden in a suburb of Birmingham, and an ineffaceable memory of
the pale faces and horror-stricken looks of those discussing it; the
haunting beauty of certain passages of Ruskin which I copied out and
carried about with me, without in the least caring to read as a whole
the books from which they came; my first visit to the House of Commons
in 1863; the recurrent visits to Fox How, and the winter and summer
beauty of the fells; together with an endless storytelling phase in
which I told stories to my school-fellows, on condition they told
stories to me; coupled with many attempts on my part at poetry and
fiction, which make me laugh and blush when I compare them to-day with
similar efforts of my own grandchildren. But on the whole they were
starved and rather unhappy years; through no one's fault. My parents
were very poor and perpetually in movement. Everybody did the best he

With Oxford, however, and my seventeenth year, came a radical change.

It was in July, 1865, while I was still a school-girl, that in the very
middle of the Long Vacation I first saw Oxford. My father, after some
five years as Doctor Newman's colleague at the Oratory School, had then
become the subject of a strong temporary reaction against Catholicism.
He left the Roman Church in 1865, to return to it again, for good,
eleven years later. During the interval he took pupils at Oxford,
produced a very successful _Manual of English Literature,_ edited the
works of Wycliffe for the Clarendon Press, made himself an Anglo-Saxon
scholar, and became one of the most learned editors of the great Rolls
Series. To look at the endless piles of his note-books is to realize how
hard, how incessantly he worked. Historical scholarship was his destined
field; he found his happiness in it through all the troubles of life.
And the return to Oxford, to its memories, its libraries, its stately,
imperishable beauty, was delightful to him. So also, I think, for some
years, was the sense of intellectual freedom. Then began a kind of
nostalgia, which grew and grew till it took him back to the Catholic
haven in 1876, never to wander more.

But when he first showed me Oxford he was in the ardor of what seemed a
permanent severance from an admitted mistake. I see a deserted Oxford
street, and a hansom coming up it--myself and my father inside it. I was
returning from school, for the holidays. When I had last seen my people,
they were living near Birmingham. I now found them at Oxford, and I
remember the thrill of excitement with which I looked from side to side
as we neared the colleges. For I knew well, even at fourteen, that this
was "no mean city." As we drove up Beaumont Street we saw what was then
"new Balliol" in front of us, and a jutting window. "There lives the
arch-heretic!" said my father. It was a window in Mr. Jowett's rooms. He
was not yet Master of the famous College, but his name was a rallying-
cry, and his personal influence almost at its zenith. At the same time,
he was then rigorously excluded from the University pulpit; it was not
till a year later that even his close friend Dean Stanley ventured to
ask him to preach in Westminster Abbey; and his salary as Greek
Professor, due to him from the revenues of Christ Church, and withheld
from him on theological grounds for years, had only just been wrung--at
last--from the reluctant hands of a governing body which contained Canon
Liddon and Doctor Pusey.

To my father, on his settlement in Oxford, Jowett had been a kind and
helpful friend; he had a very quick sympathy with my mother; and as I
grew up he became my friend, too, so that as I look back upon my Oxford
years both before and after my marriage, the dear Master--he became
Master in 1870--plays a very marked part in the Oxford scene as I shall
ever remember it.

It was not, however, till two years later that I left school, and
slipped into the Oxford life as a fish into water. I was sixteen,
beginning to be conscious of all sorts of rising needs and ambitions,
keenly alive to the spell of Oxford and to the good fortune which had
brought me to live in her streets. There was in me, I think, a real
hunger to learn, and a very quick sense of romance in things or people.
But after sixteen, except in music, I had no definite teaching, and
everything I learned came to me from persons--and books--sporadically,
without any general guidance or plan. It was all a great voyage of
discovery, organized mainly by myself, on the advice of a few men and
women very much older, who took an interest in me and were endlessly
kind to the shy and shapeless creature I must have been.

It was in 1868 or 1869--I think I was seventeen--that I remember my
first sight of a college garden lying cool and shaded between gray
college walls, and on the grass a figure that held me fascinated--a lady
in a green brocade dress, with a belt and chatelaine of Russian silver,
who was playing croquet, then a novelty in Oxford, and seemed to me, as
I watched her, a perfect model of grace and vivacity. A man nearly
thirty years older than herself, whom I knew to be her husband, was
standing near her, and a handful of undergraduates made an amused and
admiring court round the lady. The elderly man--he was then fifty-
three--was Mark Pattison, Rector of Lincoln College, and the croquet-
player had been his wife about seven years. After the Rector's death in
1884, Mrs. Pattison married Sir Charles Dilke in the very midst of the
divorce proceedings which were to wreck in full stream a brilliant
political career; and she showed him a proud devotion till her death in
1904. None of her early friends who remember her later history can ever
think of the "Frances Pattison" of Oxford days without a strange
stirring of heart. I was much at Lincoln in the years before I married,
and derived an impression from the life lived there that has never left
me. Afterward I saw much less of Mrs. Pattison, who was generally on the
Riviera in the winter; but from 1868 to 1872, the Rector, learned,
critical, bitter, fastidious, and "Mrs. Pat," with her gaiety, her
picturesqueness, her impatience of the Oxford solemnities and decorums,
her sharp, restless wit, her determination _not_ to be academic, to hold
on to the greater world of affairs outside--mattered more to me perhaps
than anybody else. They were very good to me, and I was never tired of
going there; though I was much puzzled by their ways, and--while my
Evangelical phase lasted--much scandalized often by the speculative
freedom of the talk I heard. Sometimes my rather uneasy conscience
protested in ways which I think must have amused my hosts, though they
never said a word. They were fond of asking me to come to supper at
Lincoln on Sundays. It was a gay, unceremonious meal, at which Mrs.
Pattison appeared in the kind of gown which at a much later date began
to be called a tea-gown. It was generally white or gray, with various
ornaments and accessories which always seemed to me, accustomed for so
long to the rough-and-tumble of school life, marvels of delicacy and
prettiness; so that I was sharply conscious, on these occasions, of the
graceful figure made by the young mistress of the old house. But some
last stubborn trace in me of the Evangelical view of Sunday declared
that while one might talk--and one _must_ eat!--on Sunday, one mustn't
put on evening dress, or behave as though it were just like a week-day.
So while every one else was in evening dress, I more than once--at
seventeen--came to these Sunday gatherings on a winter evening,
purposely, in a high woolen frock, sternly but uncomfortably conscious
of being sublime--if only one were not ridiculous! The Rector, "Mrs.
Pat," Mr. Bywater, myself, and perhaps a couple of undergraduates--often
a bewildered and silent couple--I see that little vanished company in
the far past so plainly! Three of them are dead--and for me the gray
walls of Lincoln must always be haunted by their ghosts.

The historian of French painting and French decorative art was already
in those days unfolding in Mrs. Pattison. Her drawing-room was French,
sparely furnished with a few old girandoles and mirrors on its white
paneled walls, and a Persian carpet with a black center, on which both
the French furniture and the living inmates of the room looked their
best. And up-stairs, in "Mrs. Pat's" own working-room, there were
innumerable things that stirred my curiosity--old French drawings and
engravings, masses of foreign books that showed the young and brilliant
owner of the room to be already a scholar, even as her husband counted
scholarship; together with the tools and materials for etching, a
mysterious process in which I was occasionally allowed to lend a hand,
and which, as often as not, during the application of the acid to the
plate, ended in dire misfortune to the etcher's fingers or dress, and in
the helpless laughter of both artist and assistant.

The Rector himself was an endless study to me--he and his frequent
companion, Ingram Bywater, afterward the distinguished Greek Professor.
To listen to these two friends as they talked of foreign scholars in
Paris or Germany, of Renan, or Ranke, or Curtius; as they poured scorn
on Oxford scholarship, or the lack of it, and on the ideals of Balliol,
which aimed at turning out public officials, as compared with the
researching ideals of the German universities, which seemed to the
Rector the only ideals worth calling academic; or as they flung gibes at
Christ Church, whence Pusey and Liddon still directed the powerful
Church party of the University--was to watch the doors of new worlds
gradually opening before a girl's questioning intelligence. The Rector
would walk up and down, occasionally taking a book from his crowded
shelves, while Mr. By water and Mrs. Pattison smoked, with the after-
luncheon coffee--and in those days a woman with a cigarette was a rarity
in England--and sometimes, at a caustic _mot_ of the former's there
would break out the Rector's cackling laugh, which was ugly, no doubt,
but, when he was amused and at ease, extraordinarily full of mirth. To
me he was from the beginning the kindest friend. He saw that I came of a
literary stock and had literary ambitions; and he tried to direct me.
"Get to the bottom of something," he would say. "Choose a subject, and
know _everything_ about it!" I eagerly followed his advice, and began to
work at early Spanish in the Bodleian. But I think he was wrong--I
venture to think so!--though, as his half-melancholy, half-satirical
look comes back to me, I realize how easily he would defend himself, if
one could tell him so now. I think I ought to have been told to take a
history examination and learn Latin properly. But if I had, half the
exploring joy of those early years would, no doubt, have been cut away.

Later on, in the winters when Mrs. Pattison, threatened with rheumatic
gout, disappeared to the Riviera, I came to know a sadder and lonelier
Rector. I used to go to tea with him then in his own book-lined sanctum,
and we mended the blazing fire between us and talked endlessly.
Presently I married, and his interest in me changed; though our
friendship never lessened, and I shall always remember with emotion my
last sight of him lying, a white and dying man, on his sofa in London--
the clasp of the wasted hand, the sad, haunting eyes. When his _Memoirs_
appeared, after his death, a book of which Mr. Gladstone once said to me
that he reckoned it as among the most tragic and the most memorable
books of the nineteenth century, I understood him more clearly and more
tenderly than I could have done as a girl. Particularly, I understood
why in that skeptical and agnostic talk which never spared the Anglican
ecclesiastics of the moment, or such a later Catholic convert as
Manning, I cannot remember that I ever heard him mention the great name
of John Henry Newman with the slightest touch of disrespect. On the
other hand, I once saw him receive a message that some friend brought
him from Newman with an eager look and a start of pleasure. He had been
a follower of Newman's in the Tractarian days, and no one who ever came
near to Newman could afterward lightly speak ill of him. It was Stanley,
and not the Rector, indeed, who said of the famous Oratorian that the
whole course of English religious history might have been different if
Newman had known German. But Pattison might have said it, and if he had
it would have been without the smallest bitterness as the mere
expression of a sober and indisputable truth. Alas!--merely to quote it,
nowadays, carries one back to a Germany before the Flood--a Germany of
small States, a land of scholars and thinkers; a Germany that would
surely have recoiled in horror from any prevision of that deep and
hideous abyss which her descendants, maddened by wealth and success,
were one day to dig between themselves and the rest of Europe.

One of my clearest memories connected with the Pattisons and Lincoln is
that of meeting George Eliot and Mr. Lewes there, in the spring of 1870,
when I was eighteen. It was at one of the Sunday suppers. George Eliot
sat at the Rector's right hand. I was opposite her; on my left was
George Henry Lewes, to whom I took a prompt and active dislike. He and
Mrs. Pattison kept up a lively conversation in which Mr. Bywater, on the
other side of the table, played full part. George Eliot talked very
little, and I not at all. The Rector was shy or tired, and George Eliot
was in truth entirely occupied in watching or listening to Mrs. Lewes. I
was disappointed that she was so silent, and perhaps her quick eye may
have divined it, for, after supper, as we were going up the interesting
old staircase, made in the thickness of the wall, which led direct from
the dining-room to the drawing-room above, she said to me: "The Rector
tells me that you have been reading a good deal about Spain. Would you
care to hear something of our Spanish journey?"--the journey which had
preceded the appearance of _The Spanish Gypsy,_ then newly published. My
reply is easily imagined. The rest of the party passed through the dimly
lit drawing-room to talk and smoke in the gallery beyond, George Eliot
sat down in the darkness, and I beside her. Then she talked for about
twenty minutes, with perfect ease and finish, without misplacing a word
or dropping a sentence, and I realized at last that I was in the
presence of a great writer. Not a great _talker_. It is clear that
George Eliot never was that. Impossible for her to "talk" her books, or
evolve her books from conversation, like Madame de Staël. She was too
self-conscious, too desperately reflective, too rich in second-thoughts
for that. But in tête-à-tête, and with time to choose her words, she
could--in monologue, with just enough stimulus from a companion to keep
it going--produce on a listener exactly the impression of some of her
best work. As the low, clear voice flowed on in Mrs. Pattison's drawing-
room, I _saw_ Saragossa, Granada, the Escorial, and that survival of the
old Europe in the new, which one must go to Spain to find. Not that the
description was particularly vivid--in talking of famous places John
Richard Green could make words tell and paint with far greater success;
but it was singularly complete and accomplished. When it was done the
effect was there--the effect she had meant to produce. I shut my eyes,
and it all comes back--the darkened room, the long, pallid face, set in
black lace, the evident wish to be kind to a young girl.

Two more impressions of her let me record. The following day, the
Pattisons took their guests to see the "eights" races from Christ Church
meadow. A young Fellow of Merton, Mandell Creighton, afterward the
beloved and famous Bishop of London, was among those entertaining her on
the barge, and on the way home he took her and Mr. Lewes through Merton
garden. I was of the party, and I remember what a carnival of early
summer it was in that enchanting place. The chestnuts were all out, one
splendor from top to toe; the laburnums; the lilacs; the hawthorns, red
and white; the new-mown grass spreading its smooth and silky carpet
round the college walls; a May sky overhead, and through the trees
glimpses of towers and spires, silver gray, in the sparkling summer
air--the picture was one of those that Oxford throws before the
spectator at every turn, like the careless beauty that knows she has
only to show herself, to move, to breathe, to give delight. George Eliot
stood on the grass, in the bright sun, looking at the flower-laden
chestnuts, at the distant glimpses on all sides, of the surrounding
city, saying little--that she left to Mr. Lewes!--but drinking it in,
storing it in that rich, absorbent mind of hers. And afterward when Mr.
Lewes, Mr. Creighton, she, and I walked back to Lincoln, I remember
another little incident throwing light on the ever-ready instinct of the
novelist. As we turned into the quadrangle of Lincoln--suddenly, at one
of the upper windows of the Rector's lodgings, which occupied the far
right-hand corner of the quad, there appeared the head and shoulders of
Mrs. Pattison, as she looked out and beckoned, smiling, to Mrs. Lewes.
It was a brilliant apparition, as though a French portrait by Greuze or
Perronneau had suddenly slipped into a vacant space in the old college
wall. The pale, pretty head, _blond-cendrée_; the delicate, smiling
features and white throat; a touch of black, a touch of blue; a white
dress; a general eighteenth-century impression as though of powder and
patches--Mrs. Lewes perceived it in a flash, and I saw her run eagerly
to Mr. Lewes and draw his attention to the window and its occupant. She
took his arm, while she looked and waved. If she had lived longer, some
day, and somewhere in her books, that vision at the window and that
flower-laden garden would have reappeared. I seemed to see her
consciously and deliberately committing them both to memory.

But I do not believe that she ever meant to describe the Rector in "Mr.
Casaubon." She was far too good a scholar herself to have perpetrated a
caricature so flagrantly untrue. She knew Mark Pattison's quality, and
could never have meant to draw the writer of some of the most fruitful
and illuminating of English essays, and one of the most brilliant pieces
of European biography, in the dreary and foolish pedant who overshadows
_Middlemarch_. But the fact that Mark Pattison was an elderly scholar
with a young wife, and that George Eliot knew him, led later on to a
legend which was, I am sure, unwelcome to the writer of _Middlemarch_,
while her supposed victim passed it by with amused indifference.

As to the relation between the Rector and the Squire of _Robert Elsmere_
which has been often assumed, it was confined, as I have already said
(in the introduction to the library edition of _Robert Elsmere_
published in 1909), to a likeness in outward aspect--"a few personal
traits, and the two main facts of great learning and a general
impatience of fools." If one could imagine Mark Pattison a landowner, he
would certainly never have neglected his estates, or tolerated an
inefficient agent.

Only three years intervened between my leaving school and my engagement
to Mr. T. Humphry Ward, Fellow and Tutor of Brasenose College, Oxford.
But those three years seem to me now to have been extraordinarily full.
Lincoln and the Pattisons, Balliol and Mr. Jowett, and the Bodleian
Library, outside the influences and affections of my own home, stand in
the forefront of what memory looks back on as a broad and animated
scene. The great Library, in particular, became to me a living and
inspiring presence. When I think of it as it then was, I am, aware of a
medley of beautiful things--pale sunlight on book-lined walls, or
streaming through old armorial bearings on Tudor windows; spaces and
distances, all books, beneath a painted roof from which gleamed the
motto of the University--_Dominus illuminatio mea_; gowned figures
moving silently about the spaces; the faint scents of old leather and
polished wood; and fusing it all, a stately dignity and benignant charm,
through which the voices of the bells outside, as they struck each
successive quarter from Oxford's many towers, seemed to breathe a
certain eternal reminder of the past and the dead.

But regions of the Bodleian were open to me then that no ordinary reader
sees now. Mr. Coxe--the well-known, much-loved Bodley's Librarian of
those days--took kindly notice of the girl reader, and very soon,
probably on the recommendation of Mark Pattison, who was a Curator, made
me free of the lower floors, where was the "Spanish room," with its
shelves of seventeenth and eighteenth century volumes in sheepskin or
vellum, with their turned-in edges and leathern strings. Here I might
wander at will, absolutely alone, save for the visit of an occasional
librarian from the upper floor, seeking a book. To get to the Spanish
Room one had to pass through the Douce Library, the home of treasures
beyond price; on one side half the precious things of Renaissance
printing, French or Italian or Elizabethan; on the other, stands of
illuminated Missals and Hour Books, many of them rich in pictures and
flower-work, that shone like jewels in the golden light of the room.
That light was to me something tangible and friendly. It seemed to be
the mingled product of all the delicate browns and yellows and golds in
the bindings of the books, of the brass lattice-work that covered them,
and of reflections from the beautiful stone-work of the Schools
Quadrangle outside. It was in these noble surroundings that, with far
too little, I fear, of positive reading, and with much undisciplined
wandering from shelf to shelf and subject to subject, there yet sank
deep into me the sense of history, and of that vast ocean of the
recorded past from which the generations rise and into which they fall
back. And that in itself was a great boon--almost, one might say, a
training, of a kind.

But a girl of seventeen is not always thinking of books, especially in
the Oxford summer term.

In _Miss Bretherton_, my earliest novel, and in _Lady Connie_, so far my
latest,[1] will be found, by those who care to look for it, the
reflection of that other life of Oxford, the life which takes its shape,
not from age, but from youth, not from the past which created Oxford,
but from the lively, laughing present which every day renews it. For six
months of the year Oxford is a city of young men, for the most part
between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two. In my maiden days it was
not also a city of young women, as it is to-day. Women--girls
especially--were comparatively on sufferance. The Heads of Houses were
married; the Professors were mostly married; but married tutors had
scarcely begun to be. Only at two seasons of the year was Oxford invaded
by women--by bevies of maidens who came, in early May and middle June,
to be made much of by their brothers and their brothers' friends, to be
danced with and flirted with, to know the joys of coming back on a
summer night from Nuneham up the long, fragrant reaches of the lower
river, or of "sitting out" in historic gardens where Philip Sidney or
Charles I had passed.

[Footnote 1: These chapters were written before the appearance of
_Missing_ in the autumn of 1917.]

At the "eights" and "Commem." the old, old place became a mere
background for pretty dresses and college luncheons and river picnics.
The seniors groaned often, as well they might; for there was little work
done in my day in the summer term. But it is perhaps worth while for any
nation to possess such harmless festivals in so beautiful a setting as
these Oxford gatherings. How many of our national festivals are spoiled
by ugly and sordid things--betting and drink, greed and display! Here,
all there is to see is a competition of boats, manned by England's best
youth, upon a noble river, flowing, in Virgilian phrase, "under ancient
walls"; a city of romance, given up for a few days to the pleasure of
the young, and breathing into that pleasure her own refining, exalting
note; a stately ceremony--the Encaenia--going back to the infancy of
English learning; and the dancing of young men and maidens in Gothic or
classical halls built long ago by the "fathers who begat us." My own
recollection of the Oxford summer, the Oxford river and hay-fields, the
dawn on Oxford streets, as one came out from a Commemoration ball, or
the evening under Nuneham woods where the swans on that still water,
now, as always, "float double, swan and shadow"--these things I hope
will be with me to the end. To have lived through them is to have tasted
youth and pleasure from a cup as pure, as little alloyed with baser
things, as the high gods allow to mortals.

Let me recall one more experience before I come to the married life
which began in 1872--my first sight of Taine, the great French
historian, in the spring of 1871. He had come over at the invitation of
the Curators of the Taylorian Institution to give a series of lectures
on Corneille and Racine. The lectures were arranged immediately after
the surrender of Paris to the German troops, when it might have been
hoped that the worst calamities of France were over. But before M. Taine
crossed to England the insurrection of the Commune had broken out, and
while he was actually in Oxford, delivering his six lectures, the
terrible news of the last days of May, the burning of the Tuileries, the
Hôtel de Ville, and the Cour des Comptes, all the savagery of the beaten
revolution, let loose on Paris itself, came crashing, day by day and
hour by hour, like so many horrible explosions in the heavy air of
Europe, still tremulous with the memories and agonies of recent war.

How well I remember the effect in Oxford!--the newspaper cries in the
streets, the fear each morning as to what new calamities might have
fallen on civilization, the intense fellow-feeling in a community of
students and scholars for the students and scholars of France!

When M. Taine arrived, he himself bears witness (see his published
Correspondence, Vol. II) that Oxford could not do enough to show her
sympathy with a distinguished Frenchman. He writes from Oxford on May

I have no courage for a letter to-day. I have just heard of the
horrors of Paris, the burning of the Louvre, the Tuileries, the
Hôtel de Ville, etc. My heart is wrung. I have energy for nothing. I
cannot go out and see people. I was in the Bodleian when the
Librarian told me this and showed me the newspapers. In presence of
such madness and such disasters, they treat a Frenchman here with a
kind of pitying sympathy.

Oxford residents, indeed, inside and outside the colleges, crowded the
first lecture to show our feeling not only for M. Taine, but for a
France wounded and trampled on by her own children. The few dignified
and touching words with which he opened his course, his fine, dark head,
the attractiveness of his subject, the lucidity of his handling of it,
made the lecture a great success; and a few nights afterward at dinner
at Balliol I found myself sitting next the great man. In his published
Correspondence there is a letter describing this dinner which shows that
I must have confided in him not a little--as to my Bodleian reading, and
the article on the "Poema del Cid" that I was writing. He confesses,
however, that he did his best to draw me--examining the English girl as
a new specimen for his psychological collection. As for me, I can only
perversely remember a passing phrase of his to the effect that there was
too much magenta in the dress of Englishwomen, and too much pepper in
the English _cuisine_. From English cooking--which showed ill in the
Oxford of those days--he suffered, indeed, a good deal. Nor, in spite of
his great literary knowledge of England and English, was his spoken
English clear enough to enable him to grapple with the lodging-house
cook. Professor Max Müller, who had induced him to give the lectures,
and watched over him during his stay, told me that on his first visit to
the historian in his Beaumont Street rooms he found him sitting
bewildered before the strangest of meals. It consisted entirely of a
huge beefsteak, served in the unappetizing, slovenly English way, and--a
large plate of buttered toast. Nothing else. "But I ordered bif-tek and
pott-a-toes!" cried the puzzled historian to his visitor!

Another guest of the Master's on that night was Mr. Swinburne, and of
him, too, I have a vivid recollection as he sat opposite to me on the
side next the fire, his small lower features and slender neck
overweighted by his thick reddish hair and capacious brow. I could not
think why he seemed so cross and uncomfortable. He was perpetually
beckoning to the waiters; then, when they came, holding peremptory
conversation with them; while I from my side of the table could see them
going away, with a whisper or a shrug to each other, like men asked for
the impossible. At last, with a kind of bound, Swinburne leaped from his
chair and seized a copy of the _Times_ which he seemed to have persuaded
one of the men to bring him. As he got up I saw that the fire behind
him, and very close to him, must indeed have been burning the very
marrow out of a long-suffering poet. And, alack! in that house without a
mistress the small conveniences of life, such as fire-screens, were
often overlooked. The Master did not possess any. In a pale exasperation
Swinburne folded the _Times_ over the back of his chair and sat down
again. Vain was the effort! The room was narrow, the party large, and
the servants, pushing by, had soon dislodged the _Times_. Again and
again did Swinburne in a fury replace it; and was soon reduced to
sitting silent and wild-eyed, his back firmly pressed against the chair
and the newspaper, in a concentrated struggle with fate.

Matthew Arnold was another of the party, and I have a vision of my uncle
standing talking with M. Taine, with whom he then and there made a
lasting friendship. The Frenchman was not, I trust, aware at that moment
of the heresies of the English critic who had ventured only a few years
before to speak of "the exaggerated French estimate of Racine," and even
to indorse the judgment of Joubert--"_Racine est le Virgile des
ignorants"!_ Otherwise M. Taine might have given an even sharper edge
than he actually did to his remarks, in his letters home, on the
critical faculty of the English. "In all that I read and hear," he says
to Madame Taine, "I see nowhere the fine literary sense which means the
gift--or the art--of understanding the souls and passions of the past."
And again, "I have had infinite trouble to-day to make my audience
appreciate some _finesses_ of Racine." There is a note of resigned
exasperation in these comments which reminds me of the passionate
feeling of another French critic--Edmond Scherer, Sainte-Beuve's best
successor--ten years later. _À propos_ of some judgment of Matthew
Arnold--whom Scherer delighted in--on Racine, of the same kind as those
I have already quoted, the French man of letters once broke out to me,
almost with fury, as we walked together at Versailles. But, after all,
was the Oxford which contained Pater, Pattison, and Bywater, which had
nurtured Matthew Arnold and Swinburne--Swinburne with his wonderful
knowledge of the intricacies and subtleties of the French tongue and the
French literature--merely "_solide and positif_," as Taine declares? The
judgment is, I think, a characteristic judgment of that man of
formulas--often so brilliant and often so mistaken--who, in the famous
_History of English Literature_, taught his English readers as much by
his blunders as by his merits. He provoked us into thinking. And what
critic does more? Is not the whole fraternity like so many successive
Penelopes, each unraveling the web of the one before? The point is that
the web should be eternally remade and eternally unraveled.


I married Mr. Thomas Humphry Ward, Fellow and Tutor of Brasenose
College, on April 6, 1872, the knot being tied by my father's friend, my
grandfather's pupil and biographer, Dean Stanley. For nine years, till
the spring of 1881, we lived in Oxford, in a little house north of the
Parks, in what was then the newest quarter of the University town. They
were years, for both of us, of great happiness and incessant activity.
Our children, two daughters and a son, were born in 1874, 1876, and
1879. We had many friends, all pursuing the same kind of life as
ourselves, and interested in the same kind of things. Nobody under the
rank of a Head of a College, except a very few privileged Professors,
possessed as much as a thousand a year. The average income of the new
race of married tutors was not much more than half that sum. Yet we all
gave dinner-parties and furnished our houses with Morris papers, old
chests and cabinets, and blue pots. The dinner-parties were simple and
short. At our own early efforts of the kind there certainly was not
enough to eat. But we all improved with time; and on the whole I think
we were very fair housekeepers and competent mothers. Most of us were
very anxious to be up-to-date and in the fashion, whether in esthetics,
in housekeeping, or in education. But our fashion was not that of
Belgravia or Mayfair, which, indeed, we scorned! It was the fashion of
the movement which sprang from Morris and Burne-Jones. Liberty stuffs
very plain in line, but elaborately "smocked," were greatly in vogue,
and evening dresses, "cut square," or with "Watteau pleats," were
generally worn, and often in conscious protest against the London "low
dress," which Oxford--young married Oxford--thought both ugly and
"fast." And when we had donned our Liberty gowns we went out to dinner,
the husband walking, the wife in a bath chair, drawn by an ancient
member of an ancient and close fraternity--the "chairmen" of old Oxford.

Almost immediately opposite to us in the Bradmore Road lived Walter
Pater and his sisters. The exquisiteness of their small house, and the
charm of the three people who lived in it, will never be forgotten by
those who knew them well in those days when by the publication of the
_Studies in the Renaissance_ (1873) their author had just become famous.
I recall very clearly the effect of that book, and of the strange and
poignant sense of beauty expressed in it; of its entire aloofness also
from the Christian tradition of Oxford, its glorification of the higher
and intenser forms of esthetic pleasure, of "passion" in the
intellectual sense--as against the Christian doctrine of self-denial and
renunciation. It was a gospel that both stirred and scandalized Oxford.
The bishop of the diocese thought it worth while to protest. There was a
cry of "Neo-paganism," and various attempts at persecution. The author
of the book was quite unmoved. In those days Walter Pater's mind was
still full of revolutionary ferments which were just as sincere, just as
much himself, as that later hesitating and wistful return toward
Christianity, and Christianity of the Catholic type, which is embodied
in _Marius the Epicurean_, the most beautiful of the spiritual romances
of Europe since the _Confessions_. I can remember a dinner-party at his
house, where a great tumult arose over some abrupt statement of his made
to the High Church wife of a well-known Professor. Pater had been in
some way pressed controversially beyond the point of wisdom, and had
said suddenly that no reasonable person could govern his life by the
opinions or actions of a man who died eighteen centuries ago. The
Professor and his wife--I look back to them both with the warmest
affection--departed hurriedly, in agitation; and the rest of us only
gradually found out what had happened.

But before we left Oxford in 1881 this attitude of mind had, I think,
greatly changed. Mr. Gosse, in the memoir of Walter Pater contributed to
the Dictionary of National Biography, says that before 1870 he had
gradually relinquished all belief in the Christian religion--and leaves
it there. But the interesting and touching thing to watch was the gentle
and almost imperceptible flowing back of the tide over the sands it had
left bare. It may be said, I think, that he never returned to
Christianity in the orthodox or intellectual sense. But his heart
returned to it. He became once more endlessly interested in it, and
haunted by the "something" in it which he thought inexplicable. A
remembrance of my own shows this. In my ardent years of exploration and
revolt, conditioned by the historical work that occupied me during the
later 'seventies, I once said to him in tête-à-tête, reckoning
confidently on his sympathy, and with the intolerance and certainty of
youth, that orthodoxy could not possibly maintain itself long against
its assailants, especially from the historical and literary camps, and
that we should live to see it break down. He shook his head and looked
rather troubled.

"I don't think so," he said. Then, with hesitation: "And we don't
altogether agree. You think it's all plain. But I can't. There are such
mysterious things. Take that saying, 'Come unto me, all ye that are
weary and heavy-laden.' How can you explain that? There is a mystery in
it--something supernatural."

A few years later, I should very likely have replied that the answer of
the modern critic would be, "The words you quote are in all probability
from a lost Wisdom book; there are very close analogies in Proverbs and
in the Apocrypha. They are a fragment without a context, and may
represent on the Lord's lips either a quotation or the text of a
discourse. Wisdom is speaking--the Wisdom 'which is justified of her
children.'" But if any one had made such a reply, it would not have
affected the mood in Pater, of which this conversation gave me my first
glimpse, and which is expressed again and again in the most exquisite
passages of _Marius_. Turn to the first time when Marius--under Marcus
Aurelius--is present at a Christian ceremony, and sees, for the first
time, the "wonderful spectacle of those who believed."

The people here collected might have figured as the earliest handsel
or pattern of a new world, from the very face of which discontent
had passed away.... They had faced life and were glad, by some
science or light of knowledge they had, to which there was certainly
no parallel in the older world. Was some credible message from
beyond "the flaming rampart of the world"--a message of hope ...
already molding their very bodies and looks and voices, now and

Or again to the thoughts of Marius at the approach of death:

At this moment, his unclouded receptivity of soul, grown so steadily
through all those years, from experience to experience, was at its
height; the house was ready for the possible guest, the tablet of
the mind white and smooth, for whatever divine fingers might choose
to write there.

_Marius_ was published twelve years after the _Studies in the
Renaissance_, and there is a world between the two books. Some further
light will be thrown on this later phase of Mr. Pater's thought by a
letter he wrote to me in 1885 on my translation of Amiel's _From Journal
Intime_. Here it is rather the middle days of his life that concern me,
and the years of happy friendship with him and his sisters, when we were
all young together. Mr. Pater and my husband were both fellows and
tutors of Brasenose, though my husband was much the younger, a fact
which naturally brought us into frequent contact. And the beautiful
little house across the road, with its two dear mistresses, drew me
perpetually, both before and after my marriage. The drawing-room, which
runs the whole breadth of the house from the road to the garden behind,
was "Paterian" in every line and ornament. There were a Morris paper;
spindle-legged tables and chairs; a sparing allowance of blue plates and
pots, bought, I think, in Holland, where Oxford residents in my day were
always foraging, to return, often, with treasures of which the very
memory now stirs a half-amused envy of one's own past self, that had
such chances and lost them; framed embroidery of the most delicate
design and color, the work of Mr. Pater's elder sister; engravings, if I
remember right, from Botticelli, or Luini, or Mantegna; a few mirrors,
and a very few flowers, chosen and arranged with a simple yet conscious
art. I see that room always with the sun in it, touching the polished
surfaces of wood and brass and china, and bringing out its pure, bright
color. I see it too pervaded by the presence of the younger sister,
Clara--a personality never to be forgotten by those who loved her. Clara
Pater, whose grave and noble beauty in youth has been preserved in a
drawing by Mr. Wirgman, was indeed a "rare and dedicated spirit." When I
first knew her she was four or five and twenty, intelligent, alive,
sympathetic, with a delightful humor and a strong judgment, but without
much positive acquirement. Then after some years she began to learn
Latin and Greek with a view to teaching; and after we left Oxford she
became Vice-President of the new Somerville College for Women. Several
generations of girl-students must still preserve the tenderest and most
grateful memories of all that she was there, as woman, teacher, and
friend. Her point of view, her opinion, had always the crispness, the
savor that goes with perfect sincerity. She feared no one, and she loved
many, as they loved her. She loved animals, too, as all the household
did. How well I remember the devoted nursing given by the brother and
sisters to a poor little paralytic cat, whose life they tried to save--
in vain! When, later, I came across in _Marius_ the account of Marcus
Aurelius carrying away the dead child Annius Verus--"pressed closely to
his bosom, as if yearning just then for one thing only, to be united, to
be absolutely one with it, in its obscure distress"--I remembered the
absorption of the writer of those lines, and of his sisters, in the
suffering of that poor little creature, long years before. I feel
tolerably certain that in writing the words Walter Pater had that past
experience in mind.

After Walter Pater's death, Clara, with her elder sister, became the
vigilant and joint guardians of their brother's books and fame, till,
four years ago, a terrible illness cut short her life, and set free, in
her brother's words, the "unclouded and receptive soul."



When the Oxford historian of the future comes across the name and
influence of Benjamin Jowett, the famous Master of Balliol, and Greek
professor, in the mid-current of the nineteenth century, he will not be
without full means of finding out what made that slight figure (whereof
he will be able to study the outward and visible presence in some
excellent portraits, and in many caricatures) so significant and so
representative. The _Life_ of the Master, by Evelyn Abbott and Lewis
Campbell, is to me one of the most interesting biographies of our
generation. It is long--for those who have no Oxford ties, no doubt, too
long; and it is cumbered with the echoes of old controversies,
theological and academic, which have mostly, though by no means wholly,
passed into a dusty limbo. But it is one of the rare attempts that
English biography has seen to paint a man as he really was; and to paint
him not with the sub-malicious strokes of a Purcell, but in love,
although in truth.

[Illustration: BENJAMIN JOWETT]

The Master, as he fought his many fights, with his abnormally strong
will and his dominating personality; the Master, as he appeared, on the
one hand, to the upholders of "research," of learning, that is, as an
end in itself apart from teaching, and, on the other, to the High-
Churchmen encamped in Christ Church, to Pusey, Liddon, and all their
clan--pugnacious, formidable, and generally successful--here he is to
the life. This is the Master whose personality could never be forgotten
in any room he chose to enter; who brought restraint rather than ease to
the gatherings of his friends, mainly because, according to his own
account, of a shyness he could never overcome; whose company on a walk
was too often more of a torture than an honor to the undergraduate
selected for it; whose lightest words were feared, quoted, chuckled
over, or resented, like those of no one else.

Of this Master I have many remembrances. I see, for instance, a drawing-
room full of rather tongue-tied, embarrassed guests, some Oxford
residents, some Londoners; and the Master among them, as a stimulating--
but disintegrating!--force, of whom every one was uneasily conscious.
The circle was wide, the room bare, and the Balliol arm-chairs were not
placed for conversation. On a high chair against the wall sat a small
boy of ten--we will call him Arthur--oppressed by his surroundings. The
talk languished and dropped. From one side of the large room, the
Master, raising his voice, addressed the small boy on the other side.

"Well, Arthur, so I hear you've begun Greek. How are you getting on?"

To the small boy looking round the room it seemed as though twenty awful
grownups were waiting in a dead silence to eat him up. He rushed upon
his answer.

"I--I'm reading the Anabasis," he said, desperately.

The false quantity sent a shock through the room. Nobody laughed, out of
sympathy with the boy, who already knew that something dreadful had
happened. The boy's miserable parents, Londoners, who were among the
twenty, wished themselves under the floor. The Master smiled.

"The Anábasis, Arthur," he said, cheerfully. "You'll get it right next

And he went across to the boy, evidently feeling for him and wishing to
put him at ease. But after thirty years the boy and his parents still
remember the incident with a shiver. It could not have produced such an
effect except in an atmosphere of tension; and that, alas! too often,
was the atmosphere which surrounded the Master.

I can remember, too, many proud yet anxious half-hours in the Master's
study--such a privilege, yet such an ordeal!--when, after our migration
to London, we became, at regular intervals, the Master's week-end
visitors. "Come and talk to me a little in my study," the Master would
say, pleasantly. And there in the room where he worked for so many
years, as the interpreter of Greek thought to the English world, one
would take a chair beside the fire, with the Master opposite. I have
described my fireside tête-à-têtes, as a girl, with another head of a
College--the Rector of Lincoln, Mark Pattison. But the Master was a far
more strenuous companion. With him, there were no diversions, none!--no
relief from the breathless adventure of trying to please him and doing
one's best. The Rector once, being a little invalidish, allowed me to
make up the fire, and, after watching the process sharply, said: "Good!
Does it drive _you_ distracted, too, when people put on coals the wrong
way?" An interruption which made for human sympathy! The Master, as far
as I can remember, had no "nerves"; and "nerves" are a bond between
many. But he occasionally had sudden returns upon himself. I remember
once after we had been discussing a religious book which had interested
us both, he abruptly drew himself up, in the full tide of talk, and
said, with a curious impatience, "But one can't be always thinking of
these things!" and changed the subject.

So much for the Master, the stimulus of whose mere presence was,
according to his biographers, "often painful." But there were at least
two other Masters in the "Mr. Jowett" we reverenced. And they, too, are
fully shown in this biography. The Master who loved his friends and
thought no pains too great to take for them, including the very rare
pains of trying to mend their characters by faithfulness and plain
speaking, whenever he thought they wanted it. The Master, again, whose
sympathies were always with social reform and with the poor, whose
hidden life was full of deeds of kindness and charity, who, in spite of
his difficulties of manner, was loved by all sorts and conditions of
men--and women--in all circles of life, by politicians and great ladies,
by diplomats and scholars and poets, by his secretary and his servants--
there are many traits of this good man and useful citizen recorded by
his biographers.

And, finally, there was the Master who reminded his most intimate
friends of a sentence of his about Greek literature, which occurs in the
Introduction to the _Phoedrus_: "Under the marble exterior of Greek
literature was concealed a soul thrilling with spiritual emotion," says
the Master. His own was not exactly a marble exterior; but the placid
and yet shrewd cheerfulness of his delicately rounded face, with its
small mouth and chin, its great brow and frame of snowy hair, gave but
little clue to the sensitive and mystical soul within. If ever a man was
_Gottbetrunken_, it was the Master, many of whose meditations and
passing thoughts, withdrawn, while he lived, from all human ken, yet
written down--in thirty or forty volumes!--for his own discipline and
remembrance, can now be read, thanks to his biographers, in the pages of
the _Life_, They are extraordinarily frank and simple; startling, often,
in their bareness and truth. But they are, above all, the thoughts of a
mystic, moving in a Divine presence. An old and intimate friend of the
Master's once said to me that he believed "Jowett's inner mind,
especially toward the end of his life, was always in an attitude of
Prayer. One would go and talk to him on University or College business
in his study, and suddenly see his lips moving, slightly and silently,
and know what it meant." The records of him which his death revealed--
and his closest friends realized it in life--show a man perpetually
conscious of a mysterious and blessed companionship; which is the mark
of the religious man, in all faiths and all churches. Yet this was the
man who, for the High Church party at Oxford, with its headquarters at
Christ Church, under the flag of Doctor Pusey and Canon Liddon, was the
symbol and embodiment of all heresy; whose University salary as Greek
professor, which depended on a Christ Church subsidy, was withheld for
years by the same High-Churchmen, because of their inextinguishable
wrath against the Liberal leader who had contributed so largely to the
test-abolishing legislation of 1870--legislation by which Oxford, in
Liddon's words, was "logically lost to the Church of England."

Yet no doubt they had their excuses! For this, too, was the man who, in
a city haunted by Tractarian shades, once said to his chief biographer
that "Voltaire had done more good than all the Fathers of the Church put
together!"--who scornfully asks himself in his diary, _à propos_ of the
Bishops' condemnation of _Essays and Reviews_, "What is Truth against an
_esprit de corps_?"--and drops out the quiet dictum, "Half the books
that are published are religious books, and what trash this religious
literature is!" Nor did the Evangelicals escape. The Master's dislike
for many well-known hymns specially dear to that persuasion was never
concealed. "How cocky they are!" he would say, contemptuously. "'When
upward I fly--Quite justified I'--who can repeat a thing like that?"

How the old war-cries ring again in one's ears as one looks back! Those
who have only known the Oxford of the last twenty years can never, I
think, feel toward that "august place" as we did, in the seventies of
the last century; we who were still within sight and hearing of the
great fighting years of an earlier generation, and still scorched by
their dying fires. Balliol, Christ Church, Lincoln--the Liberal and
utilitarian camp, the Church camp, the researching and pure scholarship
camp--with Science and the Museum hovering in the background, as the
growing aggressive powers of the future seeking whom they might devour--
they were the signs and symbols of mighty hosts, of great forces still
visibly incarnate, and in marching array. Balliol _versus_ Christ
Church--Jowett _versus_ Pusey and Liddon--while Lincoln despised both,
and the new scientific forces watched and waited--that was how we saw
the field of battle, and the various alarms and excursions it was always

But Balliol meant more to me than the Master. Professor Thomas Hill
Green--"Green of Balliol"--was no less representative in our days of the
spiritual and liberating forces of the great college; and the time which
has now elapsed since his death has clearly shown that his philosophic
work and influence hold a lasting and conspicuous place in the history
of nineteenth-century thought. He and his wife became our intimate
friends, and in the Grey of _Robert Elsmere_ I tried to reproduce a few
of those traits--traits of a great thinker and teacher, who was also one
of the simplest, sincerest, and most practical of men--which Oxford will
never forget, so long as high culture and noble character are dear to
her. His wife--so his friend and biographer, Lewis Nettleship, tells
us--once compared him to Sir Bors in "The Holy Grail":

A square-set man and honest; and his eyes, An outdoor sign of all the
wealth within, Smiled with his lips--a smile beneath a cloud, But
Heaven had meant it for a sunny one!

A quotation in which the mingling of a cheerful, practical, humorous
temper, the temper of the active citizen and politician, with the heavy
tasks of philosophic thought, is very happily suggested. As we knew him,
indeed, and before the publication of the _Prolegomena to Ethics_ and
the Introduction to the Clarendon Press edition of Hume had led to his
appointment as Whyte's Professor of Moral Philosophy, Mr. Green was not
only a leading Balliol tutor, but an energetic Liberal, a member both of
the Oxford Town Council and of various University bodies; a helper in
all the great steps taken for the higher education of women at Oxford,
and keenly attracted by the project of a High School for the town boys
of Oxford--a man, in other words, preoccupied, just as the Master was,
and, for all his philosophic genius, with the need of leading "a useful

Let me pause to think how much that phrase meant in the mouths of the
best men whom Balliol produced, in the days when I knew Oxford. The
Master, Green, Toynbee--their minds were full, half a century ago, of
the "condition of the people" question, of temperance, housing, wages,
electoral reform; and within the University, and by the help of the
weapons of thought and teaching, they regarded themselves as the natural
allies of the Liberal party which was striving for these things through
politics and Parliament. "Usefulness," "social reform," the bettering of
daily life for the many--these ideas are stamped on all their work and
on all the biographies of them that remain to us.

And the significance of it is only to be realized when we turn to the
rival group, to Christ Church, and the religious party which that name
stood for. Read the lives of Liddon, of Pusey, or--to go farther back--
of the great Newman himself. Nobody will question the personal goodness
and charity of any of the three. But how little the leading ideas of
that seething time of social and industrial reform, from the appearance
of _Sybil_ in 1843 to the Education Bill of 1870, mattered either to
Pusey or to Liddon, compared with the date of the Book of Daniel or the
retention of the Athanasian Creed? Newman, at a time when national
drunkenness was an overshadowing terror in the minds of all reformers,
confesses with a pathetic frankness that he had never considered
"whether there were too many public-houses in England or no"; and in all
his religious controversies of the 'thirties and the 'forties, you will
look in vain for any word of industrial or political reform. So also in
the _Life_ of that great rhetorician and beautiful personality, Canon
Liddon, you will scarcely find a single letter that touches on any
question of social betterment. How to safeguard the "principle of
authority," how to uphold the traditional authorship of the Pentateuch,
and of the Book of Daniel, against "infidel" criticism; how to stifle
among the younger High-Churchmen like Mr. (now Bishop) Gore, then head
of the Pusey House, the first advances toward a reasonable freedom of
thought; how to maintain the doctrine of Eternal Punishment against the
protest of the religious consciousness itself--it is on these matters
that Canon Liddon's correspondence turns, it was to them his life was

How vainly! Who can doubt now which type of life and thought had in it
the seeds of growth and permanence--the Balliol type, or the Christ
Church type? There are many High-Churchmen, it is true, at the present
day, and many Ritualist Churches. But they are alive to-day, just in so
far as they have learned the lesson of social pity, and the lesson of a
reasonable criticism, from the men whom Pusey and Liddon and half the
bishops condemned and persecuted in the middle years of the nineteenth

When we were living in Oxford, however, this was not exactly the point
of view from which the great figure of Liddon presented itself, to us of
the Liberal camp. We were constantly aware of him, no doubt, as the
rival figure to the Master of Balliol, as the arch wire-puller and
ecclesiastical intriguer in University affairs, leading the Church
forces with a more than Roman astuteness. But his great mark was made,
of course, by his preaching, and that not so much by the things said as
by the man saying them. Who now would go to Liddon's famous Bamptons,
for all their learning, for a still valid defense of the orthodox
doctrine of the Incarnation? Those wonderful paragraphs of subtle
argumentation from which the great preacher emerged, as triumphantly as
Mr. Gladstone from a Gladstonian sentence in a House of Commons debate--
what remains of them? Liddon wrote of Stanley that he--Stanley--was
"more entirely destitute of the logical faculty" than any educated man
he knew. In a sense it was true. But Stanley, if he had been aware of
the criticism, might have replied that, if he lacked logic, Liddon
lacked something much more vital--i.e., the sense of history--and of the
relative value of testimony!

Newman, Pusey, Liddon--all three, great schoolmen, arguing from an
accepted brief; the man of genius, the man of a vast industry, intense
but futile, the man of captivating presence and a perfect rhetoric--
history, with its patient burrowings, has surely undermined the work of
all three, sparing only that element in the work of one of them--
Newman--which is the preserving salt of all literature--i.e., the magic
of personality. And some of the most efficacious burrowers have been
their own spiritual children. As was fitting! For the Tractarian
movement, with its appeal to the primitive Church, was in truth, and
quite unconsciously, one of the agencies in a great process of
historical inquiry which is still going on, and of which the end is not

But to me, in my twenties, these great names were not merely names or
symbols, as they are to the men and women of the present generation.
Newman I had seen in my childhood, walking about the streets of
Edgbaston, and had shrunk from him in a dumb, childish resentment as
from some one whom I understood to be the author of our family
misfortunes. In those days, as I have already recalled in an earlier
chapter, the daughters of a "mixed marriage" were brought up in the
mother's faith, and the sons in the father's. I, therefore, as a
schoolgirl under Evangelical influence, was not allowed to make friends
with any of my father's Catholic colleagues. Then, in 1880, twenty years
later, Newman came to Oxford, and on Trinity Monday there was a great
gathering at Trinity College, where the Cardinal in his red, a blanched
and spiritual presence, received the homage of a new generation who saw
in him a great soul and a great master of English, and cared little or
nothing for the controversies in which he had spent his prime. As my
turn came to shake hands, I recalled my father to him and the Edgbaston
days. His face lit up--almost mischievously. "Are you the little girl I
remember seeing sometimes--in the distance?" he said to me, with a smile
and a look that only he and I understood.

On the Sunday preceding that gathering I went to hear his last sermon in
the city he had loved so well, preached at the new Jesuit church in the
suburbs; while little more than a mile away, Bidding Prayer and sermon
were going on as usual in the University Church where in his youth, week
by week, he had so deeply stirred the hearts and consciences of men. The
sermon in St. Aloysius's was preached with great difficulty, and was
almost incoherent from the physical weakness of the speaker. Yet who
that was present on that Sunday will ever forget the great ghost that
fronted them, the faltering accents, the words from which the life-blood
had departed, yet not the charm?

Then--Pusey! There comes back to me a bowed and uncouth figure, whom one
used to see both in the Cathedral procession on a Sunday, and--rarely--
in the University pulpit. One sermon on Darwinism, which was preached,
if I remember right, in the early 'seventies, remains with me, as the
appearance of some modern Elijah, returning after long silence and exile
to protest against an unbelieving world. Sara Coleridge had years before
described Pusey in the pulpit with a few vivid strokes.

He has not one of the graces of oratory [she says]. His discourse is
generally a rhapsody describing with infinite repetition the
wickedness of sin, the worthlessness of earth, and the blessedness
of Heaven. He is as still as a statue all the time he is uttering
it, looks as white as a sheet, and is as monotonous in delivery as

Nevertheless, Pusey wielded a spell which is worth much oratory--the
spell of a soul dwelling spiritually on the heights; and a prophet,
moreover, may be as monotonous or as incoherent as he pleases, while the
world is still in tune with his message. But in the 'seventies, Oxford,
at least, was no longer in tune with Pusey's message, and the effect of
the veteran leader, trying to come to terms with Darwinism, struggling,
that is, with new and stubborn forces he had no further power to bind,
was tragic, or pathetic, as such things must always be. New Puseys arise
in every century. The "sons of authority" will never perish out of the
earth. But the language changes and the argument changes; and perhaps
there are none more secretly impatient with the old prophet than those
younger spirits of his own kind who are already stepping into his shoes.

Far different was the effect of Liddon, in those days, upon us younger
folk! The grace and charm of Liddon's personal presence were as valuable
to his party in the 'seventies as that of Dean Stanley had been to
Liberalism at an earlier stage. There was indeed much in common between
the aspect and manner of the two men, though no likeness, in the strict
sense, whatever. But the exquisite delicacy of feature, the brightness
of eye, the sensitive play of expression, were alike in both. Saint
Simon says of Fenelon:

He was well made, pale, with eyes that showered intelligence and
fire--and with a physiognomy that no one who had seen it once could
forget. It had both gravity and polish, seriousness and gaiety; it
spoke equally of the scholar, the bishop, and the _grand seigneur_,
and the final impression was one of intelligence, subtlety, grace,
charm; above all, of dignity. One had to tear oneself from looking
at him.

Many of those who knew Liddon best could, I think, have adapted this
language to him; and there is much in it that fitted Arthur Stanley.

But the love and gift for managing men was of course a secondary thing
in the case of our great preacher. The University politics of Liddon and
his followers are dead and gone; and as I have ventured to think, the
intellectual force of Liddon's thoughts and arguments, as they are
presented to us now on the printed page, is also a thing of the past.
But the vision of the preacher in those who saw it is imperishable. The
scene in St. Paul's has been often described, by none better than by
Doctor Liddon's colleague, Canon Scott Holland. But the Oxford scene,
with all its Old World setting, was more touching, more interesting. As
I think of it, I seem to be looking out from those dark seats under the
undergraduates' gallery--where sat the wives of the Masters of Arts--at
the crowded church, as it waited for the preacher. First came the stir
of the procession; the long line of Heads of Houses, in their scarlet
robes as Doctors of Divinity--all but the two heretics, Pattison and
Jowett, who walked in their plain black, and warmed my heart always
thereby! And then the Vice-Chancellor, with the "pokers" and the
preacher. All eyes were fixed on the slender, willowy figure, and the
dark head touched with silver. The bow to the Vice-Chancellor as they
parted at the foot of the pulpit stairs, the mounting of the pulpit, the
quiet look out over the Church, the Bidding Prayer, the voice--it was
all part of an incomparable performance which cannot be paralleled to-

The voice was high and penetrating, without much variety, as I remember
it; but of beautiful quality, and at times wonderfully moving. And what
was still more appealing was the evident strain upon the speaker of his
message. It wore him out visibly as he delivered it. He came down from
the pulpit white and shaken, dripping with perspiration. Virtue had gone
out of him. Yet his effort had never for a moment weakened his perfect
self-control, the flow and finish of the long sentences, or the subtle
interconnection of the whole! One Sunday I remember in particular.
Oxford had been saddened the day before by the somewhat sudden death of
a woman whom everybody loved and respected--Mrs. Acland, the wife of the
well-known doctor and professor. And Liddon, with a wonderfully happy
instinct, had added to his sermon a paragraph dealing with Mrs. Acland's
death, which held us all spellbound till the beautiful words died into
silence. It was done with a fastidious literary taste that is rather
French than English; and yet it came from the very heart of the speaker.
Looking back through my many memories of Doctor Liddon as a preacher,
that tribute to a noble woman in death remains with me as the finest and
most lasting of them all.



How many other figures in that vanished Oxford world I should like to
draw!--Mandell or "Max" Creighton, our lifelong friend, then just
married to the wife who was his best comrade while he lived, and since
his death has made herself an independent force in English life. I first
remember the future Bishop of London when I was fifteen, and he was

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