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about that." He always gave plenty of time for reflection, never interrupted, and exercised an almost painful suspension of judgment until you had finished all you had to say. The more I learnt to know the rector, the more the notion grew upon me that this remarkable patience of his in listening was only one symptom of an allpervading desire to carry out the maxim Know thyself;" and in that search after truth he seems to have thought even trivial data of consequence, regarding them as aids by way of collation or of contrast. On the day in question (October 28, 1877) we had not got far from the college gates before Pattison had quite dispelled my misgivings. I had seen in his study a folio "Shakespeare," and I now asked him whether it was an original or a fac simile. This led to the subject of books and bookstalls; we found that we had gone to the same shops in London, and Pattison was interested to hear of a tolerably large number of old editions of the classics I had collected in that way, especially of a folio Seneca, described by Dibdin as having been printed typis argenteis, and of a very early edition of Laurentius Valla's translation of Thucydides, without title-page, date, or paginal numbering. "I should like to see your typis argenteis," he said. Unfortunately the Seneca was not at Oxford; but I subsequently sent him the Thucydides, which he kept for some time, and described as "certainly a very good speci. men." I went on to ask him about his own library. He said, "I have the larg
Sunday, at two o'clock. I received this message not without alarm, for I had meanwhile heard the usual more or less mythical stories of the difficulties various undergraduates had encountered on those occasions, arising mainly from the rector's alleged aversion to conversation. One of those stories, which I knew to be true, I remembered in particular. One afternoon, Pattison went to the lodgings of a Scotchman, a scholar of the college, to ask him to come for a walk. "Are you ready to go?" said the rector. The Scotchman replied, rather sardonically, that he thought he was. The rector waited in silence. After an interval of five or ten minutes: "Are you ready now?" "Yes." And so they started. Their walk seems to have been a practical illustration of the maxim that silence is golden; for until the parting "good afternoon," neither of them said a word. Since then, the Scotchman had not been invited to take a walk again. Such a walk as that, in unbroken silence, was a possibility I did not like to contemplate. I knew that I did not possess the Scotchman's imperturbability, and fearing that the rector might be indisposed to descend to my sphere, I determined to make a desperate effort to rise to his, or rather to provide myself with some subject on which he might possibly be inclined to converse. So, in all haste, I obtained a copy of "Essays and Reviews," and read therein the essay on "Tendencies of Religious Thought in England, 1688-1750." The event showed that my anxiety and my precautions had been equally super-est private collection in Oxford about fluous. A very short time sufficed to convince me that the rector was far from objecting to conversation in itself; what he seemed to hesitate to do, was to start a subject; and therein, perhaps, lay the cause of all the difficulties of which I had beard. This first impression my own subsequent experience tended to confirm fully. He began a conversation occasionally, but rarely; on the other hand, he was ready to talk on most questions suggested by his companion; only, if a subject was started in the form of a question, he would almost invariably say: "Ah, now I should like to know what you think
sixteen thousand volumes;" and, after speaking of the delight he took in gathering the books about him, added: "There actually are many men with incomes of £500, who don't spend as much as £50 on books." I could not help smiling, and thought there were very many. This and similar topics had brought us to the ferry at Hincksey. We crossed, and wandered on into the fields beyond, towards South Hincksey. It was a sunny afternoon, one of the perfect Oxford autumn days, and the trees were still laden with that wealth of color, from palest yellow to blood-red, which the atmospheric conditions of the
tell you that if you have come up to Oxford with the idea of getting knowledge, you must give that up at once. It is merely a race to get through the examinations; you have time for nothing else. We have bought you, and we're running you for two plates. Yes, we've bought you; tell your father so; tell him you don't belong to him now, and that until you have got your classes in the examinations, you have no time for reading what is not connected with them." I suppose I looked incredulous, for he added, rather more seriously: "Of course I don't want you to think that I disapprove of general reading; on the contrary. But what I say I mean. You must stick to your work, if you want to do well in the schools." As an instance of his memory for small incidents, I may mention that I heard him repeat our conversation almost literally, in his lecture, "What is a Col. lege?" given before the Ascham Society more than four years later.
neighborhood seem specially fitted to pro- | eral reading. Knowing of Oxford, and of duce in unrivalled beauty. One row of the importance necessarily, and to a great trees in particular, to the left of the path, extent justly, attached to examinations, struck us on that day, and the rector what I now know, I can well understand stood still for several minutes to admire the rector's undisguised astonishment at them. After remarking on the loveliness hearing this. But I saw, even then, that of the scene, he said, “Now, why is it the don was shocked, but the man was that nature in her changes has this pecul- pleased. It was, however, when I told iar effect upon us?" I said it seemed to him that by my father's desire I had be me to be because we were reminded there- gun Sanscrit, that the last straw was by of the transitoriness of all things, of added ; and he said (these were his words): beauty, of our own lives, and of how every-" My young friend, I am very grieved to thing is taken from us, and becomes a portion and parcel "of the dreadful past; " and we thus looked upon nature with the sympathy awakened by a fate which we deemed similar to our own. And so forth. The rector listened with his usual patience, and continued to gaze at the trees while I spoke. When I had finished, he turned to me, looked me full in the face with an expression of mingled inquiry and interest which I remember to this day, and said, "Ah!" after which we walked on for some time in silence. It was interesting to me to observe, of what a variety of shades of meaning that characteristic ejaculation of Pattison's "Ah!" was capable. Many times it was his sole answer; mostly it signified that something had aroused his interest; sometimes it conveyed approval, sometimes surprise, sometimes doubt; sometimes it was said in a way that indicated that he did not wish to express himself on the point in question. In time, experience enabled me to put the right interpretation upon it at once, and it frequently served me as an indication of what it was desirable to discuss, and what to pass over. It was Pattison who first spoke again. He made some inquiry as to my examination work, and wished to hear whether I had made any progress with my reading for moderations. I replied that, having been only a week or two in Oxford, I had as yet scarcely thought of moderations, and that, moreover, I had come to Oxford rather with a view to escaping from examinations of which I had had enough in London, and reading my classics more from a literary point of view than for the schools; that, altogether, I was pleased to have at last found an opportunity for some gen
Ten days after this, Pattison sent for me one morning, and invited me to take part in a poetical reading which was to be held at his house that afternoon. He suggested that I should read a German piece, upon which I expressed my fear that I should not do the poem justice. "Well, then you shall do it injustice," he answered. When I came in the afternoon, I found him with one elderly and four young ladies in his drawing-room, and the reading soon began. One of the young ladies, at Pattison's request, also gave us a song in Chinese, the pathetic, if some. what monotonous strains of which were much admired, the abrupt ending, expressing that the hero or heroine is suddenly drowned, being especially striking. The
rector read a sonnet of Wordsworth's, | himself and others have told me, there the second of the two sonnets headed seems good reason to believe that he en“Brugès ;" and in the conversation which |hanced the value of his influence by a followed the reading, he said he consid judicious admixture of criticism with enered the thought, couragement.
The Spirit of Antiquity... Mounts to the seat of grace within the mind, one of Wordsworth's finest. And it is evident how that thought must have ap. pealed to a man like Pattison. What he thought of Wordsworth generally I had the opportunity of judging from several subsequent conversations. As might have been expected, he was not one of the poet's unconditional admirers; he did not place him in the same category with Mil ton and Shakespeare, nor did he, following a recent distinguished critic, consider him greater than Schiller. He admitted the strength, the loftiness of thought, that characterize much of his work, whilst he regretted the sudden descents to positive prose that mar so many of his most beautiful passages. All that was really worth preserving of Wordsworth's work he believed could be compressed into a small volume like Mr. Arnold's "Selection."
During the remainder of this my first term, I continued to receive, at intervals, signs of Pattison's remembrance and goodwill. Several times he sent for me and asked me to join at tea in his drawingroom some young ladies, relations and friends, who were staying with him. Pat tison's popularity among women of all ages was remarkable; nor was this to be wondered at; for, whatever may be said, justly or unjustly, of his manner to men, there can be no doubt that he treated ladies with genuine and chivalrous politeness and courtesy, whilst his conversation with them was marked by more than ordinary brilliancy and lightness of touch. I recollect coming in to an afternoon party at the house of a distinguished Oxford professor one day, and being struck by a large group of ladies, gathered near one of the windows, and evidently deeply interested in some one who was discoursing to them. I drew near, and saw that the centre of the group was Pattison. Upon women the effect of his personality seems, indeed, to have been more powerful even than upon men; not only were they charmed by his wit, and the refined courtesy of his manner: they seemed to feel, and submit to, the influence of the seriousness and earnestness of a moral and intellectual nature elevated far above the every-day level. Of this, no doubt, Pattison was sensible; and from what both he
In the following terms my intercourse with Pattison was resumed, and my rela tions with him were strengthened. There were occasional walks, and afternoon talks in his study, so that, upon the whole, scarcely a week passed without my seeing him for an hour or two. The conversation turned, almost invariably, on literary subjects. In February, 1878, he had written a review of Miss Zimmern's "Life of Lessing," in the course of which he had indulged in his favorite sarcasms about the badness and want of polish of German writing, and had dealt a few hits at the "unkempt and spectacled Teuton," who was the only person for whom the foggy German style, and the crabbed type, was at all suited. We discussed the article and its subject, and I then asked him how far these sarcasms on the Germans were to be taken as genuine indications of his opinion. He said, "Well, of course, you mustn't take that sort of thing too literally. I don't always like to say only yea, yea, and nay, nay; and I haven't much patience with people who only understand you when you do. When I speak of the unkempt and spectacled Teuton, I refer to the untidiness of the ordinary German literary man. I object to that dressing. gown-and-slipper fashion that I have seen in German writers; very few of them dress decently." I quoted to him one of the sentences in his Lessing article, in which he had said, "The interest of the English reading public in any German writer must at best be languid." Well," he said, "it's the fault of the English, of course. Only I do wish the Germans wouldn't always involve their meaning in a blue mist, but write clearly and straightforwardly what they have to say. I can't help saying that, after reading as much of them as I have. We are obliged to read them, because they're about the only people who know anything. However, I hope Miss Zimmern won't be angry with me." I went on to tell him that I had been reading "L'Orient," by Théophile Gautier, and had found it well written but rather unsubstantial. "Yes," he said, “that is unfortunately the characteristic of very much of the most recent literature of France. The style is good, but the matter is insignificant. But," he continued, "if you read all these things, what will become of your moderations? I have come
ever, he promised to do as I had asked. "You must leave it with me for a day or two. I shouldn't like to write anything very commonplace, like Tempus fugit!" The same day, the book was returned, with this inscription :
χρόνος πολυτελὲς ἀνάλωμα.
across a good many young men who have failed to get on, although they had been very promising, and only because they spread their interests over too wide a field. Just as many fail in this way as when their interests are too narrow." To a question as to the best way of reading the Eneid for the schools, he replied, "Read it through once first without com. mentary, merely so as to get to know the In thanking him, I expressed my apprepoem. Then, at the second reading, use ciation of the appropriateness of the ina commentary, Forbiger or Conington scription, and my intention to tear out the (Conington, being in English, is perhaps passages I had copied, and give up the the most practical), and note down pas practice. He wrote back at once: "Pray sages you consider cruces. Pay attention don't tear out a single leaf of your book; to the difficulties in these, and con them, it would be a thousand pities! Let me so that you are quite familiar with them, have it again, as I have thought of a penand able to render them without the con- dent to that Theophrastus-Spruch." And text." A lecturer to whom I mentioned he wrote these words: this plan said it might all be very well if we had a lifetime in which to prepare for moderations.
One evening in February, 1878, I had been dining at the rector's when I noticed, in the drawing-room, a number of uncut books. Thinking that he must find it very wearisome to cut them, I offered to do that work for him, whenever he had any to do. The next day, and often again, I found large piles of new books awaiting me in my room, to be cut at my leisure. I mention the circumstance, because the small service I was thus able to render to the rector, gave me frequent opportunities, of which I made use, for seeing him. I would often take the books back myself, and discuss such as, in the process of cutting, had struck me; and Pattison gave me leave to keep, as long as I liked, any of them I found interesting. "I think it a great shame of me to give you such hard work," he said once. One work we spoke of from amongst these piles was a life of B. R. Haydon, edited by his son. "Haydon endeavored," Pattison said, "to introduce historical painting as a regular branch of art. He failed. I think Haydon was no great painter. He had not the power of Benjamin West, but he knew a great deal about the theory of art. In my own undergraduate days, I heard him lecture at the Clarendon, and I got my first ideas on art from him."
Celui qui ne perd pas son temps en a beau
M. P. 14 March, 1878.
Those batches of books were often an agreeable indication to me, when press of work prevented Pattison from communi. cating with me in any other way, that he had not forgotten me. Not that walks were ever given up for long. Once he said, "I am very sorry not to have any young ladies for you. If you don't mind putting up with an old man like me, and have nothing else to do, come for a walk on Monday at 2.30." At a later time he gave me a standing invitation for walks and calls. "Don't wait for me to send for you. Come and take me out for a walk whenever you feel disposed; and you will find me disengaged, if you like to come in and have a talk, any day when I am in Oxford, at 4.30." Of this general permission I constantly availed myself during the remainder of my Oxford time. Pattison's cordiality, his unconstraint, his refreshing interest, his kindliness and sympathy, seemed to grow at every meeting, and I could not help recalling what, at an earlier date, I had heard said of him, "that the rector of Lincoln was like an oyster- hard to open, but delicious when you had opened him." Whatever might be the truth of the first part of the comparison, I could certainly agree with On another of these occasions I the second. In the smoking-room of an brought him an album, into which I had evening, after dinner, he would quite unbeen in the habit of copying favorite pas bend. He would put on a loose grey sages of poetry and prose, and asked him smoking-jacket, and enjoy a cigar with for his autograph. "Surely," he said, the rest of the company. One of those "you don't write things down to which evenings I remember with especial disyou have constant access in the original tinctness, when the late Leonard Montebooks?" On my replying that I did, he fiore entertained us, and not least the seemed to think it a waste of time; how-rector, with a selection from his inex
haustible stock of aneodotes, which he | We had several times on our walks spoken told with admirable taste and vivacity. Pattison had a very great appreciation for all that was bright and humorous, especially when it was combined with an artistic sense of limit and proportion; and the frequent recurrence of his low, quaint laugh, which seemed to go almost wholly into himself, and to emerge, so to speak, but imperfectly, showed that Montefiore had adopted the right style for his lis
of university arrangements, and their adequacy for educational purposes, and Pattison had said, "What I should like to see, would be a college consisting entirely of scholars, all reading honor subjects, and all maintained, if necessary, at the expense of the college or university." This and similar utterances, as well as his published views in the "Essays on the Endowment of Research," and elsewhere, led me to think that where it was This year, 1878, was memorable at Ox- | a question of giving help and opportunity ford for the phenomenon of a contested to real merit, he would be prepared to Parliamentary election, to fill a vacancy waive a point in the matter of some of in the representation of the university. those college dues and the like, which The Liberals adopted as their candidate flowed into channels to undergraduates at the late Prof. Henry Smith, to oppose Mr. least mysterious. A scholar had been J. G. Talbot. The resident members of elected whose merits were well known to Convocation elected the Liberal candidate me. I was aware also that he was not in by a decided majority; but, as usual, the a position to pay the usual caution money. flood of country voters set in with all its Accordingly, I went to the rector, told old force, and swamped them; and the him what I knew of the man, and asked Conservative was returned. Oxford was him whether, considering that the money, crowded for a few days with these de- if paid, would have to be borrowed, and parted sons of hers, making holiday to would therefore lose some of its signifirecord their votes in the election of a rep-cance, not to speak of the disadvantage of resentative who could not, in any proper sense of the word, be said to represent them. The weather during the election had been extremely rainy, and some one at Pattison's wanted to know what sin we had been committing that was thus being visited upon us. "Oh, it's the number of Tories that have come to Oxford," said the rector; and the young lady who had once entertained us with a Chinese song, thought this "a very happy solution." As a rule, practical politics seemed to have no very great interest for Pattison. That he was a Liberal in principle there can be no doubt, but he spoke on the subject rarely. In the matter of this Oxford election, he agreed with Punch, who, in a current number, asked: "Did any one ever expect that the best man would be elected for Oxford University?" but any definite opinions it was hard to get from him. I remember some one once asking him what he thought of Lord Beacons field. He turned to me, with a smile, and said, "Ah! now that's rather a complicated question, isn't it?" And more he could not be induced to say.
forcing a man to begin his university course in debt, he did not think that, in this instance, there was some cause for advising a dispensation. Pattison was angry; he said, "If a man comes to college, he must come prepared to meet the expenses required of him. You people come up here, and want all sorts of dispensations, and want your scholarships, and want us. We don't want you — we don't want you - we don't want you!" His voice had risen at each repetition. I said I was very sorry to have troubled him, begged his pardon, and rose to go. "No," he said more quietly, "don't go yet, like that. You are coming to walk to the schools with me." I went with him, and soon found that this ebullition had only been momentary. He told me he "had had a bad time of it in the vacation," and I thought at once that his displeasure might be due in part to ill-health. Since then, I have realized how he might well have been annoyed for other reasons. The episode, however, was without any effect on our future relations. We took a walk together a few days later, and all traces of The beginning of the next academical annoyance had disappeared; he was, in year, October, 1878, brought the only oc fact, more than usually friendly, and incasion, so far as I know, on which I called vited me to bring some visitors who were down upon myself the rector's displeas- staying with me, to lunch at his house on ure. I relate the incident, because it the following Sunday. His reluctance to characterizes Pattison, though from a side entertain the suggestion about the dispenof which I knew what I did know by hear-sation for a moment, had seemed to me, say rather than from personal experience. at the time, to involve, in such a man as