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staying at Windsor, and from that hour to his dying day he received marks of royal kindness and condescension, the memory of which will be an heirloom to his children. To a man of his fine imagination and deep loyalty, who had sounded the depths of society, and whose increasing popularity as an author, and power as a preacher, had given him a large acquaintance with all ranks, this new phase in his life seemed to come just to complete the cycle of his experiences. But while its result was, in a certain sense, to establish his position and enlarge his influence, on his own character it had a humbling rather than exalting effect. From this time there was a marked difference in the tone of the public press, religious and otherwise, towards him; and though he still waged war as heretofore against bigotry, ignorance, and intolerance, and was himself unchanged, the attacks on him from outside were less frequent. The events of the year, uninteresting to the outer world, but each important in giving color to his own daily life and leaving its mark on his heart and imagination, are soon 'told. He sent his eldest son to Wellington College, which had opened in the winter, and where the scheme of education, owing to the wise influence of the Prince Consort, was more consonant to his own views for his son (being of a wider and more modern character) than that of the older and more venerable public schools. He was present at the marriage of his friend Max Müller and a beloved niece.1 His acquaintance with
1 The G. to whom the lines were written beginning:
"A hasty jest I once let fall,
As jests are wont to be, untrue."— To G., " Poems."
Lord Cranworth and with Lord Carnarvon, which soon deepened into attachment, was made this year. Dean Stanley paid his first visit to Eversley. In the autumn he and his wife spent a few days with Mr. and Mrs. Tennyson in the Isle of Wight, but having no curate, his holiday was short, and more than once this year he broke down from overwork. He shrunk from the bustle of London, refused all sermons there, and withdrew from politics. Notwithstanding fair prospects and outward distinction, he clung more and more passionately to his country home - the "far off look," the longing for rest and reality, and for the unfolding of the mystery of life, grew stronger upon him, and, though always bright and cheerful with his children, he said more frequently to his wife, "How blessed it will be when it is all over to lie down in that dear churchyard together!"
"I have not been to town," he writes, "for more than two days in the last nine months. I see no chance of preaching there, I am happy to say, for a long time, save next Sunday, when I preach to the Queen. As for politics, I heed them not."
TOT. HUGHES, ESQ., June 12th." This is my fortieth birthday. What a long life I have lived! and silly fellows that review me say that I can never have known ill-health or sorrow. I have known enough to make me feel very old happy as I am now; and I am very happy. . . .'
Among his many correspondents was the editor of an Atheist newspaper in a northern manufacturing town, an intelligent artisan, who told him
of the interest with which he and men of his class had read aloud "Alton Locke," "Yeast," and "Hypatia," on Sunday evenings. "Such perusal," he added, "makes us better men," to which Mr. Kingsley replied:
"MY DEAR SIR, I should have answered so frank and manly a letter before, but my father's sudden illness called me away from home. I hope that you and your friends will not always remain Atheists. . . . It is a barren, heartless, hopeless creed, as a creed- though a man may live long in it without being heartless or hopeless himself. Still, he will never be the man he ought to have been; and therefore it is bad for him and not good. But what I want to say to you is this, and I do want to say it. Whatever doubt or doctrinal Atheism you and your friends may have, don't fall into moral Atheism. Don't forget the Eternal Goodness, whatever name you may call it. I call it God. Or if you even deny an Eternal Goodness, don't forget or neglect such goodness as you find in yourselves not an honest — a manly, a loving, a generous, a patient feeling. For your own sakes, if not for God's sake, keep alive in you the sense of what is, and you know to be, good, noble, and beautiful. I don't mean beautiful in 'art,' but beautiful in morals. If you will keep that moral sense that sense of the beauty of goodness, and of man's absolute duty to be good, then all will be as God wills, and all will come right at last. But if you lose that—if you begin to say, 'Why should not I be quarrelsome and revengeful? why should I not be conceited and insolent? why should I not be selfish and grasping?' then you will be Atheists indeed, and what to say to you I shall not know. But from your letter, and from the very look of your hand-writing, I augur better things; and even hope that you will not think me impertinent if I send you a volume of my own
Sermons to think over manfully and fairly. It seems to me (but I may flatter myself) that you cannot like, as you say you do, my books, and yet be what I call moral Atheists. Mind, if there is anything in this letter which offends you, don't take fire, but write and ask me (if you think it worth while) what I mean. In looking it through I see several things which (owing to the perversion of religious phrases in these days) you may misunderstand, and take your friend for your foe.
"At all events, I am, yours faithfully,
Artists now often consulted him, and among them the late Charles Henry Bennett, a man full of genius, then on the staff of "Punch." Finding he was in need, and had a difficulty in getting a publisher for his Illustrated Pilgrim's Progress, Mr. Kingsley wrote and gave him a preface for it, upon which Messrs. Longmans accepted it.
To C. H. BENNETT, ESQ.-". . . I feel as deeply as you our want of a fitting illustration of the great Puritan Epic, and agree in every word which you say about past attempts. Your own plan is certainly the right one, only in trying for imaginative freedom, do not lose sight of beauty of form. I am, in taste, a strong classicist, contrary to the reigning school of Ruskin, Pugin, and the pre-Raphaelites, and wait quietly for the world to come. round to me again. But it is perfectly possible to combine Greek health and accuracy of form with German freedom of imagination, even with German grotesqueness. I say Greek and German (i. e., fifteenth and sixteenth century German) because those two are the only two root-schools in the world. I know no such combination of both as in Kaulbach. His illustrations of Reinecke Fuchs are in my eyes the finest designs (save those of three or four great Italians of the sixteenth
century), which the world has ever seen. Any man desiring to do an enduring work must study, copy, and surpass them.
"Now in Bunyan, there is a strong German (Albert Dürer) element which you must express, viz., 1st, a tendency to the grotesque in imagination; 2nd, a tendency to spiritual portraiture of the highest kind, in which an ideal character is brought out, not by abstracting all individual traits (the Academy plan), but by throwing in strong individual traits drawn from common life. This, indeed, has been the manner of the highest masters, both in poetry and painting, e. g., Shakespeare and Dante; and the portraits, and even heroic figures of Leonardo, Raphael, Michael Angelo, Sebastian del Piombo, Bronzino, the two latter with Titian the triumvirate of portraitpainting. You find the same in Correggio. He never idealizes, i. e., abstracts in a portrait, seldom in any place. You would know the glorious 'Venus' of the National Gallery if you met her in the street. So this element you have a full right to employ. But there is another, of which Bunyan, as a Puritan tinker, was not conscious, though he had it in his heart, that is, classic grace and purity of form. He had it in his heart, as much as Spenser. His women, his Mr. Greatheart, his Faithful, his shepherds, can only be truly represented in a lofty and delicate outline, otherwise the ideal beauty which lifts them into a supernatural and eternal world is lost, and they become mere good folks of the seventeenth century. Some illustrators, feeling this, have tried to mediævalize them. Silly fellows! What has Bunyan to do with the Middle Age? He writes for all ages, he is full of an eternal humanity, and that eternal humanity can only be represented by something of the eternal form which you find in Greek statues. I don't mean that you are to Grecianize their dress, any more than mediævalize it. No. And here comes an important question.