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with the European continent, and the European continent
with Africa, allowing tropical animals to migrate freely
from Africa to the middle regions of England.

The change wrought by such discoveries as these, not
only in England, but in Belgium, France, and elsewhere,
as regards our knowledge of the antiquity of the human
race and the character of the creation process, is one of
the great things of our epoch. 1

Thence we visited various cathedral towns, being
shown delightful hospitality everywhere. There re-

1 1 have discussed this more fully in my " History of the Warfare
of Science with Theology," Vol. I, chap. vi.


mains vividly in my memory a visit to Worcester, where
the dean, Lord Alwyn Compton, now Bishop of Ely, went
over the cathedral with us, and showed us much kindness
afterward at the deanery a mediaeval structure, from
the great window of which we looked over the Severn
and the famous Cromwellian battle-field.

Salisbury we found beautiful as of old; then to
Brighton and to "The Bungalow" of Halliwell-Phillips,
the Shaksperian scholar, and never have I seen a more
quaint habitation. On the height above the town Phil-
lips had brought together a number of portable wooden
houses, and connected them with corridors and passages
until all together formed a sort of labyrinth; the only
clue being in the names of the corridors, all being chosen
from Shakspere, and each being enriched with Shak-
sperian quotations appropriate and pithy. At his table
during our stay we met various interesting guests, one
of whom suggested the idea regarding the secret of Car-
lyle's cynicism and pessimism to which reference is
made in my "Warfare of Science." Next came visits
to various country houses, all delightful, and then a stay
at Oxford, to which I was reinitiated by James Bryce;
and for two weeks it was a round of interesting visits,
breakfasts, luncheons, and dinners with the men best
worth knowing at the various colleges. Interesting was
a visit to All Souls College, which, having been founded
as a place where sundry "clerks" should pray for the
souls of those killed at the battle of Crecy, had, as Sir
William Anson, its present head, showed me, begun at last
doing good work after four hundred years of uselessness.
In the chapel was shown me the restored reredos, which
was of great size, extending from floor to ceiling, taking
the place of the chancel window usual in churches, and
made up of niches filled with statues of saints. As
the heads of all the earlier statues had been knocked
off during the fanatical period, there had been substi-
tuted, during the recent restoration, new statues of saints
bearing the heads of noted scholars and others connected


with the college, among which Max Miiller once pointed
out to me his own, and a very good likeness it was. In-
teresting to me were Bryce 's rooms at Oriel, for they were
those in which John Henry Newman had lived: at that
hearth was warmed into life the Oxford Movement. At
one of the Oriel dinners, Bryce spoke of the changes at
Oxford within his memory as enormous, saying that per-
haps the greatest of these was the preference given to
laymen over clergymen as heads of colleges. An exam-
ple of this was the president of Magdalen. I had met
him not many years before in Switzerland, as a young
man, and now he had become the head of this great
college, one of the foremost in the university. This im-
pressed me all the more because my memory suggested
a comparison between him and the president at my first
visit, thirty years before : Warren, the present president,
being an active-minded layman hardly over thirty, and
his predecessor, Routh, a doctor of divinity, who was
then in his hundredth year. It was curious to see that,
while this change had been made to lay control, various
relics of clerical dominance were still in evidence, and,
among these, the surplice worn by Bryce, a member of
Parliament, when he read the lessons from the lectern
in Oriel chapel. At another dinner I was struck by a re-
mark of his, that our problems in America seemed to
him simple and easy compared with those of England;
but as I revise these recollections, twenty years later, and
think of the questions presented by our acquisitions in the
West Indies and in the Philippine and Hawaiian islands,
as well as the negro problem in the South and Bryanism
in the North, to say nothing of the development of 'the
Monroe Doctrine and the growth of socialistic theories,
the query comes into my mind as to what he would think

November 9, 1885.

Dining at All Souls with Professor Dicey, I met Pro-
fessor Gardiner, the historian, whom I greatly liked ; his


lecture on "Ideas in English History," which I had
heard in the afternoon, was suggestive, thorough, and in-
teresting: he is evidently one of the historians whose
work will last. In the hall I noted Lord Salisbury's por-
trait in the place of honor.

Tuesday, November 10.

Breakfasting at Oriel with Bryce, I met Broderick,
warden of Merton, and there was an interesting politi-
cal discussion. Bryce thought Chamberlain had alarmed
the well-to-do classes, but trusted to Gladstone to bring
matters around right, and, apropos of some recent oc-
currences, remarked upon the amazing depth of spite
revealed in the blackballing at clubs. Took lunch at
Balliol, where the discussion upon general and American
history was interesting. Dined with Bryce at Oriel, and,
the discussion falling upon English and American pol-
itics, sundry remarks of Fowler, president of Corpus
Christi College, were pungent. He evidently thinks bit-
terly of political corruption in America, and I find this
feeling everywhere here ; politely concealed, of course, but
none the less painful. I could only say that the contents
of the caldron should not be judged from the scum
thrown to the surface. In the evening to Professor
Freeman's and met Mr. Hunt, known as a writer and an
examiner in history. He complained bitterly of the
cramming system, as so many do; thought that Jowett
had done great harm by promoting it, and that the main
work now done is for position in the honor list, cram
by tutors being everything and lectures nothing.

Wednesday, November 11.

Took luncheon with Fowler, president of Corpus Christi,
a most delightful and open-minded man. I have enjoyed
no one here more, few so much. We discussed the teach-
ing of ethics, he lamenting the coming in of Hegelianism,
which seems mainly used by sophists in upholding out-
worn dogmas. Afterward we took a long stroll together,


discussing as we walked his admirable little book on
" Progress in Morals"; I suggesting some additions from
my own experience in America. In the afternoon came
Professor Freeman's lecture on Constantine. It was a
worthy presentation of a great subject, but there were
fewer than ten members of the university present, and
only two of these remained until the close. In the even-
ing I dined at Balliol, and, the conversation falling upon
the eminent master of the college, Jowett, and his friend-
ship with Stubbs, Bishop of Oxford, and Freeman, a
budding cynic recalled the verses :

" I go first ; my name is Jowett ;
I am the Master of Balliol College ;
Whatever 's worth knowing, be sure that I know it ;
Whatever I don't know is not knowledge." 1

Whereupon some one cited a line from an Oxford satire :
"Stubbs butters Freeman, and Freeman butters
Stubbs"; at which I could only say that Jowett, Stubbs,
and Freeman had seemed to me, in my intercourse with
them, anything but dogmatic, pragmatic, or unctuous.

November 13.

In the morning breakfasted with Bryce and a dozen
or more graduates and undergraduates in the common
room at Oriel, and was delighted with the relations be-
tween instructors and instructed then shown. Nothing
could be better. The discussion turning upon Froude,
who had evidently fascinated many of the younger men
by his style, Bryce was particularly severe against him
for his carelessness as to truth. This reminded me of
a remark made to me by Moncure Conway, I think, that
Froude had begun with the career of a novelist, for
which he had decided gifts ; that Carlyle had then made
him think this sort of work unworthy, urging him to write
history; and that Froude had carried into historical
writing the characteristics of a romance-writer. In the

1 This is given differently in Tuckwell's reminiscences,


afternoon to a beautiful concert in the great hall of Christ
Church. A curious sort of accommodation in quasi-boxes
was provided by pushing the dining-tables to the sides
of the room and placing the audience in chairs upon
them and in front of them ; it seemed to me more service-
able than cleanly. In the evening dined at Lincoln Col-
lege with the rector, Dr. Merry, who was very agreeable
and entertaining, giving interesting accounts of his pre-
decessor, Mark Pattison, and of Wilberforce when Bishop
of Oxford. One of the guests, a fellow of New College,
told me that some fifty years ago an American, being en-
tertained there showed the college dons how to make mint-
julep, or something of the sort, and then sent them a
large silver cup with the condition that it should be filled
with this American drink every year on the anniversary
of the donor's visit, and that this is regularly done. This
pious donor must have been, I think, "Nat" Willis.

Sunday, November 15.

Lunched with Johnson, fellow of Merton, and met my
old friend Mile. Blaze du Bury. Her comments, from the
point of view of a brilliant young Frenchwoman, on all
she saw about her at Oxford were pungent and sugges-
tive. In the evening heard the Archbishop of York,
Thompson, preach at St. Mary's. He urged the students
to consecrate themselves by their example to the mainte-
nance of a better standard of morality; but, despite his
strength and force, the sermon seemed heavy and per-

November 16.

To Windsor with a party of friends, and as we had
a special permit to see a large number of rooms and
curious objects not usually shown, the visit was very
interesting. Sadly suggestive was Gordon 's Bible, every
page having its margins covered with annotations in his
own hand : it was brought from Khartoum after his mur-


der, presented by his sister to the Queen, and is now
preserved in an exquisitely wrought silver casket.

Tuesday, November 18.

Visited Somerville Hall for women, which shows a vast
advance over Oxford as I formerly knew it. To think
that its creation honors the 'memory of a woman who
attained her high scientific knowledge in spite of every
discouragement, and who, when she had attained it, was
denounced outrageously from the pulpit of York Minster
for it! Dined at Merton College with the warden, Hon.
George Broderick, in the hall, which has been most beau-
tifully restored by Sir Gilbert Scott. When will the
founders of our American colleges and universities un-
derstand the vast educational value of surroundings like
these, and especially of a ''hall" in which students meet
every day, beneath storied windows and the busts and
portraits of the most eminent men in the history of sci-
ence, literature, and public service?

In answer to the question whether in American univer-
sities there was anything like the association between
instructors and students in England, I spoke of the evo-
lution of our fraternity houses as likely to bring about
something of the sort. The fraternal relation between
teachers and taught is certainly the best thing in the Eng-
lish universities, and covers a multitude of sins. If I
were a great millionaire I would establish in our greater
universities a score or so of self-governing colleges, each
with comfortable lodging-rooms and studies and with
its own library and dining-hall. In the common room,
after dinner, I sat next Professor Wallace, whose book
on Kant I had read. He thinks the system of ethics
really predominant in England is modified Kantianism.

November 19.

To Mortimer, near Beading, on a visit to Sir Paul
Hunter, who once visited me at Cornell. Extracts from
my diary of this visit are as follows :


November 20.

To Bearwood, the seat of John Walter, M.P., proprie-
tor of the ' * Times, ' ' and for the first time in my life saw
a fox hunt, with the meet, the huntsmen in red coats,
and all the rest of it.

November 21.

Visited the old Abbey Church at Reading with Sir
Paul, and in the evening met various interesting people at
dinner, among them Sir John Mowbray, M.P. for Oxford,
and Mr. Walter.

Sunday, November 22.

After morning service in the beautiful parish church,
which, with its schools, was the gift of Mr. Benyon, sev-
eral of us took a walk to Silchester, with its ruins of an
old Roman bath, on the Duke of Wellington's estate.
In the evening Mr. Walter, who usually appears so reti-
cent and quiet, opened himself to me quite freely, speak-
ing very earnestly regarding the unfortunate turn which
the question between Catholics and Protestants has taken
in England under pressure from the Vatican, especially
as regards marriages, and illustrating his view by some
most suggestive newspaper cuttings. He also gave me
what he claimed was the true story of Earl Russell's con-
duct in letting out the Confederate cruisers against us
during the Civil War, attributing it to the fact that an
underling charged with preventing it went suddenly mad,
so that the matter did not receive early attention. But
this did not modify my opinion of Earl Russell. Thank
Heaven, he lived until he saw Great Britain made to pay
heavily for his obstinacy. Pity that he did not live to
see the present restoration of good feeling between the two
countries; esto perpetua (1905).

Monday, November 23.

In the afternoon drove to "Bramshill," the magnificent
seat of Sir William Cope ; after all, there has never been

II. 26


any domestic architecture so noble as the Elizabethan and
Jacobean. In the evening to a Tory meeting, Sir John
Mowbray presiding; his opening speech astounded me.
Presenting the claims of his party, he said that the Tories
were not only the authors of extended suffrage under
Lord Beaconsfield, but that they ought also to have the
credit of free trade in grain, since Sir Robert Peel had
supported the bill for the repeal of the corn laws. Remem-
bering the treatment which Sir Robert Peel received from
Disraeli and the Tory party for this very act, it seemed
to me that Sir John's speech was the coolest thing I had
ever heard in my life. It was taken in good part, how-
ever. In America I am quite sure that such a speech
would have been considered an insult to the audience.

November 24.

To Cambridge, where I met a number of old friends,
including Dr. Waldstein, director of the Fitzwilliam Mu-
seum, and Sedley Taylor, fellow of Trinity; and in the
evening dined at King's College with the former and a
number of interesting men, including Westcott, the emi-
nent New Testament scholar (since Bishop of Durham).

November 26.

Dined at Trinity College with Sedley Taylor and
others, and thence to the Politico-Economic Association
to hear a discussion upon cooperation in production;
those taking the principal part in the meeting being sun-
dry leading men among the professors and fellows de-
voted to political economy. During the day I called on
Robertson Smith, the eminent biblical critic, who, having
been thrown out of the Free Church of Scotland for re-
vealing sundry truths in biblical criticism a dozen years
too soon, has been received into a far better place at

November 27.

Had a delightful hour during the morning in King's
College chapel with Bradshaw, the librarian of the uni-


versity a most accomplished man. He has a passion
for church architecture, and his discussions of the won-
derful stained windows of the chapel were very interest-
ing. The evening service at King's College was most
beautiful: nothing could be more perfect than the an-
tiphonal rendering of the Psalms by the two choirs and
the great organ. More and more I am impressed by the
educational value of such things.

November 28.

During the greater part of the day in the library of
Trinity College with Sedley Taylor. Years before, I had
explored its treasures with Aldis Wright, but there were
new things to fascinate me. Dining at King's College
with Waldstein, met Professor Seeley, author of the
1 ' Life of Stein, ' ' a book which, ever since its appearance,
has been an object of my admiration.

November 29.

In the morning, at King's College chapel, I was greatly
struck by the acoustic properties of this immense build-
ing ; for, having seated myself near the door at the west
end, I distinctly heard every word of the prayer for the
church militant as it was recited before the altar at the
other end. Afterward, at Oscar Browning's rooms,
looked over a multitude of interesting documents, includ-
ing British official reports from New York during our
War of the Revolution ; and in the evening, at Waldstein 's
rooms, met Sir Henry Maine and discussed with him his
book on "Popular Government." He interested me
greatly, and I pointed out to him some things which, in
my opinion, he might well dwell more strongly upon in
future editions, and among these the popularity of the
veto power in the United States, as shown in its exten-
sion by recent legislation of various States to items of
supply bills.

At noon to luncheon at Christ's College with Professor
Robertson Smith, the Scotch heretic. This was the Cam-


bridge home of Milton and Darwin, interesting memo-
rials of whom were shown me. Among the guests was
Dr. Creighton, professor of ecclesiastical history. The
early part of Creighton *s book on the "History of the
Papacy During the Reformation Period" had especially
interested me, and I now enjoyed greatly his knowledge
of Italian matters. He discussed Tomasini's book on
Machiavelli, and sundry new Italian books on the relations
of the Popes and Fra Paolo Sarpi.

November 30.

Took tea at St. Mary's Hall with Sir Henry Maine, and
continued our discussion on his "Popular Government,"
which, while opposed to democracy, pays a great tribute
to the Constitution of the United States. Dined with
Professor Creighton ; met various interesting people, and
discussed with him and Mrs. Creighton sundry points in
English history, especially the career of Archbishop
Laud; my opinion of Macaulay's injustice being con-
firmed thereby.

December 1.

Went in the morning with Sedley Taylor and Pro-
fessor Stuart, M.P., an old friend of former visits, and in-
spected the mechanical laboratory and workshops. There
were about seventy university men, more or less, engaged
in these, and it was interesting to see English Cambridge
adopting the same line which we have already taken at
Cornell against so much opposition, and surprising to
find the Cambridge equipment far inferior to that of
Cornell. Afterward visited the polling booths for an
election which was going on, and noted the extraordinary
precautions against any interference with the secrecy of
the ballot. Also to the Cavendish physical laboratory,
which, like the mechanical laboratory, was far inferior
in equipment to ours at Cornell. In the evening to the
Greek play, the "Eumenides" of ^Eschylus, which
was wonderfully well done. The Athena, Miss Case of
Girton College, was superb; the Apollo imposing; the


Orestes a good actor; and the music very effective. I
found myself seated next Andrew Lang, so well known
for his literary activity in various fields ; and on speaking
to him of the evident delights of life at Cambridge and
Oxford, I found that he had outlived his enthusiasm on
that subject.

December 2.

In the morning took a charming walk through St.
Peter's, Queen's, and other colleges, enjoying their quiet
interior courts, their halls and cloisters, the bridges
across the Cam, and the walks beyond. Then to a lecture
by Professor Seeley on "Forces of Government in His-
tory. ' ' It was admirably clear, though, in parts, perhaps
too subtle. As to England he summed all up by saying
that its present system was simply revolution at any
moment. Walking home with him afterward, I asked
why, if his statement were correct, it did not realize the
old ideal in France namely, that of "La revolution en
permanence." At luncheon with Waldstein at King's
College we found Lord Lytton, recently governor-general
of India, known to literature as "Owen Meredith," with
Lady Lytton; also Sir William Anson, provost of All
Souls ; as well as the Athena of last evening, Miss Case ;
the Orestes, the Apollo, Sir Henry Maine, and others.
I was amused at the difference between Lord Lytton 's
way of greeting me and his treatment of Sir William
Anson. When I was introduced, he at once took me by
the hand, and began talking very cordially and openly;
but when his eminent countryman was introduced, each
eyed the other as if in suspicion, did not shake hands,
bowed very coldly, and said nothing beyond muttering
some one of the usual formulas. It was a curious ex-
ample of the shyness of Englishmen in meeting each
other, and of their want of shyness in meeting men from
other countries. At table Lord Lytton spoke regarding
the annexation of Burmah, likely to be accomplished
by the dethronement of the king, Theebaw; said that it


ought to have been accomplished long ago, and that the
delay of action in the premises was due to English ti-
midity. Both he and Lady Lytton were very agreeable.
He gave an interesting account of a native drama per-
formed before him in India at the command of one of
the great princes, though speaking of it as * ' deadly dull. ' '
Speaking of difficulties in learning idioms, he told the
story of a German professor who, priding himself on his
thorough knowledge of English idioms, said, "We must,
as you English say, take ze cow by ze corns." At this
some one rejoined with the story of the learned baboo
in India who spoke of something as "magnificent, soul-
inspiring, and tip-top." As another example of baboo
English was mentioned the inscription upon one of the
show-cases in an exhibition in India: "All the goods in
this case are for sale, but they cannot be removed until
after the day of judgment. ' '

In the evening met the Historical Club at Oscar Brown-
ing's rooms, and heard an admirable paper by Professor
Seeley on "Bourbon Family Compacts." He said that
the fact of their existence was not fully established until
Kanke mentioned them, and that he, Seeley, then exam-
ined the English Foreign Office records and found them.
He spoke of them as refuting the arguments of Macaulay
and others as to the folly of supposing that different
branches of the same family on different thrones are
likely to coalesce. Oscar Browning then read a paper on
the flight of Louis XVI to Varennes. It was elaborate,
and based on close study and personal observation.
Browning had even taken measurements of the distance
over which King Louis passed on that fatal night, with
the result that he proved Carlyle 's account to be entirely
inaccurate, and his indictment against Louis XVI based
upon it to be absurd. So far from the King having lum-
bered along slowly through the night in Mme. Korf's
coach because he had not the force of character to make
his driver go rapidly, Browning found that the journey
was made in remarkably quick time.


December 3.

Breakfasting with Sedley Taylor, I met Professor
Stuart, M.P., who thinks a great liberal, peaceful revo-
lution in the English constitution will be accomplished
within the next fifty years. Thence walked with Tay-
lor to Newnham College, where we were very kindly
received by Miss Gladstone, daughter of the prime min-
ister, and shown all about the place. We were also cor-
dially received by Miss Clough, and made the acquain-
tance of two American girls, one from New Jersey and
the other from California. Much progress had been
made since my former visit under the guidance of Pro-
fessor and Mrs. Fawcett. Thence to Jesus College
chapel and saw William Morris's stained glass, which is
the most beautiful modern work of the kind known to

Online LibraryAndrew Dickson WhiteAutobiography of Andrew Dickson White (Volume 2) → online text (page 35 of 54)