Matthew Arnold.

Culture & anarchy: an essay in political and social criticism ; and ... online

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bodied, yet I cannot bear to hear Anninius apply such
a term to it as "incorrigibly lewd;" and I always
remonstrate with him. "No, Arminius," I always
say, "I hope not incorrigibly; I should be sorry to
think that of a publication which is forming the
imagination and taste of millions of Englishmen."
"Pleasant news," was Arminius's answer, the last
time I urged this to him, " pleasant news ; the next
batch of you, then, will be even more charming than
the present ! "

I trouble you with all this, Sir, to account for the
acerbity of tone in some of Arminius's subsequent
conversation ; an acerbity he too often manifests, and
which tends, as I tell him, to detract from the influ-
ence which his talents and acquirements would other-
wise give him. On the present occasion he took no
direct notice of my mention of the Daily Telegraph,
but seemed quite taken up with scrutinising old
Diggs. " Such a peasant as that wretched old crea-
ture," he said at last, "is peculiar, my dear friend, to



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260 FEIENDSHIP'S GARLAND. [lettbb

your country. Only look at that countenance !
Centuries of feudalism have effaced in it every gleam
of humane lifa" . . . "Centuries of fiddlesticks!"
interrupted I (for I assure you, Sir, I can stand up to
Arminius well enough on a proper occasion). " My
dear Arminius, how can you allow yourself to talk
such rubbish 1 Gleam of humane life, indeed! do
but look at the twinkle in the old rogue's eya He
has plenty of life and wits about him, has old Diggs,
I can assure you ; you just try and come round him
about a pot of beer!" "The mere cunning of an
animal ! " retorted Arminius. " For my part," pur-
sued I, " it is his children I think most about ; I am
told not one of them has ever seen the inside of a
school. Do you know, Arminius, I begin to think,
and many people in this country begin to think, that
the time has almost come for taking a leaf out of your
Prussian book, and applying, in the education of
children of this class, what the great Kant calls the
categorical imperative. The gap between them and
our educated and intelligent classes is really too
frightful" " Your educated and intelligent classes ! "
sneered Arminius, in his very most offensive manner ;
" where are they 1 I should like to see them."

I was not going to stand and hear our aristocracy
and middle class set down in this way ; so, treating
Arminius's ebullition of spite as beneath my notice,
I pushed my way through the crowd to the inn-
door. I asked the policeman there what magistrates
were on the bench to-day. " Viscount Lumpington,"
says the man, " Eeverend Esau Hittall, and Bottles,



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VI.] ARMINIUS ON COMPULSOKY EDUCATION. 261

Esquire." "Good heavens!" I exclaimed, turning
round to Arminius, who had followed me, and forget-
ting, in my excitement, my just cause of offence with
him, — " Good heavens, Arminius, if Bottles hasn't got
himself made a county magistrate ! Sic itur ad astra.^^
"Yes," says Arminius, with a smile, "one of your
educated and intelligent classes, I suppose. And I
dare say the other two are to match. Your magis-
trates are a sort of judges, I know ; just the people
who are drawn from the educated and intelligent
classes. Now, what's sauce for the goose is sauce for
the gander; if you put a pressure on one class to
make it train itself properly, you must put a pressure
on others to the same end. That is what we do in
Prussia, if you are going to take a leaf out of our
book. I want to hear what steps you take to put this
pressure on people above old Diggs there, and then I
will talk to you about putting it on old Diggs. Take
his judges who are going to try him to-day; how
about them ? What training have you made them
give themselves, and what are their qualifications 1"

I luckily happen to know Lord Lumpington and
Hittall pretty well, having been at college with them
in former days, when I little thought the Philistines
would have brought my gray hairs to a garret in
Grub Street ; and I have made the acquaintance of
Mr. Bottles since, and know all about him. So I
was able to satisfy Arminius's curiosity, and I had
great pleasure in making him remark, as I did so,
the rich diversity of our English life, the healthy
natural play of our free institutions, and the happy



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262 friendship's garland. [lbtteb

blending of classes and characters which this pro-
motes. " The three magistrates in that inn," said I,
" are not three Government functionaries all cut out
of one block ; they embody our whole national life ; —
the land, religion, commerce, are all represented by
them. Lord Lumpington is a peer of old family and
great estate; Esau Hittall is a clergyman ; Mr. Bottles
is one of our self-made middle -class men. Their
politics are not all of one colour, and that colour the
Govemment*a Lumpington is a Constitutional Whig ;
Hittall is a benighted old Tory. As for Mr. Bottles,
he is a Radical of the purest water ; quite one of the
Manchester school He was one of the earliest free-
traders ; he has always gone as straight as an arrow
about Eeform; he is an ardent voluntary in every
possible line, opposed the Ten Hours' Bill, was one
of the leaders of the Dissenting opposition out of
Parliament which smashed up the education clauses
of Sir James Graham's Factory Act ; and he paid the
whole expenses of a most important church-rate con-
test out of his own pocket. And, finally, he looks
forward to marrying his deceased wife's sister. Table,
as my friend Mr. Grant Duff says, the whole Liberal
creed, and in not a single point of it will you find
Bottles tripping ! "

" That is all very well as to their politics," said
Arminius, "but I want to hear about their education
and intelligence." " There, too, I can satisfy you," I
answered. " Lumpington was at Eton. Hittall was
on the foundation at Charterhouse, placed there by
bis uncle, a distinguished prelate, who was one of



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VI.] ARMINIUS ON COMPULSORY EDUCATION. 263

the trustees. You know we English have no notion
of your bureaucratic tyranny of treating the appoint-
ments to these great foundations as public patronage,
and vesting them in a responsible minister ; we vest
them in independent magnates, who relieve the State
of all work and responsibility, and never take a
shilling of salary for their trouble. Hittall was the
last of six nephews nominated to the Charterhouse
by his uncle, this good prelate, who had thoroughly
learnt the divine lesson that charity begins at home."
" But I want to know what his nephew learnt," in-
terrupted Arminius, "and what Lord Lumpington
learnt at. Eton." "They followed," said i "the
grand, old, fortifying, classical curriculum." "Did
they know anything when they left ?" asked Arminius.
"I have seen some longs and shorts of HittalFs,"
said I, " about the CaJydonian Boar, which were not
bad. But you surely don't need me to tell you,
Arminius, that it is rather in training and bracing
the mind for future acquisition, — ^a course of mental
gymnastics we call it, — than in teaching any set
thing, that the classical curriculum is so valuable."
" Were the minds of Lord Lumpington and Mr. Hittall
much braced by their mental gymnastics 1 " inquired
Arminius. " Well," I answered, " during their three
years at Oxford they were so much occupied with
Bullingdon and hunting that there was no great
opportunity to judge. But for my part I have
always thought that their both getting their degree
at last with flying colours, after three weeks of a
famous coach for fast men, four nights without going



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264 friendship's garland. [lettbb

to bed, and an incredible consumption of wet towels,
strong cigars, and brandy-and-water, was one of the
most astonishing feats of mental gymnastics I ever
heard of."

"That will do for the land and the Church," said
Arminius. "And now let us hear about commerce."
" You mean how was Bottles educated 1 " answered I.
" Here we get into another line altogether, but a very
good line in its way, too. Mr. Bottles was brought
up at the Lycurgus House Academy, Peckham.
You are not to suppose from the name of Lycurgus
that any Latin and Greek was taught in the establish-
ment; the name only indicates the moral discipline,
and the strenuous earnest character, imparted there.
As to the instruction, the thoughtful educator who
was principal of the Lycurgus House Academy,—
Archimedes Silverpump, Ph.D., you must have heard
of him in Germany 1 — ^had modem views. * We must
be men of our age,' he used to say. * Useful know-
ledge, living languages, and the forming of the mind
through observation and experiment, these are the
fundamental articles of my educational creed.' Or,
as I have heard his pupil Bottles put it in his expan-
sive moments after dinner (Bottles used to ask me to
dinner till that aflTair of yours with him in the Rei-
gate train) : * Original man, Silvefpump ! fine mind !
fine system ! None of your antiquated rubbish — aU
practical work — ^latest discoveries in science — mind
constantly kept excited — ^lots of interesting experi-
ments — lights of all colours — fizz ! fizz ! bang ! bang !
That's what I call forming a man.' "



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VI.] ARMINIUS ON COMPULSORY EDUCATION. 265

"And pray," cried Arminius, impatiently, "what
sort of man do you suppose this infernal quaxjk really
formed in your precious friend Mr. Bottles V* "Well,"
I replied, " I hardly know how to answer that ques-
tion. Bottles has certainly made an immense fortune;
but as to Silverpump's eflfect on his mind, whether it
was from any fault in the Lycurgus House system,
whether it was that with a sturdy self-reliance
thoroughly English, Bottles, ever since he quitted
Silverpump, left his mind wholly to itself, his daily
newspaper, and the Particular Baptist minister under
whom he sate, or from whatever cause it was, certainly

his mind, gud mind " " You need not go on,"

interrupted Arminius, with a magnificent wave of
his hand, " I know what that man's mind, qud mind,
is, well enough."

But, Sir, the midnight oil is beginning to run very
low ; I hope, therefore, you will permit me to post-
pone the rest of Arminius's discourse till to-morrow.
And meanwhile, Sir, I am, with all respect.
Your humble servant,

Matthew Arnold.

To the Editor of the Pall Mall Gazette.



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LETTEE VII.

MORE ABOUT COMPULSORY EDUCATION,
gjj, Grub Street, April 21, 1867.

I TAKE up the thread of the interesting and important
discussion on compulsory education between Arminius
and me where I left it last night.

" But," continued Arminius, " you were talking of
compulsory education, and your common people's
want of it. Now, my dear friend, I want you to
understand what this principle of compulsory educa-
tion really means. It means that to ensure, as far
as you can, every man's being fit for his business in
life, you put education as a bar, or condition, between
him and what he aims at. The principle is just as
good for one class as another, and it is only by
applying it impartially that you save its application
from being insolent and invidious. Our Prussian
peasant stands our compelling him to instruct himself
before he may go about his calling, because he sees
we believe in instruction, and compel our own
class, too, in a way to make it really feel the pressure,
to instruct itself before it may go about its calling.
Now, you propose to make old Diggs's hoys instruct



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711.] MOEE ABOUT COMPULSORY EDUCATION. 267

themselves before they may go bird-scaring or sheep-
tending. I want to know what you do to make those
three worthies in that justice -room instruct them-
selves before they may go acting as magistrates and
judges." " Do ? " said I ; " why, just look what they
have done all of themselvea Lumpington and Hittall
have had a public-school and university education;
Bottles has had Dr. Silverpump's, and the practical
training of business. What on earth would you have
us make them do more ? " " Qualify themselves for
administrative or judicial functions, if they exercise
them," said Arminius. " That is what really answers,
in their case, to the compulsion you propose to apply
to Diggs's boys. Sending Lord Lumpington and Mr.
Hittall to school is nothing ; the natural course of
things takes them there. Don't suppose that, by
doing this, you are applying the principle of com-
pulsory education fairly, and as you apply it to Diggs's
boys. You are not interposing, for the rich, education
as a bar or condition between them and that which
they aim at But interpose it, as we do, between the
rich and things they aim at, and I will say something
to you. I should like to know what has made Lord
Lumpington a magistrate 1" "Made Lord Lump-
ington a magistrate?" said I; "why, the Lumping-
ton estate, to be sure." "And the Eeverend Esau
Hittall ? " continued Arminius. " Why, the Lump-
ington living, of course," said I "And that man
Bottles?" he went on. "His English energy and
self-reliance," I answered very stiffly, for Arminius's
incessant carping began to put me in a huff; "those



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FRIENDSniP 8 GABLAND. [letteb

same incomparable and truly British qualities which
have just triumphed over every obstacle and given
us the Atlantic telegraph ! — and let me tell you, Von
T., in my opinion it will be a long time before the
* Geist ' of any pedant of a Prussian professor gives
us anything half so valuable as that." " Pshaw ! "
replied Arminius, contemptuously ; " that great rope,
with a Philistine at each end of it talking inutilities !
"But in my country," he went on, "we should
have begun to put a pressure on these future magis-
trates at school Before we allowed Lord Lumpington
and Mr. Hittall to go to the university at all, we
should have examined them, and we should not have
trusted the keepers of that absurd cockpit you took
me down to see, to examine them as they chose, and
send them jogging comfortably off to the university
on their lame longs and shorts. No; there would
have been some Mr. Grote as School Board Commis-
sary, pitching into them questions about history, and
some Mr. Lowe, as Crown Patronage Commissary,
pitching into them questions about English literature;
and these young men would have been kept from the
university, as Diggs's boys are kept from their bird-
scaring, till they instructed themselves. Then, if,
after three years of their university, they wanted to
be magistrates, another pressure ! — a great Civil
Service examination before a board of experts, an
examination in English law, Eoman law, English

history, history of jurisprudence " "A most

abominable liberty to take with Lumpington and
Hittall ! " exclaimed L " Then your compulsory



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VII.] MORE ABOUT COMPULSORY EDUCATION. 269

education is a most abominable liberty to take with
Diggs's boys, " retorted Arminius. "But, good gracious !
my dear Arminius," expostulated I, "do you really
mean to maintain that a man can't put old Diggs
in quod for snaring a hare without all this elaborate
apparatus of Eoman law and history of jurispru-
dence ? " " And do you really mean to maintain,"
returned Arminius, "that a man can't go bird-
scaring or sheep-tending without all this elaborate
apparatus of a compulsory school 1" "Oh, but," I
answered, " to live at all, even at the lowest stage of
human life, a man needs instruction." "Well,"
returned Arminius, " and to administer at all, even
at the lowest stage of public administration, a man
needs instructioa" "We have never found it so,"
said I.

Arminius shrugged his shoulders and was silent
By this time the proceedings in the justice-room were
drawn to an end, the majesty of the law had been
vindicated against old Diggs, and the magistrates
were coming out I never saw a finer spectacle than
my friend Arminius presented, as he stood by to gaze
on the august trio as they passed. His pilot-coat
was tightly buttoned round his stout form, his light
blue eye shone, his sanguine cheeks were ruddier than
ever with the cold morning and the excitement of
discourse, his fell of tow was blown about by the
March wind, and volumes of tobacco -smoke issued
from his lips. So in old days stood, I imagine, his
great namesake by the banks of the Lippe, glaring on
the Roman legions before their destruction.



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270 FRIENDSHIP'S GAELAKD. [lettbk

Lord Lumpington was the first who came out.
His lordship good-naturedly recognised me with a
nod, and then eyeing Arminius with surprise and
curiosity : " Whom on earth have you got there 1 "
he whispered. "A very distinguished young Prussian
savarU" replied I; and then dropping my voice, in
my most impressive undertones I added : "And a
young man of very good family, besides, my lord."
Lord Lumpington looked at Arminius again ; smiled,
shook his head, and then, turning away, and half
aloud: "Can't compliment you on your friend,"
says he.

As for that centaur Hittall, who thinks on nothing
on earth but field-sports, and in the performance of
his sacred duties never warms up except when he
lights on some passage about hunting or fowling, he
always, whenever he meets me, remembers that in
my unregenerate days, before Arminius inoculated
me with a passion for intellect, I was rather fond of
shooting, and not quite such a successful shot as
Hittall himself. So, the moment he catches sight of
me: "How d'ye do, old fellow?" he blurts out;
" well, been shooting any straighter this year than
you used to, eh?"

I turned from him in pity, and then I noticed
Arminius, who had unluckily heard Lord Lumping-
ton's unfavourable comment on him, absolutely purple
with rage and blowing like a turkey-cock. " Never
mind, Arminius," said I soothingly; "run after
Lumpington, and ask him the square root of thirty-
six," But now it was my turn to be a little annoyed



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VII.] MORE ABOUT COMPULSORY EDUCATION. 271

for at the same instant Mr. Bottles stepped into his
brougham, which was waiting for him, and observing
Arminius, his old enemy of the Eeigate train, he
took no notice whatever of me who stood there,
with my hat in my hand, practising all the airs and
graces I have learnt on the Continent ; but, with that
want of amenity I so often have to deplore in my
countrymen, he pulled up the glass on our side with a
grunt and a jerk, and drove off like the wind, leaving
Arminius in a very bad temper indeed, and me, I
confess, a good deal shocked and mortified.

However, both Arminius and I got over it, and
have now returned to London, where I hope we shall
before long have another good talk about educational
matters. Whatever Arminius may say, I am still for
going straight, with all our heart and soul, at com-
pulsory education for the lower orders. Why, good
heavens 1 Sir, with our present squeezable ^Ministry,
we are evidently drifting fast to household suffrage,
pure and simple ; and I observe, moreover, a Jacob-
inical spirit growing up in some quarters which gives
me more alarm than even household suffrage. My
elevated position in Grub Street, Sir, where I sit
commercing with the stars, commands a view of a
certain spacious and secluded back yard ; and in that
back yard. Sir, I tell you confidentially that I saw
the other day with my own eyes that powerful young
publicist, Mr. Frederic Harrison, in full evening cos-
tume, furbishing up a guillotine. These things are
very serious ; and I say, if the masses are to have
power, let them be instructed, and don't swamp with



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272 friendship's garland. [lktteb

ignorance and unreason the education and intelligence
which now bear rule amongst us. For my part^ when
I think of Lumpington^s estate, family, and connec-
tions, when I think of Hittall^s shooting, and of the
energy and self-reliance of Bottles, and when I see
the unexampled pitch of splendour and security to
which these have conducted us, I am bent, I own, on
trying to make the new elements of our political system
worthy of the old ; and I say kindly, but firmly, to
the compound householder in the French poet's
beautiful words,^ slightly altered : " Be great, O
working class, for the middle and upper class are
great!"

I am. Sir,

Your humble servant,

Matthew Arnold.

To the Editor of the Pall Mall Gazettk



(From the autumn of this year (1867) dates one of
the most painful memories of my life. I have men-
tioned in the last letter but one how in the spring I
was commencing the study of German philosophy
with Arminius. In the autumn of that year the
celebrated young Comtist, Mr. Frederic Harrison,
resenting some supposed irreverence of mine towards
his master, permitted himself, in a squib, brilliant
indeed, but unjustifiably severe, to make game of my
inaptitude for philosophical pursuits. It was on this
^ *' Et t^hez d'etre grand, car le peuple grandit."



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viT.] MORE ABOUT COMPULSORY EDUCATION. 273

occasion he launched the damning sentence : " We
seek vainly in Mr. A. a system of philosophy with
principles coherent, interdependent, subordinate, and
derivative." The blow came at an unlucky moment
for ma I was studying, as T have said, German
philosophy with Arminius ; we were then engaged
on Hegel's " Phenomenology of Geist^^^ and it was
my habit to develop to Arminius, at great length,
my views of the meaning of his great but difficult
countryman. One morning I had, perhaps, been a
little fuller than usual over a very profound chapter.
Arminius was suflfering from dyspepsia (brought on,
as I believe, by incessant smoking); his temper,
always irritable, seemed suddenly to burst from all
control, — he flung the Phanomenologie to the other end
of the room, exclaiming : " That smart young fellow
is quite right ! it is impossible to make a silk purse
out of a soVs ear ! " This led to a rupture, in which
I think I may fairly say that the chief blame was
not on my side. But two invaluable years were
thus lost ; Arminius abandoned me for Mr. Frederic
Harrison, who must certainly have many memoranda
of his later conversations, but has never given them,
as I always did mine of his earlier ones, to the world.
A melancholy occasion brought Arminius and me
together again in 1869; the sparkling pen of my
friend Leo has luckily preserved the record of what
then passed.) — Ed.



VOT^ TIT.



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LETTER VIIL

SR A PLAYFUL SIGNATURE, MY FRIEND LEO, OF
IE "DAILY TELEGRAPH," ADVOCATES AN IM-
^RTANT LIBERAL MEASURE, AND, IN SO DOING,
VES NEWS OF ARMINIUS.

„ St. James's Place, June 8, 1869.

^ —

the sake of my health it is my custom at this
looded time of the year to submit myself to a
ing course of medical treatment, which causes
or a few days to be voted below par for Fleet
t ; so I have bethought myself of utilising my
e, while universal humanity does not claim me,
rhile my style is reduced nearer the pitch of the
Mall Gazette^ by writing to you on a subject in
I I am strongly interested, and on which your
are, I am sorry to see, far from sound. I mean
jreat subject of which a fragment will be brought
r discussion to-night, by the House of Commons

into Committee on Mr. Chambers's admirable
for enabling a woman to marry her sister's
ind.
Y ideas on this subject have been stirred into

activity by a visit I have just been making. I



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nil.] LEO ADVOCATES A LIBERAL MEASURE. 275

believe my name has been onctf or twice mentioned
in your columns in connection with the Bottles family
near Reigate, and with a group of friends gathered
round them. Poor Mrs. Bottles, I grieve to say, is
not long for this world. She and her family showed
an interest in me while I was rising to name and
fame, and I trust I have never forgotten it She
sate, as Curran says, by my cradle, and I intend to
follow her hearse. Meanwhile, with our Paris corre-
spondent, who happens to be over here for a few days,
I have been down to Reigate to inquire after her.
The accounts were unhappily as bad as possible ; but
what I saw awakened a train of ideas and suggestions
which I am going to communicate to you.

I found a good many people assembled, of whom
several had come on the same errand as I. There
was that broken-down acquaintance of my early
youth, Mr. Matthew Arnold, who has had many a
dinner from Mrs. Bottles (for she was kind to litera-
ture even in its humblest manifestations), snivelling


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