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United Kingdom was no more than twelve; and the sale of the whole twelve (Times' included) was probably less than any one of halfa-dozen daily papers now current. Of such journals there are to-day about two hundred-most if not all of them taking a larger scope than any of that period, and the best of them showing but very little difference between country and town. For many years the most masterly newspaper in English, after the 'Times,' was & colonial journal-the Melbourne 'Argus.' Out of Printing-house Square, it is still as good, probably, as any in existence; but if so, it must have gone on improving, for our great provincial journals have advanced by quick degrees to very high excellence. One or two Scottish journals, two or three English provincial journals, only lack what Price One Penny cannot supply the fine paper and more open reading of the Walter press.

But whether the influence of the newspaper press in public affairs has increased with the multiplication of its forces is doubtful. There are reasons for thinking (one of them in particular shall be mentioned presently) that the clamour of so many voices in competition makes too much of a babel to be impressive. And there is something, perhaps, in the remark that down to Palmerston's time the machinery of Government was more limited, more compact, more capable of being influenced by any single powerful agency from without, than in these days of diffused and confused authority. The discussion of affairs proceeded upon simpler lines then than now. The questions of the day presented themselves in less complexity. The faddist had not yet arisen to start cross currents of perversity

in every stream of political action. Therefore the business of Government was more simple and direct, as also was that of the political critic in corresponding measure. His best play is made when he is able to go straight to the main points of the question in hand. He is lost if he has to run into a dozen "side issues" after as many several packs of readers.

Thus when we compare an older day with the new we find ourselves in presence of a greater (but more manifold) bulk of force, while yet the means of political power are in no small measure weakened and confounded. So it seems to me, at any rate. I still believe that one journal alone had more influence on Government in Lord Palmerston's day than the whole press has at this moment. And that brings me to the particular reason for thinking so which was mentioned above: it is that Governments are far more indifferent to the newspaper press than they used to be. They can be annoyed by the press; they can be embarrassed by the press; on a balance they can be helped or otherwise by its multitudinous contention. But there was a fear of the press, and an anxiety to stand well with it, which are by no means what they were, though not yet utterly destroyed.

Of one sort and another, however, there is power enough, and a fine prospect of future prosperity. Yet as to the future of individual writers, I should think better of them were fewer gentlemen and ladies going into journalism as a calling more hopeful than wineagency and more genteel than governessing, an influx from which no good of any kind can be expected.



PROBABLY no institution has undergone a greater number of superficial changes during the last sixty years than the University of Oxford. Its internal economy has been overhauled by two Royal Commissions. Religious tests have been abolished. In most colleges clerical fellows are the exception rather than the rule; while in many only a comparatively small proportion of the dons reside within the walls. "Research" has been liberally endowed. The scope of the examination system has been widened. The tenure of a fellowship is no longer incompatible with matrimony. The town (it has been averred by a quondam apostle of "progress ") is "slummy and overbuilt"; the tone of the University is that of a "lively municipal burgh."

The change in the relation of the University to the outer world has been equally remarkable. Oxford has been knit close to London; and the depreciatory epithet, "donnish," no longer suggestive of celibacy and a cloistered seclusion from the "sparkling throng," must be held to embrace in its connotation some tincture of the extreme type of civilisation believed to exist in southmost Kensington. The Saturday-to-Monday Professor has come into existence and passed out of it; but distinguished visitors of every description frequently take their week-end recreation in the same way. On the other hand, a little army of Oxford men has within the last fifteen years invaded the realm of

London journalism. University intelligence in the old days, apart from matters of capital importance, was given in the barest form. Only the boat-race and the cricketmatch taxed the energies of the descriptive reporter or the leaderwriter. It has now been discovered that Oxford makes excellent copy in a thousand other ways. University slang and University gossip are echoed faithfully in the evening papers of the metropolis; and he is indeed a lucky man who, despite undeniable obscurity, can venture so much as to marry without the compliment of a personal paragraph from the pen of some officious contemporary, gaily recalling his pass in moderations, his third in history, and the fact, real or imaginary, that he has an unrivalled critical knowledge of the text of Lear's "Book of Nonsense," or Blair's "Grave," as the case may be.

Such are a few of the alterations which have taken place within the compass of her Majesty's reign and within the academic career of the late Master of Balliol, who won a scholarship1 at the age of eighteen in 1835, and was elected a fellow of the college, while still an undergraduate, in 1838. By the time of his death in 1893, the new-the newestorder had completely supplanted the old. We need not here con

sider whether the revolution has had good effects or bad. There is nothing so good in this world but it might have been better, and nothing so bad but it might have

1 We doubt whether between 1835 and 1881, when Mr Heather was elected to a mathematical scholarship, any such distinction was again obtained by St Paul's. A singular contrast to its subsequent series of triumphs !

been worse. The University, we venture to believe, is "sound at bottom," a quotation, by the bye, of which the Master had a thorough relish. Be that, however, as it may, Mr Jowett was not only an eyewitness of the process of transformation, but had also a considerable share in assisting it. His name was familiar far beyond the University. To some he appeared little less than a scoffing and malignant fiend. By others he was esteemed a very Socrates, "the wisest and best man they had ever known." Many anecdotes of varying degrees of authenticity clustered round his name: and many singular and erroneous conceptions were entertained of his character. His authorised biography,1 therefore, for which Messrs Evelyn Abbott and Lewis Campbell are responsible, will probably appeal to a much wider circle of readers than that of those who knew him, or even of those who at some time during his career happened to be at Oxford. It is only, however, as we conceive, from the point of view of an Oxford man that the book can be adequately judged; and, so regarding it, we must congratulate the authors upon a well-conceived and well-executed piece of work. They have been extremely judicious in their treatment of the "mythology," and the stories and apophthegms to which they have given admission are for the most part fresh and pointed. The work is not "deformed by exaggerated affection and flattery," to borrow a phrase of the Master's; and the hero's shortcomings are sufficiently indicated, if not dragged into prominence.

Perhaps some of the secondary

characters are kept too studiously in the background. We should have liked to hear a little more, for example, of Dr Jenkyns. Dean Mansel's name is not so much as mentioned, though his doctrines were obviously a pet aversion of the Master's. Nor is adequate recognition made of the unique combination of scholarship and piety which distinguished James Riddell. Per contra, as Mr Owen would have said, a warm tribute is paid to the memory of George Rankine Luke, while a few wellexpressed lines in a footnote bear eloquent testimony to the lasting impression made upon the college by the beautiful character and profound intellect of Charles Warrack. We have noted here and there a few trivial errors. After all, it is no very heinous offence to speak of the "Secretary of State for Scotland,” or to suppose that Lord Dalhousie and not the Duke of Richmond was the first occupant of the office thus misnamed. To one rather curious omission we must, however, draw attention. At a certain memorable gathering of Convocation in December 1882-almost the last, we think, of the good old sort at which the country clergy were wont to assemble in their hundreds-Mr Jowett, then Vice-Chancellor, opened the proceedings in Latin, and then announced that to avoid mistakes he was about to speak in English. This was, of course, received with a roar of derisive laughter; whereupon he remarked, "I was afraid, gentlemen, that if I spoke in Latin, many of you would be unable to understand me!" The story thus told by Mr Abbott leaves the balance of advantage

1 The Life and Letters of Benjamin Jowett, M.A., Master of Balliol College, Oxford. By Evelyn Abbott, M.A., LL.D., and Lewis Campbell, M. A., LL. D. Two volumes. London: John Murray. 1897.

pretty evenly divided; but if, as we have always understood, the Vice-Chancellor began by proposing to the meeting "nomen vobis approbandus," it will be admitted that those who laughed loudest were fairly entitled to laugh long


Mr Jowett's university life may be divided into three periods, in two of which the agreeable, in the other the disagreeable, element predominates. From 1836 to 1855 he was the good man struggling with adversity. His father, a superior Micawber, was absorbed in a metrical version of the Psalms, and the son's scanty resources were taxed to their utmost extent in supporting his parents and sisters, and in helping his brothers to start in life. He bore the burden of that trying time with manly fortitude and without complaint, though the effort made an indelible impression on his mind; and he may be said upon the whole to have enjoyed life and to have partaken of its modest pleasures with unaffected cheerfulness.

During the last period, again, from 1870 to 1893, he was the head of a large and prosperous college, plunged head and ears in new projects of activity and usefulness, grudging neither time nor money spent in the service of Balliol, given to hospitality, and thoroughly appreciating the opportunities now at his disposal for entertaining a great variety of guests, old and young. Honour, love, obedience, troops of friends, were certainly the portion of his declining years.

The intervening period from 1855 to 1870 presents a very different picture. It shows us Achilles sulking in his tent, the victim of wounded pride and baffled ambition it shows us, alas! the

disloyal colleague, sedulously undermining the influence of the head of the college. Did we not know the weakness of human nature, the bitterness with which he resented Dr Scott's preferment would be incredible; for Scott had been consistently kind to him as an undergraduate, and had among other things advanced the money necessary to defray the expense of his installation as a Fellow. It is, however, the fact that almost from the moment of his rival's election Jowett ostentatiously withdrew himself from the society of the high-table and the common-room; and the persistency of his attempts to thwart the new Master in every conceivable way was never much of a secret. He was, indeed, preeminently fond of "getting his own way"; and the pertinacity with which, when in a minority, he would oppose and obstruct was only equalled by the pertinacity with which he would press his advantage with a majority to back him. Had he met with similar treatment when he occupied the post of Master himself (and with one or two of the ablest and most influential of the dons he can scarcely be said to have been congenial), the common-room would have been the scene of perpetual discord. The fact that any who differed from him invariably gave way speaks volumes, not merely for their amiability, but also for his strength of will and obstinacy of purpose. It was during this period, too, that Mr Jowett appeared in one of his most celebrated impersonations, the injured heretic; for, though his orthodoxy had been somewhat blown upon, it was only after his failure to attain the Mastership that he came to be looked upon as a ringleader of the Oxford Liberals.

Much shall we say a great

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deal too much?-has been written about the Tractarian movement, comparatively little about the counter tendency. Yet the latter would well repay judicious and discriminating investigation. The mere circumstance that for many years it was the fashionable thing for young men of parts and promise to call themselves Liberals is conclusive evidence of its strength, and of the powerful influence exercised by its champions. To survey it at this distance of time is to be supplied with a striking illustration of the vanity of human effort. Superficially successful in realising a much larger proportion of their ideals than commonly falls to the lot of man, the University Liberals are to be discerned in their later years clad in sackcloth and ashes and bemoaning the futility of their exertions and the eclipse of their dearest doctrines. Pearson gloomily predicts a débacle when Western civilisation shall be engulfed in an overwhelming torrent of Mongolians and other yellow faces. Pattison scents a hateful recrudescence of idealism and medievalism in the Hegelian philosophy of Mr Green. Jowett is inclined to think "that the power of the Church has increased and (in England) is increasing, and ought to be diminished " (ii. 475). Most melancholy sight of all, Mr Goldwin Smith ruefully contemplates a political world for the creation of which he and his friends are largely responsible, and pronounces it all as bad as bad can be.


If these are the feelings with which the march of "progress" is saluted by the veterans, what would their sensations have been if the forces of "reaction" had triumphed?

It is true that in their practical nostrums the Oxford Liberals were by no means unanimous. This one


clamoured for the endowment of research; that for the extension of university teaching to manufacturing towns; a third deemed that the millennium had arrived with the advent to Oxford of the humble "tosher." These and other innumerable fads are delightfully gibbeted in the inimitable "Phrontisterion." But a certain unity of principle and purpose undoubtedly animated the party and held it together, though its commonest expression was more than a little unfortunate. Human nature must change a good deal before unbridled arrogance becomes popular. Jowett, with characteristic shrewdness, was able to see himself and his friends as the enemy saw them. "As university reformers," he wrote in 1852, we must appear to the world rather as seeking an intellectual aristocracy, or, to express it more coarsely, to form good places for ourselves out of the revenues of the colleges, than earnest about anything which the world in general cares for or which can do any extensive good " (i. 212). In exhibiting this distinctive quality, the Oxford Liberals were, no doubt, merely continuing and developing the party tradition. Modesty was never a feature of the Whig or the Radical character. From the date when English politics "settled down" and the familiar division of Whig and Tory became recognised, the Liberals have never been slow to claim for themselves a very handsome share of all desirable qualities, whether mental or moral. Even in the writings of Steele and Addison we detect the calm self-complacency which tacitly assumed that the Whigs possessed a monopoly of good taste, good manners, and good sense; just as in Swift we recognise the violent recoil against all such ludicrous

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