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Title: The Life of Froude

Author: Herbert W. Paul

Release date: February 9, 2005 [eBook #14992]
Most recently updated: December 19, 2020

Language: English


Produced by Michael Madden

The Life of Froude

By Herbert Paul

London: Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, 1905.


Although eleven years have elapsed since Mr. Froude's death, no biography of him has, so far as I know, appeared. This book is an attempt to tell the public something about a man whose writings have a permanent place in the literature of England.

It is a pleasure to acknowledge my obligation to Miss Margaret Froude for having allowed me the use of such written material as existed. A large number of Mr. Froude's letters were destroyed after his death, and it was not intended by the family that any biography of him should be written. Finding that I was engaged upon the task, Miss Froude supplied those facts, dates, and papers which were essential to the accuracy of the narrative. Mr. Froude's niece, Mrs. St. Leger Harrison, known to the world as Lucas Malet, has allowed me to use some of her uncle's letters to her mother.

Lady Margaret Cecil has, with great kindness, permitted me to make copious extracts from Mr. Froude's letters to her mother, the late Countess of Derby. I must also express my gratitude to Sir Thomas Sanderson, Lord Derby's executor, to Cardinal Newman's literary representative Mr. Edward Bellasis, and to Mr. Arthur Clough, son of Froude's early friend the poet.

Mr. James Rye, of Balliol College, Oxford, placed at my disposal, with singular generosity, the results of his careful examination into the charges made against Mr. Froude by Mr. Freeman.

The Rector of Exeter was good enough to show me the entries in the college books bearing upon Mr. Froude's resignation of his Fellowship, and to tell me everything he knew on the subject.

My indebtedness to the late Sir John Skelton's delightful book,
The Table Talk of Shirley, will be obvious to my readers.

I have, in conclusion, to thank my old friend Mr. Birrell, for lending me his very rare copy of the funeral sermon preached by Mr. Froude at Torquay.

October 30, 1905.



IN reading biographies I always skip the genealogical details. To be born obscure and to die famous has been described as the acme of human felicity. However that may be, whether fame has anything to do with happiness or no, it is a man himself, and not his ancestors, whose life deserves, if it does deserve, to be written. Such was Froude's own opinion, and it is the opinion of most sensible people. Few, indeed, are the families which contain more than one remarkable figure, and this is the rock upon which the hereditary principle always in practice breaks. For human lineage is not subject to the scientific tests which alone could give it solid value as positive or negative evidence. There is nothing to show from what source, other than the ultimate source of every good and perfect gift, Froude derived his brilliant and splendid powers. He was a gentleman, and he did not care to find or make for himself a pedigree. He knew that the Froudes had been settled in Devonshire time out of mind as yeomen with small estates, and that one of them, to whom his own father always referred with contempt, had bought from the Heralds' College what Gibbon calls the most useless of all coats, a coat of arms. Froude's grandfather did a more sensible thing by marrying an heiress, a Devonshire heiress, Miss Hurrell, and thereby doubling his possessions. Although he died before he was five-and-twenty, he left four children behind him, and his only son was the historian's father.

James Anthony Froude, known as Anthony to those who called him by his Christian name, was born at Dartington, two miles from Totnes, on St. George's Day, Shakespeare's birthday, the 23rd of April, 1818. His father, who had taken a pass degree at Oxford, and had then taken orders, was by that time Rector of Dartington and Archdeacon of Totnes. Archdeacon Froude belonged to a type of clergyman now almost extinct in the Church of England, though with strong idiosyncrasies of his own. Orthodox without being spiritual, he was a landowner as well as a parson, a high and dry Churchman, an active magistrate, a zealous Tory, with a solid and unclerical income of two or three thousand a year. He was a personage in the county, as well as a dignitary of the Church. Every one in Devonshire knew the name of Froude, if only from "Parson Froude," no credit to his cloth, who appears as Parson Chowne in Blackmore's once popular novel, The Maid of Sker. But the Archdeacon was a man of blameless life, and not in the least like Parson Froude. A hard rider and passionately fond of hunting, he was a good judge of a horse and usually the best mounted man in the field. One of his exploits as an undergraduate was to jump the turnpike gate on the Abingdon road with pennies under his seat, between his knees and the saddle, and between his feet and the stirrups, without dropping one.

Although he had been rather extravagant and something of a dandy, he was able to say that he could account for every sixpence he spent after the age of twenty-one. On leaving Oxford he settled down to the life of a country parson with conscientious thoroughness, and was reputed the best magistrate in the South Hams. Farming his own glebe, as he did, with skill and knowledge, perpetually occupied, as he was, with clerical or secular business, he found the Church of England, not then disturbed by any wave of enthusiasm, at once necessary and sufficient to his religious sense. His horror of Nonconformists was such that he would not have a copy of The Pilgrim's Progress in his house. He upheld the Bishop and all established institutions, believing that the way to heaven was to turn to the right and go straight on. There were many such clergymen in his day.

In appearance he was a cold, hard, stern man, despising sentiment, reticent and self-restrained. But beneath the surface there lay deep emotions and an aesthetic sense, of which his drawings were the only outward sign. To these sketches he himself attached no value. "You can buy better at the nearest shop for sixpence," he would say, if he heard them praised. Yet good judges of art compared them with the early sketches of Turner, and Ruskin afterwards gave them enthusiastic praise. Mr. Froude had married, when quite a young man, Margaret Spedding, the daughter of an old college friend, from Armathwaite in Cumberland. Her nephew is known as the prince of Baconian scholars and the J. S. of Tennyson's poem. She was a woman of great beauty, deeply religious, belonging to a family more strongly given to letters and to science than the Froudes, whose tastes were rather for the active life of sport and adventure. One can imagine the Froudes of the sixteenth century manning the ships of Queen Bess and sailing with Frobisher or Drake. For many years Mrs. Froude was the mistress of a happy home, the mother of many handsome sons and fair daughters. The two eldest, Hurrell and Robert, were especially striking, brilliant lads, popular at Eton, their father's companions in the hunting-field or on the moors. But in Dartington Rectory, with all its outward signs of prosperity and welfare, there were the seeds of death. Before Anthony Froude, the youngest of eight, was three years old, his mother died of a decline, and within a few years the same illness proved fatal to five of her children. The whole aspect of life at Dartington was changed. The Archdeacon retired into himself and nursed his grief in silence, melancholy, isolated, austere.

This irreparable calamity was made by circumstances doubly calamitous. Though destined to survive all his brothers and sisters, Anthony was a weak, sickly child, not considered never heard the mention of his mother's name, or was the Archdeacon himself capable of showing any tenderness whatever. In place of a mother the little boy had an aunt, who applied to him principles of Spartan severity. At the mature age of three he was ducked every morning at a trough, to harden him, in the ice-cold water from a spring, and whenever he was naughty he was whipped. It may have been from this unpleasant discipline that he derived the contempt for self-indulgence, and the indifference to pain, which distinguished him in after life. On the other hand, he was allowed to read what he liked, and devoured Grimm's Tales, The Seven Champions of Christendom, and The Arabian Nights. He was an imaginative and reflective child, full of the wonder in which philosophy begins.

The boy felt from the first the romantic beauty of his home. Dartington Rectory, some two miles from Totnes, is surrounded by woods which overhang precipitously the clear waters of the River Dart. Dartington Hall, which stood near the rectory, is one of the oldest houses in England, originally built before the Conquest, and completed with great magnificence in the reign of Richard II. The vast banqueting-room was, in the nineteenth century, a ruin, and open to the sky. The remains of the old quadrangle were a treasure to local antiquaries, and the whole place was full of charm for an imaginative boy. Mr. Champernowne, the owner, was an intimate friend of the Archdeacon, to whom he left the guardianship of his children, so that the Froudes were as much at home in their squire's house as in the parsonage itself. Although most of his brothers and sisters were too old to be his companions, the group in which his first years were passed was an unusually spirited and vivacious one. Newman, who was one of Hurrell's visitors from Oxford, has described the young girls "blooming and in high spirits," full of gaiety and charm.*

— * Newman's Letters and Correspondence, ii. 73. —

The Froudes were a remarkable family. They had strong characters and decided tastes, but they had not their father's conventionality and preference for the high roads of life. They were devoted to sport, and at the same time abounded in mental vigour. All the brothers had the gift of drawing. John, though forced into a lawyer's office, would if left to himself have become an artist by profession. The nearest to Anthony in age was William, afterwards widely celebrated as a naval engineer. Then came Robert, the most attractive of the boys. A splendid athlete, compared by Anthony with a Greek statue, he had sweetness as well as depth of nature. His drawings of horses were the delight of his family; and when his favourite hunter died he wrote a graceful elegy on the afflicting event. The influence of his genial kindness was never forgotten by his youngest brother; but there was a stronger and more dominating personality of which the effect was less beneficial to a sensitive and nervous child.

Richard Hurrell Froude is regarded by High Churchmen as an originator of the Oxford Movement, and he impressed all his contemporaries by the brilliancy of his gifts. Dean Church went so far as to compare him with Pascal. But his ideas of bringing up children were naturally crude, and his treatment of Anthony was more harsh than wise. His early character as seen at home is described by his mother in a letter written a year before her death, when he was seventeen. Fond as she was of him and proud of his brilliant promise, she did not know what to make of him, so wayward was he and inconsiderately selfish. "I am in a wretched state of health," the poor lady explained, "and quiet is important to my recovery and quite essential to my comfort, yet he disturbs it for what he calls 'funny tormenting,' without the slightest feeling, twenty times a day. At one time he kept one of his brothers screaming, from a sort of teasing play, for near an hour under my window. At another he acted a wolf to his baby brother, whom he had promised never to frighten again."*

— * Guiney's Hurrell Froude, p. 8. —

Anthony was the baby brother, and though this form of teasing was soon given up, the temper which dictated it remained. Hurrell, it should be said, inflicted severe discipline upon himself to curb his own refractory nature. In applying the same to his little brother he showed that he did not understand the difference between Anthony's character and his own. But lack of insight and want of sympathy were among Hurrell's acknowledged defects.

Conceiving that the child wanted spirit, Hurrell once took him up by the heels, and stirred with his head the mud at the bottom of a stream. Another time he threw him into deep water out of a boat to make him manly. But he was not satisfied by inspiring physical terror. Invoking the aid of the preternatural, he taught his brother that the hollow behind the house was haunted by a monstrous and malevolent phantom, to which, in the plenitude of his imagination, he gave the name of Peningre. Gradually the child discovered that Peningre was an illusion, and began to suspect that other ideas of Hurrell's might be illusions too. Superstition is the parent of scepticism from the cradle to the gave. At the same time his own faculty of invention was rather stimulated than repressed. He was encouraged in telling, as children will, imaginative stories of things which never occurred.

In spite of ghosts and muddy water Anthony worshipped Hurrell, a born leader of men, who had a fascination for his brothers and sisters, though not perhaps of the most wholesome kind. The Archdeacon himself had no crotchets. He was a religious man, to whom religion meant duty rather than dogma, a light to the feet, and a lantern for the path. A Tory and a Churchman, he was yet a moderate Tory and a moderate Churchman; prudent, sensible, a man of the world. To Hurrell Dissenters were rogues and idiots, a Liberal was half an infidel, a Radical was, at least in intention, a thief. From the effect of this nonsense Anthony was saved for a time by his first school. At the age of nine he was sent to Buckfastleigh, five miles up the River Dart, where Mr. Lowndes, the rector and patron of the living, took boarders and taught them, mostly Devonshire boys. Buckfastleigh was not a bad school for the period. There was plenty of caning, but no bullying, and Latin was well taught. Froude was a gentle, amiable child, "such a very good-tempered little fellow that, in spite of his sawneyness, he is sure to be liked," as his eldest brother wrote in 1828. He suffered at this time from an internal weakness, which made games impossible. His passion, which he never lost, was for Greek, and especially for Homer. With a precocity which Mill or Macaulay might have envied, he had read both the Iliad and the Odyssey twice before he was eleven. The standard of accuracy at Buckfastleigh was not high, and Froude's scholarship was inexact. What he learnt there was to enjoy Homer, to feel on friendly terms with the Greeks and Trojans, at ease with the everlasting wanderer in the best story-book composed by man. Anthony's holidays were not altogether happy. He was made to work instead of amusing himself, and forced into an unwholesome precocity. Then at eleven he was sent to Westminster.

In 1830 the reputation of Westminster stood high. The boarding- houses were well managed, the lagging in them was light, and their tone was good. Unhappily, in spite of the head master's remonstrances, Froude's father, who had spent a great deal of money on his other sons' education, insisted on placing him in college, which was then far too rough for a boy of his age and strength. On account of what he had read, rather than what he had learnt, at Buckfastleigh, he took a very high place, and was put with boys far older than himself. The lagging was excessively severe. The bullying was gross and unchecked. The sanitary accommodation was abominable. The language of the dormitory was indecent and profane. Froude, whose health prevented him from the effective use of nature's weapons, was woke by the hot points of cigars burning holes in his face, made drunk by being forced to swallow brandy punch, and repeatedly thrashed. He was also more than half starved, because the big fellows had the pick of the joints at dinner, and left the small fellows little besides the bone. Ox-tail soup at the pastrycook's took the place of a meal which the authorities were bound to provide. Scandalous as all this may have been, it was not peculiar to Westminster. The state of college at Winchester, and at Eton, was in many respects as bad. Public schools had not yet felt the influence of Arnold and of the reforming spirit. Head masters considered domestic details beneath them, and parents, if they felt any responsibility at all, persuaded themselves that boys were all the better for roughing it as a preparation for the discipline of the world. The case of Froude, however, was a peculiarly bad one. He was suffering from hernia, and the treatment might well have killed him. Although his lagging only lasted for a year, he was persistently bullied and tormented, until he forgot what he had learned, instead of adding to it. When the body is starved and ill- treated, the mind will not work. The head master, Dr. Williamson, was disappointed in a boy of whom he had expected so much, and wrote unfavourable reports. After enduring undeserved and disabling hardships for three years and a half, Froude was taken away from Westminster at the age of fifteen.

To escape from such a den of horrors was at first a relief. But he soon found that his miseries were not over. He came home in disgrace. His misfortunes were regarded as his faults, and the worst construction was put upon everything he said or did. His clothes and books had been freely stolen in the big, unregulated dormitory. He was accused of having pawned them, and his denials were not believed. If he had had a mother, all might have been well, for no woman with a heart would assume that her child was lying. The Archdeacon, without a particle of evidence, assumed it at once, and beat the wretched boy severely in the presence of the approving Hurrell. Hurrell would have made an excellent inquisitor. His brother always spoke of him as peculiarly gifted in mind and in character; but he knew little of human nature, and he doubtless fancied that in torturing Anthony's body he was helping Anthony's soul. To alter two words in the fierce couplet of the satirist,

He said his duty, both to man and God,
Required such conduct, which seemed very odd.

Anthony was threatened, in the true inquisitorial spirit, with a series of floggings, until he should confess what he had not done. At last, however, he was set down as incorrigibly stupid, and given up as a bad job. The Archdeacon arrived at the conclusion that his youngest son was a fool, and might as well be apprenticed to a tanner. Having hoped that he would be off his hands as a student of Christ Church at sixteen, he was bitterly disappointed, and took no pains to conceal his disappointment.

To Anthony himself it seemed a matter of indifference what became of him, and a hopeless mystery why he had been brought into the world. He had no friend. The consumption in the family was the boy's only hope. His mother had died of it, and his brother Robert, who had been kind to him, and taught him to ride. It was already showing itself in Hurrell. His own time could not, he thought, be long. Meanwhile, he was subjected to petty humiliations, in which the inventive genius of Hurrell may be traced. He was not, for instance, permitted to have clothes from a tailor. Old garments were found in the house, and made up for him in uncouth shapes by a woman in the village. His father seldom spoke to him, and never said a kind word to him. By way of keeping him quiet, he was set to copy out Barrow's sermons. It is difficult to understand how the sternest disciplinarian, being human, could have treated his own motherless boy with such severity. The Archdeacon acted, no doubt, upon a theory, the theory that sternness to children is the truest kindness in the long run.

Well might Macaulay say that he would rather a boy should learn to lisp all the bad words in the language than grow up without a mother. Froude's interrupted studies were nothing compared to a childhood without love, and there was nobody to make him feel the meaning of the word. Fortunately, though his father was always at home, his brother was much away, and he was a good deal left to himself after Robert's death. Hurrell did not disdain to employ him in translating John of Salisbury's letters for his own Life of Becket. No more was heard of the tanner, who had perhaps been only a threat. While he wandered in solitude through the woods, or by the river, his health improved, he acquired a passion for nature, and in his father's library, which was excellent, he began eagerly to read. He devoured Sharon Turner's History of England, and the great work of Gibbon. Shakespeare and Spenser introduced him to the region of the spirit in its highest and deepest, its purest and noblest forms. Unhappily he also fell in with Byron, the worst poet that can come into the hands of a boy, and always retained for him an admiration which would now be thought excessive. By these means he gained much. He discovered what poetry was, what history was, and he learned also the lesson that no one can teach, the hard lesson of self-reliance.

This was the period, as everybody knows, of the Oxford Movement, in which Hurrell Froude acted as a pioneer. Hurrell's ideal was the Church of the Middle Ages represented by Thomas Becket. In the vacations he brought some of his Tractarian friends home with him, and Anthony listened to their talk. Strange talk it seemed. They found out, these young men, that Dr. Arnold, one of the most devoutly religious men who ever lived, was not a Christian. The Reformation was an infamous rebellion against authority. Liberalism, not the Pope, was antichrist. The Church was above the State, and the supreme ruler of the world. Transubstantiation, which the Archdeacon abhorred, was probably true. Hurrell Froude was a brilliant talker, a consummate dialectician, and an ardent proselytising controversialist. But his young listener knew a little history, and perceived that, to put it mildly, there were gaps in Hurrell's knowledge.

When he heard that the Huguenots were despicable, that Charles I. was a saint, that the Old Pretender was James III., that the Revolution of 1688 was a crime, and that the Non-jurors were the true confessors of the English Church, it did not seem to square with his reading, or his reflections. Perhaps, after all, the infallible Hurrell might be wrong. One fear he had never been able to instil into his brother, and that was the fear of death. When asked what would happen if he were suddenly called to appear in the presence of God, Anthony replied that he was in the presence of God from morning to night and from night to morning. That abiding consciousness he never lost, and when his speculations went furthest they invariably stopped there.

Left with his father and one sister, the boy drank in the air of Dartmoor, and grew to love Devonshire with an unalterable affection. He also continued his reading, and invaded theology. Newton on the Prophecies remarked that "if the Pope was not Antichrist, he had bad luck to be so like him," and Renan had not yet explained that Antichrist was neither the Pope nor the French Revolution, but the Emperor Nero. From Pearson on the Creed he learned the distinction between "believing" and "believing in." When we believe in a person, we trust him. When we believe a thing, we are not sure of it. This is one of the few theological distinctions which are also differences. Meanwhile, the Archdeacon had been watching his youngest son, and had observed that he had at least a taste for books. Perhaps he might not be the absolute dolt that Hurrell pronounced him. He had lost five years, so far as classical training was concerned, by the mismanagement of the Archdeacon himself. Still, he was only seventeen, and there was time to repair the waste. He was sent to a private tutor's in preparation for Oxford. His tutor, a dreamy, poetical High Churchman, devoted to Wordsworth and Keble, failed to understand his character or to give him an interest in his work, and a sixth year was added to the lost five.

During this year his brother Hurrell died, and the tragic extinction of that commanding spirit seemed a presage of his own early doom. Two of his sisters, both lately married, died within a few months of Hurrell, and of each other. The Archdeacon, incapable of expressing emotion, became more reserved than ever, and scarcely spoke at all. Sadly was he disappointed in his children. Most of them went out of the world long before him. Not one of them distinguished himself in those regular professional courses which alone he understood as success. Hurrell joined ardently, while his life was spared, in the effort to counteract the Reformation and Romanise the Church of England. William, though he became a naval architect of the highest possible distinction, and performed invaluable services for his country, worked on his own account, and made his own experiments in his own fashion. Anthony, too, took his line, and went his way, whither his genius led him, indifferent to the opinion of the world. His had been a strange childhood, not without its redeeming features. Left to himself, seeing his brothers and sisters die around him, expecting soon to follow them, the boy grew up stern, hardy, and self-reliant. He was by no means a bookworm. He had learned to ride in the best mode, by falling off, and had acquired a passion for fishing which lasted as long as his life. There were few better yachtsmen in England than Froude, and he could manage a boat as well as any sailor in his native county. His religious education, as he always said himself, was thoroughly wholesome and sound, consisting of morality and the Bible. Sympathy no doubt he missed, and he used to regard the early death of his brother Robert as the loss of his best friend. For his father's character he had a profound admiration as an embodiment of all the manly virtues, stoical rather than Christian, never mawkish nor effeminate.



Westminster, it will have been seen, did less than nothing for Froude. His progress there was no progress at all, but a movement backwards, physical and mental deterioration. He recovered himself at home, his father's coldness and unkindness notwithstanding. But it was not until he went to Oxford that his real intellectual life began, and that he realised his own powers. In October, 1836, four months after Hurrell's death, he came into residence at Oriel. That distinguished society was then at the climax of its fame; Dr. Hawkins was beginning his long career as Provost; Newman and Church were Fellows; the Oriel Common Room had a reputation unrivalled in Oxford, and was famous far beyond the precincts of the University. But of these circumstances Froude thought little, or nothing. He felt free. For the first time in his life the means of social intercourse and enjoyment were at his disposal. His internal weakness had been overcome, and his health, in spite of all he had gone through, was good. He had an ample allowance, and facilities for spending it among pleasant companions in agreeable ways. He had shot up to his full height, five feet eleven inches, and from his handsome features there shone those piercing dark eyes which riveted attention where-ever they were turned. His loveless, cheerless boyhood was over, and the liberty of Oxford, which, even after the mild constraint of a public school, seems boundless, was to him the perfection of bliss. He began to develop those powers of conversation which in after years gave him an irresistible influence over men and women, young and old. Convinced that, like his brothers and sisters, he had but a short time to live, and having certainly been full of misery, he resolved to make the best of his time, and enjoy himself while he could. He was under no obligation to any one, unless it were to the Archdeacon for his pocket-money. His father and his brother, doubtless with the best intentions, had made life more painful for him after his mother's death than they could have made it if she had been alive. But Hurrell was gone, his father was in Devonshire, and he could do as he pleased. He lived with the idle set in college; riding, boating, and playing tennis, frequenting wines and suppers. From vicious excess his intellect and temperament preserved him. Deep down in his nature there was a strong Puritan element, to which his senses were subdued. Nevertheless, for two years he lived at Oxford in contented idleness, saying with Isaiah, and more literally than the prophet,

"Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we shall die."

It was a wholly unreformed Oxford to which Froude came. If it "breathed the last enchantments of the Middle Age," it was mediaeval in its system too, and the most active spirits of the place, the leaders of the Oxford Movement, were frank reactionaries, who hated the very name of reform. Even a reduction in the monstrous number of Irish Bishoprics pertaining to the establishment was indignantly denounced as sacrilege, and was the immediate cause of Keble's sermon on National Apostasy to which the famous "movement" has been traced. John Henry Newman was at that time residing in Oriel, not as a tutor, but as Vicar of St. Mary's. He was kind to Froude for Hurrell's sake, and introduced him to the reading set. The fascination of his character acted at once as a spell. Froude attended his sermons, and was fascinated still more. For a time, however, the effect was merely aesthetic. The young man enjoyed the voice, the eloquence, the thinking power of the preacher as he might have enjoyed a sonata of Beethoven's. But his acquaintance with the reading men was not kept up, and he led an idle, luxurious life. Nobody then dreamt of an Oxford Commission, and the Colleges, like the University, were left to themselves. They were not economically managed, and the expenses of the undergraduates were heavy. Their battels were high, and no check was put upon the bills which they chose to run up with tradesmen. Froude spent his father's: money, and enjoyed himself. The dissipation was not flagrant. He was never a sensualist, nor a Sybarite. Even then he had a frugal mind, and knew well the value of money. "I remember," he says in The Oxford Counter Reformation, an autobiographical essay—"I remember calculating that I could have lived at a boarding-house on contract, with every luxury which I had in college, at a reduction of fifty per cent."* He was not given to coarse indulgence, and idleness was probably his worst sin at Oxford. But his innocence of evil was not ignorance; and though he never led a fast life himself, he knew perfectly well how those lived who did.

— * Short Studies on Great Subjects, 4th series, p. 180. —

An intellect like Froude's seldom slumbers long. He had to attend lectures, and his old love of Homer revived. Plato opened a new world, a word which never grows old, and becomes fresher the more it is explored. Herodotus proved more charming than The Arabian Nights. Thucydides showed how much wisdom may be contained in the form of history. Froude preferred Greek to Latin, and sat up at night to read the Philoctetes, the only work of literature that ever moved him to tears. Aeschylus divided his allegiance with Sophocles. But the author who most completely mastered him, and whom he most completely mastered, was Pindar. The Olympian Odes seemed to him like the Elgin Marbles in their serene and unapproachable splendour. All this classical reading, though it cannot have been fruitless, was not done systematically for the schools. Froude had no ambition, believing that he should soon die. But a reading-party during the Long Vacation of 1839 resulted in an engagement, which changed the course of his life.

Hitherto he had been under the impression that nobody cared for him at all, and that it mattered not what became of him. The sense of being valued by another person made him value himself. He became ambitious, and worked hard for his degree. He remembered how the master of his first school had prophesied that he would be a Bishop. He did not want to be a Bishop, but he began to think that such grandeur would not have been predicted of a fool. Abandoning his idle habits, he read night and day that he might distinguish himself in the young lady's eyes. After six months her father interfered. He had no confidence in the stability of this very young suitor's character, and he put an end to the engagement. Froude was stunned by the blow, and gave up all hope of a first class. In any case there would have been difficulties. His early training in scholarship had not been accurate, and he suffered from the blunders of his education. But under the influence of excitement he had so far made up for lost time that he got, like Hurrell, a second class in the final classical schools. His qualified success gave him, no satisfaction. He was suffering from a bitter sense of disappointment and wrong. It seemed to him that he was marked out for misfortune, and that there was no one to help him or to take any trouble about him. Thrown back upon himself, however, he conquered his discouragement and resolved that he would be the master of his fate.

It was in the year 1840 that Froude took his degree. Newman was then at the height of his power and influence. The Tracts for the Times, which Mrs. Browning in Aurora Leigh calls "tracts against the times," were popular with undergraduates, and High Churchmen were making numerous recruits. Newman's sermons are still read for their style. But we can hardly imagine the effect which they produced when they were delivered. The preacher's unrivalled command of English, his exquisitely musical voice, his utter unworldliness, the fervent evangelical piety which his high Anglican doctrine did not disturb, were less moving than his singular power, which he seemed to have derived from Christ Himself, of reading the human heart. The young men who listened to him felt, each of them, as if he had confessed his inmost thoughts to Newman, as if Newman were speaking to him alone. And yet, from his own point of view, there was a danger in his arguments, a danger which he probably did not see himself, peculiarly insidious to an acute, subtle, speculative mind like Froude's.

Newman's intellect, when left to itself, was so clear, so powerful, so intense, that it cut through sophistry like a knife, and went straight from premisses to conclusion. But it was only left to itself within narrow and definite limits. He never suffered from religious doubts. From Evangelical Protestantism to Roman Catholicism he passed by slow degrees without once entering the domain of scepticism. Dissenting altogether from Bishop Butler's view that reason is the only faculty by which we can judge even of revelation, he set religion apart, outside reason altogether. From the pulpit of St. Mary's he told his congregation that Hume's argument against miracles was logically sound. It was really more probable that the witnesses should be mistaken than that Lazarus should have been raised from the dead. But, all the same, Lazarus was raised from the dead: we were required by faith to believe it, and logic had nothing to do with the matter. How Butler would have answered Hume, Butler to whom probability was the guide of life, we cannot tell. Newman's answer was not satisfactory to Froude. If Hume were right, how could he also be wrong? Newman might say, with Tertullian, Credo quia impossibile. But mankind in general are not convinced by paradox, and "to be suddenly told that the famous argument against miracles was logically valid after all was at least startling."*

— * Short Studies on Great Subjects, 4th series, p. 205. —

Perplexed by this dilemma, Froude at Oxford as a graduate, taking pupils in what was then called science, and would now be called philosophy, for the Honour School of Literae Humaniores. He was soon offered, and accepted, a tutorship in Ireland. His pupils father, Mr. Cleaver, was rector of Delgany in the county of Wicklow. Mr. Cleaver was a dignified, stately clergyman of the Evangelical school. Froude had been taught by his brother at home, and by his friends at Oxford, to despise Evangelicals as silly, ignorant, ridiculous persons. He saw in Mr. Cleaver the perfect type of a Christian gentleman, cultivated, pious, and well bred. Mrs. Cleaver was worthy of her husband. They were both models of practical Christianity. They and their circle held all the opinions about Catholicism and the Reformation which Newman and the Anglo-Catholics denounced. The real thing was always among them, and they did not want any imitation. "A clergyman," says Froude, "who was afterwards a Bishop in the Irish Church, declared in my hearing that the theory of a Christian priesthood was a fiction; that the notion of the Sacraments as having a mechanical efficacy irrespective of their conscious effect upon the mind of the receiver was an idolatrous superstition; that the Church was a human institution, which had varied in form in different ages, and might vary again; that it was always fallible; that it might have Bishops in England, and dispense with Bishops in Scotland and Germany; that a Bishop was merely an officer; that the apostolical succession was probably false as a fact—and, if a fact, implied nothing but historical continuity. Yet the man who said these things had devoted his whole life to his Master's service—thought of nothing else, and cared for nothing else."*

— * Short Studies on Great Subjects, 4th series, p. 212. —

Froude had been taught by his brother, and his brother's set, to believe that Dissenters were, morally and intellectually, the scum of the earth. Here were men who, though not Dissenters themselves, held doctrines practically undistinguishable from theirs, and yet united the highest mental training with the service of God and the imitation of Christ. There was in the Cleaver household none of that reserve which the Tractarians inculcated in matters of religion. The Christian standard was habitually held up as the guide of life and conduct, an example to be always followed whatever the immediate consequences that might ensue. Mr. Cleaver was a man of moderate fortune, who could be hospitable without pinching, and he was acquainted with the best Protestant society in Ireland. Public affairs were discussed in his house with full knowledge, and without the frivolity affected by public men. O'Connell was at that time supreme in the government of Ireland, though his reign was drawing to a close. The Whigs held office by virtue of a compact with the Irish leader, and their Under-Secretary at Dublin Castle, Thomas Drummond, had gained the affections of the people by his sympathetic statesmanship. An epigrammatic speaker said in the House of Commons that Peel governed England, O'Connell governed Ireland, and the Whigs governed Downing Street. It was all coming to an end. Drummond died, the Whigs went out of office, Peel governed Ireland, and England too. Froude just saw the last phase of O'Connellism, and he did not like it. In politics he never looked very far below the surface of things, and the wrongs of Ireland did not appeal to him. That Protestantism was the religion of the English pale, and of the Scottish Presbyterians in Ulster, not of the Irish people, was a fact outside his thoughts. He saw two things clearly enough. One was the strength and beauty of the religious faith by which the Cleavers and their friends lived. The other was the misery, squalor, and chronic discontent of the Catholic population, then almost twice as large as after the famine it became. He did not pause to reflect upon what had been done by laws made in England, or upon the iniquity of taxing Ireland in tithes for the Church of a small minority. He concluded simply that Protestantism meant progress, and Catholicism involved stagnation. He heard dark stories of Ribbonism, and was gravely assured that if Mr. Cleaver's Catholic coachman, otherwise an excellent servant, were ordered to shoot his master, he would obey. Very likely Mr. Cleaver was right, though the event did not occur. What was the true origin of Ribbonism, what made it dangerous, why it had the sympathy of the people, were questions which Froude could hardly be expected to answer, inasmuch as they were not answered by Sir Robert Peel.

While Froude was at Delgany there appeared the once famous Tract Ninety, last of the series, unless we are to reckon Monckton Milnes's One Tract More. The author of Tract Ninety was Newman, and the ferment it made was prodigious. It was a subtle, ingenious, and plausible attempt to prove that the Articles and other formularies of the English Church might be honestly interpreted in a Catholic sense, as embodying principles which the whole Catholic Church held before the Reformation, and held still. Mr. Cleaver and his circle were profoundly shocked. To them Catholicism meant Roman Catholicism, or, as they called it, Popery. If a man were not a Protestant, he had no business to remain in the United Church of England and Ireland. If he did remain in it, he was not merely mistaken, but dishonest, and sophistry could not purge him from the moral stain of treachery to the institution of which he was an officer. Froude's sense of chivalry was aroused, and he warmly defended Newman, whom he knew to be as honest as himself, besides being saintly and pure. If he had stopped there, all might have been well. Mr. Cleaver was himself high-minded, and could appreciate the virtue of standing up for an absent friend. But Froude went further. He believed Newman to be legally and historically right. The Church of England was designed to be comprehensive. Chatham had spoken of it, not unfairly, as having an Arminian liturgy and Calvinist articles. When the Book of Common Prayer assumed its present shape, every citizen had been required to conform, and the policy of Elizabeth was to exclude no one. The result was a compromise, and Mr. Cleaver would have found it hard to reconcile his principles with the form of absolution in the Visitation of the Sick. This was, in Mr. Cleaver's opinion, sophistry almost as bad as Newman's, and Froude's tutorship came to an end. There was no quarrel, and, after a tour through the south of Ireland, where he saw superstition and irreverence, solid churches, well-fed priests, and a starving peasantry in rags, Froude returned for a farewell visit to Delgany. On this occasion he met Dr. Pusey, who had been at Christ Church with Mr. Cleaver, and was then visiting Bray. Dr. Pusey, however, was not at his ease He was told by a clerical guest, afterwards a Bishop, with more freedom than courtesy, that they wanted no Popery brought to Ireland, they had enough of their own. The sequel is curious. For while Newman justified Mr. Cleaver by going over to Rome, his own sons, including Froude's pupil, became Puseyite clergymen of the highest possible type. Froude returned to Oxford at the beginning of 1842, and won the Chancellor's Prize for an English essay on the influence of political economy in the development of nations. In the summer he was elected to a Devonshire Fellowship at Exeter, and his future seemed secure. But his mind was not at rest. It was an age of ecclesiastical controversy, and Oxford was the centre of what now seems a storm in a teacup. Froude became mixed up in it. On the one hand was the personal influence of Newman, who raised more doubts than he solved. On the other hand Froude's experience of Evangelical Protestantism in Ireland, where he read for the first time The Pilgrim's Progress, contradicted the assumption of the Tractarians that High Catholicity was an essential note of true religion. Gradually the young Fellow became aware that High Church and Low Church did not exhaust the intellectual world. He read Carlyle's French revolution, and Hero Worship, and Past and Present. He read Emerson too. For Emerson and Carlyle the Church of England did not exist. Carlyle despised it.

Emerson had probably not so much as given it a thought in his life. But what struck Froude most about them was that they dealt with actual phaenomena, with things and persons around them, with the world as it was. They did not appeal to tradition, or to antiquity, but to nature, and to the mind of man. The French Revolution, then but half a century old, was interpreted by Carlyle not as Antichrist, but as God's judgment upon sin.

Perhaps one view was not more historical than the other. But the first was groundless, and second had at least some evidence in support of it. God may be, or rather must be, conceived to work through other instruments besides Christianity. "Neither in Jerusalem, nor on this mountain, shall men worship the Father." Carlyle completed what Newman had begun, and the dogmatic foundation of Froude's belief gave way. The two greatest geniuses of the age, as he thought them, agreeing in little else, agreed that Christianity did not rest upon reason. Then upon what did it rest? Reason appeals to one. Faith is the appanage of a few. From Carlyle Froude went to Goethe, then almost unknown at Oxford, a true philosopher as well as a great poet, an example of dignity, a liberator of the human soul.

The Church as a profession is not suitable to a man in Froude's state of mind. But in Oxford at that time there flourished a lamentable system which would have been felt to be irreligious if the authorities of the place had known what religion really was. Most Fellows lost their Fellowships in a very short time unless they took orders, and Froude's Fellowship was in that sense a clerical one. They were ordained as a matter of course, the Bishop requiring no other title. They were not expected, unless they wished it, to take any parochial duty, and the notion that they had a "serious call" to keep their Fellowships can only be described as absurd. Froude had no other profession in view, and he persuaded himself that a Church established by law must allow a wider range of opinion than a voluntary communion could afford to tolerate. As we have seen, he had defended Tract Ninety, and he claimed for himself the latitude which he conceded to Newman. It was in his case a mistake, as he very soon discovered. But the system which encouraged it must bear a large part of the blame. Meanwhile he had been employed by Newman on an uncongenial task. After the discontinuance of Tracts for the Times, Newman projected another series, called Lives of the Saints. The idea was of course taken from the Bollandist Acta Sanctorum. But Newman had a definite polemical purpose. Just as he felt the force of Hume's argument against the probability of miracles, so he realised the difficulty of answering Gibbon's inquiry when miracles ceased. Had they ever ceased at all? Many Roman Catholics, if not the most enlightened and instructed, thought not. Newman conceived that the lives of English and Irish saints held much matter for edification, including marvels and portents of various kinds. He desired that these things should be believed, as he doubtless believed them. They proved, he thought, if they could be proved themselves, that supernatural power resided in the Church, and when the Church was concerned he laid his reason aside.

He was extraordinarily sanguine. "Rationalise," he said to Froude, "when the evidence is weak, and this will give credibility for others, when you can show that the evidence is strong." Froude chose St. Neot, a contemporary of Alfred, in whose life the supernatural played a comparatively small part. He told his story as legend, not quite as Newman wanted it. "This is all," he said at the end, "and perhaps rather more than all, that is known of the life of the blessed St. Neot." His connection with the series ceased. But his curiosity was excited. He read far and wide in the Benedictine biographies. No trace of investigation into facts could he discover. If a tale was edifying, it was believed, and credibility had nothing to do with it. The saints were beatified conjurers, and any nonsense about them was swallowed, if it involved the miraculous element. The effect upon Froude may be left to his own words. "St. Patrick I found once lighted a fire with icicles, changed a French marauder into a wolf, and floated to Ireland on an altar stone. I thought it nonsense. I found it eventually uncertain whether Patricius was not a title, and whether any single apostle of that name had so much as existed."

Froude's scepticism was too indiscriminate when it assailed the existence of St. Patrick, which is not now doubted by scholars, baseless as the Patrician legends may be. Colgan's Lives of Irish Saints had taken him back to Ireland, that he might examine the scenes described. He visited them under the best guidance; and Petre, the learned historian of the Round Towers, showed him a host of curious antiquities, including a utensil which had come to be called the Crown of Brian Boru. Legendary history made no impression upon Froude. The actual state of Ireland affected him with the deepest interest. A population of eight millions, fed chiefly upon potatoes, and multiplying like rabbits, light-hearted, reckless, and generous, never grudged hospitality, nor troubled themselves about paying their debts. Their kindness to strangers was unbounded. In the wilds of Mayo Froude caught the smallpox, and was nursed with a devotion which he always remembered, ungrateful as in some of his writings about Ireland he may seem. After his recovery he wandered about the coast, saw the station of Protestant missionaries at Achill, and was rowed out to Clare Island, where a disabled galleon from the Armada had been wrecked. His studies in hagiology led him to consider the whole question of the miraculous, and he found it impossible to work with Newman any more. A religion which rested upon such stories as Father Colgan's was a religion nurtured in lies.

All this, however, had nothing to do with the Church of England by law established, and Froude was ordained deacon in 1845. The same year Newman seceded, and was received into the Church of Rome. No similar event, before or since, has excited such consternation and alarm. So impartial an observer as Mr. Disraeli thought that the Church of England did not in his time recover from the blow. We are only concerned with it here as it affected Froude. It affected him in a way unknown outside the family. Hurrell Froude, who abhorred private judgment as a Protestant error, had told his brothers that when they saw Newman and Keble disagree they might think for themselves. He felt sure that he was thereby guarding them against thinking for themselves at all. But now the event which he considered impossible had happened. Newman had gone to Rome. Keble remained faithful to the Church of his baptism. Which side Hurrell Froude would have taken nobody could say. He had died a clergyman of the Church of England at the age of thirty-three, nine years before. Anthony Froude had no inclination to follow Newman. But neither did he agree with Keble. He thought for himself. Of his brief clerical career there exists a singular record in the shape of a funeral sermon preached at St. Mary's Church, Torquay, on the second Sunday after Trinity, 1847. The subject was George May Coleridge, vicar of the parish, the poet's nephew, who had been cut off in the prime of life while Froude acted as his curate. The sermon itself is not remarkable, except for being written in unusually good English. The doctrine is strictly orthodox, and the simple life of a good clergyman devoted to his people is described with much tenderness of feeling.

This sermon, of which he gave a copy to John Duke Coleridge, the future Lord Chief Justice of England, was Froude's first experiment in authorship, and it was at least harmless. As much cannot be said for the second, two anonymous stories, called Shadows of the Clouds and The Lieutenant's Daughter. The Lieutenant's Daughter has been long and deservedly forgotten. Shadows of the Clouds is a valuable piece of autobiography. Without literary merit, without any quality to attract the public, it gives a vivid and faithful account of the author's troubles at school and at home, together with a slight sketch of his unfortunate love-affair.

Froude was a born story-teller, with an irresistible propensity for making books. The fascination which, throughout his life, he had for women showed itself almost before he was out of his teens; and in this case the feeling was abundantly returned. Nevertheless he could, within a few years, publish the whole narrative, changing only the names, and then feel genuine surprise that the other person concerned should be pained. He was not inconsiderate. Those who lived with him never heard from him a rough or unkind word. But his dramatic instinct was uncontrollable and had to be expressed. The Archdeacon read the book, and was naturally furious. If he could have been in any way convinced of his errors, which may be doubted, to publish an account of them was not the best way to begin. Reconciliation had been made impossible, and Anthony was left to his own devices. His miscellaneous reading was not checked by an ordination which imposed no duties. Goethe sent him to Spinoza, a "God-intoxicated man," and a philosophical genius, but not a pillar of ecclesiastical orthodoxy. Vestiges of Creation, which had appeared in 1844, woke Oxford to the discovery that physical science might have something to say about the origin, or at least the growth, of the universe. The writer, Robert Chambers, whose name was not then known, so far anticipated Darwin that he dispensed with the necessity for a special creation of each plant and animal. He did not, any more than Darwin, attack the Christian religion, and he did not really go much farther than Lucretius. But he had more modern lights, he understood science, and he wrote in a popular style. He made a lively impression upon Froude, who learnt from him that natural phenomena were due to natural causes, at the same time that he acquired from Spinoza a disbelief in the freedom of the will. When Dr. Johnson said, "Sir, we know that the will is free, and there's an end on't," he did not understand the question. We all know that the will is free to act. But is man free to will? If everything about a man were within our cognisance, we could predict his conduct in given circumstances as certainly as a chemist can foretell the effect of mixing an acid with an alkali. I have no intention of expressing any opinion of my own upon this subject. The important thing is that Froude became in the philosophic sense a Determinist, and his conviction that Calvin was in that respect the best philosopher among theologians strengthened his attachment to the Protestant cause.

Protestantism apart, however, Froude's position as a clergyman had become intolerable. He had been persuaded to accept ordination for the reason, among others, that the Church could be reformed better from within than from without.

But there were few doctrines of the Church that he could honestly teach, and the straightforward course was to abandon the clerical profession. Nowadays a man in Froude's plight would only have to sign a paper, and he would be free. But before 1870 orders, even deacon's orders, were indelible. Neither a priest nor a deacon could sit in Parliament, or enter any other learned profession. Froude was in great difficulty and distress. He consulted his friends Arthur Stanley, Matthew Arnold, and Arthur Clough. Clough, though a layman, felt the same perplexity as himself. As a Fellow and Tutor of Oriel he had signed the Articles. Now that he no longer believed in them, ought he not to live up his appointments? The Provost, Dr. Hawkins, induced him to pause and reflect. Meanwhile he published a volume of poetry, including the celebrated Bothie, about which Froude wrote to him:

"I was for ever falling upon lines which gave me uneasy twitchings; e.g. the end of the love scene:

"And he fell at her feet, and buried his face in her apron.

"I daresay the head would fall there, but what an image! It chimes in with your notion of the attractiveness of the working business. But our undisciplined ears have divided the ideas too long to bear to have them so abruptly shaken together. Love is an idle sort of a god, and comes in other hours than the working ones; at least I have always found it so. I don't think of it in my working time, and when I see a person I do love working (at whatever it may be), I have quite another set of thoughts about her. . . It would do excellently well for married affection, for it is the element in which it lives. But I don't think young love gets born then. I only speak for myself, and from a very limited experience. As to the story, I don't the least object to it on The Spectator's ground. I think it could not have been done in prose. Verse was wanted to give it dignity. But if we find it trivial, the fault is in our own varnished selves. We have been polished up so bright that we forget the stuff we are made of."

Clough was in politics a Republican, and sympathised ardently with the French Revolution of 1848. So did Charles Kingsley, a Cambridge man, who was at that time on a visit to Exeter. But Kingsley, though a disciple of Carlyle, was also a hard-working clergyman, who held that the masses could be regenerated by Christian Socialism. Froude had no faith in Socialism, nor in Christianity as the Church understood it. In this year, 1848, Emerson also came to Oxford, and dined with Clough at Oriel, where they thought him like Newman. Froude was already an admirer of Emerson's essays, and laid his case before the American moralist. Emerson gave him, as might have been expected, no practical advice, but recommended him to read the Vedas. Nothing mattered much to Emerson, who took the opportunity to give a lecture in London on the Spiritual Unity of all Animated Beings. Froude attended it, and there first saw Carlyle, who burst, characteristically enough, into a shout of laughter at the close. Carlyle loved Emerson; but the Emersonian philosophy was to him like any other form of old clothes, only rather more grotesque than most.

In the Long Vacation of 1848 Froude went alone to Ireland for the third time, and shut himself up at Killarney. From Killarney he wrote a long account of himself to Clough:

"KILLARNEY, July 15, 1848.

"I came over here where for the present I am all day in the woods and on the lake and retire at night into an unpleasant hotel, where I am sitting up writing this and waiting with the rest of the household rather anxiously for the arrival of a fresh wedded pair. Next week I move off across the lake to a sort of lodge of Lord Kenmare, where I have persuaded an old lady to take me into the family. I am going to live with them, and I am going to have her ladyship's own boudoir to scribble in. It is a wild place enough with porridge and potatoes to eat, varied with what fish I may provide for myself and arbutus berries if it comes to starving. The noble lord has been away for some years. They will put a deal table into the said boudoir for me, and if living under a noble roof has charms for me I have that at least to console myself with. I can't tell about your coming. There may be a rising in September, and you may be tempted to turn rebel, you know; and I don't know whether you like porridge, or whether a straw bed is to your—not 'taste,' touch is better, I suppose. It is perfectly beautiful here, or it would be if it wasn't for the swarm of people about one that are for ever insisting on one's saying so. Between hotel-keeper and carmen and boatmen and guides that describe to my honour the scenery, and young girls that insist on my honour taking a taste of the goats' milk, and a thousand other creatures that insist on boring me and being paid for it, I am really thankful every night when I get to my room and find all the pieces of me safe in their places. However, I shall do very well when I get to my lodge, and in the meantime I am contented to do ill. I have hopes of these young paddies after all. I think they will have a fight for it, or else their landlords will bully the Government into strong measures as they call them—and then will finally disgust whatever there is left of doubtful loyalty in the country into open unloyalty, and they will win without fighting. There is the most genuine hatred of the Irish landlords everywhere that I can remember to have heard expressed of persons or things. My landlady that is to be next week told me she believed it was God's doing. If God wished the people should be stirred up to fight, then it was all right they should do it; and if He didn't will, why surely then there would be no fighting at all. I am not sure it could have been expressed better. I have heard horrid stories in detail of the famine. They are getting historical now, and the people can look back at them and tell them quietly. It is very lucky for us that we are let to get off for the most part with generalities, and the knowledge of details is left to those who suffer them. I think if it was not so we should all go mad or shoot ourselves.

"The echoes of English politics which come over here are very sickening: even The Spectator exasperates me with its d—d cold- water cure for all enthusiasm. When I see these beautiful mountain glens, I quite long to build myself a little den in the middle of them, and say good-bye to the world, with all its lies and its selfishness, till other times. I have still one great consolation here, and that is the rage and fury of the sqireens at the poor rates; six and sixpence in the pound with an estate mortgaged right up to high-water mark and the year's income anticipated is not the very most delightful prospect possible.

"The crows are very fat and very plenty. They sit on the roadside and look at you with a kind of right of property. There are no beggars—at least, professional ones. They were all starved-dead, gone where at least I suppose the means of subsistence will be found for them. There is no begging or starving, I believe, in the two divisions of Kingdom Come. I see in The Spectator the undergraduates were energetically loyal at Commemoration—nice boys—and the dons have been snubbed about Guizot. Is there a chance for M—-? Poor fellow, he is craving to be married, and ceteris paribus I suppose humanity allows it to be a claim, though John Mill doesn't. My wedding party have not arrived. It is impossible not to feel a kindly interest in them. At the bottom of all the agitation a wedding sets going in us all there is lying, I think a kind of misgiving, a secret pity for the fate of the poor rose which is picked now and must forthwith wither; and our boisterous jollification is but an awkward barely successful effort at concealing it. Well, good-bye. I hardly know when I look over these pages whether to wish you to get them or not.

"Yours notwithstanding,

Ireland had been devastated, far more than decimated, by the famine, and was simmering with insurrection, like the Continent of Europe. The Corn Laws had gone, and the Whigs were back in office, but they could do nothing with Ireland. To Froude it appeared as if the disturbed state of the country were an emblem of distracted Churches and outworn creeds. Religion seemed to him hopelessly damaged, and he asked himself whether morality would not follow religion. If the Christian sanction were lost, would the difference between right and wrong survive? His own state of mind was thoroughly wretched. The creed in which he had been brought up was giving way under him, and he could find no principle of action at all. Brooding ceaselessly over these problems, he at the same time lowered his physical strength by abstinence, living upon bread, milk, and vegetables, giving up meat and wine. In this unpromising frame of mind, and in the course of solitary rambles, he composed The Nemesis of Faith.* The book is, both in substance and in style, quite unworthy of Froude. But in the life of a man who afterwards wrote what the world would not willingly let die it is an epoch of critical importance. To describe it in a word is impossible. To describe it in a few words is not easy. Froude himself called it in after life a "cry of pain," meaning that it was intended to relieve the intolerable pressure of his thoughts. It is not a novel, it is not a treatise, it is not poetry, it is not romance. It is the delineation of a mood; and though it was called, with some reason, sceptical, its moral, if it has a moral, is that scepticism leads to misconduct. That unpleasant and unverified hypothesis, soon rejected by Froude himself, has been revived by M. Bourget in Le Disciple, and L'Etape. The Nemesis of Faith is as unwholesome as either of these books, and has not their literary charm. It had few friends, because it disgusted free-thinking Liberals as much as it scandalised orthodox Conservatives. If it were read at all nowadays, as it is not, it would be read for the early sketches of Newman and Carlyle, afterwards amplified in memorable pages which are not likely to perish.

— * Chapman, 1849. —

In a letter to Charles Kingsley, written from Dartington on New Year's Day, 1849, Froude speaks with transparent candour of his book, and of his own mind:

"I wish to give up my Fellowship. I hate the Articles. I have said I hate chapel to the Rector himself; and then I must live somehow, and England is not hospitable, and the parties here to whom I am in submission believe too devoutly in the God of this world to forgive an absolute apostasy. Under pain of lost favour for ever if I leave my provision at Oxford, I must find another, and immediately. There are many matters I wish to talk over with you. I have a book advertised. You may have seen it. It is too utterly subjective to please you. I can't help it. If the creatures breed, they must come to the birth. There is something in the thing, I know; for I cut a hole in my heart, and wrote with the blood. I wouldn't write such another at the cost of the same pain for anything short of direct promotion into heaven."

Of Kingsley himself Froude wrote* to another clerical friend, friend of a lifetime, Cowley Powles: "Kingsley is such a fine fellow—I almost wish, though, he wouldn't write and talk Chartism, and be always in such a stringent excitement about it all. He dreams of nothing but barricades and provisional Governments and grand Smithfield bonfires, where the landlords are all roasting in the fat of their own prize oxen. He is so musical and beautiful in poetry, and so rough and harsh in prose, and he doesn't know the least that it is because in the first the art is carrying him out of himself, and making him forget just for a little that the age is so entirely out of joint." A very fine and discriminating piece of criticism.

— * April 10th, 1849. —

The immediate effect of The Nemesis, the only effect it ever had, was disastrous. Whatever else it might be, it was undoubtedly heretical, and in the Oxford of 1849 heresy was the unpardonable sin. The Senior Tutor of Exeter, the Reverend William Sewell, burnt the book during a lecture in the College Hall. Sewell, afterwards founder and first Warden of Radley, was a didactic Churchman, always talking or writing, seldom thinking, who contributed popular articles to The Quarterly Review. The editor, Lockhart, knew their value well enough. They tell one nothing, he said, they mean nothing, they are nothing, but they go down like bottled velvet. Sewell's eccentricities could not hurt Froude. But more serious consequences followed. The Governing Body of Exeter, the Rector* and Fellows, called upon him to resign his Fellowship. This they had no moral right to do, and Froude should have rejected the demand. For though his name and college were on the title-page of the book, the book itself was a work of fiction, and he could not justly be held responsible for the opinions of the characters. Expulsion was, however, held out to him as the alternative of resignation.

— * Dr. Richards. —

"If the Rector will permit me," he wrote from Oxford to Clough, "tomorrow I cease to be a Fellow of the College. But there is a doubt if he will permit it, and will not rather try to send me out in true heretic style. My book is therefore, as you may suppose, out. I know little of what is said, but it sells fast, and is being read, and is producing sorrow this time, I understand, as much as anger, but the two feelings will speedily unite."

If he could have appealed to a court of law, the authorities would probably have failed for want of evidence, and Froude would have retained his Fellowship. But he was sensitive, and yielded to pressure. He signed the paper presented to him as if he had been a criminal, and shook the dust of the University from his feet. Within ten years a new Rector, quite as orthodox as the old, had invited him to replace his name on the books of the college. It was long, however, before he returned to an Oxford where only the buildings were the same. Twenty years from this date an atheistic treatise might have been written with perfect impunity by any Fellow of any college. Nobody would even have read it if atheism had been its only recommendation. The wise indifference of the wise had relieved true religion from the paralysis of official patronage. But in 1849 the action of the Rector and Fellows was heartily applauded by the Visitor, Bishop Phillpotts, the famous Henry of Exeter. Their behaviour was conscientious, and Dr. Richards, the Rector, was a model of dignified urbanity. It is unreasonable to blame men for not being in advance of their age.



Froude's position was now, from a worldly point of view, deplorable. For the antagonism of High Churchmen he was of course prepared. "Never mind," he wrote to Clough of The Nemesis, "if the Puseyites hate it; they must fear it, and it will work in the mind they have made sick." But he was also assailed in the Protestant press as an awful example of what the Oxford Movement might engender. His book was denounced on all sides, even by freethinkers, who regarded it as a reproach to their cause. The professors of University College, London, had appointed him to a mastership at Hobart Town in Australia, for which he applied the year before in the hope that change of scene might help to re-settle his mind. On reading the attacks in the newspapers they pusillanimously asked him to withdraw, and he withdrew. A letter to Clough, dated the 6th of March, 1849, explains his intellectual and material position at this time in a vivid and striking manner.

"I admire Matt. to a very great extent, only I don't see what business he has to parade his calmness, and lecture us on resignation, when he has never known what a storm is, and doesn't know what to resign himself to. I think he only knows the shady side of nature out of books. Still I think his versifying, and generally his aesthetic power is quite wonderful …. On the whole he shapes better than you, I think, but you have marble to cut out, and he has only clay …. Do you think that if the Council do ask me to give up I might fairly ask Lord Brougham as their President to get me helped instead to ever so poor an honest living in the Colonies? I can't turn hack writer, and I must have something fixed to do. Congreve is down-hearted about Oxford: not so I. I quite look to coming back in a very few years."

The Archdeacon, conceiving that the best remedy for free thought was short commons, stopped his son's allowance. Froude would have been alone in the world, if the brave and generous Kingsley had not come to his assistance. Like a true Christian, he invited Froude to his house, and made him at home there. To appreciate the magnanimity of this offer we must consider that Kinglsey was himself suspected of being a heretic, and that his prominent association with Froude brought him letters of remonstrance by every post. He said nothing about them, and Froude, in perfect ignorance of what he was inflicting upon his host, stayed two months with him at Ilfracombe and Lynmouth. Yet Kingsley did not, and could not, agree with Froude. He was a resolved, serious Christian, and never dreamt of giving up his ministry. He did not in the least agree with Froude, who made no impression upon him in argument. He acted from kindness, and respect for integrity.

Froude, however, could not stay permanently with the Kingsleys. His father would have nothing to do with him, and in his son's opinion was right to leave him with the consequences of his own errors. But the outcry against him had been so violent and excessive as to provoke a reaction. Froude might be an "infidel," he was not a criminal, and in resigning his Fellowship he had shown more honesty than prudence. His position excited the sympathy of influential persons. Crabb Robinson, though an entire stranger to him, wrote a public protest against Froude's treatment. Other men, not less distinguished, went farther. Chevalier Bunsen, the Prussian Minister, Monckton Milnes, afterwards Lord Houghton, and others whose names he never knew, subscribed a considerable sum of money for maintaining the unpopular writer at a German university while he made a serious study of theological science. But he had had enough of theology, and the munificent offer was declined, though Bunsen harangued him enthusiastically for five hours in Carlton Gardens on the exquisite adaptation of Evangelical doctrines to the human soul, until Froude began to suspect that they must have originated in the soul itself.

At this time a greater change than the loss of his Fellowship came upon Froude. While staying with the Kingsleys at Ilfracombe, he met Mrs. Kingsley's sister, Charlotte Grenfell, the Argemone of Yeast, a lady of somewhat wilful, yet most brilliant spirit, with a small fortune of her own. Miss Grenfell had joined the Church of Rome two years before, and at that time thought of entering a convent. This idea was extremely distasteful to her sister and her sister's husband. Their favourite remedy for feminine caprice was marriage, and they soon had the satisfaction of seeing Miss Grenfell become Mrs. Froude. There were some difficulties in the way, for Froude's prospects were by no means assured, and Mrs. Kingsley felt occasional scruples. But Froude had confidence in himself, and when his mind was made up he would not look back.

"You remember," he wrote to Mrs. Kingsley, in 1849, "I warned you that I intended to take my own way in life, doing (as I always have done) in all important matters just what I should think good, at whatever risk of consequences, and taking no other person's opinion when it crossed with my own. Now in this matter I feel certain that the way to save Charlotte most pain is to shorten the struggle, and that will be best done by being short, peremptory, and decided in allowing no dictation and no interference …. Charlotte herself is really magnificent. Every letter shows me larger nobleness of heart. You cannot go back now, Mrs. Kingsley."

Mrs. Kingsley did not go back, and Froude had his way. Before the wedding, however, another and a novel experience awaited him. His misfortunes aroused the interest of a rich manufacturer at Manchester, Mr. Darbishire, who offered him a resident tutorship, and would have taken him into his own firm, even, as it would seem, into his own family, if he had desired to become a man of business, and to live in a smoky town. But Froude was engaged to be married, and had a passionate love of the country. His keen, clear, rapid intelligence would probably have served him well in commercial affairs when once he had learnt to understand them. He was reserved for a very different destiny, and he gratefully declined Mr. Darbishire's offer. Nevertheless, his stay at Manchester as private tutor had some share in his mental development. He made acquaintance with interesting persons, such as Harriet Martineau, Geraldine Jewsbury, Mrs. Gaskell, and William Edward Forster, then known as a young Quaker who had devoted himself, in the true Quaker spirit of self-sacrifice, to relieving the sufferers from the Irish famine. Besides Manchester friends, Froude imbibed Manchester principles. He had been half inclined to sympathise with the socialism of Louis Blanc and other French revolutionists. Manchester cured him. He adopted the creed of individualism, private enterprise, no interference by Government, and free trade. In these matters he did not, at that time, go with Carlyle, as in ecclesiastical matters he had not gone with Newman. His mind was intensely practical, though in personal questions of self-interest he was careless, and even indifferent. Henceforth he abandoned speculation, as well philosophical as theological, and reverted to the historical studies of his youth. Philosophy at Oxford in those days meant Plato, Aristotle, and Bishop Butler. Froude was a good Greek scholar, and he had the true Oxford reverence for Butler. But he had not gone deeper into philosophy than his examinations and his pupils required. He liked positive results, and metaphysicians always suggested to him the movements of a squirrel in a cage.

The alternative to business was literature. Biographies of literary men, said Carlyle, are the most wretched documents in human history, except the Newgate Calendar. But Carlyle said many things he did not believe, and this was probably one of them. The truth is, that the literary profession, like the commercial, requires some little capital with which to set out, and Froude received this with his wife. Besides it he had brilliant talents, unflagging industry, and powers of writing such as have seldom been given to any of the sons of men. While at Manchester he composed The Cat's Pilgrimage, the earliest of his Short Studies in date. The moral of this fanciful fable is very like the moral of Candide.

The discontented cat, tired of her monotonously comfortable place on the hearthrug, goes out into the world, and gets nothing more than experience for her pains. She finds the other animals occupied with their own concerns, and enjoying life because they do not go beyond them. Not a very elevating paper, perhaps, but better than The Nemesis of Faith, and Froude's last word on the subjects that had tormented his youth.

He recoiled from materialism, finding that it offered no explanation of the universe. Faith in God he had never entirely lost, and on that he founded his henceforth unshaken belief in the providential government of the world. Whatever might be the origin of the Christian religion, it furnished the best guide of life; and spiritual truth, as Bunsen said, was independent of history. He had no sort of sympathy with those who rejected belief in Christianity altogether, still less with those who abandoned Theism. Although he could not be a minister of the Church, he was content to be a member, understanding the Church to be what he was brought up to think it, the national organ of religion, a Protestant, evangelical establishment under the authority of the law and the supremacy of the Crown.

Froude returned to Manchester immediately after his marriage, but his wife did not like the place nor the people. They looked about for a country home, and were fortunate enough to find the most enchanting spot in North Wales. Plas Gwynant, the shining place, stands on a rising ground surrounded by woods, at the foot of Snowdon, between Capel Curig and Beddgelert. Beyond the lawn and meadow is Dinas Lake. A cherry orchard stood close to the house door, and a torrent poured through a rocky ravine in the grounds, falling into a pool below. A mile up the valley was the glittering lake, Lyn Gwynant, with a boat and plenty of fishing. Good shooting was also within reach.

To this ideal home Froude came with his wife in the summer of 1850. Here began a new life of cloudless happiness and perfect peace. His spiritual difficulties fell away from him, and he found that the Church in which he had been born was comprehensive enough for him, as for others. He was not called upon to solve problems which had baffled the subtlest intellects, and would baffle them till the end of time. Religion could be made practical, and not until its practical lessons had been exhausted was it necessary to go farther afield. "Do the duty that lies nearest you," said Goethe, who knew art and science, literature and life, as few men have known them. Froude was never idle, and never at a loss for amusement. Although he wrote regularly, and his love of reading was a passion, he had the keenest enjoyment of sport and expeditions, of country air and sights and sounds, of natural beauty and physical exercise. It was impossible to be dull in his company, for he was the prince of conversers, drawing out as much as he gave. No wonder that there were numerous visitors at Plas Gwynant. He was the best and warmest of friends. In London he would always lay aside his work for the day to entertain one of his contemporaries at Oxford, and at Plas Gwynant they found a hospitable welcome. He would fish with them, or shoot with them, or boat with them, or walk with them, discussing every subject under heaven. Perhaps the most valued of his guests was Clough, who had then written most of his poetry, and projected new enterprises, not knowing how short his life would be.

Besides Clough, Matthew Arnold came to Plas Gwynant, and Charles
Kingsley, and John Conington, the Oxford Professor of Latin, and Max
Muller, the great philologist. A letter to Max Muller, dated the
25th of June, 1851, gives a pleasant picture of existence there.

"I shall be so glad to see you in July. Come and stay as long as work will let you, and you can endure our hospitality. We are poor, and so are not living at a high rate. I can't give you any wine, because I haven't a drop in the house, and you must bring your own cigars, as I am come down to pipes. But to set against that, you shall have the best dinner in Wales every day—fresh trout, Welsh mutton, as much bitter ale as you can drink; a bedroom and a little sitting-room joining it all for your own self, and the most beautiful look-out from the window that I have ever seen. You may vary your retirement. You may change your rooms for the flower- garden, which is an island in the river, or for the edge of the waterfall, the music of which will every night lull you to sleep. Last of all, you will have the society of myself, and of my wife, and, what ought to weigh with you too, you will give us the great pleasure of yours."

Clough neither fished, nor shot, nor boated, but as a walking companion there was no one, in Froude's opinion, to be put above him. For fishing he gave pre-eminence to Kingsley, and together they carried up their coracles to waters higher than ordinary boats could reach. Kingsley was ardent in all forms of sport, and an enthusiast for Maurician theology, holding, as he said, that it had pleased God to show him and Maurice things which He had concealed from Carlyle. He had concealed them also from Froude, who regarded Carlyle as his teacher, feeling that he owed him his emancipation from clerical bonds.

Froude and Kingsley did not agree either in theology or in politics. "I meant to say," Froude wrote to his wife's brother-in-law in 1851, "that the philosophical necessity of the Incarnation as a fact must have been as cogent to the earliest thinkers as to ourselves. If we may say it must have been, they might say so. And they might, and indeed must, have concluded, each at their several date, that the highest historical person known to them must have been the Incarnate God; so that unless the Incarnation was the first fact in human history, there must have been a time when they would have used the argument and it would have led them wrong."

Concerning Kingsley's Socialism, especially as shown in Hypatia, Froude was cold and critical. "It is by no means as yet clear to me," he wrote about this time, "that all good people are Socialists, and that therefore whoever sticks to the old thing is a bad fellow. Whatever is has no end of claims on us. I have no doubt that we could not get on without the devil. If it had not been so, he would not have been. The ideas must be content to fight a long time before they assimilate all the wholesome flesh in the universe, and we cannot leave what works somehow for what only promises to work, and has yet by no means largely realised that promise. I consider it a bad sign in the thinkers among the Christian Socialists if they set to cursing those who don't agree with them. The multitudes must, but the thinkers should not. I cannot believe that if Clement of Alexandria had been asked whether he candidly believed Tacitus was damned because he was a heathen he would have said 'Yes.' Indeed, on indifferent matters (supposing he had been alive in Tacitus's time), I don't think he would have minded writing a leader in the Acta Diurna, even though Tacitus followed on the other side!"

Oxford, and its old clothes, Froude had cast behind him. He had never taken priest's orders, and the clerical disabilities imposed upon him were not only cruel, but ridiculous. Shut out from the law, he turned to literature, and became a regular reviewer. There was not so much reviewing then as there is now, but it was better paid. His services were soon in great request, for he wrote an incomparable style.

The origin of Froude's style is not obscure. Too original to be an imitator, he was in his handling of English an apt pupil of Newman. There is the same ease, the same grace, the same lightness of elastic strength. Froude, like Newman, can pass from racy, colloquial vernacular, the talk of educated men who understand each other, to heights of genuine eloquence, where the resources of our grand old English tongue are drawn out to the full. His vocabulary was large and various. He was familiar with every device of rhetoric. He could play with every pipe in the language, and sound what stop he pleased. Oxford men used to talk very much in those days, and have talked more or less ever since, about the Oriel style. Perhaps the best example of it is Church, the accomplished Dean of St. Paul's. Church does not rival Newman and Froude at their best. But he never, as they sometimes do, falls into loose and slipshod writing. He was the fine flower of the old Oxford education, growing in hedged gardens, sheltered from the winds of heaven, such as Catullus painted in everlasting colours long centuries ago. Froude was a man of the world, who knew the classics, and the minds of men, and cities, and governments, and the various races which make up the medley of the universe. He wrote for the multitude who read books for relaxation, who want to have their facts clearly stated, and their thinking done for them. He satisfied all their requirements, and yet he expressed himself with the natural eloquence of a fastidious scholar. Lucky indeed were the editors who could obtain the services of such a reviewer, and he was fortunate in being able to recommend with power the poetry of his friend, Matthew Arnold.*

* His recommendation was entirely sincere. "Matt. A.'s Sohrab and
Rustum," he wrote to Clough, "is to my taste all but perfect."

Although Froude enjoyed with avidity the conversation of his chosen friends, he was not satisfied with intellectual epicureanism. He was resolved to make for himself a name, to leave behind him some not unworthy memorial. The history of the Reformation attracted him strongly. If an historian is a man of science, or a mere chronicler, then certainly Froude was not an historian. He made no claim to be impartial. He held that the Oxford Movement was not only endangering the National Church, but injuring the national character and corrupting men's knowledge of the past. He believed in the Reformation first as an historic fact, and secondly as a beneficent revolt of the laity against clerical dominion. He denied that since the Reformation there had been one Catholic Church, and as an Englishman he asserted in the language of the Articles that the Bishop of Rome had no jurisdiction within this realm of England. He wanted to vindicate the reformers, and to prove that in the struggle against Papal Supremacy English patriots took the side of the king. He was roused to indignation by slanders against the character of Elizabeth; and he held, as almost every one now holds, that the attempt to make an innocent saint of Mary Stuart was futile. Even More and Fisher he refused to accept as candidates for the crown of martyrdom. They were both excellent men. More was, in some respects, a great man. They were certainly far more virtuous than the king who put them to death. But they were executed for treason, not for heresy, and to clear their memory it is necessary to show that they had no part in conspiring with a foreign Power against their lawful sovereign. That Power, the Church of Rome, a Power till 1870, Froude cordially hated. He regarded it as an obstacle to progress, an enemy of freedom, an enslaver of the intellect and the soul. The English Catholics of his own time were mild, honourable, and loyal. Although they had been relieved of their disabilities, they had no power. Froude's reading and reflection led him to infer that when the Church was powerful it aimed a deadly blow at English independence, and that Henry VIII., with all his moral failings, was entitled to the credit of averting it. These opinions were not new. They were held by most people when Froude was a boy. It was from Oxford that an attack upon them came, and from Oxford came also, in the person of Froude, their champion.

Froude's historical work took at first the form of essays, chiefly in The Westminster Review and Fraser's Magazine. The Rolls Series of State Papers had not then begun, and the reign of Henry was imperfectly understood. Froude was especially attracted by the age of Elizabeth, who admired her father as a monarch, whatever she may have thought of him as a man. It was an age of mighty dramatists, of divine poets, of statesmen wise and magnanimous, if not great, of seamen who made England, not Spain, the ruler of the seas. It was with the seamen that Froude began. His essay on England's Forgotten Worthies, which appeared in The Westminster Review for 1852, was suggested by a new, and very bad, edition of Hakluyt. It inspired Kingsley with the idea of his historical novel, Westward Ho! and Tennyson drew from it, many years later, the story of his noble poem, The Revenge. The eloquence is splendid, and the patriotic fervour stirs the blood like the sound of a trumpet. The cruelties of the Spaniards in South America, perpetrated in the name of Holy Church, are described with unflinching fidelity and unsparing truth. For instance, four hundred French Huguenots were massacred in cold blood by Spaniards, who invaded their settlement in Florida at a time when France was at peace with Spain. These Protestants were flayed alive, and, to show that it was done in the cause of religion, an inscription was suspended over their bodies, "Not as Frenchmen, but as heretics." Even at this distance of time it is satisfactory to reflect that these defenders of the faith were not left to the slow judgment of God. A French privateer, Dominique de Gourges, whose name deserves to be held in honour and remembrance, sailed from Rochelle, collected a body of American Indians, swooped down upon the Spanish forts, and hanged their pious inmates, wretches not less guilty than the authors of St. Bartholomew, with the appropriate legend, "Not as Spaniards, but as murderers." "It was at such a time," says Froude, "and to take their part amidst such scenes as these, that the English navigators appeared along the shores of South America as the armed soldiers of the Reformation, and as the avengers of humanity." Hawkins, Drake, Raleigh, Davis, Grenville, are bright names in the annals of British seamanship. But they were not merely staunch patriots, and loyal subjects of the great Queen; they were pioneers of civil and religious freedom from the most grievous yoke and most intolerable bondage that had ever oppressed mankind.

In The Westminster for 1853 appeared Froude's essay on the Book of Job, which may be taken as his final expression of theological belief. Henceforward he turned from theology to history, from speculation to fact. Even his friendship for Frederic Maurice could not rouse him to any great interest in the latter's expulsion from King's College. "As thinkers," he wrote to Clough on the 22nd of November, 1853, "Maurice, and still more the Mauricians, appear to me the most hopelessly imbecile that any section of the world have been driven to believe in. I am glad you liked Job, though my writing it was a mere accident, and I am not likely to do more of the kind. I am going to stick to the History in spite of your discouragement, and I believe I shall make something of it. At any rate one has substantial stuff between one's fingers to be moulding at, and not those slime and sea sand ladders to the moon 'opinion.'"

Froude pursued his studies, reading all the collections of original documents in Strype and other chroniclers. Why, he asked himself should Henry, this bloody and ferocious tyrant, have been so popular in his own lifetime? Parliament, judges, juries, all the articulate classes of the community, why had they stood by him? No doubt he could dissolve Parliament, and dismiss the judges. But to submit without a struggle, without even protest or remonstrance, was not like Englishmen, before or since. When Erasmus visited England he found that the laity were the best read and the best behaved in Europe, while the clergy were gluttonous, profligate, and avaricious. No historian ever prepared himself more thoroughly for his task than Froude. Sir Francis Palgrave, the Deputy Keeper of the Records under Sir John Romilly, offered to let him see the unpublished documents in the Chapter House at Westminster which dealt with the later years of Wolsey's Government, and to the action of Parliament after the Cardinal' s fall. He examined them thoroughly, and accepted Parker's proposal that he should write the history of the period. But he had to leave Plas Gwynant. The London Library, which Carlyle had founded, sufficed for contributions to magazines. History was a more serious affair, and it was necessary for him to be, if not in London, at least near a railway. He returned to his native county, and took a house at Babbicombe, from which, after three years, he moved to Bideford. He made frequent visits to London, where he was the guest of his publisher, John Parker, at whose table he met Arthur Helps, John and Richard Doyle, Cornewall Lewis, Richard Trench, then Dean of Westminster, and Henry Thomas Buckle, once famous as a scientific historian. He called on the Carlyles at their house in Chelsea, and began an intimacy only broken by death. Carlyle himself was an excellent adviser in Froude's peculiar field. He had the same Puritan leanings, the same sympathy with the Reformation, the same hostility to ecclesiastical interference with secular affairs, unless, as in the case of John Knox, the interference was directed against Rome. Froude considered him not unlike Knox in humour, keenness of intellect, integrity, and daring. History was the one form of literature outside Goethe and Burns for which he really cared. He had translated Wilhelm Meister in 1824, and it was probably at his suggestion that Froude translated Elective Affinities for Bohn's Library in 1850. Scottish history and Scottish character Carlyle knew as he knew his Bible. His assistance and encouragement, which were freely given, proved invaluable to Froude.

Froude settled steadily down to work, dividing his time between London and Devonshire. Shooting and fishing had for the time to be dropped. For recreation he joined an archery club, where, as James Spedding told him, you were always sure of your game. In after life Froude, who never bore malice, used to say that his father had been right in leaving him to his own resources, and that the necessity of providing for himself was, in his instance, as in so many others, the foundation of his career. He owed much to his publisher, John Parker, who was liberal, generous, and confiding. Publishers, like mothers-in-law, have got a bad name from bad jokes. Parker, by trusting Froude, and relieving him from anxiety while he wrote, smoothed the way for a memorable contribution to English history which after many vicissitudes has now an established place as a work of genius and research.

The principles on which he worked are explained in a contribution to the volume of Oxford Essays for the year 1855. The subject of this brilliant though forgotten paper is the best means of teaching English history, and the author's judgments upon modern historians are peculiar. Hume and Hallam, the latter of whom was still living, are indiscriminately condemned. Macaulay, whose first two volumes were already famous, is ignored. The Oxford examiners are severely censured for prescribing Campbell's Lives of the Chancellors as authoritative, and Carlyle's Cromwell, a collection of materials rather than a book, is pronounced to be the one good modern history, though Froude denounces, with friendly candour, Carlyle's "distempered antagonism to the prevailing fashions of the age." The most characteristic part of this essay, however, is that which recommends the Statutes, with their preambles, as the best text- book, and the following passage would be confidently assigned by most critics to the History itself:

"Who now questions, to mention an extreme instance, that Anne Boleyn's death was the result of the licentious caprice of Henry? and yet her own father, the Earl of Wiltshire, her uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, the hero of Flodden Field, the Privy Council, the House of Lords, the Archbishop and Bishopsm, the House of Commons, the Grand Jury of Middlesex, and three other juries, assented without, as far as we know, an opposing voice, to the proofs of her guilt, and approved of the execution of the sentence against her."

Froude was not, however, so much absorbed in the work of his life that he could not form and express strong opinions upon the great events passing around him. His view of the Russian war and of the French alliance was set forth with much plainness of speech in a letter to Max Muller:*

"I felt in the autumn (and you were angry at me for saying so) that the very worst thing which could happen for Europe would be the success of the policy with which France and England were managing things. Happily the gods were against it too, as now, after having between us wasted sixty millions of money and fifty thousand human lives, we are beginning to discover. But I have no hope that things will go right, or that men will think reasonably, until they have first exhausted every mode of human folly. I still think Louis Napoleon the d—d'est rascal in Europe (for which again you will be angry with me), and that his reception the other day in London will hereafter appear in history as simply the most shameful episode in the English annals. Thinking this, you will not consider my opinion good for anything, and therefore I need not inflict it upon you. Humbugs, however, will explode in the present state of the atmosphere, and the Austrian humbug, for instance, is at last, God be praised for it, exploding. John Bull, I suppose, will work himself into a fine fever about that; but he will think none the worse of the old ladies in Downing Street who are made fools of: and will be none the better disposed to listen to people who told him all along how it would be. However, in the penal fatuity which has taken possession of our big bow-wow people, and in even the general folly, I see great ground for comfort to quiet people like myself; and if I live fifteen years, I still hope I shall see a Republic among us."

— * April 30th, 1855. —

Froude's Republicanism did not last. His opinion of Louis Napoleon never altered.



"It has not yet become superfluous to insist," said the Regius Professor of Modern History in the University of Cambridge on the 26th of January, 1903, "that history is a science, no less and no more." If this view is correct and exhaustive, Froude was no historian. He must remain outside the pale in the company of Thucydides, Tacitus, Gibbon, Macaulay, and Mommsen. Among literary historians, the special detestation of the pseudo-scientific school, Froude was pre-eminent. Few things excite more suspicion than a good style, and no theory is more plausible than that which associates clearness of expression with shallowness of thought. Froude, however, was no fine writer, no coiner of phrases for phrases' sake. A mere chronicler of events he would hardly have cared to be. He had a doctrine to propound, a gospel to preach. "The Reformation," he said, "was the hinge on which all modern history turned,"* and he regarded the Reformation as a revolt of the laity against the clergy, rather than a contest between two sets of rival dogmas for supremacy over the human mind. That is the key of the historical position which he took up from the first, and always defended. He held the Church of Rome to have been the enemy of human freedom, and of British independence. He was devoid of theological prejudice, and never reviled Catholicism as Newman reviled it before his conversion. But he held that the reformers, alike in England, in France, and in Germany, were fighting for truth, honesty, and private judgment against priestcraft and ecclesiastical tyranny. The scepticism and cynicism of which he was often accused were on the surface. They were provoked by what he felt to be hypocrisy and sham. They were not his true self. He believed firmly unflinchingly, and always in "the grand, simple landmarks of morality," which existed before all Churches, and would exist if all Churches disappeared.

Ou gar tanun ge kachthes, all' aei pote
Ze tauta, koudeis oiden ex hotou phane

["For they are not of today or yesterday, but these things live for ever, but no one knows from whence they appear." Sophocles, Antigone, 456.]

Before Abraham was they were, and it is impossible to imagine a time when they will have ceased to be.

— * Lectures on the Council of Trent, p. 1. —

Froude was an Erastian, holding that the Church should be subordinate to the State. True religion is incompatible with persecution. But true religion is rare, and the best modern security against the persecutor is the secular power. Mr. Spurgeon once excited great applause from members of his Church by declaring that the Baptists had never persecuted. When the cheers had subsided he explained that it was because they had never had a chance. Froude was convinced that ecclesiastics could not be trusted, and that they would oppress the laity unless the laity muzzled them. He held that the reformers had been calumniated, that their services were in danger of being forgotten, and that the modern attempt to ignore the Reformation was not only unhistorical, but disingenuous. He wrote partly to rehabilitate them, and partly to prove that Henry VIII. had conferred great benefits upon England by his repudiation of Papal authority. He took, as he considered it his duty to take, the side of individual liberty against ecclesiastical authority, and of England against Rome. The idea that an historian was to have no opinions of his own, or that, having them, he was to conceal them, never entered his mind.

That Froude had any prejudice against the Church of England as such is a baseless fancy. He believed in the Church of his childhood, and, unless the word be used in the narrow sense of the clerical profession, he never left it to the end of his days. It was to him, as it was to his father, a Protestant Church, out of communion with Rome, cut off from the Pope and his court by the great upheaval of the sixteenth century. It is unreasonable, and indeed foolish, to say that that opinion disqualified him to be the historian of Henry VIII., and Mary Tudor, and Elizabeth. The Catholicism of Lingard is not considered to be a disqualification by sensible Protestants. Froude's faults as an historian were of a different kind, and had nothing to do with his ecclesiastical views. He was not the only Erastian, nor was he an Erastian pure and simple. He has left it on record that Macaulay's unfairness to Cranmer in the celebrated review of Hallam's Constitutional History first suggested to him the project of his own book. His besetting sin was not so much Erastianism, or secularism, as a love of paradox. Henry VIII seemed to him not merely a great statesman and a true patriot, but a victim of persistent misrepresentation, whose lofty motives had been concealed, and displaced by vile, baseless calumnies. More and Fisher, honoured for three centuries as saints, he suspected, and, as he thought, discovered to have been traitors who justly expiated their offences on the block. He was not satisfied with proving that there was a case for Henry, and that the triumph of Rome would have been the end of civil as well as spiritual freedom: he must go on to whitewash the tyrant himself, and to prove that his marriage with Anne Boleyn, like his separation from Katharine of Aragon, was simply the result of an unselfish desire to provide the country with a male heir. The refusal of More and Fisher to acknowledge the royal supremacy may show that they were Catholics first and Englishmen afterwards, without impugning their personal integrity, or justifying the malice of Thomas Cromwell. To judge Henry as if he were a constitutional king with a secure title, in no more danger from Catholics than Louis XIV was from Huguenots, is doubtless preposterous. If the Catholics had got the upper hand, they would have deposed him, and put him to death. In that fell strife of mighty opposites the voice of toleration was not raised, and would not have been heard. Tyrant as he was himself, Henry in his battle against Rome did represent the English people, and his cause was theirs. Froude brought out this great truth, and to bring it out was a great service. Unfortunately he went too far the other way, and impartial readers who had no sympathy with Cardinal Campeggio were revolted by what looked like a defence of cruel persecution. The welfare of a nation is more important in history than the observance of any marriage; and if Henry had been guided by mere desire, there was no reason why he should marry Anne Boleyn at all. Froude's achievement, which, despite all criticism, remains, was marred or modified by his too obvious zeal for upsetting established conclusions and reversing settled beliefs.

The moment that Froude had made up his mind, which was not till after long and careful research, he began to paint a picture. The lights were delicately and adroitly arranged. The artist's eye set all accessories in the most telling positions. He was an advocate, an incomparably brilliant advocate, in his mode of presenting a case. But it was his own case, the case in which he believed, not a case he had been retained to defend. When he came to deal with Elizabeth he was on firmer ground. By that time the Reformation was an accomplished fact, and the fiercest controversies lay behind him. Disgusted as he was with the scandals invented against the virgin queen, he did not shrink from exposing the duplicity and meanness which tarnish the lustre of her imperishable renown. Like Knox, he was insensible to the charms of Mary Stuart, and that is a deficiency hard to forgive in a man. Yet who can deny that Elizabeth only did to Mary as Mary would have done to her? The morality of the Guises was as much a part of Mary as her scholarship, her grace, her profound statecraft, the courage which a voluptuous life never imparted. Froude was not thinking of her, or of any woman. He was thinking of England. Between the fall of Wolsey and the defeat of the Armada was decided the great question whether England should be Catholic or Protestant, bond or free. The dazzling Queen of Scots, like the virtuous Chancellor and the holy Bishop, were on the wrong side. Henry and Elizabeth, with all their faults, were on the right one. That is the pith and marrow of Froude's book. Those who think that in history there is no side may blame him. He followed Carlyle. "Froude is a man of genius," said Jowett: "he has been abominably treated." "Il a vu iuste," said a young critic of our own day* in reply to the usual charges of inaccuracy. The real object of his attack was that ecclesiastical corruption which belongs to no Church exclusively, and is older than Christianity itself.

— * Arthur Strong. —

The main portion of Froude's life for nearly twenty years was occupied with his History of England from the fall of Wolsey to the defeat of the Spanish Armada. It is on a large scale, in twelve volumes. Every chapter bears ample proof of laborious study. Froude neglected no source of information, and spared himself no pains in pursuit of it. At the Record Office, in the British Museum, at Hatfield, among the priceless archives preserved in the Spanish village of Simancas, he toiled with unquenchable ardour and unrelenting assiduity. Nine-tenths of his authorities were in manuscript. They were in five languages. They filled nine hundred volumes. Excellent linguist as he was, Froude could hardly avoid falling into some errors. With his general accuracy as an historian I shall have to deal in a later part of this book. Here I am only concerned to prove that he took unlimited pains. He kept no secretary, he was his own copyist, and he was not a good proof- reader. Those natural blots, quas aut incuria fudit, aut humaria parum cavit natura, are to be found, no doubt, in his pages. From a conscientious obedience to truth as he understood it, and a resolute determination to present it as he saw it, he never swerved. He was not a chronicler, but an artist, a moralist, and a man of genius. Unless an historian can put himself into the place of the men about whom he is writing, think their thoughts, share their hopes, their aspirations, and their fears, he had better be taking a healthy walk than poring over dusty documents. A paste-pot, a pair of scissors, the mechanical precision of a copying clerk, are all useful in their way; but they no more make an historian than a cowl makes a monk.

Polloi men narthekophoroi Bakchoi de te pauroi
["There are many officials, but few inspired." Zenobius, 5.77]

There are many writers of history, but very few historians. Froude wrote with a definite purpose, which he never concealed from himself, or from others. He believed, and he thought he could prove, that the Reformation freed England from a cruel and degrading yoke, that the things which were Caesar's should be rendered to Caesar, and that the Church should be restricted within its own proper sphere. Those, if such there be, who think that an historian should have no opinions are entitled to condemn him. Those who simply disagree with him are not. No man is hindered by any other cause than laziness, incompetence, or more immediately profitable occupations, from writing a history of the same period in exactly the opposite sense.

Froude's earliest chapters were set in type, and distributed among a few friends whose judgment he trusted. The most sympathetic was Carlyle, who pronounced the introductory survey of England's social condition at the opening of the sixteenth century to be just what it ought to have been. Carlyle's marginal notes upon the first two chapters are extremely interesting, and doubly characteristic, because they illustrate at the same time his practical shrewdness and his intense prejudice. For these reasons, and also because in many instances his advice was followed, it may be worth while to give some account of his pencil jottings, written when Carlyle's hand was still firm, and as legible as they were fifty years ago. Upon the first chapter as a whole, Carlyle's judgment, though critical, was highly favourable.

"This," he wrote, "is a vigorous, sunny, calm, and wonderfully effective delineation; pleasant to read; and bids fair to give much elucidation to what is coming. Curious too as got mainly from good reading of the Statutes at large! Might there be with advantage (or not) some subdivision into sections, with headings, etc? Also, here and there, some condensation of the excerpts given—condensation into narrative where too longwinded? Item, for symmetry's sake (were there nothing else) is not some outline of spiritual England a little to be expected? Or will that come piece-meal as we proceed? Hint, then, somewhere to that effect? Also remember a little that there was an Europe as well as an England? In sum, Euge." Such praise from such a man was balm to Froude's wounds and tonic to his nerves. Practically expelled from his college, regarded by his own family as almost a black sheep, he found himself taken up, and treated as an equal, by a writer of European fame, whom of all his contemporaries he most admired. In deference to Carlyle he rewrote his opening paragraphs, and added useful dates. European history and spiritual England do come into far greater prominence "as we proceed." The abbreviation and summary of extracts might, I think, have been carried farther with advantage. But it is curious that Froude was attacked for the precisely opposite fault of treating his authorities with too much freedom. Carlyle, who knew what historical labour was, saw at once that Froude dealt with his material as a born student and an ardent lover of truth. His suggestions were always excellent, as sound and just as they were careful and kind. One criticism, which Froude disregarded, shows not only Carlyle's wide knowledge (that appears throughout), but also that his long residence south of the Tweed never made him really English. It refers to Froude's description of the English volunteers at Calais who "were for years the terror of Normandy," and of Englishmen generally as "the finest people in all Europe," nurtured in profuse abundance on "great shins of beef."

"This," says Carlyle, "seems to me exaggerated; what we call John- Bullish. The English are not, in fact, stronger, braver, truer, or better than the other Teutonic races: they never fought better than the Dutch, Prussians, Swedes, etc., have done. For the rest, modify a little: Frederick the Great was brought up on beer-sops (bread boiled in beer), Robert Burns on oatmeal porridge; and Mahomet and the Caliphs conquered the world on barley meal."

David Hume would have thoroughly approved of this note. Froude's patriotism was incorrigible, and he left the passage as it stood. A little farther on Carlyle's hatred of political economy, in which Froude fully shared, breaks out with amusing vigour. "If," wrote the younger historian, "the tendency of trade to assume a form of mere self-interest be irresistible," etc. "And is it?" comments the elder. "Let us all get prussic acid, then." A recent speculator preferred cyanide of potassium. But if "mere self-interest" comprises fraudulent balance-sheets, it cannot claim any support from political economy. When Carlyle drew up a petition to the House of Commons for amending the law of copyright, he was guided by self- interest, but it was not a counsel of despair. The City Companies, says Froude, "are all which now remain of a vast organisation which once penetrated the entire trading life of England—an organisation set on foot to realise that impossible condition of commercial excellence under which man should deal faithfully with his brother, and all wares offered for sale, of whatever kind, should honestly be what they pretend to be."

For "impossible" Carlyle proposed "highly necessary, if highly difficult," and a similar change was made. But why people who do not understand political economy should be more honest than those who do neither master nor disciple condescended to explain. It is much easier to preach than to argue. More valuable than these gibes is Carlyle's reminder that guilds were not peculiar to England.

"In Lubeck, Augsburg, Nurnberg, Dantzig, not to speak of Venice, Genoa, Pisa,—George Hudson and the Gospel of Cheap and Nasty were totally unknown entities. The German Gilds even made poetry together; Herr Sachs of Nurnberg was one of the finest pious genial master shoemakers that ever lived anywhere—his shoes and rhymes alike genuine (I can speak for the rhymes) and worthy."

It is strange that Carlyle should have taken the trouble to correct a misquotation from Juvenal, and still stranger that Froude should have left the words uncorrected. Misquotation was a too frequent habit with him. In his second chapter he applies to Henry the famous passage in Tacitus's character of Galba, and changes capax imperii to dignus imperil, though dignus would have required imperio, and would then have made inferior sense. Some of Carlyle's queries were productive of really substantial results; for instance, the simple words "such as" brought out the fact that the spoils of the monasteries were in part devoted to national defence. "Inveterate frenzy" is Froude's description of the years covered by the reign of Edward IV. "Fine healthy years in the main, for all their fighting," notes Carlyle. "See the Paston Letters, for one proof." Some of his recommendations are racily colloquial. "Give us time of day" is his mode of asking for more dates. Henry's instructions to his Secretary or Ambassador at Rome he pronounces "very rough matter to set upon the table uncooked," and recommends an Appendix, unluckily without avail. "Abridge, redact," he exclaims towards the end, but there was no abridgment and no redaction. On the other hand, "prestige," stigmatised by Carlyle as "a bad newspaper word," was rejected for "influence," and his insistence that English only should be used in the text, foreign languages being confined to notes, was accepted by Froude. That "new doctrines ever gain readiest hearing among the common people" he left to stand as a general proposition, although, as Carlyle reminded him, "in Germany it was by no means the common people who believed Luther first, but the Elector of Saxony, Philip of Hesse, etc., etc.—Scotland too."

The conclusion at which Carlyle arrived after reading the second chapter is less favourable than his verdict upon the first. Inasmuch, however, as some of the modifications suggested were made, though by no means all of them, and as Carlyle's notions of history are worth knowing on their own account, I will transcribe his words, which are dated the 27th of September, 1855:

"This chapter contains a great deal of well meditated knowledge, just insight, and sound thinking; seems calculated to explain the Phaenomenon of the Reformation to an unusual degree, in fact has great merit of many kinds, historical among the rest. But it seems to me (1) to be more of a Dissertation than a Narrative; to want dates, specific details, outline of every kind. (2) The management might surely be mended? It does not "begin at the beginning" (which indeed is the most difficult of all things, but also the most indispensable); the story is not clear; or rather, as hinted above, there is no story, but an explanation of some story supposed to be already known, which is contrary to rule in writing 'History.' On the whole, the Author seems to have such a conception of the subject as were well worth a better setting forth; and if this is all he has yet written of his Book, I could almost advise him to start afresh, and remodel all this second chapter. This is a high demand; but the excellence attainable by him seems also high. The rule throughout is, that events should speak. Commentary ought to be sparing; clear insight, definite conviction, brought about with a minimum of Commentary; that is always the Art of History. Alter or not, however, there is such a generous breadth of intelligence, of manly sympathy, sound judgment, and in general of luminous solidity, promised in this Book, that I will gladly read it, however it be put together. Would it not be better to specify a little what Martin Luther is about, and keep up a chronological intercourse, more or less strict, with the great Continental ocean of Reform, the better to understand the tides from it that ebb and flow in these Narrow Seas? Some notice of Wiclif too I expected in some form or other. Once more, Go on and prosper!"

The notice of Wycliffe does seem a rather unreasonable expectation, and a history of England loses identity if it becomes a history of Europe. But Carlyle's principles, whether he always acted upon them himself or no, are excellent, and, though Froude's second chapter was not quite rewritten, the effect of them may be seen in the rest of the book.

Carlyle's influence upon Froude, which happily never extended to his style, confirmed him in his attachment to Protestantism and his hatred of Rome. It also accounted for much of Froude's belief in despots. In democracy he had no faith. Manhood suffrage in England, would, he thought, even in the wonderful year 1588, the last of his History, have restored the Pope. This was perhaps a little inconsistent with his theory that Henry VIII. had been popular with all classes. Yet at least Froude could distinguish one despot from another. He was entirely opposed, as we have seen, to the alliance with Louis Napoleon against Russia, which culminated in the Crimean War. Otherwise his sympathy with Liberalism was chiefly academic. He rejoiced in the University Commission, and in the consequent removal of religious tests for undergraduates. But he took Carlyle's Latter- Day Pamphlets for gospel, and had no faith in peace by great Exhibitions, or progress by political reform. The war with Russia justified the first part of his creed, and even Liberals in the House of Commons seemed tacitly to agree with the second. To the glorification of mere money-making, the worship of the golden calf, the sincerest and the most fashionable of all worships, both he and Carlyle were equally opposed. They were agreed with the Socialists and with Ruskin in their dislike of seeing bricks and mortar substituted for green fields, smoky chimneys for church towers, myriads of factory hands for the rural population of England. Carlyle still called himself a Radical, a believer in root and branch change, but moral rather than political. His faith in representative institutions had been shaken by reflecting that the Long Parliament, the best ever assembled in England, would have given up the cause of the Civil War if it had not been for Cromwell and the army. Although he had been one of Peel's warmest supporters in 1846, he had come to dread Liberalism as tending towards anarchy, and he adopted the singular verbal fallacy that a low franchise would mean a low standard of politics. Froude, though he still called himself a Liberal, and in some respects always was so, swore by Carlyle, acknowledged him as his master, and repeated his creed. Carlyle had many admirers, but few disciples, and he naturally set great value on Froude's adhesion. He had always a great contempt for universal suffrage. It would have given, he said grimly, the same voice in the government of Palestine to Jesus Christ and to Judas Iscariot. But whatever might have happened to Judas, the Son of man had not where to lay His head, and would certainly have been excluded under any system which met the approval of Carlyle. In Latter-Day Pamphlets Carlyle had made a tremendous attack upon Downing Street, and the administrative deficiencies which the Crimean campaign disclosed could be treated as confirmatory evidence in his favour. As a matter of fact, Lord Aberdeen and Lord Palmerston were all the same to him. He was denouncing the Parliamentary system, which has borne up against worse Ministers than the Duke of Newcastle. If Sebastopol had been taken after the Alma, as it well might have been, Carlyle would not have altered his tone. Nothing would have prevented him from delivering his message, or Froude from accepting it.

The first two volumes of the History appeared in 1856. They dealt with the latter part of Henry's reign, when he had rid himself of Wolsey, and was personally ruling England with the aid of Thomas Cromwell. Froude had to describe the dissolution of the monasteries, and besides describing he justified it. He had to depict the absolute government of Henry; and he argued that it was a necessity of the times. We must not transfer the passions of one age to the controversies of another. In the seventeenth century the issue was between the Stuart kings and their Parliaments, or, in other words, between the Crown and the people. In the sixteenth century king and Parliament were united against an alien power, the Catholic Church, and a foreign prince, the Pope. Before England was free she had to become Protestant, and Henry, whatever his motives, was on the Protestant side. That he was himself an unscrupulous tyrant is beside the point. He was an ephemeral phaemomenon, and, as a matter of fact, his tyranny, which the people never felt, died with him. The Church of Rome was a permanent fact, immortal, if not unchangeable, which would have reduced England, if it had prevailed, to the condition of France, Italy, and Spain. Whether Henry VIII. was a good man, or a bad one, is not the question. Bishop Stubbs, who cannot be accused of anti-ecclesiastical, or anti-theological prejudice, calls him a "grand, gross figure," not to be tried and condemned by ordinary standards of private morals. The only interest of his character now is its bearing upon the fate of England. If the Pope, and not the king, had become head of the English Church, would it have been for the advantage of the English people? By frankly taking the king's side Froude made two different and influential sets of enemies, especially at Oxford. High Churchmen, then and for the rest of his life, assailed him for hostility to "the Church," forgetting or ignoring the fact that the Church of England is not the Church of Rome. Liberals, on the other hand, mistook him for a friend of lawless despotism, as if Henry's opponents had been constitutional statesmen, and not arrogant Churchmen, hating liberty even more than he did.

That Froude had no faith in modern Liberalism is true enough. His political leader in 1856 was neither Palmerston nor Cobden, but Carlyle. In 1529 he would have been a King's man and not a Pope's man, an Englishman first and a Churchman afterwards. Lord Melbourne used to declare, in his paradoxical manner, that Henry VIII. was the greatest man who ever lived, because he always had his own way.

Strength is not greatness, and Melbourne must not be taken literally. What can be pleaded for Henry, without paradox and with truth, is that he imposed upon Catholic and Protestant alike the supremacy of the law. Froude preached the subordination of the Church to the State; and while supporters of the voluntary principle regarded him with suspicion, adherents to the sacerdotal principle shrank from him with horror.

The reviews of Froude's earliest volumes were mostly unfavourable.
The Times indeed was appreciative and sympathetic. But The Christian
Remembrancer was emphatic in its censure, and The Edinburgh Review,
of which Henry Reeve had just become editor, was vehemently hostile.

After all, however, an author depends, not upon this party, nor upon that party, but upon the general public. The public took to Froude's History from the first. They took to it because it interested them, and carried them on. Paradoxical it might be. Partial it might be. Readable it undoubtedly was. Parker's confidence was more than justified. The book sold as no history had sold except Gibbon's and Macaulay's. There were no obscure, no ugly sentences. The reader was carried down the stream with a motion all the pleasanter because it was barely perceptible. The name of the author was in all mouths. His old college perceived that he was a credit, not a disgrace to it, and the Rector of Exeter* courteously invited him to replace his name on the books. The Committee of the Athenaeum elected him an honorary member of the Club. Even the Archdeacon, now a very old man, discovered at last that his youngest son was an honour to the name of Froude. He knew something of ecclesiastical history, and he understood that the character of Henry, which certainly left much to be desired, might have been blackened of set purpose by ecclesiastical historians. Froude's reputation was made. The reviewers, most of whom knew nothing about the subject, could not hurt him. He had followed his bent, and chosen his vocation well. The gift of narrative was his, and he had had thoughts of turning novelist. But to write a novel, or at least a successful novel, was a thing he could never do. He had not the spirit of romance. If there was anything romantic in him, it was love of England, and of the sea. From the ocean rovers of Elizabeth to the colonial path-finders of his own day, he delighted in men who carried the name and fame of England to distant places of the earth. He was an advocate rather than a judge. He held so strongly the correctness of his own views, and the importance of having a right judgment in all things, that he sometimes gave undue prominence to the facts which supported his theory. It was only fair and reasonable that critics should draw attention to this characteristic of Froude as an historian. That he deliberately falsified history is a baseless delusion. A sterner moralist, a more strenuous worker, it would have been difficult to find. An artist he could not help being, for it was in the blood. Once his fingers grasped the pen, they began instinctively to draw a picture. He was not, like Macaulay, a rhetorician. He had inherited from his father a contempt for oratory, and he did not speak well in public. But when he had studied a period he saw it in a series of moving scenes as the figures passed along the stage. That he was not always accurate in detail is notorious. Accuracy is a question of degree. There are mistakes in Macaulay. There are mistakes in Gibbon. Humanum est effete. An historian must be judged not by the number of slips he has made in names or dates, but by the general conformity of his representation with the object. Canaletto painted pictures of Venice in which there was not a palace out of drawing, nor a brick out of place. Yet not all Canaletto's Venetian pictures would give a stranger much idea of the atmosphere of Venice. Glance at one Turner, in which a Venetian could hardly identify a building or a canal, and there lies before you the Queen of the Sea. Serious blunders have been discovered by microscopic criticism in Carlyle's French Revolution; it remains the most vivid and impressive version of a tremendous drama that has ever been given to the world. Froude and Carlyle had the same scorn of the multitude, the same belief in destiny, the same love of truth. Froude was more sceptical, less inclined to hero-worship, far more academic in thought and style. They agreed in setting the moral lessons of history above any theory of scientific development, and in cultivating the human interest of the narrative as that which alone abides.

— * Dr. Lightfoot. —

That Froude set out with a polemical purpose is not to be denied. He had seen enough of the Romanist or Anglican revival to dislike it heartily, and he held that Protestant countries were the most prosperous because they were morally the best. Although he did not accept the Evangelical theology, he thought Calvinism the most philosophic form of religious belief, and Puritanism the soundest sort of ethical creed. The Church of England as understood by his father was to him the healthiest of ecclesiastical institutions, teaching godliness, inculcating duty, saying as little as possible about dogma. Religion, he said, was meant to be obeyed, not to be examined. The sun was invaluable, unless you looked at it If you looked at it, you saw neither it nor anything else. But for the Reformation, England, like France, might be under a worthless despot sanctified by the Church, or, like Spain, be trampled under the feet of priests. The statutes of Henry VIII. were the title- deeds of the English Church. Henry established the supremacy of the State by letters patent, praemunire, and conge d'elire. The old bluebeard Henry, who spent his whole time in murdering his wives, was a nursery toy. The real Henry put two wives to death by lawful means on definite and substantial charges of which death was the penalty. His subjects were quite as anxious as he could be that he should have a male heir, and few now suppose that Anne Boleyn, or Katharine Howard, was faithful to her husband. The Church of Rome would have dethroned Henry and incited his subjects to rebellion. It was war to the knife, and the King won.

Froude regarded Henry's victory as the salvation of England. The dissolution of the monasteries was an incident in the struggle, necessary for the public interest, and justified by the evidence. Although part of their confiscated property was bestowed upon statesmen and courtiers, part went to found new Cathedral colleges, or grammar schools, and part to strengthen the national defences. Henry was a strange mixture, quite as much patriot as tyrant, and not safe enough on his throne to tolerate Popery. In Froude's view he stood for the nation. More and Fisher were for a foreign power. The time with which Froude chose to deal was full of blazing fire, which the ashes of three hundred years imperfectly covered. He did not realise the ordeal to which he was exposing himself, the malice he was stirring up. His whole life had been a preparation for the task. When he had the free run of his father's library after leaving Westminster, it was to the historical shelves that he went first; and while his brother talked eloquently about the evils of the Reformation, he himself was studying its causes. His own entanglement in the Anglican revival was personal, accidental, and brief. It was due entirely to his affectionate admiration for Newman, aided perhaps, if by anything, by curiosity to know something about the lives of the saints. For a real saint, such as Hugh of Lincoln, he had a sincere reverence, and loved to show it. The miraculous element disgusted him, and the more he read of ecclesiastical performances the more anti-ecclesiastical he became.

The article in The Edinburgh Review for July, 1858, upon Froude's first four volumes is an elaborate, an able, and a bitter attack. Henry Reeve, the editor of The Edinburgh at that time, and for many years afterwards, was not himself a scholar, like his illustrious predecessor, Cornewall Lewis. He was a Whig of the most conventional type, regarding Macaulay and Hallam as the ideal historians, suspicious of novelty, and dismayed by paradox. Froude's critic belonged to a more advanced school of Liberalism, and shuddered at the glorification of a "tyrant" like Henry VIII. That he had also some reason for personally detesting Froude is plain from his malicious references to the Lives of the Saints, and to The Nemesis of Faith, which Froude himself had, so far as he could, suppressed. When Froude's name was restored to the books of Exeter College in 1858, he wrote to Dr. Lightfoot, the Rector, that he regretted the publication both of The Nemesis and of Shadows of the Clouds. His object in future, he added, would be to defend the Church of England. That his idea of the Church was the same as Lightfoot's is improbable. Froude meant the Church of the Reformation, of private judgment, of an open Bible, of lay independence of bishop or priest. To that Church he was faithful, and he sympathised in sentiment, if he did not agree in dogma, with evangelical Christians. With Catholics, Roman or Anglican, he neither had nor pretended to have any sympathy at all. The Reformation is a convenient name for a complex European movement, difficult to describe, and almost impossible to define; but so far as it was English and constitutional, it is embodied in the legislation of Henry VIII., which substituted the supremacy of the Crown for the supremacy of the Pope. It was because Froude wrote avowedly in defence of that change that he incurred the bitter hostility of a powerful section in the English Church. He also irritated, partly perhaps because his tone betrayed the influence of Carlyle, a large body of Liberal opinion to which all despotism and persecution were obnoxious. The compliments, the reluctant compliments, of The Edinburgh reviewer must be taken as the admissions of an enemy. He acknowledges fully and frankly the thoroughness of Froude's research among the State Papers of the reign, not merely those printed and published by Robert Lemon, but "a large manuscript collection of copies of letters, minutes of council, theological tracts, parliamentary petitions, depositions upon trials, and miscellaneous communications upon the state of the country furnished by agents of the Government, all relating to the early years of the English Reformation." No historian has ever been more diligent than Froude was in reading and collating manuscripts. For Henry's reign alone he read and transcribed six hundred and eighty-seven pages in his small, close handwriting. That in so doing, and in working without assistance, he should sometimes fall into error was unavoidable. But he never spared himself. He was the most laborious of students, and his History was as difficult to write as it is easy to read. He had, as this hostile reviewer says, a "genuine love of historical research," and there is point in the same critic's complaint that his pages are "over-loaded with long quotations from State Papers."

What, then, it will be asked, was the real gist of the charges made against Froude by The Edinburgh Review? The question at issue was nothing less than the whole policy of Henry's reign, and the motives of the King. The character of Henry is one of the most puzzling in historical literature, and Froude had to deal with the most difficult part of it. To the virtues of his earlier days Erasmus is an unimpeachable witness. The power of his mind and the excellence of his education are beyond dispute. He held the Catholic faith, he was not naturally cruel, and, compared with Francis I., or with Henry of Navarre, he was not licentious. But he was brought up to believe that the ordinary rules of morality do not govern kings. That the king can do no wrong is now a maxim of the Constitution, and merely means that Ministers are responsible for the acts of the Crown. Henry could scarcely have been made to understand, even if there had been any one to tell him, what a constitutional monarch was. Though forced to admit, and taught by experience, that he could not safely tax his subjects without the formal sanction of Parliament, he was in theory absolute, and he held it his duty to rule as well as to reign. When Charles I. argued, a century later, that a king was not bound to keep faith with his subjects, it may be doubted whether he deceived himself. The thoughts of men are widened with the process of the suns. His duty to God Henry would always have acknowledged. A historian so widely different from Froude as Bishop Stubbs has pointed out that, if mere self-indulgence had been the king's object, the infinite pains he took to obtain a Papal divorce from Katharine of Aragon would have been thrown away. That he had a duty to his neighbour, male or female, never entered his head. His subjects were his own, to deal with as he pleased. Revolting as this theory may seem now, it was held by most people then, and there was not a man in England, not Sir Thomas More himself, who would have told the King that it was untrue.

It is with the divorce of Katharine that the difficulty of estimating Henry begins. Froude's narrative sets out with the marriage of Anne Boleyn. Here the reviewer plants his first arrow. The divorce was a nullity, having no authority higher than Cranmer's. Anne Boleyn, as is likely enough from other causes, was never the King's wife, and Elizabeth was illegitimate, though she had of course a Parliamentary title to the throne. It seems clear, however, that inasmuch as Katharine had been his brother Prince Arthur's wife, the King could not lawfully marry her, according to the canons of the Catholic Church. Why did he marry Anne Boleyn? The reviewer says because he was in love with her, and triumphantly refers to the King's letters, printed in the Appendix of Hearne's Ayesbury.* They are undoubtedly love-letters, and they contain one indelicate expression. Compared with Mirabeau's letters to Sophie de Monnier, they are cold and chaste. Froude says that the King wanted a male heir, and he gives the same reason for the scandalously indecent haste with which Jane Seymour was married the day after Anne's execution. The character of Henry VIII. is only important now as it bears upon the policy of his reign. That Froude washed him too white is almost as certain as that Lingard painted him too black. The notion that lust supplies the key to his marriages and their consequences is utterly ridiculous. The most dissolute of English kings was content, and more than content, with one wife. On the other hand, Froude does at least give a clue when he suggests that these frequent marriages were political moves. A female sovereign reigning in her own right had never been known in England, and up to the birth of Jane Seymour's son Edward the whole kingdom passionately desired that there should be a Prince of Wales. Edward himself was but a sickly child, and was not expected to live even for the short span of his actual career. Credulous indeed must they be who maintain the innocence either of Anne Boleyn or of Katharine Howard, and there seems small use in holding with the learned Father Gasquet that Anne was not guilty of the offences imputed to her, but had done something too bad to be mentioned on a trial for incest. It is a question of evidence, and the evidence is lost. But the Grand Jury which presented Anne was respectable, the Court which convicted her was distinguished, and neither she nor any of her paramours denied their guilt on the scaffold. Simple adultery in a queen was capital then, if indeed it be not capital now. In an ordinary husband Henry's conduct would have been revolting. It is not attractive in him. Stubbs pleads that we cannot judge him, and abandons the attempt in despair.

— * Oxford, 1720. —

As he rejects with equal decision both the Roman Catholic picture and Froude's, he only puts us all to ignorance again. Froude is at least intelligible.

It is a fact, and not a fancy, that Henry provided from the spoils of the monasteries for the defence of the realm, that he founded new bishoprics from the same source, that he disarmed the ecclesiastical tribunals, and broke the bonds of Rome. The corruption of at least the smaller monasteries, some of which were suppressed by Wolsey before the rise of Cromwell, is established by the balance of evidence, and the disappearance of the Black Book which set forth their condition was only to be expected in the reign of Mary. The crime which weighs most upon the memory of the King is the execution of Fisher and More.

More, though he persecuted heretics, is the saint and philosopher of the age. Of Fisher Macaulay says that he was worthy to have lived in a better age, and died in a better cause. But what if these good men, from purely conscientious motives, would have brought over a Spanish army to coerce their Protestant fellow-subjects and their lawful sovereign? That, and not speculative error, is the real charge against them. Henry did all he could to put himself in the wrong. His atrocious request that More "would not use many words on the scaffold" makes one hate him after the lapse of well-nigh four hundred years. The question, however, is not one of personal feeling. Good men go wrong. Bad men are made by providence to be instruments for good. It is not More, nor Fisher, it is the Bluebeard of the children's history-books who gave England Miles Coverdale's Bible, who freed her from the yoke that oppressed France till the Revolution, and oppresses Spain to-day. Froude's first four volumes are an eloquent indictment of Ultramontanism, a plea for the Reformation, a sustained argument for English liberties and freedom of thought. No such book can be impartial in the sense of admitting that there is as much to be said on one side as on the other. Froude replied to The Edinburgh Review in Fraser's Magazine for September, 1858, and in the following month the reviewer retorted. He did not really shake the foundation of Froude's case, which was the same as Luther's. Luther, like Froude, was no democrat. To both of them the Reformation was a protest against ecclesiastical tyranny, or for spiritual freedom. "The comedy has ended in a marriage," said Erasmus of Luther and Luther's wife. It was not a comedy, and it had not ended.

Froude sometimes goes too far. When he defends the Boiling Act, under which human beings were actually boiled alive in Smithfield, he shakes confidence in his judgment. He sets too much value upon the verdicts of Henry's tribunals, forgetting Macaulay's emphatic declaration that State trials before 1688 were murder under the forms of law. Although the subject of his Prize Essay at Oxford was "The Influence of the Science of Political Economy upon the Moral and Social Welfare of a Nation," he never to the end of his life understood what political economy was. Misled by Carlyle, he conceived it to be a sort of "Gospel," a rival system to the Christian religion, instead of useful generalisations from the observed course of trade. He never got rid of the idea that Governments could fix the rate of wages and the price of goods. A more serious fault found by The Edinburgh reviewer, the ablest of all Froude's critics, was the implication rather than the assertion that Henry VIII.'s Parliaments represented the people. The House of Commons in the sixteenth century was really chosen through the Sheriffs by the Crown, and the preambles of the Statutes, upon which Froude relied as evidence of contemporary opinion, showed the opinion of the Government rather than the opinion of the people.

They are not of course on that account to be neglected. Although the House of Commons was no result of popular election, it consisted of representative Englishmen, who would hardly have acquiesced in statements notoriously untrue. Henry neither obtained nor asked the opinion of the people, as we understand the phrase. The "dim common populations" had no more to do with the Government of England then than they have to do with the Government of India now. At the same time it must be remembered that the King could not rely upon mere force. He had no standing army, and a popular rising would have swept him almost without resistance from his throne. It is almost as hard for us to imagine his position as to understand his character. Parliament, judges, magistrates, were subordinate to his sovereign will and pleasure. From the authority of the Pope he cut himself free, and neither Clement VII. nor Paul III. was strong enough to stand up against him. He could hold his own with France, with the Empire, with Spain. The one Power he never ventured to defy was the English people. It was the essence of the Tudor monarchy to rely upon the masses rather than the classes, to keep the aristocracy down by expressing the popular will. So far as Henry took part in it, the Reformation was not religious at all. As Macaulay drily remarks, he was a good Catholic who preferred to be his own Pope. He knew very well that Englishmen would like him none the worse for resisting the pretensions of Rome, for insisting on the royal supremacy, for taking every possible step to secure the succession in the male Tudor line. If in his callous indifference to the fate of the men or women who stood in his way he appears scarcely human, we must consider, with Bishop Stubbs, his awful isolation. The whole burden of the State was upon him, and he could not share it. Not till the reign of his elder daughter did his subjects realise the horrors from which he had delivered them.

Hostile criticism, though it affected the opinion of scholars, did Froude no harm with the public. Macaulay's popularity was at its height in 1858. But Macaulay passes lightly in his Introduction over the sixteenth century, and the reign of Henry VIII., or at least the latter part of it, had never been so copiously illustrated before. The Oxford Movement, which treated the Reformation as a discreditable incident worthy of oblivion, had not much influence with the laity. Nine Englishmen in ten were quite prepared to glorify the reformers, and were by no means sorry to find how much evidence there was for the good old English view of a Parliamentary Church. The Statutes of Supremacy and of Praemunire, even the execution of More and Fisher, reminded them that the Bishop of Rome neither had nor ought to have any jurisdiction within this realm of England. That "gospel light first dawned from Boleyn's eyes" might be a paradox. It was, however, a paradox which contained a truth, and it was by no means disagreeable to find that a popular king was not a mere monster of iniquity. If Henry had been what Catholic historians represented him, the mob would have pulled his palace about his ears. The public bought the book, and read it; for the style, though very unlike Macaulay's, was quite as easy to read. In 1860 appeared the two volumes dealing with Edward VI. And Mary, which complete the former half of this great book. After the brief and disturbed period of Edward's minority and Somerset's Protectorate, the country enjoyed a true Catholic reign. Whatever may have been the religion of Henry, there could be no doubt about Mary's. Mary had only one use for Protestants, and that was to burn them. Among her first victims were Latimer and Ridley, two bright ornaments of Christian faith and practice, who committed the deadly sin of believing that it was against the truth of Christ's natural body to be in heaven and earth at the same time. To them soon succeeded Cranmer, the father of the English liturgy, not a man of unblemished character, but incomparably superior to Gardiner, to Bonner, or to Pole. For Cranmer Froude had a peculiar affection, and his account of the Archbishop's martyrdom is unsurpassed by any other passage in the History. I need make no apology for quoting the end of it; "So perished Cranmer. He was brought out with the eyes of his soul blinded to make sport for his enemies, and in his death he brought upon them a wider destruction than he had effected by his teaching while alive. Pole was appointed next day to the See of Canterbury; but in other respects the Court had overreached themselves by their cruelty. Had they been contented to accept the recantation, they would have left the Archbishop to die broken- hearted, pointed at by the finger of pitying scorn, and the Reformation would have been disgraced in its champion. They were tempted, by an evil spirit of revenge, into an act unsanctioned even by their own bloody laws; and they gave him an opportunity of redeeming his fame, and of writing his name in the roll of martyrs. The worth of a man must be measured by his life, not by his failure under a single and peculiar trial. The Apostle, though forewarned, denied his Master on the first alarm of danger; yet that Master, who knew his nature in its strength and its infirmity, chose him for the rock on which He would build His Church."

It used to be said of Ernest Renan that he was toniours seminariste, and there is a flavour of the pulpit in these beautiful sentences. Beautiful indeed they are, and not more beautiful than true. The implacable Mary, whose ghastly epithet clings to her for all time, like the shirt of Nessus, found in Pole an apt and zealous pupil in persecution. Both are excellent specimens of their Church, because according to that Church they are absolutely blameless. Punctilious in the discharge of all religious duties, they were chaste, sober, frugal, and honest. They made long prayers. They tithed mint, and anise, and cummin. They made clean the outside of the cup and platter. They firmly believed that they were pleasing the Deity they worshipped when they deluged England with blood. The spirit of the Marian martyrs is one of the noblest tributes to the power of true religion that the annals of Christendom contain. Henry' s victims were few and conspicuous. Their crime, or alleged crime, was treason. Mary's were obscure, and numbered by the hundred. Many of them were artisans and mechanics, who, as Burghley afterwards said, knew no faith except that they were called upon to abjure. They went to the stake without a murmur, sustained against the terrors of demonology by their own English hearts, by the love of their friends, and by the grace of God. Tennyson, in his play of Queen Mary, has put into the mouth of Pole some highly edifying sentiments on the want of true faith which prompts persecution. Pole's example was very different from these precepts. For the wretched Mary there may be some excuse; she was perhaps not wholly sane. Her fixed idea, that if she killed Protestants enough Heaven would give her a son, was the conviction of a lunatic. Her own husband fled from her, and left her with no earthly consolation save the stake. But Pole was sane enough when he burnt better Christians than himself. The true story of Mary's reign deserved to be told as Froude could tell it. The tale has two sides, and is a warning which has been taken to heart. Mary's subjects could not rebel. Her Spanish husband had behind him the military strength of a great Power. But never again, except during the brief and disastrous period which led to the expulsion of the second James, has England endured a Catholic sovereign. Neither her rulers nor her laws have always been just to Catholics. To tolerate intolerance, though a truly Christian lesson, is hard to learn. Mary Tudor and Reginald Pole taught the English people once for all what the triumph of Catholicism meant. So long as they are not supreme, Catholics are the best of subjects, of citizens, of neighbours, of friends. There is only one country in Europe where they are supreme now, and that country is Spain. They might have been supreme in England for at least a century if it had not been for the daughter of Katharine of Aragon and the Legate of Julius III.

Froude had now completed the first part of his great History. The second part, the reign of Elizabeth, was reserved for future issue in separately numbered volumes. The death of Macaulay in December, 1859, left Froude the most famous of living English historians, and the ugly duckling of the brood had become the glory of the family. The reception of his first six volumes was a curious one. The general public read, and admired. The few critics who were competent to form an instructed and impartial opinion perceived that, while there were errors in detail, the story of the English Reformation, and of the Catholic reaction which followed it, had been for the first time thoroughly told. Many years afterwards Froude said to Tennyson that the most essential quality in an historian was imagination. This true and profound remark is peculiarly liable to be misunderstood. People who do not know what imagination means are apt to confound it with invention, although the latter quality is really the last resort of those who are destitute of the former. Froude was an ardent lover of the truth, and desired nothing so much as to tell it. But it must be the truth as perceived by him, not as it might appear to others.* His readers are expected, if not to see with his eyes, at least to look from his point of view. Honestly believing that the Reformation was a great and beneficent fact in the progress of mankind, he was incapable of treating it as a sinful rebellion against the authority of the Church. Holding Henry VIII., with all his faults, to have been the champion of the laity against the clergy, of spiritual and intellectual freedom against the Roman yoke, he could not represent him as a monster of wickedness, trampling on morality for his own selfish ends. Doing full justice to the conscientiousness of Mary Tudor, excusing her more than some think she ought to be excused, he depicted the heroes of her bloody reign not only in Latimer and Ridley, but in the scores and hundreds of lowlier persons who died for the faith of Christ.

— * "Shall we say that there is no such thing as truth or error, but that anything is true to a man which he troweth? and not rather, as the solution of a great mystery, that truth there is, and attainable it is, but that its rays stream in upon us through the medium of our moral as well as our intellectual being?"—Newman's Grammar of Assent, p. 311. —

Protestant as he was, however, Froude was an Englishman first and a Protestant afterwards. One might say of his history, as was said of the drama which Tennyson founded upon the fifth and sixth volumes, that the true heroine is the English people. Much of his popularity was due to his patriotism and his Protestantism. On the other hand he gave deep and lasting offence to High Churchmen, which they neither forgot nor forgave. They could not bear the spectacle of a Church established by statute, of the king in place of the Pope, of Cromwell and Cranmer justified, of More and Fisher condemned. While not unwilling to profit by Erastianism, they liked its origin kept out of sight. Bishops appointed by the Crown and sitting in the House of Lords, though awkward facts, were too familiar to be upsetting. The secular and Parliamentary origin of praemunire and conge d' elire were less notorious and more disagreeable subjects. They were indeed to be found in Hallam. But Hallam had not the popularity or the influence of Froude. Constitutional histories are for the learned classes. Froude wrote for men of the world. The consummate dexterity of his style was only observed by trained critics; its ease and grace were the unconscious delight of the humblest reader. Froude gave to the Protestant cause the same sort of distinction which Newman had given to the Oxford Movement. Newman's University sermons are neither learned nor profound. Yet the preacher's mastery of the English language in all its rich and manifold resources has, and must always have, an irresistible charm. The mantle of Newman had fallen on Froude, and Froude had also the indefatigable diligence of the born historian. None of his mistakes were due to carelessness. They proceeded rather from the multitude of the documents he studied and the self-reliance which led him to dispense with all external aid. He had of course friendly reviewers, such as William Bodham Donne; afterwards Examiner of Plays, in Fraser, and Charles Kingsley in Macmillan. Kingsley, however, though Lord Palmerston made him Professor of Modern History at Cambridge, was not altogether the best ally for an historian. It was in defending Froude that Kingsley made his unfortunate attack upon Newman, which led to his own discomfiture in the first Preface to the Apologia. Froude was unable to support his champion's irrelevant and unlucky onslaught. Newman's casuistry was a fair subject for criticism; his personal integrity should have been above suspicion, and Kingsley's insinuations against it only recoiled upon himself. No one, as his History shows, could do ampler justice to individual Catholics than Froude, and his feelings for Newman were never altered, either by disagreement or by time.

The first part of the History had just been finished when a sudden bereavement altered the whole course of Froude's life. On the 21st of April, 1860, Mrs. Froude died. Her religious opinions had been very different from her husband's. She had always leant towards the Church of Rome, though after her marriage she did not conform to it. He was probably under Mrs. Froude's influence when he wrote his Essay on the Philosophy of Catholicism in 1851, reprinted in the first series of Short Studies, which does not strike one as at all characteristic of him, and is certainly quite different from his noble discourse on the Book of Job, published two years later. Mrs. Froude never cared for London, and had always lived in the country. After her death Froude took for the first time a London house, and settled himself with his children in the neighbourhood of Hyde Park.

Later in the same year died his publisher, John Parker the younger, of a painful and distressing illness, through which Froude nursed him with tender affection. The elder Parker kept on the business, and brought out the remaining volumes of Froude's History. His son had been editor of Fraser's Magazine, and in that position Froude succeeded him at the beginning of 1861. He thus found a regular occupation besides his History. Fraser had a high literary reputation, and among its regular contributors was John Skelton, writing under the name of "Shirley," who became one of Froude's most intimate friends. In the Table Talk of Shirley* are some interesting extracts from Froude's letters, as well as a very vivid description of Froude himself. On the 12th of January, when he was only just installed, Froude began a correspondence kept up for thirty years by a brief note about Thelatta, a political romance by Skelton, with an odd, mixed portrait of Canning and Disraeli, very pleasant to read, but now almost, I do not know why, neglected.

— * Blackwood, 1895. —

Froude is hardly just to it. "I have read Thalatta," he writes, "and now what shall I say? for it is so charming, and it might be so much more charming. There is no mistake about its value. The yacht scene made me groan over the recollections of days and occupations exactly the same. To wander round the world in a hundred tons schooner would be my highest realisation of human felicity." Even the name of the book must have appealed to Froude. For more than almost any other man of letters he loved the sea. Yachting was his passion. He pursued it in youth despite of qualms, and in later life they disappeared. Constitutionally fearless, and an excellent sailor, a voyage was to him the best of holidays, invigorating the body and refreshing the brain.

Froude was already at work on the reign of Elizabeth, and in March, 1861, he went to Spain for two months. This was the occasion of his earliest visit to Simancas, where he was allowed free access to the diplomatic correspondence and other records there collected and kept. The advantage to Froude of these documents, especially the despatches from the Spanish Ambassadors in London to the Government at Madrid, was enormous, and it is from them that the last volumes of the History derive their peculiar value. He used his opportunities to the utmost, and his bulky, voluminous transcripts may be seen at the British Museum. His plan was to take rooms at Valladolid, from which he drove to Simancas, a wretched little village, and worked for the day. The unpublished materials which he found at his disposal were such as scarcely any historian had ever enjoyed before.

A few months after his return to England, on the 12th of September, 1861, he married his second wife, Henrietta Warre. Miss Warre, who had been his first wife's intimate friend, was exactly suited to him, and their union was one of perfect happiness. So long as he was editor of Fraser, Froude felt it his duty to write pretty regularly for it, so that his hands were constantly full. But of course his main business for the next ten years was the continuation of his History, which involved frequent visits to Simancas, as well as many to the British Museum, the Record Office, and Hatfield House.

From the Marquess of Salisbury, father of the late Prime Minister, Froude received permission to search the Cecil papers at Hatfield, which, though less numerous than those in the Record Office, are invaluable to students of Elizabeth's reign. His investigations at Hatfield were begun in April, 1862, and led, among other consequences, to one of his most valued friendships. With Lady Salisbury, afterwards Lady Derby, he kept up for more than thirty years a correspondence which only ended with his death. It was Froude who introduced Lady Salisbury to Carlyle, and she thoroughly appreciated the genius of both. Her intimate knowledge of politics was completed when Lord Derby sat in Disraeli's Cabinet. But she was always behind the scenes, and it was from her that Froude obtained most of his political information. Their earliest communications, however, referred to the Elizabethan part of the History, especially to the career and influence of William Cecil, Lord Burghley. A preliminary letter shows the thoroughness of Froude's methods. The date is the 5th of March, 1862.

"DEAR LADY SALISBURY,—If Lord Salisbury has not repented of his kind promise to me, I shall in a few weeks be in a condition to avail myself of it, and I write to ask you whether about the beginning of next month I may be permitted to examine the papers at Hatfield. I am unwilling to trouble Lord Salisbury more than necessary. I have therefore examined every other collection within my reach first, that I might know clearly what I wanted. Obliged as I am to confine myself for the present to the first ten years of Elizabeth's reign, there will not be much which I shall have to examine there, the great bulk of Lord Burleigh's papers for that time being in the Record Office—but if I can be allowed a few days' work, I believe I can turn them to good account. With my very best thanks for your own and Salisbury's goodness in this matter, I remain, faithfully yours,


A few days later he writes: "I have seen Stewart and looked through the catalogue. There appear to be about eight volumes which I wish to examine. The volumes which I marked as containing matter at present important to me are Vols. 2 and 3 on the war with France and Scotland from 1559 to 1563, Vols. 138, 152, 153, 154, 155 on the disputes relating to the succession to the English Crown, and the respective claims of the Queen of Scots, Lady Catherine Grey, Lord Darnley, and Laqy Margaret Lennox. I noted the volumes only. I did not take notice of the pages because as far as I could see the volumes appeared to be given up to special subjects, and I should wish therefore to read them through."

His growing admiration for Cecil appears in the following extracts:

"I could only do real justice to such a collection by being allowed to read through the whole of it volume by volume—and for such a large permission as that I fear it may be dangerous to ask. Lord Salisbury, however, whatever my faults may be, could find no one who has a more genuine admiration for his ancestor."

October 16th, 1864.—"I cannot say beforehand the papers which I wish to examine, as I cannot tell what the collection may contain. My object is to have everything which admits of being learnt about the period—especially what may throw light on Lord Burleigh's character. He, it is more and more clear to me, was the solitary author of Elizabeth's and England's greatness."

"I shall return from Simancas," he writes from Valladolid, "more a Cecil maniac than ever. In the Duke of Norfolk's conspiracy, the Queen seems to have fairly given up the reins to him. It is impossible to read the correspondence between Philip, Alva, the Pope, the Duke of Norfolk, and the Queen of Scots, the deliberate arrangements for Elizabeth's murder, without shivering to think how near a chance it was. Cecil was the one only man they feared, and the skill with which he dug mines below theirs, and pulled the strings of the whole of Europe against them, was truly splendid. Elizabeth had lost her head with it all, but she knew it and did not interfere. There are a great many letters of the Queen of Scots at Simancas, some of them of the deepest interest. She remains the same as I have always thought her—brilliant, cruel, ruthless, and perfectly unfeeling."

Although Froude's admiration for Elizabeth steadily diminished with the progress of his researches, even students of his History will be surprised by such a verdict as this:

"I am slowly drawing to the end of my long journey through the Records. By far the largest part of Burghley's papers is here [in the Record Office], and not at Hatfield. The private letters which passed between him and Walsingham about Elizabeth have destroyed finally the prejudice that still clung to me that, notwithstanding her many faults, she was a woman of ability. Evidently in their opinion she had no ability at all worth calling by the name."

Two or three extracts will complete the part of this correspondence which deals with the composition of the History. "I have been incessantly busy in the Record Office since my return to London. The more completely I examine the MSS. elsewhere the better use I shall be able to make of yours. I have still two months of this kind before me, and my intention, if you did not yourself write to me first, was to ask you to let me go to Hatfield for a week or two about Easter."

"I am now sufficiently master of the story to be able to make very good (I daresay complete) use of the Hatfield papers in my present condition. I feel as if there were very few dark places left in Queen Elizabeth's proceedings anywhere. I substantially end, in a blaze of fireworks, with the Armada. The concentrated interest of the reign lies in the period now under my hands. It is all action, and I shall use my materials badly if I cannot make it as interesting as a novel."

Nothing was neglected by Froude which could throw light upon the splendid and illustrious Queen who raised England from the depths of degradation to the height of renown. It was at the zenith of Elizabeth's career that Froude stopped. His original intention had been to continue till her death. But the ample scale on which he had planned his book was so much enlarged by his copious quotations from the manuscripts at Simancas that by the time he reached his eleventh volume he substituted for the death of Elizabeth on his title-page the defeat of the Armada. With the year 1588, then, he closed his labours. Even the perverse critics who had assumed to treat the History of Henry VIII. as an anti-ecclesiastical pamphlet were compelled to show more respect for volumes which gave so much novel information to the world. Moreover Henry's daughter was a very different person from her father. Scandal about Queen Elizabeth had been chiefly confined to Roman Catholics, and few Englishmen had forgotten who made England the mistress of the seas. The old religion had a strong fascination for her, and every one knows how she interrupted Dean Nowell when he preached against images. She declined to be the head of the Church in the sense arrogated by Henry, and yet she would by no means admit the supremacy of the Pope. If she ever felt any inclination towards Rome, the massacre of St. Bartholomew checked it for ever. Gregory XIII. and Catherine de Medici were rulers to her taste. On the other hand she resisted the persecuting tendencies of her Bishops, and spared the life even of such a wretch as Bonner. It is possible that she believed in transubstantiation. It is certain that she objected to the marriage of the clergy, and showed scant courtesy to the wife of her own favourite Archbishop Parker. Nor would she suffer the Bishops, except as Peers, to meddle in affairs of State. A magnificent princess, every inch a queen, she could not forget that the English people had saved her life from the clutches of her sister, and it was for them, not for any Minister, courtier, or lover, that she really cared.

Froude was no idolater of Elizabeth, and he became more unfavourable to her as he proceeded. He dwells minutely upon all her intrigues, in which she was as petty as in great matters she was grand. For her rival, Mary Stuart, he had neither respect nor mercy. To her intellect indeed, which was quite on a par with Elizabeth's, he does full justice. But neither her beauty nor her wit, neither her scholarship nor her statesmanship, neither her passion nor her courage, could blind him to her selfishness, her immorality, and the fact that she represented the Catholic cause. His account of her execution certainly lacks sentiment, and Mrs. Norton accused him of writing like a disappointed lover. His sympathies are with John Knox, and the Regent Murray, and Maitland of Lethington. But the man who believes that Mary was not concerned in the murder of her husband will believe anything, even that she did not reward the murderer of her brother, or that she would have spared Elizabeth if Elizabeth had been in her power. And at least Froude does not, like some more modern writers, degrade her to the level of a kitchen wench. Froude's Elizabeth was the subject of bitter, hostile, sometimes violent, criticism in The Saturday Review, the property of an ardent High Churchman, Beresford Hope. In the next chapter I shall deal with these articles at more length. It is enough to say here that they were directed not merely at Froude's accuracy as an historian, but at his truthfulness as a man, suggesting that the mode in which he had manipulated authorities accessible to every one threw grave doubts upon his version of what he read at Simancas. Froude knew very well that he should make enemies. His belief that history had been cericalised, and required to be laicised, was regarded as peculiarly offensive in one who had been himself ordained.

Mary Stuart, moreover, had stalwart champions beyond the border who were neither clerical nor ecclesiastical. "I fear," Froude wrote on the 22nd of May, 1862, to his Scottish friend Skelton, who was himself much interested in the subject—"I fear my book will bring all your people about my ears. Mary Stuart, from my point of view, was something between Rachel and a pantheress."

The success of the History had been long since assured, and each successive pair of volumes met with a cordial welcome. Many people disagreed with Froude on many points. He expected disagreement, and did not mind it. But no one could fail to see the evidence of patient, thorough research which every chapter, almost every page, contains. Indeed, it might be said with justice, or at least with some plausibility, that the long and frequent extracts from the despatches of De Feria, de Quadra, de Silva, and Don Guereau, successively Ambassadors from Philip to Elizabeth, water-log the book, and make it too like a series of extracts with explanatory comments. Of Froude's own style there could not be two opinions. His bitterest antagonists were forced to admit that it was the perfection of easy, graceful narrative, without the majestic splendour of Gibbon, but also without the mechanical hardness of Macaulay. Froude did not stop deliberately, as other historians have stopped, to paint pictures or draw portraits, and there are few writers from whom it is more difficult to make typical or characteristic extracts. Yet, as I have already quoted from his account of Cranmer's execution, it may not be inappropriate that I should cite some of the thoughts suggested to him by the death of Knox. Morton's epitaph is well known.

"There lies one," said the Earl over the coffin, "who never feared the face of mortal man." "Morton," says Froude, "spoke only of what he knew; the full measure of Knox's greatness neither he nor any man could then estimate. It is as we look back over that stormy time, and weigh the actors in it one against the other, that he stands out in his full proportions. No grander figure can be found, in the entire history of the Reformation in this island, than that of Knox. Cromwell and Burghley rank beside him for the work which they effected, but, as politicians and statesmen, they had to labour with instruments which soiled their hands in touching them. In purity, in uprightness, in courage, truth and stainless honour, the Regent and Latimer were perhaps his equals; but Murray was intellectually far below him and the sphere of Latimer's influence was on a smaller scale. The time has come when English history may do justice to one but for whom the Reformation would have been overthrown among ourselves; for the spirit which Knox created saved Scotland; and if Scotland had been Catholic again, neither the wisdom of Elizabeth's Ministers, nor the teaching of her Bishops, nor her own chicaneries, would have preserved England from revolution. His was the voice that taught the peasant of the Lothians that he was a free man, the equal in the sight of God with the proudest peer or prelate that had trampled on his forefathers. He was the one antagonist whom Mary Stuart could not soften nor Maitland deceive. He it was who had raised the poor commons of his country into a stern and rugged people, who might be hard, narrow, superstitious and fanatical, but who nevertheless were men whom neither king, noble, nor priest could force again to submit to tyranny. And his reward has been the ingratitude of those who should have done most honour to his memory."

The spirit of this fine passage may be due to the great Scotsman with whom Froude's name will always be inseparably associated. But Froude knew the subject as Carlyle did not pretend to know it, and his verdict is as authoritative as it is just. It is knowledge, even more than brilliancy, that these twelve volumes evince. Froude had mastered the sixteenth century as Macaulay mastered the seventeenth, with the same minute, patient industry. When he came to write he wrote with such apparent facility that those who did not know the meaning of historical research thought him shallow and superficial.

The period during which Froude was studying the reign of Elizabeth must be pronounced the happiest of his life. He was a born historian, and loved research. He had opportunities of acquiring knowledge opened to no one before, and it concerned those events which above all others attracted him. His second wife was the most sympathetic of companions, thoroughly understanding all his moods. She was fond of society, and induced him to frequent it. Froude was disinclined to go out in the evening, and would, if he had been left to himself, have stayed at home. He wrote to Lady Salisbury: "I must trust to your kindness to make allowance for my old-fashioned ways. I am so much engaged in the week that I give my Sunday evenings to my children, and never go out." But when he was in company he talked better than almost any one else, and he had a magnetic power of fascination which men as well as women often found quite irresistible. Living in London, he saw people of all sorts, and the puritan sternness which lay at the root of his character was concealed by the cynical humour which gave zest to his conversation. He had not forgotten his native county, and in 1863 he took a house at Salcombe on the southern coast of Devonshire. Ringrone, which he rented from Lord Kingsale, is a beautiful spot, now a hotel, then remote from railways, and an ideal refuge for a student. "We have a sea like the Mediterranean," he tells Skelton, "and estuaries beautiful as Loch Fyne, the green water washing our garden wall, and boats and mackerel." Froude worked there, however, besides yachting, fishing, and shooting.

In 1864, for instance, he "floundered all the summer among the extinct mine-shafts of Scotch politics—the most damnable set of pitfalls mortal man was ever set to blunder through in the dark." His study opened on the garden, from which the sea-view is one of the finest in England. Froude loved Devonshire folk, and enjoyed talking to them in their own dialect, or smoking with them on the shore. He was particularly fond of the indignant expostulation of a poor woman whose husband had been injured by his own chopper, and obliged in consequence to keep his bed. If, she said, it had been "a visitation of Providence, or the like of that there," he would have borne it patiently. "But to come upon a man in the wood-house" was not in the fitness of things. Froude's favourite places of worship in London were Westminster Abbey during Dean Stanley's time, and afterwards the Temple Church, as may be gathered from his Short Study on the Templars. In Devonshire he frequented an old-fashioned church where stringed instruments were still played, and was much delighted with the remark of a fiddler which he overheard. "Who is the King of glory?" had been given out as the anthem. While the fiddles were tuning up a voice was heard to say: "Hand us up the rosin, Tom; us'it soon tell them who's the King of glory."

As an editor Froude was tolerant and catholic. "On controverted points," he said, "I approve myself of the practice of the Reformation. When St. Paul's Cross pulpit was occupied one Sunday by a Lutheran, the next by a Catholic, the next by a Calvinist, all sides had a hearing, and the preachers knew that they would be pulled up before the same audience for what they might say." His own literary judgments were rather conventional. The mixture of classes in Clough's Bothie disturbed him. The genius of Matthew Arnold he had recognised at once, but then Arnold was a classical, academic poet. About Tennyson he agreed with the rest of the world, while Tennyson, who was a personal friend, paid him the great compliment of taking from him the subject of a poem and the material of a play. His prejudice against Browning's style, much as he liked Browning himself, was hard to overcome, and on this point he had a serious difference with his friend Skelton. "Browning's verse!" he exclaims. "With intellect, thought, power, grace, all the charms in detail which poetry should have, it rings after all like a bell of lead." This was in 1863, when Browning had published Men and Women, and Dramatic Lyrics. However, he admitted Skelton's article on the other side, and added, with magnificent candour, that "to this generation Browning's poetry is as uninteresting as Shakespeare's Sonnets were to the last century." The most fervent Browningite could have said no more than that. To Mr. Swinburne's Poems and Ballads Froude was conspicuously fair. There was much in them which offended his Puritanism, but he was disgusted with the virulence of the critics, and he allowed Skelton to write in Fraser a qualified apology.

"The Saturday Review temperament," he wrote, "is ten thousand thousand times more damnable than the worst of Swinburne's skits. Modern respectability is so utterly without God, faith, heart; it shows so singular an ingenuity in and injuring everything that is noble and good, and so systematic a preference for what is mean and paltry, that I am not surprised at a young fellow dashing his heels into the face of it …. When there is any kind of true genius, we have no right to drive it mad. We must deal with it wisely, justly, fairly."*

— * Table Talk of Shirley, p. 137. —

Froude was an excellent editor; appreciative, discriminating, and alert. He prided himself on Carlyle's approval, though perhaps Carlyle was not the best judge of such things. His energy was multifarious. Besides his History and his magazine, he found time for a stray lecture at odd times, and he could always reckon upon a good audience. His discourse at the Royal Institution in February, 1864, on "The Science of History," for which he was "called an atheist," is in the main a criticism of Buckle, the one really scientific historian. According to Buckle, the history of mankind was a natural growth, and it was only inadequate knowledge of the past that made the impossibility of predicting the future. Great men were like small men, obeying the same natural laws, though a trifle more erratic in their behaviour. Political economy was history in little, illustrating the regularity of human, like all other natural, forces. But can we predict historical events, as we can predict an eclipse? That is Froude's answer to Buckle, in the form of a question.

"Gibbon believed that the era of conquerors was at an end. Had he lived out the full life of man, he would have seen Europe at the feet of Napoleon. But a few years ago we believed the world had grown too civilised for war, and the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park was to be the inauguration of a new era. Battles, bloody as Napoleon's, are now the familiar tale of every day; and the arts which have made the greatest progress are the arts of destruction." It is difficult to see the atheism in all this, but the common sense is plain enough. Froude belonged to the school of literary historians, such as were Thucydides and Tacitus, Gibbon and Finlay, not to the school of Buckle, or, as we should now say, of Professor Bury.

In 1865 Froude removed from Clifton Place, Hyde Park, to Onslow Gardens in South Kensington, where he lived for the next quarter of a century. In 1868 the students of St. Andrews chose him to be Lord Rector of the University, and on the 23rd of March, 1869, he delivered his Inaugural Address on Education, which compared the plain living and high thinking of the Scottish Universities with the expensive and luxurious idleness that he remembered at Oxford. Froude was delighted with the compliment the students had paid him, and they were equally charmed with their Rector. In fact, his visit to St. Andrews produced in 1869 a suggestion that he should become the Parliamentary representative of that University and of Edinburgh. But the injustice of the law as it then stood disqualified him as a candidate. His deacon's orders, the shadowy remnant of a mistaken choice, stood in his way. Next year, in 1870, Bouverie's Act passed, and Froude was one of the first to take advantage of it by becoming again, what he had really never ceased to be, a layman. As he did not enter the House of Commons, it is idle to speculate on what might have been his political career. Probably it would have been undistinguished. He was not a good speaker, and he was a bad party man. His butler, who had been long with him, and knew him well, was once asked by a canvassing agent what his master's politics were. "Well," he said reflectively, "when the Liberals are in, Mr. Froude is sometimes a Conservative. When the Conservatives are in, Mr. Froude is always a Liberal." His own master, Carlyle, had been in early life an ardent reformer, and had hoped great things from the Act of 1832. Perhaps he did not know very clearly what he expected. At any rate he was disappointed, and, though he wrote an enthusiastic letter to Peel alter the abolition of the Corn Laws, he regarded the Reform Act of 1867 with indignant disgust.

Froude had a fitful and uncertain admiration for Disraeli. Gladstone he never liked or trusted, and did not take the trouble to understand. He had been brought up to despise oratory, he had caught from Carlyle a horror of democracy, he disliked the Anglo-Catholic party in the Church of England, and Gladstone's financial genius was out of his line. The Liberal Government of 1868 was in his opinion criminally indifferent to the Colonies. An earnest advocate of Federation, he did not see that the best way of retaining colonial loyalty was to preserve colonial independence intact. Nevertheless Froude was a pioneer of the modern movement, still in progress, for a closer union with the scattered parts of the British Empire. He feared that the Colonies would go if some effort were not made to retain them, and he turned over in his mind the various means of building up a federal system. Although Canadian Federation was emphatically Canadian in its origin, and had been adopted in principle by Cardwell during the Government of Lord Russell, it was Lord Carnarvon who carried it out, and he had no warmer supporter than Froude.

Of Froude's favourite recreations at this time the best account is to be found in his two Short Studies on A Fortnight in Kerry. From 1868 to 1870 he rented from Lord Lansdowne a place called Derreen, thirty-six miles from Killarney, and seventeen from Kenmare, where he spent the best part of the summer and autumn. If Froude did not altogether understand the Irish people, at least the Irish Catholics, and had no sympathy with their political aspirations, he loved their humour, and the scenery of "the most beautiful island in the world" had been familiar to him from his early manhood. In one of his youthful rambles he had been struck down by small-pox, and nursed with a devotion which he never forgot. Yet between him and the Celt, as between him and the Catholic, there was a mysterious, impassable barrier. They had not the same fundamental ideas of right and wrong. They did not in very truth worship the same God. But of Froude and the Irish I shall have to speak more at length hereafter. In Kerry he enjoyed himself, while at the same time he finished his History of England, and his description of the country is enchanting.

"A glance out of the window in the morning showed that I had not overrated the general charm of the situation. The colours were unlike those of any mountain scenery to which I was accustomed elsewhere. The temperature is many degrees higher than that of the Scotch highlands. The Gulf Stream impinges full upon the mouths of its long bays. Every tide carries the flood of warm water forty miles inland, and the vegetation consequently is rarely or never checked by frost even two thousand feet above the sea-level. Thus the mountains have a greenness altogether peculiar, stretches of grass as rich as water-meadows reaching between the crags and precipices to the very summits. The rock, chiefly old red sandstone, is purple. The heather, of which there are enormous masses, is in many places waist deep." Yachting and fishing, fishing and yachting, were the staple amusements at Derreen. Nothing was more characteristic of Froude than his love of the sea and the open air. Sport, in the proper sense of the term, he also loved. "I always consider," he said, "that the proudest moment of my life was, when sliding down a shale heap, I got a right and left at woodcocks." For luxurious modes of making big bags with little trouble he never cared at all. But let him once more explain himself in his own words. "I delight in a mountain walk when I must work hard for my five brace of grouse. I see no amusement in dawdling over a lowland moor where the packs are as thick as chickens in a poultry-yard. I like better than most things a day with my own dogs in scattered covers, when I know not what may rise—a woodcock, an odd pheasant, a snipe in the out-lying willow-bed, and perhaps a mallard or a teal. A hare or two falls in agreeably when the mistress of the house takes an interest in the bag. I detest battues and hot corners, and slaughter for slaughter's sake. I wish every tenant in England had his share in amusements which in moderation are good for us all, and was allowed to shoot such birds or beasts as were bred on his own farm, any clause in his lease to the contrary notwithstanding." Considering that this passage was written ten years before the Ground Game Act, it must be admitted that the sentiment is remarkably liberal. The chief interest of these papers,* however, is not political, but personal. They show what Froude's natural tastes were, the tastes of a sportsman and a country gentleman. He had long outgrown the weakness of his boyhood, and his physical health was robust. With a firm foot and a strong head he walked freely over cliffs where a false step would have meant a fall of a thousand feet. No man of letters was ever more devoted to exercise and sport. Though subject, like most men, and all editors, to fits of despondency, he had a sound mind in a healthy frame, and his pessimism was purely theoretical.

— * Short Studies, vol. ii. pp. 217-308. —

Froude's History, the great work of his life, was completed in 1870. He deliberately chose, after the twelve volumes, to leave Elizabeth at the height of her power, mistress of the seas, with Spain crushed at her feet. As he says himself, in the opening paragraph of his own Conclusion, "Chess-players, when they have brought their game to a point at which the result can be foreseen with certainty, regard their contest as ended, and sweep the pieces from the board." Froude had accomplished his purpose. He had rewritten the story of the Reformation. He had proved that the Church of England, though in a sense it dated from St. Austin of Canterbury, became under Henry VIII. a self-contained institution, independent of Rome and subject to the supremacy of the Crown.

Elizabeth altered the form of words in which her father had expressed his ecclesiastical authority; but the substance was in both cases the same. The sovereign was everything. The Bishop of Rome was nothing. There has never been in the Church of England since the divorce of Katharine any power to make a Bishop without the authority of the Crown, or to change a doctrine without the authority of Parliament, nor has any layman been legally subject to temporal punishment by the ecclesiastical courts. Convocation cannot touch an article or a formulary. King, Lords, and Commons can make new formularies or abolish the old. The laity owe no allegiance to the Canons, and in every theological suit the final appeal is to the King in Council, now the Judicial Committee. Since the accession of Elizabeth divine service has been performed in English, and the English Bible has been open to every one who can read. Yet there are people who talk as if the Reformation meant nothing, was nothing, never occurred at all. This theory, like the shallow sentimentalism which made an innocent saint and martyr of Mary Stuart, has never recovered from the crushing onslaught of Froude.

Mr. Swinburne in the Encyclopaedia Britannica reduces the latter theory to an absurdity, by demonstrating that if Mary was innocent she was a fool. In his defence of Elizabeth Froude stops short of many admirers. He was disgusted by her feminine weakness for masculine flattery; he dwells with almost tedious minuteness upon her smallest intrigues; he exposes her parsimonious ingratitude to her dauntless and unrivalled seamen. Yet for all that he brings out the vital difference between her and Mary Tudor, between the Protestant and Catholic systems of government. Elizabeth boasted, and boasted truly, that she did not persecute opinion. If people were good citizens and loyal subjects, it was all the same to her whether they went to church or to mass. Had it been possible to adopt and apply in the sixteenth century the modern doctrine of contemptuous indifference to sectarian quarrels, there was not one of her subjects more capable of appreciating and acting upon it than the great Queen herself. But in that case she would have estranged her friends without conciliating her opponents. She would have forfeited her throne and her life. Pius V. had not merely excommunicated her, which was a barren and ineffective threat, a telum imbelle sine ictu; he had also purported to depose her as a heretic, and to release her subjects from the duty of allegiance. Another Vicar of Christ, Gregory XIII., went farther. He intimated, not obscurely, that whosoever removed such a monster from the world would be doing God's service. This at least was no idle menace. Those great leaders of Protestantism in Europe, Coligny, Murray, William the Silent, were successively murdered within a few years. That was, as Fra Paolo said when he saw the dagger (stilus) which had wounded him, the style (stylus) of the Roman Court. It is all very well to say that Gregory was a blasphemous, murderous old bigot, and might have been left to the God of justice and mercy, who would deal with him in His own good time. Before that time came, Elizabeth might have been in her grave, Mary Stuart might have been on the English throne, and the liberties of England might have been as the liberties of Spain.

Elizabeth never felt personal fear. But she was not a private individual. She was an English sovereign, and the keynote of all her subtle, intricate, tortuous policy was the resolute determination, from which she never flinched, that England should be independent, spiritually as well as politically independent, of a foreign yoke. Her connection with the Protestants was political, not theological, for doctrinally she was farther from Geneva than from Rome. Her own Bishops she despised, not unjustly, as time-servers, calling them "doctors," not prelates. Although she did not really believe that any human person, or any human formula, was required between the Almighty and His creatures, she preferred the mass and the breviary to the Book of Common Prayer. The Inquisition was the one part of the Catholic system which she really abhorred. For the first twenty years of her reign mass was celebrated in private houses with impunity, though to celebrate it was against the law. No part of her policy is more odious to modern notions of tolerance and enlightenment than prohibition of the mass. Nothing shows more clearly the importance of understanding the mental atmosphere of a past age before we attempt to judge those who lived in it. Even Oliver Cromwell, fifty years after Elizabeth's death, declared that he would not tolerate the mass, and in general principles of religious freedom he was far ahead of his age. Cromwell no doubt, unlike Elizabeth, was a Protestant in the religious sense. But that was not his reason. The mass to him, and still more to Elizabeth, was a definite symbol of political disaffection. It was a rallying point for those who held that a heretical sovereign had no right to reign, and might lawfully be deposed, if not worse. Between the Catholics of our day and the Catholics of Elizabeth's time there is a great gulf fixed. What has fixed it is a question too complex to be discussed in this place. Catholics still revere the memory of Carlo Borromeo, Cardinal Archbishop of Milan, who gave his blessing to Campian and Parsons on their way to stir up rebellion in England, as well as in Ireland, and to assassinate Elizabeth if opportunity should serve. God said, "Thou shall do no murder." The Pope, however, thought that God had spoken too broadly, and that some qualification was required. The sixth commandment could not have been intended for the protection of heretics; and the Jesuits, if they did not inspire, at least believed him. Campian is regarded by thousands of good men and women, who would not hurt a fly, as a martyr to the faith, and to the faith as he conceived it he was a martyr. He endured torture and death without flinching rather than acknowledge that Elizabeth was lawful sovereign over the whole English realm. His courage was splendid. There never, for the matter of that, was a braver man than Guy Fawkes. But when Campian pretended that his mission to England was purely religious he was tampering with words in order to deceive. To him the removal of Elizabeth would have been a religious act. The Queen did all she could to make him save his life by recantation, even applying the cruel and lawless machinery of the rack. If his errand had been merely to preach what he regarded as Catholic truth, she would have let him go, as she checked the persecuting tendencies of her Bishops over and over again. But it was as much her duty to defend England from the invasion of the Jesuits as to defend her from the invasion of the Spanish Armada. Both indeed were parts of one and the same enterprise, the forcible reduction of England to dependence upon the Catholic powers. Although in God's good providence it was foiled, it very nearly succeeded; and if Elizabeth had not removed Campian, Campian might, as Babington certainly would, have remove her.

The Pope had been directly concerned in the massacre of St. Bartholomew, and his great ally, Philip II., is said to have laughed for the first time when he heard of it. More than a hundred years afterwards the pious Bossuet thanked God for the frightful slaughter of the Huguenots which followed the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. While Mary Tudor burnt poor and humble persons who could be no possible danger to the State because they would not renounce the only form of Christian faith they had ever known, Elizabeth executed for treason powerful and influential men sent by the Pope to kill her. When, after many long years, she reluctantly consented to Mary Stuart's death on the scaffold, Mary had been implicated in a plot to take her life and succeed her as queen. Mary would have made much shorter work of her. If that is called persecution, the word ceases to have any meaning.

Froude quotes with approval, as well he might, the words of Campian's admiring biographer Richard Simpson, himself a Catholic, a most learned and accomplished man. "The eternal truths of Catholicism were made the vehicle for opinions about the authority of the Holy See which could not be held by Englishmen loyal to the Government; and true patriotism united to a false religion overcame the true religion wedded to opinions that were unpatriotic in regard to the liberties of Englishmen, and treasonable to the English Government." In those days there was only one kind of English Government possible; the Government of Elizabeth, Burghley, and Walsingham. Parliamentary Government did not exist. Even the right of free speech in the House of Commons was never recognised by the Queen. If the English Government had fallen, England would have been at the mercy of a Papal legate. Protestantism was synonymous with patriotism, and good Catholics could not be good Englishmen while there was a heretical sovereign on the throne. After the Armada things were different. Spain was crushed. Sixtus V. was not a man to waste money, which he loved, in support of a losing cause. What Froude wrote to establish, and succeeded in establishing, was that between 1529 and 1588 the Reformation saved England from the tyranny of Rome and the proud foot of a Spanish conqueror.

The true hero of Froude's History is not Henry VIII., but Cecil, the firm, incorruptible, sagacious Minister who saved Elizabeth's throne, and made England the leading anti-Catholic country. Of a greater man than Cecil, John Knox, he was however almost an idolater. He considered that Knox surpassed in worldly wisdom even Maitland of Lethington, who was certainly not hampered by theological prejudice. With Puritanism itself he had much natural affinity, and as a determinist the philosophical side of Calvinism attracted him as strongly as it attracted Jonathan Edwards. Froude combined, perhaps illogically, a belief in predestination with a deep sense of moral duty and the responsibility of man. Every reader of his History must have been struck by his respect for all the manly virtues, even in those with whom he has otherwise no sympathy, and his corresponding contempt for weakness and self-indulgence. In his second and final Address to the students of St. Andrews he took Calvinism as his theme.* By this time Froude had acquired a great name, and was known all over the world as the most brilliant of living English historians. Although his uncompromising treatment of Mary Stuart had provoked remonstrance, his eulogy of Knox and Murray was congenial to the Scottish temperament, with which he had much in common. It was indeed from St. Andrews alone that he had hitherto received any public recognition. He was grateful to the students, and gave them of his best, so that this lecture may be taken as an epitome of his moral and religious belief.

— * Short Studies, vol. ii. pp. 1-60. —

"Calvinism," he told these lads, "was the spirit which rises in revolt against untruth; the spirit which, as I have shown you, has appeared and reappeared, and in due time will appear again, unless God be a delusion and man be as the beasts that perish. For it is but the inflashing upon the conscience with overwhelming force of the nature and origin of the laws by which mankind are governed—laws which exist, whether we acknowledge them or whether we deny them, and will have their way, to our weal or woe, according to the attitude in which we please to place ourselves towards them—inherent, like electricity, in the nature of things, not made by us, not to be altered by us, but to be discerned and obeyed by us at our everlasting peril." The essence of Froude's belief, not otherwise dogmatic, was a constant sense of God's presence and overruling power. Sceptical his mind in many ways was. The two things he never doubted, and would not doubt, were theism and the moral law. Without God there would be no religion. Without morality there would be no difference between right and wrong. This simple creed was sufficient for him, as it has been sufficient for some of the greatest men who ever lived. Epicureanism in all its forms was alien to his nature. "It is not true," he said at St. Andrews, "that goodness is synonymous with happiness. The most perfect being who ever trod the soil of this planet was called the Man of Sorrows. If happiness means absence of care and inexperience of painful emotion, the best securities for it are a hard heart and a good digestion. If morality has no better foundation than a tendency to promote happiness, its sanction is but a feeble uncertainty." Remembering where he stood, and speaking from the fulness of his mind, Froude exclaimed: "Norman Leslie did not kill Cardinal Beaton down in the castle yonder because he was a Catholic, but because he was a murderer. The Catholics chose to add to their already incredible creed a fresh article, that they were entitled to hang and burn those who differed from them; and in this quarrel the Calvinists, Bible in hand, appealed to the God of battles."

The importance of this striking Address is largely due to the fact that it was composed immediately after the History had been finished, and may be regarded as an epilogue. It breathes the spirit, though it discards the trappings, of Puritanism and the Reformation. Luther "was one of the grandest men that ever lived on earth. Never was any one more loyal to the light that was in him, braver, truer, or wider- minded in the noblest sense of the word." About Calvinism Froude disagreed with Carlyle, who loved to use the old formulas, though he certainly did not use them in the old sense. "It is astonishing to find," Froude wrote to Skelton, "how little in ordinary life the Calvinists talked or wrote about doctrine. The doctrine was never more than the dress. The living creature was wholly moral and political—so at least I think myself." Such language was almost enough to bring John Knox out of his grave. Could he have heard it, he would have felt that he was being confounded with Maitland, who thought God "ane nursery bogill." But though the attempt to represent Knox or Calvin as undogmatic may be fanciful, it is the purest, noblest, and most permanent part of Calvinism that Froude invited the students of St. Andrews to cherish and preserve.



Froude's reputation as an historian was seriously damaged for a time by the persistent attacks of The Saturday Review. It is difficult for the present generation to understand the influence which that celebrated periodical exercised, or the terror which it inspired, forty years ago. The first editor, Douglas Cook, was a master of his craft, and his colleagues included the most brilliant writers of the day. Matthew Arnold, who was not one of them, paid them the compliment of treating them as the special champions of Philistia, the chosen garrison of Gath. On most subjects they were fairly impartial, holding that there was nothing new and nothing true, and that if there were it wouldn't matter. But the proprietor* of the paper at that time was a High Churchman, and on ecclesiastical questions he put forward his authority. Within that sphere he would not tolerate either neutrality or difference of opinion. To him, and to those who thought like him, Froude's History was anathema. Their detested Reformation was set upon its legs again; Bishop Fisher was removed from his pedestal; the Church of England, which since Keble's assize sermon had been the Church of the Fathers, was shown to be Protestant in its character and Parliamentary in its constitution. The Oxford Movement seemed to be discredited, and that by a man who had once been enlisted in its service. It was necessary that the presumptuous iconoclast should be put down, and taught not to meddle with things which were sacred.

* Alexander James Beresford Hope, some time member for the University
of Cambridge.

From the first The Saturday Review was hostile, but it was not till 1864 that the campaign became systematic. At that time the editor secured the services of Edward Augustus Freeman, who had been for several years a contributor on miscellaneous topics. Freeman is well known as the historian of the Norman Conquest, as an active politician, controversialist, and pamphleteer. Froude toiled for months and years over parchments and manuscripts often almost illegible, carefully noting the caligraphy, and among the authors of a joint composition assigning his proper share to each. Freeman wrote his History of the Norman Conquest, upon which he was at this time engaged, entirely from books, without consulting a manuscript or an original document of any kind. Every historian must take his own line, and the public are concerned not with processes, but with results. I wish merely to point out the fact that, as between Froude and Freeman, the assailed and the assailant, Froude was incomparably the more laborious student of the two. It would be hard to say that one historian should not review the work of another; but we may at least expect that he should do so with sympathetic consideration for the difficulties which all historians encounter, and should not pass sentence until he has all the evidence before him. What were Freeman's qualifications for delivering an authoritative judgment on the work of Froude? Though not by any means so learned a man as his tone of conscious superiority induced people to suppose, he knew his own period very well indeed, and his acquaintance with that period, perhaps also his veneration for Stubbs, had given him a natural prejudice in favour of the Church. For the Church of the middle ages, the undivided Church of Christ, was even in its purely mundane aspect the salvation of society, the safeguard of law and order, the last restraint of the powerful, and the last hope of the wretched.

Historically, if not doctrinally, Freeman was a High Churchman, and his ecclesiastical leanings were a great advantage to him in dealing with the eleventh century. It was far otherwise when he came to write of the sixteenth. If the Church of the sixteenth century had been like the Church of the eleventh century, or the twelfth, or the thirteenth, there would have been no Reformation, and no Froude. Freeman lived, and loved, the controversial life. Sharing Gladstone's politics both in Church and State, he was in all secular matters a strong Liberal, and his hatred of Disraeli struck even Liberals as bordering on fanaticism. Yet his hatred of Disraeli was as nothing to his hatred of Froude. By nature "so over-violent or over-civil that every man with him was God or devil," he had erected Froude into his demon incarnate. Other men might be, Froude must be, wrong. He detested Froude's opinions. He could not away with his style. Freeman's own style was forcible, vigorous, rhetorical, hard; the sort of style which Macaulay might have written if he had been a pedant and a professor instead of a politician and a man of the world. It was not ill suited for the blood-and-thunder sort of reviewing to which his nature disposed him, and for the vengeance of the High Churchmen he seemed an excellent tool.

Freeman's biographer, Dean Stephens, preserves absolute and unbroken silence on the duel between Freeman and Froude. I think the Dean's conduct was judicious. But there is no reason why a biographer of Froude should follow his example. On the contrary, it is absolutely essential that he should not; for Freeman's assiduous efforts, first in The Saturday, and afterwards in The Contemporary, Review, did ultimately produce an impression, never yet fully dispelled, that Froude was an habitual garbler of facts and constitutionally reckless of the truth. But, before I come to details, let me say one word more about Freeman's qualifications for the task which he so lightly and eagerly undertook. Freeman, with all his self-assertion, was not incapable of candour. He was staunch in friendship, and spoke openly to his friends. To one of them, the excellent Dean Hook, famous for his Lives of the Archbishops of Canterbury, he wrote, on the 27th of April, 1857 [1867?], "You have found me out about the sixteenth century. I fancy that, from endlessly belabouring Froude, I get credit for knowing more of those times than I do. But one can belabour Froude on a very small amount of knowledge, and you are quite right when you say that I have 'never thrown the whole force of my mind on that portion of history.'"* These words pour a flood of light on the temper and knowledge with which Freeman must have entered on what he really seemed to consider a crusade. His object was to belabour Froude. His own acquaintance with the subject was, as he says, "very small," but sufficient for enabling him to dispose satisfactorily of an historian who had spent years of patient toil in thorough and exhaustive research. On another occasion, also writing to Hook, whom he could not deceive, he said, "I find I have a reputation with some people for knowing the sixteenth century, of which I am profoundly ignorant."+

— * Life and Letters of E. A. Freeman, vol. i. p. 381. + ibid. p. 382. —

It does not appear to have struck him that he had done his best in The Saturday Review to make people think that, as Froude's critic, he deserved the reputation which he thus frankly and in private disclaims.

Another curious piece of evidence has come to light. After Freeman's death his library was transferred to Owens College, Manchester, and there, among his other books, is his copy of Froude's History. He once said himself, in reference to his criticism of Froude, "In truth there is no kind of temper in the case, but a strong sense of amusement in bowling down one thing after another." Let us see. Here are some extracts from his marginal notes. "A lie, teste Stubbs," as if Stubbs were an authority, in the proper sense of the term, any more than Froude. Authorities are contemporary witnesses, or original documents. Another entry is "Beast," and yet another is "Bah!" "May I live to embowel James Anthony Froude" is the pious aspiration with which he has adorned another page. "Can Froude understand honesty?" asks this anxious inquirer; and again, "Supposing Master Froude were set to break stones, feed pigs, or do anything else but write paradoxes, would he not curse his day?" Along with such graceful compliments as "You've found that out since you wrote a book against your own father," "Give him as slave to Thirlwall," there may be seen the culminating assertion, "Froude is certainly the vilest brute that ever wrote a book." Yet there was "no kind of temper in the case," and "only a strong sense of amusement." I suppose it must have amused Freeman to call another historian a vile brute. But it is fortunate that there was no temper in the case. For if there had, it would have been a very bad temper indeed.

In this judicial frame of mind did Freeman set himself to review successive volumes of Froude's Elizabeth. Froude did not always correct his proofs with mechanical accuracy, and this gave Freeman an advantage of which he was not slow to avail himself. "Mr. Froude," he says in The Saturday Review for the 30th of January, 1864, "talks of a French attack on Guienne, evidently meaning Guisnes. It is hardly possible that this can be a misprint." It was of course a misprint, and could hardly have been anything else. Guisnes was a town, and could be attacked. Guienne was a province, and would have been invaded. Guienne had been a French province since the Hundred Years' War, and therefore the French would neither have attacked nor invaded it. As if all this were not enough to show the nature and source of the error, the word was correctly printed in the marginal heading. In the same article, after quoting Froude's denial that a sentence described by the Spanish Ambassador de Silva as having been passed upon a pirate could have been pronounced in an English court of justice, Freeman asked, "Is it possible that Mr. Froude has never heard of the peine forte et dure?" Freeman of course knew it to be impossible. He knew also that the peine forte et dure was inflicted for refusing to plead, and that this pirate, by de Silva's own account, had been found guilty. But he wanted to suggest that Froude was an ignoramus, and for the purpose of beating a dog one stick is as good as another.

Freeman's trump card, however, was the Bishop of Lexovia, and that brilliant victory he never forgot. Froude examined the strange and startling allegation, cited by Macaulay in his introductory chapter, that during the reign of Henry VIII. seventy-two thousand persons perished by the hand of the public executioner. He traced it to the Commentaries of Cardan, an astrologer, not a very trustworthy authority, who had himself heard it, he said, from "an unknown Bishop of Lexovia." "Unknown," observed Freeman, with biting sarcasm, "to no one who has studied the history of Julius Caesar or of Henry II." Froude had not been aware that Lexovia was the ancient name for the modern Lisieux, and for twenty years he was periodically reminded of the fact. Had he followed Freeman's methods, he might have asked whether his critic really supposed that there were bishops in the time of Julius Caesar. Freeman failed to see that the point was not the modern name of Lexovia, but the number of persons put to death by Henry, on which Froude had shown the worthlessness of popular tradition.

Bishop Hooper was burnt at Gloucester in the Cathedral Close. Froude describes the scene of the execution as "an open space opposite the College." That shows, says Freeman, that Froude did not, like Macaulay, visit the scenes of the events he described. Perhaps he did not visit Gloucester, or even Guisnes. That Freeman's general conclusion was entirely wide of the mark a single letter from Froude to Skelton is enough to show. "I want you some day," he wrote on the 12th of December, 1863, "to go with me to Loch Leven, and then to Stirling, Perth, and Glasgow. Before I go farther I must have a personal knowledge of Loch Leven Castle and the grounds at Langside. Also I must look at the street at Linlithgow where Murray was shot."* Thus Freeman's amiable inference was the exact reverse of the truth.

— * Table Talk of Shirley, p. 131. —

Some of Freeman's methods, however, were a good deal less scrupulous than this. By way of bringing home to Froude "ecclesiastical malignity of the most frantic kind," he cited the case of Bishop Coxe. "To Hatton," Froude wrote in his text,+ "was given also the Naboth's vineyard of his neighbour the Bishop of Ely." In a long note he commented upon the Bishop's inclination to resist, and showed how the "proud prelate" was "brought to reason by means so instructive on Elizabeth's mode of conducting business when she had not Burghley or Walsingham to keep her in order that" the whole account is given at length in the words of Lord North, whom she employed for the purpose. This letter from Lord North is extremely valuable evidence. Froude read it and transcribed it from the collection of manuscripts at Hatfield. As an idle rumour that Froude spent only one day at Hatfield obtained currency after his death, it may be convenient to mention here that the work which he did there in copying manuscripts alone must have occupied him at least a month. Now let us see what use Freeman made of the information thus given him by Froude. "Meanwhile," he says in The Saturday Review for the 22nd of January, 1870, "Mr. Froude is conveniently silent as to the infamous tricks played by Elizabeth and her courtiers in order to make estates for court favourites out of Episcopal lands. A line or two of text is indeed given to the swindling transaction by which Bishop Coxe of Ely was driven to surrender his London house to Sir Christopher Hatton. But why? Because the story gives Mr. Froude an opportunity of quoting at full length a letter from Lord North to the Bishop in which all the Bishop's real or pretended enormities are strongly set forth." Here follows a short extract from the letter, in which North accused Coxe of grasping covetousness. Now it is perfectly obvious to any one having the whole letter before him, as Freeman had, that Froude quoted it with the precisely opposite aim of denouncing the conduct of Elizabeth to the Bishop, whom he compares with Naboth. Freeman must have heard of Naboth. He must have known what Froude meant. Yet the whole effect of his comments must have been to make the readers of The Saturday Review think that Froude was attacking the Church, when he was attacking the Crown for its conduct to the Church.

— + History of England, vol. xi. p. 321. —

Freeman seemed to glory in his own deficiencies, and was almost as proud of what he did not know as of what he did. Thus, for instance, Froude, a born man of letters, was skilful and accomplished in the employment of metaphors. Freeman could no more handle a metaphor than he could fish with a dry fly. He therefore, without the smallest consciousness of being absurd, condemned Froude for doing what he was unable to do himself, and even wrote, in the name of The Saturday Review, "We are no judges of metaphors," though there must surely have been some one on the staff who knew something about them.

Froude had a mode of treating documents which is open to animadversion. He did not, as Mr. Pollard happily puts it in the Dictionary of National Biography, "respect the sanctity of inverted commas." They ought to imply textual quotation, Froude used them for his abridgments, openly proclaiming the fact that he had abridged, and therefore deceiving no one. Freeman's comment upon this irregularity is extremely characteristic. "Now we will not call this dishonest; we do not believe that Mr. Froude is intentionally dishonest in this or any other matter; but then it is because he does not know what literary honesty and dishonesty are." There is no such thing as literary honesty, or scientific honesty, or political honesty. There is only one kind of honesty, and an honest man does not misrepresent an opponent, as Freeman misrepresented Froude. To call a man a liar is an insult. To say that is not a liar because he does not know the difference between truth and falsehood is a cowardly insult. But Froude was soon avenged. Freeman gave himself into his adversary's hands. "Sometimes," he wrote,* "Mr. Froude gives us the means of testing him. Let us try a somewhat remarkable passage. He tells us "It had been argued in the Admiralty Courts that the Prince of Orange, 'having his principality of his title in France, might make lawful war against the Duke of Alva,* and that the Queen would violate the rules of neutrality if she closed her ports against his cruisers." Then follows a Latin passage from which the English is paraphrased. "We presume," continues Freeman in fancied triumph, "that the words put by Mr. Froude in inverted commas are not Lord Burghiey's summary of the Latin extract in the note, but Mr. Froude's own, for it is utterly impossible that Burghley could have so misconceived a piece of plain Latin, or have so utterly misunderstood the position of any contemporary prince." Presumption indeed. I have before me a photograph of Burghley's own words in his own writing examined by Froude at the Rolls House. They are "Question whether the Prince of Orange, being a free prince of the Empire, and also having his principality of his title in France, might not make a just war against the Duke of Alva." Froude abridged, and wrote "lawful" for "just." But the words which Freeman says that Burghley could not have used are the words which he did use, and the explanation is simple enough. Freeman was Freeman. Burghley was a statesman. Burghley of course knew perfectly well that Orange was not subject to the King of France, not part of his dominions, which is Freeman's objection. He called it in France because it, and the Papal possessions of Venaissin adjoining it, were surrounded by French territory. He called it "in France," as we should call the Republic of San Marino "in Italy" now. Freeman might have ascertained what Burghley did write if he had cared to know. He did not care to know. He was "belabouring Froude."

— * Saturday Review, Nov. 24th, 1866. —

Once Froude was weak enough to accept Freeman's correction on a small point, only to find that Freeman was entirely in error, and that he himself had been right all along. After much vituperative language not worth repeating, Freeman wrote in The Saturday Review for the 5th of February, 1870, these genial words, "As it is, there is nothing to be done but to catch Mr. Froude whenever he comes from his hiding- place at Simancas into places in which we can lie in wait for him." The sneer at original research is characteristic of Freeman. One can almost hear his self-satisfied laugh as he wrote this unlucky sentence, "The thing is too grotesque to talk about seriously; but can we trust a single uncertified detail from the hands of a man who throughout his story of the Armada always calls the Ark Royal the Ark Raleigh? … It is the sort of blunder which so takes away one's breath that one thinks for the time that it must be right. We do not feel satisfied till we have turned to our Camden and seen 'Ark Regis' staring us full in the face." Freeman did not know the meaning of historical research as conducted by a real scholar like Froude. Froude had not gone to Camden, who in Freeman's eyes represented the utmost stretch of Elizabethan learning. If Freeman had had more natural shrewdness, it might have occurred to him that the name of a great seaman was not an unlikely name for a ship. But he could never fall lightly, and heavily indeed did he fall on this occasion. With almost incredible fatuity, he wrote, "The puzzle of guessing how Mr. Froude got at so grotesque a union of words as 'Ark Raleigh' fades before the greater puzzle of guessing what idea he attached to the words 'Ark Raleigh' when he had got them together." When Freeman was most hopelessly wrong he always began to parody Macaulay. Corruptio optimi pessima. "Ark Raleigh" means Raleigh's ship, and Froude took the name, "Ark Rawlie" as it was then spelt, from the manuscripts at the Rolls House. He was of course right, and Freeman was wrong. But that is not all. Freeman could easily have put himself right if he had chosen to take the trouble. Edwards's Life of Raleigh appeared in 1868, and a copy of it is in Freeman's library at Owens College. Edwards gives an account of the Ark Raleigh, which was built for Sir Humphrey Gilbert, Raleigh advancing two hundred pounds. Freeman, however, need not have read this book to find out the truth. For "the Ark Raleigh" occurs fourteen times in a Calendar of Manuscripts from 1581 to 1590, published by Robert Lemon in 1865. When Freeman was brought to book, and taxed with this gross blunder, he pleaded that he "did a true verdict give according to such evidence as came before him." The implied analogy is misleading. Jurymen are bound by their oaths, and by their duty, to find a verdict one way or the other. Freeman was under no obligation to say anything about the Ark Raleigh. Prudence and ignorance might well have restrained his pen.

Two blots in Froude's History Freeman may, I think, be acknowledged to have hit. One was intellectual; the other was moral. It was pure childishness to suggest that Froude had never heard of the peine forte et dure, and only invincible prejudice could have dictated such a sentence as "That Mr. Froude's law would be queer might be taken as a matter of course."* Still, it is true, and a serious misfortune, that Froude took very little interest in legal and constitutional questions. For, while they had not the same importance in the sixteenth century as they had in the seventeenth, they cannot be disregarded to the extent in which Froude disregarded them without detracting from the value of his book as a whole. He did not sit down, like Hallam, to write a constitutional history, and he could not be expected to deal with his subject from that special point of view. Freeman's complaint, which is quite just, was that he neglected almost entirely the relations of the Crown with the Houses of Parliament and with the courts of law. The moral blot accounts for a good deal of the indignation which Froude excited in minds far less jaundiced than Freeman's. No one hated injustice more than Froude. But cruelty as such did not inspire him with any horror. No punishment, however atrocious, seemed to him too great for persons clearly guilty of enormous crimes. I have already referred to his defence of the horrible Boiling Act which disgraced the reign and the parliament of Henry VIII. The account of Mary Stuart's old and wizened face as it appeared when her false hair and front had been removed after her execution may be set down as an error of taste. But what is to be said, on the score of humanity, for an historian who in the nineteenth century calmly and in cold blood defended the use of the rack? Even here Freeman's ingenuity of suggestion did not desert him. After quoting part, and part only, of Froude's sinister apology, he writes, "To all this the answer is very simple. Every time that Elizabeth and her counsellors sent a prisoner to the rack they committed a breach of the law of England."+ Any one who read this article without reading the History would infer that Froude had maintained the legality, as well as the expediency, of torture. That is not true. What Froude says is, "A practice which by the law was always forbidden could be palliated only by a danger so great that the nation had become like an army in the field. It was repudiated on the return of calmer times, and the employment of it rests a stain on the memory of those by whom it was used. It is none the less certain, however, that the danger was real and terrible, and the same causes which relieve a commander in active service from the restraints of the common law apply to the conduct of statesmen who are dealing with organised treason. The law is made for the nation, not the nation for the law. Those who transgress it do it at their own risk, but they may plead circumstances at the bar of history, and have a right to be heard." Thus Froude asserts as strongly and clearly as Freeman himself that torture was in 1580, and always had been, contrary to the law of England. On the purely legal and technical aspect of the question a point might be raised which neither Froude nor Freeman has attempted to solve. Would any Court in the reign of Elizabeth have convicted a man of a criminal offence for carrying out the express commands of the sovereign? If not, in what sense was the racking of the Jesuits illegal? But there is a law of God, as well as a law of man, and surely Elizabeth broke it. Froude's argument seems to prove too much, if it proves anything, for it would justify all the worst cruelties ever inflicted by tyrants for political objects, from the burning of Christians who refused incense for the Roman Emperor to Luke's iron crown, and Damien's bed of steel.

* Saturday Review, Jan. 29th, 1870.
+ Saturday Review, Dec. 1st, 1867.

The analogy of a commander in active service is inadequate. Elizabeth, Burghley, Walsingham, were not commanders on active service; and if they had been, they would have had no right, on any Christian or civilised principle, to torture prisoners. Unless the end justifies the means, in which case there is no morality, the rack was an abomination, and those who applied it to extort either confession or evidence debased themselves to the level of the Holy Inquisitors. Froude did not, I grieve to say, stop at an apology for the rack. In a passage which must always disfigure his book he thus describes the fate of Antony Babington and those who suffered with him in 1586. "They were all hanged but for a moment, according to the letter of the sentence, taken down while the susceptibility of agony was still unimpaired, and cut in pieces afterwards with due precautions for the protraction of the pain. If it was to be taken as part of the Catholic creed that to kill a prince in the interests of Holy Church was an act of piety and merit, stern English common sense caught the readiest means of expressing its opinion on the character both of the creed and its professors."

Stern English common sense! To suggest that the English people had anything to do with it is a libel on the English nation. Elizabeth had the decency to forbid the repetition of such atrocities. That she should have tolerated them at all is a stain upon her character, as his sophistical plea for them is a stain upon Froude's.

On the 12th of January, 1870, Freeman delivered in The Saturday Review his final verdict on Froude's History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Defeat of the Spanish Armada. It is one of the most preposterous judgments that ever found their way into print. In knowledge of the subject, and in patient assiduity of research, Froude was immeasurably Freeman's superior, and his life had been devoted to historic studies. Yet this was the language in which the editor of the first literary journal in England permitted Freeman to write of the greatest historical work completed since Macaulay died: "He has won his place among the popular writers of the day; his name has come to be used as a figure of speech, sometimes in strange company with his betters …. But an historian he is not; four volumes of ingenious paradox, eight volumes of ecclesiastical pamphlet, do not become a history, either because of the mere number of volumes, or because they contain a narrative which gradually shrinks into little more than a narrative of diplomatic intrigues. The main objections to Mr. Froude's book, the blemishes which cut it off from any title to the name of history, are utter carelessness as to facts and utter incapacity to distinguish right from wrong …. That burning zeal for truth, for truth in all matters great and small, that zeal which shrinks from no expenditure of time and toil in the pursuit of truth—the spirit without which history, to be worthy of the name, cannot be written—is not in Mr. Froude's nature, and it would probably be impossible to make him understand what it is …. How far the success of the book is due to its inherent vices, how far to its occasional virtues, is a point too knotty for us to solve. The general reader and his tastes—why this thing pleases him and the other thing displeases him—have ever been to us the proroundest of mysteries. It is enough that on Mr. Froude's book, as a whole, the verdict of all competent historical scholars has long ago been given. Occasional beauties of style and narrative cannot be allowed to redeem carelessness of truth, ignorance of law, contempt for the first principles of morals, ecclesiastical malignity of the most frantic kind. There are parts of Mr. Froude's volumes which we have read with real pleasure, with real admiration. But the book, as a whole, is vicious in its conception, vicious in its execution. No merit of detail can atone for the hollowness that runs through the whole. Mr. Froude has written twelve volumes, and he has made himself a name in writing them, but he has not written, in the pregnant phrase so aptly quoted by the Duke of Aumale, 'un livre de bonne foy.'"*

— * The Duke was not, as Freeman implies that he was, referring to Froude. —

By a curious irony of fate or circumstance Freeman has unconsciously depicted the frame of mind in which Froude approached historic problems. "That burning zeal for truth, for truth in all matters great and small, that zeal which shrinks from no expenditure of time and toil in the pursuit of truth—the spirit without which history, to be worthy of the name, cannot be written," was the dominant principle of Froude's life and work. He had hitherto taken no notice of the attacks in The Saturday Review. The errors pointed out in them were of the most trivial kind, and mere abuse is not worth a reply. But even Gibbon was moved from his philosophic calm when Mr. Somebody of Something "presumed to attack not the faith but the fidelity of the historian." Froude passed over in contemptuous silence impertinent reflections upon his religious belief. His honesty was now in set terms impugned, and on the 15th of February, 1870, he addressed, through the editor of The Pall Mall Gazette, Mr. Frederick Greenwood, a direct challenge to Mr. Philip Harwood, who had become editor of The Saturday Review. After a few caustic remarks upon the absurdity of the defects imputed to him, such as ignorance that Parliament could pass Bills of Attainder, because he had said that the House of Lords would not pass one in a particular case, he came to close quarters with the imputation of bad faith. "I am," he said, "peculiarly situated"—as Freeman of course knew—"towards a charge of this kind, for nine-tenths of my documents are in manuscript, and a large proportion of those manuscripts are in Spain. To deal as fairly as I can with the public, I have all along deposited my Spanish transcripts, as soon as I have done with them, in the British Museum. The reading of manuscripts, however, is at best laborious. The public may be inclined to accept as proved an uncontradicted charge, the value of which they cannot readily test. I venture therefore to make the following proposal. I do not make it to my reviewer. He will be reluctant to exchange communications with me, and the disinclination will not be on his side only. I address myself to his editor. If the editor will select any part of my volumes, one hundred, two hundred, three hundred pages, wherever he pleases, I am willing to subject them to a formal examination by two experts, to be chosen—if Sir Thomas Hardy will kindly undertake it—by the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records. They shall go through my references, line for line. They shall examine every document to which I have alluded, and shall judge whether I have dealt with it fairly. I lay no claim to be free from mistakes. I have worked in all through nine hundred volumes of letters, notes, and other papers, private and official, in five languages and in difficult handwritings. I am not rash enough to say that I have never misread a word, or overlooked a passage of importance. I profess only to have dealt with my materials honestly to the best of my ability. I submit myself to a formal trial, of which I am willing to bear the entire expense, on one condition-that the report, whatever it be, shall be published word for word in The Saturday Review."

The proposal was certainly a novel one, and could not in ordinary circumstances have been accepted. But it is also novel to charge an historian of the highest character and repute with inability to speak the truth, or to distinguish between truth and falsehood. Freeman, signing himself "Mr. Froude's Saturday Reviewer," replied in The Pall Mall Gazette. The challenge he left to the editor of The Saturday, who contemptuously refused it, and he admitted that after all Froude probably did know what a Bill of Attainder was. The rest of his letter is a shuffle. "I have made no charge of bad faith against Mr. Froude"—whom he had accused of not knowing what truth meant—"with regard to any Spanish manuscripts, or any other manuscripts. All that I say is, that as I find gross inaccuracies in Mr. Froude's book, which he does not whenever I have the means of testing him which was certainly not often—"I think there is a presumption against his accuracy in those parts where I have not the means of testing him. But this is only a presumption, and not proof. Mr. Froude may have been more careful, or more lucky"—meaning less fraudulent, or more skilful—"with the hidden wealth of Simancas than he has been with regard to materials which are more generally accessible. I trust it may prove so." If Freeman thought that he meant that, he must have had singular powers of self-deception. "I have been twitted by men of thought and learning"—whom he does not name—"for letting Mr. Froude off too easily, and I am inclined to plead guilty to the charge. I do not suppose that Mr. Froude wilfully misrepresents anything; the fault seems to be inherent and incurable; he does not know what historical truth is, or how a man should set about looking for it. As therefore his book is not written with that regard for truth with which a book ought to be written, I hold that I am justified in saying that it is not 'un livre de bonne roy.'"

It is difficult to read this disingenuous farrago of insinuation even now without a strong sense of moral contempt. But vengeance was coming, and before many years were over his head Freeman had occasion to remember the Hornfinn tag:

Raro antecedentem scelestum
Deseruit pede poena claudo.

Froude himself took the matter very lightly. He had boldly offered the fullest inquiry, and Freeman had not been clever enough to shelter himself behind the plea that copies were not originals; he did not know enough about manuscripts to think of it. The blunders he had detected were trifling, and Froude summed up the labours of his antagonists fairly enough in a letter to Skelton from his beloved Derreen.* "I acknowledge to five real mistakes in the whole book- twelve volumes—about twenty trifling slips, equivalent to i's not dotted and t's not crossed; and that is all that the utmost malignity has discovered. Every one of the rascals has made a dozen blunders of his own, too, while detecting one of mine." Skelton's own testimony is worth citing, for, though a personal friend, he was a true scholar. "We must remember that he was to some extent a pioneer, and that he was the first (for instance) to utilise the treasures of Simancas. He transcribed, from the Spanish, masses of papers which even a Spaniard could have read with difficulty, and I am assured that his translations (with rare exceptions) render the original with singular exactness."+ And in the preface to his Maitland of Lethington the same distinguished author says, "Only the man or woman who has had to work upon the mass of Scottish material in the Record Office can properly appreciate Mr. Froude's inexhaustible industry and substantial accuracy. His point of view is very different from mine; but I am bound to say that his acquaintance with the intricacies of Scottish politics during the reign of Mary appears to me to be almost, if not quite, unrivalled." John Hill Burton, to whose learning and judgment Freeman's were as moonlight unto sunlight, and as water unto wine, concurred in Skelton's view, and no one has ever known Scottish history better than Burton.

* June 21st, 1870.
+ Table Talk of Shirley, p. 143.

Freeman's reckless and unscholarly attacks upon Froude produced no effect upon his own master Stubbs, whom he was always covering with adulation. From the Chair of Modern History at Oxford in 1876 Stubbs pronounced Froude's "great book," as he called it, to be "a work of great industry, power, and importance." Stubbs was as far as possible from agreeing with Froude in opinion. An orthodox Churchman and a staunch Tory, he never varied in his opposition to Liberalism, as well ecclesiastical as political, and he had no sympathy with the reformers. But his simple, manly, pious character was incapable of supporting his cause by personal slander. Unlike Freeman, he had a rich vein of racy humour, which he indulged in a famous epigram on Froude and Kingsley, too familiar for quotation. But he could appreciate Froude's learning and industry, for he was a real student himself.

The controversy between Froude and Freeman, however, was by no means at an end, and I may as well proceed at once to the conclusion of it, chronology notwithstanding. In the year 1877, Froude contributed to The Nineteenth Century a series of papers on the Life and Times of Thomas Becket, since republished in the fourth volume of his Short Studies. Full of interesting information, the result of minute pains, and excellent in style, they make no pretence to be, as the History was, a work of original research. They are indeed founded upon the Materials for the History of Thomas Becket, which Canon Robertson had edited for the Master of the Rolls in the previous year. They were of course read by every one, because they were written by Froude, whereas Robertson's learned Introduction would only have been read by scholars. Froude's conclusions were much the same as the erudite Canon's. He did not pretend to know the twelfth century as he knew the sixteenth, and he avowedly made use of another man's knowledge to point his favourite moral that emancipation from ecclesiastical control was a necessary stage in the development of English freedom. He may have been unconsciously affected by his familiarity with the quarrel between Wolsey and Henry VIII. in describing the quarrel between Becket and Henry II. The Church of the middle ages discharged invaluable functions which in later times were more properly undertaken by the State. Froude sided with Henry, and showed, as he had not much difficulty in showing, that there were a good many spots on the robe of Becket's saintliness. The immunity of Churchmen, that is, of clergymen, from the jurisdiction of secular tribunals was not conducive either to morality or to order.

Froude's essays might have been forgotten, like other brilliant articles in other magazines, if Freeman had let them alone. But the spectacle of Froude presuming to write upon those earlier periods of which The Saturday Review had so often and so dogmatically pronounced him to be ignorant, drove Freeman into print. If he had disagreed with Froude on the main question, the only question which matters now, he would have been justified, and more than justified, in setting out the opposite view. A defence of Becket against Henry, of the Church against the State, from the pen of a competent writer, would have been as interesting and as important a contribution as Froude's own papers to the great issue between Sacerdotalism and Erastianism. There is a great deal more to be said for Becket than for Wolsey; and though Freeman found it difficult to state any case with temperance, he could have stated this case with power. But, much as he disliked Froude, he agreed with him. "Looking," he wrote, "at the dispute between Henry and Thomas by the light of earlier and of later ages, we see that the cause of Henry was the right one; that is, we see that it was well that the cause of Henry triumphed in the long run." Nevertheless he rushed headlong upon his victim, and "belaboured" Froude, with all the violence of which he was capable, in The Contemporary Review. Hitherto his attacks had been anonymous. Now for the first time he came into the open, and delivered his assault in his own name. Froude's forbearance, as well as his own vanity, had blinded him to the danger he was incurring. The first sentence of his first article explains the fury of an invective for which few parallels could be found since the days of the Renaissance. "Mr. Froude's appearance on the field of mediaeval history will hardly be matter of rejoicing to those who have made mediaeval history one of the chief studies of their lives." Freeman's pedantry was, as Matthew Arnold said, ferocious, and he seems to have cherished the fantastic delusion that particular periods of history belonged to particular historians. Before writing about Becket Froude should, according to this primitive doctrine, have asked leave of Freeman, or of Stubbs, or of an industrious clergyman, Professor Brewer, who edited with ability and learning several volumes of the Rolls Series. That to warn off Froude would be to warn off the public was so much the better for the purposes of an exclusive clique. For Froude's style, that accursed style which was gall and wormwood to Freeman, "had," as he kindly admitted, "its merits." Page after page teems with mere abuse, a sort of pale reflection, or, to vary the metaphor, a faint echo from Cicero on Catiline, or Burke on Hastings. "On purely moral points there is no need now for me to enlarge; every man who knows right from wrong ought to be able to see through the web of ingenious sophistry which tries to justify the slaughter of More and Fisher"; although the guilt of More and Fisher is a question not of morality, but of evidence. "Mr. Froude by his own statement has not made history the study of his life," which was exactly what he had done, and stated that he had done. "The man who insisted on the Statute-book being the text of English history showed that he had never heard of peine forte et dure, and had no clear notion of a Bill of Attainder."

Freeman could not even be consistent in abuse for half a page. Immediately after charging Froude with "fanatical hatred towards the English Church, reformed or unreformed"—though he was the great champion of the Reformation—"a degree of hatred which must be peculiar to those who have entered her ministry and forsaken it"- like Freeman's bosom friend Green—he says that Froude "never reaches so high a point as in several passages where he describes various scenes and features of monastic life." But this could not absolve him from having made a "raid" upon another man's period, from being a "marauder," from writing about a personage whom Stubbs might have written about, though he had not. Froude had "an inborn and incurable twist, which made it impossible for him to make an accurate statement about any matter." "By some destiny which it would seem that he cannot escape, instead of the narrative which he finds—at least which all other readers find—in his book he invariably substitutes another narrative out of his own head." "Very few of us can test manuscripts at Simancas; it is not every one who can at a moment's notice test references to manuscripts much nearer home." This is a strange insinuation from a man who never tested a manuscript, seldom, if ever, consulted a manuscript, and had declined Froude's challenge to let his copies be compared with his abridgment. One grows tired of transcribing a mere succession of innuendoes. Yet it is essential to clear this matter up once and for all, that the public may judge between Froude and his life-long enemy.

The standard by which Freeman affected to judge Froude's articles in The Nineteenth Century was fantastic. "Emperors and Popes, Sicilian Kings and Lombard Commonwealths, should be as familiar to him who would write The Life and Times of Thomas Becket as the text of the Constitutions of Clarendon or the relations between the Sees of Canterbury and York." If Froude had written an elaborate History of Henry II., as he wrote a History of Henry VIII., he would have qualified himself in the manner somewhat bombastically described. But even Lord Acton, who seemed to think that he could not write about anything until he knew everything, would scarcely have prepared himself for an article in The Nineteenth Century by mastering the history of the world. And if Froude had done so, it would have profited him little. He would have forgotten it, "with that calm oblivion of facts which distinguishes him from all other men who have taken on themselves to read past events." He would still have written "whatever first came into his head, without stopping to see whether a single fact bore his statements out or not." "Accurate statement of what really happened, even though such accurate statement might serve Mr. Froude's purpose, is clearly forbidden by the destiny which guides Mr. Froude's literary career." These extracts from The Contemporary Review are samples, and only samples, from a mass of rhetoric not unworthy of the grammarian who prayed for the damnation of an opponent because he did not agree with him in his theory of irregular verbs. Freeman, whose self-assertion was perpetual, represented himself throughout his libel as fighting for the cause of truth. His own reverence for truth he illustrated quaintly enough at the close of his last article. "I leave others to protest," said this veracious critic, "against Mr. Froude's treatment of the sixteenth century. I do not profess to have mastered those times in detail from original sources." I leave others to protest! From 1864 to 1870 Freeman had continuously attacked successive volumes of Froude's History in The Saturday Review. Yet he here makes in his own name a statement quite irreconcilable with his ever having done anything of the kind, and accompanies it with an admission which, if it had been made in The Saturday Review, would have robbed his invective of more than half its sting.

And now let us see what was the real foundation for this imposing fabric. Freeman's boisterous truculence made such a deafening noise, and raised such a blinding dust, that it takes some little time and trouble to discover the hollowness of the charges. With four-fifths of Froude's narrative he does not deal at all, except to borrow from it for his own purposes, as he used to borrow from the History in The Saturday Review. In the other fifth, the preliminary pages, he discovered two misprints of names, one mistake of fact, and three or four exaggerations. Not one of these errors is so grave as his own statement, picked up from some bad lawyer, that "the preamble of an Act of Parliament need not be received as of any binding effect." The preamble is part of the Act, and gives the reasons why the Act was passed. Of course the rules of grammar show that being explanatory it is not an operative part; but it can be quoted in any court of justice to explain the meaning of the clauses.

In his Annals of an English Abbey Froude allowed "Robert Fitzwilliam" to pass for Robert Fitzwalter in his proofs, and upon this conclusive evidence that Froude was unfit to write history Freeman pounced with triumphant exultation. He had some skill in the correction of misprints, and would have been better employed in revising proof- sheets for Froude than in "belabouring" him. Froude said that Becket's name "denoted Saxon extraction." An anonymous biographer, not always accurate, says that both his parents came from Normandy. It is probable, though by no means certain, that in this case the biographer was right, and Froude corrected the mistake when, in consequence of Freeman's criticisms, he republished the articles. Froude, on the authority of Edward Grim, who knew Becket, and wrote his Life, referred to the cruelty and ferocity of Becket's administration as Chancellor. Freeman declared that "anything more monstrous never appeared from the pen of one who professed to be narrating facts." Froude not only "professed" to be narrating facts: he was narrating them. The only question is whether they happened in England, in Toulouse, or in Aquitaine. Freeman exposed his own ignorance by alleging that Grim meant the suppression of the free lances, which happened before Becket became Chancellor. He did not in fact know the subject half so well as Froude, though Froude might have more carefully qualified his general words. Froude's account of Becket's appointment to the Archbishopric of Canterbury, his scruples, and how he overcame them, is described by Freeman as "pure fiction." It was taken from William of Canterbury, and, though open to doubt upon some points, is quite as likely to be true as the narrative preferred by Freeman. The most serious error, indeed the only serious error, attributed by Freeman to Froude is the statement that Becket's murderers were shielded from punishment by the King. Freeman alleges with his usual confidence that they could not be tried in a secular court because their victim was a bishop. It is doubtful whether a lay tribunal ever admitted such a plea, and the Constitutions of Clarendon, which were in force at the time of Becket's assassination, abolished clerical privileges altogether. Here Froude was almost certainly right, and Freeman almost certainly wrong.

But Freeman was not content with making mountains of mole-hills, with speaking of a great historian as if he were a pretentious dunce. He stooped to write the words, "Natural kindliness, if no other feeling, might have kept back the fiercest of partisans from ignoring the work of a long-forgotten brother, and from dealing stabs in the dark at a brother's almost forgotten fame." The meaning of this sentence, so far as it has a meaning, was that Hurrell Froude composed a fragment on the Life of Becket which the mistaken kindness of friends published after his own premature death. If Froude had written anonymously against this work, the phrase "stabs in the dark" would have been intelligible. As he had written in his own name, and had not mentioned his brother's work at all, part at least of the accusation was transparently and obviously false.

At last, however, Freeman had gone too far. Froude had borne a great deal, he could bear no more; and he took up a weapon which Freeman never forgot. I can well recall, as can hundreds of others, the appearance in The Nineteenth Century for April, 1879, of "A Few Words on Mr. Freeman." They were read with a sense of general pleasure and satisfaction, a boyish delight in seeing a big bully well thrashed before the whole school. Froude was so calm, so dignified, so self- restrained, so consciously superior to his rough antagonist in temper and behaviour. Only once did he show any emotion. It was when he spoke of the dastardly attempt to strike him through the memory of his brother. "I look back upon my brother," he said, "as on the whole the most remarkable man I have ever met in my life. I have never seen any person—not one—in whom, as I now think of him, the excellences of intellect and character were combined in fuller measure. Of my personal feeling towards him I cannot speak. I am ashamed to have been compelled, by what I can only describe as an inexcusable insult, to say what I have said." It was not difficult to show that Freeman's four articles in The Contemporary Review contained worse blunders than any he had attributed to Froude, as, for instance, the allegation that Henry VIII., who founded bishoprics and organised the defence of the country, squandered away all that men before his time had agreed to respect. Easy also was it to disprove the charge of "hatred towards the English Church at all times and under all characters" by the mere mention of Cranmer, Latimer, Ridley, and Hooper. The statement that Froude had been a "fanatical votary" of the mediaeval Church was almost delicious in the extravagance of its absurdity; and it would have been impossible better to retort the wild charges of misrepresentation, in which it is hard to suppose that even Freeman himself believed, than by the simple words, "It is true that I substitute a story in English for a story in Latin, a short story for a long one, and a story in a popular form for a story in a scholastic one." In short, Froude wrote a style which every scholar loves, and every pedant hates. With a light touch, but a touch which had a sting, Froude disposed of the nonsense which made him translate praedictae rationes "shortened rations" instead of "the foregoing accounts," and in a graver tone he reminded the public that his offer to test the accuracy of his extracts from unprinted authorities had been refused. Graver still, and not without indignation, is his reference to Freeman's suggestion that he thought the Cathedral Church of St. Albans had been destroyed. Most people, when they finished Froude's temperate but crushing refutation, must have felt the opportunity for it should ever surprised that have arisen.

Froude had done his work at last, and done it thoroughly. Freeman's plight was not to be envied. If his offence had been rank, his punishment had been tremendous. Even The Spectator, which had hitherto upheld him through thick and thin, admonished him that he had passed the bounds of decency and infringed the rules of behaviour. Dreading a repetition of the penalty if he repeated the offence, fearing that silence would imply acquiescence in charges of persistent calumny, he blurted out a kind of awkward half-apology. He confessed, in The Contemporary Review for May, 1879, that he had criticised in The Saturday all the volumes of Froude's Elizabeth. This self-constituted champion proceeded to say that he knew nothing about Froude's personal character, and that when he accused Froude of stabbing his dead brother "in the dark" he only meant that the brother was dead. When he says that Froude's article was "plausible, and more than plausible," he is quite right. It is more than plausible, because it is true. After vainly trying to explain away some of the errors brought home to him by Froude, and leaving others unnoticed, he complains, with deep and obvious sincerity, that Froude had not read his books, nor even his articles in Encyclopaedias. He exhibits a striking instance of his own accuracy. In his defence against the rather absurd charge of not going, as Macaulay had gone, to see the places about which he wrote, Froude pleaded want of means. Freeman rejoined that Macaulay was at one time of his life "positively poor." He was so for a very short time when his Fellowship at Trinity came to an end. Unluckily for Freeman's statement the period was before his appointment to be Legal Member of Council in India, and long before he had begun to write his History of England. The most charitable explanation of an erroneous statement is usually the correct one, and it was probably forgetfulness which made Freeman say that he did not hear of Froude's having placed copies of the Simancas manuscripts in the British Museum till 1878, whereas he had himself discussed it in The Pall Mall Gazette eight years before. If Froude had made such an astonishing slip, there would have been more ground for imputing to him an incapacity to distinguish between truth and falsehood. Freeman's "Last Words on Mr. Froude" show no sign of penitence or good feeling, and they end with characteristic bluster about the truth, from which he had so grievously departed. But Froude was never troubled with him again.

Although a refuted detractor is not formidable in the flesh, the evil that he does lives after him. Freeman's view of Froude is not now held by any one whose opinion counts; yet still there seems to rise, as from a brazen head of Ananias, dismal and monotonous chaunt, "He was careless of the truth, he did not make history the business of his life." He did make history the business of his life, and he cared more for truth than for anything else in the world. Freeman's biographer has given no clue to his imperfect sympathy with Froude. Green, true historian as he was, made more mistakes than Froude, and the mistakes he did make were more serious. He trespassed on the preserves of Brewer, who criticised him severely without deviating from the standard of a Christian and a gentleman. Even over the domain of Stubbs, and the consecrated ground of the Norman Conquest itself, Green ranged without being Freemanised as a poacher. But then Green was Freeman's personal friend, and in friendship Freeman was staunch. They belonged to the same set, and no one was more cliquish than Freeman. Liberal as he was in politics, he always professed the utmost contempt for the general public, and wondered what guided their strange tastes in literature. Dean Stephens has apparently suppressed most of the references to Froude in Freeman's private letters, and certainly he drops no hint of the controversy about Becket. But the following passage from his "Concluding Survey" is apparently aimed at Froude. Freeman, we are told, "was unable to write or speak politely"—and if the Dean had stopped there I should have had nothing to say; but he goes on—"of any one who pretended to more knowledge than he really had, or who enjoyed a reputation for learning which was undeserved; nay, more, he considered it to be a positive duty to expose such persons. In doing this he was often no doubt too indifferent to their feelings, and employed language of unwarranted severity which provoked angry retaliation, and really weakened the effect of his criticism, by diverting public sympathy from himself to the object of his attack. But it was quite a mistake to suppose, as many did, that his fierce utterances were the outcome of ill-temper or of personal animosity. He entertained no ill-will whatever towards literary or political opponents."

There is more to the same effect, and of course Froude must have been in Stephens's mind. But the reputation of a great historian is not to be taken away by hints. It may suit Freeman's admirers to seek refuge in meaningless generalities. Those who are grateful for Froude's services to England, and to literature, have no interest in concealment. Froude never "pretended to more knowledge than he really had." So far from "enjoying a reputation for learning which was undeserved," he disguised his learning rather than displayed it, and wore it lightly, a flower. That Freeman should have "considered it to be a positive duty to expose" a man whose knowledge was so much wider and whose industry was so much greater than his own is strange. That he did his best for years, no doubt from the highest motives, to damage Froude's reputation, and to injure his good name, is certain. With the general reader he failed. The public had too much sense to believe Froude was merely, or chiefly, or at all, an ecclesiastical pamphleteer. But by dint of noisy assertion, and perpetual repetition, Freeman did at last infect academic coteries with the idea that Froude was a superficial sciolist. The same thing had been said of Macaulay, and believed by the same sort of people. Froude's books were certainly much easier to read than Freeman's. Must they therefore have been much easier to write? Two-thirds of Froude's mistakes would have been avoided, and Freeman would never have had his chance, if the former had had a keener eye for slips in his proof-sheets, or had engaged competent assistance. When he allowed Wilhelmus to be printed instead of Willelmus, Freeman shouted with exultant glee that a man so hopelessly ignorant of mediaeval nomenclature had no right to express an opinion upon the dispute between Becket and the King. Nothing could exceed his transports of joy when he found out that Froude did not know the ancient name of Lisieux. Freeman thought, like the older Pharisees, that he should be heard for his much speaking, and for a time he was. People did not realise that so many confident allegations could be made in which there was no substance at all. They thought themselves safe in making allowance for Freeman's exaggeration, and Freeman simply bored many persons into accepting his estimate of Froude. Perhaps he went a little too far when he claimed to have found inaccuracies in Froude's transcripts from the Simancas manuscripts without knowing a word of Spanish. But he was seldom so frank as that. It was not often that he forgot his two objects of holding up Froude as the fluent, facile ignoramus, and himself as the profound, erudite student.

Just after reading Freeman's furious articles on Becket, I turned to Froude's "Index of Papers collected by me October, November, and December, 1856." It covers twenty-one pages, very closely written, and I will give a few extracts to show what sort of preparation this sciolist thought necessary for his ecclesiastical pamphlet. The first entry, representing four pages of text, is "Hanson's Description of England. Diet, habits, prices of provisions from Parliamentary History." Another is "Dress and loose habits of the London clergy in 1486. From Morton's Injunctions."

"State of the Abbey of St. Albans in 1489 shows that Froude was well acquainted with that subject many years before he wrote his Short Study on it. "The Bishops of all the Sees in England under Henry, date of appointment, etc.," is another of these items, which also comprise "Extracts from the so-called Privy Purse Expenses of Henry VIII." "Bulla Clementis Papae VII. concessa Regi Henrico de Secundis nuptiis. This contains the passage quocunque licito vel illicito coitu." "Petition of the Upper House of Convocation for the suppression of heretical books." "Royal Letter on the Articles of 1536 which were written, Henry says, by himself." "Elaborate and extremely valuable State Papers on the Duchy of Milan, and the dispute between the Emperor and Francis I." "Pole to James, the Fifth Letter of Warning." "Pole to the Pope, May 18th, 1537. N.B.—Very remarkable." "Remarkable State Paper drawn by Pole and addressed to the Pope at the time of the interview at Paris between Francis and the Emperor." "Privy Council to the Duke of Norfolk. Marquis of Exeter to Sir A. Brown. Promise of money. Directions to send relief to the Duke of Suffolk in Lincolnshire, etc." "Henry VIII. to the Duke of Norfolk about November 27th, 1536. Part of it in his own hand. High and chivalrous." "Curious account of the ferocity of the clergy in Lincolnshire." "Curious questions addressed to Fisher Bishop of Rochester on some treasonable foreign correspondence." "Learned men to be sent to preach to the disaffected counties. Henry's version of the causes of the insurrection—-N.B., and the cure." "Instructions to the Earl of Sussex for tranquillising the North after the Insurrection. Long and curious—noticeable list of accusations against the monastic bodies. In Wriothesley's hand." "Sir Francis Bigod to Sir Robert Constable. Very remarkable account of his unpopularity in the first rebellion from suspicion of heresy, January 18th, 1537." "Emperor at Paris, 1539. War between France and England. Secret causes why the Emperor made a secret peace with France." "Lord Lisle to Henry VIII. on his chance of running down the French fleet as they lay at anchor, July 21st, 1545." "Losses of the old families by the suppression—new foundation by Henry VIII. Bishoprics, hospitals, colleges, etc." "The Abbot of Coggeshall hides jewels, makes away goods, maintains Rome and consults the devil." "Henry VIII. to Justices of the Peace, admonition for neglect of duty. Highly in character." "King's Highness having discovered all the enormities of the clergy, pardons all that is past, and exhorts them to a Christian life in all time to come."

During the three months to which alone this list refers Froude must have read and studied more than four hundred pages of important documents. If any one wishes to form a correct judgment of Froude as an historian, he can scarcely begin better than by reversing every statement that Freeman felt it his duty to make. Froude came to write about the sixteenth century after careful study of previous times. He prepared himself for his task by patient research among letters and manuscripts such as Freeman never thought of attempting. He neglected no source of information open to him, and he obtained special privileges for searching Spanish archives which entailed upon him the severest labour. He studied not only at Simancas, where none had been before him, but also in Paris, in Brussels, in Vienna. The documents he read were in half a dozen languages, sometimes in the vilest scrawls. Long afterwards he described his own experience in his own graphic way. "Often at the end of a page," he said, "I have felt as after descending a precipice, and have wondered how I got down. I had to cut my way through a jungle, for no one had opened the road for me. I have been turned into rooms piled to the window-sill with bundles of dust-covered despatches, and told to make the best of it. Often I have found the sand glistening on the ink where it had been sprinkled when a page was turned. There the letter had lain, never looked at again since it was read and put away." Out of such materials Froude wrote a History which any educated person can read with undisturbed enjoyment. He was too good an artist to let his own difficulties be seen, and they were assumed not to exist. Froude did not write, like Stubbs, for professional students alone; he wrote for the general public, for those whom Freeman affected to despise. So did Macaulay, whom Freeman idolised. So did Gibbon, the greatest historian of all time. Froude's History covered the most controversial period in the growth of the English Church. Lynx-eyed critics, with their powers sharpened by partisanship, searched it through and through for errors the most minute. Some of course they found. But they did not find one which interfered with the main argument, and such evidence as has since been discovered confirms Froude's proposition that the cause of Henry was the cause of England. Freeman's Norman Conquest has secured for him an honourable fame; his attacks upon Froude, until they have been forgotten, will always be a reproach to his memory.

It was with just pride, and natural satisfaction, that Froude wrote to Lady Derby in May, 1890: "I am revising my English History for a final edition. Since I wrote it the libraries and archives of all Europe have been searched and sifted. I am fairly astonished to find how little I shall have to alter. The book is of course young, but I do not know that it is the worse on that account. That fault at any rate I shall not try to cure."

The Divorce of Katharine of Aragon, though not published till 1891, is a sequel to the History. The twenty years which had intervened did not lead Froude to modify any of his main conclusions, and he was able to furnish new evidence in support of them. The correspondence of Chapuys, Imperial Ambassador at the court of Henry VIII., puts Fisher's treason beyond doubt, and proves that the bishop was endeavouring to procure an invasion by Spanish troops when the king, in Freeman's language, "slaughtered" him. The next year Froude brought out, in a volume with other essays, his Spanish Story of the Armada, written in his raciest manner, and proving from Spanish sources the grotesque incompetence of Medina Sidonia. There are few better narratives in the language, and the enthusiastic admiration of a great American humourist was as well deserved as it is charmingly expressed.

"The other night," wrote Bret Harte, "I took up Longman's Magazine* and began to lazily read something about the Spanish Armada. My knowledge of that historic event, I ought to say, is rather hazy; I remember a vague something about Drake playing bowls while the Spanish fleet was off the coast, and of Elizabeth going to Tilbury en grande tenue, but there was always a good deal of 'Jingo' shouting and Crystal Palace fireworks about it, and it never seemed real. In the article I was reading the style caught me first; I became tremendously interested; it was a new phase of the old story, and yet there was something pleasantly familiar. I turned to the last page quickly, and saw your blessed name. I had heard nothing about it before. Then I went through it breathlessly to the last word, which came all too soon. And now I am as eager for the next instalment as I was when a boy for the next chapter of my Dickens or Thackeray. Don't laugh, dear old fellow, over my enthusiasm or my illustration, but remember that I represent a considerable amount of average human nature, and that's what we all write for, and ought to write for, and be dashed to the critics who say to the contrary! I thought your parallel of Philip and Don Quixote delightful, but the similitude of Medina Sidonia and Sancho Panza is irresistible. That letter to Philip is Sancho's own hand! Where did you get it? How long have you had it up your sleeve? Have you got any more such cards to play? Can you not give us a picture of those gentlemen adventurers with their exalted beliefs, their actual experiences, their little jealousies, and the love-lorn Lope de Vega in their midst? What mankind you have come upon, dear Froude! How I envy you! Have you nothing to spare for a poor literary man like myself, who has made all he could out of the hulk of a poor old Philippine galleon on Pacific seas? Couldn't you lend me a Don or a galley-slave out of that delightful crew of solemn lunatics? And yet how splendid are those last orders of the Duke! With what a swan-like song they sailed away!"

— * The successor to Fraser. —

The letter from Medina Sidonia to Philip, which reminded both Froude and Bret Harte of Sancho Panza, is too delicious not to be given in full.

"My health is bad, and from my small experience of the water I know that I am always sea-sick. I have no money which I can spare, I owe a million ducats, and I have not a real to spend on my outfit. The expedition is on such a scale, and the object is of such high importance, that the person at the head of it ought to understand navigation and sea-fighting, and I know nothing of either. I have not one of those essential qualifications. I have no acquaintance among the officers who are to serve under me. Santa Cruz had information about the state of things in England; I have none. Were I competent otherwise, I should have to act in the dark by the opinion of others, and I cannot tell to whom I may trust. The Adelantado of Castile would do better than I. Our Lord would help him, for he is a good Christian, and has fought in several battles. If you send me, depend upon it, I shall have a bad account to render of my trust."*

— * Spanish Story of the Armada, pp. 19, 20. —

"Those last orders of the Duke"—the same Duke, by the way—are "splendid" enough of their kind. "From highest to lowest you are to understand the object of our expedition, which is to recover countries to the Church now oppressed by the enemies of the true faith. I therefore beseech you to remember your calling, so that God may be with us in what we do. I charge you, one and all, to abstain from profane oaths, dishonouring to the names of our Lord, our Lady, and the Saints. All personal quarrels are to be suspended while the expedition lasts, and for a month after it is completed. Neglect of this will be held as treason. Each morning at sunrise the ship-boys, according to custom, will sing 'Good Morrow' at the foot of the mainmast, and at sunset the 'Ave Maria.' Since bad weather may interrupt the communications the watchword is laid down for each day in the week: Sunday, Jesus; the days succeeding, the Holy Ghost, the Holy Trinity, Santiago, the Angels, All Saints, and Our Lady."*

— * Spanish Story of the Armada, pp. 27, 28. —

"God and one," it has been said, "make a majority." But in this case
God was not on the side of the pious and incompetent Medina Sidonia.

It was not till this same year 1892, after Freeman's death, that the "Calendar of Letters and State Papers relative to English affairs preserved principally in the Archives of Simancas" began to be published in England by the Master of the Rolls. Translated by an eminent scholar, Mr. Martin Hume, and printed in a book, they could have been read by Freeman himself, and can be read by any one who cares to undertake the task. They will at least give some idea of the enormous labour undergone by Froude in his several sojourns at Simancas. I cannot profess to have instituted a systematic comparison, but a few specimens selected at random show that Froude summarised fairly the documents with which he dealt. That there should be some discrepancies was inevitable.

Philip II. wrote a remarkably bad hand, and his Ambassadors were not chosen for their penmanship. The most striking fact in the case is that Mr. Hume has derived assistance from Froude in the performance of his own duties. "I have," he writes in his Introduction, "very carefully compared the Spanish text when doubtful with Mr. Froude's extracts and copies and with transcripts of many of the letters in the British Museum." Nothing could give a better idea than this sentence of the difficulties which Froude had to surmount, or of the fidelity with which he surmounted them. He had not only achieved his own object: he also smoothed the path of future labourers in the same field. It was the inaccessibility of the records at Simancas that enabled Freeman to accuse Froude of not correctly transcribing or abstracting manuscripts. Like other people, he made mistakes; but mistakes have to be weighed as well as counted, and even in enumerating Froude's we must always remember that he used more original matter than any other modern historian.



Froude had made history the business of his life, and he had no sooner completed his History of England than he turned his attention to the sister people. The Irish chapters in his great book had been picked out by hostile critics as especially good, and in them he had strongly condemned the cruel misgovernment of an Englishman otherwise so humane as Essex. While he was in Ireland he had examined large stores of material in Dublin, which he compared with documents at the Record Office in London, and he contemplated early in 1871, if not before, a book on Irish history. For this task he was not altogether well qualified. The religion of Celtic Ireland was repugnant to him, and he never thoroughly understood it. In religious matters Froude could not be neutral. Where Catholic and Protestant came into conflict, he took instinctively, almost involuntarily, the Protestant side. In the England of the sixteenth century the Protestant side was the side of England. In Ireland the case was reversed, and the spirit of Catholicism was identical with the spirit of nationality. Irish Catholics to this day associate Protestantism with the sack of Drogheda and Wexford, with the detested memory of Oliver Cromwell. To Froude, as to Carlyle, Cromwell was the minister of divine vengeance upon murderous and idolatrous Papists. His liking for the Irish, though perfectly genuine, was accompanied with an underlying contempt which is more offensive to the objects of it than the hatred of an open foe. He regarded them as a race unfit for self-government, who had proved their unworthiness of freedom by not winning it with the sword. If they had not quarrelled among themselves, and betrayed one another, they would have established their right to independence; or, if there had been still an Act of Union, they could have come in, as the Scots came, on their own terms. For an Englishman to write the history of Ireland without prejudice he must be either a cosmopolitan philosopher, or a passionless recluse. Froude was an ardent patriot, and his early studies in hagiology had led him to the conclusion, not now accepted, that St. Patrick never existed at all. His scepticism about St. Patrick might have been forgiven to a man who had probably not much belief in St. George. But Froude could not help running amok at all the popular heroes of Ireland. In the first of his two papers describing a fortnight in Kerry he went out of his way to depreciate the fame of Daniel O'Connell. "Ireland," he wrote, "has ceased to care for him. His fame blazed like a straw bonfire, and has left behind it scarce a shovelful of ashes. Never any public man had it in his power to do so much good for his country, nor was there ever one who accomplished so little."*

— * Short Studies, vol. ii. p. 241. —

That O'Connell wasted much time in clamouring for Repeal is perfectly true. But he was as much the author of Catholic Emancipation as Cobden was the author of Free Trade, and that fact alone should have debarred Froude from the use of this extravagant language. For though an article in Fraser's Magazine is a very different thing from a serious history, print imposes some obligations, and even two or three casual sentences may show the bent of a man's mind. Whatever Froude wrote on Ireland, or on anything else, was sure to be widely read, and to affect, for good or for evil, the opinion of the British public. It was therefore peculiarly incumbent on him not to flatter English pride by wounding Irish self-respect.

While Froude was writing his English in Ireland he received an invitation to give a series of lectures in the United States. "The Yankees," he says to Skelton,+ "have written to me about going over to lecture to them. I am strongly tempted; but I could not tell the truth about Ireland without reflecting in a good many ways on my own country. I don't fancy doing that, however justly, to amuse Jonathan." These words certainly do not show implacable bitterness against Ireland. Brought face to face with responsibility, Froude always felt the weight of it, and he was never consciously unfair. He was under a strong sense of obligation, which he felt bound to fulfil. It is impossible not to admire the chivalrous and intrepid spirit with which he undertook singlehanded to justify the conduct of his countrymen before the American people, and to persuade them that England had provocation for her treatment of Ireland. Once convinced that his cause was righteous, he never flinched. He believed that false views of the Irish question prevailed in America, and that he could set them right. He did not altogether underrate the magnitude of the enterprise. "I go like an Arab of the desert," he wrote to Skelton a little later: "my hand will be against every man, and therefore every man's hand will be against me."* A belief in Ireland's wrongs was part of the American creed, like the faithlessness of Charles II. and the tyranny of George III. Irish Americans had enormous influence at elections, in Congress, and in the newspapers. Released Fenians, O'Donovan Rossa among them, had been spreading what they called the light, and their own countrymen at all events believed what they said. The American people as a whole were not unfriendly to England. The Alabama Arbitration and the Geneva Award had destroyed the ill feeling that remained after the fall of Richmond. But it was not worth the while of any American politician to alienate the Irish vote, and most Americans honestly thought, not without reason, that the policy of England in Ireland had been abominable. To let sleeping dogs lie might be wise. Once they were unchained, no American hand would help to chain them up again. Froude, however, conceived that circumstances were unusually favourable. The Irish Church had been disestablished, and the Fenian prisoners had been set free. The Irish Land Act of 1870 had recognised the Irish tenant's right to a partnership in the soil. Although Froude had no sympathy, ecclesiastical or political, with Gladstone, he did think that the Land Act was a just and beneficent measure from which good would come. In the firm belief that he could vindicate the statesmanship of his own country before American audiences without sacrificing the paramount claims of truth and justice, he accepted the invitation.

+ Table Talk of Shirley, p. 149.
* Table Talk of Shirley, p. 151.

After a summer cruise in a big schooner with his friend Lord Ducie, whose hospitality at sea he often in coming years enjoyed, Froude sailed from Liverpool in the Russia at the end of September, 1872, with the distinguished physicist John Tyndall. He was a good sailor, and loved a voyage. In his first letter to his wife from American soil he describes a storm with the delight of a schoolboy. "On Saturday morning it blew so hard that it was scarcely possible to stand on deck. The wind and waves dead ahead, and the whole power of the engines only just able to move the ship against it. It was the grandest sight I ever witnessed—the splendid Russia, steady as if she were on a railway, holding her straight course without yielding one point to the sea—up the long hill-sides of the waves and down into the troughs—the crests of the sea all round as far as the eye could reach in one wild whirl of foam and spray. It was worth coming into the Atlantic to see—with the sense all the time of perfect security."

Froude's visit was in one respect well timed. President Grant had just been assured of his second term, and even politicians had leisure to think of their famous guest. He was at once invited to a great banquet in New York, and found himself lodged with sumptuous hospitality in a luxurious hotel at the expense of the Bureau which had organised the lectures. One newspaper quaintly described him as "looking like a Scotch farmer, with an open frank face and calm mild eyes." His History was well known, for the Scribners had sold a hundred and fifty thousand copies. His opinions were of course freely invited, and he did not hesitate to give them. "I talk much Toryism to them all, and ridicule the idea of England's decay, or of our being in any danger of revolution; and with Colonies and India and Commerce, etc., I insist that we are just as big as they are, and have just as large a future before us." Both Froude and his hosts might have remembered with advantage Disraeli's fine saying that great nations are those which produce great men. But the sensual idolatry of mere size is almost equally common on both sides of the Atlantic.

The banquet was given by Froude's American publishers, the Scribners, and his old acquaintance Emerson was one of the company. Another was a popular clergyman, Henry Ward Beecher, and a third was the present Ambassador of the United States in London, Mr. Whitelaw Reid. In his speech Froude referred to the object of his visit. He had heard at home that "one of the most prominent Fenian leaders," O'Donovan Rossa, "was making a tour in the United States, dilating upon English tyranny and the wrongs of Ireland." That Froude should cross the seas to confute O'Donovan Rossa must have struck the audience as scarcely credible, until he explained his mission, for as such he regarded it, by asserting that "the judgment of America has more weight in Ireland than twenty batteries of English cannon." When the Irish had the management of their own affairs, he continued, the result was universal misery. They could not govern themselves in the sixteenth century; therefore they could not govern themselves in the nineteenth. If American opinion would only tell the Irish that they had no longer any grievances which legislation could redress, the Irish would believe it, and all would be well.

Though courteously treated as a representative Englishman, Froude had of course no official position, and he hoped that as a private individual his voice might be heard. But, while there were thousands of native Americans who had no love for their Irish fellow-citizens, there were very few indeed who cared to take up England's case against Ireland. The Democratic party were inclined to sympathise with Home Rule as being a mild form of Secession, and the Republican party did not see why Ireland should be refused the qualified independence enjoyed by every State of the Union. In these unfavourable circumstances Froude delivered his first lecture. He made a good point when he described the Irish peasant in Munster or Connaught looking to America as his natural protector. "There is not a lad," he exclaimed, "in an Irish national school who does not pore over the maps of the States which hang on the walls, gaze on them with admiration and hope, and count the years till he too shall set his foot in those famous cities which float before his imagination like the gardens of Aladdin." Nevertheless he asked his hearers and readers to take it from him that Ireland had no longer any good ground of complaint against the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Independence she could not have, and that not because the interests of Great Britain forbade it, which would have been an intelligible argument, but because she was unfit for it herself.

"If I were to sum up in one sentence the secret of Ireland's misfortunes, I should say it lay in this: that while from the first she has resisted England, complained of England, appealed to heaven and earth against the wrongs which England has inflicted on her, she has ever invited others to help her, and has never herself made an effective fight for her own rights …. A majority of hustings votes might be found for a separation. The majority would be less considerable if instead of a voting-paper they were called to handle a rifle."

To tell Irishmen that they could obtain liberty by fighting for it, and would never get it in any other way, was not likely to conciliate them, or to promote the cause of peace. Froude's appeal to American opinion, however, was more practical.

"The Irishman requires to be ruled, but ruled as all men ought to be, by the laws of right and wrong, laws which shall defend the weak from the strong and the poor from the rich. When the poor peasant is secured the reward of his own labour, and is no longer driven to the blunderbuss to save himself and his family from legalised robbery, if he prove incorrigible then, I will give him up. But the experiment remains to be made."

An example had been set by Gladstone in the Land Act, and that was the path which further legislation ought to follow. So far there would not be much disagreement between Froude and most Irish Americans. Rack-renting upon the tenants' improvements was the bane of Irish agriculture, and the Act of 1870 was precisely what Froude described it, a partial antidote. Then the lecturer reverted to ancient history, to the Annals of the Four Masters, and the Danish invasion. The audience found it rather long, and rather dull, even though Dublin, Wexford, Waterford, Cork, and Limerick were all built by the Danes. But a foundation had to be laid, and Froude felt bound also to make it clear that he did not take the old Whig view of Government as a necessary evil, or swear by the "dismal science" of Adam Smith.

He concluded his first lecture in words which at once defined his position and challenged the whole Irish race. "It was not tyranny," he cried, "but negligence; it was not the intrusion of English authority, but the absence of all authority; it was that very leaving Ireland to herself which she demands so passionately that was the cause of her wretchedness." After that it was hopeless to expect that he would have an impartial hearing. Every Irishman understood that the lecturer was an enemy, and was prepared not to read for instruction, but to look out for mistakes. An article in The New York Tribune, which spoke of Froude with admiration and esteem, told him plainly enough how it would be. "We have had historical lecturers before, but never any who essayed with such industry, learning, and eloquence to convince a nation that its sympathies for half a century at least have have been misplaced …. The thesis which he only partly set out for the night—that the misfortunes of Ireland are rather due to the congenital qualities of the race than to wrongs inflicted by their conquerors—will excite earnest and perhaps bitter controversy." This prediction was abundantly fulfilled, and the controversy spoiled the tour. A friendly and sympathetic journalist questioned Froude's "wisdom in coming before our people with this course of lectures on Irish history … We do not care for the domestic troubles of other nations, and it is a piece of impertinence to thrust them upon our attention. Mr. Froude knows perfectly well that England would resent, and rightfully, the least interference on our part with her Irish policy or her Irish subjects."

In this criticism there is a large amount of common sense, and Froude would have done well to think of it before. He was not, however, a man to be put down by clamour; he was sustained by the fervour of his convictions, and it was too late for remonstrance. His lectures had all been carefully prepared, and he went steadily on with them. The unusual charge of dullness, which had been made against some passages in his opening discourse, was never made again. The lectures became a leading topic of conversation, and a subject of fierce attack. Without fear, and in defiance of his critics, he dashed into the reign of Henry VIII., "the English Blue Beard, whom I have been accused of attempting to whitewash." "I have no particular veneration for kings," he said. "The English Liturgy speaks of them officially as most religious and gracious. They have been, I suppose, as religious and gracious as other men, neither more nor less. The chief difference is that we know more of kings than we know of other men." Henry had a short way with absentees. He took away their Irish estates, "and gave them to others who would reside and attend to their work. It would have been confiscation doubtless," beyond the power of American Congress, though not of a British Parliament. "If in later times there had been more such confiscations, Ireland would not have been the worse for it." Here, then, Froude was on the side of the Irish. Here, as always, he was under the influence of Carlyle. His ideal form of government was an enlightened despotism, with a ruler drawn after the pattern of children's story-books, who would punish the wicked and reward the good. Froude never consciously defended injustice, or tampered with the truth. His faults were of the opposite kind. He could not help speaking out the whole truth as it appeared to him, without regard for time, place, or expediency. If he could have defended England without attacking Ireland, all would have been well, but he could not do it. For his defence of England, stated simply, was that Ireland had always been, and still remained, incapable of managing her own affairs. "Free nations, gentlemen, are not made by playing at insurrection. If Ireland desires to be a nation, she must learn not merely to shout for liberty, but to fight for it" against a bigger nation with a standing army in which many Irishmen were enlisted. The Irish are a sensitive as well as a generous race; and they feel taunts as much as more substantial wrongs. When the first British statesman of his time, not a Roman Catholic, nor, as the Irish would have said, a Catholic at all, had denounced the upas, or poison, tree of Protestant ascendency, and had cut off its two principal branches, Froude wasted his breath in telling the American Irish, or the American people, that Gladstone did not know what he was talking about. The Irish Church Act, the Irish Land Act, the release of the Fenians, appealed to them as honest measures of justice and conciliation. There was nothing conciliatory in Froude's language, and they did not think it just. From the purely historical point of view he had much to say for himself, as, for instance:

"The Papal cause in Europe in the sixteenth century, take it for all in all, was the cause of stake and gibbet, inquisition, dungeons, and political tyranny. It did not lose its character because in Ireland it assumed the accidental form of the defence of the freedom of opinion."

Perhaps not. Ireland, for good or for evil, was connected with England, and when England was at war with the Pope she was at war with him in Ireland as elsewhere. The argument, however, is double- edged. The Papal cause being no longer, for various reasons, the cause of stake and gibbet, how could there be the same ground for restricting freedom of opinion in Ireland, for passing Coercion Acts, for refusing Home Rule? As Froude himself said, "Popery now has its teeth drawn. It can bark, but it can no longer bite." "The Irish generally," he went on, "were rather superstitious than religious." These. are delicate distinctions. "The Bishop of Peterborough must understand," said John Bright on a famous occasion, "that I believe in holy earth as little as he believes in holy water." Elizabeth's Irish policy was to take advantage of local factions, and to maintain English supremacy by setting them against each other. "The result was hideous. The forty-five glorious years of Elizabeth were to Ireland years of unremitting wretchedness." Nobody could complain that Froude spared the English Government. If he had been writing history, or rather when he was writing it, the mutual treachery of the Irish could not be passed over. "Alas and shame for Ireland," said Froude in New York. "Not then only, but many times before and after, the same plan [offer of pardon to murderous traitors] was tried, and was never known to fail. Brother brought in the dripping head of brother, son of father, comrade of comrade. I pardon none, said an English commander, until they have imbued their hands in blood." The revival of such horrors on a public platform could serve no useful purpose. They could not be pleaded as an apology for England, and they inflamed, instead of soothing, the animosities which Froude professed himself anxious to allay. Yet he never lost sight of justice. On Elizabeth he had no mercy. He made her responsible for the slaughter of men, women, and children by her officers, for first neglecting her duties as ruler, and then putting down rebellion by assassination. The plantation of Ulster by 'James I., and the accompanying forfeiture of Catholic estates, he defended on the ground that only the idle rich were dispossessed. This is of course socialism pure and simple. James I.'s own excuse was that Tyrone and Tyrconnell, who owned the greater part of Ulster between them, had been implicated in the Gunpowder Plot. If they were, the loss of their lands was a very mild penalty indeed.

On the rebellion of 1641, which led to Cromwell's terrible retribution, Froude touched lightly. Although the number of Protestants who perished in the massacre has been exaggerated, the attempts of Catholic historians to deny it, or explain it away, are futile. Sir William Petty's figure of 38,000 is as well authenticated as any. Froude of course justifies Cromwell for putting, eight years afterwards, the garrisons of Drogheda and Wexford to the sword. His characteristic intrepidity was never more fully shown than in these appeals to American opinion against the Irish race and creed. Unfortunately the practical result of them was the reverse of what he intended. He preached the gospel of force. Thus he expressed it in reply to Cromwell's critics: "I say frankly, that I believe the control of human things in this world is given to the strong, and those who cannot hold their own ground with all advantage on their side must bear the Consequences of their weakness." The Holy Inquisition, might have used this language in Italy or in Spain. Any tyrant might use it at any time. It was denied in anticipation by an older and higher authority than Carlyle in the words "The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong." There is a better morality, if indeed there be a worse, than reverence for big battalions.

Sceptre and crown
Must topple down,
And in the earth be equal made
With the poor crooked scythe and spade;

Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet and blossom in their dust.

Froude seldom did things by halves, and his apology for Cromwell is not half-hearted. He applauds the celebrated pronouncement, "I meddle with no man's conscience; but if you mean by liberty of conscience, liberty to have the mass, that will not be suffered where the Parliament of England has power." A great deal has happened since Cromwell's time, and the mass is no longer the symbol of intolerance, if only because the Church of Rome has no power to persecute. Cromwell would have had a short shrift if he had fallen into the hands of mass-goers. To tolerate intolerance is a Christian duty, and therefore possible for an individual. Whether it was possible for the Lord General in 1650 is a question hardly suited for popular treatment on a public platform. All that he did was right in Froude's eyes, including the prescription of "Hell or Connaught" for "the men whose trade was fighting, who had called themselves lords of the soil," and the abolition of the Irish Parliament. "I as an Englishman," said Froude, "honour Cromwell and glory in him as the greatest statesman and soldier our race has produced. In the matter we have now in hand I consider him to have been the best friend, in the best sense, to all that was good in Ireland." This is of course an opinion which can honestly be held. But to the Irish race all over the world such language is an irritating defiance, and they simply would not listen to any man who used it.

The expulsion of Presbyterians under Charles II. was foolish as well as cruel, for it deprived the English Government in Ireland of their best friends, and supplied the American colonies with some of their staunchest soldiers in the War of Independence. Enough were left, however, to immortalise the siege of Derry, while the native Irish failed to distinguish themselves, or, in plain English, ran away, at the Battle of the Boyne, and the defeat of James II. was recognised by the Treaty of Limerick. An exclusively Protestant, Parliament was accompanied by such toleration as the Catholics had enjoyed under Charles II. The infamous law against the Irish trade in wool and the episcopal persecution of Nonconformists, were condemned in just and forcible terms by Froude. Episcopal shortcomings seldom escaped his vigilant eye. "I believe," he said, "Bishops have produced more mischief in this world than any class of officials that have ever been invented." The petition of the Irish Parliament for union with England in 1703 was refused, madly refused, Froude thought; Protestant Dissenters were treated as harshly as Catholics, and the commercial regulations of the eighteenth century were such that smuggling thrived better than any other trade. The country was pillaged by absent landlords, and "the mere hint of an absentee tax was sufficient to throw the younger Pitt into convulsions." The Irish Protestant Bishops provoked the savage satire of Swift, who doubted not that excellent men had been appointed, and only deplored that they should be personated by scoundrels who had murdered them on Hounslow Heath.

These lectures stung the Irish to the quick, and gave much embarrassment to Froude's American friends. The Irish found a powerful champion in Father Burke, the Dominican friar, who had been a popular preacher at Rome, and with an audience of his own Catholic countrymen was irresistible. Burke was not a well informed man, and his knowledge of history was derived from Catholic handbooks. But the occasion did not call for dry facts. Froude had not been passionless, and what the Irish wanted in reply was the rhetorical eloquence which to the Father was second nature. Burke, however, had the good taste and good sense to acknowledge that Froude suffered from nothing worse than the invincible prejudice which all Catholics attribute to all Protestants. As a Protestant and an Englishman, Froude could not be expected to give such a history of Ireland as would be agreeable to Irishmen. "Yet to the honour of this learned gentleman be it said that he frankly avows the injuries which have been done, and that he comes nearer than any man whom I have ever heard to the real root of the remedy to be applied to these evils." When his handling of documentary evidence was criticised, Froude repeated his challenge to the editor of The Saturday Review, which had never been taken up, and on that point the American sense of fair play gave judgment in his favour. But how was public opinion to pronounce upon such a subject as the alleged Bull of Adrian II., granting Ireland to Henry II of England? The Bull was not in existence, and Burke boldly denied that it had ever existed at all. Froude maintained that its existence and its nature were proved by later Bulls of succeeding Popes. The matter had no interest for Protestants, and the American press regarded it as a bore. Burke had more success with the rebellion of 1641, and the Cromwellian massacres of Such 1649. Such topics cannot be exhaustively treated in part of a single lecture, and Burke could not be expected to put the slaughter of true believers on a level with irregular justice roughly wreaked upon heretics. The combat was not so much unequal as impossible. There was no common groud. Froude could be fair to an eminent especially if he were a Protestant. His panegyric on Grattan deserves to be quoted alike for its eloquence and its justice. "In those singular labyrinths of intrigue and treachery," meaning the secret correspondence at the Castle, "I have found Irishmen whose names stand fair enough in patriotic history concerned in transactions that show them knaves and scoundrels; but I never found stain nor shadow of stain on the reputation of Henry Grattan. I say nothing of the temptations to which he was exposed. There were no honours with which England would not have decorated him; there was no price so high that England would not have paid to have silenced or subsidised him. He was one of those perfectly disinterested men who do not feel temptations of this kind. They passed by him and over him without giving him even the pains to turn his back on them. In every step of his life he was governed simply and fairly by what he conceived to be the interest of his country." Grattan's Parliament, as we all know, nearly perished in a dispute about the Regency, and finally disappeared after the rebellion of 1798. It gave the Catholics votes in 1793, though no Catholic ever sat within its walls. Grattan, according to Froude, was led astray by the "delirium of nationality," and the true Irish statesman of his time was Chancellor Fitzgibbon, Lord Clare, whose name is only less abhorred by Irish Nationalists than Cromwell's own. Americans did not think nationality a delirium, and their ideal of statesmanship was not represented by Lord Clare.

The fifth and last of Froude's American lectures was reprinted in Short Studies with the title of "Ireland since the Union."* It has a closer bearing upon current politics than the others, and it runs counter to American as well as to Irish sentiment. "Suppose in any community two-thirds who are cowards vote one way, and the remaining third will not only vote, but fight the other way." The argument has often been used against woman's suffrage. One obvious answer is that women, like men, would vote on different sides. In a community where two-thirds of the adult male population were cowards problems of government would doubtless assume a secondary importance, and that there are limits to the power of majorities no sane Constitutionalist denies.

— * Vol. ii. pp, 515-598. —

Short of making Carlyle Dictator of the Universe, Froude suggested no alternative to the ballot-box of civilised life. This last lecture, however, is chiefly remarkable for the rare tribute which it pays to the services of the Catholic priesthood. Father Burke himself must have been melted when he read, "Ireland is one of the poorest countries in Europe. There is less theft, less cheating, less house-breaking, less robbery of all sorts, than in any country of the same size in the world. In the wild district where I lived we slept with unlocked door and open windows, with as much security as if we had been—I will not say in London or New York, I should be sorry to try the experiment in either place: I will say as if we had been among the saints in Paradise. In the sixteenth century the Irish were notoriously regardless of what is technically morality. For the last hundred years at least impurity has been almost unknown in Ireland. And this absence of vulgar crime, and this exceptional delicacy and modesty of character, are due alike, to their ever- lasting honour, to the influence of the Catholic clergy." That is the testimony of an opponent, and it is emphatic testimony indeed. To O'Connell Froude is again conspicuously unjust, and his remark that "a few attacks on handfuls of the police, or the blowing in of the walls of an English prison . . . will not overturn an Empire" is open to the observation that they disestablished a Church. When Froude came to practical politics, he always seemed to be "moving about in worlds not realised." His statement that national education in Ireland was the best that existed in any part of the Empire almost takes one's breath away, and the idea that no Irish legislature would have passed the Land Act is a strange fantasy indeed. Whether an Irish Parliament could be trusted to deal fairly by the landlords is an open question. That it would fail to consider the interests of the tenants is unthinkable. Froude was on much firmer ground when he employed the case of Protestant Ulster, the Ulster of the Plantation, as an argument against Home Rule. Those Protestants would, he said, fight rather than submit to a Catholic majority, and England could not assent to shooting them down. There is only one real answer to this objection, and that is that Protestant Ulster would do nothing of the kind. A logical method of reconciling contradictory prophecies has never been found. In 1872 Home Rule had no support in England, and even in Ireland the electors were pretty equally divided. Froude did not lay hold of the American mind, as he might have done, by showing the inapplicability of the Federal System which suits the United States to the circumstances of the United Kingdom.

The impression made by Froude upon his audiences in New York is graphically described by an American reporter.

"Mr. Froude improved very much in delivery and manner during this course of lectures …. In his earlier lectures his ways were awkward, his speech was too rapid, and he did not know what in world to do with his hands. It was quite to see him run them under his coat tails, spread them across his shirt front, stick them in his breeches pockets, twirl them in the arm-holes his vest, or hold them behind his back. He has now found out how to dispose of them in a more or less natural way. His delivery is less rapid, his voice better modulated, and his enunciation more distinct …. One of his most effective peculiarities, in inviting the attention of his hearers, is the exceeding earnestness of the manner of his address. This earnestness is not like that of rant. It is the result of his own strong conviction and his desire to impress others." That is a fair and unprejudiced estimate of Froude as he appeared to a trained observer who took neither side in the dispute. Many Irishmen shook hands with him, and thanked him for his plain speaking. Bret Harte told him that even those who dissented most widely from his opinions admired his "grit." But politicians had to think of the Irish vote, and the proprietors of newspapers could not ignore their Catholic subscribers. The priests worked against him with such effect that Mr. Peabody's servants in Boston, who were Irish Catholics, threatened to leave their places if Froude remained as a guest in their master's house. Father Burke, who had begun politely enough, became obstreperous and abusive. Froude's life was in danger, and he was put under the special protection of the police. The English newspapers, except The Pall Mall Gazette, gave him no support, and The Times treated his enterprise as Quixotic. A preposterous rumour that he received payment from the British Ministry obtained circulation among respectable persons in New York. He had intended to visit the Western States, but the project was abandoned in consequence of growing Irish hostility which made him feel that further effort would be useless. It was not that he thought his arguments refuted, or capable of refutation. He had considered them too long, and too carefully, for that. But the well had been poisoned. The malicious imputation of bribery was caught up by the more credulous Irish, and their priests warned them that they would do wrong in listening to a heretic. As for the American people, they had no mind to take up the quarrel. It was no business of theirs.

Some extracts from Froude's letters to his wife will show how much he enjoyed American hospitality, and how far he appreciated American character. "I was received on Saturday," he wrote from New York on the 4th of October, 1872, "as a member of the Lotus Club—the wits and journalists of New York. It was the strangest scene I ever was present at. They were very clever—very witty at each other's expense, very complimentary to me; and, believe me, they worked the publishers who were present for the profit they were making out of me." He was agreeably surprised by the merchant princes of New York. "There is absolutely no vulgarity about them. They are immensely rich, but simple, and rather elaborately 'religious' in the forms of their lives. A very long grace is always said before dinner. In this and many ways they are totally unlike what I expected." Again, after a description of Cornell's University, he says, "There is Mr. Cornell, who has made all this, living in a little poky house in a street with a couple of maids, his wife and daughters dressed in the homeliest manner. His name will be remembered for centuries as having spent his wealth in the very best institutions on which a country's prosperity depends. Our people spend their fortunes in buying great landed estates to found and perpetuate their own family. I wonder which name will last the longest, Mr. Cornell's or Lord Overstone's." "There is no such thing," he says elsewhere, "as founding a family, and those who save good fortunes have to give them to the public when they die for want of a better use to put them to."

With sincerely religious people, especially if they were Evangelicals, Froude felt deep sympathy. Patronage of religion he detested, most of all the form of it which prescribes religion for other people. An American philosopher called, and told him that, having failed to find a new creed, he thought the old superstitions had better be kept up, Popery for choice. "This," remarks Froude, "is what I call want of faith. If you can believe that what you are convinced is a lie may nevertheless exert a wholesome moral influence on people, and that, whether true or not, or rather though certainly not true, it is good to be preserved and taken up with, you are to all practical purposes an atheist."

While he was at Boston Froude saw a great fire, and his description of it is hardly inferior to the best things in his best books. He was staying with George Peabody, equally well known in England and the United States as a philanthropist, "one of the sweetest and gentlest of beings." "As we were sitting after dinner, the children said there was a fire somewhere. They heard the alarm bell, and saw a red light in the sky. Presently we saw flames. Mr. Peabody was uneasy, and I walked out with him to see. Between the house here and the town lies the Common or City Park. As we crossed this, the signs became more ominous. We made our way into the principal street through the crowd, and then, looking down a cross street full of enormous warehouses, saw both sides of it in flames. The streets were full of steam fire-engines, all roaring and playing, but the houses were so high and large, and the volumes of fire so prodigious, that their water-jets looked like so many squirts. As we stood, we saw the fire grow. Block caught after block. I myself saw one magnificent store catch at the lower windows. In a few seconds the flame ran up storey after storey, spouting out at the different landings as it rose. It reached the roof with a spring, and the place was gone. There was nothing to stop it. Our people were sure that it would be another Chicago. The night was fine and frosty, with a light north-easterly breeze against which the fire was advancing. We stayed an hour or two. There seemed no danger for Mr. Peabody's bank. He was evidently, however, extremely harassed and anxious, as he held the bonds of innumerable merchants whose property was being destroyed. I thought I was in his way, and left him, and came home to tell the family what was going on. After I left the fire travelled faster than ever. Huge rolls of smoke swelled up fold after fold. The under folds crimson and glowing yellow from the flames below, sparks flying up like rocket stars. A petroleum store caught, and the flames ran about in rivers, and above all the steel blue moon shone through the rents of the rolling vapour, and the stars with an intensity of brilliant calm such as we never see in England. It was a night to be eternally remembered."

A great many Irish families were made homeless by this fire, and Froude subscribed seven hundred dollars for their relief, thereby encouraging the rumour that he was in the pay of the British Minister whom he disliked and distrusted most. Froude's final view of America and Americans was in some respects less favourable than his first impressions. He was struck by the difference between their public and private treatment of himself, between their conversation and the articles in their press. "From what I see of the Eastern States I do not anticipate any very great things as likely to come out of the Americans. Their physical frames seem hung together rather than organically grown …. They are generous with their money, have much tenderness and quiet good feeling; but the Anglo- Saxon power is running to seed, and I don't think will revive. Puritanism is dead, and the collected sternness of temperament which belonged to it is dead also."

This language seems strange, written as it was only seven years after the great war. Froude, however, considered that there was much hysterical passion in the policy of the North, and he shared Carlyle's dislike of democratic institutions. Moreover, he was disappointed with the result of his mission. The case seemed so clear to him that he could not understand why it should seem less clear to others. He believed that if the priests could have been driven out of Ireland by William of Orange, the more fanatical Catholics would have followed them, and Ireland would have become prosperous, contented, and loyal. To an American Republican such ideas were as repugnant as they were to an Irish Catholic. An American could understand the argument that Home Rule was impracticable, because a Federal Constitution did not apply to the circumstances of the United Kingdom. He would not readily believe that the Irish were by nature incapable of self-government, or that Englishmen must know better what was good for them than they knew themselves. For Cromwell he could make allowance. The Protector had to deal with a Catholicism which would have made an end of him and restored Charles II. But times had changed. Catholics had abandoned persecution, and ought not to be punished the sins of their fathers. The Irish did not claim, as the Southern States had claimed, the right to secede, but to exercise the powers inherent in every State of the American Union.

Carlyle warmly approved of Froude's undertaking, and persisted in believing that it had done good by forcing the American public to see that there were two sides to the historic question, an English side as well as an Irish one. He was so far right, and with that qualified success Froude had to be content. His champion, whose opinion was more to him than any other, than any number of others, wrote to Mrs. Froude on the 5th of December, 1872: "The rest of the affair, all that loud whirlwind of Bully Burke, Saturday Review and Co., both at home and abroad, I take to be, in essence, absolutely nothing; and to deserve from him no more regard than the barking of dogs, or the braying of asses. He may depend on it, what he is saying about Ireland is the genuine truth, or the nearest to it that has ever been said by any person whatever; and I hope he knows long ere this (if he likes to consider it) that the truth alone is anything, and all the circumambient balderdash and whirlwinds of nonsense tumbling round it are, and eternally remain, nothing. Tell him I have read his book, and know others that have read it with attention; and that their and my clear opinion is as above. To myself there is a ring in it as of clear steel; and my prophecy is that all the roaring blockheads of the world cannot prevent its natural effect on human souls. Sooner or later all persons will have to believe it." Carlyle seldom qualified his approval, and his earnest advocacy was to Froude a recompense beyond all price.

The first volume of Froude's English in Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, to which Carlyle refers, had been published at home while the author was lecturing on the Irish question to the people of the United States. Like the lectures, on a more thorough and comprehensive scale, it is a bold indictment of the Irish nation. Froude could not write without a purpose, nor forget that he was an Englishman and a Protestant. Before he had finished a single chapter of his new book he had stated in uncompromising language his opinion of the Irish race. "Passionate in everything—passionate in their patriotism, passionate in their religion, passionately courageous, passionately loyal and affectionate—they are without the manliness which would give strength and solidity to the sentimental part of their dispositions; while the surface and show is so seductive and winning that only experience of its instability can resist its charm."* Such summary judgments are seldom accurate. Every one must be acquainted with individual Irishmen who do not correspond with Froude's general description. Nor does Froude always take into account the shrewdness, the humour, the genius for politics, which have distinguished Irishmen throughout the world. Impressed with this view of the Irish character, he held that forbearance in dealing with Irish rebellions was misplaced, that Irishmen respected only an authority with which they durst not trifle, and that universal confiscation should have followed the defeat of Shan O'Neill.

— * Vol. i, pp. 21, 22, —

These, however, were preliminary matters. When he came to the eighteenth century Froude had to consider details, and here his prejudice against Catholicism led him astray. In the reign of George II. acts of lawless violence were not uncommon on this side of the Channel, and Richardson's Clarissa was read with a credulity which showed that abduction could be committed without being followed by punishment. In parts of Ireland it was not an infrequent offence, and Froude collected some abominable cases, which he described in his picturesque way.* As examples of disregard for humanity, and contempt for law, he was fully justified in citing them. But he endeavoured to throw responsibility for these outrages on the Roman Catholic Church. "Young gentlemen," he says, "of the Catholic persuasion were in the habit of recovering equivalents for the lands of which they considered themselves to have been robbed, and of recovering souls at the same time by carrying off young Protestant girls of fortune to the mountains, ravishing them with the most exquisite brutality, and then compelling them to go through a form of marriage, which a priest was always in attendance ready to celebrate."+ This is a very serious charge, perhaps as serious a charge as could well be made against a religious communion. It was an accusation improbable on the face of it; for while the Church of Rome in the course of her strange, eventful history has tampered with the sixth commandment, as Protestants call it, she has never underrated the virtue of chastity, and has always proclaimed a high standard of sexual morals. In his zeal to justify the penal laws against Catholics Froude accepted without sufficient inquiry evidence which could only have satisfied one willing to believe the worst.

* English in Ireland, vol. i. pp. 417-434.
+ Ibid., p. 417.

Several years afterwards, in 1878, the subject was fully discussed, and Froude's conclusions were shown to be unsound, by another historian, William Edward Hartpole Lecky. Lecky was a much more formidable critic than Freeman. Calm in temperament and moderate in language, he could take part in an historical controversy without getting into a rage. Freeman, after pages of mere abuse, would pounce with triumphant ejaculations upon a misprint. Lecky did not waste his time either on scolding or on trifles. The faults he found were grave, and his censure was not the less severe for being decorous. An Anglicised Irishman, living in England, though a graduate of Dublin University, Lecky became known when he was a very young man for a brilliant little book on Leaders of Irish Opinion. He had since published mature and valuable histories of rationalism, and of morals. His History of England in the Eighteenth Century is likely to remain a standard book, being written with fairness, lucidity, and candour. It is true that in his Irish chapters, with which alone I am concerned, Lecky, like Froude, wrote with a purpose. He was an Irish patriot, and bent on making out the best possible case for his own country.

At the same time he was, for an Irishman, singularly impartial between Catholic and Protestant, leaning, if at all, to the Protestant side. Yet he repudiated with indignant vehemence Froude's attempt to connect the Catholic Church with these atrocious crimes. I am bound to say that I think he disproves the charge of ecclesiastical complicity. The evidence upon which Froude relied, the only evidence accessible, is the collection of presentments by Grand Juries, with the accompanying depositions, in Dublin Castle. In the first sixty years of the eighteenth century there were twenty-eight cases of abduction thus recorded. In only four of them can it be shown that the perpetrator was a Catholic and the victim a Protestant. In only one, which Froude has described at much length, did the criminal try to make a Protestant girl attend mass. For one of the cases, which according to Froude went unpunished, two men were hanged. "The truth is," says Lecky, "that the crime was merely the natural product of a state of great lawlessness and barbarism."* These offences have so completely disappeared from Ireland that even the memory of them has perished, and yet Ireland remains as Catholic as ever. Arthur Young, who denounces them as scandalous to a civilised community, does not hint that they had anything to do with religion, nor were they ever cited in defence of the penal code. Froude was led astray by religious prejudice, and forgot for once the historian in the advocate. The penal codes were rather the cause than the effect of crime and outrage in Ireland. By setting authority on one side, and popular religion on the other, they made a breach of the law a pious and meritorious act. The bane of English rule in Ireland at that time was the treatment of Catholics as enemies, and the, Charter Schools which Froude praises were employed for the purpose of alienating children from the faith of their parents. This mean and paltry persecution strengthened instead of weakening the Roman Catholic Church.

— * England in the Eighteenth Century, ii. 365. —

Meanwhile Froude continued his History, and by the beginning of the year 1874 had brought it down to the Union, with which it concludes. No more unsparing indictment of a nation has ever been drawn. Except Lord Clare, and the Orange Lodges, formed after the Battle of the Diamond, scarcely an Irishman or an Irish institution spared. Grattan's Parliament, though it did contain a single Catholic, is condemned because it gave the Catholics votes in 1793. The recall of Lord Fitzwilliam, an Englishman and a Protestant, in 1795, is justified because he was in favour of emancipation. Flood and Curran are treated with disdain. Burke, though he was no more a Catholic than Froude himself, is told that he was not a true Protestant, and did not understand his own countrymen. Sir Ralph Abercrombie was possessed with an "evil spirit," because he urged that rebels should not be punished by soldiers without the sanction of the civil magistrate. His successor, General Lake, who was responsible for pitch-caps, receives a gentle, a very gentle, reprimand.

"The United Irishmen had affected the fashion of short hair. The loyalists called them Croppies, and if a Croppy prisoner stood silent when it was certain [without a trial] that he could confess with effect, paper or linen caps smeared with pitch were forced upon his head to bring him to his senses. Such things ought not to have been, and such things would not have been had General Lake been supplied with English troops, but assassins and their accomplices will not always be delicately handled by those whose lives they have threatened occasionally. Not a few men suffered who were innocent, so far as no definite guilt could be proved against them. At such times, however, those who are not actively loyal lie in the borderland of just suspicion."* That all Irish Catholics were guilty unless they could prove themselves to be innocent is a proposition which cannot be openly maintained, and vitiates history if it be tacitly assumed. Froude honestly and sincerely believed that the Irish people were unfit for representative government. He compares the Irish rebellion of 1798 with the Indian Mutiny of 1857, and suggests that Ireland should have been treated like Oude. Lord Moira, known afterwards as Lord Hastings, and Governor-General of India, is called a traitor because he sympathised with the aspirations of his countrymen. Lord Cornwallis is severely censured for endeavouring to infuse a spirit of moderation into the Executive after the rebellion had been put down. What Cornwallis thought of the means by which the Union was carried is well known. "I long," he said in 1799 "to kick those whom my public duty obliges me to court. My occupation is to negociate and job with the most corrupt people under heaven. I despise and hate myself every hour for engaging in such dirty work, and am supported only by the reflection that without a Union the British Empire must be dissolved." That is the real case for the Union, which could not be better stated than Cornwallis has stated it. Carried by corrupt means as it was, it might have met with gradual acquiescence if only it had been accompanied, as Pitt meant to accompany it, by Catholic emancipation. On this point Froude goes all lengths with George III., whose hatred of Catholicism was not greater than his own. In the development of his theory, he was courageous and consistent. He struck at great names, denouncing "the persevering disloyalty of the Liberal party, in both Houses of the English Legislature," including Fox, Sheridan, Tierney, Holland, the Dukes of Bedford and Norfolk, who dared to propose a policy of conciliation with Ireland, as Burke had proposed it with the American colonies. Even Pitt does not come up to Froude's standard, for Pitt removed Lord Camden, and sent out Lord Cornwallis.

— * English in Ireland, iii. 336. —

It is no disqualification for an historian to hold definite views, which, if he holds them, it must surely be his duty to express. The fault of The English in Ireland is to overstate the case, to make it appear that there was no ground for rebellion in 1798, and no objection to union in 1800. The whole book is written on the supposition that the Irish are an inferior race and Catholicism an inferior religion. So far as religion was concerned, Lecky did not disagree with Froude. But either because he was an Irishman, or because he had a judicial mind, he could see the necessity of understanding what Irish Catholics aimed at before passing judgment upon them. Froude could never get out of his mind the approval of treason and assassination to which in the sixteenth century the Vatican was committed. It may be fascinating polemics to taunt the Church of Rome with being "always the same." But as a matter of fact the Church is not the same. It improves with the general march of the progress that it condemns. Froude fairly and honourably quotes a crucial instance. Pitt "sought the opinion of the Universities of France and Spain on the charge generally alleged against Catholics that their allegiance to their sovereign was subordinate to their allegiance to the Pope; that they held that heretics might lawfully be put to death, and that no faith was to be kept with them. The Universities had unanimously disavowed doctrines which they declared at once inhuman and unchristian, and on the strength of the disavowal the British Parliament repealed the Penal Acts of William for England and Scotland, restored to the Catholics the free use of their chapels, and readmitted them to the magistracy." Toleration was extended to Ireland by giving the franchise to Catholics, and complete emancipation might have followed but for the interference of the king, which involved the recall of Lord Fitzwilliam.

To prevent that calamitous measure no one worked harder than Edmund Burke, whose religion was as rational as his patriotism was sincere. In the last of his published letters, written to Sir Hercules Langrishe, in the year before the rebellion, the year of his own death, he said that "Ireland, locally, civilly, and commercially independent, ought politically to look up to Great Britain in all matters of peace or war; in all those points to be guided by her: and in a word, with her to live and to die." "At bottom," he added, "Ireland has no other choice; I mean no other rational choice." To a Parliamentary Union accompanied by emancipation Burke might have been brought by the rebellion. Protestant ascendency as understood in his time he would always have repudiated, if only because it furnished recruits to the Jacobinism which he loathed more than anything else in the world. He even denied that there was such a thing as the Protestant religion. The difference between Protestantism and Catholicism was, he said, a negative, and out of a negative no religion could be made. To persecute people for believing too much was even more preposterous than to persecute them for believing too little. Protestant ascendency was social ascendency, and had no motive so respectable as bigotry behind it. Burke never conceived the possibility of disestablishing the Irish Church, or even of curtailing its emoluments. He would have been satisfied with a Parliament from which Catholics were not excluded. Froude brushed almost contemptuously aside the theories of an illustrious Irishman, the first political writer of his age, and an almost fanatical enemy of revolution.

Genius apart, Burke was peculiarly well qualified to form an opinion. He knew England as well as Ireland; and imperial as his conceptions were, they never extinguished his love for the land of his birth. He was himself a member of the Established Church, and a firm supporter of her connection with the State. But his wife was a Roman Catholic, and for the old faith he had a sympathetic respect. For the French Directory, with which Wolfe Tone was associated, he felt a passionate hatred of which he has left a monument more durable than brass in the Reflections on the French Revolution, and the Letters on a Regicide Peace. He worshipped the British Constitution with the unquestioning fervour of a devotee, and he had been attacked by the new Whigs in Parliament as the recipient of a pension from the king. The old Whigs, his Whigs, had coalesced with Pitt, and the chief fault he found with the Government was that it did not carry on the French war with sufficient vigour. That Burke should have retained his calmness of mind in writing of Ireland when he lost it in writing of all other subjects is a curious circumstance, But it is a circumstance which entitles him to peculiar attention from the Irish historian. Burke was no oracle of Irish revolutionists. Their hero was his critic, Tom Paine. Yet Froude says that when Burke "took up the Irish cause at last in earnest, it was with a brain which the French Revolution had deranged, and his interference became infinitely mischievous."* As a matter of fact, his interference after 1789 had no result at all. So far as the French Revolution modified his ideas, it made them more Conservative than ever, and his object in preaching the conciliation of Catholics was to deter them from Revolutionary methods.

— * English in Ireland, ii. 214, 215. —

But Burke, like Grattan, was an Irishman, and therefore not to be trusted. If he had been an Englishman, or if he had gloried in the name of Protestant, Froude's eyes would have been opened, and he would have seen Burke's incomparable superiority to Lord Clare as a just interpreter of events. Froude looked at the rebellion and the Union from an Orange Lodge, and his book is really an Orange manifesto. Such works have their purpose, and Froude's is an unusually eloquent specimen of its class; but they are not history, any more than the speech of Lord Clare on the Union, or the Diary of Wolfe Tone. Froude does not explain, nor seem to understand, what the supporters of the Irish Legislature meant. Speaker Foster said that the whole unbribed intellect of Ireland was against the Union. Foster was the last Speaker in the Irish House of Commons. He had been elected in 1790 against the "patriot" Ponsonby, and was opposed to the Catholic franchise in 1793. He was a man of unblemished character, and in a position where he could not afford to talk nonsense. Yet, if Froude were right, nonsense he must have talked. Cornwallis, an Englishman, corroborates Foster; Cornwallis is disregarded. "All that was best and noblest in Ireland" was gathered into the Orange Association, which has been the plague of every Irish Government since the Union. Froude's model sovereign of Ireland, as of England, was George III., who ordered that in a Catholic country "a sharp eye should be kept on Papists," and would doubtless have joined an Orange Lodge himself if he had been an Irishman and a subject. The English in Ireland is reported to have been Parnell's favourite book. It made him, he said, a Home Ruler because it exposed the iniquities of the English Government. This was not Froude's principal object, but the testimony to his truthfulness is all the more striking on that account. Gladstone, who quoted from the English in Ireland when he introduced his Land Purchase Bill in 1886, paid a just tribute to the "truth and honour" of the writer.

If it be once granted that the Irish are a subject race, that the Catholic faith is a degrading superstition, and that Ireland is only saved from ruin by her English or Scottish settlers, Froude's book deserves little but praise. Although he did not study for it as he studied for his History of England he read and copied a large number of State Papers, with a great mass of official correspondence. Freeman would have been appalled at the idea of such research as Froude made in Dublin, and at the Record Office in London. But the scope of his book, and the thesis he was to develop, had formed themselves in his mind before he began. He was to vindicate the Protestant cause in Ireland, and to his own satisfaction he vindicated it. If I may apply a phrase coined many years afterwards, Froude assumed that Irish Catholics had taken a double dose of original sin. He always found in them enough vice to account for any persecution of which they might be the victims. Just as he could not write of Kerry without imputing failure and instability to O'Connell, so he could not write about Ireland without traducing the leaders of Irish opinion. They might be Protestants themselves; but they had Catholics for their followers, and that was enough. It was enough for Carlyle also, and to attack Froude's historical reputation is to attack Carlyle's. "I have read," Carlyle wrote on the 20th of June, 1874, "all your book carefully over again, and continue to think of it not less but rather more favourably than ever: a few little phrases and touches you might perhaps alter with advantage; and the want of a copious, carefully weighed concluding chapter is more sensible to me than ever; but the substance of the book is genuine truth, and the utterance of it is clear, sharp, smiting, and decisive, like a shining Damascus sabre; I never doubted or doubt but its effect will be great and lasting. No criticism have I seen since you went away that was worth notice. Poor Lecky is weak as water—bilge-water with a drop of formic acid in it: unfortunate Lecky, he is wedded to his Irish idols; let him alone." The reference to Lecky, as unfair as it is amusing, was provoked by a review of Froude in Macmillan's Magazine. There are worse idols than Burke, or even Grattan, and Lecky was an Irishman after all.

A very different critic from Carlyle expressed an equally favourable opinion.

"I have an interesting letter," Froude wrote to his friend Lady Derby, formerly Lady Salisbury, "from Bancroft the historian (American minister at Berlin) on the Irish book. He, I am happy to say, accepts the view which I wished to impress on the Americans, and he has sent me some curious correspondence from the French Foreign Office illustrating and confirming one of my points. One evening last summer I met Lady Salisbury,* and told her my opinion of Lord Clare. She dissented with characteristic emphasis—and she is not a lady who can easily be moved from her judgments. Still, if she finds time to read the book I should like to hear that she can recognise the merits as well as the demerits of a statesman who, in the former at least, so nearly resembled her husband."

— * The wife of the late Prime Minister. —

In another letter he says:

"The meaning of the book as a whole is to show to what comes of forcing uncongenial institutions on a country to which they are unsuited. If we had governed Ireland as we govern India, there would have been no confiscation, no persecution of religion, and consequently none of the reasons for disloyalty. Having chosen to set Parliament and an Established Church, and to the lands of the old owners, we left nothing undone to spoil the chances of success with the experiment."

Froude went to the United States with no very exalted opinion of the Irish; he returned with the lowest possible. "Like all Irish patriots," including Grattan, Wolfe Tone "would have accepted greedily any tolerable appointment from the Government which he had been execrating." The subsequent history of Ireland has scarcely justified this sweeping invective. "There are persons who believe that if the king had not interfered with Lord Fitzwilliam, the Irish Catholics would have accepted gratefully the religious equality which he was prepared to offer them, and would have remained thenceforward for all time contented citizens of the British Empire." So reasonable a theory requires more convincing refutation than a simple statement that it is "incredible." Incredible, no doubt, if the Catholics of Ireland were wild beasts, cringing under the whip, ferocious when released from restraint. Very credible indeed if Irish Catholics in 1795 were like other people, asking for justice, and not expecting an impossible ascendency. Interesting as Froude's narrative is, it becomes, when read together with Lecky's, more interesting still. Though indignant with Froude's aspersions upon the Irish race, Lecky did not allow himself to be hurried. He was writing a history of England as well as of Ireland, and the Irish chapters had to wait their turn. In Froude's book there are signs of haste; in Lecky's there are none. Without the brilliancy and the eloquence which distinguished Froude, Lecky had a power of marshalling facts that gave to each of them its proper value. No human being is without prejudice. But Lecky was curiously unlike the typical Irishman of Froude's imagination. He has written what is by general acknowledgment the fairest account of the Irish rebellion, and of the Union to which it led. Of the eight volumes which compose his History of England in the Eighteenth Century, two, the seventh and eighth, are devoted exclusively to Ireland.

After the publication of his first two volumes he made no direct reference to Froude, and contented himself with his own independent narrative. He vindicated the conduct of Lord Fitzwilliam, and traced to his recall in 1795 the desperate courses adopted by Irish Catholics. He showed that Froude had been unjust to the Whigs who gave evidence for Arthur O'Connor at Maidstone in 1798, and especially to Grattan. That O'Connor was engaged in treasonable correspondence with France there can be no doubt now. But he did not tell his secrets to his Whig friends, and what Grattan said of his never having heard O'Connor talk about a French invasion was undoubtedly true.* Froude's hatred of the English Whigs almost equalled his contempt for the Irish Catholics, and the two feelings prevented him from writing anything like an narrative either of the rebellion or of the Union. No other book of his shows such evident traces of having been written under the influence of Carlyle. Carlyle's horror of democracy, worship of force, his belief that martial law was the law of Almighty God, and that cruelty might always be perpetrated on the right side, are conspicuously displayed. If Froude spoke of the Roman Catholic Church, he always seemed to fancy himself back in the sixteenth century, when the murder of Protestants was regarded at the Vatican as justifiable. The Irish rebellion of 1798 was led by Protestants, like Lord Edward Fitzgerald, and free thinkers, like Wolfe Tone. But for the recall of Lord Fitzwilliam, the Catholics would have taken no part in it, and it would not have been more dangerous than the rebellion of 1848. Such at least was Lecky's opinion, supported by weighty arguments, and by facts which cannot be denied. If Froude's reputation as an historian depended upon his English in Ireland, it certainly would not stand high. Of course he had as much right to put the English case as Father Burke had to put the Irish one. But his responsibility was far greater, and his splendid talents might have been better employed than in reviving the mutual animosities of religion or of race.

* See Froude's English in Ireland, vol. iii. pp. 320, 321;
Lecky's History of England, vol. viii. p. 52.

When Lecky reviewed, with much critical asperity, the last two volumes of Froude's English in Ireland for Macmillan's Magazine* he referred to Home Rule as a moderate and constitutional movement. His own History was not completed till 1890. But when Gladstone introduced his first Home Rule Bill, in 1886, Lecky opposed it as strongly as Froude himself. Lecky was quite logical, for the question whether the Union had been wisely or legitimately carried had very little to do with the expedience of repealing it. Fieri non debuit, factum valet, may be common sense as well as good law. But Froude was not unnaturally triumphant to find his old antagonist in Irish matters on his side, especially as Freeman was a Home Ruler. Froude's attitude was never for a moment doubtful. He had always held that the Irish people were quite unfitted for self-government, and of all English statesmen Gladstone was the one he trusted least. He had a theory that great orators were always wrong, even when, like Pitt and Fox, they were on opposite sides. Gladstone he doubly repudiated as a High Churchman and a Democrat. Yet, with more candour than consistency, he always declared that Gladstone was the English statesman who best understood the Irish Land Question, and so he plainly told the Liberal Unionists, speaking as one of themselves. He had praised Henry VIII for confiscating the Irish estates of absentees, and taunted Pitt with his unreasoning horror of an absentee tax. He would have given the Irish people almost everything rather than allow them to do anything for themselves. In 1880 he brought out another edition of his Irish book, with a new chapter on the crisis. The intervening years had made no difference in his estimate of Ireland, or of Irishmen. O'Connell, who had nothing to do with the politics of the eighteenth century, was "not sincere about repeal," although he "forced the Whigs to give him whatever he might please to ask for,"+ and he certainly asked for that.

* June, 1874.
+ English in Ireland, 1881, vol. iii. p. 568.

That Catholic emancipation was useless and mischievous, Froude never ceased to declare. He would have dragooned the Irish into Protestantism and made the three Catholic provinces into a Crown colony. The Irish establishment he regretted as a badge of Protestant ascendency. But he was a dangerous ally for Unionists. That the government of Ireland by what he called a Protestant Parliament sitting at Westminister, meaning the Parliament of the United Kingdom, had failed, he not merely admitted, but loudly proclaimed. It had failed "more signally, and more disgracefully," than any other system, because Gladstone admitted that Fenian outrages precipitated legislative reforms. The alternative was to rule Ireland, or let her be free, and altogether separate from Great Britain. Neither branch of the supposed alternative was within the range of practical politics. But on one point Froude unconsciously anticipated the immediate future. "The remedy" for the agrarian troubles of Ireland was, he said, "the establishment of courts to which the tenant might appeal." The ink of this sentence was scarcely dry when the Irish Land Bill of 1881 appeared with that very provision. Froude was always ready and willing to promote the material benefit of Ireland. Irishmen, except the Protestant population of Ulster, were children to be treated with firmness and kindness, the truest kindness being never to let them have their own way.



Before Froude had written the last chapter of The English in Ireland he was visited by the greatest sorrow of his life. Mrs. Froude died suddenly in February, 1874. It had been a perfect marriage, and he never enjoyed the same happiness afterwards. Carlyle and his faithful friend Fitzjames Stephen were the only persons he could see at first, though he manfully completed the book on which he was engaged. It was long before he rallied from the shock, and he felt as if he could never write again. He dreaded "the length of years which might yet lie ahead of him before he could have his discharge from service." He took a melancholy pride in noting that none of the reviewers discovered any special defects in those final pages of his book which had been written under such terrible conditions. Mrs. Froude had thoroughly understood all her husband's moods, and her quiet humour always cheered him in those hours of gloom from which a man of his sensitive nature could not escape. She could use a gentle mockery which was always effective, along with her common sense, in bringing out the true proportions of things. Conscious as she was of his social brilliancy and success, she would often tell the children that they lost nothing by not going out with him, because their father talked better at home than he talked anywhere else. Her deep personal religion was the form of belief with which he had most sympathy, and which he best understood, regarding it as the foundation of virtue and conduct and honour and truth. He attended with her the services of the Church, which satisfied him whenever they were performed with the reverent simplicity familiar to his boyhood. Happily he was not left alone. He had two young children to love, and his eldest daughter was able to take her stepmother's place as mistress of his house. With the children he left London as soon as he could, and tried to occupy his mind by reading to them from Don Quixote, or, on a Sunday, from The Pilgrim's Progress. To the end of his life he felt his loss; and when he was offered, fifteen years later, the chance of going back to his beloved Derreen, he shrank from the associations it would have recalled.

He took a house for his family in Wales, which he described in the following letter to Lady Derby:

"CROGAN HOUSE, Corwen, June 3rd, 1874.

"I do not know if I told you upon what a curious and interesting old place we have fallen for our retirement. The walls of the room in which I am writing are five feet thick. The old part of the house must have been an Abbey Grange; the cellars run into a British tumulus, the oaks in the grounds must many of them be as old as the Conquest, and the site of the parish church was a place of pilgrimage probably before Christianity. Stone coffins are turned over on the hillsides in making modern improvements. Denfil Gadenis' (the mediaeval Welsh saint's) wooden horn still stands in the church porch, and the sense of strangeness and antiquity is the more palpable because hardly a creature in the valley, except the cows and the birds, speak in a language familiar to me. It was Owen Glendower's country. Owen himself doubtless has many times ridden down the avenue. We are in the very heart of Welsh nationality, which was always a respectable thing—far more so than the Celticism of the Gaels and Irish. We are apt to forget that the Tudors were Welsh." Fortunately a plan suggested itself which gave him variety of occupation and change of scene. Disraeli's Government had just come into office, and with the Colonial Secretary, Lord Carnarvon, Froude was on intimate terms. Froude had always been interested in the Colonies, and was an advocate of Federation long before it had become a popular scheme. As early as 1870 he wrote to Skelton:

"Gladstone and Co. deliberately intend to shake off the Colonies. They are privately using their command of the situation to make the separation inevitable."* I do not know what this means. Lord Dufferin has left it on record that after his appointment to Canada in 1872 Lowe came up to him at the club, and said, "Now, you ought to make it your business to get rid of the Dominion." But Lowe was in the habit of saying paradoxical things, and it was Disraeli, not Gladstone, who spoke of the Colonies as millstones round our necks. Cardwell, the Secretary for War, withdrew British troops from Canada and New Zealand, holding that the self-governing Colonies should be responsible for their own defence. That wise policy fostered union rather than separation, by providing that the working classes at home should not be taxed for the benefit of their colonial fellow- subjects. Lord Carnarvon himself had passed in 1867 the Bill which federated Canada and which his Liberal predecessor had drawn. He was now anxious to carry out a similar scheme in South Africa, and Froude offered to find out for him how the land lay. His visit was not to be in any sense official. He would be ostensibly travelling for his health, which was always set up by a voyage. He was interested in extending to South Africa Miss Rye's benevolent plans of emigration to Canada; in the treatment of a Kaffir chief called Langalibalele; and in the disputes which had arisen from the annexation of the Diamond Fields. Thus there were reasons for his trip enough and to spare. He would, it was thought, be more likely to obtain accurate information if the principal purpose of his visit were kept in the background.

— *Table Talk of Shirley, p. 142. —

There was one great and fundamental difference between the case of Canada and the case of South Africa. Canada had itself asked for federation, and Parliament simply gave effect to the wish of the Canadians. Opinion in South Africa was notoriously divided, and the centre of opposition was at Cape Town. Natal had not yet obtained a full measure of self-government, and the lieutenant-Governor, Sir Benjamin Pine, had excited indignation among all friends of the natives by arbitrary imprisonment, after a mock trial, of a Kaffir chief. Lord Carnarvon had carefully to consider this case, and also to decide whether the mixed Constitution of Natal, which would not work, should be reformed or annulled. A still more serious difficulty was connected with the Diamond Fields, officially known as Griqualand West. The ownership of this district had been disputed between the Orange Free State and a native chief called Nicholas Waterboer. In 1872 Lord Kimberley, as Secretary of State for the Colonies, had purchased it from Waterboer at a price ludicrously small in proportion to its value, and it had since been annexed to the British dominions by the Governor, Sir Henry Barkly. Waterboer, who knew nothing about the value of money, was satisfied. The Orange State vehemently protested, and President Brand denounced the annexation as a breach of faith. Not only, he said, were the Diamond Fields within the limits of his Republic; the agreement between Waterboer and the Secretary of State was itself a breach of the Orange River Convention, by which Great Britain undertook not to negotiate with any native chief north of the River Vaal. Lord Kimberley paid no heed to Brand's remonstrances. He denied altogether the validity of the Dutch claim, and he would not hear of arbitration. By the time that Lord Carnarvon came into office thousands of British settlers were digging for diamonds in Griqualand West, and its abandonment was impossible. Brand himself did not wish to take the responsibility of governing it. But he continued to press the case for compensation, and the British Government, which had forced independence upon the Boers, appeared in the invidious light of shirking responsibility while grasping at mineral wealth. If it had not been for this untoward incident, the Dutch Republics would have been more favourable to Lord Carnarvon's policy than Cape Colony was. The Transvaal was imperfectly protected against the formidable power of the Zulus, and a general rising of blacks against whites was the real danger which threatened South Africa.

That peril, however, was felt more acutely in Natal than in Cape Colony. The Cape had for two years enjoyed responsible government, and its first Prime Minister was John Charles Molteno.

Molteno was not in any other respect a remarkable man. He had come to the post by adroit management of a miscellaneous community, comprising British, Dutch, and Kaffirs. He was personally incorruptible, and he played the game according to the rules. He would have called himself, and so far as his opportunities admitted, he was, a constitutional statesman, justly proud of the position to which his own qualities had raised him, and extremely jealous of interference Downing Street. He had no responsibility, he was never tired of explaining, for the acquisition of the Diamond Fields, and he left the Colonial Office to settle that matter with President Brand. Local politics were his business. He did not look beyond the House of Assembly at Cape Town, which it was his duty to lead, and the Governor, Sir Henry Barkly, with whom he was on excellent terms. His own origin, which was partly English and partly Italian, made it easy for him to be impartial between the two white races in South Africa. For the Kaffirs he had no great tenderness. They had votes, and if they chose to sell them for brandy that was their own affair. Of what would now be called Imperialism Molteno had no trace. He would support Federation when in his opinion it suited the interests of Cape Colony, and not an hour before.

Froude left Dartmouth in the Walmer Castle on the 23rd of August, 1874. He occupied himself during the voyage partly in discussing the affairs of the Cape with his fellow-passengers, and partly in reading Greek. The "Leaves from a South African Journal," which close the third volume of Short Studies, describe his journey in his most agreeably colloquial style. A piece of literary criticism adorns the entry for September 4th. "I have been feeding hitherto on Greek plays: this morning I took Homer instead, and the change is from a hot-house to the open air. The Greek dramatists, even Aeschylus himself, are burdened with a painful consciousness of the problems of human life, with perplexed theories of Fate and Providence. Homer is fresh, free, and salt as the ocean."

No sooner had Froude landed at Cape Town than he began tracing all its evils to responsible government. The solidity of the houses reminded him that they were built under an absolute system. "What is it which has sent our Colonies into so sudden a frenzy for what they call political liberty?" A movement which has been in steady progress for thirty years can scarcely be called sudden, even though it be regarded as a frenzy, and so far back as 1776 there were British colonists beyond the seas who attached some practical value to freedom. A drive across the peninsula of Table Mountain suggested equally positive reflections of another kind. "Were England wise in her generation, a line of forts from Table Bay to False Bay would be the northern limit of her Imperial responsibilities."

This had been the cherished policy of Lord Grey at the Colonial Office, and the Whigs generally inclined to the same view. But it was already obsolete. Lord Kimberley had proceeded on exactly the opposite principle, and Lord Carnarvon's object in Federation was certainly not to diminish the area of the British Empire.

If Froude talked in South Africa as he wrote in his journal, his conversation must have been more interesting than discreet. "Every one," he wrote from Port Elizabeth, on the 27th of September, 1874, "approves of the action of the Natal Government in the Langalibalele affair. I am told that if Natal is irritated it may petition to relinquish the British connection, and to be allowed to join the Free States. I cannot but think that it would have been a wise policy, when the Free States were thrown off, to have attached Natal to them." Lord Carnarvon disapproved of the Natal Government's action, released Langalibalele, and recalled the Lieutenant- Governor. His policy was as wise as it was courageous, and no proposal to relinquish the British connection followed. Froude was a firm believer in the Dutch method of dealing with Kaffirs, and he had no more prejudice against slavery than Carlyle himself. But his sense of justice was offended by the treatment of Langalibalele, and if he had been Secretary of State he would have done as Lord Carnarvon did. With the Boers Froude had a good deal of sympathy. Their religion, a purer Calvinism than existed even in Scotland, appealed to his deepest sentiments, and he admired the austere simplicity of their lives. No one could accuse a Cape Dutchman of complicity in such horrors as progress and the march of intellect. On his way from Cape Town to Durban Froude was told a characteristic story of a Dutch farmer. "His estate adjoined the Diamond Fields. Had he remained where he was, he could have made a large fortune. Milk, butter, poultry, eggs, vegetables, fruit, went up to fabulous prices. The market was his own to demand what he pleased. But he was disgusted at the intrusion upon his solitude. The diggers worried him from morning to night, demanding to buy, while he required his farm produce for his own family. He sold his land, in his impatience, for a tenth of what he might have got had he cared to wait and bargain, mounted his wife and children into his waggon, and moved off into the wilderness." Froude's sarcastic comment is not less characteristic than the story. "Which was the wisest man, the Dutch farmer or the Yankee who was laughing at him? The only book that the Dutchman had ever read was the Bible, and he knew no better."*

— * Short Studies, iii. 497. —

The state of Natal, which was then perplexing the Colonial Office, puzzled Froude still more. Four courses seemed to him possible. Natal might be annexed to Cape Colony, made a province of a South African Federation, governed despotically by a soldier, or left to join the Dutch Republics. The fifth course, which was actually taken, of giving it responsible government by stages, did not come within the scope of his ideas. The difficulty of Federation lay, as it seemed to him, in the native problem.

"If we can make up our minds to allow the colonists to manage the natives their own way, we may safely confederate the whole country. The Dutch will be in the majority, and the Dutch method of management will more or less prevail. They will be left wholly to themselves for self-defence, and prudence will prevent them from trying really harsh or aggressive measures. In other respects the Dutch are politically conservative, and will give us little trouble." If, on the other hand, native policy was to be directed from home, or, in other words, if adequate precautions were to be taken against slavery, a federal system would be useless, and South Africa must be governed like an Indian province.

Pretoria Froude found full of English, loudly demanding annexation. He told them, speaking of course only for himself, that it was impossible, because the Cape was a self-governing Colony, and the Dutch majority "would take any violence offered to their kinsmen in the Republics as an injury to themselves." To annexation without violence, by consent of the Boers, the great obstacle, so Froude found, was the seizure, the fraudulent seizure, as they thought it, of the Diamond Fields. He visited Kimberley, called after the Colonial Secretary who acquired it, "like a squalid Wimbledon Camp set down in an arid desert." The method of digging for diamonds was then primitive.

"Each owner works by himself or with his own servants. He has his own wire rope, and his own basket, by which he sends his stuff to the surface to be washed. The rim of the pit is fringed with windlasses. The descending wire ropes stretch from them thick as gossamers on an autumn meadow. The system is as demoralising as it is ruinous. The owner cannot be ubiquitous: if he is with his working cradle, his servants in the pit steal his most valuable stones and secrete them. Forty per cent of the diamonds discovered are supposed to be lost in this way."* The proportion of profit between employer and employed seems to have been fairer than usual, though it might, no doubt, have been more regularly arranged.

At Bloemfontein Froude called on President Brand, "a resolute, stubborn-looking man, with a frank, but not over-conciliatory, expression of face." Brand was in no conciliatory mood. He held that his country had been robbed of land which the British Government renounced in 1854, and only resumed now because diamonds had been discovered on it. The interview, however, was neither unimportant nor unsatisfactory. It was followed by an invitation to dinner, and frank discussion of the whole subject. So firmly convinced was Froude of the President's good faith and of the injustice done him that he pleaded the cause of the Free State with the Colonial Office, and Lord Carnarvon settled the dispute in a friendly manner by the payment of a reasonable sum.+ But that was not till 1876, after Brand had visited London, and seen Lord Carnarvon himself.

— * Short Studies, vol. iii. p. 537. + 90,000 lbs. —

At the end of 1874 Froude returned to England, and reported to Lord Carnarvon what he had observed. The Colonial Secretary, just, but punctilious, was unwilling to reverse Lord Kimberley's policy, and Froude discovered that party politics, to which he traced all our woes, had much less to do with administration than he imagined. Under the influence of Bishop Colenso, an intrepid friend of the natives, Lord Carnarvon had already interfered on behalf of Langalibalele, but that only involved overruling the Government of Natal. After mature consideration he wrote a despatch to Sir Henry Barkly in which stress was laid upon the importance of arranging all differences with the Orange State. Then he proceeded to the subject of Federation, which was always in his mind and at his heart. Here he unfortunately failed to make allowance for the sensitive pride of Colonial statesmen. He proposed the assemblage of a Federal Conference at Cape Town, at which Froude would represent the Colonial Office. For Cape Colony he suggested the names of the Prime Minister, Molteno, and of Paterson, who led the Opposition.

In June, 1875, Froude went back to South Africa, this time as an acknowledged emissary of the Government, but by ill luck his arrival coincided with the receipt of the despatch. The effect of this document was prodigious. Molteno considered that he had been personally insulted. The Legislative Assembly was defiant, and greeted the recital of Carnarvon's words with ironical laughter. A Ministerial Minute, signed by Molteno and his colleagues, protested against the Colonial Secretary's intrusion, and especially against his rather ill advised reference to a proposed separation of the eastern from the western provinces of the Cape. It was a fact that Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown, where there were very few Dutch, considered that they paid proportionately too much towards the colonial revenues, and desired separate treatment. But the people of Cape Town strongly objected, and it was unwise for the Secretary of State to take a side in local politics. Froude found his position by no means agreeable. Molteno, though never discourteous, received him coldly, and objected to his making speeches. The Governor, who liked to be good friends with his Ministers, gave him no encouragement. The House of Assembly, after proposing to censure Carnarvon in their haste, censured Froude at their leisure. That did him no harm. But he disliked the new position in which he found himself, and in his private journal he expressed his sentiments freely.

He had not been long in Cape Town when he wrote, on the 9th of July, 1875, to his eldest daughter a full and vivid account of the political situation. "I am glad," he said, "that no one is with me who cares for me. No really good thing can be carried out without disturbing various interests. The Governor and Parliament have set themselves against Lord Carnarvon. The whole country has declared itself enthusiastically for him. The consequence is that the opposition, who are mortified and enraged, now daily pour every sort of calumny on my unfortunate head. I don't read more of it than I can help, but some things I am forced to look at in order to answer; and the more successful my mission promises to be, the more violent and unscrupulous become those whose pockets are threatened by it. I wait in Cape Town till the next English steamer arrives, and then I mean to start for a short tour in the neighbourhood. I shall make my way by land to Mossel Bay, and then go on by sea to Port Elizabeth and Natal, where I shall wait for orders from home. Sir Garnet* has written me a very affectionate letter, inviting me to stay with him. Here the authorities begin to be more respectful than they were. Last night there was a State Dinner at Government House, when I took in Lady Barkly. Miss Barkly would hardly speak to me. I don't wonder. She is devoted to her father; I would do exactly the same in her place. I sent you a paper with an account of the dinner, and my speech, but you must not think that the dinner represented Cape Town society generally. Cape Town society, up to the reception at Government House, has regarded me as some portentous object come here to set the country on fire, and to be regarded with tremors by all respectable people. Outside Cape Town, on the contrary, in every town in the country, Dutch or English, I should be carried through the streets on the people's shoulders if I would only allow it, so you see I am in an 'unexampled situation.'+ The Governor's dinner cards had on them 'to meet Mr. Froude.' I am told that no less than eight people who were invited refused in mere terror of me …. Things are in a wild state here, and grow daily wilder. I am responsible for having lighted the straw; and if Lord Carnarvon has been frightened at the first bad news, there will be danger of real disturbance. The despatch has created a real enthusiasm, and excited hopes which must not now be disappointed." "Never," he wrote a few weeks afterwards, "never did a man of letters volunteer into a more extraordinary position than that in which I find myself." Sir Garnet Wolseley stood by him through thick and thin. After Sir Garnet's departure he had no English friend. His local supporters were "all looking out for themselves," and there was not one among them in whom he could feel any real confidence."

* The present Lord Wolseley.
+ A favourite expression with Mrs. Carlyle.

Of Molteno he made no personal complaint, and he always considered him the fittest man for his post in South Africa. But Colonial politicians as a whole were "not gentlemen with whom it was agreeable to be forced into contact." To give the Colony responsible government has been "an act of deliberate insanity" on the part of Lord Kimberley and the Liberal Cabinet. Froude endeavoured loyally and faithfully to carry out the policy of the Colonial Office, and his relations with Lord Carnarvon were relations of unbroken confidence. His objects were purely unselfish and patriotic. It was his misfortune rather than his fault to become involved in local politics, from which it was essential for the success of his mission that he should keep entirely aloof. Circumstances brought him into much greater favour with the Dutch than with his own countrymen, for it was thought, not without reason, that he had brought Carnarvon round to see the truth about the Diamond Fields and the Free State. He made them speeches, and they received him with enthusiasm. With Molteno, on the other hand, he found it impossible to act, and the Governor supported Molteno. Barkly was not unfavourable to Federation. But he perceived that it could not be forced upon a self-governing Colony, and that he himself would be powerless unless he acted in harmony with his constitutional advisers. He, as well as Molteno, refused to attend the dinner at which Froude on his arrival was entertained in Cape Town. Molteno advised Froude not to go, or if he went, not to speak. Froude, however, both went and spoke, claiming as an Englishman the right of free speech in a British Colony. The right was of course incontestable. The expediency was a very different matter. Froude was not accustomed to public speaking, and only long experience can teach that most difficult part of the process, the instinctive avoidance of what should not be said. His brilliant lectures were all read from manuscript, and he had never been in the habit of thinking on his legs. In 1874 he could at least say that he spoke only for himself. In 1875 he committed the Colonial Office, and even the Cabinet, to his own personal opinions, which were not in favour of Parliamentary Government as understood either by Englishmen or by Africanders. He was accused of getting up a popular agitation on behalf of the Imperial authorities against the Governor of the Colony, his Ministers, and the Legislative Assembly of the Cape. He did in fact, under a strong sense of duty, urge Carnarvon to recall Barkly, and to substitute for him Sir Garnet Wolseley, who had temporarily taken over the administration of Natal.

Sir Garnet, however, had no such ambition. Soldiering was the business of his life, and he had had quite enough of constitutionalism in Natal. Barkly was for the present maintained, and Froude regarded his maintenance as fatal to Federation. But Sir Bartle Frere, who succeeded him, was not more fortunate, and the real mistake was interference from home. To Froude his experience of South Africa came as a disagreeable shock. A passionate believer in Greater Britain, in the expansion of England, in the energy, resources, and prospects of the Queen's dominions beyond the seas, the parochialism of Cape Colony astonished and perplexed him. While he was dreaming of a Federated Empire, and Paterson were counting heads in the Cape Assembly, and considering what would be the political result if the eastern provinces set up for themselves. If South Africa were federated, would Cape Town remain the seat of government? To Froude such a question was paltry and trivial. To a Cape Town shopkeeper it loomed as large as Table Mountain. The attitude of Molteno's Ministry, on the other hand, seemed as ominous to him as it seemed obvious to the Colonists. He thought it fatal to the unity of the Empire, and amounting to absolute independence. He did not understand the people with whom he had to deal. Most of them were as loyal subjects as himself, and never contemplated for a moment secession from the Empire. All they claimed was complete freedom to manage their own affairs, to federate or not to federate, as they pleased and when they pleased. They had only just acquired full constitutional rights; and if they sometimes exaggerated the effect of them, the error was venial. If Carnarvon, instead of writing for publication an elaborate and official despatch, had explained his policy to the Governor in private letters, and directed him to sound Molteno in confidence, the Cape Ministers might themselves have proposed a scheme; and if they had proposed it, it would have been carried. Had Froude said nothing at dinners, or on platforms, he might have exercised far more influence behind the scenes. But he was an enthusiast for Federation by means of a South African Conference, and he made a proselytising tour through the Colony. The Dutch welcomed him because he acknowledged their rights. At Grahamstown too, and at Port Elizabeth, he was hailed as the champion of separation for the eastern provinces. The Legislative Assembly at Cape Town, however, was hostile, and the proposed conference fell through. Lord Carnarvon did not see the full significance of the fact that the Confederation of Canada had been first mooted within the Dominion itself.

An interesting account of Froude at this time has been given by Sir George Colley, the brilliant and accomplished soldier whose career was cut short six years afterwards at Majuba:

"I came home from the Cape, and almost lived on the way with Mr. Froude …. It was rather a sad mind, sometimes grand, sometimes pathetic and tender, usually cynical, but often relating with the highest appreciation, and with wonderful beauty of language, some gallant deed of some of his heroes of the fifteenth or sixteenth centuries. He seemed to have gone through every phase of thought, and come to the end 'All is vanity.' He himself used to say the interest of life to a thinking man was exhausted at thirty, or thirty-five. After that there remained nothing but disappointment of earlier visions and hopes. Sometimes there was something almost fearful in the gloom, and utter disbelief, and defiance of his mind."*

— * Butler's Life of Colley, p. 145. —

The picture is a sombre one. But it must be remembered that the death of his wife was still weighing heavily upon Froude.

A few days after his return to London Froude wrote a long and interesting Report to the Secretary of State, which was laid before Parliament in due course. Few documents more thoroughly unofficial have ever appeared in a Blue Book. The excellence of the paper as a literary essay is conspicuous. But its chief value lies in the impression produced by South African politics upon a penetrating and observant mind trained under wholly different conditions. Froude would not have been a true disciple of Carlyle if he had felt or expressed much sympathy with the native race. He wanted them to be comfortable. For freedom he did not consider them fit. It was the Boers who really attracted him, and the man he admired the most in South Africa was President Brand. The sketch of the two Dutch Republics in his Report is drawn with a very friendly hand. He thought, not without reason, that they had been badly treated. Their independence, which they did not then desire, had been forced upon them by Lord Grey and the Duke of Newcastle. The Sand River Convention of 1852, and the Orange River Convention of 1854, resulted from British desire to avoid future responsibility outside Cape Colony and Natal. As for the Dutch treatment of the Kaffirs, it had never in Froude's opinion been half so bad as Pine's treatment of Langalibalele. By the second article of the Orange River Convention, renewed and ratified at Aliwal after the Basuto war in 1869, Her Majesty's Government promised not to make any agreement with native chiefs north of the Vaal River. Yet, when diamonds were discovered north of the Vaal in Griqualand West, the territory was purchased by Lord Kimberley from Nicholas Waterboer, without the consent, and notwithstanding the protests, of the Orange Free State. But although Lord Kimberley assented to the annexation of Griqualand West in 1871, he only did so on the distinct understanding that Cape Colony would undertake to administer the Diamond Fields, and this the Cape Ministers refused to do, lest they should offend their Dutch constituents.

It was not till 1878, when all differences with the Free State had been settled, and the Transvaal was a British possession, that Griqualand West became an integral part of Cape Colony. In January, 1876, Brand was still asking for arbitration, and Carnarvon was still refusing it.

When he explained the Colonial Secretary's policy to the Colonial Secretary himself Froude came very near explaining it away. The Conference, he said, was only intended to deal with the native question and the question of Griqualand. Was Confederation then a dream? Froude himself, in a private letter to Molteno, dated April 29th, 1875, wrote, "Lord Carnarvon's earnest desire since he came into office has been if possible to form South Africa into a confederate dominion, with complete internal self-government."* That was the whole object of the Conference, which but for that would never have been proposed. That, as Froude truly says in his Report, was one of Molteno's reasons for resisting it. The Cape Premier thought that South Africa was not ripe for Confederation. If Froude had had more practice in drawing up official documents, he would probably have left out this deprecatory argument, which does not agree with the rest of his case. He attributes, for instance, to local politicians a dread that the supremacy of Cape Town would be endangered. But no possible treatment of the natives, or of Griqualand West, would have endangered the supremacy of Cape Town. The Confederation of which Froude and Carnarvon were champions would have avoided tremendous calamities if it could have been carried out. The chief difficulties in its way were Colonial jealousy of interference from Downing Street and Dutch exasperation at the seizure of the Diamond Fields. "You have trampled on those poor States, sir," said a member of the Cape Legislature to Froude, "till the country cries shame upon you, and you come now to us to assist you in your tyranny; we will not do it, sir. We are astonished that you should dare to ask us." Such language was singularly inappropriate to Froude himself, for the Boers never had a warmer advocate than they had in him. But the circumstances in which Griqualand West were annexed will excuse a good deal of strong language. At Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown Froude was welcomed as an advocate of their local independence, which was what they most desired. When, with unusual prudence, he declined to take part in a separatist campaign, their zeal for Confederation soon cooled. On the other hand, the Dutch papers all supported the Conference, although Brand refused to lay his case before it, or to treat with any authority except the British Government at home.

— * Life of Molteno, vol. i. p. 337. —

Neither Froude nor Carnarvon made sufficient allowance for Colonial independence and the susceptibilities of Colonial Ministers. Many of Froude's expressions in public were imprudent, and he himself in his Report apologised for his unguarded language at Grahamstown, where he said that Molteno's reply to Carnarvon's despatch would have meant war if it had come from a foreign state. Yet in the main their policy was a wise one, and they saw farther ahead than the men who worked the political machine at Cape Town. Froude was too sanguine when he wrote, "A Confederate South African Dominion, embracing all the States, both English and Dutch, under a common flag, may be expected as likely to follow, and perhaps at no very distant period." But he added that it would have to come by the deliberate action of the South African communities themselves. That was not the only discovery he had made in South Africa. He had found that the Transavll, reputed then and long afterwards in England to be worthless, was rich in minerals, including gold. He warned the Colonial Office that Cetewayo, with forty thousand armed men, was a serious danger to Natal. He saw clearly, and said plainly that unless South Africa was to be despotically governed, it must be administered with the consent and approval of the Dutch. He dwelt strongly upon the danger of allowing and encouraging natives to procure arms in Griqualand West as an enticement to work for the diamond owners. The secret designs of Sir Theophilus Shepstone he did not penetrate, and therefore he was unprepared for the next development in the South African drama. The South African Conference in London, which he attended during August, 1876, led to no useful result because Molteno, though he had come to London, and was discussing the affairs of Griqualand with Lord Carnarvon, refused to attend it. This was the end of South African Confederation, and the permissive Act of 1877, passed after the Transvaal had been annexed, remained a dead letter on the Statute Book.

Although the immediate purpose of Froude's visits to South Africa was not attained, it would be a mistake to infer that they had no results at all. Early in 1877 the annexation of the Transvaal, to which Froude was strongly opposed, changed the whole aspect of affairs, and from that time the strongest opponents of Federalism were the Dutch. But the credit of settling with the Orange Free State a dispute which might have led to infinite mischief is as much Froude's as Carnarvon's, and as a consequence of their wise conduct President Brand became for the rest of his life a steady friend to the British power in South Africa. Ninety thousand pounds was a small price to pay for the double achievement of reconciling a model State and wiping out a stain upon England's honour.

More than four years after his second return from South Africa, in January, 1880, Froude delivered two lectures to the Philosophical Society of Edinburgh, in which his view of South African policy is with perfect clearness set forth. He condemns the annexation of the Transvaal, and the Zulu war. He expresses a wish that Lord Carnarvon, who had resigned two years before, could be permanent Secretary for the Colonies. "I would give back the Transvaal to the Dutch," he said. Again, in even more emphatic language, "The Transvaal, in spite of prejudices about the British flag, I still hope that we shall return to its lawful owners."* What is more surprising, he recommended that Zululand should be restored to Cetewayo, or Cetewayo to Zululand. He had predicted in 1875 that Cetewayo would prove a troublesome person, and few men had less of the sentiment which used to be associated with Exeter Hall. The restoration of Cetewayo, when it came was disastrous both to himself and to others. Frere understood the Zulus better than Froude or Colenso. The surrender of the Transvaal, which was a good deal nearer than Froude thought, was at least successful for a time, a longer time than Froude's own life. He did not share Gladstone's ignorance of its value; he knew it to be rich in minerals, especially in gold. But he knew also that Carnarvon had been deceived about the willingness of the inhabitants to become British subjects, and he sympathised with their independence. It illustrates his own fairness and detachment of mind that he should have taken so strong and so unpopular a line when the Boers were generally supposed in England to have acquiesced in the loss of their liberties, and when his hero Sir Garnet Wolseley, to whom he dedicated his English in Ireland, had declared that the Vaal would run back to the Drakensberg before the British flag ceased to wave over Pretoria.

— * Two Lectures on South Africa, pp. 80, 81, 85. —

Froude's South African policy was to work with the Dutch, and keep the natives in their places. He had no personal interest in the question. It was through Lord Carnarvon that he came in contact with South Africa at all, and there were few statesmen with whom he more thoroughly agreed. When Disraeli came for the second time into office, and for the first time into power, Froude was well pleased.

In 1875, after his legal disqualification had been removed, he was again invited to become a candidate for Parliament. But he did not really know to which party he belonged.

"Four weeks ago," he wrote to Lady Derby on the 3rd of April, "the Liberal Whip (Mr. Adam) asked me to stand for the Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities on very easy terms to myself. I declined, because I should have had to commit myself to the Liberal party, which I did not choose to do. Lord Carnarvon afterwards spoke to me with regret at my resolution. He had a conversation with Mr. D'Israeli, and it was agreed that if possible I should be brought in by a compromise without a contest. But it appeared doubtful afterwards whether the Liberals would consent to this without fuller pledges than I could consent to give. I was asked if I would stand anyhow (contest or not), or whether I would allow myself to be nominated in their interest for any other place when a vacancy should occur. I said, No. (I would stand a contest on the Conservative side, if on any.) I was neither Conservative nor Liberal per se, but would not oppose Mr. D'Israeli. So there this matter lies, unless your people have as good an opinion of me as the others, and want a candidate of my lax description. But indeed I have no wish to go into Parliament. I am too old to begin a Parliamentary life, and infinitely prefer making myself of use to the Conservative side in some other way …. I am at Lord Carnarvon's service if he wishes me to go on with his Colonial affairs. I came home from the Cape to be of use to him."

The Colonial policy of the Liberals Froude had always regarded with suspicion. Even Lord Kimberley's grant of a constitution to the Cape he interpreted as showing a centrifugal tendency, and Cardwell's withdrawal of troops from Canada was all of a piece. Disraeli, on the other hand, who never did anything for the Colonies, had been making a speech about them at Manchester, wherein all manner of Colonial possibilities were suggested. They did not go, if they were ever intended to go, beyond suggestion, and in 1876 the sudden crisis in Eastern affairs superseded all other topics of political interest.

When the Eastern Question was first raised, Froude had taken the side of the Government.

"I like Lord Derby's speech," he wrote to Lady Derby on the 19th of September, 1876, "to the Working Men's Association. So I think the country will when it recovers from its present intoxication. Violent passions which rise suddenly generally sink as fast if there is no real reason for them. It is impossible that the people can fail to recollect in a little while that the reticence of which they complain is under the circumstances inevitable.

"Gladstone and his satellites are using their opportunities, however, with thorough unscrupulousness. It is possible that they may force an Autumn Session, and even force the Ministry to resign- but woe to themselves if they do. They will promise what cannot be carried out, and will perhaps, in fine retribution for the Crimean War, bring the Russians to Constantinople. It will not be a bad thing in itself, but there will be an end of the English Minister who brings it about."

Again, three days later, to the same correspondent:

"I admire the Premier's speech. It is what I expected of him. The Liberal leaders are behaving scandalously, with the exception perhaps of Lord Hartington. The Cabinet I trust will now decide on an Autumn Session to remove so critical a matter out of the hands of irresponsible mobs. I was surprised to hear the war in Servia attributed to the secret societies. Cluseret I know has intended to ask for service with Turkey, with a view to a war, against Russia, and has been withheld only by some differences with General Klapha, the Turco-Hungarian, from doing so. I had a long letter from him to- day, in which he expresses his restlessness characteristically, J'ai la nostalgic de la poudre."

Afterwards Froude followed Carlyle, and went with Russia against Turkey. The "unspeakable Turk" was to be "struck out of the question and Bismarck invited to arbitrate. Such was the oracular deliverance from Cheyne Row, and Froude obeyed the oracle. He attended the Conference at St. James's Hall in December at which Gladstone spoke, and Carlyle's letter was read, sitting for the only time in his life on the same platform with Freeman. Next May, when war between Russia and Turkey had actually begun, when Gladstone was about to move his famous resolutions in the House of Commons, there appeared in The Times* another remarkable letter from the same hand. This time, however, it was no mere question of style, though "our miraculous Premier" was a phrase which stuck. Carlyle evidently had information of some design for giving Turkey the support of the British fleet in the neighbourhood of Constantinople, and was not very discreet in the use he made of it. The Cabinet were supposed to be divided on the question of helping Turkey by material means, which of course meant war with Russia, and the Foreign Secretary, Lord Derby, was known to be in favour of peace. A year later Lord Carnarvon and Lord Derby had both left the Cabinet rather than be responsible for a vote of credit which meant preparation for war, and for calling out the Reserves.

— * May 5, 1877. —

Froude was in complete sympathy with the retiring ministers, and he regarded it as a profound mistake for England to quarrel with Russia on behalf of a Power which had no business in Europe at all. From his point of view the presence at the Colonial Office of so sympathetic a Minister as Carnarvon was far more important than the difference between the Treaty of San Stefano and the Treaty of Berlin. Of the Afghan War in 1878 he strongly disapproved.

The following extracts from letters to Lady Derby show the phases of thought on the Eastern Question through which Froude passed, and are interesting also because they represent him in an unfamiliar light as the champion of parliamentary Government against the secret diplomacy of Lord Beaconsfield. Arbitrary rule might be very good for Irishmen. As applied to Englishmen Froude disliked it no less than Gladstone or Bright.

"February 16th, 1877.—The Opposition have no hope of making a successful attack on the present Parliament—but they are resolute. They know their own minds, and Gladstone (I know) has said that he has but to hold up his finger to force a dissolution and return as Prime Minister. I too think you are deceived by the London Press. Another massacre and all would be over. The Golden Bridge you speak of I conclude is for Russia; but if it was possible for the Cabinet, without changing its attitude, to make such a bridge, there would be no need of one. England has been, and I fear still is, the one obstacle to measures which would have long ago brought the Turk to his senses. I cannot but feel assured that you have thrown away an opportunity for securing to the Conservative party the gratitude of Europe and the possession of office for a generation. If more mischief happens in Turkey it will be on you that public displeasure will fall, and you may need a bridge for yourselves and not find one. I croak like a raven. Perhaps you may set it down to an almost totally sleepless night."

"April 30th, 1877.—You destroy the last hope to which I had clung, that Lord Derby, though opposed to Russian policy, would not consent to go to war with her. I remain of my old opinion that England (foolishly excited as it always when fighting is going on) will in the long run resent the absurdity and punish the criminality of taking arms in a worthless cause. I am sick of heart at the thought of what is coming, here as well as on the Continent. I have begged Carlyle to write a last appeal to The Times. We must agitate in the great towns, we must protest against what we may be unable to prevent. The Crimean War was innocent compared to what is now threatened, yet three years ago there was scarcely a person in England who did not admit that it was a mistake. I do not know what may be the verdict of the public about a repetition of it at the present moment. I know but too well what will be the verdict five years hence, and the fate which will overtake those who, with however good a motive, are courting the ruin of their party."

"December 22nd, 1877.—-The passion for interference in defence of the Turks seems limited (as I was always convinced that it was) to the idle educated classes. The public meetings which have been, or are to be, go the other way, or at least are against our taking a part on the Turkish side. The demonstrations which Lord B. expected to follow on the first Russian success have not followed. The Telegraph and Morning Post have used their whips on the dead Crimean horse, but it will not stir for them. It will not stir even for the third volume of the Prince Consort's Life. But I am very sorry about it all, for the damage to the Conservative party from the lost opportunity of playing a great and honourable part is, I fear, irretrievable."

"December 27th, 1877.—The accounts from Bulgaria and Armenia turn me sick. These sheep, what have they done? Diplomalists quarrel, and the people suffer. The management of human affairs will be much improved when the people tell their respective Cabinets that if there is fighting to be done the Cabinets must fight themselves, and that the result shall be accepted as final. Nine out of ten great wars might have been settled that way with equal advantage so far as the consequences were concerned, and to the infinite relief of poor humanity."

"March 10th, 1878.—I met Lord D. at the club the other night. He looked As Prometheus might have looked when he was 'Unbound.' He was in excellent spirits and talked brilliantly. Not one allusion to the East, but I guessed that he had a mind at ease."

"April 8th, 1878.—I wish I knew whether the Cabinet has determined on forcing war upon Russia at all events, or if Russia consents to go into the Conference on the English terms; the Cabinet will then bona fide endeavour after an equitable and honourable settlement. Lord B.'s antecedents all point to a determination to make any settlement impossible. He has succeeded so far without provoking the other Powers, but such a game is surely dangerous, backed though he by every fool and knave in England."

"July 15th, 1878.—I gather that the Opposition is too disorganised to resist; and if Parliament endure to be set aside, and allow the destinies of their country to be affected so enormously by the sole action of the Crown and the Cabinet, a change is passing over us the results of which it is impossible to estimate. We do, in fact, take charge of the Turkish Empire as completely as we took the Empire of the Moguls. In a little while we shall have to administer on the Continent as well as in Cyprus, and then will arise a new Asiatic army. This will bring wars with it before long, and a proportionate increase of the power of the Executive Government. If Parliament abdicates its authority now, what may we not anticipate? I have long felt that the House of Commons could not long continue to govern the great concerns of the British Empire as it has done. I certainly did not expect that it would yield without a struggle—nor will it. Sooner or later we shall see a fight against the tendency which is giving so startling an evidence of its existence—and what is to happen then?"

"July 21st, 1878.—Lord Derby's speech was as good as it could possibly be. What he says now all the world will say two years hence. How deeply it cut appeared plainly enough in the scenes which followed. It must be peculiarly distressing to you—distressing in many ways, for I feel as certain as ever that the end of it all will be irreparable damage to the Conservative party. One would like to know Prince Bismarck's private opinion of the Premier and private opinion also of the nation which has taken him for their chosen leader. Of course he will dissolve while the glamour is fresh; and before the effects of the bad champagne with which he has dosed the country begin to appear—first headache and penitence, and then exasperation at the provider of the entertainment."

"November 24th, 1878.—The evil shadow of the Premier extends over the most innocent of our pleasures. I had been looking forward to a few days at Knowsley as the most enjoyable which I should have had during the whole year. Yet I knew how it would be. Daring as he is, he could not venture on an entire defiance of public opinion. Parliament of course would have to meet, and equally of course you and Lord D. would have to come up. I conclude the object to be to get up a Russian war after all. The stress laid by Lord Cranbrook on the reception of the Russian Embassy as the point of the injury will make it very difficult for the Russians to be neutral. If this is what the Ministry really intend, they may have their majority in Parliament docile, but I doubt whether they will have the country with them. I am sure they will not if Hartington and Granville support Lord Lawrence.

"I interpret it all as meaning that the Premier knows that his policy has thoroughly broken down in Europe, and at all risks he means to have another try in the East."

It was Froude's opinion, right or wrong, that Lord Beaconsfield might have settled the Irish question if he had left the Eastern question alone. He understood it, as some of his early speeches show, and he might have "established a just Land Court with the support of all the best land-owners in Ireland."* Why the Land Court established by Gladstone in 1881 was unjust Froude did not explain. Some of the best landlords, if not all, supported it, and it relieved an intolerable situation.

— * Table Talk of Shirley, p. 180. —



When James Spedding introduced Froude to Carlyle he made unconsciously an epoch in English literature. For though Froude was incapable of merging himself in another man, as Spedding merged himself in Bacon, he did more for the author of Sartor Resartus than Spedding did for the author of the Novum Organum. Spedding's Bacon is an impossible hero of unhistorical perfection. Froude's Carlyle, like Boswell's Johnson, is a great man painted as he was. When the original head master of Uppingham described his school as Eton without its faults, there were those who felt for the first time that there was something to be said for the faults of Eton. Carlyle without his paradoxes and prejudices, his impetuous temper and his unbridled tongue would be only half himself. If he were known only through his books, the world would have missed acquaintance with letters of singular beauty, and with the most humourous talker of his age. He was one of two men, Newman being the other, whose influence Froude felt through life, and the influence of Newman was chiefly upon his style. Of Newman indeed he saw very little after he left Oxford, though his admiration and reverence for him never abated. It was not until he came to live in London after the death of his first wife that he grew really intimate with Carlyle. Up to that time he was no more than an occasional visitor in Cheyne Row with a profound belief in the philosophy of that incomparable poem in prose, The French Revolution. Carlyle helped him with his own history, the earlier volumes of which show clear traces of the master, and encouraged him in his literary work.

Mrs. Carlyle was scarcely less remarkable than her husband. Although she never wrote a line for publication, her private letters are among the best in the language, and all who knew her agree that she talked as well as she wrote. Froude thought her the most brilliant and interesting woman he had ever met. The attraction was purely intellectual. Mrs. Carlyle was no longer young, and Froude's temperament was not inflammable. But she liked clever men, and clever men liked her. She was an unhappy woman, without children, without religion, without any regular occupation except keeping house. Her husband she regarded as the greatest genius of his time, and his affection for her was the deepest feeling of his heart. He was at bottom a sincerely kind man, and his servants were devoted to him. But he was troublesome in small matters; irritable, nervous, and dyspeptic. His books harassed him like illnesses, and he groaned under the infliction. If he were disturbed when he was working, he lost all self-control, and his wife felt, she said, as if she were keeping a private mad-house. It was not quite so private as it might have been, for Mrs. Carlyle found in her grievances abundant food for her sarcastic tongue. Whatever she talked about she made interesting, and her relations with her husband became a common subject of gossip. It was said that the marriage had never been a real one, that they were only companions, and so forth. Froude was content to enjoy the society of the most gifted couple in London without troubling himself to solve mysteries which did not concern him.

Thrifty as she was, Mrs. Carlyle was not fitted by physical strength and early training to be the wife of a poor man. She was too anxious a housekeeper, and worried herself nervously about trifles. Her father had been a country doctor, not rich, but able to keep the necessary servants. In Carlyle's home there were no servants at all. His father was a mason, and the work of the house was done by the family. Why should his wife be in a different position from his mother's? There was no reason, in the nature of things. But custom is very strong, and the early years of Mrs. Carlyle's married life were a hard struggle against grinding poverty. Carlyle was grandly indifferent to material things. He wanted no luxuries, except tobacco and a horse. He would not have altered his message to mankind, or his mode of delivering it, for the wealth of the Indies. What he had to say he said, and men might take it or leave it as they thought proper. He never swerved from the path of integrity. He did not know his way to the house of Rimmon. The mere practical ability required to produce such a book as Frederick the Great might have realised a fortune in business. Carlyle just made enough money to live in decent and wholesome comfort.

From the first Carlyle's conversation attracted Froude, and dazzled him. But he felt, as others felt, that submission rather than intimacy was the attitude which it suggested or compelled. There was no republic of letters in Carlyle's house. It was a dictatorship, pure and simple. What the dictator condemned was heresy. What he did not know was not knowledge. Mill was a poor feckless driveller. Darwin was a pretentious sciolist. Newman had the intellect of a rabbit. Herbert Spencer was "the most unending ass in Christendom." "Scribbling Sands and Eliots" were unfit to tie Mrs. Carlyle's shoe-strings. Editing Keats was "currying dead dog." Ruskin could only point out the correggiosity of Correggio. Political economy was the dismal science, or the gospel according to McCrowdie.* Carlyle's eloquent and humourous diatribes were wonderful, laughter-moving, awe-compelling. They did not put his hearers at their ease, and Froude felt more admiration than sympathy.

— * McCulloch, the editor of Adam Smith, was meant —

In 1861, when Froude had been settled in London about a year, he received a visit from the great author himself. Carlyle did not take to many people, but he took to Froude. Perhaps he was touched by the younger man's devotion. Perhaps he saw that Froude was no ordinary disciple, and would be able to carry on the torch when he relinquished it himself. At all events he expressed a wish to see him oftener in his walks, in his rides, in his home. Nothing could be more flattering than such an invitation from such a man. Froude responded cordially, and became an habitual visitor. Like all really good talkers, Carlyle was at his best with a single companion, and there could be no more sympathetic companion than Froude. But there was another object of interest at Cheyne Row, and Froude felt for Mrs. Carlyle sincere compassion. She was often left to herself while her husband wrote upstairs, and she suffered tortures from neuralgia. It seemed to Froude that Carlyle, who never had a day's serious illness, felt more for his own dyspepsia and hypochondria than for his wife's far graver ailments. In this he was very likely unjust, for Carlyle was tenderly attached to his "Jeanie," and would have done anything for her if he had thought of it. But he was absorbed in Friederich, whose battles he would fight over again with the tired invalid on sofa. If woman be the name of frailty, the name of vanity is man. Carlyle was fond of his wife, but he was thinking of himself. His "Niagaras of scorn and vituperation" were a vent for his own feelings, a sort of moral gout. The apostle of silence recked not his own rede, nor did he think of the impression which his purely destructive preaching might make upon other people. He himself found in the eternities and immensities some kind of substitute for the Calvinistic Presbyterianism of his childhood. To her it was idle rhetoric and verbiage. He had taken away her dogmatic beliefs, and had nothing to put in their place. Her "pale, drawn, suffering face" haunted Froude in his dreams. In 1862 Mrs. Carlyle's health broke down, and for a year her case seemed desperate. Her doctor sent her away to St. Leonard's, and in no long time she apparently recovered. After that her husband took more care of her, and provided her with a carriage. But her constitution had been shattered, and she died suddenly as she drove through Hyde Park on the 21st of April, 1866, while Carlyle was at Dumfries, resting after the delivery of his Rectorial Address to the University of Edinburgh.

Carlyle's bereavement drove him into more complete dependence upon Froude's sympathy and support. The lonely old man brooded over his loss, and over his own short-comings. He shut himself up in the house to read his wife's diaries and papers. He found that without meaning it he had often made her miserable. In her journal for the 21st of June, 1856, he read, "The chief interest of to-day expressed in blue marks on my wrists!"* He realised that he had almost driven her to suicide, he the great preacher of duty and self-abnegation. "For the next few years," says Froude, "I never walked with him without his recurring to a subject which was never absent from his mind." Doubtless his remorse was exaggerated. His letters, and his wife's, show that he was a most affectionate husband when nothing had occurred to deprive him of his self-command. But he had at times been cruelly inconsiderate, and he wished to do penance for his misdeeds. A practical Christian would have asked God to pardon him, and made amends by active kindness to his surviving fellow- creatures. Carlyle took another course. In 1871, five years after his wife's death, he suddenly brought Froude a large bundle of papers, containing a memoir of Mrs. Carlyle by himself, a number of her letters, and some other biographical fragments. Froude was to read them, to keep them, and to publish them or not, as he pleased, after Carlyle was dead.+

— * This passage was suppressed by Froude when he published Mrs. Carlyle's Diary and Letters. But he kept the copy made by Carlyle's niece under his superintendence, which still exists; and as an incorrect version has appeared since his death, I give the correct one now. + "I long much, with a tremulous, deep, and almost painful feeling, about that other Manuscript which you were kind enough to read at the very first. Be prepared to tell me, with all your candour, the pros and contras there."—Carlyle to Froude, 26th of September, 1871. From The Hill, Dumfries. —

Well would it have been for Froude's peace of mind if he had handed the parcel back again, and refused to look at it. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil scarcely yielded more fatal fruit. He read the papers, however, and "for the first time realised what a tragedy the life in Cheyne Row had been." That he exaggerated the purport of what he read is likely enough. When there are quarrels between husband and wife, a man naturally inclines to take the woman's side. Froude, as he says himself, was haunted by Mrs. Carlyle's look of suffering, physical rather than mental, and it would necessarily colour his judgment of the facts. At all events his conclusion was that Carlyle had just ground for remorse, and that in collecting the letters he had partially expiated his offence. When Mrs. Carlyle's Correspondence came to be published it was seen that there were two sides to the question, and that, if he had leisure to think of what he was doing, Carlyle could be the most considerate of husbands. Irritable and selfish he might be. Deliberately cruel he never was. Froude, with his accustomed frankness, told Carlyle at once what he thought. Mrs. Carlyle's letters should be published, not alone, but with the memoir composed by himself.

Carlyle had originally intended that this memoir, or sketch, as it rather is, should be preserved, but not printed. Afterwards, however, he gave it to Froude, and added an express permission to do as he liked with it. Froude was not content with his own opinion. He consulted John Forster, the biographer of Goldsmith and of Dickens, a common friend of Carlyle and himself. Forster read the documents, and promised that he would speak to Carlyle about them, giving no opinion to Froude, but intimating that he should impress upon Carlyle the need for making things clear in his will. This most sensible advice was duly taken, and Carlyle's will, signed on the 6th of February, 1873, which nominated Forster and his own brother John as executors, contained the following passage:

"My manuscript entitled 'Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle' is to me in my now bereaved state, of endless value, though of what value to others I cannot in the least clearly judge; and indeed for the last four years am imperatively forbidden to write farther on it, or even to look farther into it. Of that manuscript my kind, considerate, and ever faithful friend, James Anthony Froude (as he has lovingly promised me) takes precious charge in my stead. To him therefore I give it with whatever other fartherances and elucidations may be possible, and I solemnly request of him to do his best and wisest in the matter, as I feel assured he will. There is incidentally a quantity of autobiographic record in my notes to this manuscript; but except as subsidiary and elucidative of the text I put no value on such. Express biography of me I had really rather that there should be none. James Anthony Froude, John Forster, and my brother John, will make earnest survey of the manuscript and its subsidiaries there or elsewhere in respect to this as well as to its other bearings; their united utmost candour and impartiality, taking always James Anthony Froude's practicality along with it, will evidently furnish a better judgment than mine can be. The manuscript is by no means ready for publication; nay, the questions how, when (after what delay, seven, ten years) it, or any portion of it, should be published are still dark to me; but on all such points James Anthony Froude's practical summing up and decision is to be taken as mine." No expression of confidence could well be stronger, no discretion could well be more absolute. So far as one man can substitute another for himself, Carlyle substituted Froude.

Froude was under the impression that Carlyle had given him the letters because he wanted them to be published, and did not want to publish them. Embarrassing as the position was, he accepted it in tranquil ignorance of what was to come. Two years after the receipt of the memoirs and letters there arrived at his house a box of more letters, more memoirs, dimes, odds and ends, put together without much arrangement in the course of a long life. He was told that they were the materials for Carlyle's biography, and was begged to undertake it forthwith. So far as his own interests were concerned, he had much better have declined the task. His History of England had given him a name throughout Europe, and whatever he wrote was sure to be well received. His English in Ireland was approaching completion, and he had in his mind a scheme for throwing fresh light on the age of Charles V. Principal Robertson's standard book was in many respects obsolete. The subject was singularly attractive, and would have furnished an excellent opportunity for bringing out the best side of the Roman Catholic Church, which in Charles's son, Philip, so familiar in Froude's History of England, was seen at its worst or weakest. Charles was to him an embodiment of the Conservative principle, which he regarded as the strongest part of Catholicism, and as needed to counteract the social upheaval of the Reformation. Such a book he could write in his own way, independent of every one. The biographer of Carlyle, on the other hand, would be involved in numerous difficulties, could hardly avoid giving offence, and must sacrifice years of his life to employment more onerous, as well as less lucrative, than writing a History of his own. Carlyle, however, was persistent, and Froude yielded. After Mrs. Carlyle's death they had met constantly, and the older man relied upon the younger as upon a son.

Froude sat down before the mass of documents in the spirit which had encountered the manuscripts of Simancas. No help was accorded him. He had to spell out the narrative for himself. On one point he did venture to consult Carlyle, but Carlyle shrank from the topic with evident pain, and the conversation was not renewed. It appeared from Mrs. Carlyle's letters and journals that she had been jealous of Lady Ashburton, formerly Lady Harriet Baring, and by birth a Sandwich Montagu. "Lady Ashburton," says Charles Greville, writing on the occasion of her death in 1857, "was perhaps, on the whole, the most conspicuous woman in the society of the present day. She was undoubtedly very intelligent, with much quickness and vivacity in conversation, and by dint of a good deal of desultory reading and social intercourse with men more or less distinguished, she had improved her mind, and made herself a very agreeable woman, and had acquired no small reputation for ability and wit …. She was, or affected to be, extremely intimate with every man whose literary celebrity or talents constituted their only attraction, and, while they were gratified by the attentions of the great lady, her vanity was flattered by the homage of such men, of whom Carlyle was the principal. It is only justice to her to say that she treated her literary friends with constant kindness and the most unselfish attentions. They and their wives and children (when they had any) were received at her house in the country, and entertained there for weeks without any airs of patronage, and with a spirit of genuine benevolence as well as hospitality."*

— * The Greville Memoirs, vol. iii. pp. 109, 110. —

But Lady Ashburton and Mrs. Carlyle did not get on. As Carlyle's wife the latter would doubtless have been welcome enough at the Grange. Being much cleverer than Lady Ashburton, she seemed to dispute a supremacy which had not hitherto been challenged, and the relations of the two women were strained. Carlyle, on the other hand, had become, so Froude discovered from his wife's journal, romantically, though quite innocently, attached to Lady Ashburton, and this was one cause of dissension at Cheyne Row. There was nothing very dreadful in the disclosure. Carlyle was a much safer acquaintance for the other sex than Robert Burns, whose conversation carried the Duchess of Gordon off her feet, and Mrs. Carlyle's jealousy was not of the ordinary kind. Still, the incident was not one of those which lighten a biographer's responsibility. Froude has himself explained, in a paper not intended for publication, the light in which it appeared to him. "Intellectual and spiritual affection being all which he had to give, Mrs. Carlyle naturally looked on these at least as exclusively her own. She had once been his idol, she was now a household drudge, and the imaginative homage which had been once hers was given to another." Froude's posthumous championship of Mrs. Carlyle may have led him to magnify unduly the importance of domestic disagreements. But however that may be, the opinions which he formed, and which Carlyle gave him the means of forming, did not increase the attractions of the duty he had undertaken to discharge.

Froude's own admiration of Carlyle was, it must always be remembered, not in the least diminished by what he read. He still thought him the greatest man of his age, and believed that his good influence would expand with time. That there should be spots on the sun did not disturb him, especially as moral perfection was the last thing he had ever attributed to Carlyle. Meanwhile his position was altered, and altered, as it seems, without his knowledge. Carlyle's original executors were his brother, Dr. Carlyle, and John Forster. Forster died in 1876, and by a codicil dated the 8th of November, 1878, Froude's name was put in the place of his, Sir James Stephen, the eminent jurist, afterwards a judge of the High Court, being added as a third. At that time Froude was engaged, to Carlyle's knowledge, upon the first volume of the Life. At Carlyle's request he had given up the editorship of Fraser's Magazine, which brought him in a comfortable income of four hundred a year, and he had wholly devoted himself to the service of his master. Carlyle expected that he would soon follow his wife. He survived her fifteen years, during which he wrote little, for his right hand was partly paralysed, and continually meditated upon the future destiny of the memorials entrusted to Froude.

In 1879 Dr. Carlyle died, leaving Froude and Stephen the sole executors under the will. Late in the autumn of that year Carlyle suddenly said to Froude, "When you have done with those papers of mine, give them to Mary." Mary was his niece Mary Aitken, Mrs. Alexander Carlyle, who had lived in Cheyne Row to take care of her uncle since her aunt's death, and was married to her cousin. Carlyle speaks of her with great affection in his will, "for the loving care and unwearied patience and helpfulness she has shown to me in these my last solitary and infirm years." It was natural that he should think of her, and should contemplate leaving her more than the five hundred pounds specified in his original will. But this particular request was so startling that Froude ought to have made further inquiries. The papers had been given to him, and he might have destroyed them. They had been, without his knowledge, left in the will to John Carlyle, who was then dead. Carlyle's mind was not clear about the fate of his manuscripts. Froude, however, acquiesced, and did not even ask that Carlyle should put his intentions on paper. At this time, while he was writing the first volume of the Life, Froude made up his mind to keep back Mrs. Carlyle's letters, with her husband's sketch of her, to suppress the fact that there had been any disagreement between them, but to publish in a single volume Carlyle's reminiscences of his father, of Edward Irving, of Francis Jeffrey, and of Robert Southey. To this separate publication Carlyle at once assented. But in November, 1880, when he was eighty-five, and Mrs. Carlyle had been fourteen years in her grave, he asked what Froude really meant to do with the letters and the memoir. Forced to make up his mind at once, and believing that publication was Carlyle's own wish, he replied that he meant to publish them. The old man seemed to be satisfied, and no more was said. Froude drew the inference that most people would, in the circumstances, have drawn. He concluded that Carlyle wished to relieve himself of responsibility, to get the matter off his mind, to have no disclosure in his lifetime, but to die with the assurance that after his death the whole story of his wife's heroism would be told.

On the 4th of February, 1881, Carlyle died. Froude, Tyndall, and Lecky attended his quiet funeral in the kirkyard of Ecclefechan, where he lies with his father and mother. Dean Stanley had offered Westminster Abbey, but the family had refused. Carlyle was buried among his own people, who best understood him, and whom he best understood. The two volumes of reminiscences at once appeared, including sketches of Irving and Jeffrey, with the memoir of Mrs. Carlyle. But even before the publication of these volumes, which came out early in March, a question, which was ominous of future trouble, arose out of copyright and title to profits. A fortnight after Carlyle's death Froude's co-executor, Mr. Justice Stephen, had a personal interview with Mrs. Alexander Carlyle, in the presence of her husband, and of Mr. Ouvry, who was acting as solicitor for all parties. On this occasion Mrs. Carlyle said that Froude had promised her the whole profits of the Reminiscences, that her uncle had approved of this arrangement, and that she would not take less. Thus the first difference between Froude and the Carlyle family related to money. Mrs. Carlyle did not know that the memoirs of her aunt would be among the reminiscences, and the sum which had promised her was the speculative value of an American edition, which was never in fact realised.

In lieu of this he offered half the English profits, and brought out the Reminiscences, "Jane Welsh Carlyle" being among them. They were eagerly read, not merely by all lovers of good literature, but by all lovers of gossip, good or bad. Carlyle's pen, like Dante's, "bit into the live man's flesh for parchment." He had a Tacitean power of drawing a portrait with a phrase which haunted the memory. James Carlyle, the Annandale mason, was as vivid as Jonathan Oldbuck himself. But it was upon Mrs. Carlyle that public interest fastened. The delineation of her was most beautiful, and most pathetic. There were few expressions of actual remorse, and Carlyle was not the first man to feel that the value of a blessing is enhanced by loss. But there was an undertone of something more than regret, a suspicion or suggestion of penitence, which set people talking. It is always pleasant to discover that a preacher of righteousness has not been a good example himself, and "poor Mrs. Carlyle" received much posthumous sympathy, as cheap as it was useless. Whether Froude should have published the memoir is a question which may be discussed till the end of time. He conceived himself to be under a pledge. He had given his word to a dead man, who could not release him. It seems, however, clear that he should have taken the course least injurious to Carlyle's memory, and in such a very delicate matter he might well have asked advice. From the purely literary point of view there could be no doubt at all. Not even Frederick the Great, that storehouse of "jewels five words long," contains more sparkling gems than these two precious little volumes. Froude speaks in his preface of having made "requisite omissions." A few more omissions might have been made with advantage, especially a brutal passage about Charles Lamb and his sister, which Elia's countless admirers find it hard to forgive. Mrs. Procter, widow of Barry Cornwall, the poet, and herself a most remarkable woman, was so much annoyed by the description of her mother, Mrs. Basil Montagu, and her step-father, the editor of Bacon,* that she published some early and rather obsequious letters written to them by Carlyle himself. But the chief outcry was raised by the revelation of Carlyle's most intimate feelings about his wife, and about his own behaviour to her. There was nothing very bad. He was driven to accuse himself of the crime that, when he was writing Frederick and she lay ill on the sofa, he used to talk to her about the battle of Mollwitz. Froude was naturally astonished at the effect produced, but then Froude knew Carlyle, and the public did not.

— * Carlyle's Miscellanies, i. 223-230. —

Trouble, however, awaited him of a very different kind. After the publication of the Reminiscences, on the 3rd of May, 1881, he returned to Mrs. Alexander Carlyle the manuscript note-book which contained the memoir of her aunt, as Carlyle had requested him to do. At the end of it, on separate and wafered paper, following rather vague surmise that, though he meant to burn the book, it would probably survive him and be read by his friends, were these words:

"In which event, I solemnly forbid them, each and all, to publish this Bit of Writing as it stands here; and warn them that without fit editing no part of it should be printed (nor so far as I can order, shall ever be); and that the 'fit editing' of perhaps nine- tenths of it will, after I am gone, have become impossible.

"T. C. (Saturday, July 28th, 1866)."

Mary Carlyle at once wrote to The Times, and accused Froude of having violated her uncle's express directions. It would have been better if Froude had himself quoted this passage, and explained the subsequent events which made it obsolete. But he never suspected any one, and believed at the time of publication in the entire friendliness of the Carlyle family. His answer to the charge of betraying a trust was simple and satisfactory. Carlyle had changed his mind. This is clear from the fact that he gave Froude the memoir in 1871, five years after it was written, to do as he pleased with; and still clearer from the conversation in 1880, when Froude told him that he meant to publish, and Carlyle said "Very well." Moreover, the will, a formal and legal document, expressly gave Froude entire discretion in the matter. Froude replied at first with temper and judgment. But when Mrs. Carlyle persisted in her insinuations, and implied a doubt of his veracity, he gave way to a very natural resentment, and made a rash offer. He had, he said, brought out the memoir by Carlyle's own desire. He should do the same with Mrs. Carlyle's letters, for the same reason. "The remaining letters," he went on to say, "which I was directed to return to Mrs. Carlyle so soon as I had done with them, I will restore at once to any responsible person whom she will empower to receive them from me. I have reason to complain of the position in which I have been placed with respect to these MSS. They were sent to me at intervals without inventory or even a memorial list. I was told that the more I burnt of them the better, and they were for several years in my possession before I was aware that they were not my own. Happily I have destroyed none of them, and Mrs. Carlyle may have them all when she pleases." Froude can hardly have reflected upon the full significance of what he was saying. He had at this time been long engaged upon the biography of Carlyle, and a considerable part of it was finished. If he had then given back his materials, his labour would have been wasted, and Carlyle's own personal injunction would have been disobeyed. Carlyle's memory would also have suffered parable injury. It is said, and it squares with the facts, that Mary Carlyle and her friends, whose literary judgment was not quite equal to Carlyle's own, desired to substitute as his biographer some learned professor in Scotland.* If that were their object, they are to be congratulated upon their failure. For the offer was not carried out. As a bare promise without consideration it was not of course valid in law, and since no one had acted upon it, its withdrawal did no one any harm. There were also legal difficulties which made its fulfilment impossible. According to counsel's opinion, dated the 13th of May, 1881, Carlyle's request that the papers should be restored was "an attempted verbal testamentary disposition, which had no legal authority." The documents belonged not to Froude personally, but to himself and Fitz-james Stephen, as joint executors, and Stephen has left it on record that he would not have consented to their return until Froude's task was accomplished.

— * David Masson, the editor of Milton, I have been told, but I do not know. —

Mrs. Alexander Carlyle's view was not shared by other and older members of her uncle's family. During the summer of 1881 Froude received from Carlyle's surviving brother, James, and his surviving sister, Mrs. Austin, a letter dated the 8th of August, and written from Ecclefechan, in which he was implored not to give up his task of writing the Life, and assured of their perfect reliance upon him. This assurance is the more significant because it was given after the publication of the Reminiscences. It was renewed on James Carlyle' s part through his son after the appearance of Mrs. Carlyle's letters in 1883, and by Mrs. Austin through her daughter upon receiving the final volumes of the biography in 1884. Miss Austin wrote at her mother's request on the 25th of October, 1884, "My uncle at all times placed implicit confidence in you, and that confidence has not, I am sure, in any way been abused. He always spoke of you as his best and truest friend." Time has amply vindicated Carlyle's opinion, and his discretion in the choice of a biographer.

As Mrs. Alexander Carlyle considered the publication of the memoir, which is by far the most interesting part of the Reminiscences, to be an impropriety, and a breach of faith, it might have been supposed that she would repudiate the idea of deriving any profit from the book. On the contrary, she attempted to secure the whole, and refused to take a part, declaring that Froude had promised to give her all. Froude's recollection was that, thinking Carlyle's provision for his niece insufficient,* he had promised her the American income, which he had been told would be large, though it turned out to be very small indeed, in acknowledgment of her services as a copyist. Ultimately he made her the generous offer of fifteen hundred pounds, retaining only three for himself. She accepted the money, though she denied that it was a gift. In the opinion of Mr. Justice Stephen, which is worth rather more than hers, it was legally a gift, though there may have been in the circumstances a moral obligation. But Mary Carlyle put forward another clam, of which the executors heard for the first time in June, 1881. She then said that in 1875, six years before his death, her uncle had orally given her all his papers, and handed her the keys of the receptacles which contained them.

— * The provision for Mary Carlyle in the will of 1873 was, however, materially increase by the codicil of 1878, under which she received the house in Cheyne Row after the death of her uncle John, who died before her uncle Thomas. —

Her recollection, however, must have been erroneous. For the bulk of the papers had been in Froude's possession since the end of 1873, or at latest the beginning of 1874, and were not in the drawers or boxes which the keys would have opened. On the strength of her own statement, which was never tested in a court of law and was inconsistent with the clause in Carlyle's will leaving his manuscripts to his brother John, Mrs. Carlyle demanded that Froude should surrender the materials for his biography, and not complete it. He put himself into the hands of his co-executor, who successfully resisted the demand, and Froude, in accordance with Carlyle's clearly expressed desire, kept the papers until he had done with them. In a long and able letter to Froude himself, printed for private circulation in 1886, Mr. Justice Stephen says, with natural pride, "It was my whole object throughout to prevent a law- suit for the determination of what I felt was a merely speculative question, and to defeat the attempt made to prevent you from writing Mr. Carlyle's life, and I am happy to say I succeeded." The public will always be grateful to the Judge, for there was no one living except Froude who had both the knowledge and the eloquence that could have produced such a book as his. Of the Reminiscences Froude wrote to Skelton, "To me in no one of his writings does he appear in a more beautiful aspect; and so, I am still convinced, will all mankind eventually think."

His own frame of mind at this period is vividly expressed in a letter to Max Muller, dated the 8th of December, 1881. After some references to Goethe's letters, and German copyright, he continues:

"So much ill will has been shown me in the case of other letters that I walk as if on hot ashes, and often curse the day when I undertook the business. I had intended, when I finished my English history, to set myself quietly down to Charles the Fifth, and spend the rest of my life on him. I might have been half through by this time, and the world all in good humour with me. My ill star was uppermost when I laid this aside. There are objections to every course which I can follow. The arguments for and against were so many and so strong that Carlyle himself could not decide what was to be done, and left it to me. He could see all sides of the question. Other people will see one, or one more strongly than another, whatever it may be; and therefore, do what I will, a large body of people will blame me. Nay, if I threw it up, a great many would blame me. What have I done that I should be in such a strait? But I am sixty-four years old, and I shall soon be beyond it all."

The first two volumes of the biography, covering the earlier half of Carlyle's life, when his home was in Scotland, from 1795 to 1835, appeared in 1882 and added to the hubbub. The public had got on a false scent, and gossip had found a congenial theme. Carlyle was in truth one of the noblest men that ever lived. His faults were all on the surface. His virtues were those which lie at the foundation of our being. For the common objects of vulgar ambition he had a scorn too deep for words. He never sought, and he did not greatly value, the praise of men. He had a message to deliver, in which he profoundly believed, and he could no more go beyond it, or fall short of it, than Balaam when he was tempted by Balak. Contemporaries without a hundredth part of his talent, even for practical business, attained high positions, or positions which the world thought high. Carlyle did not envy them, was not dazzled by them, but held to his own steadfast purpose of preaching truth and denouncing shams. His generosity to his own family was boundless, and he never expected thanks. He was tender-hearted, forgiving, kind, in all great matters, whenever he had time to think. Courage and truth made him indifferent to fashion and popularity. Popularity was not his aim. His aim was to tell people what was for their good, whether they would hear or whether they would forbear. Froude had so much confidence in the essential greatness of the man that he did not hesitate to show him as he was, not a prodigy of impossible perfection, but a sterling character and a lofty genius. Therefore his portrait lives, and will live, when biographies written for flattery or for edification have been consigned to boxes or to lumber-rooms.

Froude was only following the principles laid down by Carlyle himself. In reviewing Lockhart's Life of Scott, Carlyle emptied the vials of his scorn, which were ample and capacious, upon "English biography, bless its mealy mouth." The censure of Lockhart for "personalities, indiscretion," violating the "sanctities of private life," was, he said, better than a good many praises. A biographer should speak the truth, having the fear of God before his eyes, and no other fear whatever. That Lockhart had done, and in the eyes Carlyle, who admired him as he admired few it was a supreme merit. For the hypothesis Lockhart "at heart had a dislike to Scott, had done his best in an underhand, treacherous manner to dis-hero him," he expressed, as he well might, unbounded contempt. It seems incredible now that such a theory should ever, in or out of Bedlam, have been held. Perhaps it will be equally incredible some day that a similar view should have been taken of the relations between Froude and Carlyle.

It is no disparagement of Lockhart's great book to say that in this respect of telling the truth he had an easy task. For Scott was as faultless as a human creature can be. Every one who knew him loved him, and he loved all men, even Whigs. His early life, prosperous and successful, was as different as possible from Carlyle's. It was not until the years were closing in upon him that misfortune came, and called out that serene, heroic fortitude which his diary has made an everlasting possession for mankind. Carlyle once said in a splenetic mood that the lives of men of letters were the most miserable records in literature, except the Newgate Calendar. There could be no more striking examples to the contrary than Scott's life and his own. Perhaps Froude went too far in the direction indicated by Carlyle himself; abounded, as the French say, too much in Carlyle's sense. In his zeal to paint his hero, as his hero's hero wished to be painted, with the warts, he may have made those disfiguring marks too prominent. That a great man often has many small faults is a truism which does not need perpetual insistence. Froude is rather too fond, like Carlyle himself, of taking up and repeating a single phrase. When, for example, Carlyle's mother said, half in fun, that he was "gey ill to deal wi'," she was not stating a general proposition, but referring to a particular, and not very important, case of diet. When Miss Welsh, who was in love with Edward Irving, told Carlyle in 1823 that she could only love him as a brother, and could not marry him, it is a too summary judgment, and not compatible with Froude's own language elsewhere, to say that had they left matters thus it would have been better for both of them. If she said at the end of her life, "I married for ambition, Carlyle has exceeded all that my wildest hopes ever imagined of him- and I am miserable,"* she said also, many times over, that he was the tenderest of husbands, and that no mother could have watched her health with more solicitude. He gave what he had to give. He could not give what he had not. "Of all the men whom I have ever seen," said Froude, "Carlyle was the least patient of the common woes of humanity." The fact is that his natural eloquence was irrepressible. If Miss Edgeworth's King Corny had the gout, nature said "Howl," and he howled. If Carlyle had indigestion, he broke into picturesque rhetoric about the hag which was riding him no-whither. A far characteristic passage than his mother's "gey to deal wi'" is his own simple confession to his father, "When I shout murder, I am not always being killed."+

* Life, i. 302.
+ Life, i. 209.

That Froude's ideas of a biographer's duty were the same as his own Carlyle had good reason to know. Froude had stated them plainly enough in Fraser's Magazine, which Carlyle always saw, for June, 1876. He prefaced an article on the present Sir George Trevelyan's Life of Macaulay, a daring attack upon that historian for the very faults that were attributed to himself, with the following sentences: "Every man who has played a distinguished part in life, and has largely influenced either the fortunes or the opinions of his contemporaries, becomes the property of the public. We desire to know, and we have a right to know, the inner history of the person who has obtained our confidence." This doctrine would not have been universally accepted. Tennyson, for instance, would have vehemently denied it. But it is at least frankly expressed, and Carlyle must have known very well what sort of biography Froude would write.

If Froude dwelt on Carlyle's failings, it was because he knew that his reputation would bear the strain. He has been justified by the result, for Carlyle's fame stands higher to-day than it ever stood before. That man, be he prince or peasant, is not to be envied who can read Froude's account of Carlyle's early life without feeling the better for it. It is by no means a cheerful story. The first forty years of Carlyle's existence, when the French Revolution had not been published, were an apparently hopeless struggle against poverty and obscurity. Sartor Resartus was scarcely understood by any one, and though his wife saw that it was a work of genius, it seemed to most people unintelligible mysticism. With the splendid exception of Goethe, hardly any one saw at that time what Carlyle was. He was too transcendental for The Edinburgh Review, to which he had occasionally contributed, and the payment for Sartor in Fraser's Magazine was beggarly.* For some years after his marriage in 1826 Carlyle was within measurable distance of starvation. Jeffrey had to explain to him, or did explain to him, that he was unfit for any public employment. He could not dig. To beg he was ashamed. When his father died in 1832 he refused to touch a penny of what the old man left, lest there should not be enough for his brothers and sisters. His personal dignity made it impossible for any stranger to assist him, except by giving him work. He worked incessantly, devouring books of all sorts, especially French and German, translating Wilhelm Meister so superbly well as to make it almost an English book. There was no greater intellect then in the British Islands than Carlyle's and very few with which it could be compared. Yet it was difficult for him to earn a bare subsistence for his wife and himself. Froude has brought out with wonderful power and beauty the character which in Carlyle was above and beyond all the gifts of his mind. If he was a severe critic of others, he was a still sterner judge of himself. It would have been easy for him to make money by writing what people wanted to read. He was determined that if they read anything of his, they should read what would do them good. His isolation was complete. His wife encouraged him and believed in him. Nobody could help him.

* I need hardly say that this was long before Froude's connection
with Fraser.

Work without hope draws nectar in a sieve,
And hope without an object cannot live.

Carlyle, unlike Coleridge, was a real moralist, and it was duty, not hope, that guided his pen. Health he had, though he never would admit it, and with excellent sense he invested his first savings in a horse. His frugal life was at least wholesome, and the one comfort with which he could not dispense was the cheap comfort of tobacco. Idleness would have been impossible to him if he had been a millionaire, and labour was his refuge from despondency. Like most humourists, he had low spirits, though his "genial sympathy with the under side of things," to quote his own definition of the undefinable, must have been some solace for his woes. He could read all day without wearying, so that he need never be alone. As a talker no one surpassed him, or perhaps equalled him at his best, in London or even in Annandale. What ought to have struck all readers of these volumes was the courage, the patience, the dignity, the generosity, and the genius of this Scottish peasant. What chiefly struck too many of them was that he did not get on with his wife.

Froude's defence is first Carlyle's precept, and secondly his own conviction that the truth would be advantageous rather than injurious to Carlyle. Carlyle's way of writing about other people, for instance Charles Lamb, Saint Charles, as Thackeray called him, is sometimes unpardonable; and if Froude had suppressed those passages he would have done well. His own personal conduct is a lesson to us all, and that lesson is in Froude's pages for every one to read. "What a noisy inanity is this world," wrote Carlyle in his diary at the opening of the year 1835. Without the few great men who, like Carlyle, can lift themselves and others above it, it would be still noisier, still more inane.

Next year the gossips had a still richer feast. In 1883 Froude, faithful to his trust, brought out three volumes Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle. The true and permanent interest of this book is that it introduced the British and American public to some of the most brilliantly witty and amusing epistles that the language contains. Indeed, there are very few letter-writers in any language who can be compared with Mrs. Carlyle. Inferior to her husband in humourous description, as in depth of thought, she surpassed him in liveliness of wit, in pungency of satire, and in terseness of expression. Her narrative is inimitable, and sometimes, as in the account of her solitary visit to her old home at Haddington twenty-three years after her marriage, her dramatic power is overwhelming. Carlyle himself had been familiar to the public for half a century through his books. Until Mrs. Carlyle's letters appeared the world knew nothing of her at all, except through her husband's sketch. Considering that good letter-writers are almost as rare as good poets, and that Jane Carlyle is one of the very best, the general reader might have been simply grateful, as perhaps he was. But for purposes of scandal the value of the book was the light it threw upon the matrimonial squabbles, actual or imaginary, of two remarkable persons. Mrs. Carlyle had long been dead, and her relations with her husband were of no importance to any one. But the trivial mind grasps at trivialities, and will not be satisfied without them. Thousands who were quite incapable of appreciating the letters as literature could read between the lines, and apply the immortal principle that a warming-pan is a cover for hidden fire. Unfortunately, Carlyle's heart-broken ejaculations over his dead wife's words leant themselves to theories and surmises. He thought that he had not made enough of her when she was alive, and apparently he wanted the world to know that he thought so. Yet the bulk of the letters are not those of an unhappy, oppressed, down- trodden woman, nor of a woman unable to take care of herself. Some few are intensely miserable, almost like the cries of a wounded animal, and these, even in extracts, might well have been omitted. Mrs. Carlyle would not have written them if she had been herself, and in a collection of more than three hundred they would not have been missed. Some thought also that there were too many household details.* On the whole, however, these letters, with the others published in the Life, are a rich store-house, and they retain their permanent value, untouched by ephemeral rumour.

— * "A good woman," I remember Lord Bowen saying of Mrs. Carlyle, "with perhaps an excessive passion for insecticide." —

I doubt if he bathed before he dressed.
A brasier? the pagan, he burned perfumes!
You see, it is proved, what the neighbours guessed:
His wife and himself had separate rooms.

Carlyle had been dead more than twenty years before the controversies about all that was unimportant in him flickered out and died an unsavoury death. The vital fact about him and his wife is that they contributed, if not equally, at least in an unparalleled degree, to the common stock of genius. But for Froude we might never have known that Mrs. Carlyle had genius at all. Through him we have a series of letters not surpassed by Lady Mary Wortley's, or by any woman's except Madame de Sevigne's.

Then in 1884 Froude completed his task with Carlyle' s Life in London, a biographical masterpiece if ever there was one. It is written on the same principle of telling the truth, painting the warts. But it brings out even more clearely than its predecessor the essential qualities of Carlyle. In one way this was easier. The period of fruitless struggle was almost over when Carlyle left Craigenputtock in 1834. After the appearance of The French Revolution in 1838 he was famous, and every one who read anything read that book. Southey read it six times. Dickens carried it about with him, and founded on it his Tale of Two Cities. Thackeray wrote an enthusiastic review of it. Its wisdom and eloquence were a treasure to Dr. Arnold, who knew, if any man did, what history was. It was like no other book that had ever been written, and critics were driven to talk of Aeschylus or Isaiah. Such comparisons profit little or nothing. The French Revolution is an original book by a man who believed in God's judgment upon sin. The memoirs of Madame Dubarry might have suggested it; but it came from Carlyle's own heart and soul.

Professors may prove to their own satisfaction that it is not history at all, and Carlyle has been posthumously convicted of miscalculating the distance from Paris to Varennes. It remains one of the books that cannot be forgotten, that fascinate all readers, even the professors themselves. And yet, greater than the book itself is Carlyle's behaviour when the first volume had been lost by Mill. Mill, himself in extreme misery, had to come and tell the author. He stayed a long time, and when he had gone Carlyle said to his wife, "Well, Mill, poor fellow, is terribly cut up; we must endeavour to hide from him how very serious this business is to us." Maximus in maximis; minimus in minimis; such was Carlyle, and as such Froude exhibits him, not concealing the fact that in small matters he could be very small.

The two personalities of Carlyle and his wife are so fascinating that there may be some excuse for regarding even their quarrels, which were chiefly on her side,* with interest. But Frederick the Great will survive these broils, and so long as Carlyle's books are read his biography will be read too, as his best extraneous memorial, just, eloquent, appreciative, sincere. Carlyle was no model of austere, colourless consistency. His reverent admiration of Peel, whom he knew, is quite irreconcilable with his savage contempt of Gladstone, whom he did not know. Peel was a great parliamentary statesman, and Gladstone was his disciple. Both belonged equally to the class which Carlyle denounced as the ruin of England, and rose to supreme power through the representative system that he especially abhorred. On no important point, while Peel was alive, did they differ. "On the whole," said Gladstone, "Peel was the greatest man I ever knew," and in finance he was always a Peelite. That a man who was four times Prime Minister of England could have been a canting hypocrite, deceiving himself and others, implies that the whole nation was fit for a lunatic asylum. Carlyle seldom studied a political question thoroughly, and of public men with whom he was acquainted only through the newspapers he was no judge. Personal contact produced estimates which, though they might be harsh, hasty, and unfair, were always interesting, and sometimes marvellously accurate. Of Peel, for instance, though he saw him very seldom, he has left a finished portrait, not omitting the great Minister's humour, for any trace of which the Peel papers may be searched in vain.

— * "Both he and she were noble and generous, but his was the soft heart and hers the stern one."—-Carlyle's Life in London, vol. ii. p. 171. —

The same can be said of Thirlwall, barring the groundless insinuation that he was dishonest in accepting a bishopric. A very different sort of bishop, Samuel Wilberforce, Carlyle liked for his cleverness, though here too he could not help suggesting that on the foundation, or rather baselessness, of the Christian religion, "Sam" agreed with him. The great historian of the age he did not appreciate at all. But, then, he never met Macaulay. "Some little ape called Keble," is not a happy formula for the author of the Christian Year, and this is one of the phrases which I think Froude might well have omitted, as meaning no more than a casual execration. Yet how minute are these defects, when set beside the intrinsic grandeur of the central figure in the book. Carlyle mixed with all sorts and conditions of men and women, from the peasants of Annandale to the best intellectual society of London. He was always, or almost always, the first man in the company, not elated, nor over-awed," standing on the adamantine basis of his manhood, casting aside all props and shoars." From snobbishness, the corroding vice of English society, he was, though he once jocularly charged himself with it, entirely free. He judged individuals on their merits with an eye as piercing and as pitiless as Saint Simon's. On pretence and affectation he had no mercy. Learning, intellect, character, humility, integrity, worth, he held always in true esteem. As Froude says, and it is the final word, Carlyle's "extraordinary talents were devoted, with an equally extraordinary purity of purpose, to his Maker's service, so far as he could see and understand that Maker's will." He led "a life of single-minded effort to do right and only that of constant truthfulness in word and deed."

That the man who wrote these sentences at the close of a book with which they are quite in keeping should have been reviled as a traitor to Carlyle's memory is strange indeed. To Froude it was incredible. Conscious of regarding Carlyle as the greatest moral and intellectual force of his time, he could not have been more astonished if he had been charged with picking a pocket. For criticism of his own judgment he was prepared. He knew well that acute differences of opinion might arise. The dishonesty and malignity imputed to him were outside the habits of his life and the range of his ideas. He lived in a society where such things were not done, and where nobody was suspected of doing them. He had fulfilled, to the best of his ability, Carlyle's own injunctions, and he had faithfully portrayed as he knew him the man whom of all others he most revered. He was bewildered, almost dazed, at what seemed to him the perverse and unscrupulous recklessness of his accusers. Anonymous and abusive letters reached him daily; some even of his own friends looked coldly on him. He was a sensitive man, and he felt it deeply. He shrank from going out unless he knew exactly whom he was to meet. But his pride came to his rescue, and he preferred suffering injustice in silence to discussing in public, as though it admitted of doubt, the question whether he was an honest man. He did, however, invite the opinion of his co-executor, an English judge, a close friend of Carlyle, and a man whose personal integrity was above all suspicion. Although the calumnies which gave Froude so much distress have long sunk into an oblivion of contempt, and require no formal refutation, the conclusive verdict of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen may be fitly quoted here:

"For about fifteen years I was the intimate friend and constant companion of both of you [Carlyle and Froude], and never in my life did I see any one man so much devoted to any other as you were to him during the whole of that period of time. The most affectionate son could not have acted better to the most venerated father. You cared for him, soothed him, protected him, as a guide might protect a weak old man down a steep and painful path. The admiration you have habitually expressed for him was unqualified. You never said to me one ill-natured word about him down to this day. It is to me wholly incredible that anything but a severe regard for truth, learnt to a great extent from his teaching, could ever have led you to embody in your portrait of him a delineation of the faults and weaknesses which mixed with his great qualities."*

— * My Relations with Carlyle, p. 62. —

Calling witnesses to the character of such a man as Froude is itself almost an insult. But there is one judgment so valuable and so emphatic that I cannot refrain from citing it. The fifteenth Earl of Derby held such a high position in the political world that his literary attainments have been comparatively neglected. He was in truth an omnivorous reader and a cool, sagacious critic, who was not led astray by enthusiasm, and never said more than he felt. Writing to Froude on the 20th of October, 1884, Lord Derby described the Life of Carlyle as the most interesting biography in the English language, and added, "I think you have finally silenced the foolish talk about indiscretion, and treachery to a friend's memory. It is clear that you have done only, and exactly, what Carlyle wished done: and to me it is also apparent that he and you were right: that his character could not have been understood without a full disclosure of what was least attractive in it: and that those defects—the product mainly of morbid physical conditions—do not really take away from his greatness, while they explain much that was dark, at least to me, in his writings." Lord Derby's opinions were not lightly formed, and he was as much guided by pure reason as mortal man can be.

Froude's own judgment is given in a letter to Lady Derby, which contains also much interesting speculation on South African politics. Lord Derby, it will be remembered, was at that time Secretary of State for the Colonies.

"October 14th, 1884.—Carlyle in London comes out this week. I loved and honoured him above all living men, and with this feeling I have done my best to produce a faithful likeness of him. This is a consolation to me, if the only one I am likely to have. We shall see. I am very anxious about South Africa. I have written twice at length to Lord Derby. Unfortunately my view is the exact opposite to that which is generally taken. Lord D. is evidently being driven into active measures against his will. My fear is that there will be some half-action insufficient to crush the Dutch, and sufficient to exasperate them. He relies on the promised support of the Colonial Ministry. They may promise, but I will believe only when I see it that a Cape Ministry and Legislature will oppose the Boers in earnest. They will encourage us to entangle ourselves, as they did with the Diamond Fields, and then leave us to get out of the mess as we can. South Africa cannot be self-governed in connection with this country, except with the good-will of the Dutch population. Enough may have been done, however, to quiet Parliament (which knows nothing about the matter) in the approaching Session—and that, I suppose, is the chief consideration. Carnarvon writes to me preliminary, I suppose, to some attack when Government meets. I have told him exactly what I have told Lord D. I hope I may turn out mistaken, but the course of things so far has generally confirmed my opinion whenever I have seen my way to forming one. I shall be glad to hear what you think about the book. From you I shall get the friendliest judgment that the circumstances admit of, and if you are dissatisfied I shall know what to look for from others. The last two hundred pages are the most interesting. The drift of the whole is that Carlyle was by far the most remarkable man of his time—that five hundred years hence he will be the only one of us all whose name will be so much as remembered, while perhaps he may be one who will have reshaped in a permanent form the religious belief of mankind. Therefore he ought to be known exactly as he was. The argument will not be felt by those who disbelieve in his greatness, and the idolaters—those who pretend to worship without believing- will be savagest of all. Idols must be draped in fine clothes, and are reduced to nothing by mere human garments."

Perhaps the fullest, and certainly the least reserved, account of
Froude's own feelings about the book is contained in a letter to
Mrs. Charles Kingsley:

"I tell Longmans to-day to send you the book. If you can find time, I shall like to hear the independent impression it makes upon you. Only remember this: that it was Carlyle's own determination (or at least desire) to do justice to his wife, and to do public penance himself—a desire which I think so noble as to obliterate in my own mind the occasion there was for it. I have long known the worst, and Charles knew it generally. We all knew it, and yet the more intimately I knew Carlyle, the more I loved and admired him; and some people, Lord Derby, for instance, after reading the Life, can tell me that their opinion of him is rather raised than diminished. There is something demonic both in him and her which will never be adequately understood; but the hearts of both of them were sound and true to the last fibre. You may guess what difficulty mine has been, and how weary the responsibility. You may guess, too, how dreary it is to me to hear myself praised for frankness, when I find the world all fastening on C.'s faults, while the splendid qualities are ignored or forgotten. Let them look into their own miserable souls, and ask themselves how they could bear to have their own private histories ransacked and laid bare. I deliberately say (and I have said it in the book), that C.'s was the finest nature I have ever known. It is a Rembrandt picture, but what a picture! Ruskin, too, understands him, and feels too, as he should, for me, if that mattered, which it doesn't in the least."

A few years after publication the Reminiscences ran out of print, and Froude was anxious to bring out a corrected edition. Mrs. Alexander Carlyle, however, wished for another editor. The copyright was Froude's, and no one could reprint the book in Great Britain without his consent. At that time there was no international copyright between the United Kingdom and the United States. A distinguished American professor, Mr. Eliot Norton, was invited by Mary Carlyle to re-edit the book beyond the Atlantic, and he undertook the task. Froude always thought that Professor Norton should have communicated with him, and the public will probably be of the same opinion. In the end, however, Froude voluntarily assigned the copyright to Mrs. Carlyle, who then had possession of the papers, and Mr. Norton's edition appeared in England, published by Macmillan, six years after Carlyle's death. It proved to be very like the first, though some errors of the press were corrected and also some slips of the pen. The disputed memoir was not omitted, nor was anything of the slightest interest added by Mr. Norton to the book. In his Preface he attacked Froude for fulfilling Carlyle's own wishes, of which he seems to have known little or nothing, and, by way of further justification for his interference, he added the following paragraph:

"The first edition of the Reminiscences was so carelessly printed as to do grave wrong to the sense. The punctuation, the use of capitals and italics, in the manuscript, characteristic of Carlyle's method of expression in print, were entirely disregarded. In the first five pages of the printed text there were more than a hundred and thirty corrections to be made of words, punctuation, capitals, quotation marks, and such like; and these pages are not exceptional."

This looks like a formidable indictment, and in the literal sense of the words it may be true. I have compared the first five pages of the two editions, and there are a good many changes in the use of capitals and italics. But except one obvious misprint of a single letter, "even" for "ever," there is nothing which does "grave wrong" to the sense, or affects it in any way. "And these pages," as Mr. Norton says, with another meaning, "are not exceptional." The later reminiscences were not easy to decipher. Carlyle's handwriting was seriously affected by age, he wrote upon both sides of very thin paper, and I have seen several letters of his which bear out Froude's assertion that, after his hand began to shake, "it became harder to decipher than the worst manuscript which I have ever examined." In preparing the book Froude had to use a magnifying glass, and in many cases the true reading was a matter of opinion. In one case, however, it was not. Sir Henry Taylor, the most serene and dignified of men, found himself charged in Carlyle's sketch of Southey with the unpleasant attribute of "morbid vivacity," and not only with morbid vivacity simpliciter, or per se, but "in all senses of that deep-reaching word." Mr. Norton restored the true reading, which was "marked veracity," though, on the other hand, he replaced the statement, omitted by Froude, that Taylor, who had died between the two editions, was "not a well-read or wide-minded man." It must be admitted that in this instance Froude allowed a proof which made nonsense to pass, and that Mr. Norton did a public service by correcting the phrase. Froude's occasional carelessness in revision is a common failing enough. What made it remarkable in him was the combination of liability to these lapses with intensely laborious and methodical habits.

Although Froude's legal connection with Carlyle's family ceased with the assignment to Carlyle's niece of the copyright in the Reminiscences, the names of the two men are as inseparably associated as Boswell's and Johnson's, Lockhart's and Scott's, Macaulay's and Trevelyan's, Morley's and Gladstone's. Some readers, such as Tennyson and Lecky, thought that Froude had revealed too much. Others, such as John Skelton and Edward FitzGerald, believed that he had raised Carlyle to a higher eminence than he had occupied before. Froude himself felt entire confidence both in the greatness of Carlyle's qualities and in the permanence of his fame. That was why he thought that the revelation of small defects would do more good than harm. A faultless character, even if he himself could have reconciled it with his conscience to draw one, would not have been accepted as genuine, would not have been treated as credible. The true character, in its strength and its weakness, would command belief, and admiration too. If Froude were alive, he would say that the time had not yet come for a final judgment, and might not come for a hundred years. Still, I think it will be conceded that the twenty years which have elapsed since he accomplished his task are a period of growth rather than decadence in the number and zeal of Carlyle's admirers. This is no doubt in large measure due to Carlyle's own books. He has been called the father of modern socialism, and credited with the destruction of political economy. I am too much out of sympathy with these views to judge them fairly. But I suppose it cannot be denied that Carlyle fascinates thousands who do not accept him as an infallible, or even as a fallible, guide, or that they, as well as his disciples, devour the pages of Froude.

Nothing annoyed Carlyle more than to be told that he confounded might with right. He declared that, on the contrary, he had never said, and would never say, a word for power which was not founded on justice. Cromwell was as good as he was great, and he had never glorified Frederick, unless to write a book about a man is necessarily to glorify him. This prevalent misconception of Carlyle's gospel, so prevalent that it deceived no less keen a critic than Lecky, was completely dissipated by Froude. No one can read his Life intelligently without perceiving that Carlyle's real foe was materialism. The French Revolution was to him the central fact of modern history, and at the same time a supreme judgment of Heaven upon a society given up to unrestrained licentiousness. Whether he was right or wrong is not the point. He was as far as possible from being, in the modern sense, a scientific historian. Yet in some respects he was utilitarian enough. The condition of England was to him more important than any constitutional change, any triumph in diplomacy, or any victory in war, and this fact explains apparently inconsistent admiration of Peel, who though a Parliamentary statesman, had accomplished a solid achievement for the benefit of the people. Carlyle in his own writings is an almost insoluble enigma. To have given the true solution is the supreme merit of Froude.*

— * John Nichol, a name still dear in Scotland, formerly Professor of Literature at the University of Glasgow, who wrote on Carlyle for Mr. Morley's English Men of Letters in 1892, says in his preface: "Every critic of Carlyle must admit as constant obligation to Mr. Froude as every critic of Byron to Moore, or of Scott to Lockhart …. I must here be allowed to express a feeling akin to indignation at the persistent, often virulent, attach directed against a loyal friend, betrayed, it may be, by excess of faith, and the defective reticence that often belongs to genius, to publish too much about his hero. But Mr. Froude's quotation, in defence, from the essay on Sir Walter Scott, requires no supplement: it should be remembered that he acted with the most ample authority; that the restrictions under which he was first entrusted with the MSS. of the Reminiscences and the Letters and Memorials (annotated by Carlyle himself as if for publication) were withdrawn; and that the initial permission to select finally approached a practical injunction to communicate the whole." —



The two passions of Froude's life were Devonshire and the sea. "Summer has come at last," he wrote to Mrs. Kingsley from Salcombe in the middle of September, "after two months of rain and storm. The fields from which the wrecks of the harvest were scraped up mined and sprouting now lie basking in stillest sunshine, as if wind and rain had never been heard of. The coast is extremely beautiful, and I, in addition to the charms of the place, hear my native tongue spoken and sung in the churches in undiminished purity." Carlyle often kept him in London when he would much rather have been elsewhere. But, wherever he was, he had a ready pen, and his thoughts naturally clothed themselves in a literary garb. His enjoyment of books, especially old books, was intense. Reading, however, is idle work, and idleness was impossible to Froude. On his return from South Africa, where everything was being done which he thought least wise, he took up a classical subject, and began to write a book about Caesar. He read Cicero, Plutarch, Suetonius, Caesar himself, and produced early in 1879 a volume which was always a particular favourite of his own. "I believe," he said to Skelton, "it is the best book I have ever written." The public did not altogether agree with him, and it never became so popular as Short Studies.

Yet it is undoubtedly a brilliant performance, with just the qualities which might have been expected to make it popular, and a second edition was soon required. It is interesting from the first page to the last, and its whole object is to show that the Roman world in the last days of the Republic was very like the English world under Queen Victoria. In Rome itself it has a steady sale. The general reader, however, was not wrong in thinking that these eloquent pages are below the level of Froude at his best. There is a hard metallic glitter in the style, and a forced comparison of ancient with modern things not really parallel, which make the whole narrative artificial and unreal. Lord Dufferin said, with his natural acuteness, "It is interesting, and forcibly written, but one feels he is not a safe guide. As they say of the mansions of Ireland, 'they are always within a hundred yards of the best situation,' so one feels that Froude is never quite in the bull's- eye in the view he gives."*

— * Lyall's Life of Dufferin, vol. ii. p. 244. —

Those who criticised the book as if it were a formal and historical narrative showed a lack of humour, which is a sense of proportion. Macaulay might almost as well be judged by his Fragment of a Roman Tale. Froude himself calls his Caesar a sketch, and it is scarcely more authoritative than the pamphlet of Louis Napoleon on the same subject. On the other hand, it is quite untrue that Froude had not read Cicero's letters. He had read those which bore upon his subject, and he quotes them freely enough. The fault of his Caesar is that he makes a wrong start. Points of resemblance between the first century before the Christian era and the nineteenth century after it may of course be found. But the differences are essential and fundamental. A society which rests upon servitude cannot be like a society which rests upon freedom. Christianity has modified the whole lives of those who do not profess it, and has created a totally new atmosphere, even if it be not in all respects a better one. Representative government, whether it be a good thing or a bad thing, is at least a thing which counts. Caesar could hardly have understood the idea of an indissoluble marriage, of a limited monarchy, of equality before the law.

One strange similitude Froude did, in deference to outraged susceptibilities, omit, and only the first edition contains a formal comparison of Julius Caesar with Jesus Christ. No irreverence was intended. It was Froude's enthusiasm for Caesar that carried him away. Still, the instance is only an extreme form of what comes from pushing parallels below the surface. It is only a shade less misleading, though many shades less startling, to represent Caesar as a virtuous philanthropist abstemious habits who perished in a magnanimous effort to rescue the people from the tyranny of nobles. The people in the modern sense were slaves, and the Republic at least ensured that there should be some protection against military despotism, to which in due course its abolition led. That Caesar was intellectually among the greatest men of all time is beyond question. Both strategist and as historian he is supreme. His "thrasonical boast" was sober truth, and he stands above military or literary criticism, a lesson and a model. But he was steeped in all the vices of his age, and his motive was personal ambition. The Republic did not give him sufficient scope, and therefore he would have destroyed it, if he had not been himself destroyed.

Froude adopted the position of a great German professor and historian, Theodor Mommsen, whose prejudices were as strong as his learning was profound. He went with Mommsen in adoration of Caesar, and in depreciation of Cicero. That Cicero used one sort of language in public speeches, and another sort in private correspondence, is true, and is notorious because some of his most intimate letters have been preserved. But it is not peculiar to him. The man who talked in public as he talked in private would have small sense of fitness. The man who talked in private as he talked in public would have small sense of humour. Although Cicero's humour was not brilliant, he had sufficient taste to preserve him from pedantry and from solecisms. His devotion to the Republic was perfectly sincere; and if he changed in his behaviour to Caesar, it was because Caesar changed in his behaviour to the Republic. Froude's specific charge of rapid tergiversation is disproved by dates. The speech for Marcellus, with its over-strained flattery of the conqueror, was delivered, not "within a few weeks of his murder," but eighteen months before that event, at a time when Cicero still hoped that Caesar would be moderate. If Cicero's Republic was a narrow oligarchy, it was also the only form of constitutional and civilian government which he knew or could imagine. He failed to preserve it. He was murdered like Caesar himself. Neither of them believed that political assassination was a crime. Cicero's only regret was that Antony had not been killed with Caesar. Antony's chief desire, which he accomplished, was to kill Cicero. The idea that Cicero was a mere declaimer, who did not count, never occurred either to Caesar or to Antony. It was left for Professor Mommsen to discover. Froude, always on the look-out for examples of his theory, or his father's theory, that orators must be useless and mistaken, seized it with an eager gasp. An agreeable looseness of treatment pervades the book, and "patricians" appear as wealthy leaders of fashionable society, being in fact a small number of old Roman families, who might be poor, or in trade, and could not legally under the Republic be increased in number, resembling rather a Hindu caste than any institution of Western Christendom. In Caesar's time they had almost died out, and the aristocracy of the day was an aristocracy of office. The book, however, though far from faultless, though in some respects misleading, has a singular fascination, the charm of a picture drawn by the hand of a master with consummate skill. As an historical study, what the French call une etude, it deserves a very high place, and it contains one sentence which all democrats would do well to learn:

"Popular forms are possible only when individual men can govern their own lives on moral principles, and when duty is of more importance than pleasure, and justice than material expediency."

That represents the best side of Carlyle's teaching; the subordination of material objects, the supremacy of the moral law. Carlyle, however, did not care for the book, as appears in the following letter from Froude to Lady Derby:

"April 26th, 1879.—You are a most kind critic. If I have succeeded in creating interest in so old a subject my utmost wishes are accomplished. I am very curious indeed to hear what Lord D. says. I can guess that he thinks I ought to have said more in defence of the Constitutionalists, and that I have hardly used Cicero. Carlyle reduced me to the condition of a 'drenched hen'—to use one of his own images. He told me that the book was not clear, that 'he got no good of it'—in fact, that it was 'a failure.' It may be a failure, but 'want of clearness' is certainly not the cause. I fancy he wanted something else which he did not find, and he would not give himself the trouble to examine what he did find."

Froude contributed in 1880 to Mr. Morley's English Men of Letters a critical and biographical sketch of Bunyan. The Pilgrim's Progress, as the work of a Dissenter, had been excluded from the Rectory at Dartington. But Froude was not long in supplying the deficiency for himself, and his literary appreciation of Bunyan's style was accompanied by a sincere sympathy with the Puritan part of his faith. All religious people, he thought, might find common ground in Bunyan, a man who lived for religion, and for nothing else. Yet even here Froude's Erastianism, and respect for authority, come into play. He gravely defends Bunyan's imprisonment in Bedford gaol, which lasted, with some intermissions, from 1660 to 1672, as necessary to enforce respect for the law. That such a man as Charles Stuart should have had power to punish such a man as John Bunyan for preaching the word of God is a strange comment on the nature of a Christian country. But it cannot be denied that Charles and his judges, Sir Matthew Hale among them, provided the leisure to which we owe the best religious allegories in the language. Nor can it be said that Froude's apology for the confinement Bunyan is so repugnant to reason and justice as Gibbon's apology for the martyrdom of Cyprian.

The General Election of 1880 was regarded by Froude with mixed feelings.

"I am glad," he wrote to Lady Derby on the 9th of April, 1880, "that there is to be an end of 'glory and gunpowder,' but my feelings about Gladstone remain where they were. When you came into power in 1874, I dreamed of a revival of real Conservatism which under wiser guiding might and would have lasted to the end of the century. This is gone—gone for ever. The old England of order and rational government is past and will not return. Now I should like to see a moderate triumvirate—Lord Hartington, Lord Granville, and your husband, with a Cabinet which they could control. This too may easily be among the impossibilities, but I am sure that at the bottom of its heart the country wants quiet, and a Liberal revolutionary sensationalism will be just as distasteful to reasonable people as 'Asian Mysteries,' tall talk, and ambitious buffooneries."

Lord Derby became more and more Liberal, until in December, 1882, he joined Mr. Gladstone's Cabinet. Before that decisive step, however, it became evident in which direction he was tending, and Froude wrote to Lady Derby on the 5th of March:

"I will call on Tuesday about 5. I have not been out of town, but my afternoons have been taken up with a multitude of small engagements, and indeed I have been sulky too, and imagined Lord D. had delivered himself over to the enemy. But what right have I to say anything when I am going this evening to dine with Chamberlain? I like Chamberlain. He knows his mind. There is no dust in his eyes, and he throws no dust in the eyes of others."

Of the great struggle between Lords and Commons over the franchise in 1884, Froude wrote to the same correspondent on the 31st of July:

"As to what has happened since I went away, I for my own humble part am heartily pleased, for it will clear the air. If we are to have democracy, as I suppose we are, let us go into it with our eyes open. I don't like drifting among cataracts, hiding the reality from ourselves by forms which are not allowed either sense or power. That I suppose to be Lord Salisbury's feeling. I greatly admired his speech in Cannon Street, which reminded me of a talk I had with him long ago at Hatfield. If the result is a change in the Constitution of the House of Lords which will make it a real power, no one will be more sorry than Chamberlain, whose own wish is to keep it in the condition of ornamental helplessness. Lord Derby himself can hardly wish to see the country entirely in the hands of a single irresponsible Chamber elected by universal suffrage—and of such a Chamber, which each extension of the suffrage brings to a lower intellectual level."

The following letter was written from Salcombe just after the
General Election of 1886 and the defeat of Home Rule:

"A Devonshire farmer fell ill of typhus fever once. He had quarrelled with a neighbour, and the clergyman told him that he must not die out of charity, and must see the man and shake hands with him. He agreed. The man came. They were reconciled, and he was going away again when the sick farmer called him back to the bed-side. 'Mind you,' he said, 'if so be as I get over this here, 'tis to be as 'twas.'

"I am sorry to see we are taking for granted that we have got over the scare, and that ''tis to be as 'twas' in Parliament. If no way can be found of giving effect to the feeling of which has been just expressed, the old enemy will be back again stronger than ever. I, for my small part, shall finally despair of Parliamentary Government, and shall pray for a Chamberlain Dictatorship. I do not think politicians know how slight the respect which is now generally felt for Parliament, or how weary sensible people have grown of it and its factions.

"We are very happy down here. We have lost the Molt, but have a very tolerable substitute for it. The Halifaxes are at the Molt themselves, and considering what I am, and that he is the President of the Church Union, I think he and I are both astonished to find how well we get on together. The Colonists come next week to Plymouth. I have promised to meet them. Their dinner will be the exact anniversary of the arrival of the Armada off the harbour. That was the beginning of the English naval greatness and of the English Colonial Empire. Think of poor Oceana—75,000 copies of it sold. It stands for something that the English nation is interested in…. But I must not try your eyes any further."

It was in 1881 that Froude, whose connection with Fraser had ceased, wrote for Good Words the series of papers on The Oxford Counter- Reformation which are the best record hitherto published of his college life.* I have already referred to the vivid picture of John Henry Newman contained in one of them. On the 2nd of March, 1881, the aged Cardinal, writing from the Birmingham Oratory, sent a gracious message of acknowledgment. "My dear Anthony Froude," he began, "I have seen some portions of what you have been writing about me, and I cannot help sending you a line to thank you… I thank you, not as being able to accept all you have said in praise of me. Of course I can't. Nor again as if there may not be other aspects of me which you cannot praise, and which you may in a coming chapter of your publication find it a duty, whether I allow them or not, to remark upon. But I write to thank you for such an evidence of your affectionate feelings towards me, for which I was not prepared, and which has touched me very much. May God's fullest blessings be upon you, and give you all good. Yours affectionately, John H. Cardinal Newman."

— * Short Studies, fourth series, pp. 192-206. —

Froude carefully kept this letter, and, remote as their opinions were, he never varied in his loyal admiration of the illustrious Oratorian. That admiration, however, was purely personal, and did not affect in any degree the staunchness of Froude's principles. In 1883 Protestant Germany celebrated the four hundredth anniversary of Luther's birth, and Froude wrote for the occasion a short biography of the rebellious monk who changed the history of the world. He founded on the larger Life by Julius Koestlin, which had then just appeared, this little book makes no pretence to original learning or research. It is a polemical pamphlet by a master of English, and a fervent admirer of the illustrious Martin. "When the German states revolted against the Roman hierarchy," says Froude in his Preface, "we in England revolted also," and Luther's name was as familiar as Bunyan's to the Protestant Churches of England. The Catholic revival of which Froude had seen so much at Oxford was still in full swing.

"Nevertheless, we are still a Protestant nation, and the majority of us intend to remain Protestant. If we are indifferent to our Smithfield and Oxford martyrs, we are not indifferent to the Reformation, and we can join with Germany in paying respect to the memory of a man to whom we also, in part, owe our deliverance. Without Luther there would have been either no change in England in the sixteenth century, or a change purely political. Luther's was one of those great individualities which have modelled the history of mankind, and modelled it entirely for good. He revived and maintained the spirit of piety and reverence in which, and by which alone, real progress is possible."

Such was the temper in which Froude set about his task, and which made it a labour of love. Besides the great public events in Luther's career which are familiar to all, he gave a charming picture of the affectionate father, the genial host, the eloquent, humourous talker whose fragments of conversation, his Tischreden, are in Germany almost as popular as his hymns. Luther's dominant quality was force, and that was a quality which Froude, like Carlyle, honoured above all others. Luther was not in all respects like a modern Protestant. He had a great respect for authority, when it was genuine, and he believed in transubstantiation, which Leo X. regarded as a juggle to deceive the vulgar. If Luther's appearance before the Diet of Worms was, as Froude says, "the finest scene in human history," it is so because this solitary monk stood not for one form of religion against another, but for truth against falsehood, for earnest belief in divine things against a Church governed by unbelievers. The Renaissance in its most Pagan form had invaded the Vatican, and the Vicar of Christ appeared to Luther as Anti-Christ himself. If Charles V. had been Pope, and Leo X. had been emperor, we might never have heard of Luther. Froude sincerely respected Charles V., and held that Protestant historians had done him less than justice. Although Charles opposed the Reformation, he opposed it honestly, and his faith in his own religion was absolute. He was a Christian gentleman. As he entered Wittenberg after the battle of Mahlberg, some bishop asked him to dig up Luther's body and burn it. "I war not with the dead," he perhaps remembering the grand old Roman line:

Nullum cum victis certamen, et aethere cassis.

One valuable truth Froude had learned not from Carlyle, but from study of the past, and from his own observation at the Cape. "If," he wrote in Caesar, "there be one lesson which history clearly teaches, it is this, that free nations" cannot govern subject provinces. If they are unable or unwilling to admit their dependencies to share their constitution, the constitution itself will fall in pieces from mere incompetence for its duties." A critic in The Quarterly Review expressed a hope that this would not prove to be true of India. But Froude was not thinking of India. He had in his mind the self-governing Colonies, whose fortunes and future were to him a source of perpetual interest. He loved travel, and as soon as he had shaken off the burden of Carlyle he took a voyage round the world, described, not always with topical accuracy, in Oceana. The name of this delightful volume is of course taken from Harrington, More's successor in the days of the Commonwealth. The contents were a characteristic mixture of history, speculation, and personal experience. Froude had a fixed idea that English politicians, especially Liberal politicians, wanted to get rid of the Colonies. Else why had they withdrawn British troops from Canada and New Zealand? He could not see, perhaps they did not all see themselves, that to give the Colonies complete freedom, and to insist upon their providing, except so far as the Navy was concerned, for their own defence, would strengthen, not weaken, the tie. In proof of his theory he produced some singular evidence, comprising one of the strangest stories that ever was told. He heard it, so he informs us, from Sir Arthur Helps, and reproduces it in his own words.

"A Government had gone out; Lord Palmerston was forming a new Ministry, and in a preliminary Council was arranging the composition of it. He had filled up the other places. He was at a loss for a Colonial Secretary. This name and that was suggested, and thrown aside. At last he said, 'I suppose I must take the thing myself. Come upstairs with me, Helps, when the Council is over. We will look at the maps, and you shall show me where these places are.'"

If Froude's memory of this anecdote be accurate, Helps must, for once, have been drawing upon his imagination. As Clerk of the Council, he had no more to do with forming Cabinets than with appointing bishops. Palmerston was never Colonial Secretary in his life; and among his faults as a Minister, which were positive rather than negative, ignorance of political geography was certainly not included. Many people, however, especially the Tariff Reform League, will consider that the passage which immediately succeeds proves Froude to have been in advance of his age. For he argues that trade follows the flag, because "our colonists take three times as much of our productions in proportion to their number as foreigners take." A tour through the Colonies for the purpose of conversing with their most influential statesmen had long been one of his cherished plans. Hitherto he had got no farther than the Cape, where, as we have seen, he became entangled in South African politics, and had to repeat his visit. Now he was bound for Australasia, and on the 6th of December, 1884, he left Tilbury Docks, with his son Ashley, in an Aberdeen packet of four thousand tons. His love of the sea, Elizabethan in its intensity, was heightened by his enjoyment of Greek literature, especially the Odyssey, which he considered ideal reading for a ship, and, as it surely is, on ship or on shore, an incomparable tale of adventure.

Before the end of the year Froude was at Cape Town, renewing his acquaintance with familiar scenes. Many of his former friends were dead, and his courteous enemy, now Sir John Molteno, had left Cape Town as well as public life. The Prime Minister was Mr. Upington, a clever lawyer, afterwards Sir Thomas Upington, and the chief topic was Sir Charles Warren's expedition to Bechuanaland, which happily did not end in war, as Upington apprehended that it would. Sir Hercules Robinson was Governor and High Commissioner, a man after Froude's heart, "too upright to belong to any party," and thoroughly appreciative of all that was best in the Boers. This time Froude's stay was a short one, and early in 1885 he was at Melbourne. Here the burning question was the German occupation of New Guinea, for which Colonial opinion held Gladstone's Government, and Lord Derby in particular, responsible. On the other hand, Lord Derby had suggested Australian Federation, which received a good deal of support, though it led to nothing at the time. On one point Froude seems always to have met with Sympathy. Abuse of Gladstone never failed to elicit a favourable response, and the news of Gordon's death was an opportunity not to be wasted. But when there came rumours of a possible war with Russia over the Afghan frontier, Froude took the side of Russia, or at all events of peace, and contended with his Tory companion, Lord Elphinstone, who was for war. In New Zealand he visited the venerable Sir George Grey, who had violated all precedent by entering local politics, and becoming Prime Minister, after the Duke of Buckingham had recalled him from the Governorship of the Colony. He was not equally successful in his second career, and Froude's unqualified praise of him was resented by many New Zealanders. That the Colonies would be true to the mother country if the mother country were true to them was the safe if somewhat vague conclusion at which the returning traveller arrived. He came home by America, and met with a more formidable antagonist than his old assailant Father Burke, in the shape of a terrific blizzard.

But hardships had no deterring effect upon Froude, and his love of travel, like his love of the classics, suffered no diminution while strength remained. He returned from the Antipodes early in 1885. Before 1886 was out he had started on a voyage to the West Indies, so that his survey of our Colonial possessions might be complete. Ardent imperialist as he was, Froude was not less fully alive than Mr. Goldwin Smith to the difficulties inherent in a policy of Imperial Federation. "All of us are united at present," he had written in Oceana,* "by the invisible bonds of relationship and of affection for our common country, for our common sovereign, and for our joint spiritual inheritance. These links are growing, and if let alone will continue to grow, and the free fibres will of themselves become a rope of steel. A federation contrived by politicians would snap at the first strain." Australian Federation, which Froude did not live to see, was no contrivance of politicians, but the result of spontaneous opinion generated in Australia, and ratified as a matter of course by Parliament at home.

— * P. 393. —

The West Indian Islands had an especial fascination for Froude on account of the great naval exploits of Rodney, Hood, and other British sailors. 'Kingsley's At Last had revived his interest in them; and though Kingsley had long been dead, his memory was fresh among all who knew him. The diary which Froude kept during this journey has been preserved, and I am enabled to make a few extracts from it. On the last day of 1886, while he was crossing the Bay of Biscay, he meditated upon the subject which occupied Cicero at an earlier period of his life. "Last day of the year. One more gone of the few which can now remain to me. Old age is not what I looked for. It is much pleasanter. Physically, except that I cannot run, or jump, or dance, I do not feel much difference, and I don't want to do those things. Spirits are better. Life itself has less worries with it, and seems prettier and truer to me now that I can look at it objectively, without hopes and anxieties on my own account. I have nothing to expect in this world in the way of good. It has given me all that it will or can. I am less liable to illusions. One knows by experience that nothing is so good or so bad as one has fancied, and that what is to be will be mainly what has been. So many of one's friends are dead! Yes, but one will soon die too. Each friend gone is the cutting a link which would have made death painful. It loses its terror as it draws nearer, especially when one thinks what it would be if one were not allowed to die." Tennyson has expressed in Tithonus the idea at which Froude glances, and from which he averts his gaze. Carlyle's senility was not enviable, and even that sturdy veteran Stratford Canning* told Gladstone that longevity was "not a blessing." Like Cephalus at the opening of Plato's Republic, Froude found that he could see more clearly when the mists of sentiment were dispersed.

While at sea Froude pursued his favourite musings on the worthlessness of all orators, from Demosthenes and Cicero to Burke and Fox, from Burke and Fox to Gladstone and Bright. The world was conveniently divided into talking men and acting men. Gladstone had never done anything. He had always talked.

"I wonder whether people will ever open their eyes about all this. The orators go in for virtue, freedom, etc., the cheap cant which will charm the constituencies. They are generous with what costs them nothing—Irish land, religious liberty, emancipation of niggers—sacrificing the dependencies to tickle the vanity of an English mob and catch the praises of the newspapers. If ever the tide turns, surely the first step will be to hang the great misleaders of the people—as the pirates used to be—along the House of Commons terrace by the river as a sign to mankind, and send the rest for ever back into silence and impotence."

— * Lord Stratford de Redcliffe. —

Whether a man be a pirate is a matter of fact. Whether he be a misleader of the people is a matter of opinion. "Whom shall we hang?" would become a party question, and perhaps a general amnesty for mere debaters is the most practical solution of the problem.

Barbados, which has since suffered severely from the want of a market for its sugar, seemed to Froude's eyes to present in a sort of comic picture the summit of human felicity. "Swarms of niggers on board—delightful fat woman in blue calico with a sailor straw hat, and a pipe in her mouth. All of them perfectly happy, without a notion of morality—piously given too—psalm-singing, doing all they please without scruple, rarely married, for easiness of parting, looking as if they never knew a care …. Niggerdom perfect happiness. Schopenhauer should come here." Schopenhauer would perhaps have said that "niggers" were happier than other men because they come nearer to the beasts.

As Froude has been accused of injustice to the Church of Rome, it may be as well to quote an entry from his journal at Trinidad:* "Went to Roman Catholic Cathedral—saw a few men and women on their knees at solitary prayers—much better for them than Methodist addresses on salvation." In another place he says:+ "Religion as a motive alters the aspect of everything—so much of the world rescued from Rome and the great enemy. Yet the Roman Church after all is something. It is a cause and a home everywhere—something to care for outside oneself—an something which does not change."

* January 15th, 1887.
+ February 1st.

Again at Barbados, on the 17th of February he writes: "By far the most prosperous of the upper classes that I have seen in the islands are the Roman Catholic priests and bishops. They stand, step, and speak out with as fine a consciousness of power as in Ireland itself …. Large, authoritative, dignified, with their long sweeping robes. The old thing is getting fast on its feet again. The philosophers and critics have done for Protestantism as a positive, manly, and intellectually credible explanation of the world. The old organism and old superstition steps into its ancient dominion- finding it swept and garnished."

In San Domingo at sunrise Froude's meditations were far from cheerful: "The sense of natural beauty is nothing where man is degraded." So far Bishop Heber in a well-known couplet.

Froude proceeds: "The perception of beauty is the perception of something which is acting upon and elevating the intellectual nature. . . It is connected with hope, connected with the consciousness of the noble element in the human soul; and where it is unperceived, or where there is none to perceive it, or where it falls dead, and fails in its effect, the solitary eye which gazes will find no pleasure, no joy—only distress—as for something calling to him out of a visionary world from which his own race is shut out. We cannot feel healthily alone. The sense of worship, the sense of beauty, the sense of sight, is only alive and keen when shared by others …. It is something not alone, but generated by the action of the object on the soul. Thus in these islands there is only sadness. In New Zealand there was hope and life."

A passage from the diary concerning the appointment of Colonial
Governors will be regarded by all official persons as obsolete.

"The English nation, if they wish to keep the Colonies, ought to insist on proper men being chosen as Governors …. The Colonial Office is not to blame and will only be grateful for an expression of opinion which will enable them to answer pressure upon them with a peremptory 'Impossible.' Court influence, party influence, party convenience, all equally injurious. A noble lord is out at elbows; give him a Governorship of a Colony. A party politician must be disappointed in arrangements at home; console him with a Colony. The Colonists feel that no respect is felt for them; anybody will do for a Colony; and whether it is a Crown Colony, or a with responsible government of its own, the effect is equally mischievous. In fact, while they continue liable, and occasionally subject, to treatment of this kind, the feelings insensibly generate which will lead in the end to separation."

The immediate consequence of Froude's West Indian travels was his well-known book The English in the West Indies, to which he gave a second title, one that he himself preferred, The Bow of Ulysses. It was illustrated from his own sketches, for he had inherited that gift from his father. Being often controversial in tone, and not always accurate in description, it provoked numerous criticisms, though not of the sort which interfere with success. In everything Froude wrote, though least of all in his History, allowance has to be made for the personal equation. He had not Carlyle's memory, nor his unfailing accuracy of eye. Where he wrote from mere recollection, deserting the safe ground of his diary, he was liable to error, and few men of letters have been less capable of producing a trustworthy guide book. The value of Oceana and The Bow of Ulysses is altogether different. They are the characteristic reflections of an intensely vivid, highly cultivated mind, bringing out of its treasure-house things new and old. "The King knows your book," it was said to Montaigne, "and would like to know you." "If the King knows my book," replied the philosopher, "he knows me." Froude is in his books, especially in his books of travel, for in them, more than anywhere else, he thinks aloud. There are strange people in the world. One of them criticised Froude in an obituary notice because, when he went to Jamaica, he sat in the shade reading Dante while he might have been studying the Jamaican Constitution. There may be those who would study the Jamaican Constitution, what there is of it, in the sun, while they might, if they could, read Dante in the shade, and the necrologist in question may be one of them. Froude did not go to study Constitutions, which he could have studied at home. He went to see for himself what the West Indian Colonies were like, and his incorrigible habit of reading the best literature did not forsake him even in tropical climates. He cared only too little for Constitutions even when they were his proper business, as they certainly were not in Jamaica. The object of The English in the West Indies is to make people at home feel an interest in their West Indian fellow-subjects, and that it did by the mere fact of its circulation. His belief that the West Indies should be governed, like the East Indies, despotically, is a subsidiary matter, and the quaint parody of the Athanasian Creed in which he epitomised what he supposed to be the Radical faith is merely an intellectual amusement. On the virtues of Rodney, and the future of the Colonies, he is serious, though scarcely practical.

"Imperial Federation," he wrote in 1887, "is far away, if ever it is to be realised at all. If it is to come it will come of itself, brought about by circumstances and silent impulses working continuously through many years unseen and unspoken of. It is conceivable that Great Britain and her scattered offspring, under the pressure of danger from without, or impelled by some purpose, might agree to place themselves under a single administrative head. It is conceivable that out of a combination so formed, if it led to a successful immediate result, some union of a closer kind might eventually emerge. It is not only conceivable, but it is entirely certain, that attempts made when no such occasion has arisen, by politicians ambitious of distinguishing themselves, will fail, and in failing will make the object that is aimed at more confessedly unattainable than it is now."*

— * English in the West Indies, p. 168. —

So far Froude's predictions have been realised. When he wrote, the Imperial Federation League had just been formed, and Lord Rosebery was arguing for Irish Home Rule as part of a much wider scheme. Except Australia, which is homogeneous, like the Dominion of Canada, the British Empire is no nearer Federation, and Ireland is no nearer Home Rule, than they were then. The depression of the sugar trade in the West Indian Islands has been met by a treaty which raises the price of sugar at home, and makes those Colonies proportionately unpopular with the working classes. It has since been proposed to carry the principle farther, and tax the British workman for the benefit of Colonial manufacturers. For these strange results of imperial thinking neither Froude nor any of his contemporaries were prepared. But they correspond accurately, especially the second of them, with the "attempt made by politicians ambitious of distinguishing themselves," against which Froude warned his countrymen. Froude was no scientific economist. He believed in "free trade within the Empire," which is not free trade. He was for an imperial tariff, a thing made in Germany, and called a Zollverein. But his practical experience and personal observation taught him that proposals for closer union with the Colonies must come from the Colonies themselves. The negroes were a difficulty. They were not really fit for self-government, as the statesmen of the American Union had found. Personal freedom, the inalienable right of all men and all women, is a very different thing from the possession of a vote. As for India, the idea of Home Rule there had receded a long way into the distance since the sanguine predictions of Macaulay. Perhaps Froude never quite worked out his conceptions of the federal system which he would have liked to see. In Australia it would have been plain sailing. In Canada it was already established. In South Africa it would have embodied the union of British with Dutch, and prevented the disasters which have since occurred. In the West Indies it would have raised problems of race and colour which are more prudently agitated at a greater distance from the Black. Republic of Hayti. Imperial Federalists not yet explained what they would do with India.

Froude neither was nor aimed at being practical politican. His object, in which he succeeded, was to kindle in the public mind at home that imaginative enthusiasm for the Colonial idea of which his own heart was full. Although the measure of Colonial loyalty was given afterwards in the South African War, the despatch of troops from Sydney to the Soudan in 1885 showed that ties of sentiment are the strongest of all. It was those ties, rather than any political or commercial bond, which Froude desired to strengthen. No one would have liked less to live in a Colony. Colonial society did not suit him. Colonial manners were not to his mind. But to meet governing men, like Sir Henry Norman, a "warm Gladstonian," by the way, was always a pleasure to him, and as a symbol of England's greatness he loved her territory beyond the seas.

The Two Chiefs of Dunboy, published in 1889, was Froude's one mature and serious attempt at a novel. For distinction of style and beauty of thought it may be compared with the greatest of historical romances. If it was the least successful of his books, the failure can be assigned to the absence of women, or at least of love, which ever since Dr. Johnson's definition, if not before, has been expected in a novel. The scene is laid in the neighbourhood of his favourite Derreen, and the period is the middle of the eighteenth century. The real hero is an English Protestant, Colonel Goring. Goring "belonged to an order of men who, if they had been allowed fair play, would have made the sorrows of Ireland the memory of an evil dream; but he had come too late, the spirit of the Cromwellians had died out of the land, and was not to be revived by a single enthusiast." He was murdered, and Froude could point his favourite moral that the woes of the sister country would be healed by the appearance of another Cromwell, which he had to admit was improbable. The Irish hero, Morty Sullivan, has been in France, and is ready to fight for the Pretender. He did no good. Few Irishmen, in Froude's opinion, ever did any good. But in The Two Chiefs of Dunboy, if anywhere, Froude shows his sympathy with the softness of the Irish character, and Morty's meditations on his return from France are expressed as only Froude could express them. Morty was walking with his sister by the estuary of the Kenmare River opposite Derrynane, afterwards famous as the residence of Daniel O'Connell, "For how many ages had the bay and the rocks and the mountains looked exactly the same as they were looking then? How many generations had played their part on the same stage, eager and impassioned as if it had been erected only for them! The half-naked fishermen of forgotten centuries who had earned a scanty living there; the monks from the Skelligs who had come in on high days in their coracles to say mass for them, baptize the children, or bury the dead; the Celtic chief, with saffron shirt and battle-axe, driven from his richer lands by Norman or Saxon invaders, and keeping hold in this remote spot on his ragged independence; the Scandinavian pirates, the overflow of the Northern Fiords, looking for new soil where they could take root. These had all played their brief parts there and were gone, and as many more would follow in the cycles of the years that were to come, yet the scene itself was unchanged and would not change. The same soft had fed those that were departed, and would feed those that were to be. The same landscape had affected their imaginations with its beauty or awed them with its splendours; and each alike had yielded to the same delusion that the valley was theirs and was inseparably connected with themselves and their fortunes. Morty's career had been a stormy one …. He had gone out into the world, and had battled and struggled in the holy cause, yet the cause was not advanced, and it was all nothing. He was about to leave the old place, probably for ever. Yet there it was, tranquil, calm, indifferent whether he came or went. What was he? What was any one? To what purpose the ineffectual strivings of short-lived humanity? Man's life was but the shadow of a dream, and his work was but the heaping of sand which the next tide would level flat again."

Wordsworth's "pathetic fallacy" that the moods of nature correspond with the moods of man has seldom found such eloquent illustration as in Morty's vain imaginings. Morty himself was shot dead by English soldiers in revenge for the murder of Goring. The story is a dismal and tragic one. But the best qualities of the Irish race are there, depicted with true sympathy, and perhaps this volume may be held to confirm Carlyle's opinion, expressed in a letter to Miss Davenport Bromley, that even The English in Ireland was "more disgraceful to the English Government by far than to the Irish savageries." Froude, indeed, never forgot the kindness of the Kerry peasants who nursed him through the small-pox. He would have done anything for the Irish, except allow them to govern themselves.

In 1890 Froude contributed to the series of The Queen's Prime
Ministers, edited by Mr. Stuart Reid, a biographical study of Lord
Beaconsfield. He wrote to Mr. Reid on the subject:

". . . Lord Beaconsfield wore a mask to the generality of mankind. It was only when I read Lothair that I could form any notion to myself of the personality which was behind. I once alluded to that book in a speech at a Royal Academy banquet. Lord Beaconsfield was present, and was so far interested in what I said that he wished me to review Endymion in the Edinburgh, and sent me the proof-sheets of it before publication. Edymion did not take hold of me as Lothair did, and I declined, but I have never lost the impression which I gathered out of Lothair. It is worse than useless to attempt the biography of a man unless you know, or think you know, what his inner nature was …. I am quite sure that Lord Beaconsfield had a clearer insight than most men into the contemporary constitution of Europe—that he had a real interest in the welfare and prospects of mankind; and while perhaps he rather despised the great English aristocracy, he probably thought better of them than of any other class in England. I suppose that like Cicero he wished to excel, or perhaps more like Augustus to play his part well in the tragic comedy of life. I do not suppose that he had any vulgar ambition at all …. "

The feelings with which he approached this not altogether congenial task are described in the following passages from letters to Lady Derby:

…. "THE MOLT, September 14th, 1889.

"If my wonderful adventure into the Beaconsfield country comes off, I shall want all the help which Lord D. offered to give me. I do not wonder that he and you were both startled at the proposition, and I am not at all sure that in a respectable series of Victorian Prime Ministers I should be allowed to treat the subject in the way that I wish. The point is to make out what there was behind the mask. Had it not been for Lothair I should have said nothing but a charlatan. But that altered my opinion, and the more often I read it the more I want to know what his real nature was. The early life is a blank filled up by imaginative people out of Vivian Grey. I am feeling my way indirectly with his brother, Ralph D'Israeli, and whether I go on or not will depend on whether he will help me."

"THE MOLT, November 12th, 1889,

"The difficulty is to find out the real man that lay behind the sphynx-like affectations. I have come to think that these affectations (natural at first) came to be themselves affected as a useful defensive armour which covered the vital parts. Anyway, the study of him is extremely amusing. I had nothing else to do, and I can easily throw what I write into the fire if it turns out unsatisfactory."

Although the book was necessarily a short one, it is too characteristic to be lightly dismissed. When Froude gave Mr. Reid the manuscript, he said, "It will please neither Disraeli's friends nor his foes. But it is at least an honest book." He heard, with more amusement than satisfaction, that it had pleased Gladstone. For the political estimate of a modern and Parliamentary statesman Froude lacked some indispensable qualifications. He knew little, and cared less, about the House of Commons, in which the best years of Disraeli's life were passed. He despised the party system, of which Disraeli was at once a product and a devotee. He had no sympathy with Lord Beaconsfield's foreign policy, and the colonial policy which he would have substituted for it was outside Lord Beaconsfield's scope. He had adopted from Carlyle the theory that Disraeli and Gladstone were both adventurers, the difference between them being that Disraeli only deceived others, whereas Gladstone deceived also himself. But Gladstone had ignored whereas Disraeli, with singular magnanimity, had offered to the author of Shooting Niagara a pension and a Grand Cross of the Bath.

It was, however, as a man of letters rather than as a politician that Disraeli fascinated Froude, so much so that he is betrayed into the paradox of representing his hero as a lover of literature rather than politics. Disraeli sometimes talked in that way himself, as when he was persuading Lightfoot to accept the Bishopric of Durham, and remarked, "I, too, have sacrificed inclination to duty." But he was hardly serious, and even in his novels it is the political parts that survive. Although Froude had found it impossible to review Endymion, the book is very like the author, and can only be appreciated by those who have been behind the scenes in politics. Froude's idea of Disraeli as a man with a great opportunity who threw it away, who might have pacified Ireland and preferred to quarrel with Russia, was naturally not agreeable to Disraelites, and as a general rule it is desirable that a biographer should be able, to write from his victim's point of view. Yet, all said and done, Froude's Beaconsfield is a work of genius, the gem of the series. Professional politicians, with the curious exception of Gladstone, thought very little of it. It was not written for them. Disraeli was a many-sided man, so that there is room for various estimates of his character and career. Of his early life Froude had no special knowledge. He was not even aware that Disraeli had applied for office to Peel. He shows sometimes an indifference to dry details, as when he makes Gladstone dissolve Parliament in 1873 immediately after his defeat on the Irish University Bill, and represents Russia as having by her own act repealed the Black Sea Clauses in the Treaty of Paris. Startling too is his assertion that the Parliament of 1868 did nothing for England or Scotland, on account of its absorption in Irish affairs. But he was not writing a formal history, and these points did not appeal to him at all. He drew with inimitable skill a picture of the despised and fantastic Jew, vain as a peacock and absurdly dressed, alien in race and in his real creed, smiling sardonically at English ways, enthusiasms, and institutions, until he became, after years of struggle and obloquy, the idol of what was then the proudest aristocracy in the world.

Disraeli's peculiar humour just suited Froude's taste. Disraeli never laughed. Even his smile was half inward. The irony of life, and of his own position, was a subject of inexhaustible amusement to him. There was nothing in his nature low, sordid, or petty. It was not money, nor rank, but power which he coveted, and at which he aimed. Irreproachable in domestic life, faithful in friendship, a placable enemy, undaunted by failure, accepting final defeat with philosophic calm, he played with political passions which he did not share, and made use of prejudices which he did not feel. Froude loved him, as he loved Reineke Fuchs, for his weird incongruity with everything stuffy and commonplace. From a constitutional history of English politics Disraeli might almost be omitted. His Reform Act was not his own, and his own ideas were seldom translated into practice. In any political romance of the Victorian age he would be the principal figure. In the Congress of Berlin, where he did nothing, or next to nothing, he attracted the gaze of every one, not for anything he said there, but because he was there at all. If he had left an autobiography, it would be priceless, not for its facts, but for its opinions. That Froude thoroughly understood him it would be rash to say. But he did perceive by sympathetic intuition a great deal that an ordinary writer would have missed altogether. For instance, the full humour of that singular occasion when Benjamin Disraeli appeared on the platform of a Diocesan Conference at Oxford, with Samuel Wilberforce in the chair, could have been given by no one else exactly as Froude gave it. Nothing like it had ever happened before. It is scarcely possible that anything of the kind can ever happen again. Froude found the origin of the Established Church in the statutes of Henry VIII. Gladstone found it, or seemed to find it, in the poems of Homer. In Disraeli's eyes its pedigree was Semitic, and it ministered to the "craving credulity" of a sceptical age, undisturbed by the provincial arrogance that flashed or flared in an essay or review.

"In the year 1864," says Froude, "Disraeli happened to be on a visit at Cuddesdon, and it happened equally that a Diocesan Conference was to be held at Oxford at the time, with Bishop Wilberforce in the chair. The clerical mind had been doubly exercised, by the appearance of Colenso on the 'Pentateuch' and Darwin on the 'Origin of Species.' Disraeli, to the surprise of every one, presented himself in the theatre. He had long abandoned the satins and silks of his youth, but he was as careful of effect as he had ever been, and had prepared himself in a elaborately negligent. He lounged into the assembly in a black velvet shooting-coat and a wide-awake hat, as if he had been accidentally passing through the town. It was the fashion with University intellect to despise Disraeli as a man with neither sweetness nor light; but he was famous, or at least notorious, and when he rose to speak there was a general curiosity. He began in his usual affected manner, slowly and rather pompously, as if he had nothing to say beyond perfunctory platitudes. The Oxford wits began to compare themselves favourably the dullness of Parliamentary orators; when first one sentence and then another startled them into attention. They were told that the Church was not likely to be disestablished. It would remain, but would remain subject to a Parliament which would not allow an imperium in imperio. It must exert itself and reassert its authority, but within the limits which the law laid down. The interest grew deeper when he came to touch on the parties to one or other of which all his listeners belonged. High Church and Low Church were historical and intelligible, but there had arisen lately, the speaker said, a party called the Broad, never before heard of. He went on to explain what Broad Churchmen were."

Disraeli's gibes at Colenso and Maurice are too well known to need repetition here. The equally famous reference to Darwin will bear to be quoted once more, at least as an introduction for Froude's incisive comment.

"What is the question now placed before society with a glibness the most astounding? The question is this: Is man an ape or an angel? I, my lord, am on the side of the angels."

"Mr. Disraeli," so Froude continues, "is on the side of the angels. Pit and gallery echoed with laughter. Fellows and tutors repeated the phrase over their port in the common room with shaking sides. The newspapers carried the announcement the next morning over the length and breadth of the island, and the leading article writers struggled in their comments to maintain a decent gravity. Did Disraeli mean it, or was it but an idle jest? and what must a man be who could exercise his wit on such a subject? Disraeli was at least as much in earnest as his audience. The phrase answered its purpose. It has lived and become historical when the decorous protests of professional divines have been forgotten with the breath which uttered them. The note of scorn with which it rings has preserved it better than any affectation of pious horror, which indeed would have been out of place in the presence of such an assembly."

I have taken the liberty of giving such emphasis as italics can confer to two brief passages in this brilliant description, because they express Froude's real opinion of Diocesan Conferences and those who frequented them.* Disraeli's audience applauded, partly in admiration of his wit, and partly because, they thought that he was amusing them at the expense of the latitudinarians they abhorred. Froude's appreciation came from an opposite source. He regarded Disraeli not as a flatterer, but as a busy mocker, laughing at the people thought he was laughing with them. He made no attempt at a really critical estimate of the most baffling figure in English politics. He fastened on the picturesque aspects of Disraeli's career, and touched them with an artist's hand. As to what it all meant, or whether it meant anything, he left his readers as much, in the dark as they were before. My own theory, if one must have a theory, is that one word explains Disraeli, and that that word is "ambition." If so, he was one of the most marvellously successful men that ever lived. If not, and if a different standard should be applied, other consequences would ensue. Froude gives no help in the solution of the problem. What he does is to portray the original genius which no absurdities could cover, and no obstacles could restrain. Disraeli the "Imperialist" had no more to do with building empires than with building churches, but he was twice Prime Minister of England.

— * Disraeli's contempt for italics is well known. He called them "the last resort of the forcible Feebles." —

Froude's Sea Studies in the third series of his collected essays are chiefly a series of thoughts on the plays of Euripides. But, like so much of his writing, they are redolent of the ocean, on which and near which he always felt at home. The opening sentences of this fresh and wholesome paper are too characteristic not to be quoted.

"To a man of middle age whose occupations have long confined him to the unexhilarating atmosphere of a library, there is something unspeakably delightful in a sea voyage. Increasing years, if they bring little else that is agreeable with them, bring to some of us immunity from sea-sickness. The regularity of habit on board a ship, the absence of dinner parties, the exchange of the table in the close room for the open deck under an awning, and the ever-flowing breeze which the motion of the vessel forbids to sink into a calm, give vigour to the tired system, restore the conscious enjoyment of elastic health, and even mock us for the moment with the belief that age is an illusion, and that 'the wild freshness' of the morning of life has not yet passed away for ever. Above our heads is the arch of the sky, around us the ocean, rolling free and fresh as it rolled a million years ago, and our spirits catch a contagion from the elements. Our step on the boards recovers its buoyancy. We are rocked to rest at night by a gentle movement which soothes you into the dreamless sleep of childhood, and we wake with the certainty that we are beyond the reach of the postman. We are shut off, in a Catholic retreat, from the worries and anxieties of the world."

This is not the language of a man who ever suffered seriously from sea-sickness, and Froude's face had an open-air look which never suggested "the unexhilarating atmosphere of a library." But he was of course a laborious student, and nothing refreshed him like a voyage. On the yacht of his old friend Lord Ducie, as Enthusiastic a sailor and fisherman as himself, he made several journeys to Norway, and caught plenty of big salmon. He has done ample justice to these expeditions in the last volume of his essays, which contains The Spanish Story of the Armada. A country where the mountains are impassable, and the fiords the only roads, just suited his taste. It even inspired him with a poem, Rornsdal Fiord, which appeared in Blackwood for April, 1883, and it gave him health, which is not always, like poetry, a pure gift of nature.

The life of society, and of towns, never satisfied Froude. Apart from his genius and his training, he was a country gentleman, and felt most at home when he was out of doors.

From Panshanger he wrote to Lady Derby:

"How well I understand what you felt sitting on the top of the Pyrenees. We men are but a sorry part of the creation. Now and then there comes to us a breath out of another order of things; a sudden perception—coming we cannot tell how—of the artificial and contemptible existence we are all living; a longing to be out of it and have done with it—by a pistol-shot if nothing else will do. I continually wonder at myself for remaining in London when I can go where I please, and take with me all the occupations I am fit for. Alas! it is oneself that one wants really to be rid of. If we did not ourselves share in the passions and follies that are working round us we should not be touched by them. I have made up my mind to leave it all, at all events, as soon as Mr. Carlyle is gone; but the enchantment which scenery, grand or beautiful, or which simple country life promises at a distance, will never abide—let us be where we will. It comes in moments like a revelation; like the faces of those whom we have loved and lost; which pass before us, and we stretch our hands to clasp them and they are gone. I came here yesterday for two or three days. The house is full of the young generation. They don't attract me …. Whatever their faults, diffidence is not one of them. Macaulay's doctrine of the natural superiority of each new generation to its predecessor seems most heartily accepted and believed. The superb pictures in the house are a silent protest against the cant of progress. You look into the faces of the men and the women on the walls and can scarcely believe they are the same race with us. I have sometimes thought 'the numbers' of the elect have been really fulfilled, and that the rest of us are left to gibber away an existence back into an apehood which we now recognise as our real primitive type."

From the Molt, on the other hand, he wrote:

"It is near midnight. I have just come in from the terrace. The moon is full over the sea, which is glittering as if it was molten gold. The rocks and promontories stand out dear and ghost-like. There is not a breath to rustle the leaves or to stir the painted wash upon the shore. Men and men's doings, and their speeches and idle excitement, seem all poor, transient, and contemptible. Sea and rocks and moonlight looked just as they look to-night before Adam sinned in Paradise. They remain—we come and go, hardly more enduring than the moth that flutters in through the window, and we are hardly of more consequence."



ON the 16th of March, 1892, Froude's old antagonist, Freeman, who had been Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford since Stubbs's elevation to the Episcopal Bench in 1884, died suddenly in Spain. The Prime Minister, who was also Chancellor of the University, offered the vacant Chair to Froude, and after some hesitation Froude accepted it. The doubt was due to his age. "There are seventy-four reasons against it," he said. Fortunately he yielded. "The temptation of going back to Oxford in a respectable way," he wrote to Skelton, "was too much for me. I must just do the best I can, and trust that I shall not be haunted by Freeman's ghost." Lord Salisbury did a bold thing when he appointed Froude successor to Freeman. Froude had indeed a more than European reputation as a man of letters, and was acknowledged to be a master of English prose. But he was seventy-four, five years older than Freeman, and he had never taught in his life, except as tutor for a very brief time in two private families. The Historical School at Oxford had been trained to believe that Stubbs was the great historian, that Freeman was his prophet, and that Froude was not an historian at all. Lord Salisbury of course knew better, for it was at Hatfield that some of Froude's most thorough historical work had been done. Still, it required some courage to fly in the face of all that was pedantic in Oxford, and to nominate in Freeman's room the writer that Freeman had spent the best years of his life in "belabouring." Some critics attributed the selection to Lord Salisbury's sardonic humour, or pronounced that, as Lamb said of Coleridge's metaphysics, "it was only his fun." Some stigmatised it as a party job. Gladstone's nominee Freeman, had been a Home Ruler, Froude was a Unionist; what could be clearer than the motive? But both nominations could be defended on their own merits, and a Regius Professorship should not be the monopoly of a clique.

Lord Salisbury's choice of Froude was indeed, like Lord Rosebery's subsequent choice of Lord Acton for Cambridge, an example which justified the patronage of the Crown. A Prime Minister has more courage than an academic board, and is guided by larger considerations. Froude was one of the most distinguished living Oxonians, and yet Oxford had not even given him an honorary degree. Membership the Scottish Universities Commission in 1876 was the only official acknowledgment of his services to culture that he had ever received, and that was more of an obligation than a compliment. "Froude," said Jowett, "is a man of genius. He has been abominably treated." Lord Salisbury had made amends. Himself a man of the highest intellectual distinction, apart from the offices he happened to hold, he had promoted Froude to great honour in the place he loved best, and the most eminent of living English historians returned to Oxford in the character which was his due.

The new Professor gave up his house in London, and settled at Cherwell Edge, near the famous bathing-place called Parson' s Pleasure.* He found the University a totally different place from what it was when he first knew it. Dr. Arnold, who died in 1842, the year after his appointment, was the earliest Professor whose lectures were famous, or were attended, and Dr. Arnold did exactly as he pleased. There was no Board of Studies to supervise him, and it was thought rather good of a Professor to lecture at all. Now the Board of Studies was omnipotent, and a Professor's time was not his own. He was bound in fact to give forty-two lectures in a year, and to lecture twice a week for seven weeks in two terms out of the three. The prospect appalled him. "I never," he wrote to Max Muller,+ "I never gave a lecture on an historical subject without a fortnight or three weeks of preparation, and to undertake to deliver forty-two such lectures in six months would be to undertake an impossibility. If the University is to get any good out of me, I must work in my own way." He did not, however, work in his own way, and the University got a great deal of good out of him all the same.

* The house is now, oddly enough, a Catholic convent.
+ April 18th, 1892.

Lord Salisbury, in making Froude the offer, spoke apologetically of the stipend as small, but added that the work would be light. The accomplished Chancellor was imperfectly informed. The stipend was small enough: the work was extremely hard for a man of seventy-four. Froude's conscientiousness in preparation was almost excessive. Every lecture was written out twice from notes for improvement of style and matter. His audiences were naturally large, for not since the days Mr. Goldwin Smith, who resigned in 1866, had anything like Froude's lectures been heard at Oxford. When I was an undergraduate, in the seventies, we all of course knew that Professor Stubbs had a European reputation for learning. But, except to those reading for the History School, Stubbs was a name, and nothing more. Nobody ever dreamt of going to hear him. Crowds flocked to hear Froude, as in my time they flocked to hear Ruskin.

One sex was as well represented as the other. Froude had left the dons celibate and clerical. He found them, for the most part, married and lay. There was every variety of opinion in the common rooms, and every variety of perambulators in the parks. London hours had been adopted, and the society, though by no means frivolous or ostentatious, was anything rather than monastic. At Oxford, as in London, Froude was almost always the best talker in the room. He had travelled, not so much in Europe as in America and the more distant parts of the British Empire. He had read almost everything, and known almost every one. His boyish enthusiasm for deeds of adventure was not abated. He believed in soldiers and sailors, especially sailors. Creeds, Parliaments, and constitutions did not greatly attract or keenly interest him. Old as he was by the almanac, he retained the buoyant freshness of youth, and loved watching the eights on the river as much as any undergraduate. The chapel services, especially at Magdalen, brought back old times and tastes. As Professor of History he became a Fellow of Oriel, where he had been a commoner in the thick of the Oxford Movement. If the Tractarian tutors could have heard the conversation of their successors, they would have been astonished and perplexed. Even the Essayists and Reviewers would have been inclined to wish that some things could be taken for granted. Modern Oxford was not altogether congenial to Froude. While he could not be called orthodox, he detested materialism, and felt sympathy, if not agreement, with Evangelical Protestants. Like Bacon, he would rather believe all the legends of the Talmud than that this universal frame was without a mind.

Of the questions which absorbed High Churchmen he said, "One might as well be interested in the amours of the heathen gods." On the other hand, he had no sympathy with the new school of specialists, the devotees of original research. He believed in education as a training of the mental faculties, and thought that undergraduates should learn to use their own minds. "I can see what books the boys have read," he observed, after examining for the Arnold Prize, "but I cannot see that they make any use of what they have read. They seem to have power of assimilation." The study of authorities at first hand, to which he had given so much of his own time, he regarded as the work of a few, and as occupation for later years. The faculty of thinking, and the art of writing, could not be learned too soon.

Few indeed were the old friends who remained at Oxford to welcome him back. Max Muller was the most intimate of them, and among his few surviving contemporaries was Bartholomew Price, Master of Pembroke, a clergyman more distinguished in mathematics than in theology. The Rector of Exeter* gave a cordial welcome to the most illustrious of its former Fellows. The Provost of Oriel+ was equally gracious. In the younger generation of Heads his chief friends were the Dean of Christ Church,^ now Bishop of Oxford, and the President of Magdalen.# But the Oxford of 1892 was so unlike the Oxford of 1849 that Froude might well feel like one of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus. And if there had been many changes in Oxford, there had been some also in himself. He had long ceased to be, so far as he ever was, a clergyman. He had been twice married, and twice left a widower. His children had grown up. His fame as an author extended far beyond the limits of his own country, and of Europe. He had made Carlyle's acquaintance, become his intimate friend, and written a biography of him which numbered as many readers as The French Revolution itself. He had lectured in the United States, and challenged the representatives of Irish Nationalism on the history of their own land. He had visited most of the British Colonies, and promoted to the best of his ability the Federation of South Africa. Few men had seen more, or read more, or enjoyed a wider experience of the world. What were the lessons which after such a life he chiefly desired to teach young Englishmen who were studying the past? The value of their religious reformation, and the achievements of their naval heroes. The Authorised Version and the Navy were in his mind the symbols of England's greatness. Greater Britain, including Britain beyond the seas, was the goal of his hopes for the future progress of the race. There were in Oxford more learned men than Froude, Max Muller for one. There was not a single Professor, or tutor, who could compare with him for the multitude and variety of his experience. Undergraduates were fascinated by him, as everybody else was. The dignitaries of the place, except a stray Freemanite here and there, recognised the advantage of having so distinguished a personage in so conspicuous a Chair. Even in a Professor other qualities are required besides erudition. Stubbs's Constitutional History of England may be a useful book for students. Unless or until it is rewritten, it can have no existence for the general reader; and if the test of impartiality be applied, Stubbs is as much for the Church against the State as Froude is for the State against the Church. When Mr. Goldwin Smith resigned the Professorship of Modern History, or contemplated resigning it Stubbs wrote to Freeman, "It would be painful to have Froude, and worse still to have anybody else." He received the appointment himself, and held it for eighteen years, when he gave way to Freeman, and more than a quarter of century elapsed before the painful event occurred. By that time Stubbs was Bishop of Oxford, translated from Chester, and had shown what a fatal combination for a modern prelate is learning with humour. If Froude had been appointed twenty years earlier, on the completion of his twelve volumes, he might have made Oxford the great historical school of England. But it was too late. The aftermath was wonderful, and the lectures he delivered at Oxford show him at his best. But the effort was too much tor him, and hastened his end.

— * Dr. Jackson. + Mr. Monro. ^ Dr. Paget. # Mr. Warren. —

It must not be supposed that Froude felt only the burden. His powers of enjoyment were great, and he thoroughly enjoyed Oxford. He had left it forty years ago under a cloud. He came back in a dignified character with an assured position. He liked the familiar buildings and the society of scholars. The young men interested and amused him. Ironical as he might be at times, and pessimistic, his talk was intellectually stimulating. His strong convictions, even his inveterate prejudices, prevented his irony from degenerating into cynicism. History, said Carlyle, is the quintessence of innumerable biographies, and it was always the human side of history that appealed to Froude. He once playfully compared himself with the Mephistopheles of Faust, sitting in the Professor's chair. But in truth he saw always behind historical events the directing providence of God. Newman held that no belief could stand against the destructive force of the human reason, the intellectus sibi permissus. Froude felt that there were things which reason could not explain, and that no revelation was needed to trace the limits of knowledge. Sceptical as he was in many ways, he had the belief which is fundamental, which no scientific discovery or philosophic speculation can shake or move. Creeds and Churches might come or go. The moral law remained where it was. His own creed is expressed in that which he attributes to Luther. "The faith which Luther himself would have described as the faith that saved is the faith that beyond all things and always truth is the most precious of possessions, and truthfulness the most precious of qualities; that when truth calls, whatever the consequence, a brave man is bound to follow."*

— * Short Studies, iii. 189. —

Although Froude was probably happier at Oxford than he had been at any time since 1874, the regulations of his professorship worried him, as they had worried Stubbs and Freeman. They seemed to have been drawn on the assumption that a Professor would evade his duties, and behave like an idle undergraduate. Froude, on the contrary, interpreted them in the sense most adverse to himself. The authorities of the place, or some of them, would have had him spare his pains, and colourably evade the statute by talking instead of lecturing. But Froude was too conscientious to seek relief in this way. Whatever he had to do he did thoroughly, conscientiously, and as well as he could. There is no trace of senility in his professorial utterances. On the contrary, they are full of life and fire. Yet Froude was by no means entirely engrossed in his work. He had time for hospitality, and for making friends with young men. He loved his familiar surroundings, for nothing can vulgarise Oxford. He found men who still read the classics as literature, not to convict Aeschylus of violating Dawes's Canon, or to get loafers through the schools. He was not in all respects, it must be admitted, abreast of modern thought. His education had been unscientific, and he cared no more for Darwin than Carlyle did. He had learnt from his brother William, who died in 1879,* the scope and tendency of modern experiments, and astronomical illustrations are not uncommon in his writings. But the bent of his mind was in other directions, and he had never been under the influence of Spencer or of Mill. The Oxford which he left in 1849 was dominated by Aristotle and Bishop Butler. He came back to find Butler dethroned, and more modern philosophers established in his place. Aristotle remained where he was, not the type and symbol of universal knowledge, as Dante conceived him, but the groundwork upon which all later systems had been built. Plato, without whom there would have been no Aristotle, was more closely and reverently studied than ever, partly no doubt through Jowett, and yet mainly because no philosopher can ever get far away from him. Jowett himself, the ideal "Head of a House," who had been at Balliol when Froude was at Oriel, died in the second year of Froude's professorship, after seeing many of his pupils famous in the world. He had lived through the great period of transition in which Oxford passed from a monastery to a microcosm. The Act of 1854 had opened the University to Dissenters, reserving fellowships and scholarships, all places of honour and emolument, for members of the Established Church. The Act of 1871 removed the test of churchmanship for all such places, and for the higher degrees, except theological professorships and degrees in divinity. The Act of 1877 opened the Headships of the Colleges, and put an end to prize Fellowships for life. The Provost of Oriel, then Vice- Chancellor, was a layman. Marriage did not terminate a Fellowship, which, unless it were connected with academic work, lasted for seven years, and no longer. The old collegiate existence was at an end. Many of the tutors were married, and lived in their own houses. When Gladstone revisited Oxford in 1890, and occupied rooms in college as an Honorary Fellow of All Souls, nothing pleased him less than the number of women he encountered at every turn. They were not all the wives and daughters of the dons, who in Gladstone's view had no more right to such appendages than priests of the Roman Church; there were also the students at the Ladies' Colleges, who were allowed to compete for honours, though not to receive degrees.

— * "My brother," Froude wrote to Lady Derby, "though his name was little before the public, was well known to the Admiralty and indeed in every dock-yard in Europe. He has contributed more than any man of his time to the scientific understanding of ships and shipbuilding. His inner life was still more remarkable. He resisted the influence of Newman when all the rest of his family gave way, refusing to become a Catholic when they went over, and keeping steadily to his own honest convictions. To me he was ever the most affectionate of friends. The earliest recollections of my life are bound up with him, and his death takes away a large past of the little interest which remained to me in this most uninteresting world. The loss to the Admiralty for the special work in which he was engaged will be almost irreparable." —

Froude, who brought his own daughters with him, entered easily into the changed conditions. He was not given to lamentation over the past, and if he regretted anything it was the want of Puritan earnestness, of serious purpose in life. He had an instinctive sympathy with men of action, whether they were soldiers, sailors, or statesmen. For mere talkers he had no respect at all, and he was under the mistaken impression that they governed the country through the House of Commons. He never realised, any more than Carlyle, the vast amount of practical administrative work which such a man as Gladstone achieved, or on the other hand the immense weight carried in Parliament by practical ability and experience, as distinguished from brilliancy and rhetoric. The history which he liked, and to which he confined himself, was antecedent to the triumph of Parliament over the Crown. Warren Hastings, he used to say, conquered India; Burke would have hanged him for doing it. The House of Lords acquitted Hastings; and so far from criticising the doubtful policy of the war with France in 1793, Burke's only complaint of Pitt was that he did not carry it on with sufficient vigour. The distinction between talkers and doers is really fallacious. Some speeches are actions. Some actions are too trivial to deserve the name. But if Froude was incapable of understanding Parliamentary government, he very seldom attempted to deal with it. The English in Ireland is a rare and not a fortunate, exception. The House of Tudor was far more congenial to him than either the House of Stuart or the House of Brunswick.

Froude delivered his Inaugural Lecture on the 27th of October, 1892. The place was the Museum, which stands in the parks opposite Keble, and the attendance was very large. In the history of Oxford there have been few more remarkable occasions. Although the new Professor had made his name and writings familiar to the whole of the educated world, his immediate predecessor had vehemently denied his right to the name of historian, and had assured the public with all the emphasis which reiteration can give that Froude could not distinguish falsehood from truth. If anything could have brought Freeman out of his grave, it would have been Froude's appointment to succeed him. It is the custom in an Inaugural Lecture to mention in eulogistic language the late occupant of the chair. No man was less inclined to bear malice than Froude. His disposition was placable, and his temperament calm. Freeman had grossly and frequently insulted him without the faintest provocation. But he had long since taken his revenge, such as it was, and he could afford to be generous now. He discovered, with some ingenuity, a point of agreement in that Freeman, like himself, was a champion of classical education. Therefore, "along with his asperities," he had "strong masculine sense," and had voted for compulsory Greek. If the right of suffrage were restricted to men who knew Greek as well as Froude or Freeman, the decisions of Congregation at Oxford, and of the Senate at Cambridge, would command more respect.

Froude must have been reminded by the obligatory reference to Freeman that a man of seventy-four was succeeding a man of sixty- nine. The Roman Cardinals were, he said, in the habit of electing an aged Pontiff with the hope, not always fulfilled, that he would die soon. He had no belief that such an expectation would be falsified in his own case, and he undertook, with obvious sincerity, not to hold the post for a single day after he had ceased to be capable of efficiently discharging his functions. To history his own life had been devoted, and it would indeed have been strange if he could not give young men some help in reading it. His own great book might not be officially recommended for the schools. It was unofficially recommended by all lovers of good literature and sound learning. Like most people who know the meaning of science and of history, he denied that history was a science. There were no fixed and ascertained principles by which the actions of men were determined. There was no possibility of trying experiments. The late Mr. Buckle had not displaced the methods of the older historians, nor founded a system of his own. "I have no philosophy of history," added Froude, who disbelieved in the universal applicability of general truths. Here, perhaps, he is hardly just to himself. The introductory chapter to his History of the Reformation, especially the impressive contrast between modern and mediaeval England, is essentially philosophical, so much so that one sees in it the student of Thucydides, Tacitus, and Gibbon. History to Froude, like the world to Jaques, was a stage, and all the men and women merely players. But a lover of Goethe knows well enough that the drama can be philosophical, and Shakespeare, the master of human nature, has drawn nothing more impressive than the close of Wolsey's career. "The history of mankind is the history of great men," was Carlyle's motto, and Froude's. It is a noble one, and to discredit great men with low motives is the vice of ignoble minds. The reign of Henry VIII., after Wolsey's fall, was rich in horrors and in tragical catastrophes. But it was not a mere carnival of lust and blood. High principles were at stake, and profound issues divided parties, beside which the levity of Anne Boleyn and the eyes of Jane Seymour were not worth a moment's thought. Hobbes wondered that a Parliament man worth thousands of pounds, like Hampden, to pay twenty shillings for ship-money, as if the amount had anything to do with the principle that taxes could only be levied by the House of Commons. Henry's vices are dust in the balance against the fact that he stood for England against Rome. It is one of Froude's chief merits that he never fails to see the wood for the trees, never forgets general propositions to lose himself in details. A novice whose own mind is a blank may read whole chapters of Gardiner without discovering that any events of much significance happened in the seventeenth century. He will not read many pages of Froude before he perceives that the sixteenth century established our national independence.

Two of Froude's pet hobbies may be found in his Inaugural Lecture. There is the theory that judgment falls upon idleness and vice, which he adopted from Carlyle. There is his own doctrine that the Statute Book furnishes the most authentic material of history. It is no answer to say that preambles are inserted by Ministers, who put their own case and not the case of the nation. In the use or reception of all evidence allowance must be made for the source from which it comes. But even Governments do not invent out of their own heads, or put into statutes what is foreign to the public mind. They employ the arguments most likely to prevail, and these must be closely connected with the circumstances of the day. No recital in an Act of parliament can prove incontestably that the monasteries were stews, or worse. That such a thing could be plausibly alleged, and generally believed, is itself important, and history must take account of popular views. Debates were not reported in the sixteenth century, nor was freedom of speech in Parliament recognised by the Crown. There was nothing to ensure a fair trial for the victims of a royal prosecution, and testimony obtained by torture was accepted as authentic. All these are facts, and to neglect them is to go astray. But they do not prove that every public document is untrustworthy; or that the words of a statute have no more to do with reality than the words of a romance. It is a question of degree. Historical narrative could not be written under the conditions most properly imposed upon criminal proceedings in a court of law. If nothing which cannot be proved beyond the possibility of reasonable doubt is admitted into the pages of history, they will be bare indeed. It is significant that Froude laid down in 1892 the same propositions for which he had contended in the Oxford Essays of 1855. He had suffered many things in the meantime of The Saturday Review, but he held to his old opinions with unshaken tenacity. All Froude's changes were made early in life. When once he had shaken himself free of Tractarianism, The Nemesis of Faith, and Elective Affinities, he remained a Protestant, Puritan, sea-loving, priest-hating Englishman.

The subject with which Froude began his brief career as Professor was the Council of Trent. The Council of Trent has been described by one of the great historians of the world, Fra Paolo Sarpi, whom Macaulay considered second only to Thucydides. Entirely ineffective for the purpose of securing universal concord, it did in reality separate Protestant from Catholic Europe, and establish Papal authority over the Church of Rome. When the Council met, the Papacy was no part of orthodox Catholicism, and Henry VIII. never dreamt that in repudiating the jurisdiction of the Pope he severed himself from the Catholic Church. If Luther had been only a heretic, the Council might have put him down. But he had behind him the bulk of the laity, and Cardinal Contarini told Paul III. that the revolt against ecclesiastical power would continue if every priest submitted. "The Reformation," said Froude at the beginning of his first course, in November, 1892, "is the hinge on which all modern history turns." He traced in it the rise of England's greatness. When he came back in his old age to Oxford, it was to sound the trumpet-note of private judgment and religious liberty, as if the Oxford Movement and the Anglo-Catholic revival had never been. Froude could not be indifferent to the moral side of historical questions, or accept the doctrine that every one is right from his own point of view. The Reformation did in his eyes determine that men were responsible to God alone, and not to priests or Churches, for their opinions and their deeds. It also decided that the Church must be subordinate to the State, not the State to the Church. This is called Erastianism, and is the bugbear of High Churchmen. But there is no escape from the alternative, and the Church of Rome has never abandoned her claim to universal authority. Against it Henry VIII. and Cromwell, Elizabeth and Cecil, set up the supremacy of the law, made and administered by laymen. As Froude said at the close of his first course, in the Hilary Term of 1893, "the principles on which the laity insisted have become the rule of the modern Popes no longer depose Princes, dispense with oaths, or absolve subjects from their allegiance. Appeals are not any more carried to Rome from the national tribunals, nor justice sold there to the highest bidder." Justice was sold at Rome before the existence of the Catholic Church, or even the Christian religion. It has been sold, as Hugh Latimer testified, in England herself. But with the English Court's independence of the Holy See came the principles of civil and religious freedom.

Few things annoyed Froude more than the attacks of Macaulay and other Liberals on Cranmer. This was not merely sentimental attachment on Froude's part to the compiler of the Prayer Book. He looked on the Marian Martyrs as the precursors of the Long Parliament and of the Revolution, the champions of liberty in church and State. He would have felt that he was doing less than his duty if he had taught his pupils mere facts. Those facts had a lesson, for them as well as for him, and his sense of what the lesson was had deepened with years. He had observed in his own day an event which made much the same impression upon him as study of the French Revolution had made upon Carlyle. When the Second Empire perished at Sedan, Froude saw in the catastrophe the judgment of Providence upon a sinister and tortuous career. If the duty of an historian be to exclude moral considerations, Froude did not fulfil it. That there were good men on the wrong side he perceived plainly enough. But that did not make it the right side, nor confuse the difference between the two.

Froude's second set of Oxford lectures, begun in the Easter Term of 1893, was entitled English Seamen of the Sixteenth Century, and the name of the first lecture in it, a thoroughly characteristic name, was The Sea Cradle of the Reformation. He was in his element, and his success was complete. How Protestant England ousted Catholic Spain from the command of the ocean, and made it Britannia's realm, was a story which he loved to tell. "The young King," Henry VIII., "like a wise man, turned his first attention to the broad ditch, as he called the British Channel, which formed the natural defence of the kingdom." It was "the secret determined policy of Spain to destroy the English fleet, pilots, masters, and sailors, by means of the Inquisition." In 1562, according to Cecil, more than twenty British subjects had been burnt at the stake in Spain for heresy, and more than two hundred were starving in Spanish prisons. There was work for Hawkins and Drake. They were both Devonshire men, like Raleigh.

'Twas ever the way with good Queen Bess,
Who ruled as well as a mortal can,
When she was stogged, and the country in a mess,
To send for a Devonshire man.

Spain paid heavily for the persecution of British sailors. In his fifth lecture, Parties in the State, Froude read with dramatic emphasis, and in a singularly impressive manner, the application of a seaman to Elizabeth for leave to attack Philip's men-of-war off the banks of Newfoundland. "Give me five vessels, and I will go out and sink them all, and the galleons shall rot in Cadiz Harbour for want of hands to sail them. But decide, Madam, and decide quickly. Time flies, and will not return. The wings of man's life are plumed with the feathers of death." When he uttered these tragic words, Froude paused, and looked up, and it seemed to those who heard him as if he felt that the time of his own departure was at hand. Elizabeth herself was never moved by sentiment, and final vengeance on Spain had to wait for the Armada, with which these lectures, like the History, conclude. The consequences he left to others who had more years before them than he himself. He loved to dwell on the glories of seamen, especially Devonshire seamen, whose descendants he had known from his boyhood. The open sea and the open air, the stars and the waves, were akin to him. His companions sometimes thought that he cared too little for the perils of the deep. A lady who went boating with him, and hazarded the opinion that they would be drowned, got no warmer comfort than "Very likely," which struck her as grim. Probably he knew that there was no danger. He was accustomed to storms, and rather enjoyed them than otherwise. His lectures on the Elizabethan heroes of the sea had a fascination for young Englishmen which no historical discourses ever surpassed.

These sea-tales were spread over a year, being delivered in the Easter Terms of 1893 and 1894. Before they were finished Froude had begun another course on the life and correspondence of Erasmus. Erasmus is one of the choicest names in the history of letters, the flower of the religious Renaissance. Simply and sincerely pious, he enjoyed without abusing all the pleasures of life, wrote such Latin prose as had not been known since Pliny, and learnt Greek that he might understand the true meaning of the New Testament. Hating the monks of his own time for their ignorance and coarseness, he was as learned as any Benedictine of old, and as a master of irony he is like a gentler Pascal, a more reverent Voltaire. He loved England, the England of Archbishop Warham, Dean Colet, and Sir Thomas More. English ladies too were much to his taste, and in his familiar letters he has described their charms with frank appreciation. Priest as he was, and strictly moral, he cultivated an innocent epicureanism, including the collection of manuscripts and the exposure of pretentious ignorance in high places. He felt imperfect sympathy with Luther, and his literary criticism would have made no reformation. He was indeed precisely what we now call a Broad Churchman, accepting forms as convenient, though not essential, to faith. No one was better qualified to interpret him than Froude, whose translations of his letters, though free and sometimes loose, are vivid, racy, and idiomatic. Froude was by no means a blind admirer of Erasmus. His favourite heroes were men of action, and he regarded Luther as the real champion of spiritual freedom.

Intellect, he used to say, fought no battles, and was no match for superstition. Without Luther there would have been no Reformation. There might well have been a Reformation without Erasmus.

Neither of them was necessary according to Contarini, and in truth the Reformation had many sides. When Selden attended the Westminster Assembly of Divines, he took occasion to remind his colleagues that the Scriptures were not written in English. "Perhaps in your little pocket Bibles with gilt leaves" (which they would often pull out and read) "the translation may be thus, but the Greek or the Hebrew signifies thus and thus." So he would speak, says Whitelock, and totally silence them. But neither were the Scriptures written in Latin. It was Erasmus who revived the study of the Greek Testament, the charter of the scholar's reformation. He gave the Renaissance, in its origin purely Pagan, a Christian direction, and prevented the divorce of learning from religion. He also protested against the confusion of Christianity with asceticism, and against belief in the superior sanctity of monks. He turned his satire upon corruption in high places, and did not spare the Holy See. His residence in England, his friendship with More, his admiration for the earlier and better part of Henry VIII.'s career, connected him with events of which Froude had Himself traced the development. Luther moved him sometimes to sarcasm. Toleration and comprehension were the watchwords of Erasmus. "Reduce the dogmas necessary to be believed," he said, "to the smallest possible number; you can do it without danger to the realities of Christianity. On other points, either discourage inquiry, or leave every one to believe what he pleases- then we shall have no more quarrels, and religion will again take hold of life." The subject was not a new one to Froude. He had lectured on Erasmus and Luther at Newcastle five-and-twenty years before. The contrast between the two reformers is perennially interesting. Goethe, a supreme critic, thought that reform of the Church should have been left to Erasmus, and that Luther was a misfortune.

But then Goethe, though he understood religious enthusiasm, did not see the need for it, and would have tolerated such a Pope as Leo X., who had excellent taste in literature, rather than see issues submitted to the people which should be left for the learned to decide.

The weak point of Froude's Erasmus is the inaccuracy of its verbal scholarship. "Sir," said Dr. Johnson of a loose scholar, "he makes out the Latin from the meaning, not the meaning from the Latin." This biting sarcasm would be inapplicable to Froude, who knew the dead languages, as they are called, well enough to read them with ease and enjoyment. But he took in the general sense of a passage so quickly that he did not always, even in translating, stop to consider the precise significance of every word. Literal conformity with the original text is of course not possible or desirable in a paraphrase. What Froude did not sufficiently consider was the difference between the translation and the translator himself, who cannot paraphrase properly unless he renders literally in his own mind. Froude gave abundant proof of his good faith by quoting in notes some of the very passages which are incorrectly rendered above. A great deal has been made by a Catholic critic of the fact that the book which checked Ignatius Loyola's "devotional emotions" was not Erasmus's Greek Testament, but his Enchiridion Militis Christiani, Christian Soldier's Manual. This mistake was unduly favourable to the saint. Froude did not mean to imply that it was the actual words of Scripture which had this effect upon Ignatius. He was referring to the great scholar's own notes, which are polemical, and not intended to please monks. The founder of the Jesuits would have doubtless regarded them as most detestable blasphemy. The Enchiridion, on the other hand, is a purely devotional book, though written for a man of the world.

"My object," says Froude in his Preface, "has been rather to lead historical students to a study of Erasmus's own writings than to provide an abbreviated substitute for them." The students who took the advice will have found that Froude was guilty of some strange inadvertences, such as mistaking through a misprint a foster brother for a collection of the classics, but they will not have discovered anything which substantially impairs the value of his work. His paraphrases were submitted to two competent scholars, who drew up a long and rather formidable list of apparently inaccurate renderings. These were in turn submitted to the accomplished Latinist, Mr. Allen of Corpus, who is editing the Letters of Erasmus for the Clarendon Press. Mr. Allen thought that in several cases Froude had given the true meaning better than a more literal translation would give it. There remain a number of rather trivial slips, which do not appreciably diminish the merit of the best attempt ever made to set Erasmus before English readers in his habit as he was. The Latin of Erasmus is not always easy. He wrote it beautifully, but not naturally, as an exercise in imitation of Cicero. Without a thorough knowledge of Cicero and of Terence he is sometimes unintelligible, in a few cases the text of his letters is corrupt, and in others his real meaning is doubtful. One of the most glaring blunders, "idol" for "old," is obviously due to the printer, and a more careful comparison with the Latin would have easily removed them all. But at seventy-six a little laxity may be pardoned, and these were the only Oxford lectures which Froude himself prepared for the press. The publication of English Seamen and the Council of Trent was posthumous.

Between 1867 and 1893 Froude had become more favourable to Erasmus, or more sympathetic with his point of view. It was not that he admired Luther less. On the contrary, his Protestant convictions grew stronger with years, and to the last he raised his voice against the Anglo-Catholic revival. But he seemed to feel with more force the saying of Erasmus that "the sum of religion is peace." He translated and read out to his class the whole of the satiric dialogue held at the gate of Paradise between St. Peter and Julius II., in which the wars of that Pontiff are ruthlessly flagellated, and the wicked old man threatens to take the celestial city by storm. Erasmus, averse as he was from violent measures, had no lack of courage, and in his own name he told the truth about the most dignified ecclesiastics. No artifices imposed upon him, and he acknowledged no master but Christ. He translated the arch-sceptic Lucian, about whom Froude has himself written a delightful essay. "I wish," said Froude, "I wish more of us read Lucian now. He was the greatest man by far outside the Christian Church in the second century." Lucian lived in an age when miracles the most grotesque were supported by witnesses the most serious, and when, as he said, the one safeguard was an obstinate incredulity, the ineradicable certainty that miracles did not happen. Erasmus enjoyed Lucian as a corrective of monkish superstition, though he himself was essentially Christian. A Protestant he never became. He lived and died in communion with Rome, denounced by monks as a heretic, and by Lutherans as a time-server. Paul III. Would have made him a Cardinal if his means had sufficed for a Prince of the Church. Standing between the two extremes, he saw better than any of his contemporaries the real proportions of things, and Froude's last words on the subject were that students would be most likely to understand the Reformation if they looked at it with the eyes of Erasmus. Small faults notwithstanding, there is no one who has drawn a more vivid, or a more faithful, portrait of Erasmus than Anthony Froude.

Of Froude in his Oxford Chair it may fairly be said that in a short time he fulfilled a long time, and made more impression upon the under-graduates in a few months than Stubbs had made in as many years. It was not so much the love of learning that he inspired, though the range of his studies was wide, as enthusiasm for history because it was the history of England. His subjects were really English. Erasmus knew England thoroughly, and would have been an Englishman if he could. The Council of Trent failed to check the Reformation, and England without the Reformation would have been a different country, if not a province of Spain. Froude's lectures were events, landmarks in the intellectual life of Oxford, and the young men who came to him for advice went away not merely with dry facts, but with fructifying ideas. Distasteful as modern Parliamentary politics were to him, the position of the British Empire in the world was the dominant fact in his mind, and he regarded Oxford as a training-ground of imperial statesmanship.

He was not made to run in harness, or to act as a coach for the schools. "The teaching business at Oxford," he wrote to Skelton, after his last term, "goes at high pressure—in itself utterly absurd, and unsuited altogether to an old stager like myself. The undergraduates come about me in large numbers, and I have asserted in some sense my own freedom; but one cannot escape the tyranny of the system."* This is severe, though not perhaps severer than the Inaugural Lecture of Professor Firth. To a critic from the outside it seems that Boards of Studies should have power to relax their own rules, and that the utmost possible relaxation should have been granted in the case of Froude. A famous historian of seventy-four, if qualified to be a Professor at all, must be capable of managing his own work so that it may be most useful and efficient. The restrictions of which Froude, not alone, complained are really incompatible with Regius Professorships, or at least with the patronage of the Crown. They imply that the teaching branch of the University is to be entirely controlled by expert specialists on the spot. A Regius Professor is a national institution, a public man, not like a college tutor, who has purely local functions to discharge. That is a point on which Freeman would have agreed with Froude, and Stubbs would have agreed with both of them. Froude's success in spite of limitations does not show that they were wise, but that genius surmounts obstacles and breaks the barriers which seek to impede it. "To my sorrow I am popular," he said, "and my room is crowded. I know not who they are, and have no means of knowing. So it is not satisfactory. I must alter things somehow.

— * Table Talk of Shirley, p. 222. —

I can't yet tell how." The opportunity never came. But he was too old and too wise a man to let such things affect his happiness, and he was happier in Oxford than in London. "Some of the old Dons," he wrote, "have been rather touchingly kind."

There was indeed only one chance of escaping Froude's magnetism, and that was to keep out of his way. The charm of his company was always irresistible. Different as the Oxford of 1893 was from the Oxford of 1843, young men are always the same, and Froude thoroughly understood them. He had enjoyed himself at Oriel not as a reading recluse, but as a boy out of school, and he was as young in heart as ever. Strange is the hold that Oxford lays upon men, and not less strong than strange. Nothing weakens it; neither time, nor distance, nor success, nor failure, nor the revolution of opinion, nor the deaths of friends. Oxford had been unjust to Froude, and had driven out one of her most illustrious sons in something like disgrace. Yet he never wavered in his affection for her, and the many vicissitudes of his life he came back to Oriel with the spirits of a boy. The spells of Oxford, like the spells of Medea, disperse the weight of years.



He lectures on Erasmus were not public; they were delivered in Froude's private house at Cherwell Edge, and attended only by members of the University reading for the Modern History School. His public lectures on the Council of Trent and on English seamen had been so much crowded by men and women, young and old, that candidates for honours in history were scarcely able to find room. Nothing could be more honourable to Froude, or to Oxford, than his enthusiastic reception by his old University at the close of his brilliant and laborious career. But it was too much for him. Like Voltaire in Paris, he was stifled with flowers. His twentieth discourse on Erasmus begins with the pathetic sentence, "This will be my last lecture, for the life of Erasmus was drawing to an end." So was his own. His final task in this world was the preparation of Erasmus for the press. He had been all his life accustomed to work at his own time, and the strain of living by rule at Oxford had told upon him more than he knew. Before the end of the summer term in 1894 he left Oxford for Devonshire, worn out and broken down. "Education," he wrote in his last letter to Skelton, "like so much else in these days, has gone mad, and has turned into a large examination mill." He was so much exhausted that he could not go again to Norway with Lord Ducie,* though with characteristic pluck he half thought of paying another visit to Sir George Grey in New Zealand. But it was not to be. During the summer his strength failed, and it became known that the disorder was incurable. With philosophic calmness he awaited the inevitable close, feeling, as he had always felt, that he was in the hands of God. His religion, very deep, constant, and genuine, was not a spiritual emotion, nor a dogmatic creed, but a calm and steady confidence that, whatever weak mortals might do, the Judge of all the earth would do right. "It is impossible," said Emerson, whom he loved and admired, "for a man not to be always praying." The relations of such men with the unseen are an inseparable part of their daily lives. Froude had no more sympathy with the self-complacent "agnosticism" of modern thought than he had with Catholic authority or ecstatic revivalism. To fear God and to keep His commandments was with him the whole duty of man. The materialistic hypothesis he rejected as incredible, explaining nothing, meaning nothing, a presumptuous attempt to put ignorance in the place of knowledge.

— * "Ducie wanted me to go to Norway with him, salmon-fishing; but I didn't feel that I could do justice to the opportunity. In the debased state to which I am reduced, if I hooked a thirty-pound salmon, I should only pray him to get off."—Table Talk of Shirley, pp. 222, 223. —

His soul had always dwelt apart. His early training did not encourage spiritual sympathy, and, except in his books, he habitually kept silence on ultimate things. But he had always thought of them; and as he lay dying, in almost the last moments of consciousness, he repeated dearly to himself those great, those superhuman lines which Shakespeare puts into the mouth of Macbeth between his wife's death and his own.

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle;
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more.

Still later he murmured, "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"

He died on the 20th of October, 1894, and was buried at Salcombe in his beloved Devonshire not far from his beloved sea. He "made his everlasting mansion upon the beached verge of the salt flood." By his own particular desire he was described on his tombstone as Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford, so deeply did he feel the complete though tardy recognition of the place he had made for himself among English historians. Otherwise he was the most unassuming of men, simple and natural in manner, never putting himself forward, patient under the most hostile criticism which did not impugn his personal veracity. Although the malice of Freeman did once provoke him to a retort the more deadly because it was restrained, he suffered in silence all the detraction which followed the reminiscences and the biography of Carlyle. His temper was singularly placable, and he bore no malice. His father and his eldest brother had not treated him wisely or kindly. But neither of Hurrell Froude nor of the Archdeacon did he ever speak except with admiration and respect. His early training hardened him, and perhaps accounts for the indifference to cruelty which sometimes disfigures his pages. He did not know what a mother's affection was before he had a wife and children of his own. Before he became an honour to his family he was regarded as a disgrace to it, and not until the first two volumes of the History appeared did his father believe that there was any good in him. Yet the Archdeacon was always his ideal clergyman, and the Church of England as it stood before the Oxford Movement was his model communion. With the Evangelical party, represented to him by his Irish friend, Mr. Cleaver, he had sympathetic relations, and practical, though not doctrinal, agreement. His temporary leaning towards Tractarianism was no more than personal admiration for Newman, and he took orders not because he was a High Churchman, but because he was a Fellow. Yet it was in some respects a fortunate accident, which, by shutting him out from other professions, drove him into literature. Fiction he soon learned to avoid, for his early experiments in it were failures, and in later years his least successful book, with all its eloquence, was The Two Chiefs of Dunboy. As an historical writer he has few superiors, and his essays are among the most delightful in our tongue. To analyse his style is as difficult as not to feel the charm of it. It is as smooth as the motion of a ship sailing on a calm sea, and yet it is never fiat nor tame.

Although Froude, like Newman, belonged to the Oriel school, he has a spirit which is not of any school, which breathes from the wide ocean and the liquid air. He wrote, for all his scholarly grace, like a man of flesh and blood, not a pedant nor a doctrinaire. Impartial he never was, nor pretended to be. Dramatic he could not help being, and yet his own opinions were seldom concealed. Three or four main propositions were at the root of his mind. He held the Reformation to be the greatest and most beneficent change in modern history. He believed the English race to be the finest in the world. He disbelieved in equality, and in Parliamentary government. Essentially an aristocrat in the proper sense of the term, he cherished the doctrine of submission to a few fit persons, qualified for authority by training and experience. These ideas run through all Froude's historical writing, which takes from them its trend and colour. Whatever else the male Tudors may have been, they were emphatically men; and even Elizabeth, whom Froude did not love, had a commanding spirit. Except poor priest-ridden Mary, who had a Spanish mother and a Spanish husband, they did not brook control, and no one was ever more conscious of being a king than Henry VIII. To him, as to Elizabeth, the Reformation was not dogmatic but practical, the subjection of the Church to the State. The struggle between Pope and sovereign had to be fought out before the struggle between sovereign and Parliament could begin.

Liberals thought that Froude would not have been on the side of the Parliament, and they joined High Churchmen in attacking him. Spiritual and democratic power were to him equally obnoxious. He delighted in Plato's simile of the ship, where the majority are nothing, and the captain rules. His opinions were not popular, except his dislike for the Church of Rome. He is read partly for his exquisite diction, and partly for the patriotic fervour with which he rejoices in the achievements of England, especially on sea.

Rossetti's fine burden:

Lands are swayed by a king on a throne,
The sea hath no king but God alone:

might be a motto for the title-page of Froude. The fallacy that brilliant writers are superficial accounts for much of the prejudice in academic circles against which Froude had to contend. To him of all men it was inapplicable, for no historian studied original documents with greater zest. That he did not know his period nobody could pretend. He knew it so much better than his critics that few of them could even criticise him intelligently. That he was not thoroughly acquainted with the periods preceding his own may be more plausibly argued. There must of course be some limit. The siege of Troy can be told without mention of Leda's egg. But if Froude had given a little more time to Henry VII., and all that followed the Battle of Bosworth, he would have approached the fall of Wolsey and the rise of Cromwell with a more thorough understanding of cause and effect. His mind moved with great rapidity, and went so directly to the point that the circumstances were not always fully weighed. It is possible to see the truth too clearly, without allowance for drawbacks and qualifications. The important fact about Henry, for instance, is that he was a statesman who had to provide for a peaceful succession. But he was also a wilful, headstrong, arbitrary man, spoiled from his cradle by flatterers, and determined to have his own way. Froude saw the absurdity of the Blue-beard delusion, and did immense service in exposing it. He would have given no handle to his Roman Catholic and Anglo-Catholic enemies if he had acknowledged that there was an explanation of the error. He was sometimes carried away by his own eloquence, and his convictions grew stronger as he expressed them, until the facts on the other side looked so small that they were ignored.

History deals, and can only deal, with consequences and results. Motives and Intentions, however interesting, belong to another sphere. Henry and Cromwell, Mary and Pole, Elizabeth and Cecil, are tried in Froude's pages by the simple test of what they did, or failed to do, for England. Froude detested and despised the cosmopolitan philosophy which regards patriotic sentiment as a relic of barbarism. He was not merely an historian of England, but also an English historian; and holding Fisher to be a traitor, he did not hesitate to justify the execution of a pious, even saintly man. Fisher would no doubt have said that it was far more important to preserve the Catholic faith in England than to keep England independent of Spain. Froude would have replied that unless the nation punished those who sought for the aid of Spanish troops against their own countrymen, she would soon cease to be a nation at all. His critics evaded the point, and took refuge in talk about bloody tyrants wreaking vengeance upon harmless old men.

If patriotism be not a disqualification for an historian, Froude had none. Like every other writer, he made mistakes. But he was laborious in research, a master of narrative, with a genius for seizing dramatic points. Above all, he had imagination, without which the vastest knowledge is as a ship without sails, or a bird without wings. His objects, even his prejudices, were frankly avowed, and his prejudices gave way to fresh facts or reasons. The records at Simancas, for instance, completely changed, and changed for the worse, his estimate of Queen Elizabeth's character, and he admitted it at once with his transparent candour. To defend Froude against mendacity seems like an insult to his memory, for if he loved anything it was truth, though he sometimes spoke in a cynical way about the difficulty of attaining it. But such monstrous charges were made against him when he could no longer reply for himself that I may be forgiven for quoting an authority which will command general respect. Mr. Andrew Lang is as scrupulously accurate in statement as he is brilliantly felicitous in style. He has studied the history of the sixteenth century, especially in Scotland, and he disagrees with Froude on many, if not on most, of the points in dispute. Yet this is Mr. Lang's deliberate judgment:

"I have found Mr. Froude often in error; often, as I think, misunderstanding, misquoting, omitting and even adding, but I have never once seen reason to suspect him of conscious misrepresentation, of knowingly giving a false impression. … It is easy to show that Mr. Froude erred contrary to his bias on occasion, and it must never be forgotten that he did what no consciously dishonest historian could possibly do. He deposited at the British Museum copies, in the original Spanish, of the documents, very difficult of access, which he used in his History. By aid of these transcripts, we can find him slipping into errors, and his action in presenting the country with the means of correcting his mistakes proves beyond doubt that he did not consciously make mistakes. There is no way in which this conclusion can be evaded. No historian was more honest than Mr. Froude, though few or none of his merit have been so fallible."

How many historians of his merit have there been? He had no contemporary rival in England, for Carlyle and Macaulay belonged to a previous generation. There was certainly no one living when Froude died who could have written the famous passage in the first chapter of his History about the decay of mediaevalism:

"For, indeed, a change was coming upon the world, the meaning and direction of which even still are hidden from us, a change from era to era. The paths trodden by the footsteps of ages were broken up; old things were passing away, and the faith and the life of ten centuries were dissolving like a dream. Chivalry was dying; the abbey and the castle were soon together to crumble into ruins; and all the forms, desires, beliefs, convictions of the old world were passing away, never to return. A new continent had risen up beyond the western sea. The floor of heaven, inlaid with stars, had sunk back into an infinite abyss of immeasurable space; and the fair earth itself, unfixed from its foundations, was seen to be but a small atom in the awful vastness of the universe. In the fabric of habit which they had so laboriously built for themselves, mankind were to remain no longer. And now it is all gone—like an unsubstantial pageant faded; and between us and the old English themselves a gulf of mystery which the prose of the historian will never adequately bridge. They cannot come to us, and our imagination can but feebly penetrate to them. Only among the aisles of the cathedrals, only before the silent figures sleeping on the tombs, some faint conceptions float before us of what these men were when they were alive, and perhaps in the sound of church bells, that peculiar creation of the middle age, which falls upon the ear like the echo of a vanished world."

Although Froude cared little for music, the rhythm of his sentences is musical, and the organ-note of the opening words in the quotation carries a reminiscence of Tacitus which will not escape the classical reader. That is literary artifice, though a very high form of it. The real merit of the paragraph is not so much its eloquence as its insight into the depth of things. Many respectable historians see only the outward lineaments. Froude saw the nation's heart and soul. It was the same with the great man whose biographer Froude became. Carlyle's faults would have been impossible in a character mean or small. They were the defects of his qualities, those

Fears of the brave, and follies of the wise,

which do not wait to appear till the last scene of life. Now that more than twenty years have passed since the final volumes of the Life were published, it may be said with confidence that Carlyle owes almost as much to Froude as to his own writings for his high and enduring fame. "Though the lives of the Carlyles were not happy," says Froude, "yet, if we look at them from the beginning to the end, they were grandly beautiful. Neither of them probably under other conditions would have risen to as high an excellence as in fact they each actually achieved; and the main question is not how happy men and women have been in this world, but what they have made of themselves."* The loftier a man's own view of mental conceptions and sublunary things, the more will he admire Carlyle as described by Froude. The same Carlyle who made a ridiculous fuss about trifles confronted the real evils and trials of life with a dignity, courage, and composure which inspire humble reverence rather than vulgar admiration. Froude rightly felt that Carlyle's petty grumbles, often most amusing, throw into bright and strong relief his splendid generosity to his kinsfolk, his manly pride in writing what was good instead of what was lucrative, his anxiety that Mill should not perceive what he lost in the first volume of The French Revolution. Whenever a crisis came, Carlyle stood the test. The greater the occasion, the better he behaved. One thing Froude did not give, and perhaps no biographer could. Carlyle was essentially a humourist. He laughed heartily at other people, and not less heartily at himself. When he was letting himself go, and indulging freely in the most lurid denunciations of all and sundry, he would give a peculiar and most significant chuckle which cannot be put into print. It was a warning not to take him literally, which has too often passed unheeded. He has been compared with Swift, but he was not really a misanthropist, and no man loved laughter more, or could excite more uproarious merriment in others. I remember a sober Scotsman, by no means addicted to frivolous merriment, telling me that he had come out of Carlyle's house in physical pain from continuous laughter at an imaginary dialogue between a missionary and a negro which Carlyle had conducted entirely himself.

— * Carlyle's Early Life, i. 381. —

Carlyle, it must be remembered, knew Froude's historical methods quite as well as he knew Froude. It was because he knew them, and approved of them, that he asked Froude to be the historian of Cheyne Row. Froude's devotion to him had indeed been singular. During the last decade of his life Carlyle was very feeble, and required constant care. He came to lean upon Froude more and more, requiring his company in walks, and even in omnibuses, until Froude almost ceased to be his own master. The lecturing tour in the United States and the political visits to South Africa were permitted, because they were thought right. But Fraser's Magazine had to be given up, partly that employment might be found for a young man in whom Carlyle was interested, and the project for a new history of Charles V. was perforce abandoned. It has been said, though not by any one who knew the facts, that Froude profited in a pecuniary sense by exchanging history for biography. The exact opposite is the truth. From 1866 to 1869, the last years of his great book, Froude received from Messrs. Longman about fourteen hundred pounds a year, including his salary as editor of Fraser, which he relinquished at Carlyle's bidding. From 1877 to 1884 he did not receive more than seven hundred. Two volumes of history brought in about as much as three of biography, and there is no reason to suppose that Charles V. would have proved less popular than Henry VIII. or Elizabeth. Froude was unusually prosperous and successful as a man of letters, though it is of course impossible for the highest literary work to be adequately paid. He had to deal with liberal publishers, and after 1856 his position as a writer was assured. The idea that necessity drove him to fill his pockets at the expense of a dead friend's reputation is as preposterous in his case as it would have been in Lockhart's or Stanley's.

Had Froude been the cynic he is often called, he would have borne with callous indifference, as he did bear in dignified silence, the attacks made upon him for his revelations of Carlyle. But Froude was not what he seemed. Behind his stately presence, and lofty manner, and calmly audacious speech, there was a singularly sensitive nature. He would do what he thought right with perfect fearlessness, and without a moment's hesitation. When the consequences followed he was not always prepared for them, and people who were not worth thinking about could give him pain. Human beings are composite creatures, and the feminine element in man is more obvious than the masculine element in woman. Froude had a feminine disposition to be guided by feeling, and to remember old grievances as vividly as if they had happened the day before. He was also a typical west countryman in habit of mind, as well as in face, figure, and speech. His beautiful voice, exquisitely modulated, never raised in talk, was thoroughly Devonian. So too were his imperfect sense of the effect produced by what he said upon ordinary minds, and his love, which might almost be called mischievous, of giving small electric shocks. In the case of Carlyle, however, the out-cry was wholly unexpected, and for a time he was distressed, though never mastered, by it. What he could not understand, what it took him a long time to live down, was that friends who really knew him should believe him capable of baseness and treachery. Now that it is all over, that Froude's biography has taken its place in classical literature, and that Mrs. Carlyle's letters are acknowledged to be among the best in the language, the whole story appears like a nightmare. But it was real enough twenty years ago, when people who never read books of any kind thought that Froude was the name of the man that whitewashed Henry VIII. and blackened Carlyle. Froude would probably have been happier if he had turned upon his assailants once for all, as he once finally and decisively turned upon Freeman. Freeman, however, was an open enemy. A false friend is a more difficult person to dispose of, and even to deny the charge of deliberate treachery hardly consistent with self-respect. Long before Froude died the clamour against him had by all decent people been dropped. But he himself continued to feel the effect of it until he became Professor of History at Oxford. That rehabilitated him, where only he required it, in his own eyes. It was a public recognition by the country through the Prime Minister of the honour he had reflected upon Oxford since his virtual expulsion in 1849, and he felt himself again. From that time the whole incident was blotted from his mind, and he forgot that some of his friends had forgotten the meaning of friendship. The last two years of his life were indeed the fullest he had ever known. Forty-two lectures in two terms at the age of seventy-four are a serious undertaking. Happily he knew the sixteenth century so well that the process of refreshing his memory was rather a pleasure than a task, and he could have written good English in his sleep. Yet few even of his warmest admirers expected that in a year and a half he would compose three volumes which both for style and for substance are on a level with the best work of his prime. It was less surprising, and intensely characteristic, that his subjects should be the Reformation and the sea.

Froude's religious position is best stated in his own words, written when he was in South Africa, to a member of his family:

"I know by sad experience much of what is passing in your mind. Although my young days were chequered with much which I look back on with regret and shame, still I believe I always tried to learn what was true, and when I had found it to stick to it. The High Church theology was long attractive to me, but then I found, or thought I found, that it had no foundation, and indeed that very few of its professors in their heart of hearts believed what they were saying. Apostolic Succession, Sacramental Grace, and the rest of it, are very pretty, but are they facts? Is it a fact that any special mysterious power is communicated by a Bishop's hands? Is it a fact that a child's nature is changed by water and words—or that the bread when it is broken ceases to be bread? We cannot tell that it is not so, you say. But can we tell that it is so? and we ought to be able to tell before we believe it. All that fell away from me when I came in contact with the Cleavers and their friends. Their views never commended themselves to me wholly; but at least they were spiritual and not material. And election is a fact, although they express it oddly—and so is reprobation—and so is what they say of free will, and so is conversion. It is true that we bring natures into the world which are moulded by circumstances and by their own tendencies, as clay in the hands of the potter. Look round you and see that some are made for honour and some for dishonour. So far I agree with the Evangelicals still, and I agree too with them that if what they call faith—that is, a distinct conviction of sin, a resolution to say to oneself "Sammy, my boy, this won't do,"* a perception and love for what is right and good, and a loathing of the old self—can be put into one, and by the grace of God we see that it can be and is—the whole nature is changed, is what we call regenerated. This is certain—and it is to me certain also that the world and we who live in it, with all these mysterious conditions of our being, are no creation of accident or blind law. We were created for purposes unknown to us by Almighty God, who is using us and training us for His own objects—objects wholly unconceivable by us, but nevertheless which we know to exist, for Intelligence never works but for an end.

— * The reference is to Thackeray's story of a hairdresser named Samuel, who remarked, "Mr. Thackeray, there comes a time in the life of every man when he says to himself, 'Sammy, my boy, this won't do.'" The story was an especial favourite of Froude's. —

"Of other things which are popularly called religion, I have my opinion positive and negative. But religion to me is not opinion it is certainty. I cannot govern my actions or guide my deepest convictions by probabilities. The laws which we are to obey and the obligations to obey them are part of my being of which I am as sure as that I am alive. The things to argue about are by their nature uncertain, and therefore it is to me inconceivable that in them can lie Religion. I cannot tell whether these thoughts will be of any help to you. But it is better, in my judgment, to remain a proselyte of the gate—resolute to remain there till one receives a genuine conviction of some truths beyond—than for imagined relief from the pain of suspense to take up by an act of will a complete system of belief, Catholic or Calvinistic, and insist to one's own soul that it is, was, and shall be the whole and complete truth. Some people do this—deliberately blind their eyes, and because they never see again declare loudly that no one else can see. Other people, less happy, find by experience that they cannot believe what they have taken to in this way, and fly for a change to the next theory and then to the next. I remain for myself unconvinced of much which is generally called the essential part of things; but convinced with all my heart of what I regard as essential."

Froude made no secret of his religious opinions and they may be collected from his numerous books, especially perhaps from The Oxford Counter-Reformation. A curious paper, first published in 1879, called "A Siding at a Railway Station," is one of his most direct utterances on the subject. It will be found in the fourth series of Short Studies, and is in many respects the most remarkable of them all. "Some years' ago," it begins, "I was travelling by railway, no matter whence or whither." The railway is life, and the siding at which the train was suddenly stopped is the end that awaits all travellers through this world. The examination of the luggage is the judgment which will be passed upon all human actions hereafter. Wages received are placed on one side, and value to mankind of service rendered on the other. Naturally working men come out best. The worst show is made by idle and luxurious grandees. Authors occupy a middle position, and in Froude's own books "chapter after chapter vanished away, leaving the paper clean as if no compositor had ever laboured in setting type for it. Pale and illegible became the fine-sounding paragraphs on which I had secretly prided myself. A few passages, however, survived here and there at long intervals. They were those on which I had laboured least and had almost forgotten, or those, as I observed in one or two instances, which had been selected for special reprobation in the weekly journals." The hit at The Saturday Review is amusing enough, and Froude goes on to plead successfully that though he may have been ignorant, prejudiced, or careless, no charge of dishonesty could be established against him. Apart from his own personal case, the allegory means little more than the gospel of work which is the noblest part in the teaching of Carlyle. Titled personages come off badly, and the most ridiculous figure in the motley throng is an Archbishop. Not much sympathy is shown with any one, except with a widow who hopes to rejoin her husband, and sympathy is all that Froude can give her.

Of Froude's friendships much has been said. They were numerous, and drawn from very different classes. Beginning at Oxford, they increased rather than diminished throughout his life, notwithstanding the gaps which death inevitably and inexorably made. To one Fellow of Exeter who stood by him in his troubles, George Butler, afterwards Canon of Winchester, he remained always attached. Dean Stanley throughout life he loved, and another clerical friend, Cowley Powles. Of the many persons who felt Clough's early death as an irreparable calamity there was hardly one who felt it more than Froude. His affectionate reverence for Newman was proof against a mental and moral antagonism which could not be bridged. After Kingsley's death he wrote, from the Molt, to Mrs. Kingsley: "Dearest Fanny,—You tell me not to write, so I will say nothing beyond telling you how deeply I am affected by your thought of me. The old times are as fresh in my mind as in yours. You and Charles were the best and truest friends I ever had. We shall soon be all together again. God bless you now and in eternity.

"Your affectionate. J. A. FROUDE."

"Cowley Powles is here. It was he who first took me to Eversley."

It was when he came to London that Froude enlarged the circle of his friends, Carlyle being the greatest and the chief. Among the contributors to Fraser's Magazine those whom he knew best were the late Sir John Skelton, "Shirley," and the present Sir Theodore Martin, the biographer of the Prince Consort, whom some still prefer to associate with those delightful parodies, the Bon Gaultier Ballads. The enumeration of Froude's London acquaintances would be merely a social chronicle, with the supplement of some names, such as General Cluseret's, quite outside the ordinary groove. He could get on with any one, and he was interested in every one who had interesting qualities. After his second marriage his dinner-parties in Onslow Gardens were famous for their brilliancy and charm. His magnetic personality drew from people whatever they had, while his ease of manner made them feel at home. It was perhaps because he never pretended to know anything that only scholars realised how much he knew, and that he seemed to be not so much a man of letters as a man of the world. Of all the friends he made in later life there was not one that he valued more highly than Lord Wolseley. "I have been staying," he wrote to his daughter, from South Africa, "with Sir Garnet Wolseley and his brilliant staff. It was worth a voyage to South Africa to make so intimate an acquaintance with him." After his second return from the Cape, when his social life in London was taken up again, with his eldest daughter in her step- mother's place, there were added to the military and naval officers he had met, the Irish Protestants, who regarded him as their champion, and the wide circle of his ordinary associates, an Africander contingent, made up of all parties in that troubled area. There were, in fact, few phases of human life with which Froude was not familiar, from Devonshire fishermen to Cabinet Ministers. Although he knew and admired Mr. Chamberlain, his greatest political friends were Lord Carnarvon and Lord Derby, with whom he almost invariably agreed. The man of science whom, after his own brother, he knew best, was Tyndall. Men of letters were familiar to him in every degree. Among the houses where he was a frequent and welcome guest were Knowsley, Highclere, Tortworth, and Castle Howard. In his own family there were troubles and bereavements. His eldest son, who died before him, gave him much trouble and anxiety. His second daughter died of consumption a few months after her stepmother, while he was in South Africa alone. Otherwise, his relations with his children were perfect and unbroken, for no father was more beloved and adored. Indeed, all intelligent children delighted in his company, because they could not help understanding him, and yet he paid them the acceptable compliment of talking to them as if they were grown up.

There is nothing in the world more evanescent than good conversation. Froude was one of the best and most agreeable talkers of his day. He could talk to old and young, to men, women, and children, to Devonshire seamen or labourers, to the most highly cultivated society of Oxford or London, with equal ease and equal enjoyment. He never tried to monopolise the conversation, and yet somehow the chief share fell naturally to him. If he were bored, he could be as silent as the grave. But when his interest was roused, and most things roused it, he always had something pointed and forcible to say. He was not always a sympathetic hearer. Once he sat between two extremely intellectual women who considered themselves leaders of advanced thought. When they left the room after dinner he turned to a friend of mine, and said simply, "I think all these bigots ought to be burnt." Such deplorable intolerance was happily rare. Less rare, perhaps, were his irresistible sense of the ludicrous and irrepressible tendency to sarcasm. Of a famous clergyman he said, "At least they have not put him into a bishop's apron, the emblem of our first parents' shame." "What can education do for a man," he once asked, "except enable him to tell a lie in five ways instead of one?" As a rule, Froude, like most good talkers, listened well, and responded readily. If he had not Carlyle's rich, exuberant humour, he was also without the prophet's leaning to dogmatism and anathema. Sardonic irony was his nearest approach to an offensive weapon, and even in that he was sparing. But he had a look which seemed to say, "Don't offer me any theories, or creeds, or speculations, for I have tried them all."

Perhaps I may be permitted in this connection to describe my one and only experience of Froude and his ways. It was after dinner, and the talk had fallen into the hands, or the mouth, of an eminent administrator, who seemed to be a pillar, a model of talent and virtue. His language was copious, his subject "schoolmaster Bishops," and the services they had rendered to the Church of England. Bishop Blomfield, for example, had procured the appointment of the Ecclesiastical Commission. There might, for aught we knew, be endless examples, and the prospect was appalling. The host was a Roman Catholic, and the guests were not ecclesiastical. Froude came to the rescue. In a gentle voice, and with the air of an anxious inquirer, he asked whether Dr. Blomfield had happened to acquaint the Commissioners with the nature and extent of his own emoluments. Then, without pausing for a reply, he added, still gently, "Because it always used to be said that there were only two persons who knew what the Bishop of London's income was; himself and the devil." The remark may not have been a new one. It was not offered as such, but it served its purpose, for the interrupted lecture was never resumed.

Froude's vast reading and his wide human experience enabled him to hold his own in any company, but he never paraded his knowledge, or lay in wait to trip people up. Although the prospect of going out worried him, and his first impulse was to refuse an invitation, he enjoyed society when he was in it, being neither vain nor shy. At Oxford he could not dine out. Late hours interfered with his work. But he was hospitable both to tutors and to undergraduates, liking to show himself at home in the old place. Except for the failure of his health, perhaps in spite of it, his enjoyment of his Oxford professorship was unmixed. He did not hold it long enough to feel the brevity of the generations which makes the real sadness of the place. Many ghosts he must have seen, but he had reached an age when men are prepared for them, and his academic career in the forties had come to such an unfortunate end that comparison of the past with the present can only have been cheerful and honourable. He found a Provost of Oriel and a Rector of Exeter who could read his books, and appreciate them, without prejudice against the author. But indeed, though he was capable of being profoundly bored, he was at his ease in the most diverse societies, and no form of conversation not absolutely foolish came amiss to him. He had read so many books, and seen so much of the world, he held such strong opinions, and expressed them with such placid freedom, that he never failed to command attention, or to deserve it. Contemptuous enough, perhaps too contemptuous, of human frailties, he at least knew how to make them entertaining, and his urbane irony dissolved pretentious egoism.

It is a familiar saying that men's characters and habits are formed in the earliest years of their lives. Froude was by profession and by choice a man of letters. He loved writing, and whatever he read, or heard, or saw, turned itself without effort into literary shape. The occupations and amusements of his life can be traced in his Short Studies. But he had not been reared in a literary atmosphere. He had been brought up among horses and dogs, with grooms and keepers, on the moors and the sea. He describes it himself as "the old wild scratch way, when the keeper was the rabbit-catcher, and sporting was enjoyed more for the adventure than for the bag." He never lost his love of sport, and he gave his own son the same training he had himself. Even in his last illness he liked the young man to go out shooting, and always asked what sport he had had. His own father had been a country gentleman, as well as a clergyman, and his brothers, while their health lasted, all rode to hounds. He himself never forgot how he had been put by Robert on a horse without a saddle, and thrown seventeen times in one afternoon without hurting himself on the soft Devonshire grass. He went out shooting with his brothers long before he could himself shoot. For his first two years at Oxford he had done little except ride, and boat, and play tennis. At Plas Gwynant he was as much out of doors as in, and even to the last his physical enjoyment of an expedition in the open air was intense. Yet this was the same man who could sit patiently down at Simancas in a room full of dusty, disorderly documents, ill written in a foreign tongue, and patiently decipher them all. If a healthy mind in a healthy body be, as the Roman satirist says, the greatest of blessings, Froude was certainly blessed. The hardness of his frame, and the soundness of his nerves, gave him the imperturbable temper which Marlborough is said to have valued more than money itself. Of money Froude was always careful, and he was most judicious in his investments. He held the Puritan view of luxury as a thing bad in itself, and the parent of evil, relaxing the moral fibre. The sternness of temperament he had inherited from his father was concealed by an easy, sociable disposition, inclined to make the best of the present, but it was always there. In the struggle between Knox and Mary Stuart all his sympathies are with Knox, who had the root of the matter in him, Calvinism and the moral law. Few imaginative artists could have resisted as he did the temptation to draw a dazzling picture of Mary's charms and accomplishments, scholarship and statesmanship, beauty and wit. Froude felt of her as Jehu felt of Jezebel, that she was the enemy of the people of God. So with his own contemporaries, such as Carlyle's "copper captain," Louis Napoleon.

He was never dazzled by the blaze of the Tuileries and the glare of temporary success. He might have said after Boileau, J' appelle un chat un chat, et Louis un fripon.

The peculiarity of Froude's nature was to combine this firm foundation with superficial layers of cynicism, paradox, and irony, as in his apology for the rack, his character of Henry VIII., his defence of Cranmer's churchmanship, and Parker's. He shared with Carlyle the belief that conventional views were sham views, and ought to be exposed. Ridicule, if not a test of truth, is at all events a weapon against falsehood, and has done much to clear the air of history. Froude's sense of humour was rather receptive than expansive, and he did not often display it in his writings. Tristram Shandy he knew almost by heart, and he never tired of Candide, or Zadig.

Voltaire's wit and Sterne's humour have not in their own lines been surpassed. But sure as Froude's taste was in such matters, he did not himself enter the lists as a competitor. He was too much occupied with his narrative, or his theory, as the case might be, to spare time for such diversion by the way. He was too earnest to be impartial.

Where is the impartial historian to be found? Macaulay said in Hallam. The clerical editor of Bishop Stubbs's Letters thinks that Hallam, who was an Erastian, had a violent prejudice against the Church. His impartial historian is Stubbs, for the simple reason that he agrees with him. Froude was for England against Rome and Spain. He could oppose the foreign policy of an English Government when he thought it wrong, as in the case of the Crimean War, and of Disraeli's aggressive Imperialism in 1877. But the English cause in the sixteenth century he regarded as national and religious, making for freedom and independence of policy and thought. To be free, to understand, to enjoy, said Thomas Hill Green, is the claim of the modern spirit. Froude would not have admitted that man in the philosophic sense was free, or that he could ever hope to understand the ultimate causes of things. And, though no man was more capable of enjoying the present moment, he would have sternly denied that pleasure, however refined, could be a legitimate aim in life. He was a disciple of the porch, and not of the garden. It was deeds of chivalry and endurance that he held up to the admiration of mankind. The hero of his History, William Cecil, Lord Burghley, was not a man of brilliant gifts or dazzling attainments, but a sober, solid, servant of duty and of the State. To most people Burghley is a far less interesting figure than his haughty and splendid sovereign, or the beautiful and seductive queen against whom he protected her. Froude judged Burghley, as he judged Elizabeth Tudor and Mary Stuart, by the standards of political integrity and personal honour. The secret of Froude's influence and the source of his power is that beneath the attraction of his personality and the seductiveness of his writing there lay a bedrock of principle which could never be moved.

Professor Sanday, who preached the first University sermon at Oxford after Froude's death, referred to his "fifty years of unwearied literary activity." The period of course included, and was meant to include, The Nemesis of Faith.

"We all know," continued Dr. Sanday, "how the young and ardent Churchman followed his reason where it seemed to lead, and sacrificed a Fellowship, and, as it seemed, a career, to scruples of conscience …. Now we can see that the difficulties which led to it were real difficulties. It was right and not wrong that they should be raised and faced." It is the fashion to regard scruples of conscience as morbid, and the last man who troubled himself about a test was not a young and ardent Churchman, but Charles Bradlaugh. Froude was "ever a fighter," who wished always to fight fair. He preferred resigning his Fellowship to fighting for it on purely legal grounds, and holding it, if he could have held it, in the teeth of the College Statutes. More than twenty years elapsed before the tests which condemned him were abolished, and in that time there must have been many less orthodox Fellows than he. It was more than twenty years before he could lay aside the orders which in a rash moment under an evil system he had assumed. But he was a preacher, though a lay one, and his life was a struggle for the causes in which he believed. Ecclesiastical controversies never really interested him, except so far as they touched upon national life and character. He wished to see the work, of the sixteenth century continued in the nineteenth by the naval power and the Colonial possessions of England. "England" with him meant not merely that part of Great Britain which lies south of the Tweed, but all the dominions of the Sovereign, the British Empire as a whole. What Seeley called the expansion of England was to him the chief fact of the present, and the chief problem of the future. Events since his death have vindicated his foresight. He urged and predicted the Australian Federation, which he did not live to see. To the policy which impeded the Federation of South Africa he was steadily opposed. The moral which he drew from his travels in Australasia, and in the West Indies, was the need for strengthening imperial ties. Lord Beaconsfield's Imperialism was not to his taste, and he disliked every form of aggression or pretence. While he dreaded the intervention of party leaders, and desired the Colonies to take the initiative themselves, he thought that a common tariff was the direction in which true Imperialism should move. Whether he was right or wrong is too large a question to be discussed here. That matter must make its own proof. But in raising it Froude was a pioneer, and, though a man of letters, saw more plainly than practical politicians what were the questions they would have to solve. He despised local jealousies, and took large views. Many men, perhaps most men, contract their horizon with advancing years.

Froude's vision seemed to widen. Through the storms and mists of passion and prejudice which blinded the eyes of Liberals and Conservatives fighting each other at Westminster, he looked to the ultimate union of all British subjects in an England conterminous with the sovereignty of the Crown. It was that England of which he wrote the history. It was knowledge of her past, and belief in her future, that inspired the work of his life.