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Full text of "Biographical sketches; being memorials of Arthur Penrhyn Stanley...Henry Alford...Mrs. Duncan Stewart, etc"

THE LIBRARY 

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THE UNIVERSITY 

OF CALIFORNIA 

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



BEING MEMORIALS OF 

ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY, Dean of Westminster 

HENRY ALFORD, Dean of Canterbury 

Mrs. DUNCAN STEWART 

Etc, 



AUGUSTUS J. C. HARE 

r 

author of 
'memorials of a quiet life," "the story of two noble lives,' 

ETC 



LONDON 
GEORGE ALLEN, 156, CHARING CROSS ROAD 

1895 

[All rights reserved^ 






Printed hy Bai.lantyne, Hanson & Co. 
At the Ballantyne Press 



PREFACE 

On the day after Arthur Stanley died, his 
only surviving sister and his most intimate 
friend, Hugh Pearson, wrote to me, asking me 
to be his biographer. I gladly accepted the 
office, as I felt sure that no one could know more 
of a cousin with whom much of my life had 
been spent, and to whose kindness — in my 
boyhood and youth — I had been most deeply 
indebted. But Sir George Grove, who was 
one of his literary executors, did not consider 
me competent for the work, and at first under- 
took to carry it out himself, afterwards intrusting 
it to others, whom — to the utmost of my power 
— I helped with materials. To myself, it was 
only left to write a magazine article, without 
any material but my own recollections and such 
letters as I personally possessed. It is given 
again here, in a slightly enlarged form, with 



VI PREFACE 

illustrations. To this are added some memorials 
of my dear friend, Henry Alford, Dean of Can- 
terbury, and of Mrs. Duncan Stewart, a clever 
and charming old lady, who was for some years 
a well-known figure in London society.^ 

AUGUSTUS J. C. HARE. 

* The Article on Arthur Penrhyn Stanley first appeared in Mac- 
millans Mugazine ; that on Mrs. Duncan Stewart in Good Words ; 
that on Paray le Menial in Evening Hours. 



CONTENTS 



l-AGE 

ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY. . . '. . I 

HENRY ALFORD 95 

MRS, DUNCAN STEWART 137 

PARAY LE MONIAL 1 83 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



To face 



ALDERLEY RKCTORY AND CHURCH 

ALDERLEY MERE 

HURSTMONCEAUX RECTORY 

EDWARD STANLEY, BISHOP OF NORWICH 

RUIN IN THE PALACE GARDEN, NORWICH 

bishop's bridge, NORWICH . 

THE CHAPEL DOOR, PALACE, NORWICH 

NORWICH FROM MOUSEHOLD . 

CATHERINE STANLEY .... 

CANON STANLEY'S HOUSE, CANTERBURY 

SITE OF BECKET'S SHRINE, CANTERBURY 

MARY STANLEY 

CANON Stanley's house, christ church 

COURTYARD, DEANERY, WESTMINSTER . 

LADY AUGUSTA STANLEY 

CHANTRY OF HENRY V., WESTMINSTER 

ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY, DEAN OF WESTMINSTER 

To face 

IN THE DEANERY GARDEN, CANTERBURY 

HENRY ALFORD, DEAN OF CANTERBURY . To face 

FROM THE dean's GARDEN, CANTERBURY . 

ST. MARTIN'S, CANTERBURY 

MRS. DUNCAN STEWART To face 

PARAY LE MONIAL 

SHRINE OF MARGUERITE-MARIE ALACOQUE . 
viii 



To face 



To face 



To face 



5 
15 
38 
42 
44 
45 
47 
48 

55 
57 
59 
62 
67 
73 
74 
90 

92 
121 
126 
129 
135 
174 
197 
207 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 

There are few country places in England 
which possess such a singular charm as Alder- 
ley. All who have lived in it have loved it, 
and to the Stanley family it has ever presented 
the ideal of that which is most interesting and 
beautiful. There the usually flat pasture-lands 
of Cheshire rise suddenly into the rocky ridge 
of Alderley Edge, with its Holy Well under 
an overhanging cliff, its gnarled pine-trees, and 
its storm-beaten beacon-tower ready to give 
notice of an invasion, looking far over the 
green plain to the smoke of Stockport and 
Macclesfield, which indicates the presence of 
great towns on the horizon. Beautiful are the 
beech-woods which clothe the western side of 
the Edge, and feather over mossy lawns to the 
mere, which receives a reflection of their gor- 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



geous autumnal tints, softened by a blue haze 
on its still waters. 

Beyond the mere and Lord Stanley's park, 
on the edge of the pasture-lands, are the church 
and its surroundings — a wonderfully harmoni- 
ous group, encircled by trees, with the old tim- 
bered irin of the " Eagle and Child " at the 
corner of the lane which turns up to them. In 
later times the church itself has undergone 
a certain amount of " restoration," but sixty 
years ago it was marvellously picturesque, its 
chancel mantled in ivy of massy folds, which, 
while they concealed the rather indifferent 
architecture, had a glory of their own very 
different from that of the clipped, ill-used ivy 
which we generally see on such buildings ; but 
the old clock-tower, the outside stone staircase 
leading to the Park pew, the crowded groups 
of large square, lichen-stained gravestones, the 
disused font in the churchyard overhung by 
a yew-tree, and the gable-ended schoolhouse 
at the gate, built of red sandstone, with grey 
copings and mullioned windows, were the same. 

Close by was the rectory, with its garden — 
the "Dutch Garden," of many labyrinthine 
flower-beds — joining the churchyard. A low 
house, with a verandah, forming a wide balcony 
for the upper story, where bird-cages hung 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 



amongst the roses ; its rooms and passages 
filled with pictures, books, and the old carved 
oak furniture, usually little sought after or 
valued in those days, but which the Rector 
delighted to pick up amongst his cottages. 

This Rector, Edward Stanley, younger brother 
Qf the Sir John who was living at the Park, 
was a little man, active in figure and in move- 
ment, with dark, piercing eyes, rendered more 
remarkable by the snow-white hair which was 
characteristic of him even when very young. 
With the liveliest interest on all subjects — 
political, philosophical, scientific, theological ; 
with inexhaustible plans for the good of the 
human race in general, but especially for the 
benefit of his parishioners and the amusement 
of his seven nieces at the Park, he was the 
most popular character in the country-side. 
To children* he was indescribably delightful. 
There was nothing that he was not supposed 
to know — and indeed who was there who knew 
more than he of insect life, of the ways and 
habits of birds, of fossils and where to find 
them, of drawing, of etching on wood and litho- 
graphing on stone, of plants and gardens, of 
the construction of ships and boats, and of 
the thousand home manufactures of which he 
was a complete master ? 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



In his thirty-first year Edward Stanley had 
married Catherine, eldest daughter of Oswald 
Leycester, afterwards Rector of Stoke-upon- 
Terne, of an old Cheshire family, which, through 
many generations, had been linked with that 
of the Stanleys in the intimacy of friendship 
and neighbourhood ; for Toft, the old seat of 
the Leycesters and the pleasantest of family 
homes, was only a few miles from Alderley. 

At the time of her engagement, Catherine 
Leycester was only sixteen, and at the time of 
her marriage only eighteen, but from childhood 
she had been accustomed to form her own 
character by thinking, reading, and digesting 
what she read. Owing to her mother's ill- 
health, she had very early in life had the re- 
sponsibility of educating and training her sister, 
who was much younger than herself. She was 
the best of listeners, fixing her ejtes upon the 
speaker, but saying little herself, so that her 
old uncle, Hugh Leycester, used to assert of 
her, " Kitty has much sterling gold, but gives 
no ready change." To the frivolity of an ordi- 
nary acquaintance, her mental superiority and 
absolute self-possession of manner must always 
have made her somewhat alarming ; but those 
who had the opportunity of penetrating be- 
neath the surface were no less astonished at 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 



her originality and freshness of ideas, and her 
keen, though quiet, enjoyment of life, its pur- 
suits and friendships, than by the calm wisdom 
of her advice, and her power of penetration 




ALDERLEY RECTORY AND CHURCH. 



into the characters, and consequently the temp- 
tations and difficulties, of others. 

In the happy home of Alderley Rectory her 
five children were brought up. Her eldest 
son, Owen, had from the first shown that 
interest in all things relating to ships and 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



naval affairs which had been his father's natu- 
ral inclination in early life ; and the youngest, 
Charles, from an early age had turned his 
hopes to the profession of a Royal Engineer, 
in which he afterwards became distinguished. 
Arthur, the second boy, born December 13, 
18 1 5, and named after the Duke of Wellington, 
was always delicate, so delicate that it was 
scarcely hoped at first he would live to grow 
up. From his earliest childhood, his passion 
for poetry, and historical studies of every kind, 
gave promise of a literary career, and engaged 
his mother's unwearied interest in the forma- 
tion of his mind and character. A pleasant 
glimpse of the home life at Alderley in May, 
1818, is given in a letter from Mrs. Stanley 
to her sister, Maria Leycester : — 

" How I have enjoyed these fine days, — and one's 
pleasure is doubled, or rather I should say trebled, in 
the enjoyment of the three little children basking in 
the sunshine on the lawns and picking up daisies and 
finding new flowers every day, — and in seeing Arthur 
expand like one of the flowers in the fine weather. 
Owen trots away to school at nine o'clock every 
morning, with his Latin grammar under his arm, 
leaving Mary with a strict charge to unfurl his flag, 
which he leaves carefully furled, through the little 
gothic gate, as soon as the clock strikes twelve. So 
Mary unfurls the flag and then watches till Owen 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 7 

comes in sight, and as soon as he spies her signal 
he sets off full gallop towards it, and Mary creeps 
through the gate to meet him, and then comes with 
as much joy to announce Owen's being come back, 
as if he was returned from the North Pole. Mean- 
while I am sitting with the doors open into the trellis, 
so that I can see and hear all that passes." 

In the same year, after an absence, Mrs. 
Stanley wrote : — 

" Alderley, Sept. 14, 1818. — What happy work it 
was getting home ! The little things were as happy 
to see us as we could desire. They all came dancing 
out, and clung round me, and kissed me by turns, and 
were certainly more delighted than they had ever been 
before to see us again. They had not only not forgot 
us, but not forgot a bit about us. Everything that we 
had done and said and written was quite fresh and 
present to their minds, and I should be assured in 
vain that all my trouble in writing to them was thrown 
away. Arthur is grown so interesting, and so enter- 
taining too, — he talks incessantly, runs about and 
amuses himself, and is full of pretty speeches, repartees, 
and intelligence : the dear little creature would not 
leave me, or stir without holding my hand, and he 
knew all that had been going on quite as much as the 
others. He is more like Owen than ever, only softer, 
more affectionate, and not what you call * so fine a boy.' " 

When he was four years old, we find his 
mother writing to her sister : — 



8 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

^^ January 30, 1820. — As for tlie children, my Arthur 
is sweeter than ever. His drawing fever goes on, and 
his passion for pictures and birds, and he will talk 
sentiment to Mademoiselle about le prititcmps, les 
oiseaux, and les Jleurs, when he walks out. When he 
went to Highlake, he asked — quite gravely — whether 
it would not be good for his little wooden horse to 
have some sea-bathing ! " 

And again, in the following summer : — 

" Alderley, July 6, 1820. — I have been taking a 
domestic walk with the three children and the pony to 
Owen's favourite cavern, Mary and Arthur taking it 
in turns to ride. Arthur was sorely puzzled between 
his fear and his curiosity. Owen and Mary, full of 
adventurous spirit, went with Mademoiselle to explore. 
Arthur stayed with me and the pony, but when 1 said 
I would go, he said, colouring, he would go, he thought : 
* But, Mamma, do you think there are any wild dogs 
in the cavern ? ' Then we picked up various specimens 
of cobalt, &c., and we carried them in a basket, and we 
called at Mrs. Barber's, and we got some string, and 
we tied the basket to the pony with some trouble, and 
we got home very safe, and I finished the delights of 
the evening by reading ' Paul and Virginia ' to Owen 
and Mary, with which they were much delighted, and 
so was I. 

"You would have given a good deal for a peep 
at Arthur this evening, making hay with all his little 
strength — such a beautiful colour, and such soft ani- 
mation in his blue eyes." 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 



It was often remarked that Mrs. Stanley's 
children were different from those of any one 
else ; but this was not to be wondered at. 
Their mother not only taught them their 
lessons, she learnt all their lessons with them. 
Whilst other children were plodding through 
dull histories of disconnected countries and 
ages, of which they were unutterably weary 
at the time, and of which they remembered 
nothing afterwards, Mrs. Stanley's system was 
to take a particular era, and, upon the basis 
of its general history, to pick out for her chil- 
dren from different books, whether memoirs, 
chronicles, or poetry, all that bore upon it, 
making it at once an interesting study to her- 
self and them, and talking it over with them 
in a way which encouraged them to form their 
own opinion upon it, to have theories as to 
how such-and-such evils misfht have been 
forestalled or amended, and so to fix it in 
their recollection. 

To an imaginative child, Alderley was the 
most delightful place possible, and whilst 
Owen Stanley delighted in the clear brook 
which dashes through the Rectory garden for 
the ships of his own manufacture — then as 
engrossing as the fitting out of the Ariel 
upon the mere in later boyhood — little Arthur 



lO BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

revelled in the legends of the neighbourhood — 
of its wizard of Alderley Edge, with a hundred 
horses sleeping in an enchanted cavern, and of 
the church-bell which fell down a steep hill 
into Rostherne Mere, and which is tolled by 
a mermaid when any member of a great neigh- 
bouring family is going to die. 

Being the poet of the little family, Arthur 
Stanley generally put his ideas .into verse, and 
there are lines of his written at eleven years old, 
on seeing the sunrise from the top of Aider- 
ley church-tower, and at twelve years old, on 
witnessing the departure of the Ganges, bear- 
ing his brother Owen from Spithead, which 
give evidence of poetical power, more fully 
evinced two years later in his longer poems 
on " The Druids " and on " The Maniac of 
Betharam." When he was old enough to go 
to school, his mother wrote an amusing account 
of the turn-out of his pockets and desk before 
leaving home, and the extraordinary collection 
of crumpled scraps of poetry which were found 
there. In March 1821 Mrs. Stanley wrote: — 

"Arthur is in great spirits, and looks well prepared 
to do honour to the jacket and trousers preparing for 
him. He is just now opposite to me, lying on the 
sofa (his lesson being concluded) reading Miss Edge- 
worth's * Frank ' to himself most eagerly. I must 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY I I 

tell you his moral deductions from ' Frank.' The other 
day, as I was dressing, Arthur, Charlie, and Elizabeth 
were playing in the passage. I heard a great crash, 
which turned out to be Arthur running very fast, not 
stopping himself in time, and coming against the win- 
dow at the end of the passage, so as to break three 
panes. He was not hurt, but I heard Elizabeth 
remonstrating with him on the crime of breaking 
windows, to which he answered with great sang-froid, 
'Yes, but you know Frank's mother said she would 
rather have all the windows in the house broke than 
that Frank should tell a lie : so now I can go and 
tell Mamma, and then I shall be hke Frank.' I did 
not make my appearance, so when the door opened 
for the entrie after dinner, Arthur came in first in 
something of a bustle, with cheeks as red as fire, and 
eyes looking — as his eyes do look — saying the instant 
the door opened, ' Mamma ! I have broke three panes 
of glass in the passage window : — and I tell you now 
'cause I was afraid to forget.' I am not sure whether 
there is not a very inadequate idea left on his mind as 
to the sin of glass-breaking, and that he rather thought 
it a fine thing having the opportunity of coming to tell 
Mamma something like Frank ; however, there was 
some little effort, vide the agitation and red cheeks, 
so we must not be hypercritical." 

After he was eight years old, Mrs. Stanley, 
who knew the interest and capacity of her little 
Arthur about everything, was much troubled 
by his becoming so increasingly shy, that he 



12 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

never would speak if he could help it, even 
when he was alone with her, and she dreaded 
that the companionship of other boys at school, 
instead of drawing him out, would only make 
him shut himself up more within himself. Still, 
in the frequent visits which his parents paid to 
the seaside at Highlake, he always recovered 
his lost liveliness of manner and movement, 
climbed merrily up the sandhills, and was never 
tired in mind or body. It was therefore a 
special source of rejoicing when it was found 
that Mr. Rawson the Vicar of Seaforth (a place 
five miles from Liverpool, and only half a mile 
from the sea), had a school for nine little boys, 
and thither in 1824 it was decided that Arthur 
should be sent. In August his young aunt 
wrote : — 

"Arthur liked the idea of going to school, as making 
him approach nearer to Owen. We took hira last 
Sunday evening from Crosby, and he kept up very 
well till we were to part, but when he was to separate 
from us to join his new companions, he clung to us in 
a piteous manner and burst into tears. Mr. Rawson 
very good-naturedly offered to walk with us a little 
way, and walk back with Arthur, which he liked 
better, and he returned with Mr. R. very manfully. 
On Monday evening we went to have a look at him 
before leaving the neighbourhood, and found the little 
fellow as happy as possible, much amused with the 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY I 3 

novelty of the situation, and talking of the boys' pro- 
ceedings with as much importance as if he had been 
there for months. He wished us good-bye in a very 
firm tone, and we have heard since from his Uncle 
Penrhyn that he had been spending some hours with 
him, in which he laughed and talked incessantly of 
all that he did at school. He is very proud of being 
called ' Stanley,' and seems to like it altogether very 
much. The satisfaction to Mamma and Auntie is not 
to be told of having disposed of this little sylph in so 
excellent a manner. Every medical man has always 
said that a few years of constant sea-air would make 
him quite strong, and to find this united to so desir- 
able a master as Mr. R., and so careful and kind a 
protectress as Mrs. R., is being very fortunate." 

In the following summer the same pen writes 
from Alderley to one of the family : — 

^^ July 1825. — You know how dearly I love all these 
children, and it has been such a pleasure to see them 
all so happy together — Owen, the hero upon whom all 
their little eyes were fixed, and the delicate Arthur 
able to take his own share of boyish amusements with 
them, and telling out his little store of literary wonders 
to Charlie and Catherine. School has not transformed 
him into a rough boy yet. He is a little less shy, but 
not much. He brought back from school a beautiful 
prize-book for history, of which he is not a little proud ; 
and Mr. Rawson has told several people, unconnected 
with the Stanleys, that he never had a more amiable, 
attentive, or clever boy than Arthur Stanley, and that 



14 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

he never has had to find fault with him since he came. 
My sister finds, in examining him, that he not only 
knows what he has learnt himself, but that he picks 
up all the knowledge gained by the other boys in their 
lessons, and can tell what each boy in the school has 
read, &c. His delight in reading 'Madoc' and 'Thalaba' 
is excessive." 

In the following year Miss Leycester 
writes : — 

"Stoke, August 26, 1826. — My Alderley children 
are more interesting than ever. Arthur is giving Mary 
quite a literary taste, and is of the greatest advantage 
to her possible, for they are now quite inseparable 
companions, reading, drawing, and writing together. 
Arthur has written a poem on the life of a peacock- 
butterfly in the Spenserian stanza, with all the old 
words, with references to Chaucer, &c., at the bottom 
of the page ! To be sure, it would be singular if they 
were not different from other children, with the advan- 
tages they have where education is made so interesting 
and amusing as it is to them. ... I never saw any- 
thing equal to Arthur's memory and quickness in 
picking up knowledge ; seeming to have just the sort 
of intuitive sense of everything relating to books that 
Owen had in ships, — and then there is such affection 
and sweetness of disposition in him. . . . You will not 
be tired of all this detail of those so near my heart. It 
is always such a pleasure to me to write of the Rectory, 
and I can always do it better when I am away from it 
and it rises before ray mental vision." 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 



15 



The summer of 1826 was marked for the 
Stanleys by the news of the death of their 
beloved friend Reginald Heber, and by the 
marriage of Isabella Stanley to Captain Parry, 
the Arctic voyager, an event at which his 




ALUKKLEY MERE. 



mother " could not resist sending for her little 
Arthur to be present." Meantime he was 
happy at school, and wrote long histories home 
of all that took place there, especially amused 
with his drilling sergeant, who told him to " put 



1 6 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

on a bold, swaggering air, and not to look 
sheepish." But each time of his return to 
Alderley he seemed shier than ever, and his 
mother became increasingly concerned at his 
want of boyishness. His cousin Emma Tatton, 
afterwards Lady Mainwaring, recollected how, 
when a large party of children were playing 
together, she said, " Now, Arthur, you must 
come and play at trap and ball." — " But I can't, 
Cousin Emma," the boy answered, hanging 
down his hands and head. " But you must." 
— "No, Cousin Emma, I really can't" — "Well 
then, Arthur, I'll tell you what, I'll let you off, 
if you'll go at once and write me an ode to a 
Snowdrop and give it to me to-morrow morn- 
ing at breakfast ; " and the next morning it was 
ready. Here is a paraphase of Psalm cxxxix. i 
which he wrote at twelve years old (1827) : — 

" If up to heav'n I wing my flight, 
And seek the realms of endless light, 
There Thy eternal glories shine. 
And all is holy, all divine, 
All free from sin, and pain, and care. 
For, full of mercy, Thou art there ! 

If I descend to deepest hell. 
Where evil souls for ever dwell 
And bitterly lament their woe. 
While torturing fires for ever glow, 
Thy dreadful vengeance there I fear. 
For Thou, O mighty Lord, art there ! 



ARTHUR fENRHYN STANLEY 1 7 

If through the ocean's path I stray, 
And o'er its surface urge my way, 
If blows the wind, if mounts the wave, 
Thy strong right hand can always save, 
Though many storms obscure the air, 
For, wrapt in tempests. Thou art there ! 



If, wand'ring from my native home. 

To earth's remotest verge I come. 

Where everlasting winter reigns 

And binds the seas in icy chains, 

Or where the sun-scorched deserts glare. 

In heat or cold, Thou, Lord, art there ! 



Whether the rosy morning rise 
With radiance on the gladdened skies, 
Or noon shed forth his burning ray, 
Or evening bring the close of day. 
Thy glories through the world appear. 
For Thou, O gracious Lord, art there ! 



In vain amid the darkest night 

I would escape Thy piercing sight : 

Thou through the deepest shade can'st see, 

And darkness is as light to Thee, 

E'en as the brightest noontide glare, 

For Thou, omniscient God, art there ! 



Where from Thy presence shall I fly ? 
Where hide from Thy all-searching eye ? 
My deeds are still before Thy face, 
Thy goodness is in every place : 
Thy bounteous grace is ever near. 
For Thou, O Lord, art everywhere 1 " 



I 8 lilOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

We find Mrs. Stanley writing: — 

'* January 27, 1828. — Oh, it is so difficult to know 
how to manage Arthur. He takes having to learn 
dancing so terribly to heart, and enacts Prince Pitiful ; 
and will, I am afraid, do no good at it. Then he thinks 
I do not like his reading because I try to draw him 
also to other things, and so he reads by stealth, and 
lays down his book when he hears people coming; 
and having no other pursuits or anything he cares for 
but reading, has a listless look, and I am sure he is 
very often unhappy. I suspect, however, that this is 
Arthur's worst time, and that he will be a happier man 
than boy." 

In January 1828 Mrs. Stanley wrote to 
Augustus W. Hare, long an intimate friend 
of the family, and soon about to marry her 
sister : — 

" I have Arthur at home, and I have rather a 
puzzling card to play with him — how not to encourage 
too much his poetical tastes, and to spoil him, in 
short — and yet how not to discourage what in reality 
one wishes to grow, and what he, being timid and shy 
to a degree, would easily be led to shut up entirely to 
himself; and then he suffers so much from a laudable 
desire to be with other boys, and yet, when with them, 
finds his incapacity to enter into their pleasures of 
shooting, hunting, horses, and take theirs for his. He 
will be happier as a man, as literary men are more 
within reach than literary boys." 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 1 9 

In the following month she wrote : — 

^' Alderley, February 2>, 1828. — Now I am going to 
ask your opinion and advice, and perhaps your assist- 
ance, on my own account. We are beginning to consider 
what is to be done with Arthur, and it will be time 
for him to be moved from his small school in another 
year, when he will be thirteen. We have given up all 
thoughts of Eton for him from the many objections, 
combined with the great expense. Now I want to ask 
your opinion about Shrewsbury, Rugby, and Win- 
chester ; do you think, from what you know of Arthur's 
character and capabilities, that Winchester would suit 
him, and vice versa ? " 

In answer to this Augustus Hare wrote to 
her from Naples : — 

" Marc/i 26, 1828. — Are you aware that the person 
of all others fitted to get on with boys is just elected 
master of Rugby? His name is Arnold. He is a 
Wykehamist and Fellow of Oriel, and a particular 
friend of mine — a man calculated beyond all others to 
engraft modern scholarship and modern improvements 
on the old-fashioned stem of a public education. 
Winchester under him virould be the best school in 
Europe ; what Rugby may turn out I cannot say, for 
I know not the materials he has there to work on." 

A few weeks later he added : — 

"Florence, April 19, 1828. — I am so little satisfied 
with what I said about Arthur in my last letter, that I 



20 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

am determined to begin with him and do him more 
justice. What you describe him now to be, I once 
was; and I have myself suffered too much and too 
often from my inferiority in strength and activity to 
boys who were superior to me in nothing else, not 
to feel very deeply for any one in a similar state of 
school-forwardness and bodily weakness. Parents in 
general are too anxious to push their children on in 
school and other learning. If a boy happens not to 
be robust, it is laying up for him a great deal of pain 
and mortification. For a boy must naturally associate 
with others in the same class ; and consequently, if he 
happens to be forward beyond his years, he is thrown 
at twelve (with perhaps the strength of only eleven or 
ten) into the company of boys two years older, and 
probably three or four years stronger (for boobies 
are always stout of limb). You may conceive what 
wretchedness this is hkely to lead to, in a state of 
society like a school, where might almost necessarily 
makes right. But it is not only at school that such 
things lead to mortification. There are a certain 
number of manly exercises which every gentleman, at 
some time or other of his life, is likely to be called on 
to perform, and many a man who is deficient in these 
would gladly purchase dexterity in them, if he could, 
at the price of those mental accomplishments which 
have cost him in boyhood the most pains to acquire. 
Who would not rather ride well at twenty-five than 
write the prettiest Latin verses? I am perfectly im- 
partial in this respect, being able to do neither, and 
therefore my judgment is likely enough to be correct. 
So pray during the holidays make Arthur ride hard 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 21 

and shoot often, and, in short, gymnasticise in every 
possible manner. I have said thus much to relieve my 
own mind, and convey to you how earnestly I feel on 
the subject. Otherwise I know Alderley and its inha- 
bitants too well to suspect any one of them of being 
what Wordsworth calls ' an intellectual all-in-all.' 
About his school, were Rugby under any other master, 
I certainly should not advise your thinking of it for 
Arthur for an instant ; as it is, the decision will be 
more difficult. When Arnold has been there ten years, 
he will have made it a good school, perhaps in some 
respects the very best in the island ; but a transition 
state is always one of doubt and delicacy. Winchester 
is admirable for those it succeeds with, but it is not 
adapted for all sorts and conditions of boys, and some- 
times fails. However, when I come to England, I will 
make a point of seeing Arthur, when I shall be a little 
better able perhaps to judge." 

In the summer of 1828 Mr. and Mrs. Stanley, 
with her sister Maria and her niece Lucy 
Stanley from the Park, went by sea to Bordeaux 
and for a tour in the Pyrenees, taking little 
Arthur and his sister Mary with them. It was 
his first experience of foreign travel, and most 
intense was his enjoyment of it. All was new 
then, and Mr. Stanley wrote of the children as 
being almost as much intoxicated with delight 
on first landing at Bordeaux as their faithful 
maid, Sarah Burgess, who "thinks life's fitful 



22 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

dream is past, and that she has, by course of 
transmigration, passed into a higher sphere." 
It is recollected how, when he first saw the 
majestic summit of the Pic du Midi rising above 
a mass of cloud, Arthur Stanley in his great 
ecstasy flung himself on the ground exclaim- 
ing, " What shall I do ! what shall I do ! " He 
described his impressions afterwards in a poem 
on the Maladetta — one of the many poems he 
wrote as a child. His father's knowledge of 
geology had given it such a weird interest that 
nothing in after-life impressed him more. "It 
was so awful," he wrote in his journal, " thinking 
that this mighty Maladetta had burst up out of 
the earth, driving every other mountain before 
it ; and, as one looked round, seeing them all 
leaning away from it, as if they shrank in terror 
from their king." 

In the following October Mrs. Stanley de- 
scribed her boy's peculiarities to Dr. Arnold, 
and asked his candid advice as to how far 
Rugby was likely to suit him. After receiving 
his answer she wrote to her sister : — 

" October lo, 1828. — Dr. Arnold's letter has decided 
us about Arthur. I should think there was not another 
schoolmaster in his Majesty's dominions who would 
write such a letter. It is so lively, agreeable, and 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 23 

promising in all ways. He is just the man to take a 
fancy to Arthur, and for Arthur to take a fancy to." 



It ^as exactly as his mother had foreseen. 
Arthur Stanley went to Rugby in the following 
January, a bright and eager, but timid and 
delicate little boy, in a "many-buttoned" blue 
jacket, frills, and a pink watch-ribbon. He was 
immediately captivated by his new master. " I 
should never have taken him for a doctor ; he 
was very pleasant, and does not look old," he 
wrote to his sister Mary after his first sight of 
Arnold, who was the man of all others suited to 
stimulate the best type of English boy. Soon 
Arthur wrote home that, though he had a great 
sense of desolation at school, he had "no 
miseries." Indeed, like many other nervous 
boys, he was astonished to find that school 
existence was not very unlike life everywhere 
else, for, as he wrote afterwards to a school 
companion, he had looked forward to a long 
farewell to all goodness and happiness, and 
wondered how he should ever come out 
safe." 

Two months after Arthur Stanley's entrance 
at Rugby, his parents visited him as they were 
returning from Cheshire to London. Mrs. Stan- 
ley wrote to her sister : — 



24 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

^^ March 1829. — We arrived at Rugby exactly at 
twelve, waited to see the boys pass, and soon spied 
Arthur with his books on his shoulder. He coloured 
up and came in, looking very well, but cried a good 
deal on seeing us, chiefly I think from nervousness. 
The only complaint he had to make was that of having 
no friend, and the feehng of loneliness belonging to 
that want, and this, considering what he is and what 
boys of his age usually are, would and must be the 
case everywhere. We went to dine with Dr. and Mrs. 
Arnold, and they are of the same opinion, that he was 
as well off and as happy as he could be at a public 
school, and on the whole I am satisfied^-quite satisfied 
considering all things, for Dr. and Mrs. Arnold are 
indeed delightful. She was ill, but still animated and 
lively. He has a very remarkable countenance, some- 
thing in forehead, and again in manner, which puts me 
in mind of Reginald Heber, and there is a mixture 
of zeal, energy, and determination tempered with wis- 
dom, candour, and benevolence, both in manner and in 
everything he says. He has examined Arthur's class, 
and said Arthur has done very well, and the class gene- 
rally. He said he was gradually reforming, but that it 
was like pasting down a piece of paper — as fast as one 
corner was put down another started up. * Yes,' said 
Mrs. A., 'but Dr. Arnold always thinks the corner 
will not start again.' And it is that happy sanguine 
temperament which is so particularly calculated to do 
well in this, or indeed any situation." 

Soon Arthur Stanley became very happy at 
Rugby. From the first he had given evidence 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 2 5 

of his distinctive individuality. He was in his 
element when he was elected first President of 
a Debating Society, but it was in vain that once 
or twice he tried to think he liked playing at 
football. " Perhaps in time I may like cricket," 
he wrote to Alderley, where he thought it would 
give pleasure ; but he never did, he always hated 
it. He hated mathematics and arithmetic too ; 
only one boy, indeed, was ever remembered 
more utterly hopeless about arithmetic than 
Arthur Stanley : it was W. E. Gladstone, after- 
wards Chancellor of the Exchequer ! Stanley's 
physical peculiarities alone made him different 
from other boys. Through life, the senses of 
smell and taste were utterly unknown to him ; 
once only — in Switzerland — he fancied he smelt 
the freshness of a pine-wood. " It made the 
world a paradise," he said. 

But though he never understood school ways, 
Arthur Stanley's school-fellows respected the 
peculiarities of "the child of light," as Matthew 
Arnold called him, and left him alone — like a dog 
of another nature. His study became known 
as the " Poet's Corner," and from it he was able 
to announce prize after prize to the home circle, 
to whom his letters were rapidly becoming one 
of the most interesting things of life. Want 
of a friend was speedily supplied at Rugby, 



26 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

and many of the friends of his whole after-life 
dated from his early school days, especially 
Charles Vaughan, afterwards his intimate com- 
panion, eventually his brother-in-law. His 
rapid removal into the shell at Easter, and into 
the fifth form at Midsummer, brought him 
nearer to the head-master, at the same time 
freeing him from the terrors of preposters and 
fagging, and giving him entrance to the library. 
So he returned to Alderley in the summer 
holidays well and prosperous, speaking out and 
full of fun and happiness, ready to enjoy 
" striding about upon the lawn on stilts " with 
his brother and sisters. On his return to school, 
his mother continued to hear of his progress in 
learning, but derived even more pleasure from 
his accounts of football, and of a hare-and- 
hounds hunt in which he "got left behind with 
a clumsy boy and a silly one " at a brook, which, 
after some deliberation, he leapt, and " nothiiig 
happened y 

In September 1829 his mother writes : — 

" I have had such a ridiculous account from Arthur 
of his sitting up, with three others, all night, to see 
what it was like ! They heartily wished themselves 
in bed before morning. He also writes of an English 
copy of verses given to the fifth form — Brownsover, a 
village near Rugby, with the Avon flowing through 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 2 7 

it and the Swift flowing into the Avon, into which 
WicklifFe's ashes were thrown. So Arthur and some 
others instantly made a pilgrimage to Brownsover to 
make discoveries. They were allowed four days, and 
Arthur's was the best of the thirty in the fifth form, 
greatly to his astonishment, but, he says, ' Nothing 
happened, except that I get called Poet now and then, 
and my study, Poet's Corner.' The master of the 
form gave another subject for them to write upon in 
an hour, to see if they had each made their own, and 
Arthur was again head. What good ^nse there is 
in giving subjects of that kind to excite interest and 
inquiry, though few would be so supremely happy as 
Arthur in making the voyage of discovery. I ought 
to mention that Arthur was detected with the other 
boys in an unlawful letting off of squibs, and had a 
hundred lines of Horace to translate ! " 

The following gleanings from his mother's 
letters give, in the absence of other material, 
glimpses of Arthur Stanley's life during the 
next few years : — 

^^ February 22, 1830. — Arthur writes me word he has 
begun mathematics, and does not wonder Archimedes 
never heard the soldiers come in if he was as much 
puzzled over a problem as he is," 

^^ June I, 1830. — We got to Rugby at eight, fetched 
Arthur, to his great delight and surprise, and had two 
most comfortable hours with him. There is just a 
shade more of confidence in his manners, which is very 
becoming. He talked freely and fluently, looked well 



28 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

and happy, and came the next morning at six o'clock 
with his Greek book and his notebook under his 
arm. 

^^ June 22, 1830. — There was a letter from Arthur 
on Monday, saying that his verses on Malta had failed 
in getting the prize. There had been a hard contest 
between him and another. His poem was the longest 
and contained the best ideas, but he says 'that is 
matter of opinion ; ' the other was the most accurate. 
There were three masters on each side, and it was 
some lime iif^being decided. The letter expresses his 
disappointment (for he had thought he should have it), 
his vexation (knowing that another hour would have 
enabled him to look over, and probably to correct the 
fatal faults), so naturally, and then the struggle of his 
amiable feeling that it would be unkind to the other 
boy, who had been very much disappointed not to 
get the Essay, to make any excuses. Altogether it is 
just as I should wish, and much better than if he had 
got it." 

"July 20, 1830. — Arthur came yesterday. He be- 
gins to look like a young man." 

*^ December 1830. — Arthur has brought home a 
Tetter from Mrs. Arnold to say that she could not 
resist sending me her congratulations on his having 
received the remarkable distinction of not being 
examined at all except in extra subjects. Dr. Arnold 
called him up before masters and school, and said 
he had done so perfectly well it was useless." 

*^ December 10, 1830. — I was so amused the other 
day taking up the memorandum-books of my two 
boys. Owen's full of calculations, altitudes, astro- 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 29 

nomical axioms, &c. Arthur's of Greek idioms, Grecian 
history, parallels of different historical situations. 
Owen does Arthur a great deal of good by being so 
much more attentive and civil; it piques him to be 
more alert. Charlie profits by both brothers. Arthur 
examines him in his Latin, and Charlie sits with his 
arm round his neck, looking with the most profound 
deference in his face for exposition of Virgil." 

^^ February 1831. — Charlie writes word from school: 
' I am very miserable, not that I want anything, except 
to be at home.' Arthur does not mind going half so 
much. He says he does not know why, but all the 
boys seem fond of him, and he never gets plagued 
in any way like the others; his study is left un- 
touched, his things unbroke, his books undisturbed. 
Charlie is so fond of him, and deservedly so. You 
would have been so pleased one night, when Charlie 
all of a sudden burst into violent distress at not having 
finished his French task for the holidays, by Arthur's 
judicious good-nature in showing him how to help 
himself, entirely leaving what he was about of his 
own employment." 

^^ July 1 83 1. — I am writing in the midst of an 
academy of art. Just now there are Arthur and- 
Mary drawing and painting at one table ; Charlie deep 
in the study of fishes and hooks, and drawing varie- 
ties of both at another ; and Catherine with her slate 
full of houses with thousands of windows. Charlie 
is fishing mad, and knows how to catch every sort, 
and just now he informs me that to catch a bream 
you must go out before breakfast. He is just as 
fond as ever of Arthur. You would like to see Arthur 



30 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

examine him, which he does so mildly and yet so 
strictly, explaining everything so d V Arnold'' 

^^ July 17, 183 1. — I have been busy teaching Arthur 
to drive, row, and gymnasticise, and he finds himself 
making progress in the latter ; that he can do more as 
he goes on — a great encouragement always. Imagine 
Dr. Arnold and one of the other masters gymnasticising 
in the garden, and sometimes going out leaping — as 
much a sign of the times as the Chancellor appearing 
without a wig, and the king with half a coronation." 

^* Alderley, November u. — We slept at Rugby on 
Monday night, had a comfortable evening with Arthur, 
and next morning breakfasted with Dr. Arnold. What 
a man he is ! He struck me more than before even 
with the impression of power — energy, and single- 
ness of heart, aim, and purpose. He was very indig- 
nant at the Quarterly Review article on cholera — the 
surpassing selfishness of it, and spoke so uobly — was 
busy writing a paper to state what cholera is, and 
what it is not. . . . Arthur's veneration for him is 
beautiful; what good it must do to grow up under 
such a tree." 

*^ December 22, 1831. — I brought Arthur home on 
Wednesday from Knutsford. He was classed first in 
everything but composition, in which he was second, 
and mathematics, in which he did not do well enough 
to be classed, nor ill enough to prevent his having 
the reward of the rest of his works. I can trace the 
improvement from his having been so much under 
Dr. Arnold's influence ; so many inquiries and ideas are 
started in his mind which will be the groundwork of 
future study. . . . Charlie is very happy now in the 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY $1 

thought of going to Rugby and being with Arthur, and 
Arthur has settled all the study and room concerns very 
well for him. I am going to have a sergeant from 
Macclesfield to drill them these holidays, to Charlie's 
great delight, and Arthur's patient endurance. The 
latter wants it much. It is very hard always to be 
obhged to urge that which is against the grain. I 
never feel I am doing my duty so well to Arthur as 
when I am teaching him to dance, and urging him 
to gymnasticise, when I would so much rather be 
talking to him of his notebooks, &c. He increasingly 
needs the free use of his powers of mind too as well 
as of his body. The embarrassments and difficulty 
of getting out what he knows seems so painful to 
him, while some people's pain is all in getting it in ; 
but it is very useful for him to have drawbacks in 
everything." 

^^ May 22, 1832. — We got such a treat on Friday 
evening in Arthur's parcel of prizes. One copy he 
had illustrated in answer to my questions, with all 
his authorities, to show how he came by the various 
bits of information. In this parcel he sent * An Ancient 
Ballad, showing how Harold the King died at Chester,' 
the result of a diligent collation of old chronicles he 
and Mary had made together in the winter. Arthur 
put all the facts together from memory." 

^^ Dec. 26, 1832. — Arthur and Charlie came home on 
Wednesday. Arthur has not shaken off his first fit 
of shyness yet. I think he colours more than ever, 
and hesitates more in bringing out what he has to 
say. I am at my usual work of teaching him to use 
his body, and Charlie his mind." 



32 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

^^ April 13, 1833. — I never found Arthur more 
blooming than wlien we saw him at Rugby on Mon- 
day. Mrs. Arnold said she always felt that Arthur 
had more sympathy with her than any one else, that 
he understood and appreciated Dr. Arnold's character, 
and the union of strength and tenderness in it ; that 
Dr. A. said he always felt that Arthur took in his 
ideas, received all he wished to put into him more in 
the true spirit and meaning than any boy he had 
ever met with, and that she always delighted in 
watching his countenance when Dr. Arnold was 
preaching." 

^^ July 1833. — At eight o'clock last night the Arnolds 
arrived. Dr. Arnold and Arthur behind the carriage, 
Mrs. Arnold and two children inside, two more with 
the servant in front, having left the other chaiseful at 
Congleton. Arthur was delighted with his journey — 
said Dr. Arnold was just like a boy — jumped up, 
delighted to be set free — had talked all the way of 
the geology of the country, knowing every step of 
it by heart — so pleased to see a common, thinking 
it might do for the people to expatiate on. We talked 
of the Cambridge philosophers — why he did not go 
there — he dared not trust himself with its excitement 
or with society in London. Edward said something of 
the humility of finding yourself with people so much 
your superior, and at the same time the elevation of 
feeling yourself of the same species. He shook his head 
— ' I should feel that in the company of legislators, but 
not of abstract philosophers.' Then Mrs. Arnold went 
on to say how Deville had pronounced on his head 
that he was fond o{ facts, but not of abstractions, and 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 33 

he allowed it was most true ; he liked geology, botany, 
philosophy only as they are connected with the history 
and well-being of the human race. . . . The other chaise 
came after breakfast. He ordered all into their places 
with such a gentle decision, and they were all off by 
ten, having ascertained, I hope, that it was quite worth 
while to halt here even for so short a time." 

It was in November 1833 that Arthur 
Stanley went to Oxford to try for the Balliol 
Scholarship, and gained the first scholarship 
against thirty competitors. The examination 
was one especially calculated to show the v^^ide 
range of Arnold's education. Stanley wrote 
from Oxford to his family : — 

^^ November 26, 1833.— On Monday our examination 
began at 10 A.M. and lasted to 4 P.M. — a Latin theme, 
which, as far as four or five revisals could make sure, 
was without mistakes, and satisfied me pretty well. 
In the evening we went in from 7 P.M. till 10, and had 
a Greek chorus to be translated with notes, and also 
turned into Latin verses, which I did not do well. On 
Tuesday from 10 to i we had an English theme and 
a criticism on Virgil, which I did pretty well, and Greek 
verses from 2 to 4 — middling, and we are to go in again 
to-night at 9. I cannot the least say if am likely to get 
it. There seem to be three formidable competitors, 
especially one from Eton." 

^^ Friday, November 29, 7 J P.M. — I will begin my 
letter in the midst of my agony of expectation and fear. 
I finished my examination to-day at two o'clock. At 8 

c 



34 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

to-night the decision takes place, so that my next three- 
quarters of an hour will be dreadful. As I do not know 
how the other schools have done, my hope of success can 
depend upon nothing, except that I think I have done 
pretty well, better perhaps from comparing notes than 
the rest of the Rugby men. Oh, the joy if I do get it ! 
and the disappointment if I do not. And from two of 
us trying at once, I fear the blow to the school would 
be dreadful if none of us get it. We had to work the 
second day as hard as on the first, on the third and 
fourth not so hard, nor to-day — Horace to turn into 
English verse, which was good for me; a divinity and 
mathematical paper, in which I hope my copiousness in 
the first made up for my scantiness in the second. 
Last night I dined at Magdalen, which is enough of 
itself to turn one's head upside down, so very magnifi- 
cent. ... I will go on now. We all assembled in the 
hall and had to wait an hour, the room getting fuller 
and fuller with Rugby Oxonians crowding in to hear the 
result. Every time the door opened, my heart jumped, 
but many times it was nothing. At last the Dean 
appeared in his white robes and moved up to the head 
of the table. He began a long preamble — that they 
were well satisfied with all, and that those who were 
disappointed were many in comparison with those who 
were successful, &c. All this time every one was 
listening with the most intense eagerness, and I almost 
bit my lips off till — * The successful candidates arc — 
Mr. Stanley' — I gave a great jump, and there was a 
half shout amongst the Rugby men. The next was 
Lonsdale from Eton. The Dean then took me into 
the chapel, where the Master and all the Fellows were. 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 35 

and there I swore that I would not reveal the secrets, 
disobey the statutes, or dissipate the wealth of the 
college. I was then made to kneel on the steps and 
admitted to the rank of Scholar and Exhibitioner of 
BalHol College, 'nomine Patris, Filii, et Spiritus.' I 
then wrote my name, and it was finished. We start 
to-day in a chaise and four for the glory of it. You 
may think of my joy ; the honour of Rugby is saved, 
and I am a scholar of Balliol ! " 

Dr. Arnold wrote to Mrs. Stanley : — 

" I do heartily congratulate you, and heartily thank 
Arthur for the credit and real benefit he has conferred 
on us. There was a feeling abroad that we could not 
compete with Eton or the other great schools in the 
contest for University honours, and I think there was 
something of this even in the minds of my own pupils, 
however much they might value my instruction in 
other respects, and those who wish the school ill for 
my sake were ready to say that the boys were taught 
politics, and not taught to be scholars. Already has 
the effect of Arthur's success been felt here in the en- 
couragement which it has given to others to work hard 
in the hope of treading in his steps, and in the con- 
fidence it has given them in my system. And yet, to say 
the truth, though I do think that, with God's blessing, I 
have been useful to your son, yet his success on this 
occasion is all his own, and a hundred times more 
gratifying than if it had been gained by my examining. 
For 1 have no doubt that he gained his scholarship 
chiefly by the talent and good sense of his composi- 
tions, which are, as you know, very remarkable." 



36 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

Arthur Stanley remained at Rugby till the 
following summer, gaining more now, he con- 
sidered, from Dr. Arnold than at any other 
time, though his uncle, Augustus Hare, who 
had been applied to, discouraged his being 
left at school so long, because, "though most 
boys learn most during their last year, it is 
when they are all shooting up together, but 
Arthur must be left a high tree among shrubs." 
Of this time are the following letters from Mrs. 
Stanley : — 

^^ February 3, 1834. — I have just lost Arthur, and a 
great loss he is to me. The latter part of his time at 
home is always so much the most agreeable ; he gets 
over his reserve so much more. He has been trans- 
lating and retranslating Cicero for his improvement, 
and has been deep in Guizot's Essay on the Civilisation 
of Europe, besides being chief!}' engaged in a grand 
work, at present a secret, but of which you may per- 
haps hear more in the course of the spring. I have 
generally sat with him or he with me, to be ready 
with criticisms when wanted, and it is delightful to be 
so immediately and entirely understood — the why and 
wherefore of an objection seen before it is said. And 
the mind is so logical, so clear, the taste so pure in all 
senses, and so accurate. He goes on so quietly and 
perseveringly as to get through all he intends to get 
through without the least appearance *of bustle or 
business. He finished his studies at home, I think, 



* ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 3/ 

with an analysis of the Peninsular battles, trying to 
understand thereby the pro and con of a battle." 

"May 21, 1834. — I have taken the opportunity of 
spending Sunday at Rugby. Arthur met us two miles 
on the road, and almost his first words were how dis- 
appointed he was that Dr. Arnold had influenza and 
would not be able to preach ! However, I had the 
compensation of more of his company than under any 
other circumstances. There were only he and Mrs. 
Arnold, so that I became more acquainted with both, 
and altogether it was most interesting. We had the 
Sunday evening chapter and hymn, and it was very 
beautiful to see his manner to the little ones, indeed to 
all. Arthur was quite as happy as I was to have such 
an uninterrupted bit of Dr. Arnold — he talks more 
freely to him a great deal than he does at home." 

The spring of 1834 had been saddened to 
the Stanleys by the death of Augustus Hare 
at Rome ; and the decision of his widow — the 
beloved "Auntie" of Arthur Stanley's child- 
hood—to make Hurstmonceaux her home, led 
to his being sent, for a few months before going 
to Oxford, as a pupil to Julius Hare, who 
was then Rector of Hurstmonceaux. Those 
who remember the enthusiastic character of 
Julius Hare, his energy in what he under- 
took, and his vigorous though lengthy elucida- 
tion of what he wished to explain, will imagine 
how he delighted in re-opening for Arthur 



38 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



Stanley the stores of classical learning which 
had seemed laid aside for ever in the solitude 
of his Sussex living. " I cannot speak of the 
blessing it has been to have Arthur so long 
with you," his mother wrote afterwards. " He 




HURSTMONCRAUX RECTORY. 



says he feels his mind's horizon so enlarged, 
and that a foundation is laid of interest and 
affection for Hurstmonceaux, which he will 
always henceforward consider as ' one of his 
homes, one of the many places in the world 
he has to be happy in.* He writes happily 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 39 

from Oxford, but the lectures and sermons 
there do not go down after the food he has 
been Hving on at Hurstmonceaux and Rugby." 

It may truly be said of Arthur Stanley that 
he "applied his heart to know, and to search, 
and to seek out wisdom." During his college 
life, however, his happiest days were still those 
rare ones which he was able to spend with 
the Arnolds at Rugby — his "seventh heaven," 
whence he wrote of spending a time of the most 
luxurious happiness he ever had, so unbrokenly 
delightful. 

In this brief sketch one cannot dwell upon 
his happy and successful career, upon his many 
prizes, his honours of every kind,^ even upon 
his Newdigate poem of " The Gipsies," which 
his father heard him deliver in the Sheldonian 
Theatre, and burst into tears during the tumult 
of applause which followed. Well remembered 
still is the impression produced upon the vast 
assembly by the beautiful lines in which the 
Gipsies narrate the cause of their curse : — 

"They spake of lovely spots in Eastern lands, 
An isle of palms, amid a waste of sands — 
Of white tents pitched beside a crystal well, 
Where in past days their fathers loved to dwell ; 



^ The Ireland Scholarship and a First Class in Classics, 1837 ; the 
Chancellor's Latin Prize Essay, 1839 ; the English Essay, 1840, &c. 



40 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

To that sweet islet came at day's decline 

A Virgin Mother with her IJabe Divine ; 

She asked for shelter from the chill night-breeze, 

She prayed for rest beneath those stately trees ; 

She asked in vain — what though was blended there 

A maiden's meekness with a mother's care ; 

What though the light of hidden Godhead smiled 

In the bright features of that blessed Child ? 

She asked in vain — they heard, and heeded not, 

And rudely drove her from the sheltering spot. 

Then fell the voice of Judgment from above, 

' Who shuts Love out, shall be shut out from Love ; 

Who drive the houseless wanderer from their door, 

Themselves shall wander houseless evermore ; 

Till He, whom now they spurn, again shall come. 

Amid the clouds of heaven, to speak their final doom.' " 

The suspicions which were already enter- 
tained at Oxford as to Stanley's orthodoxy 
led to his being warned not to stand for Balliol, 
but he was warmly welcomed to a fellowship 
at University. 

At Christmas, 1839, he was ordained at 
St. Mary's, at Oxford, with, amongst others, 
Richard Church, afterwards Dean of St. Paul's. 
To the last he was full of mental difficulties 
as to subscription. "If men subscribed liter- 
ally to the Articles," he said, " no man in 
orders, from the Archbishop to the poorest 
curate on the Cumberland fells, could stay in 
the Church." He was himself finally decided 
by a letter from Arnold, who urged that his 
own difficulties of the same kind had graduaJl 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 4 1 

decreased in importance ; that he had long 
been persuaded that subscription to the letter 
to any amount of human propositions was im- 
possible, and that the door of ordination was 
never meant to be closed against all but those 
whose "dull minds and dull consciences" could 
see no difficulty. Before his ordination he 
wrote to his friend Vaughan : — 

"Alas that a Church with so divine a service should 
keep its long list of Articles ! I am strengthened more 
and more in my opinion that there is only needed, and 
only should be, one — * I believe that Christ is both 
God and man.'" 

Many divines had already been shocked by 
a characteristic passage which he, then still 
an undergraduate, had been allowed to add to 
his father's installation sermon : — 

" If the heart of man be full of love and peace, 
whatsoever be his outward act of division, he is not 
guilty of schism. Let no man then think himself free 
from schism because he is in outward conformity with 
this or any other Church. He is a schismatic, and he 
only, who creates feuds, scandals, and divisions in the 
Church of Christ." 

It was the preaching part of his clerical 
duties which Arthur Stanley most dreaded. 
"He could see his way to twelve sermons, 



42 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

but no more." His first sermon was preached 
in Mr. (afterwards Bishop) Pelham's church 
at Heri^apton. Arnold was present. The ser- 
mon was for a church building society, and 
the Rector had felt the subject to be a very 
safe one. The delivery was terrible. Mr. 
Somerset Hay was there. As he came out, 
two old women were walking very wide apart, 
one on one side of the road, the other on the 
other, to get out of the way of the carriages, 
and this made them raise their voices. " Mrs. 
Maisey," called out one of them, "how be 
you feeling.'* I got nothing. I'm very hungry." 
Stanley's father often spoke to him about his 
bad delivery. 

In deciding to remain at Oxford as a tutor 
at University College, Stanley believed that his 
ordination vows might be as effectually carried 
out by making the most of his vocation at 
college, and endeavouring to influence all who 
came within his sphere, as by undertaking any 
parochial cure. To his aunt, who remonstrated, 
he wrote : — 

" February 1 5, 1 840. — I have never properly thanked 
you for your letters about my ordination, which I 
assure you, however, that I have not the less valued, 
and shall be no less anxious to try, as far as in me lies, 
to observe. It is perhaps an unfortunate thing for me, 







Ouiy^^i'Oe^ 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 43 

though, as far as I see, unavoidable, that the over- 
whelming considerations, immediately at the time of 
ordination, were not difficulties of practice, but of sub- 
scription, and the effect has been that I would always 
rather look back to what I felt to be my duty before 
that cloud came on, than to the time itself. Practically, 
however, I think it will in the end make no difference. 
The real thing which long ago moved me to wish to go 
into orders, and which, had I not gone into orders, I 
should have acted on as well as I could without orders, 
was the fact that God seemed to have given me gifts 
more fitting me for orders, and for that particular line 
of clerical duty which I have chosen, than for any 
other. It is perhaps as well to say that until I see a 
calling to other clerical work, as distinct as that by 
which I feel called to my present work, I should not 
think it right to engage in any other; but I hope I 
shall always feel, though I am afraid I cannot be too 
constantly reminded, that in whatever work I am 
engaged now or hereafter, my great end ought always 
to be the good of the souls of others, and my great 
support the good whicli God will give to my own soul." 

Two years before this, in 1837, the Rector 
of Alderley had been appointed to the Bishopric 
of Norwich, and had left Cheshire amidst an 
uncontrollable outburst of grief from the people 
amongst whom he had lived as a friend and 
a father for thirty-two years. Henceforward, 
the scientific pursuits, which had occupied his 
leisure hours at Alderley, were laid aside in the 



44 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



no-leisure of his devotion to the See, with whose 
interests he now identified his existence. His 
one object seemed to be to fit himself more 
completely for dealing with ecclesiastical sub- 
jects, by gaining- a clearer insight into clerical 




RUIN IN THE PAI-ACE GARDEN, NORWICH. 



duties and difficulties ; and, though he long 
found his diocese a bed of thorns, his kindly 
spirit, his broad liberality, and all-embracing 
fatherly sympathy, never failed to leave peace 
behind them. His employments were changed, 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 45 

but his characteristics were the same ; the 
geniality and simpUcity shown in deaHng with 
his clergy, and his candidates for ordination, 
had the same power of winning hearts which 
was evinced in his relation to the cottagers at 




BISHOPS BRIDGE, NORWICH. 



Alderley ; and the same dauntless courage 
which would have been such an. ad vantage in 
commanding the ship he longed for in his 
youth, enabled him to face Chartist mobs with 
composure, and to read unmoved the many 
party censures which followed such acts as his 



46 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

public recognition in Norwich Cathedral of the 
worth of Joseph Gurney, the Quaker philan- 
thropist ; his appearance on a platform side 
by side with the Irish priest Father Mathew, 
advocating the same cause ; and his enthusi- 
astic friendship for Jenny Lind, who on his 
invitation made the palace her home during 
her stay in Norwich. 

In the early years of his father's episcopate, 
Arthur Stanley was his father's examining 
chaplain for ordination candidates. He was 
then a very juvenile, cherubic-looking youth. 
The Bishop, with characteristic hospitality, 
invited all the candidates to dinner. One of 
them, who was not well prepared, and exces- 
sively nervous as to the result of his examina- 
tion, has often narrated since how he looked 
round to see his dreaded future examiner, 
"Can you tell me which is Arthur Stanley?" 
he said to the bright, ingenuous-looking boy at 
his side, "/she here?" And he has never 
forgotten the shrill voice of the youth as he 
said, " I am Arthur Stanley." At first he could 
not believe it ; then he was in a most dreadful 
fright. 

Most delightful, and very different from the 
modern building which has partially replaced it, 
was the old Palace at Norwich. Approached 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 



47 



through a stately gateway, and surrounded by 
lawns and flowers, amid which stood a beautiful 
ruin — the old house with its broad old-fashioned 







THE CHAPEL DOOR, PALACE, NORWICH. 



staircase and vaulted kitchen, its beautiful 
library looking out to Household and Rett's 
Castle, its great dining-room hung with pictures 



48 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



of the Christian Virtues, its picturesque and 
curious corners, and its quaint and intricate 
passages, was indescribably charming. In a 
little side-garden under the Cathedral, pet pee- 
wits and a raven were kept, which always came 
to the dining-room window at breakfast to be 




NORWICH FROM MOUSEHOLD. 



fed out of the Bishop's own hand — the only 
relic of his once beloved ornithological, as occa- 
sional happy excursions with a little nephew 
to Bramerton in search of fossils were the only 
trace left of his former geological pursuits. 

" I live for my children, and for them alone 
I wish to live, unless in God's providence I can 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 49 

live to His glory," were Bishop Stanley's own 
words not many months before his death. He 
followed with longing interest the voyages of 
his son Owen as Commander in the Brito77iart 
and Captain of the Ra/ilesttake, and rejoiced in 
the successful career of his youngest son Charles. 
These were perhaps the most naturally con- 
genial to their father, and more of companions 
to him when at home than any of his other 
children. But in the last years of his life he 
was even prouder of his second son Arthur, 
whose wonderful descriptive power and classical 
knowledge first became evident to his family 
in 1840 in his letters from Greece, which gave 
his intimate circle a foretaste of the interest 
which the outer world experienced twelve years 
later in the publication of " Sinai and Palestine." 
There were not so many travellers' letters then. 
"A letter from Arthur" caused the whole 
family to collect in the old-fashioned drawing- 
room at Stoke Rectory ; his aged grandparents 
were established in their red arm-chairs, and 
maps were brought out and many books of 
former travellers consulted, and compared with 
the accounts in the closely-written sheets, in 
which a mother's eyes easily conquered all the 
difficulties of the strancje handwriting so often 
illegible to others. 



50 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

Arthur Stanley's Greek tour opened a new 
era in his life. It was a time of limitless enjoy- 
ment — " the visions of the library at Rugby 
and of the lecture-room at Balliol constantly 
blending themselves with the visions of battles, 
of temples, and oracles." His enchantment 
came to a climax at Athens — "even more 
beautiful than Corfu : the long, ivy-leaf shape 
of the blue mountain range, the silver sea of 
Salamis, the hills of Pentelicus and Hymettus 
glowing like hot furnaces in the sun, the 
columns of the Parthenon and the Olym- 
pieium, with their delicate red interwoven with 
the deep blue sky." In describing these and 
similar scenes on his return, his whole being 
glowed and quivered with excitement. 

The year 1842 was clouded by Dr. Arnold's 
death — "the greatest calamity," wrote Arthur 
Stanley, " that ever has happened to me, almost 
the greatest that ever can befall me." He 
hastened to Rugby for the following week, 
where he preached the funeral sermon, and he 
left Rugby feeling "as if he had lived years of 
manifold experience." " I may be thought," 
he wrote, " to attach an exaggerated importance 
to what has passed . . . but, if he was not an 
apostle to others, he was an apostle to me." 
His sorrow, his reverence, his sympathy, found 



ARTHUR PENRHVN STANLEY 5 I 

relief in devoting his best energies to that " Life 
of Arnold," which has translated his character 
to the world, and given Arnold a wider influ- 
ence since his death than he ever attained 
in his life. Perhaps, of all Stanley's books, 
Arnold's Life is still the one by which he is 
best known, and this, in his reverent love for 
his master, to whom he owed the building up 
of his mind, is as he would have wished it 
to be. 

For twelve years Arthur Stanley resided at 
University College as Fellow and Tutor, un- 
dertaking also, in the latter part of the time, 
the laborious duties of secretary to the Uni- 
versity Commission, into which he threw him- 
self with characteristic ardour. In 1845 he 
was appointed Select Preacher to the Univer- 
sity, an office resulting in the publication of 
those " Sermons and Essays on the Apostolic 
Age," in which he especially endeavoured to 
exhibit the individual human character of the 
different apostles. 

Very comic are the recollections which 
Arthur Stanley's pupils retain of his lectures, 
which, always interesting and original, were 
delivered in a small voice hardly audible in the 
lecture-room, while the lecturer's legs were 
twisted round those of the table in his nervous- 



52 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

ness. He had not an idea of the usual way of 
dealing with young men, or what to say to 
them, least of all how to reprove them. If one 
of them was hopelessly behind-hand with some 
exercise, he would meet him, and in his shyest 
way say, " Good morning, Mr. Smith. I have 
. . . not had that essay, you know." Some- 
times he would rush out of his rooms to catch 
the undergraduates, who would emerge from 
all the corners and passages singing ** For he's 
a jolly good fellow," and would seize some un- 
fortunate Bible-clerk quietly going home to his 
room, instead of his real prey, and inform him, 
to his astonishment, that they were going to 
hold common-room upon him next morning.^ 

He was not discomfited, however, but greatly 
amused, when an undergraduate told him that 
the effect of his sermon in chapel the day 
before had been spoilt by his having a glove 
on his head the whole time. 

Stanley's terribly illegible handwriting often 
brought him into comical difficulties at Oxford 
as elsewhere. " Stanley never could be made 
a bishop, he writes such an abominable hand," 
said Dean Wellesley. But in printing his 
books he never found this a disadvantage, as 
the best readers and compositors were always 

^ Recollections of Rev. E. S. Bankes. 



ARTHUR PENRMYN STANLEY 53 

given to him, while the worst are bestowed on 
those who write best. 

During this time, in which he refused the offer 
of Alderley Rectory, and (1849) of the Deanery 
of Cadisle, the recently half-empty college of 
University became once more crowded with 
students, drawn thither by his rising fame. 
His peculiarities did not in the least prevent 
his being popular. Men soon appreciated 
one who rejoiced in their triumphs or bewailed 
their disappointments as if they were his own, 
and who diffused into his lectures a life and 
geniality little known at Oxford. Meantime 
he had rushed, not only with ardour, but with 
supreme enjoyment, into the religious contro- 
versies which were exciting Oxford at the time. 
The publicity into which suspicions of his un- 
orthodoxy brought his name was never with- 
out its attractions. A Church with arms wide 
enough to embrace almost every form and 
tenet of belief was already becoming his ideal 
of what a Christian Church should be. 

The year 1849 was marked by the death of 
Bishop Stanley, which occurred during a visit 
to Brahan Castle in Scotland. Arthur was 
with him in his last hours, and brought his 
mother and sisters back to the desolate Norwich 
home, where a vast multitude attended the 



54 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

burial of the Bishop in the cathedral. " I can 
give you the facts," wrote one who was present, 
"but I can give you no notion of how impres- 
sive it was, nor how affecting. There were 
such sobs and tears from the school-children 
and from the clergy, who so loved their dear 
Bishop. A beautiful sunshine lit up every- 
thing, shining into the cathedral just at the 
time. Arthur was quite calm, and looked like 
an angel with a sister on each side." 

From the time of his father's death, from the 
time when he first took his seat at family 
prayers in the purple chair where the venerable 
white head was accustomed to be seen, Arthur 
Stanley seemed utterly to throw off all the shy- 
ness and embarrassment which had formerly 
oppressed him, to rouse himself by a great effort, 
and henceforward to forget his own personality 
altogether in his position and his work. His 
social and conversational powers, afterwards so 
great, increased perceptibly from this time. 

It was two days after Mrs. Stanley left 
Norwich that she received the news of the death 
of her youngest son, Charles, in Van Diemen's 
Land ; and a very few months only elapsed 
before she learnt that her eldest son, Owen, had 
only lived to hear of the loss of his father. 
Henceforward his mother, saddened though not 




^a/i4.eyri:yn.ey Cy^^'n^Ce^u. 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 55 

crushed by her triple grief, was more than ever 
Arthur Stanley's care : he made her the sharer 
of all his thoughts, the confidante of all his 
difficulties, all that he wrote was read to her 
before its publication, and her advice was not 
only sought but taken. In her new home in 
London, he made her feel that she had still as 
much to interest her and give a zest to life as 
in the happiest days at Alderley and Norwich ; 
most of all he pleased her by showing in the 
publication of the " Memoir of Bishop Stanley," 
in 1850, his thorough inward appreciation of the 
father with whom his outward intercourse had 
been of a less intimate kind than with herself 

In 1 85 1 Arthur Stanley was presented to a 
canonry at Canterbury, which, though he ac- 
cepted it with reluctance, proved to be an 
appointment entirely after his own heart, 
giving him leisure to complete his "Com- 
mentary on the Corinthians," a work which, 
from its deficiency in scholarship, has passed 
almost unnoticed ; and leading naturally to the 
" Historical Memorials of Canterbury," which, 
of all his books, was perhaps the one which it 
gave him most pleasure to write. At Canter- 
bury he not only lived amongst the illustrious 
dead, bui'lie made them rise into new life by 
the way in which he spoke and wrote of them. 



56 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

That he endeavoured to teach the cockatoo on 
its perch by the side of the paved walk lead- 
ing through the canonry garden to call out 
" Thomas a Becket " to astonished visitors, 
was only typical of the way in which he inter- 
wove all the other historical recollections of 
the past with the daily life of the place. 
Often on the anniversary of Becket's murder, 
as the fatal hour — five o'clock on a winter's 
afternoon — drew near, Stanley would marshal 
his family and friends round the scenes of the 
event, stopping with thrilling effect at each 
spot connected with it — " Here the knights ' 
came into the cloister — here the monks knocked 
furiously for refuge in the church " — -till, when 
at length the chapel of the martyrdom was 
reached, as the last shades of twilight gathered 
amid the arches, the whole scene became so 
real, that, with almost more than a thrill of 
horror, one saw the last moments through one's 
ears — the struggle between Fitzurse and the 
Archbishop, the blow of Tracy, the solemn 
dignity of the actual death. 

Stanley had a real pride in Canterbury. In 
his own words, he "rejoiced that he was the 
servant and minister, not of some obscure 
fugitive establishment, for which no'^ne cares 
beyond his narrow circle, but of a cathedral 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 



57 



whose name commands respect and interest 
even in the remotest parts of Europe." In his 
inaugural lectures as professor at Oxford, in 
speaking of the august trophies of Ecclesi- 
astical History in England, he said, " I need 




CANON STANLEY'S HOUSE, CANTERBURY. 



name but one, the most striking and obvious 
instance, the cradle of English Christianity, 
the seat of the English Primacy, viy own proud 
cathedral, the metropolitan church of Canter- 
bury." 

The chief charm to Arthur Stanley of having 
a home of his own was that he could welcome 



58 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

his mother to it, and greatly did she enjoy her 
long visits to Canterbury, where she shook off 
at once all the influences of her London life, 
and threw herself with all her heart into the 
interests of the place and its associations. 
Never were the mother and son more wholly 
united than in these happy years, when every 
evening the literary work of the day was read 
to her, and received her deepest attention, 
often her severest criticism. It was a delight- 
ful time to both, and Mrs. Stanley was one 
who knew how to make the most of every 
delicate shade of good in the character of her 
son and daughters. " Are not one's children 
given to one," she wrote, "that we may live 
over again in them when we have done living 
for ourselves } " 

Those who remember Stanley's happy inter- 
course with his mother at Canterbury ; his 
friendships in the place, especially with Arch- 
deacon and Mrs. Harrison, who lived next 
door, and with whom he had many daily 
meetings and communications on all subjects ; 
his pleasure in the preparation and publication 
of his " Canterbury Sermons ; " his delightful 
home under the shadow of the cathedral, con- 
nected by the Brick Walk with the cloisters ; 
and his constant work of a most consrenial 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 



59 



kind, will hardly doubt that in many respects 
the years spent at Canterbury were the most 
prosperous of his life. Vividly does the re- 
collection of those who were frequently his 




bill'- Ul' liKCKI'. 1 b bUKJNK, CANIEKLIUKY. 



guests go back to the afternoons when, his 
cathedreil duties and writing being over, he 
would rush out to Harbledown, to Patrix- 
bourne, or •along the dreary Dover Road 
(which he always insisted upon thinking most 
delightful) to visit his friend Mrs. Gregory, 



60 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

going faster and faster as he talked more 
enthusiastically, calling up fresh topics out of 
the wealthy past. Or there were longer excur- 
sions to liozendeane Wood, with its memories 
of the strange story of the so-called Sir William 
Courtenay, its blood-stained dingle amid the 
hazels, its trees riddled with shot, and its wide 
view over the Forest of Blean to the sea, with 
the Isle of Sheppey breaking the blue waters. 

Close behind Stanley's house was the Dean- 
ery and its garden, where the venerable Dean 
Lyall used daily at that time to be seen walk- 
ing up and down in the sun. Here grew the 
marvellous old mulberry, to preserve the life 
of which, when failing, a bullock was actually 
killed that the tree might drink in new life 
from its blood. A huge bough which had 
been torn off from this tree had taken root, 
and had become far more flourishing than its 
parent. Arthur Stanley called them the Church 
of Rome and the Church of England, and gave 
a lecture about it in the town. 

His power of calling up past scenes of 
history, painting them in words, and throwing 
his whole heart into them, often enacting them, 
in some respects made travelling with Arthur 
Stanley delightful. In the shorter excursions 
which he made in England, those who were 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 6 1 

with him vividly recall his intense delight in 
seeing the tombs of many of his intimate friends 
of the long ago in the cathedrals. His mother, 
his sister Mary, his cousin Miss Penrhyn, and 
his friend Hugh Pearson usually made up the 
summer party for longer journeys on the 
Continent. He was a better fellow-traveller 
to this familiar circle, which adored him and 
only went his way, than to any others. He 
was terribly impatient of being called upon to 
visit anything he had seen before. He hated 
all pictures and sculptures which were not 
historical. He found Dresden "the most un- 
interesting place he ever saw." He was quite 
determined never to travel with any one who 
"went after pictures," and he refused even to 
attempt acquiring any interest in art. " The 
difference between others and myself," he said, 
" breaks out in the questions we respectively ask. 
They : — ' Who is the artist ? ' /; — ' What is the 
subject ? ' " The beauties of nature had also lost 
in his grown-up life all the charm they had for 
him as a child. The scenery of Switzerland he 
found utterly "unmeaning," its beauties "ficti- 
tious " and dependent on clouds and sunset. 
In France, Spain, and Germany, a place con- 
nected with even the very smallest historic event 
was attractive to him, but he had no patience 



62 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

with anything else. One thing he did enjoy 
everywhere. It was tracing an often impossible 
likeness between the place he was in and some 
other place. Thus his vivid fancy could ima- 
gine that Nuremberg recalled Venice ; Rheims, 
Canterbury ; Amalfi, Delphi ! For several 
years the family tours were confined to France 
and Germany, Switzerland and Northern Italy ; 
but in 1852 the Stanley group went for several 
months to Italy, seeing its northern and eastern 
provinces, in those happy days of vetttirhio 
travelling, as they will never be seen again, 
studying the story of its old towns, and eventu- 
ally reaching Rome, which Mrs. Stanley had 
never seen, and which her son had the greatest 
delight in showing her. It had been decided 
that when the rest of the party returned to 
England, he should go on to Egypt, but this 
plan was changed by circumstances which 
fortunately enabled him to witness the funeral 
of the Duke of Wellington. By travelling 
day and night, he arrived in London the 
night before the ceremony. Almost immedi- 
ately afterwards he returned to take leave of 
his mother at Avignon, before starting with 
his friend Theodore Walrond and two others 
on that long and happy tour of which the 
results have appeared in " Sinai and Pales- 




c,^^%eZ^>^ c-^^^fe'<?7-<<I<''^ 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 63 

tine " — rather a poetical and geographical work 
than a contribution to history, but a book 
which, without any compromise of its own 
freedom of thought, has turned all the know- 
ledge of previous travellers to most admirable 
account. " Stanley was the most wonderful 
companion in the East," records one of his 
companions. " He got up his whole subject 
before, and he particularly liked to tell us 
everything : it fixed it in his mind. Then in 
the evenings he would retire to his tent, and 
write sheets upon sheets of those wonderful 
letters which only his sister could decipher 
and translate for other people. He had a 
whole mass of books with him ; one set he 
took with him up the Nile, and, as he came 
down, another met him for the Holy Land." ^ 

The attention of the family was concen- 
trated on the East in 1854, as Mary Stanley 
escorted a body of nurses to Constantinople, 
and took charge of the hospital of Koulalee 
during the war in the Crimea, gaining much 
experience at this time which was afterwards 
useful in her self-denying labours for the poor 
in London. 

As his eight years at Canterbury were the 
happiest of Arthur Stanley's life, so for him- 

^ Recollections of Hon. T. Freeniantle. 



64 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

self they were the most profitable. Under 
the shadow of the great cathedral he had 
leisure for the literature which was the best 
work of his life — not only for what he pub- 
lished then, but for the preparation for long 
distant labours. In "that green oasis," as he 
called it, he was removed from, had no calling 
to, the controversies which marred his after- 
life. And he lived in a peace and freedom 
from abuse which at that time had its value 
for him : no one cared then that he regarded 
the Athanasian Creed as only a "curious 
mediaeval hymn." 

It was in 1858 that the happy home at Can- 
terbury was exchanged for a canonry at Christ 
Church, Oxford, attached to the Professorship 
of Ecclesiastical History, to which Arthur 
Stanley had been appointed two years before. 
His professorial appointment had not been 
welcomed at first, and he used to say that a 
letter from Jowett was the only letter of con- 
gratulation he received upon it. But his 
three " Introductory Lectures on the Study of 
Ecclesiastical History," delivered before his 
residence, had attracted such audiences as have 
seldom been seen in the University Theatre, 
and aroused an enthusiasm which was the 
greatest encouragement to him in entering 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 65 

upon a course of life so different from that 
he had left ; for he saw how a set of lectures 
usually wearisome could be rendered interest- 
ing to all his hearers, how he could make the 
dry bones live. 

Henceforward, for some years, the greater 
portion of Stanley's days was spent in his 
pleasant study on the ground floor (in the 
first house on the left after entering Peck- 
water from Tom quad), looking upon his little 
walled garden, with its miniature lawn and 
apple-trees, between which he was delighted 
to find that he could make a fountain ; attended 
to by his faithful married butler and house- 
keeper ; concerning whom, when some one 
remarked disparagingly upon their increasing 
family, he is recollected characteristically to 
have exclaimed, "I do not know if they will 
have many children, but I do know one thing, 
that, if they have a hundred, I shall never 
part with Mr. and Mrs. Waters." 

Here he was always to be found standing 
at his desk, tossing off sheet after sheet, the 
whole floor covered with scraps of papers 
written or letters received, which, by a habit 
that nothing could change, he generally tore 
up and scattered around him. Here were com- 
posed those Lectures on the Eastern, and after- 



66 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

wards on the Jewish Church, to which Stanley's 
"picturesque sensibility," as Lord Beaconsfield 
called it, so exactly fitted him to do justice 
— Lectures which have done more than any- 
thing ever written to make the Bible history 
a living reality instead of a dead letter, which, 
while with the freedom which excited such an 
outcry against Dean Milman, they do not scruple 
to describe Abraham as a Chaldean Sheykh 
of the desert, Rachel as a Bedouin chief's 
daughter, and Joseph as the royal officers are 
exhibited in the Theban sculptures, open such 
a blaze of sunshine upon those venerable his- 
tories, that those who look upon them by the 
new light feel as if they had never seen them 
before. 

Stanley liked excessively the importance of 
his new position at Oxford. " There is a 
pleasure," he wrote, " in finding oneself at the 
top of a tree ; everything open to one's view, 
great persons civil, smaller persons grateful 
for notice." It was also a great enjoyment to 
him in the years of his Oxford life to take 
up the threads of many old friendships which 
years of separation had relaxed. He observed 
with some dismay how the intellectual power of 
the University had ceased to take orders. But 
he took advantage of introductions from Rugby, 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 



67 



and of the acquaintances made in college by 
a young cousin residing in his house, to invite 
many undergraduates to his Canonry, by seeing 
them again and again to become intimate with 




CANON STANLEY'S HOUSE, CHRIST CHURCH. 



them, and in many cases to gain a permanent 
influence over them. His conversation was 
considered versatile rather than accurate, 
brilliant rather than profound. But those he 
was really at home with, will always retain a 



68 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

delightful recollection of the home-like evenings 
in his pleasant drawing-room, of his sometimes 
reading aloud, of his fun and playfulness, and of 
his talking over his future lectures and getting 
his younger companions to help him with draw- 
ings and plans for them. The very childlike 
helplessness of the Canon had its attraction to 
those who were much with him and loved him. 
But it has been rightly said that "he went 
dreamily about the world, puzzled and put out 
by its every-day requirements, always demand- 
ing some one to take care of him, and generally 
finding what he sought." Upon the University 
Stanley never made any deep impression, whilst 
he obtained an influence over a great many 
individuals. The Prince of Wales, then an 
undergraduate, was frequently at his house, and 
many more visitors from the outside world came 
to the Canonry at Oxford than to that at Canter- 
bury — Germans, Americans, and the friends 
Stanley had made during a tour in Russia. 

An article which Arthur Stanley contributed 
in 1861 to the Edinburgh Review in defence of 
the authors of " Essays and Reviews" would 
have destroyed all hopes of a bishopric, if he 
had wished for it. To his mother, who felt 
how utterly he was unsuited to episcopal life, 
this was an unmixed cause for rejoicing. " If it 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 69 

had rained mitres as thick as hail," said Jowett, 
" Stanley had such a curiously shaped head that 
they would never have fitted it." 

In the early spring of 1862, in fulfilment of a 
wish which had been expressed by the Prince 
Consort, Arthur Stanley was desired to accom- 
pany the Prince of Wales in his projected tour to 
the East. In looking forward to this journey, 
he chiefly considered with joy how he might 
turn the travel to the best account for his royal 
companion, and how he might open for his 
service the stores of information which he had 
laid up during his former Eastern tour. But 
he combined the duties of chaplain with those 
of cicerone, and his sermons preached before 
the Prince of Wales at Tiberias, Nazareth, and 
other holy sites of sacred history were after- 
wards published in a small volume. " Gather 
up the fragments that remain, that nothing be 
lost," was his constant teaching in Palestine. 
"It is by thinking of what has been here, by 
making the most of things we see in order to 
bring before our minds the things we do not 
see, that a visit to the Holy Land becomes a 
really religious lesson." To Stanley's delight, 
one great event marked the royal tour in the 
East : the Mosque of Hebron, hitherto inexor- 
ably closed, was thrown open to the travellers. 



70 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

It had not been without many sad and 
anxious misgivings that Stanley had consented 
to obey the desire, not command, of his Queen, 
in being a second time separated from his 
mother for so long a time and by so great a 
distance. He never saw her again, yet he was 
the only one of her children who received her 
farewell words, and embrace, and blessings. A 
few days after he was gone she became ill, and 
on the morning of the 5th of March, in pain- 
less unconsciousness, she died. It was as well, 
perhaps, that the dear absent son was not 
there, that he had the interest of a constant 
duty to rouse him. He returned in June. 
Terrible indeed is the recollection of the piteous 
glance he cast towards his mother's vacant 
corner, and mournfully, to those who were 
present, did the thought occur, what it would 
have been if she had been there then, especially 
then, with the thousand things there were to 
tell her. " Nothing," he said, " can ever make 
my mother's memory other than the greatest 
gift I have received." 

Sad indeed were the months which followed, 
till, in the autumn of 1863, Arthur Stanley was 
appointed to the Deanery at Westminster — 
"the one change," he wrote, "that my dearest 
mother desired for me." This was soon fol- 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY /I 

lowed by the fulfilment of a still dearer wish 
of hers for him, and sunshine again flowed in 
upon his life with his marriage, in Westminster 
Abbey, to Lady Augusta Bruce, fifth daughter 
of the seventh Earl of Elgin, whom he had first 
met at the house of Madame Mohl in 1857. 

Of all that his marriage was to Dean Stan- 
ley it is impossible to speak — of his true and 
perfect companionship with Lady Augusta, of 
the absolute completeness with which she filled 
the position of his wife, of mistress of the 
Deanery, of leader of every good work in West- 
minster, where her goodness, wisdom, and tact 
were always in evidence and won all hearts. 
She loved the poor. She had an ennobling in- 
fluence upon all. There were those who cavilled 
at the universal cordiality of her manner, but, as 
they knew her better, they learnt that it was 
an echo from her heart. " By her supporting 
love he was comforted for his mother's death, 
and her character, though cast in another 
mould, remained to him, with that of his 
mother, the brightest and most sacred vision 
of earthly experience." 

Going soon after his marriage to visit Hugh 
Pearson at Sonning, he went on the box of the 
fly. " I see you've got Lady Augusta Bruce 
inside," said the driver ; "I remember her very 



J 2 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

well at Windsor." — " Not Lady Augusta Bruce 
— she is Lady Augusta Stanley now — she is 
my wife." — " Well then I do wish you joy, for 
your wife is just the best woman in England." 
Highly delighted was the Dean with this. 

Congenial, as all Stanley's other homes, 
were the surroundings of the residence under 
the walls of the Abbey, decorated by much of 
the old oak furniture, inanimate friends, which 
had already travelled from Alderley to Norwich, 
Canterbury, and Oxford. Most delightful was 
the library at the Deanery, a long room sur- 
rounded by bookcases, with a great gothic 
window at the end, and a curious picture of 
Queen Elizabeth let in above the fireplace. 
Here, all through the mornings, in which 
visitors, with very rare exceptions, were never 
admitted, the Dean stood at his desk and 
scattered his papers as of old, while Lady 
Augusta employed herself at her writing-table 
close by. His " Memorials of Westminster," 
full of attractive glimpses of history ; the second 
and third volume of his " Jewish Church," which 
he considered to be the best contribution he 
could make to the religious changes of the time, 
and into the graphic picturesqueness of which 
he threw all the vigour of his early writings ; 
his "Address on the Three Irish Churches," 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 



characteristically advocating the equal endow- 
ment, under State management, of the Protes- 




COURTYARD, DEANERY, WESTMINSTER. 



tant Episcopalian, Roman Catholic, and Presby- 
terian Churches ; his "Lectures on the Church of 
Scotland," in which, through a brilliant review of 



74 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

the ecclesiastical story of Scotland, he claims 
the highest distinction for the Established 
Church ; his Addresses as Lord Rector of St. 
Andrews, and many articles for the Quarterly, 
the Edinburgh, the Niiieteenth Century, Good 
Words, and Macmillaris Magazine, flowed 
from his pen in this room ; and lastly, his 
"Christian Institutions," which seem written 
chiefly to disabuse people of the fancy of Roman 
Catholic and High Church divines, that they 
can discover in the Early Church their own 
theories concerning the Papacy, the hierarchy, 
and the administration of the Sacraments. It 
was a necessity to Stanley to be always writing 
something, and the same passion for impossible 
analogies appeared in all he wrote. He often 
latterly returned to the pursuit of his earliest 
days, and expressed himself in verse, but he 
wrote nothing thus that will live. 

More than ever did friends gather around 
Stanley during his life at the Deanery, as much 
as ever was he able to enjoy the pleasures of 
society, growing every year more full of anec- 
dote, of animation, of interesting recollections. 
And the visitors whom the Dean and Lady 
Augusta delighted to receive comprised every 
class of society, from their royal mistress and 
her children to great bands of working-men, 







.s^Zi^z^a^ i^J^y^^.^!^y (jZ<ay^./^. 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 75 

whom it was an especial pleasure to Arthur 
Stanley to escort over the Abbey himself, 
picking out and explaining the monuments 
most interesting to them. Every phase of 
opinion, every variety of religious belief, above 
all, those who most widely differed from their 
host, were cordially welcomed in the hospitalities 
of the Deanery ; and the circle which gathered 
in its drawing-rooms, especially on Sunday 
evenings after the service in the Abbey, was 
singularly characteristic and unique. Amid 
these, "small, swift, rapid, almost precipitate in 
his movements," the little eager Dean moved 
constantly, his thoughts on the history of the 
time, in which, in the vivid pictures of his 
imagination, he was always one of the most 
conspicuous actors, overflowing in a torrent of 
words at once harmonious and pictorial. 

He always spoke more of events or of scenes 
than of politics — perhaps because, as to the 
latter, he was a little uncertain of himself; for 
while in his personal politics he adored Glad- 
stone, the sunshine of court favour always made 
him appear to sympathise with Lord Beacons- 
field. "When disposed to be friendly," says 
Dean Church, "Stanley was very delightful 
and attractive ; and I think what made him so 
was not his brilliancy and resource and know- 



76 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

ledge, but the sense that he was sincerely 
longing to be in sympathy with every one for 
whom he could feel respect. Yet he had a 
certain freely indulged contempt for what he 
did not like, and a disposition to hunt down and 
find faults when he did not love people." Most 
cordially did Lady Augusta unite with the Dean 
in wishing that the spare rooms of the house 
should be ceaselessly filled with a succession 
of guests, to meet whom the most appropriate 
parties were always invited, or who were urged 
by the Dean unrestrainedly to invite their own 
friends, especially the now aged " Auntie," his 
mother's sister, long the survivor, as he expressed 
it, " of a blessed brotherhood and sisterhood." 

Greater, too, than the interest of all his other 
homes was that which Stanley found in the 
Abbey of Westminster — " the royal and national 
sanctuary which has for centuries enshrined the 
manifold glories of the kingdom " — of which he 
had become the natural guardian and caretaker. 
There are those who have smiled at the eager- 
ness he occasionally displayed to obtain the 
burial of an illustrious person in the Abbey 
against all opposition. There are those who 
have been incapable of understanding his 
anxiety to guard and keep the Abbey as it had 
been delivered to him ; wisely objecting even 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY TJ 

to give uniformity to a rudely patched pavement, 
on account of the picturesqueness and the 
human interest attached to its variations of 
colour and surface ; delighting in the character- 
istics of his choir projecting into the nave, like 
the coro of a Spanish cathedral ; ^ carefully, 
even fiercely, repelling any attempt to show 
more deference to the existing monuments 
of one age than of another, each being a 
portion of history in itself, and each, when 
once placed there, having become a portion 
of the history of the Abbey, never to be dis- 
placed. The Abbey became dearer to him 
than any other building in the world. He 
gave fresh life to it. He restored the beautiful 
Chapter House, which had been used as a 
Record Office. He brought together again the 
fragments of Torrigiani's altar, which served 
as a tomb to Edward VI. He removed 
Catherine de Valois from the vault of the 
Percies to rest by her husband Henry V. 

' It was painful to those who knew the Dean well to see a letter in 
the Times a few days after his death, urging that the destruction of the 
choir — the thing of all others he most deprecated — should be carried 
out as a memorial of him ! Those who wish to know what he really 
desired for his Abbey have only to read the preface to his " Memorials 
of Westminster," expressing his anxious suggestion of a cloister for the 
reception of future monuments, enclosing the Jewel Tower, on the 
present site of Abingdon Street, to face the Palace of Westminster on 
one side, and the College Garden on the other. 



78 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

His care in collecting and replacing the 
fragments of the reredos of St. Michael's 
altar, and his curious amalgamation of tiny 
fragments of lost screens and altars in the 
Chapter House, are marks of his tender care 
for the minutest details of the Abbey, which 
it was his great object to preserve, to enrich, 
but never, under any false pretext of " restora- 
tion" or improvement, to change. How en- 
raptured he was to discover the monogram of 
Izaak Walton scratched by the angler him- 
self upon the tomb of Isaac Casaubon ; how 
delighted to describe the funeral of Henry V., 
in which his three chargers were led up 
to the altar as mourners behind his waxen 
effigy ; how enchanted to make any smallest 
discovery with regard to those to whom the 
more obscure monuments are erected, to trace 
out the whole history of " Jane Lister, dear 
childe," who is. buried in the cloisters, and 
upon whom he preached one of his sermons 
to children ; how pleased to answer some one 
who cavilled at the space allotted to the 
monument of Mrs. Grace Gethin, with the 
quotations referring to her in Congreve and 
D' Israeli. One of his last thoughts connected 
with outside life was the erection of a monu- 
ment to mark "the common pit " into which the 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 79 

remains of the family and friends of the great 
Protector were thrown at the Restoration. 

At Westminster Stanley preached more 
often than he had ever done before ; but two 
classes of his sermons there will be especially 
remembered — those on Innocents' Day to 
children, so particularly congenial to one whose 
character had always been so essentially that 
of the "pure in heart," and those on the deaths 
of illustrious Englishmen — oraisons funebres 
— often preached in the Abbey, even when 
those commemorated were not to repose there. 
"He had," said Dr. Stoughton, "a felicitous, 
perhaps over-taxed, gift of adapting passages 
of Scripture to passing events." "Charity, 
Liberality, Toleration," these became more 
than ever the watchwords of his teaching, of 
his efforts to inculcate the spirit that would 
treat all who follow Christ as brothers, by 
whatever path they might be approaching 
Him, and by whatever hedges they might 
be divided. Those who heard him will always 
remember the eagerness of "the little figure 
with the sweet, refined, earnest face on these 
occasions." His last utterance in the Abbey, on 
Saturday, July 9, 1881, was on the text "Blessed 
are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. 
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall 



80 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

see God," — one of his course of sermons on 
the Beatitudes. In everything his precept 
was that of the aged St. John — " Little chil- 
dren, love one another." 

It was with the fancy that in life, as in 
death, he could make the Abbey the great 
temple of conciliation, that the most hetero- 
geneous preachers were invited by Arthur 
Stanley to make use of its pulpit — preachers 
from the very north and south and east and 
west of religious opinion. His delight in con- 
tradictions, which made him ask guests of 
the most opposite opinions to meet at his 
table, came out even more in his decanal 
office. A catholic, comprehensive, all-embrac- 
ing Christianity was what he sought ; though 
to many it seemed as if his main object 
must be to bring into the Abbey those who 
had no right to be there. Max M tiller, a lay- 
man; Caird and Tulloch, Nonconformists ; Arch- 
deacon Reichel, Dr. Stoughton, Dr. Moffat, and 
even Dr. Colenso, were amongst those in- 
vited to preach ; and he showed an innate 
and mysterious sympathy with heretics of 
every kind. Only from the High Churchmen 
did he receive refusals. Pusey declined to 
preach in the Abbey because the Dean had 
endorsed Colenso's book, so ** frightfully un- 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 8 1 

settling to the faith of the lower classes : " 
Liddon, who afterwards consented, refused at 
first because he could not preach in a pulpit 
which had been contaminated by M aurice : 
Keble, because he would not seem to " bear 
with doctrines " which Stanley avowedly up- 
held. 

It has been asserted, perhaps justly, that Stan- 
ley went so far in his efforts for comprehensive- 
ness {i.e. charity) that he did away with the 
ordinary meanings of terms. As Donald Mac- 
leod has said — " ' Latitudinarian,' with most 
opprobrious sense, was the epithet hurled at 
him, but ' Latitudinarian,' in the better signi- 
ficance of wide toleration, was the title he 
would himself have gloried in," The con- 
troversies into which he remorselessly plunged 
himself were felt, by all his best friends, to — 
not sour, but somewhat embitter his character, 
to impair his usefulness, and mar his influence, 
as well as to waste his time, so ephemeral and 
unimportant was their nature. But his love 
of controversy seemed like a passion, leading 
him to espouse the cause of heretics in what- 
ever form they might exist. It made his 
career at Westminster, what Jowett described 
it, "brilliant but melancholy." What his own 
exact faith was, no one knew when he was 



82 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

alive, no one has been able to make out since. 
That it was highly inappropriate to a Dean 
of Westminster is the only fact that is quite 
certain. He certainly disbelieved, on historic 
grounds, all the Biblical miracles except the 
Resurrection, and the expression " Jesus is the 
Son of God " was used by him in no doctrinal 
sense, but only as a summary of the life and 
character of our most holy example. And yet 
he ever maintained that the greatest of all 
miracles was the character of Christ ; it was 
for the Christlike side of all Churches and all 
Christians that he endeavoured to testify his 
appreciation, and he did this so fully that 
Maurice said, " Stanley has done more to make 
the Bible a living reality in the homes of the 
people than any living writer ; " and the Bishop 
of Manchester, that Stanley daily brought down 
light from heaven into the lives of other 
people. 

Possibly his most definite confession of a 
mildewed faith was given in his sermon on 
the death of Kingsley, when, after insisting 
that the main part of the religion of mankind 
and of Christendom should consist in the strict 
fulfilment of the duty of man, which is the 
will of God, he says, " The first and last 
business of every . living being, whatever his 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 83 

Station, party, creed, tastes, desires, is Mor- 
ality. Virtue, virtue, always virtue." Or per- 
haps a fuller profession of faith is found in 
his lines on the Ascension : — 

" He is gone : towards their goal 
World and Church must onward roll. 
Far behind we leave the past ; 
Forward are our glances cast. 

Still His words before us range 
Through the ages as they change. 
Wheresoe'er the Truth shall lead, 
He will give whate'er we need." 

It is mentioned as amusingly characteristic 
of Stanley that when the Greek Archbishop of 
Syra was taking part in a consecration in the 
Abbey, he should say, whilst inveighing against 
the damnatory clauses, "It is interesting to 
remember that this excellent person, not hold- 
ing the Double Procession of the Holy Ghost 
according to the Athanasian Creed, without 
doubt shall perish everlastingly." 

That abuse should be abundantly showered 
upon "the heretic Dean" was not unnatural, 
and greatly did he enjoy it. It came from the 
most diverse quarters and was made for the 
most diverse reasons, but his love of warfare 
and a struggle made it a positive delight to him. 
It has been truly said, especially with reference 
to his life at Westminster, that " War was in 



84 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

his heart, while Peace was on his lips." When 
he- permitted a new reredos with statues of 
saints to be erected in the Abbey, he received 
a letter beginning, "Thou miserable idolater." 
And he left behind him a whole parcel of 
letters of the most scurrilous abuse, labelled — 
" May God forgive the writers as I do." 

The thought of the Abbey recalls the Jeru- 
salem Chamber and the meetings within its 
walls of the Lower House of Convocation, in 
which the Dean so frequently spoke, and often 
perhaps in too vehement defence of a cause 
or a person he thought to be unjustly op- 
pressed, often perhaps incurring the silent 
censure of many a remote country parsonage 
by the expression of his opinions, but ever 
with kindly feelings towards those from whom 
he differed the most, and who, when they 
knew him well, seldom failed to love and 
appreciate him. Through life the exemplifi- 
cation of Christian catholicity in his own 
person, Stanley could hardly help taking part 
with those who were attacked, whenever he 
saw that religious animosity was excited. 
" Chanty suffereth long and is kind " was 
never absent from his thoughts, and led him 
to be ever the champion of those whom he 
imagined to be persecuted, as much of the 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 85 

writers in " Essays and Reviews," of Bishop 
Colenso, Pere Hyacinthe, and even of Mr, 
Voysey, as of the Tractarians in early life. 
Yet to many it seemed a strange inconsistency 
that, while he did not scruple publicly to sub- 
scribe for the defence of Mr. Voysey, he should 
refuse the use of the Abbey to the Archbishop 
of Canterbury for the special service before the 
Pan-Anglican Synod. Thus it naturally came 
about, as Dean Church says, that "his in- 
fluence was a very mixed one, depressing as 
well as elevating, raising the standard of reli- 
gious ideas and work, but also confusing and 
thwarting very much in detail." His inmost 
heart meanwhile was bent upon the ennobling 
and purifying of his fellow-men. "If together 
we cannot do something for London, may the 
malison of St. Peter and St. Paul be upon 
us," he wrote to the Dean of St. Paul's on 
his appointment in 1871. But it was not as 
a Churchman, but as a literary man of extra- 
ordinarily picturesque charm and personality 
that he never failed to have a fascinating 
and elevating influence upon all who came in 
contact with him. 

Next to the immediate concerns of his 
Abbey, what occupied Stanley was the welfare 
of the poor around him, whom he tried without 



86 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

ceasing to raise, cheer, and enliven, sending 
many a mental sunbeam into a dismal home 
by the thought of his annual flower-show and 
its prizes, and taking great personal interest 
in the neighbouring hospital and its work. 
In all his efforts for the people of West- 
minster, the Dean was ably seconded by 
Lady Augusta. His desire to benefit the 
working classes was also shared by his elder 
sister, Mary, who, in a direction quite inde- 
pendent of his own, was unceasingly employed 
in trying to find employment for the poor, to 
teach them provident habits, and to improve 
their homes. At one time she undertook the 
anxiety of a large contract to supply the army 
with shirts, in order to give employment to a 
great number of poor women. Latterly her 
wonderful powers of organisation always en- 
abled her to deal with vast numbers, but it 
had taken long years of personal work amongst 
the people to acquire her experience, as well 
as the respect and confidence which contri- 
buted so much to the success of her schemes 
for their good. Of all these, the most im- 
portant was the Penny Bank, opened once a 
week in a little court at the back of a house 
in York Street, Westminster, and managed 
personally by Miss Stanley for more than 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 87 

twenty- five years, though it had as many as 
1000 depositors at a time. The undertaking 
was indescribably laborious, especially during 
the annual audit week in December, when 
every single account had to be compared with 
that in the ledger. In itself this ledger was 
a study — the dates for the whole half year 
on one page (to save turning over), the 
blotting-paper stitched in between each leaf 
(to save blotting), for in dealing with such 
large numbers every instant of time saved 
was of importance. No less remarkable was 
the simple but ingenious device by which the 
visits of her numerous clients were distributed 
equally over the three hours that she sat at 
the receipt of custom, so that each should be 
speedily served, and that there should be no 
undue crowding at one time. Mary Stanley 
would invite four or five ladies, before the 
people arrived, to come and tie up flowers 
for them in bunches. Many hundreds of nose- 
gays were thus prepared, and it is remembered 
how anxious she was that they should be 
prettily arranged, for "I want to give my 
people what is beautiful, and what is worth 
doing at all is worth doing well^ Her in- 
variable patience, quickness, and good-humour 
with the people rendered what would have 



88 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

been impossible to many comparatively easy 
to Mary Stanley ; but a brave heart was also 
required, and a friend who thought of starting 
a similar bank in another part of London, and 
came to her with all its dangers and difficulties, 
recalls the energy with which she closed the 
discussion : " My dear, if you stand counting 
the difficulties when there is a good work 
before you, you will never do anything that 
is worth doing all your life ! Only begin, 
begin, begin, and the difficulties will all dis- 
appear." Under other superintendence and 
in another house the Penny Bank founded by 
Mary Stanley still flourishes in Westminster, a 
memorial of her energy, kindliness, and wisdom. 
As Dean of Westminster Stanley still en- 
joyed in summer many foreign tours, when the 
pleasure of showing places to Lady Augusta 
sometimes counterbalanced his hatred of re- 
visiting what he had seen before. In these 
tours he visited Vallombrosa, Canosa, Gergo- 
via, Sedan, and many other historic sites ; he 
made the acquaintance of Nardi, Dupanloup, 
D'Aubign^ ; he attended the Old Catholic Con- 
gress at Munich and Cologne ; he had a quaint 
interview with Pius IX., and he became the 
intimate friend of Pere Hyacinthe. " There 
is nothing in the world," he wrote, "that in- 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 89 

terests me so much as an ecclesiastical curi- 
osity." He had still the most thorough 
enjoyment in travelling — " It tires one out in 
body, but is a most unspeakable refreshment 
in mind." Meantime historic events of his 
own time thrilled him with interest. He 
bitterly regretted the " fall of the Papacy, as 
involving the destruction of a quaint historical 
anomaly." "My great wish in this life," he 
said, "is to be Pope. Then I would call a 
General Council, and I should say, ' Am I 
infallible ? ' — ' Yes.' — ' Is whatever I say certain 
to be true .f^ '—' Yes.' — 'Then the first use I 
make of my infallibility is to declare I am 
not infallible, that no Pope ever was infallible, 
that the Church has fallen into many grievous 
errors, and stands in great need of refor- 
mation." 

Dean Stanley's marriage with the devoted 
attendant of the Duchess of Kent, whom the 
Queen honoured with unvaried kindness and 
friendship, had brought him into constant 
communication with the Court, to which the 
outward tie had been drawn closer by his 
appointment of Deputy Clerk of the Closet, 
Chaplain to the Queen, and Chaplain to the 
Prince of Wales. He was summoned every 
year to take part in the services which com- 



90 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

memorate at Frogmore the death of the 
beloved Prince Consort. It was after repre- 
senting her royal mistress at the marriage of 




CHANTRY OF HENRY V,, WESTMINSTER. 

the Duke of Edinburgh in the bitter Russian 
cold of January 1874, that Lady Augusta 
Stanley received the chill from which she 
never recovered. Amid the heartrending 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 9 1 

sorrow of watching her gradual failure of 
every power, her being obliged to lay aside 
one duty or pleasure after another, the news 
that he had been elected Lord Rector of St. 
Andrews brought a temporary sunbeam to 
Arthur Stanley. The duties of the appoint- 
ment were just what, at a happier time, he 
would most have enjoyed, and he did enjoy 
giving his inaugural lecture, and describing 
that " secluded sanctuary of ancient wisdom, 
with the foam-flakes of the Northern ocean 
driving through its streets, with the skeleton 
of its antique magnificence lifting up its gaunt 
arms into the sky." 

But Lady Augusta continued to fail daily. 
For nearly a year longer her visible presence 
was still with him, a year of hopes and fears, 
a year of sad forebodings and farewells, and 
on Ash Wednesday, 1876, one of the happiest 
of earthly unions was severed by her death 
at Westminster. On her deathbed she said, 
" Think of me as near, only in another room 
— in my Father's house are many mansions." 
But 

"The sunshine of the heart was dead, 
The glory of the home was fled, 
The smile that made the dark world bright, 
The love that made all duty light." 

For five years Arthur Stanley was left to 



92 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

fulfil his appointed task alone. After a time he 
was full of animation still, his mental activity 
was as great as ever, and he was always full of 
work. He found much interest in a short tour 
in the United States, where, he said, he was 
chiefly struck by his own ignorance ; and after 
that by the extraordinary difference between 
the States — like separate kingdoms. The 
kindly welcome and friendship shown him in 
America seemed, at the time, almost to make 
him happy. Sometimes also in England, when 
he was in the society of those whose thoughts 
met his, some of his old animation and cheer- 
fulness returned ; and he ever gratefully recog- 
nised and reciprocated the loving attention with 
which his home was cared for by his wife's 
sister, and her cousin who had been more than 
a sister. But his friends saw him change more 
and more every year — his hair became grey, 
his figure became bent, his voice became feeble ; 
and, after the death of his dear sister Mary, in 
the autumn of 1879, had loosened another of 
his closest ties to earth, he seemed to be only 
waiting for a summons which could not be very 
far off. In speaking of what he would do in 
the future, he now always said, " If I am still 
here," and he looked at places he had loved as 
if for the last time. 




...S^^?'iin.^.c<^ ^y^£y?z/?'^^'u^ny JyQ^i 



ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY 93 

On Good Friday, 1881, he preached upon 
the words, " Father, into Thy hands I com- 
mend my spirit." He said he had preached 
the same sermon in the same pulpit at that 
season ten years before, and he would like to 
preach it once again. The way in which he 
said "once again" sent a thrill of sadness 
through all who heard it. 

On Saturday, July 9, during one of his 
sermons on the Beatitudes, he'was taken ill in 
the Abbey, and though there were few who 
believed him in danger till within some hours of 
the end, all through the week which followed 
he was being led gently and painlessly to the 
entrance of the dark valley, and on July 18, 
just before the Abbey clock struck the hour of 
midnight, surrounded by almost all those he 
most loved on earth, his spirit passed away. 
His sister, who sat constantly by his side 
through the last hours, wrote afterwards : — 

"There he lay, immovable and speechless, only just 
breathing heavily. 

" As we gathered round his bed, the deep silence was 
only broken by a few prayers offered up at intervals 
by Canon Farrar and my husband. Then, for the last 
half-hour, as the breathing became fainter, the silence 
grew more intense. No one stirred or spoke, only the 
nurse went on fanning his dear face as the shadows 



94 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

of death grew darker. At length even the fan ceased, 
and there was stilhiess absohitely uninterrupted. 

"A long pause — another faint breath — a pause yet 
longer — again a breath fainter than the last. Another 
long, long pause, and when for some moments we had 
waited for another breath which never came, we knew 
that he had left us, and we knelt down and offered up 
our thanks for the peaceful departure of our dear, dear 
brother. And so we came away, as the cathedral 
chimes struck a quarter to twelve, and left that room, 
never to meet there, again for ever." 

He was buried with immense concourse of 
people — one might almost say with the great 
pomp which he loved — and rests by Lady 
Augusta's side in Henry VI I. 's chapel at West- 
minster ; but his funeral was far less touching 
and impressive than hers, for he was not there 
to be felt for and sorrowed with. 

In speaking of his dear Westminster, the 
sense of the Dean's last words was, " I have 
laboured amidst many frailties and with much 
weakness to make this institution more and 
more the great centre of religious and national 
life in a truly liberal spirit." 

This was the characteristic of his existence ; 
thus — since he has passed beyond all bounds of 
doubt or controversy — in most loving reverence 
should he ever be remembered. 



HENRY ALFORD 

I HAVE been asked to write some memorial of 
my dear friend Dean Alford. The remem- 
brance of his strong personality is ever present 
with me. I can hear his genial voice still, and 
feel myself carried away by his enthusiasm for all 
things good and beautiful ; and yet, in gathering 
up the fragments that remain, there is not much 
to be told. He was one of those who always 
poured out his best thoughts in books, not in his 
letters, which are neither graphic nor charac- 
teristic. Of his published works there is a 
perfect library. Outside them, he had only his 
personal existence, infinitely loving and lov- 
able ; replete with tenderest care for others and 
utter indifference about himself; full of little 
peculiarities, which, to those who loved him, 
had their own charm as being his. What chiefly 
strikes one on looking back is, that no one had 
a more vigorous sense of enjoyment than Dean 
Alford, or more power of diffusing it ; whether 
in the old Deanery, under the shadow of his 



g6 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

own glorious cathedral, or in thy my uplands 
of the Roman Campagna, or amid the grand 
purple precipices of the Maritime Alps, his 
companions were equally carried away by it. 

Henry Alford was born in London on 
October 7, 1810, being the son of the Rev. 
Henry Alford and his wife, Sarah Eliza Paget 
(daughter of a Tamworth banker), who died 
four months after the birth of her only child. 
His earliest amusement was to write books, 
and he became the author of "The Travels of 
St. Paul, from his Conversion to his Death " — 
illustrated — at six years old. 

As curate of Steeple Ashton in Wiltshire, 
and afterwards of Wraxall near Bristol, his 
father was his constant companion and friend. 
Henry Alford portrays their intimate relation- 
ship in the "School of the Heart" — 

" Evening and Morning — those two ancient names 
So link'd with childish wonder, when with arms 
Fast wound about the neck of one beloved, 
Oft questioning, we heard Creation's tale, — 
Evening and Morning brought to me strange joy." 

In 181 7 the father went abroad with Lord 
Calthorpe, and Henry, at seven years old, was 
sent to school at Charmouth. After returning 
to England in 18 18, his father took the curacy 
of Drayton, which was only a mile from Heale 



HENRY ALFORD 97 

House in Somerset, where his elder brother, 
Samuel, lived with his numerous children, who 
were like brothers and sisters to the little Henry. 

In 1824 Henry Alford was sent to Ilminster 
School — a gentle, delicate boy, with wondrous 
powers of memory, of unusually serious thoughts, 
which found minute expression in the self- 
examination of his journal, or in letters of 
meditative piety and advice addressed to his 
cousins at Heale. His school companions never 
lost the impression that he was a genius, with a 
natural talent for everything. "His mind was 
always poetical and imaginative, loving scenery, 
flowers, and whatever constituted beauty in 
nature and art. He was humorous and witty, 
with a quick sense of whatever was ludicrous 
and amusing, and was ready to get pleasure 
out of the least thing." Above all, his school 
companions always retained the impression 
of the extraordinary purity of his boyish life. 
One of them well remembers his saying in 
early years, when speaking of the titles given to 
our Saviour, that he liked to call him "Jesus, 
my Master."^ 

In the summer of 1827, Henry Alford left 
Ilminster to go to a tutor at Acton in Suffolk. 
This tutor was the Rev. John Bickersteth, under 

' Letter from America. Memoir, p. 492. 

G 



98 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

whose influence his religious tendencies deve- 
loped. On November 18, 1827, he wrote in a 
Bible, " I do this day, as in the presence of God 
and my own soul, renew my covenant with God, 
and solemnly determine henceforth to become 
His, and to do His work as far as in me lies." 
As the time of going to Cambridge approached, 
he trembled before the temptations which were 
sure there to assail him. To one of his cousins 
he wrote : — 

" You cannot think how I dread Cambridge ; I quite 
shrink from the thought of going there, and fear I shall 
fall. I have no stamina as yet of religious principle, 
at least so I fear, and all as yet is talk and pride. 
People want me to get into the first class at Trinity. 
I hope I shall be enabled to do my best as in the sight 
of God, and not to regard the praise or dispraise of 
men, and then, if I fail of my object of attainment of 
earthly honours, I can be calm and contented under 
the will of my Heavenly Father." 

Settled at Trinity, he was soon deep in lec- 
tures and enjoying all his classical studies, but 
finding nothing "satisfying" except the Bible. 

" I read iEschylus and Homer," he says, " and then 
turn to Isaiah and Joel; and the heathen poetry, 
sublime as it is in itself, is mere prose in comparison. 
I read Algebra and Euclid, and then turn to the 
Epistle to the Romans, and all the reasoning of ancients 



HENRY ALFORD 99 

and moderns appears weak and inconclusive; every 
store of spiritual and intellectual knowledge is hid in 
that divine book." 

His letters lack the simplicity of youth, and 
are full of moral reflections. After apologising 
for this in a letter to his cousin, Fanny Alford 
(June 1 6, 1829), he says : — 

" I cannot help it. It seems natural to my mind to 
think on things which are going on around me, as if 
they carried an instruction with them, and were meant 
in some measure to bear a secondary meaning, and teach 
a lesson of spirituality and heavenly-mindedness." 

To Walter Alford he wrote from Cambridge 
in the following October : — 

" It is not so much the gross outward temptations of 
this or any other place that I have to fear ; my inmost 
feelings recoil and turn with disgust from the brutality 
and sensuality of many men whom I see around ; 
but it is the insidious undermining, if I may say so, 
which study and literary habits carry on against the 
work of God in the soul ; it is the springing up of those 
seeds of pride which an enemy hath sown in my heart, 
and which are working slowly, but I fear surely, towards 
maturity — the pride of intellectual, philosophical, or 
classical acquirements — it is these I have to dread. Oh, 
the chilling influence of literary pursuits and literary 
society ! " 



lOO BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

He wrote also of the temptations which he 
felt from "being constantly brought into con- 
tact with men who live without God in the 
world, and in being surrounded with professors 
of religion, many of them neither moral nor 
religious." 

In leisure moments, Henry Alford often occu- 
pied himself in translating favourite passages 
in the classics for his cousins, and urging them 
to compare them with still nobler passages in 
the Scriptures. " You cannot think how beauti- 
ful it is," he wrote, "to select and admire the 
sublimest and finest parts of the classical philo- 
sophers and poets, and then to find parallel 
passages in Scripture, as may almost always be 
done, and comparing them ; not to destroy the 
beauty of the former, but to exalt and bring 
into light the divine sublimity of the latter." 

His chief college friendships seem to have 
been with Arthur Hallam, Tennant, and Alfred 
Tennyson. Writing of Alford's college life, 
Dean Merivale says : — 

" I really think he was morally the bravest man I 
ever knew. His perfect purity of mind and singleness 
of purpose, seemed to give him a confidence and un- 
obtrusive self-respect which never failed him. Then, 
as throughout his career, he was singularly remarkable 
for the versatility of his talents. If one of the friends 



HENRY ALFORD lOI 

among whom he was then held in estimation was more 
eminently gifted in verse, another more deeply plunged 
into the dark profound of juvenile metaphysics, a third 
promising to take higher rank in classics, a fourth in 
mathematics, Alford could at least hold his own with 
all of them, could appreciate all, could sympathise with 
all, and could gain in return the sympathy of all." 

In 1 83 1 Henry Alford's habits of self-exa- 
mination increased to w^hat many would feel 
to be a very unwholesome extent. In the 
words of Bishop Beveridge he wrote, " My 
very repentance wants repenting of ; my holiest 
acts want purifying afresh in the blood of 
Christ." 

" Even the Love of Him 
Now mingled in my bosom with all sounds 
And sights that I rejoiced in — and in hours 
Of self-arraigning thought, when the dull world, 
With all its saws of heartlessness and pride, 
Came close upon me, I approved my joys 
And simple fondnesses, on trust that He 
Who taught the lesson of unwavering faith 
From the meek lilies of green Palestine, 
Would fit the earthly things that most I loved 
To the high teaching of my patient soul. 
And the sweet hope that sprung within me now 
Seemed all-capacious, and from every source 
Apt to draw comfort." ' 

Meantime he worked tremendously hard. 
"In those days he almost seemed to do with- 

' From "The School of the Heart." 



I02 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

out sleep," wrote one of his intimate friends 
and companions. In January 1832 he was an- 
nounced thirty-fourth wrangler, eighth in the 
first class of the classical tripos. In the pre- 
ceding year his father had married again, a 
Miss Susan Barber, whom he cordially wel- 
comed as stepmother ; and immediately after 
taking his degree he became himself engaged 
to his cousin, Fanny Alford of Heale. 

" In their summer walks amid the woods and terraces 
of Burton," writes Mrs. Alford, "and on the heights 
above Sedgmoor, the betrothed cousins framed for 
their future life no more ambitious scheme than the 
care of some country parish. They learned to open 
their hearts unreservedly to one another ; they read, 
learned, and reasoned on Scripture together, and prayed 
together; they formed, and very nearly accomplished, 
in those six weeks, the design of reading together 
the first volume of Dobson's edition of Hooker's 
Works, his first five books of ' Ecclesiastical Polity,' 
and his sermon on 'The Certainty and Perpetuity of 
Faith in the Elect.' Archdeacon Evans's charming 
book, ' The Rectory of Valehead,' was twice read 
through, first by Henry alone, then by him to his 
future wife and her sisters. The good Archdeacon had 
been his tutor at Cambridge, and exercised great in- 
fluence over his mind at that time. Henry determined 
to enable his future wife to read the New Testament 
in Greek, and for this purpose began a Greek Gram- 
mar in the form of a series of letters to her, which 



HENRY ALFORD IO3 

grew to the extent of sixty folio pages. For the 
amusement of his cousins generally he wrote some 
small pieces entitled 'Guesses at Truth/ &c., and gave 
them as his contribution to the * Family Mirror,' a 
periodical which never attained the dignity of appear- 
ing in print, but was circulated in manuscript among 
various young members of the Alford family. In the 
enthusiasm of those young days he planned the forma- 
tion of a society amongst ourselves for the regulation 
of social intercourse, with the object of avoiding frivolous 
conversation and giving mutual aid in detecting and 
correcting faults." 

The beauties of Nature, then as always, were 
his greatest deHght : — 

" Beauty and Truth 
Go hand in hand — and 'tis the providence 
Of the great Teacher, that doth clearest show 
The gentler and more lovely to our sight, 
Training our souls by frequent communings 
With her who meets us in our daily path 
With greetings and sweet talk, to pass at length 
Into the presence, by unmarked degrees. 
Of that her sterner sister ; best achieved 
When from a thousand common sights and sounds 
The power of Beauty passes sensibly 
Into the soul, clenching the golden links 
That bind the memories of brightest things."* 

And especially delightful to him was the 
scenery of the hill-ridges above Sedgmoor : — 



From " The School of the Heart." 



I04 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

" I would Stand 
Upon the jutting hills that overlook 
Our level moor, and watch the daylight fade 
Along the prospect ; now behind the leaves 
The golden twinkles of the western sun 
Deepened to richest crimson ; now from out 
The solemn beech-grove, through the natural aisles 
Of pillared trunks, the glory in the West 
Showed like the brightly burning Shechinah, 
Seen in old times above the Mercy-seat 
Between the folded wings of Cherubim." 

Returning to Cambridge in October 1832, 
Henry Alford took pupils, and in the following 
spring published his " Poems and Poetical Frag- 
ments." In October 1833 he was ordained at 
Rochester, and entered upon the curacy of 
Ampton, which his father had vacated to take 
the rectory of Winkfield. Many misgivings 
beset him at first as to how he could fulfil his 
clerical duties. " My inexperience may be in a 
few years remedied," he wrote to his betrothed 
wife soon after, " but I feel as if I had no ground 
to go upon. My fancied fitness for the minis- 
try and my cherished schemes of usefulness 
have all slipped away, and I am left a mere boy 
in understanding." And again, after he had 
been seven weeks at Ampton, " Oh, how the 
profession of God's ministry and the light of 
His countenance bring to notice all my many 
shortcomings, and set before me my secret 



HENRY ALFORD IO5 

sins." On November 6, 1834, his journal 
records : — 

" I went up to town and received the Holy Orders 
of a Priest ; may I be a temple of chastity and holi- 
ness, fit and clean to receive so great a guest; and, on 
so great a commission as I have now received, O my 
beloved Redeemer, my dear Brother and Master, hear 
my prayer." 

In March 1835 the small, obscure, and till 
then neglected vicarage of Wymeswold, in 
Leicestershire, fell vacant, with its population of 
1 200 and an income of £ 1 20, and v^^as accepted 
by him with a view to his immediate marriage 
with his cousin Fanny, "that dear person, who 
had been through life the chief object of his 
love on earth." At Wymeswold he built and 
superintended the schools, he almost rebuilt the 
church, and conducted three services every Sun- 
day. He also began to preach the unwritten, 
though much meditated, sermons for which he 
afterwards became celebrated. The narrow 
income of his living necessitated taking pupils, 
but the extra labour thus involved rendered 
only more delightful his holiday rambles with 
his wife, especially their first foreign tour in 
1837, described in his Sonnets, which at this 
time go far to form a record of his life. Of the 



I06 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

quiet happiness of his home life he tells us in 
" Every Day's Employ : " — 

" I have found Peace in the bright earth 
And in the sunny sky : 
By the low voice of summer seas, 
And where streams murmur by. 

I find it in the quiet tone 

Of voices that I love : 
By the flickering of a twilight fire, 

And in a leafless grove. 

I find it in the silent flow 

Of solitary thought : 
In calm half-meditated dreams, 

And reasonings self-taught. 

But seldom have I found such peace 

As in the soul's deep joy 
Of passing onward free from harm 

Through every day's employ. 

If gems we seek, we only tire, 

And lift our hopes too high ; 
The constant flowers that line our way 

Alone can satisfy." 

During the residence of the Alfords at 
Wymeswold their four children were born, 
and there, in April 1844, their youngest boy, 
Clement, died. " Is not the triumph of having 
one dear child landed in glory enough to 
comfort the heart even of bereaved parents ? " 
the Vicar wrote to his brother-in-law, Walter 
Alford. 



HENRY ALFORD 10/ 

In 1845 the design of writing a commentary 
on the Greek Testament had begun to assume 
a definite form in Henry Alford's mind. He 
fancied at first that it could be accomplished 
in a twelvemonth of hard labour; but 1847 
found him only advanced sufficiently to have 
an increasing sense of the importance and 
magnitude of the work he had undertaken ; 
and after a visit to Bonn in that summer for 
the sake of German study, he resigned his 
pupils — having trained as many as sixty, of 
whom many have since filled conspicuous posi- 
tions — and gave up to his commentary all the 
time which was not claimed by his parish. 
Yet in the fullest sense he fulfilled his parochial 
duties. Mrs. Alford writes : — 

" It was his habit to enter thoroughly into the indi- 
vidual cases of his pastoral work. Some portion of it 
was necessarily intrusted to his curate, and he took 
great pains to secure colleagues of congenial spirit with 
himself. Each soul was treated distinctly as a part of 
the charge committed to him. Though naturally dis- 
posed to be reserved and shy, Henry did not seclude 
himself from personal intercourse with any of his 
parishioners if it might be profitable for them. Privately 
as well as publicly his gentle and winning sympathy 
was ready to be offered to each one who sought it, 
whether in joy or sorrow. Nor did he omit to take 
any suitable opportunity that presented itself to him 



I08 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

either of correcting or of encouraging those whom he 
desired to see walking in the way of godliness." 

His standard of what he required in a curate 
is expressed in the following passage from a 
letter in which he asks help in seeking one : — 

" I want him to teach and preach Jesus Christ, and 
not the Church ; and to be fully prepared to recognise 
the pious Dissenter as a brother in Christ and as 
much a member of the Church as ourselves. Above 
all, he should be a man of peace, who will quietly do 
his own work and not breed strife." 

In November 1850 the first volume of the 
Greek Testament was published. Alford had 
thrown his whole soul into it. " His bravery," 
says Dean Merivale, "was manifested in the 
unfailing serenity and confidence with which he 
encountered his work, and the cheerful, un- 
doubting satisfaction with which he looked both 
forward and backward. His mind seemed at 
perfect peace, as one well assured that his work 
was appointed him, and that he was doing it." 

When working at Babbicombe at the second 
volume of his Greek Testament during his 
summer holiday in 1850, Henry Alford lost 
his remaining son, Ambrose. His memory was 
always a most precious possession to his parents. 
He had lived, to a rare degree, in the purest 



HENRY ALFORD IO9 

light of truth, and he died before the clear 
stream of his boyish life had mingled with the 
turbid waters of the world. The boy's danger 
was only apparent an hour before his death. 
There were few parting words, but those very 
sweet ones. His father records them — 

" Refresh me with the bright blue violet, 
And put the pale faint-scented primrose near. 
For I am breathing yet : 
Shed not one silly tear. 
But when my eyes are set, 
Scatter the fresh flowers thick upon my bier. 
And let my early grave with morning dew be wet. 

I have passed swiftly o'er the pleasant earth, 
My life hath been the shadow of a dream ; 

The joyousness of birth 
Did ever with me seem : 

My spirit had no death, 
But dwelt for ever in a full swift stream, 
Lapt in a golden trance of never-failing mirth. 

Touch me once more, my father, ere my hand 
Have not an answer for thee ; — kiss my cheek 

Ere the blood fix and stand 
When flits the hectic streak ; 

Give me thy last command. 
Before I lie all undisturbed and meek, 
Wrapt in the snowy folds of funeral swathing-band." 

In a paper written nearly twenty years after- 
wards, Henry Alford describes no imaginary 
scene, but his boy's death-bed on the last day 
of August. 



I 10 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

" You remember when we last entered such a cham- 
ber; and on that Httle press-bed in the corner by the 
window lay all we cared for ; in that room we scarce 
dared breathe ; even grief was lulled, and all was 
solemnised without a feeling beyond. We stood all 
four round his dying bed, with the sunset from the 
western sea filling the room with rosy light ; and we 
watched till the dear features lost meaning and their 
lines stiffened ; and then I pressed down the eyelids, 
and we left Mama with him, and we three went out 
bewildered, and sat down on the beach, and I said, 
' Where is he now ? ' The sun had gone down, and had 
left in the lower sky a few lines of dull red, and under 
them the sea looked a pale ghostly blue, and the sky 
above was clear, yet without a star. And there was 
not a sound, not a breath, not a ripple. All seemed 
to speak of a presence gone. He had been about 
those rocks, and on that beach, and cleaving those 
waters — and now ? " 

Long after, writing from Devonshire to his 
daughter Mary, Henry Alford says : — 

^^ July 17, 1S66. — The journey was long enough. 
After passing Exeter came the well-known line of red 
coast and the accustomed pang and tears in the eye as 
a certain bay of sorrow came in sight. Sixteen years 
ago ! O darling ! what would he have been now ? Yes, 
but what is he noiu ? " 

It was in the old paternal house of Heale, 
which had witnessed their betrothal and mar- 



HENRY ALFORD 11 I 

riage, that the bereaved parents sought a refuge 
in their grief. Its desolation and decay were 
congenial to them. 

" We are at our childhood's home, a large old house 
in one of the beautiful sites in the county of Somerset. 
Everything here is hushed and solemn. . The house is 
one of the last century, and part of no one knows how 
many centuries before. The timber is vast and un- 
trimmed, the boughs waving before and scraping the 
windows. The front looks up a decayed avenue of 
chestnuts yearly despoiled of some of their companions, 
at the end of which is a tall column erected by the 
great Lord Chatham to the memory of Sir William 
Pynsent, who bequeathed him the estate of Burton 
Pynsent, now all gone to ruin, the house fallen down, 
the garden a wilderness. Add to all this that my 
wife's father, the head of our family, is paralysed and 
helpless, waiting his dismissal. In this place we have 
all grown up and played our childish games, and now 
it is the centre and resort of the widely scattered 
members of a family numbering twelve married couples 
and thirty grandchildren, besides brothers and sisters 
of the last generation — in all numbering sixty-two 
persons. Is it not a place strangely in harmony with 
our present feelings ? * This is not your rest ' is 
written on every mouldering stone of the old house ; 
and to add to all, dear Ambrose was here full of life 
and spirits only a month ago." 

Afterwards, writing to Lady Sitwell, Henry 
Alford said : — 



I I 2 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

"I have found that the fact of our dear children having 
wrestled with and overcome death seems more than 
ever to remove all terror from the prospect of our own 
struggle with him. To think that those cherished ones, 
from whom we have carefully fenced off every rough 
blast, whom we led by the hand in every thorny path, 
have gone by themselves through the dark valley ; that 
those weapons of which we had only begun to teach 
them the use have been successfully wielded by their 
little hands, and that their victory is gained before 
it had come to our own turn to prove them. Such 
thoughts seem to show us the meaning of the wonderful 
expression, ' More than conquerors.' If they could 
struggle and overcome, much more we, with so much 
more knowledge and experience. No doubt our fight 
will be harder, for the world has wrapped itself more 
closely round our hearts. But let not our faith fail in 
Him who has conquered death, and I do not doubt that 
He who now leads our dear children in the green pas- 
tures of eternal joy will in His own time make perfect 
His strength in our weakness, and show us that all 
deep afflictions have been in reality our best and 
greatest blessings." 

In 185 1-52 Henry Alford w^as frequently em- 
ployed as a lecturer, and his lectures, many of 
which w^ere repeatedly delivered, became very 
popular. One of them, " The Queen's English," 
was afterwards published as a little volume. 
In the autumn of 1852 he watched over the 
death-bed of his father, his best and earliest 



HENRY ALFORD I I 3 

friend, the friend whom he always felt to have 
understood him best. In the following spring 
came the offer of Quebec Chapel in London, 
and he determined to leave Wymeswold. To 
his wife, on receiving the offer, he wrote : — 

" I feel deeply that my work at Wymeswold is done ; it 
has been the work of a pioneer. I have been the means 
of preparing and working for what is to come ; but, like 
all others who do this, I am not the man to continue 
it. Untoward circumstances have thrown me into 
false positions ; and now that my Greek Testament 
withdraws me from the parish, I have, and must have 
to the people in general, the aspect of an idle shepherd, 
letting others do his work ; and after eighteen years, 
as the generation grows up which knows not Joseph, 
this must infallibly get worse and worse. . . . First 
trust me, which I mention only first because it is in 
this matter the necessary inlet to the other, and next 
trust God. If we take up this plan, determined to 
serve Him, not neglecting common prudence, but at 
the same time, in a humble self-sacrificing spirit. He 
will bring us safe through, never doubt it ; so let me at 
least have your sympathy. Eve wept over her flowers ; 
Eve's daughter can do no less. Eve's son will have 
hard work to get up a dry parting ; but sure I am of one 
thing — heaven's flowers will bloom the sweeter for it." 

A letter to his daughter Mary about this 
time, on their future life, contains the following 
touching words : — 

H 



I I 4 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

" In the life which is now opening may we be kept 
as a Christian family, without any difference or cold- 
ness to each other, and each be the means of good to 
the rest, as long as we are spared together here ! I 
feel and know that I am often hasty and wayward 
to dear Alice and you, and that my manner and 
words discourage and grieve you. This is very sinful 
in me ; and when you see it, you see that your father 
on earth is not like your Father in heaven, on whose 
brow there is never a frown, who never is wayward 
or hasty. Forgive it, and do not let it discourage you, 
dearest children. Pray for me, and I will strive to be 
gentle and loving at all times, and to reprove, not with 
temper, but with equity and mildness." 

And again : — 

" Half our little band is already with the Lord ; let 
us ever so live as those hoping to join them where they 
are. They are one with Christ in glory ; let us be one 
with Him and them in faith and hope and purity, living 
by one blessed spirit. Many and sweet are our com- 
forts here, deep and blessed our love for each other, 
and what will our joy and love be when our circle 
is again completed, father and mother, brothers and 
sisters, in a glorious eternity ! " 

In September 1853 ^^^^ Alfords removed 
to a house in Upper Hamilton Terrace, St. 
John's Wood, in a situation whose quietness 
was favourable to literary work, while the 



HENRY ALFORD I 1 5 

distance from Quebec Chapel was not too great 
for a walk. During the four years of his resi- 
dence here, Henry Alford's habit was to rise 
at six, light his own fire in his study, and 
work there till one o'clock. One hour before 
breakfast was given to composing his sermons, 
and the rest of the morning to the Greek Tes- 
tament. In the afternoon he visited amongst 
the poor inhabitants of his district, though the 
principal care of them devolved upon his curate. 
Evenings passed at home were spent in reading 
aloud to his family, and few read so well or 
effectively. His morning sermons were care- 
fully written, and six volumes of these Quebec 
Sermons were published ; but his afternoon 
sermons were extempore. Reading any of the 
sermons, however, is not what hearing them 
was. He had the manner and the voice which 
gave at once a solemnity and an interest to all 
he said ; his hearers knew that he felt all he was 
saying to the uttermost, and his rich stores of 
knowledge of theology and literature of every 
kind made him especially acceptable to the 
cultivated classes who formed the main portion 
of his congregation. 

Yet, people went to Henry Alford's church 
not for an intellectual feast, but to gain help in 
living the Christian life. He put forth the truths 



I I 6 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

on which that life depends. He pictured the 
life itself, and fearlessly exposed the faults and 
temptations by which a London existence, espe- 
cially in fashionable London, is surrounded. 

The afternoon sermons were rather a kind of 
exegetical lecture, embracing the whole con- 
text of a passage, and going fully into its con- 
nection and argument. Critical questions were 
often handled, though only as far as the subject 
in hand fairly demanded. This kind of preach- 
ing was then a novelty, though it has since 
become less uncommon, and the Sunday after- 
noon congregation at Quebec Chapel was con- 
sequently of a peculiarly high order — members 
of Parliament, eminent lawyers, and other 
varied representatives of the intellectual classes, 
to whom the study of a definite portion of the 
New Testament which was presented to them 
had an especial interest, as inviting them to 
verify what was said by the conscientious 
study of the chapter for themselves. It was 
known also that Alford was a careful scholar 
and a diligent student. Men went to him as 
to one who could render a reason, and who 
was not likely to rely on a mistranslation 
in the Authorised Version, either because 
he had not looked at his Greek Testament 
before he went into the pulpit, or because 



HENRY ALFORD I I J 

he would not have detected the error if he 
had/ 

Of these lectures the Rev. E. T. Vaughan 
writes : — 

"The work which Alford did in making these 
critical and exegetical helps, which had hitherto been 
the property in England only of a few readers of 
German, to become the common heritage of all educated 
Englishmen, was a work which no other man of his 
own generation could have achieved equally well, or 
was likely to have attempted. His industry was won- 
derful, his power of getting through work such as I 
have never known equalled. No man could sum up 
more clearly and concisely the conflicting opinions of 
others ; none could, on the whole, exercise a fairer or 
more reasonable judgment between them. No man 
could be more honestly anxious to arrive at truth ; he 
shirked no difficulty which he felt ; he kept back 
nothing which he believed. On all critical and exe- 
getical questions he was always open to conviction, and 
never ashamed to confess a change of opinion." 

After having been some months at Quebec 
Chapel, Henry Alford wrote to his friend Mr. 
Vaughan : — 

"The chapel is full, and the people seem attached 
and kind, and liberal in contributing to every good 
work. My morning congregation is, of course, the 

' Memoir. Letter of B. Shaw, Esq. 



I 1 8 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

congregation, and for them I write my sermons, 
having begun with the year. But the afternoon con- 
gregation is the one I love best, being my own child. 
It has increased from absolutely nothing to within a 
hundred or two of the morning. To them I do not 
preach, but expound the Gospels; in fact, expand my 
Greek Testament notes, a sort of thing in which, as 
you may imagine, I delight much. My district work 
is very interesting, and when our schools are once 
set on foot, will be much more so. But my situation, 
you must know, is no sinecure. I find it difficult to 
get time for my Greek Testament work amongst its 
duties." 

In the spring of 1854 the living of Tydd St. 
Mary's, Lincoln, was offered to Henry Alford 
by the Lord Chancellor Cran worth. He 
comically describes in his journal his visit to 
the Lord Chancellor on the occasion of his 
declining it : — 

" When I asked to see Lord Cranworth, the servant 
said his master was engaged. I then said, * I am not 
come to ask for anything, but to refuse something 
offered.' ' Oh, sir, then I am sure he will see you,' 
was the reply." 

When wearied with the work of the London 
season, the summer tours of the Al fords in the 
Pyrenees, the South of PVance, and Scotland 
were the greatest refreshment. The family 



HENRY ALFORD I I 9 

travelled in the simplest and most primitive 
fashion, Mrs. Alford and her daughters carry- 
ing their necessaries in hand-bags over the 
mountains, and the father of the family looking 
like a pilgrim of old time, and almost confining 
his luggage to a thick walking-stick, which 
unscrewed at different points, and disclosed 
comb, tooth-brush, &c. &c. In 1856 Henry 
Alford became one of the ' Five Clergymen ' 
of the Clerical Club, who met for the purpose 
of revising the Authorised Version of the New 
Testament — of which the first publication — the 
Gospel of St. John — appeared in the spring of 
1857. "In this work he soon won the affec- 
tionate esteem of his companions. Thoroughly 
versed in the subject, he was not in the least 
disposed to dogmatise, or press his own opinion 
unduly ; he was quick in catching and appre- 
ciating the suggestions and arguments of others, 
even when they were at variance with his 
own. His opinion on difficult points of criticism, 
interpretation, and rendering was always re- 
ceived with respect ; but in general he seemed 
to keep himself in the background." ^ 

Alford's character in private at this time 
"was strongly marked," says Mr. Shaw, "by 
three qualities — earnestness, for his religion 

' Memoir. Letter of Rev. W. G. Humphry. 



I 20 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

was no mere theory ; manliness, for it never 
degenerated into sentimentalism ; energy, for 
it abhorred all idleness of mind or body ; his 
grasp of the truth he held was very tenacious, 
he never felt tempted to go from his anchorage." ^ 
One of those who knew him best wrote long 
afterwards concerning his life at this time : — 

" His bravery was manifested in the unfailing sere- 
nity and confidence with which he encountered his 
work, and the cheerful, undoubting satisfaction with 
which he looked both backward and forward. I never 
heard a murmur from him, I never saw him despond, 
I never knew him look anxiously about for the means 
of bettering and advancing himself. His mind seemed 
at perfect peace, as one well assured that his work was 
appointed him, and that he was doing it. I knew 
many of his troubles, but this brave spirit of his, 
anchored in domestic love and religious faith, never 
quailed before any of them." 

In March 1857, whilst he was engaged with 
his family in receiving a drawing-lesson from 
Leitch the artist, a letter came from Lord 
Palmerston offering him the Deanery of Can- 
terbury, an offer which came just when he was 
feeling especially overdone with work, and 
which he hailed gladly, as giving him the time 
sorely needed for his Biblical studies, as well 

^ See Memoir, p. 497. 



HENRY ALFOR"D 



121 



as for attending the meetings of the Ecclesi- 
astical Commission, of which he was an official 
member, and of the Lower House of Convo- 
cation of the Province of Canterbury, of which, 
after the Prolocutor, he was the senior member. 




IN THE DEANERY GARDEN, CANTERBURY. 



Great too was the delight of his art-loving soul 
in his new home, in the charming old house 
and ancient garden, with its time-honoured 
mulberry-trees, nestling under the shadow of 
one of the grandest cathedrals in the world. 



122 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



By the establishment of an afternoon sermon 
in the cathedral Dean Alford was able to carry 
out, in some measure, the work for which he 
had seemed so peculiarly fitted at Quebec 
Chapel. During his sermons the cathedral 
was crowded. Few Churchmen, certainly few 
Churchmen in high places, had ever dared to 
speak before with his fearless liberality. His 
position towards the great Nonconforming 
communities was almost unique. "True to 
the traditions of his cathedral," said Arch- 
bishop Tait, " which offered a sanctuary in 
time of danger to the persecuted Protestants 
of the Continent, he was enabled, from his 
longing after perfect communion with all who 
served his Lord, to unite with many from 
whom others are by conscientious convictions 
separated, and to make it understood that the 
faithful minister and leader of the Church of 
England has a heart as wide as the Church 
of Christ."^ After one of his sermons a poor 
woman was heard to say, " And the common 
people heard him gladly." 

In everything the change from London to 
Canterbury was for the happiest. By the older 
inhabitants of the Precincts the Dean was at 
first looked upon as a revolutionist, but the 

' See the Archbishop's Charge, October 2, 1872. 



HENRY ALFORD 12 3 

gentleness of his character disarmed opposition. 
Work of the most interesting kind could now 
also frequently be varied by tours which were 
full of interest, and which afforded him de- 
lightful opportunities for the sketching which 
was his greatest enjoyment, and in which he 
became a facile though never a distinguished 
artist. Above all, he was able to finish the 
great work of his life, concerning which he 
thus touchingly expressed his hopes : — 

" I have now only to commend to my gracious God 
and Father this feeble attempt to explain the most 
mysterious and glorious portion of His revealed Scrip- 
tures ; and with it this, my labour of now eighteen 
years, herewith completed. I do it with humble thank- 
fulness, but with a sense of utter weakness before the 
power of His Word, and inability to sound the depths 
even of its simplest sentence. May He spare the 
hand which has been put forward to touch the Ark ! 
May He, for Christ's sake, forgive all rashness, all 
perverseness, all uncharitableness, which may be 
found in this book, and sanctify it to the use of His 
Church ; its truths, if any, for teaching ; its manifold 
defects for warning. My prayer is and shall be, that 
in the stir and labour of men over His Word, to which 
these volumes have been one humble contribution, 
others may arise and teach whose labours shall be so 
far better than mine, that this book and its writer may 
ere long be utterly forgotten." 



1 24 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

The close of i860 finds in the Dean's 
journal : — 

" I am now writing with the ten midnight bells 
ringing in 1861. God be praised for all the mercies of 
another happy year, in which I have been enabled to 
finish my Greek Testament, the work of eighteen years. 
May He grant that future years, if I am spared to see 
any, may be spent more to His praise ! If I am to live, 
keep me with Thee ; if I am to die, take me to Thee ! " 

In the following spring the Dean paid his 
first visit to Rome, seeing and enjoying much, 
and obtaining leave from Cardinal Antonelli to 
spend several mornings in the study of the 
Codex Vaticanus, making fac-simile copies of 
all the principal various readings. Yet he 
returned to England full of bitterness at the 
impurity of faith in Rome — in whom " was 
found the blood of all the saints from Ignatius 
to the Waldenses," — and feeling that, with re- 
gard to external Rome, after a month one only 
"begins to see what there is to see." In 1863 
he went back to Rome for the winter, taking 
his wife, a niece, and his youngest daughter 
with him ; his elder daughter had been married 
in the preceding year. On this occasion he was 
even more strongly impressed with the ignor- 
ance and superstition of the lower orders in Italy 
— " their whole creed and practice being pagan." 



HENRY ALFORD I 2 5 

The completion of the second volume of the 
"New Testament for English Readers," and 
his editorship of the Contemporary Revieiv, 
were among the heavier of the Dean's next 
few years at Canterbury. The preparation and 
publication of his " Family Prayers," his " Year 
of Praise," and many articles in Good Words 
were amongst their lighter occupations. His 
hymns, one of which has become the Baptismal 
Canticle of the English Church, were always a 
great source of enjoyment to him. The chief 
events of his home life were the marriage of 
his youngest daughter, the birth of two grand- 
daughters, and his renting on a long lease a small 
country-house, Vine's Gate, half-way up Toy's 
Hill from Brasted, commanding a view down 
a wooded glen over Lord Amherst's and Lord 
Stanhope's parks, and away as far as Sevenoaks. 
He took this place partly with theview of provid- 
ing himself with a home in case of infirmities 
unfitting him for work, in which case he had 
decided to resign his Deanery. Always averse 
to the dignities of his position, he relaxed them 
altogether at Vine's Gate, carrying out especi- 
ally one of his pet peculiarities, which made him 
rebel against wearing stockings at all, or even 
shoes, except out of doors, and then of the merest 
sandal description. 



I 26 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

Those who saw much of the Dean in these 
years of his Canterbury life retain a most vivid 
recollection of his conversational charm, as 
well of his own facility of expression, never at a 
loss for a word, and the best word, to express 
his meaning, as of his wonderful power of draw- 
ing out the best points in others, and the intensity 
of his sympathy. Vividly also do they recall 
the exquisite pathos as well as humour of his 
readings aloud, and his facility in passing from 
one subject to another, throwing himself with 
equal eagerness — his whole being — into the one 
which was arresting his attention at the time. 
This was especially the case on serious ques- 
tions. " As in his writings on great subjects, 
so in his conversation respecting them, there 
was a wholeness of heart, a unity of spirit, re- 
sembling ' the cloud which moveth altogether if 
it moveth at all.'"^ In all his words, as in all 
his acts, his extreme largeness of heart was 
manifest. " So you cannot conceive," he wrote 
to a niece, " how one who denies the Atonement 
in our sense can receive the Holy Communion 
with earnestness ; but I can. Unitarians, I 
think, often beat us in their intensely ' thankful 
remembrance of Christ's death,' regarding it as 

I Memoir. Reminiscences of Rev. Dr. Stoughton. 




_^<5/i/*i^ a^ Sa^j^'n>f-i^ry^ 



HENRY ALFORD 12 7 

the great central act of love, though not in the 
sense we do." His own perfect faith at this 
time is touchingly shown in his lines on " Life's 
Answer : " — 

" I know not if the dark or bright 
Shall be my lot : 
If that wherein my hopes delight 
Be best or not. 

It may be mine to drag for years 

Toil's heavy chain : 
Or day and night my meat be tears 

On bed of pain. 

Dear faces may surround my hearth 

With smiles and glee : 
Or I may dwell alone, and mirth 

Be strange to me. 

My bark is wafted to the strand 

By breath divine : 
And on the helm there rests a hand 
* Other than mine. 

One who has known in storms to sail 

I have on board. 
Above the raging of the gale 

I hear my Lord. 

He holds me when the billows smite, 

I shall not fall : 
If sharp, 'tis short ; if long, 'tis light ; 

He tempers all. ^ 

Safe to the land, safe to the land, 

The end is this : 
And then with Him go hand in hand 

Far into bliss," 



I 2 8 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

It was typical of his character that, when- 
ever any one took a walk with Dean Alford, he 
outwalked them. He could not loiter. His 
rapidity in everything was extraordinary — much 
too extraordinary. This was especially the 
case with his rapidity of thought. He often 
regretted that, write as hard as he might, his 
pen could not keep pace with his ideas. But 
his most ardent admirers probably feel that he 
wrote too much and published too much. Had 
he been able at an earlier age to concentrate 
his attention on a few subjects, he might have 
attained in them to a far higher point of excel- 
lence. But he would always throw all his 
energies for a time into the subject on which 
he was engaged, and then turn to something 
else. Thus it is recorded in his Memoir that 
five of the hymns in his " Year of Praise " were 
composed on five successive days. He pub- 
lished everything good that he wrote. 

The incessant restlessness of action produced 
by the Dean's activity of thought amounted 
to incapability of taking rest. It was a real 
misfortune to him that he had a natural talent 
for everything — far too many things to admit 
of his attaining perfection in any of them ; 
but in his humility about this he was always 
indescribably lovable. In his little home 



HENRY ALFORD 



I 29 



arrangements, whether carpentering, upholster- 
ing, painting, arranging, decorating, or gar- 
dening, he was not so much the planner and 




FROM THE dean's GARDEN, CANTERBURY. 



contriver as the head- workman. He was en- 
thusiastically fond of music, and looked upon 
it as the expression of poetic thought. Often 
hasty, he was always generous ; and though 



I 30 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

often ruffled by slight annoyances, he could 
bear any great trial with more than patient — 
with happy resignation. 

In 1868 Dean Alford published an illus- 
trated volume on the Riviera, to which he 
had paid repeated visits with ever-fresh enjoy- 
ment. Most intensely did he delight in the 
rich foregrounds of heath and arbutus and 
pines with which the forest-clad hills near 
Cannes abound, backed by the jagged line 
of the Estrelles, the most varied of all minor 
European mountain chains. At Monaco he 
" saw hell in all its vice, and listened to some 
splendid music." On one of these southern 
tours he had written to his wife : — 

" March 1 866. — I am flitting away from home, a boy 
of fifty-seven, to enjoy a holiday a boy of twenty-five 
would despise. It all looks strange and bizarre, but 
far above it all is an atmosphere of calm sunny thank- 
fulness, causing me to think and feel ' Not more than 
others I deser\'e, but God hath given me more.' " 

In 1868 the Dean again went to the Riviera, 
visiting, on his return journey, Ars with its 
memories of its holy Cure Vianney, and after- 
wards describing it in articles in the Contem- 
porary Review. 

Early in 1870 the Dean entered into an 

arrangement for undertaking a Commentary 



HENRY ALFORD I 3 I 

on the Old Testament, to be completed in 
five volumes and in seven years, "if life were 
spared." At the same time he took a pro- 
minent part in the Committee for Biblical 
Revision, which began by Christians of all 
denominations kneeling and receiving the 
Communion together around the tomb of 
Edward VI. in Westminster Abbey. But his 
health was not now what it was. In the 
autumn he began frequently to complain of 
sleeplessness and oppression in the head, and 
he returned from Vine's Gate to Canterbury 
in November 1870, with an expression in his 
journal of " gladness to get once more into 
the old place, and pleasure after his long hill 
solitude to see old faces once more." In 
December his physician pronounced his brain 
overworked, and that it must have total rest — 
thus giving a death-blow to his most fondly 
cherished work. 

A few days after he wrote to a niece : — 

"After all you were right, and it was a rash act to 
undertake the Old Testament. The doctor has told 
me it is too late in life to enter on a new and laborious 
department of study. . . . As to being low about it, 
I cannot see it so. If God's good hand has brought 
me to sixty in vigour, surely all after is pure gain, 
in whatever form it may please Him to shape it." 



132 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

And to his eldest daughter : — 

" My own view is, a man who has lived to sixty 
has so much cause for thankfulness, it ought to over- 
power every other feeling ; so it has not occurred to 
me to be in low spirits. I shall now look up the 
colour-box and the garden-tools, and the fishing-rods 
of old days, and take up light literature once more." 

But it must have been in the prescience that 
the blessing of his earthly presence would not 
long be with them that he had written to 
comfort his daughter afterwards the pathetic 
lines — " Filiolae Dulcissimae." 

" Say, wilt thou think of me when I'm away, 
Borne from the threshold and laid in the clay, 
Past and forgotten for many a day ? 

Wilt thou remember me when I am gone, 
Farther each year from thy vision withdrawn, 
Thou in the sunset and I in the dawn ? 

Wilt thou remember me when thou shalt see 
Daily and nightly encompassing thee 
Hundreds of others, but nothing of me ? 

All that I ask is a gem in thine eye, 

Sitting and thinking when no one is by, 

* Thus he looked on me — thus rung his reply.' 

'Tis not to die, though the path be obscure, 

Grand is the conflict, the victory sure : 

Past though the peril, there's One can secure. 

'Tis not to land in the region unknown. 
Thronged by bright spirits, all strange and alone. 
Waiting the doom from the Judge on the throne. 



HENRY ALFORD I 3 3 

But 'tis to feel the cold touch of decay, 
Tis to look back on the wake of one's way 
Fading and vanishing day after day. 

This is the bitterness none can be spared : 
This the oblivion the greatest have shared : 
This the true death for ambition prepared. 

Thousands are round us, toiling as we, 
Living and loving, whose lot is to be 
Passed and forgotten, like waves on the sea. 

Once in a lifetime is uttered a word 

That doth not vanish as soon as 'tis heard : 

Once in an age is humanity stirred : 

Once in a century springs forth a deed 
From the dark bands of forgetfulness freed. 
Destined to shine, and to help, and to lead. 

Yet not e'en thus escape we our lot : 

The deed lasts in memory, the doer is not : 

The word liveth on, but the voice is forgot. 

Who knows the forms of the mighty of old? 

Can bust or can portrait the spirit enfold, 

Or the light of the eye by description be told ? 

Nay, even He who our ransom became. 
Bearing the Cross, despising the shame, 
Earning a name above every name, — 

They who had handled Him while He was here, 
Kept they in memory his lineaments clear, — 
Could they command them at will to appear .'' 

They who had heard Him, and lived on His voice. 

Say, could they always recall at their choice 

The tone and the cadence which made them rejoice ? 

Be we content then to pass into shade. 

Visage and voice in oblivion laid. 

And live in the light that our actions have made. 



134 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

Yet do thou think of me, child of my soul : — 
That when the waves of forgetfulness roll, 
Part may survive in the wreck of the whole. 

Still let me count on the tear in thine eye, 
* Thus he bent o'er me, thus went his reply,' 
Sitting and thinking when no one is by." 

At the beginning of 1870 the Dean wrote in 
his journal : — 

" Sat up to the New Year. God be praised for all 
His mercies during the past year of great events. He 
only knows when my course will end. May its even- 
ing be bright and its morning eternal day. . . . God 
only knows whether I shall survive this year. I some- 
times think my health is giving way, but His will be 
done." 

The New Year's day of 1871 was a Sunday. 
He preached extempore in the cathedral as 
usual in the afternoon. Notes taken down at 
the time record that he said : — 

"The secret of the peacefulness with which the 
Psalmist went each night to rest, undisturbed by the 
cares of the past day or fears for the morrow, is 
answered in the verse — * For the Lord sustained me.' 
. . . While we heartily thank God for His goodness 
to us in times past, let us pray to Him still to guide 
our steps during the year which has just begun, with- 
out longing too anxiously for the gratification of our 
own particular wishes, which must be short-sighted, 
and may be wrong. ... It is not for us to consider 
how many of those present will meet together here 



HENRY ALFORD 135 

next New Year's Day, or what public events may then 
have taken place. Our duty is only to trust wholly 
in God's love, casting all our care upon Him, for He 
careth for us, and to strive earnestly to become less 
and less unworthy of His love and care." 



ST. MARTIN S, CANTERBURY. 



In the following days the Dean suffered 
much from the severe cold to which he was 
exposed while attending meetings for the estab- 
lishment of a Relief and Mendicity Society in 
Canterbury, but on the 6th he was able to 



I 36 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

entertain a large dinner-party. On Sunday 
the 8th he was able to assist in the Holy 
Communion and to preach, but on the follow- 
ing days he was less well, and on the morning 
of the 1 2th, when even his nearest neighbours 
had only just heard that he was unwell, the 
passing bell of the cathedral announced that 
the Deanery was desolate. 

Painlessly and peacefully he had passed into 
the better life. Truly for him, in his last 
moments, was the petition in his own hymn 
answered : — 

" Jesus, when I fainting lie, 
And the world is flitting by. 
Hold up my head : 

When the cry is, ' Thou must die,' 
And the dread hour draweth nigh, 
Stand by my bed ! " 

That hymn and another of his own were 
sung at his funeral. He rests beneath the yew- 
trees in St. Martin's Churchyard, on the slope 
of the hill just outside Canterbury. There, 
where the first English queen built her little 
chapel, and where Augustine baptized the first 
Christian king, the dear Dean Alford is buried. 
His tomb, by his own written desire, bears the 
inscription — 

" Deversorium viatoris Hierosolymam proficiscenlis." 



MRS. DUNCAN STEWART 

" No spring or summer beauty hath such grace 
As I have seen in one autumnal face. " 

No. loi is one of the smallest houses in Sloane 
Street, looking upon the gardens. It was 
occupied within the last few years by a delicate, 
beautiful old lady, who retained to the last the 
graceful figure of her youth, with a sweetness 
of manner which beguiled, and a wonderful 
mingling of wit, wisdom, and pathos which 
subjugated, all who came in contact with her. 
It was no wonder that many of the smartest 
footmen in London had often daily to wait for 
hours round the unpretending door ; it was not 
strange that the most charming and interesting 
elements of London society met constantly in 
the little rooms, or that they were always found 
and always felt at their best there. Talking of 
self-respect, Mrs. Duncan Stewart would often 
quote to her friends the maxim of Madame 
George Sand — 

" V^rit^ envers le monde, 
Humilite envers Dieu, 
Dignitd envers soi-meme," 

»37 



I 3 8 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

and would playfully add, "But who should one 
be well with if not with oneself, with whom 
one has to live so very much ? " and the un- 
selfish singleness of purpose which had steered 
her unscathed through the vicissitudes of a very 
varied life lent a tender charm to her declining 
years, whilst her marvellous memory enabled 
her to bring forth for the instruction or amuse- 
ment of her younger friends a ceaseless treasure 
out of the rich storehouse of her wealthy past. 
Her society was a constant contradiction to the 
theory of De Tocqueville, that " the charming 
art of conversation — to touch and set in motion 
a thousand thoughts, without dwelling tire- 
somely on any one — is amongst the lost arts, 
and can only be sought for in History Hut." 
Sometimes, in rare moments of depression, she 
would speak of the pain of old age, of the dis- 
tress of feeling that she could do so little for 
others, of the being "just a creature crawling 
between heaven and earth." Yet, with small 
means and feeble powers, those who knew her 
best remember that there was never a day in 
which she did not make some one happy, in 
which she had not formed some fresh plan for 
the pleasure and welfare of others. 

Harriet Everilda was the only daughter of 
Major Antony Gore, younger brother of Sir 



MRS. DUNCAN STEWART I 39 

Ralph Gore, of Manor Gore, in the county of 
Donegal, who succeeded his uncle Ralph, Earl 
of Ross, as seventh baronet, the earldom being 
limited to direct heirs male. Her mother, who 
was the daughter of a clergyman in Devonshire, 
died at her birth, and her father soon after. 
Though of a Protestant family, she was placed 
for her early education in a convent — Les Dames 
Anglaises — at Rouen, and there acquired that 
perfect familiarity with the French language 
which she always retained. She often thought 
in French, and entered into the feelings of her 
French acquaintance as few Englishwomen could 
do. It was from an association with the sur- 
roundings of her childhood that she always said 
in her old age that it was more natural to her 
to pray in French than in English. 

Upon leaving her convent. Miss Gore went 
to reside with her guardian, Mr. Gordon, who 
filled the post of British Consul at Havre de 
Grace, and in his house the great charm of her 
mental powers already made itself felt. Wash- 
ington Irving and his brother Peter were 
especially devoted to her. Her passionate 
interest in everything connected with the stage 
was first due to their influence. For eleven 
nights consecutively Washington Irving took 
her to see Talma act, and in late years she would 



140 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

often describe the marvellous powers of Madame 
Rachel, whom she also saw with him, especially 
in the "Cinna" of Corneille — how, as Emilie, she 
would sit quietly in her chair when all the 
people were raging around her, and then of the 
thrilling electric force with which she would 
hiss out in the fury of her vengeance against 
Augustus — 

" Je recevrois de lui la place de Livie 
Comme un moyen plus sur d'attenter a sa vie." 

It is remembered how, at this time, visitors 
at Mr. Gordon's house would ask him where 
Harriet Gore was, and he would answer, " Oh, 
she is at the end of the terrace making 
Washington Irving believe he is God Almighty, 
and he is busy believing it." 

In her twenty-fourth year Harriet Gore was 
married at Paris to Duncan Stewart, a pros- 
perous Baltic merchant, whose mercantile pur- 
suits had taken him to Havre. He was a 
younger son of an ancient Scotch family, whose 
clan, the Stewarts of Appin, had occupied and 
dominated a large tract of country on the west 
coast of Argyleshire from a remote period. 
Staunch supporters of the crown since the 
twelfth century, the family had been loyal to 
the Jacobite cause, and had joined with enthu- 



MRS. DUNCAN STEWART I4I 

siasm in the wars of Montrose and the risings 
of 1 715 and 1745. Duncan Stewart's grand- 
father was with Prince CharHe at Culloden, his 
grandmother and her two children had followed 
her husband and the army to the neighbour- 
hood of Inverness in a carriage, and his father 
— one of those children — remembered all his 
life the carriage being stopped by English 
soldiers after the battle, and a little ring being 
roughly pulled from his finger. The grand- 
father fled to the Continent with the Prince ; 
the father afterwards settled in Dumfriesshire, 
where he bought a small property and became 
a deputy- lieutenant for the county. By his 
wife, Margaret Graham of Shaw, he had a 
large family. The two eldest sons, James and 
Charles Stewart, succeeded to divisions of their 
father's land, and became active country gentle- 
men. Charles, who survived till 1874, was 
widely known throughout Scotland as one of 
the first authorities on the management of land, 
the breeding of stock, and county business ; 
like his two sisters, he never married, and 
lived with them and their aged mother at 
Hillside in Dryfesdale for many long years. 
Their home was a notable instance of "plain 
living and high thinking," and widely and 
deeply were they beloved and respected. 



142 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

The younger brother, Duncan, who, after 
the fashion of cadets of Scottish families, in- 
deed like Francis Osbaldiston in " Rob Roy," 
had turned to mercantile pursuits, and in those 
pursuits had acquired comparative wealth, ever 
came back with delight to his old home. To 
that old-fashioned home, immediately after his 
marriage, he brought his beautiful and brilliant 
young wife, whose French wardrobe and ready 
wit were a revelation to the homely Scottish 
ladies who inhabited it. Though of a thoroughly 
noble, unselfish character, the venerable mother 
was almost aghast on first meeting with an ele- 
ment so discordant to the quiet monotone of her 
long experience, and perhaps went on a wrong 
as well as a hopeless tack in exaggerating 
her own homeliness as an example, while the 
sisters were perplexed by one who, engrossed 
in the charms of modern literature, unconcern- 
edly abandoned all housewifely duties to take 
care of themselves. Time, and the wide 
sympathies of either side, eventually led to 
a mutual respect and admiration, but never to 
the union of intimate affection. Through life, 
Mrs. Duncan Stewart honoured her sisters- 
in-law as noble and Christian women, but their 
tastes and pursuits were always too dissimilar 
for close intercourse. 



MRS. DUNCAN STEWART 143 

Through many years after his marriage, the 
business in which Mr. Duncan Stewart was 
engaged compelled him to reside in Liverpool 
or at a country-house in the neighbourhood. 
Here the family lived luxuriously and enter- 
tained constantly. Economy, at this period 
of her life, was certainly not studied by Mrs. 
Stewart ; but her husband adored her, and 
always liked her to do just as she pleased. 
The Scottish relations grieved in silence, for 
was she not "just Duncan's wife." 

Eight children were born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Duncan Stewart during their residence in 
Liverpool. During this time, also, the eldest 
girl, Minnie, died, after having been nursed by 
her mother with inexhaustible devotion through 
a long illness. It was very characteristic of the 
impassioned character of Mrs. Stewart, that 
when she saw that the precious life of Minnie 
had passed away, she prayed aloud — prayed 
most earnestly — that her child Chrissy might 
die too, because otherwise Minnie would be so 
lonely, as she would have no one to play with. 
She chose Chrissy because she was the child 
Minnie loved best, and she wished to give up 
the best to Minnie, When her husband urged 
her not to tempt God to take Chrissy really 
away from them, she answered that she had 



144 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

been so rent by Minnie's death that nothing 
could ever rend her more. Mrs. Stewart, long 
afterwards, often talked to the writer of her 
sufferings at this time. She would speak of 
the difficulty of a living faith, of keeping it 
alive equally when prayer was not answered ; 
she would tell how, when her child was dying, 
— she knew it must die — the clergyman came 
and knelt by the table, and prayed that resig- 
nation might be given to the mother to bear 
the parting, and resignation to the child to die, 
and she would describe how she listened and 
prayed too, and yet at the end she could not 
feel it, she did not, and — though she knew it 
was impossible — she could not but break in 
with " Yet, O Lord, yet restore her ! " 

"Do you know," said Mrs. Stewart, "that 
till I was thirty I had never seen death, never 
seen it even in a poor person ; then I saw it in 
my own child, and I may truly say that then 
death entered into the world for me as fully as 
it did for Eve, and it never left me afterwards, 
never. If one of my children had an ache 
afterwards, I thought it was going to die ; if I 
awoke in the night and looked at my husband 
in his sleep, I thought, * He will look like that 
when he is dead.' " 

Liverpool was never quite congenial to Mrs. 



MRS. DUNCAN STEWART 1 45 

Stewart. She had many good friends there, 
but the associates she Hked best were Mr. Bald, 
her husband's partner, and his wife, and a 
young Mr. Power, afterwards Sir William 
Tyrone Power, to whose family she was much 
attached. Men adored her, cultivated her, sat 
at her feet ; but with women, as a rule, she 
was, in her young days, not so popular. She 
sought her intimacies mainly in London, to 
which she never failed to pay a long annual 
visit, sometimes with her husband, and some- 
times when he was away shooting and fishing 
in Scotland. At that time the centre of a 
certain literary society of which Mrs. Stewart 
became an intimate was Lady Morgan, a little 
old woman of such pungent wit, that Mr. Fon- 
blanque, then the editor of the Examiner, used 
to say of her, " She is just a spark of hell-fire, 
and is soon going back to her native element." 
Another person with whom Mr. and Mrs. 
Stewart were intimate was Madame Jerome 
Bonaparte, born Paterson, daughter of a father 
upon whom she looked down, though she de- 
lighted to write to him of her succes de societe. 
" But he could always avenge himself," said 
Mrs. Stewart ; "he could always write to her — 
' My dear Betsy ' : " it was a terrible revenge. 
Mr. and Mrs. Macready and Mr. and Mrs. 

K 



146 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

Charles Kean were also amongst the friends 
of the Duncan Stewarts, and they were well 
acquainted with the Sobieski Stuarts, whose 
gallant appearance when young Mrs. Stewart 
would recall many years after, deploring its 
change into the " mildew of age." The Stewarts 
also saw much — perhaps more than many 
considered desirable — of Lady Blessington, the 
recollection of whose "perfect beauty" always 
remained with Mrs. Stewart as a possession. 
The little circle at Gore House, which was like 
the court of Lady Blessington, frequently in- 
cluded at this time Prince Louis Napoleon, who 
was then in exile in England. Another habitud 
was Landseer, whom, with characteristic gal- 
lantry, Count d'Orsay introduced wjth — " Here, 
Mrs. Stewart, is Landseer, who can do every- 
thing better than he can paint." The Stewarts 
also frequently visited Captain Marryat at his 
seat of Langham, in Norfolk. Mrs. Stewart 
always spoke of this society of her youth as 
"real society," because then people were never 
in a hurry. One of its most marked features 
was old Lady Cork, who, after eighty, always 
dressed in white, with a little white pulled 
bonnet. 

The years spent in Liverpool were enlivened 
by her intimacy with Mr. and Mrs. Disraeli, 



MRS. DUNCAN STEWART 1 47 

who afterwards became her closest friends. Of 
her first meeting with them she said : — 

" One day, when I was sitting alone in my house at 
Liverpool, and my husband, who loved hunting and 
fishing, was away after the grouse, as every Scotchman 
is, a note of introduction was brought in for me from 
Mrs. Milner Gibson, whom I had known in London, 
and the cards of Mr. and Mrs. Disraeli. He was a 
young man then, all curly and smart, and his wife, 
though much older than himself, was a very handsome, 
imperial-looking woman. I told them that I should be 
delighted to show them everything in Liverpool, as 
Mrs. Milner Gibson had asked me. 

"When I went to see them next day at the hotel, 
I asked Mrs. Disraeli how she had slept, and she said, 
' Not at all, for the noise was so great ! ' Then I said, 
' Why not move to my house, for my house is very 
quiet, and I am alone and there is plenty of room ? ' 
And they came, and a most delightful ten days I had. 
We shut out Liverpool and its people, and we talked, 
and we became great friends, and when we parted, it 
was with very affectionate regard on both sides. After- 
wards they wrote to me every week, and when I went 
to London my place was always laid every day at their 
table, and if I did not appear at their dinner, they 
always asked me why I had not come to them. 

" After Lady Beaconsfield died, we drifted apart, he 
and I, and though I saw him sometimes, it was never 
in the old intimate way. The last time we met — it was 
at Lady Stanhope's — I had a good talk with him though. 
It was not until we were parting that I said, ' I hope 



148 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

you are quite well?' and I shall never forget the hollow 
voice in which he answered, ^Nobody is quite well.' 
After that I never saw him again, but I had a message 
from him through William Spottiswoode. 'Tell Mrs. 
Stewart always to come to talk to me when she can ; 
it always does me good to see her.'" 

It was probably on the occasion of the 
second visit to the Duncan Stewarts at Liver- 
pool, that Disraeli, then comparatively an 
unknown man, was taken by Mr. Stewart 
to the Royal Exchange when the place was 
thronged with merchants at high noon. The 
scene is a striking one, and it impressed 
Disraeli much. He said to Mr. Stewart, " My 
idea of greatness would be th^t a man should 
receive the applause of such an assemblage 
as this — that he should be cheered as he 
came into this room." At that time Disraeli 
visited the place unnoticed ; but a day came, 
several years later, when the Disraelis were 
again on a visit to the Duncan Stewarts at 
Liverpool, and when he had attained to a 
prominent position in politics, and he again 
visited the same place in company with Mr. 
Stewart. On this occasion his entrance was 
noticed, and a cheer was raised, which soon 
spread into a roar, and ended in a perfect 
ovation. Disraeli was deeply moved. He 



MRS. DUNCAN STEWART 1 49 

recalled to Mr. Stewart the remark he had 
made years before, and admitted, with pride 
and pleasure, that his ideal test of greatness 
had been realised. 

After many years' residence in Liverpool, 
a sudden reverse of fortune came upon the 
Stewarts. The parents went to London, send- 
ing their children to the care of an uncle, Mr. 
David Stewart of Dumfries. This uncle, who 
soon became as much beloved as he was re- 
spected by the young Stewarts, devoted him- 
self entirely to their welfare, though he kept 
so strictly within their mother's injunction, that, 
till six o'clock in the evening, he never uttered 
a word of anything but French, a rule pecu- 
liarly abhorrent to his Scotch nature. 

After an interval of eighteen months, their 
father's affairs being again prosperous, the chil- 
dren rejoined their parents in London. They 
found them established in Wilton Crescent, 
whence they afterwards moved to a larger house 
in Seymour Street. Whilst living here, many 
old friends collected round Mrs. Stewart, and 
she also at this time became increasingly 
intimate with Mrs. Delane and Mrs. Milner 
Gibson. It was probably during this period also 
that she saw much of Leigh Hunt, of whom she 
was wont to say that she believed him to be 



I 5 O ^BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

the only person who, if he saw something yellow 
in the distance, and was told it was a buttercup, 
would be disappointed if he found it was only a 
guinea. Yet these were Leigh Hunt's days of 
greatest privation. Mr. Carlyle was very poor 
too at this time, yet a friend who knew him very 
well, and went often to see him, told Mrs. 
Stewart that one day going to Carlyle and 
seeing two gold sovereigns lying exposed in a 
little vase on the chimney-piece, he asked what 
they were for. Carlyle looked — for him — em- 
barrassed, and gave no definite answer. " Well, 
now, my dear fellow," said the visitor, "neither 
you nor I are quite in a position to play ducks 
and drakes with sovereigns ; what are they 
for?" "Well," said Carlyle, "the fact is that 
Leigh Hunt likes better to find them there, 
than that I should give them to him." 

Whilst the Stewarts were living in Seymour 
Street, another of the children, Florence, died. 
Mr. Stewart had again suffered losses in busi- 
ness, and the family moved to Smart's Hill, in 
Kent, where the mother, with inborn facility, 
soon accommodated herself to her change of 
fortune. After a time they moved again to a 
villa, The Limes, at Croydon. 

Meantime a cousin of the Stewarts, Countess 
Bremer, who had been lady in waiting to the 



MRS. DUNCAN STEWART I 5 I 

Princesses of Hanover, had married, and a lady 
was temporarily required to fill her place. The 
eldest daughter, Harty (Pauline Harriet), went 
for a time, and was shortly afterwards appointed 
to a fixed post with the Princesses, resigning 
her place in the home life. It must have been 
soon after this that her mother wrote to her : — 

" My own dear child, I cannot help saying to you 
that if you ever pine for home, you must come — even 
away from those dear people : it is only for just as long 
as you are quite contented and happy, that we can be at 
all contented and happy to know you — bear you to be 
away. You are well assured of this, I am sure ? My 
own dear child, our hearts are with you, as yours with 
us, and all in Christ in God, I hope and trust. But 
remember, whenever your heart tells you to come home, 
then we want you, and must have you, please God." 

But Harty never came back. In 1865 she 
married a Hanoverian, the Baron Otto von 
Klenck, aide-de-camp to King Ernest of Han- 
over and the Duke of Cumberland, though the 
bond of intimate affection between her and her 
mother was never weakened by separation. 
In 1852, her younger sister, Chrissy (Chris- 
tina Adelaide Ethel), had been married to Mr. 
James Alexander Rogerson, of Wamphray, a 
near neighbour of the beloved uncles and aunts 
of Hillside. 



I 5 2 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

It was in 1869, whilst he was staying with 
his brother Charles at Hillside, that Mr. Dun- 
can Stewart became dangerously ill. Mrs. 
Stewart joined him, and nursed him with the 
devotion which she always showed in sickness. 
In November 1869 he died. Mrs. Duncan 
Stewart was left with an income reduced to the 
narrowest limits by her husband's heavy finan- 
cial losses — an income which the devotion of 
her sons delighted to render sufficient for the 
maintenance of her little home in Sloane Street. 
Meantime the affection with which her eldest 
daughter was regarded at the court of Hanover 
had led to her receiving constant marks of con- 
sideration and favour from the King and Queen, 
and she was their guest for a considerable time. 
The blind King delighted in her conversation, 
and for many years she would save up every 
interesting story she heard for him. It is re- 
membered that one day she was telling him 
a story as they were out driving together. 
Suddenly the horses started, and the carriage 
seemed about to upset. " Why do you not 
go on with your story ? " said the King. 
" Because, sir, the carriage is just going to 
upset." " That is the coachman's affair," . 
said the King ; " do you go on with your 
story." 



MRS, DUNCAN STEWART 153 

Of the sad and eventful weeks which saw the 
close of the Hanoverian dynasty Mrs. Stewart 
had ever much of interest to tell : — 

" I was for many weeks with my daughter in the 
palace at Herrenhausen after the King left for Langen- 
salza, where, like a knight, he desired to be placed in 
front of his army, so that all his soldiers might see him, 
and where he was not satisfied till he felt the bullets 
whizzing round him. The people in Hanover said he 
had run away. When the Queen heard that, she and 
the Princesses went down to the ' place ' and walked 
about there, and, as the people pressed around her, 
said, ' The King is gone with his army to fight for his 
people, but I am here to stay with you till he comes 
back.' But, alas ! she did not know ! 

"We used to go out and walk at night, in those 
great gardens of Herrenhausen, in which the Electress 
Sophia died. The Queen talked then, God bless her, 
of all her sorrows. We often did not come in till 
the morning, for the Queen could not sleep. But even 
in our great sorrow and misery, Nature would assert 
herself, and when we came in, we ate up everything 
that there was. Generally I had something in my room, 
and the Queen had generally something in hers, though 
that was only bread and strawberries, and it was not 
enough for us, for we were so very hungry. One 
night the Queen made an aide-de-camp take the key 
and we went to the Mausoleum in the grounds. I 
shall never forget that solemn walk, Harty carrying a 
single lanthorn before us, or the stillness when we 



154 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

reached the Mausoleum, or the white light shining 
upon it, and the clanging of the door as it opened. And 
we all went in, and we knelt and prayed by each of the 
coffins in turn. The Queen and Princesses knelt in 
front, and my daughter and I knelt behind, and we 
prayed — oh ! so earnestly, out of the deep anguish of 
our sorrow-stricken hearts. And then we went to the 
upper floor where the statues are, and there lay the 
beautiful Queen, the Princess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, 
in her still loveliness, and there lay the old King, the 
Duke of Cumberland, with the moonlight shining on 
him, wrapped in his military cloak. And when the 
Queen saw him, she, who had been so calm before, 
sobbed violently, and hid herself against me, for she 
knew that I also had suifered, and after that we walked 
or lingered in the gardens till the daylight broke. 

"The Queen was always longing to go away to her 
own house at Marienburg, and at last she went. She 
never came back, for as soon as she was gone, the 
Prussians, who had left her alone while she was there, 
stepped in and took possession of everything. 

" The Queen is a noble, loving woman, but she can 
also be queenly. When Count von W., the Prussian 
commandant, arrived, he desired an interview with her 
Majesty. He behaved very properly, but, as he was 
going away — it was partly from gaucJierie, I suppose — 
he said, 'I shall take care that your Majesty is not in- 
terfered with in any way ! ' Then our Queen rose, and 
in all queenly simplicity she said, ' I never expected it.' 
He looked so abashed, but she never flinched ; only, 
when he was gone out of the room, she fainted dead 
away upon the floor." 



MRS. DUNCAN STEWART I 5 5 

Some one who knew her well said most 
truly of Mrs. Stewart that her life was not 
a long uninterrupted course, but, as it were, a 
chain of separate circles. That part of it which 
belonged to her residence in Sloane Street was 
what the Scotch call the " uptake," the making 
of many friendships so infinitely easy to her, 
one leading to another, until every day was 
filled by affectionate interests. Yet in the new 
connections she formed, old friends of former 
days were never forgotten. Two of those she 
had long known, on finding her surrounded by 
a brilliant circle, were once led to say, " Now 
you have so many friends, you will not care 
for us ; you must find us so stupid arid uninte- 
resting." And long will they remember her 
cordial answer, " No, no, my dear, you are my 
rocks y One secret of the great charm of her 
conversation was that she was not merely 
careful to evade ever repeating an ill-natured 
story of any one, but, where there was positively 
nothing of good to be said, had always some 
apt line of old poetry or some proverb to bring 
forward urging mercy — " Mercy, oh, so much 
grander than justice." The writer vividly re- 
members how, after once listening with polite 
self-restraint to a scandalous story about a well- 
known member of society, she said, with char- 



I 5 6 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

acteristic sweetness, " Yes, he was very fallible, 
yet how capable of becompig that greatest of 
all things, a good man." 

In her old age, Mrs. Stewart's strong interest 
in the stage was never diminished, and those 
connected with it were always amongst her 
most cherished visitors, especially Lady Martin, 
whom, as Helen Faucit, she regarded as " the 
last representative of the studied phase of 
acting ; " Mrs. Crowe and her sister Miss Isabel 
Bateman ; Mr. Irving; Mr. and Mrs. Kendal; 
and, amongst amateurs, the not less gifted Mrs. 
Greville. 

Amongst others whose visits Mrs. Stewart 
most valued were Mr. William Spottiswoode, 
Mrs. Grote, Lady Eastlake, Lady Gordon, 
Mrs. Oliphant, Lady Wynford, Lady Hope, 
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Hill, Mr. Henry James 
the American novelist, and her old friend, Mr. 
Pigott, whom she would describe as being "a 
finished critic, but with all the innocence of a 
child picking daisies." There was no end to 
the variety of different persons and characters 
who met in Mrs. Stewart's little rooms, and the 
remarkable point was that no one cared in the 
least whom they met — they all went for her. 
Her constant letters to her daughter Harty 
show how much she enjoyed this period of her 



MRS. DUNCAN STEWART 157 

life, and how much interest she found in it. 
Here are some gleanings from letters of 1880- 
1883, but they are all undated : — 

" Oh, my darling, here are two more days without 
any writing. I can only rest when people are not here. 
On Monday Chrissy had a very pleasant luncheon 
party. At a charming party in the evening at the 
Felix Moscheles', I fell into a deep admiration of the 
Berlin actor, Herr Barney, who is come over to give 
added strength to the Saxe-Meiningen company. He 
has the finest possible figure and head, crisp, short, 
curling hair, and a noble face. He acts Marc Antony 
in the 'Julius Caesar ' and seems made for it by nature. 
Yesterday I went at four to Madame Modjeska's recep- 
tion, full, and of interesting people ; home for visitors, 
dined at Lord Eustace Cecil's, and at eleven o'clock 
was at Leonie Blumenthal's, where was a magnificent 
party, fine company, &c." 

" My own dearest child, I think that it was this day 
last week that I despatched my last letter to you, telling 
of the good success of my last luncheon. Since then, 
life has been too fast for me. I have had scarcely a 
minute but for rest during the intervals. At this 
season one thing leads on to another, which one cannot 
avoid. It is a chain of links ; if one says A, one must 
say B, and so on, and so on. On Thursday a pleasant 
dinner at Lady Hampson's led on to a party this after- 
noon to see the drill of the Fire Brigade — a most 
interesting sight. Captain Shaw invited me and to 
bring what friends I chose, and I took three carriages 
full. Friday, I was all afternoon at Lady Hooker's at 



I 5 8 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

Kew. Lovely weather. Dear Lord and Lady Ducie 
took me down, and it was delightful. Lady Martin, 
who is as good as every one is to unworthy me, takes 
me to the Meiningen company on Saturday to see ' The 
Winter's Tale,' so I am well off. 

" Dear William Spottiswoode took me down to dinner 
last night, so it was very pleasant. He told me that 
Lord Beaconsfield (who meets him every week at a 
scientific place) had spoken to him of his re-meeting 
with me, and expressed himself very wishful to see me 
again. William said I might depend on the pleasure 
he had had and the wish to see me more. I know /low 
careful and reticent William is — so this pleased me." 

" Sunday. — I am dining out this evening with about 
thirtv persons, all of name and note, at the Boughtons' 
— not grand fashionable people, but artists, authors, 
&c. I will write you of it to-morrow." 

" Monday. — The dinner yesterday was very amusing 
— guests all more or less distinguished, from Browning 
down to Edmund Yates and his beautiful wife." 

"1880. — Capital company at dinner yesterday. I 
sat between Lowell and Sir James Stephen, and had 
a very good time. Among many, Lowell said one 
bit worthy of the Biglow Papers. Opposite us was 
Huxley, whom Lowell saw for the first time — 'So,' says 
he to me, 'that's the great Huxley?' 'Yes,' says L 
' Well,' says he, ' in a match between him and God, Fd 
bet on God: " 

" Did I tell you a thing Froude said the other day to 
me — a propos of not understanding, comprehending 
Tennyson's last poem, the ' De Profundis,' in the last 
Nineteenth Century ? — ' Wad I presume, blessed sir ? ' 



MRS. DUNCAN STEWART I 59 

— the reply of an old Scotswoman to her minister as 
to a very metaphysical sermon." 

" 1 88 1. —Tell Mrs. M. how glad I shall be to make 
her acquaintance. Tell her how very fortunate I have 
been in having had so many pleasant American friends, 
beginning fifty-five years ago with Washington Irving, 
and arriving now at Henry James and Mr. Lowell, both 
of whom lunch with me this very day to meet the great 
American botanist. Dr. Gray — indeed, Sir Ughtred 
Kay-Shuttleworth told me I must say the botanist of 
the world. I have also Lady Airlie, Lady Gordon, &c." 

" Coombe Bank, March 27. — I am here since Friday 
with a house full of Arbuthnots and Spottiswoodes, I the 
only interloper, and they are all as good as gold to me ; 
to-night a large ball, house and grounds lighted with 
electric light ! ! " 

" After describing his wife's terrible illness, Mr. 
Lowell said — * My dear Mrs. Stewart, I'd have given 
Job ten and won.'" 

" loi Sloane Street , %th April. — I had a very good 
time (for, with my infirmities, though much is taken, 
much remains, I thank God) at Coombe Bank. I 
drove and walked every day. Kind William Spottis- 
woode, when he took leave of me — full of thanks and 
real gratitude, said, ' You bring sunshine into this 
house ! ' This was not true, but, as Sterne wrote a 
long time ago, so kind and good ' that the recording 
angel dropt a tear,' and obliterated the falsehood." 

" I came home last Thursday to a clean house, full 
of flowers, and dear Chrissy's unceasing care, and 
troops of friends, z/;/like poor Macbeth. I had not 
been twenty-four hours back till came my dear Caroline 



l60 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

Bromley, Lady Eastlake (so very dear and affectionate), 
Lady Stanhope, Lady Airlie, Lady Strangford, dearest 
Mrs. Hill, &c. God knows, my child, my lines have 
been cast in pleasant places." 

" November 1 5. — My own darling child, my letters 
are so stupid they are not worth sending, yet I send 
them. I see very few people. I have very quiet and 
delicious evenings reading by my fireside. 'Tis an 
interval of rest. 

"Chrissy is gone down to friends at Brighton. She 
is very dear and good and helpful and loving and com- 
fortable to me invariably, and I am very grateful and 
love her dearly, and am very thankful to have her, and 
lost when she is away." 

" 1882. — We had a most brilliant day at the Camp. 
Personally to me it was most charming. I took down 
Mrs. F. Hill ; Lady Brownlow was as good as gold to me, 
and we saw everybody and everything most comfort- 
ably. It was a wonderful English sight. The Duchess 
of Albany gave away the prizes, and I was close to 
her and Prince Leopold — saw both for the first time in 
my life. She is pretty enough for anything, and very 
sweet and simple. She gave away the prizes charm- 
ingly, and smiled more sweetly and simply on the 
privates than on the generals. This, her first public 
appearance, charmed everybody. Have you ever seen 
a Wimbledon camp ? 'Tis a beautiful sight ! so gor- 
geous and yet so English ! 

" I do trust you, my child, for giving proper grateful 
messages for me from the Queen downwards. God 
knows how \ feel them, and so do you, I think. You 
cannot exceed my feelings. 



MRS. DUNCAN STEWART l6l 

" My darling, when I look round on my dear children 
and my dear friends, and feel how many hearts and 
homes are open to me at all times, I truly believe I 
cannot be grateful enough." 

The great charm and infinite variety of Mrs. 
Stewart's conversation were even more felt in 
country-houses than in London. The writer 
will always remember one day at Sarsden 
(Lady Ducie's), being told that an old lady was 
coming that evening, an old lady who would 
have travelled straight through from Scotland, 
and would probably arrive perfectly exhausted. 
The dinner-hour arrived, and with it there 
glided in amongst the company a graceful, 
refined old lady, with features the colour of 
white alabaster, in a black velvet dress, a chain 
and cross round her waist, and a lace head-dress 
which was neither veil nor hood, but so in- 
finitely becoming to the wearer, that from the 
first moment of seeing her in it, it was impos- 
sible to imagine her in anything else. And 
soon, in conversation, the animation, the in- 
spiration of her eyes, spoke even more power- 
fully than her lips, and — the next day the 
whole party were at her feet. Her conversation 
grew hourly more enchanting. She sat for 
her portrait in her picturesque lace head-dress 
to one of her fellow-guests ; she was pleased at 



1 62 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

being asked to sit — " II faut vieillir pour etre 
heureuse," she said. Whilst she was sitting, 
she described her visit to Ober-Ammergau. 
Her anxiety to go was intense, but, though she 
was in Germany with the Queen of Hanover, 
all the means seemed to fail. The Princess 
Mary of Hanover and the Archduchess Eliza- 
beth walked. But, to be in waiting upon them, 
went Baron von Klenck, her Hanoverian son- 
in-law, and he came back greatly impressed, 
and said to his wife when he came in, "If thy 
mother still wishes to go, in God's name let 
her set forth ; " and she went. She described 
the life at the village — the simplicity, the cheap- 
ness ; then, in the play, the awful agony of the 
twenty minutes of the Crucifixion, the sublimity 
of the Ascension. " I have seen hundreds of 
'ascensions' on the stage and elsewhere, but 
I have never seen anything like that simple 
r^-presentation. " 

The following day, at luncheon, Mrs. Stewart 
described a sitting with Mrs. Guppy, the spiri- 
tualist. Her daughter, Count Bathyany, and 
others were present. 

"We were asked what sort of a manifestation we 
would have : we declared we would be satisfied with 
nothing less than a ghost. There was a round hole in 
the table, with a lid upon it. Presently the lid began to 



MRS. DUNCAN STEWART 1 63 

quiver; gradually it was thrown on one side, and a 
hand came up, violently agitating itself. Mrs. Guppy 
said, ' Dear spirits ' (we are always very affectionate, 
you know), ' would you like the glass ? ' and a great tall 
fern-glass was put over the place ; otherwise I should 
have touched that hand. Then, inside the glass (but 
we could not touch it, you know), came up something 
wrapped in muslin. Mrs. Guppy said it was a head. 
Afterwards we were asked to go down to supper : there 
was quite a handsome collation. A young American, 
who was with us, was so disgusted with what he had 
seen that he would touch nothing, would take neither 
bread nor salt in that house. I was weak. I did not 
quite like to refuse, and I ate a few strawberries. Of 
course, as far as the moral protest went I might have 
eaten a whole plateful. Bathyany took a rose away 
with him for his Countess, for at the end of our seance 
quantities of flowers appeared, we knew not whence, 
quite fresh, beautiful flowers : they appeared on the 
table close to Count Bathyany. 

" The spirits are very indulgent. They think we are 
in better humour if our strength is kept up. After I 
have been sitting there for some time, they generally 
say, * Harriet is exhausted : let her have a glass of 
wine.' Then sometimes they give us nicknames — 
beautiful nicknames — my daughter they called ' Muta- 
bility,' and me they named * Distrust.' " 

In nothing was Mrs. Stewart more remark- 
able than in her wonderful memory for poetry, 
which she would repeat for hours together. 



164 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

She often spoke with surprise of the general 
want of appreciation for Byron in England, and 
would dwell on his wonderful satire, as evinced 
by his lines in the "Age of Bronze," on Marie 
Louise and Wellington ; on his philosophy, for 
which she would cite the lines on Don Quixote ; 
on his marvellous powers of condensation and 
combination, for which she would repeat those 
on the burning of Moscow. But, in all she 
said, Mrs. Stewart's individuality lent such a 
power and sweetness to her sayings and doings 
that any reproduction of them either seems to 
lose all point, or to be so crude as to give a 
false picture of her. 

Mrs. Stewart afterwards paid repeated visits 
to Lord and Lady Ducie, and they were amongst 
the greatest pleasures of her later years. To 
her daughter she wrote in the great frost : — 

" Tortworth, Jan. 1880. — I can't tell you all the 
goodness and kindness I have had, from my Lord and 
Lady downwards — it passes words." 

" wth. — Tortworth. — I am so persistently weak and 
d^fatte, I don't know what to make of it. The doctor 
says it is not real weakness, but nervous exhaustion. 
To myself it seems like quite comfortable dying away 
— no pain, but also no will, no power ; and this is the 
first time in my life that I have felt myself totally 
without the former." 



MRS, DUNCAN STEWART 1 65 

*^ January 17. — They shut the gates on me. The 
cold is so exceptionally severe, severer than for sixty 
years past, and I am not to be suffered to leave this 
large house whilst it lasts. It is in vain to rebel, so I 
put up with my luxuries with patience. I have not 
been outside the doors since I came, but the house is 
very large to take exercise in, the company cheerful, 
and, as you know, 1 love the dear Ducies. They say 
they will keep me ' till June and the roses,' if the cold 
does not abate. ... I breakfast in my room, go down 
about 10.30, find everybody brisk and cordial, all the 
papers, and plenty of the best new books — remain till 
luncheon at two, come back to my room, rest and books 
till dinner-time at eight, a cheerful evening — acting, 
talking, music, and to bed at eleven. I wish you were 
here, and so does Lady Ducie heartily, and then I should 
have little left to wish for." 

A portion of the summer w^as frequently 
spent by Mrs. Stewart with her daughter 
Christina in Scotland, " enjoying entire rest 
and peace, dallying from day to day, eating 
lotus (and a good deal besides) with such satis- 
faction as not to be able to make any plan for 
moving on." On one of these occasions of 
long-ago, whilst staying at the place of her son- 
in-law, Mr. Rogerson, near Inverness, she had 
made the acquaintance of Brother Ignatius. 

"One day while out walking, my daughter met with 
a young man, of wonderful beauty, dressed as a monk, 



1 66 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

with bare feet and sandals. He asked her whether he 
was near any inn, and said, 'The fact is I have with 
me two sisters [Sister Gertrude and another], and a 
brother — Brother Augustine. And the brother is very 
ill, probably ill to death, and we cannot go any farther.' 
So my daughter made them come to her house, and 
showed them infinite kindness, giving them water 
for their feet and all Scripture hospitality. Brother 
Augustine was very ill, very ill indeed, and they all 
remained in or near my daughter's house three weeks, 
during which I became very intimate with them, especi- 
ally with Brother Ignatius and Sister Gertrude. We 
used to go out for the day together, and then, in some 
desolate strath. Brother Ignatius would sing, sing 
hymns like an archangel, and then he would kneel on 
the grass and pray. 

" Many years afterwards I heard that Brother Ignatius 
was going to preach in London — some very bad part 
of London — and I went. The room was packed and 
crowded, but I was in the first row. He preached — a 
beautiful young monk, leaning against a pillar. There 
were at least a hundred of his attitudes worth painting, 
but there was nothing in his words. At last a little 
girl thought he looked faint, and brought him a 
smelling-bottle, which she presented to him kneeling. 
He smelled at it, and seeing me, an old woman near 
him, he sent it on to me, and I smelled at it too. After- 
wards I stayed to see him, and we talked together in 
a small room, talked till midnight. Then he gave me 
his blessing, gave it to me very solemnly, and after- 
wards I said, * And God bless you too, my dear young 
man. 



MRS. DUNCAN STEWART 1 67 

In other summers, Mrs. Stewart was fre- 
quently at Hopetoun House, and paid other 
Scottish visits with great enjoyment. 

" What a climate it is ! — just heavenly, no more. 
Balmy, fragrant, almost fresh, but not bracing. In 
* trim gardens ' in the midst of wildness, it seems like 
Eden, with wasps instead of snakes." 

It was at Lord Ducie's that Mrs. Stewart 
first made acquaintance with his cousins, Lord 
and Lady Denbigh, which led to other pleasant 
visits. 

" Newnham Paddox. — I wish you were with me in 
this heavenly place, with these dear people. You like 
magnificence. So do I, when it is not spoiled by 
lower things. A. and Crissy do not. We will not 
quarrel with them, but I still think that we are right. 
This is a really grand place, le grand air m everything, 
the finest family chapel in the kingdom, I suppose. 
Lord Denbigh sold an estate which accrued to him in 
Shropshire to build it, and he has done it worthily. I 
go in to low mass at 8.30 every morning in my long fur 
coat and a black veil — to be sure the chapel is only at 
the end of the long corridor. Kindness of every sort 
and cordiality is here for me. It is a wonderful sight, 
and touching in its way, to see the younger son of the 
house, Basil, a lovely boy of eight years, serve the 
mass every morning. We are a very small party here 
as yet — most cultivated people they are — excellent 
music, excellent reading aloud, everybody occupied. 



I 68 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

everybody receptive and communicative, every soul 
here as yet Roman Catholic, but you know I don't like 
them the less for that. I intended to go home on 
Monday, but am kept per force. I compromise for 
Thursday, but I doubt if I get the gates open then, so 
cordial, so dear, so hospitable are my hosts — their care 
and tenderness to me is nearly filial." 

'■'■ Newnham Paddox. — I wish I could make you 
see my visit. Such affectionate kindness, such honour 
and respect is shown me, that I cannot comprehend it, 
only receive it humbly and with gratitude. 

'They say this world's a world of woe, 
And I pity the fools that find it so.' 

Here are lines I have found at stately Newnham, and 
they strike me as so funny and incongruous that I 
copy them." 

From 1877 onwards Mrs. Stewart had been 
frequently very ill and suffering, and was often 
confined for weeks to bed or the sofa in her 
little room in Sloane Street, which was con- 
stantly brightened by presents of flowers and 
fruit, and cheered by the presence of ministering 
friends. When she was able, she would talk 
for hours on all events of the day with wonder- 
ful shrewdness and sagacity, amid which such 
gleams of fun would break forth as were in- 
describable. Well does the writer remember 
some one in her room remarking that an elec- 



MRS. DUNCAN STEWART 1 69 

tion failure which had just befallen Sir William 
Harcourt would be as good as a dose of physic 
to him, and the sparkling humour with which 
she replied, " No ; it would be a dose of castor- 
oil administered to a marble statue." 

Of her own pains and aches Mrs. Stewart 
would seldom speak. *' Take care," she would 
say, if one had a tendency thus to complain, 
"or you will become that most dreadful of all 
things, a self-observant valetudinarian. I was 
once in a house with a lady who, after talking 
of nothing else for an hour, said, * I won't 
speak of my own health, for when I was young, 
a dear, old, wise, judicious woman said to me, 
" When anybody asks how you are, always say 
you are quite well, for nobody cares.' " 

From one of her most severe illnesses Mrs. 
Stewart declared that she rallied from the time 
Mr. Alfred Denison paid her a visit. She had 
said to him that she had a presentiment she 
should not recover, and he had answered her 
that he had never been ill without that pre- 
sentiment, but that it had never come true. 

Speaking of the cases in which the highest 
and lowest motives combine, and " Oh, in life 
there are so many of these cases," led Mrs. 
Stewart one day to speak of the occasions on 
which a lie is justifiable. 



I/O BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

"There was once a case in which I thought I ought 
to tell a lie, but I was not sure. I went to Dr. and 
Mrs. Bickersteth, and I asked them. They would 
only answer, * We cannot advise you to tell a lie ' — 
they would not advise it, but they did not forbid it. 
So, when a husband came to question me about his 
wife, I equivocated. I said, ' She certainly did not do 
what you imagine.' He said to me very sternly and 
fiercely — 'That is no answer: is my wife innocent?' 
And I said, ' She is.' I said it hesitatingly, for I 
knew it was false, and he knew it was false ; he knew 
that I had lied to him ; he did not believe me in his 
heart, but he was glad to believe me outwardly, and he 
was grateful to me, and that husband and wife lived 
together till their death. I believe that was one of the 
rare cases in which it is right to tell a lie. You will say 
that it might lead one to tell many others, but I do not 
think it has. Was it not Mr. Stopford Brooke who 
once said that * merciless truth ' was the most selfish 
thing he knew ? " 

Another day, Mrs. Stewart spoke again of 
howr far a lie might be justified by circum- 
stances, such as giving a wrong direction to a 
man who was in pursuit of another to kill him, 
&c. ; and when some one objected, she dwelt 
upon its being far greater to be noble for others 
than holy for oneself. Some one observed 
that in this case we should all follow the inner 
voice, which would tell truly what duty was. 
*Yes," said Mrs. Stewart, "having formed 



MRS. DUNCAN STEWART I J I 

your character by the Master without, you may 
then act in crises by the voice within, which 
will never be false to your life's teachings. 
Perhaps," she added, " I should say, like Dr. 
Johnson, I have been speaking in crass ignor- 
ance, according to the failings of my fallible 
human nature ; and yet, may we not all, whilst 
acting like fallible human beings as we are, 
trust respectfully in God's mercy — though 
speaking of no glorious future as reserved for 
us, lest He should say, ' What hast thou done 
to deserve that ? ' " 

Long in the hearts of those present will 
echo the sweet and thrilling tones in which, 
after this conversation, Mrs. Stewart repeated 
the lovely lines on Mary Magdalen in Moore's 
" Rhymes of the Road : " — 

" No wonder, Mary, that thy story 

Touches all hearts — for there we see 
The soul's corruption and its glory. 
Its death and life combined in thee. 

No wonder, Mary, that thy face. 

In all its touching light of tears. 
Should meet us in each holy place 

Where man before his God appears, 
Hopeless — were he not taught to see 
All hope in Him who pardon'd thee. 

Often, very often, in these hours of feeble- 



1/2 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

ness, would Mrs. Stewart speak and wonder on 
the mysteries of a future state. 

"Do not think I murmur, but life is very trying 
when one knows so little of the beyond. The clergy- 
man's wife has just been here, and she said, * But you 
must believe, you must believe Scripture literally, you 
must believe all it says to the letter.' But I cannot 
believe literally; one can only use the faith one has. 
I have not the faith which moves mountains. I have 
prayed that the mountains might move, with all the 
faith that was in me — all. But the mountains did not 
move. No, I cannot pray with the faith which is not 
granted me. 

" I think that I believe all the promises of Scripture ; 
yet, when I think of Death, I hesitate to wish to leave 
the certainty here for what is — yes, must be — the un- 
certainty beyond. Yet lately, when I was so ill, when 
I continued to go down and down into the very depths, 
I felt I had got so far, so very far, it would be difficult 
to travel all that way again. ' Oh, let me go through 
the gates now,' I said, and then the comforting thought 
came that perhaps after all it might not be the will of 
God that I should travel the same way again, and that 
when He leads me up to the gates for the last time, it 
may be His will to lead me by some other, by quite a 
different way." 

The kindness of Mrs. Stewart's nature was 
so great, and she was so appreciative of the 
good qualities of all who came near her, that 



MRS. DUNCAN STEWART I 7 3 

no one could help feeling better and a little 
nearer their ideal when with her, or when they 
had been long under her influence. To look 
at the best side of people, and to shut her eyes 
to their faults, was not with her, as with many, 
simply a duty ; it was the very essence of her 
nature. 

No one had a more sensitive and grateful 
appreciation of the smallest present or kindness 
shown to her by others. Even if the gift was 
worth nothing and cost nothing to the sender, 
she would out of the fulness of her heart speak 
so warmly of the kindness — and with her it was 
not words, but real feeling — that the giver was 
often ashamed of how little had been done. It 
was often almost distressing, however, that she 
was as open-handed as she was large-hearted. 
If a person who enjoyed so many pleasures can 
be said to have had a special one, her special 
pleasure was to give away. However much a 
thing pleased her, she would always rather give 
it away than keep it for herself. Baskets of 
fruit or flowers, game or new-laid eggs, that 
were carefully sent by loving friends for her 
special use, were often looked at and enjoyed 
for half-an-hour, and then passed on to some 
friend who would enjoy them equally, and per- 
haps need them more. It would amuse her 



174 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

children to find that some little object which 
they had selected for her own use, or some 
dainty which they had sent to tempt her appe- 
tite, had been given away within an hour to a 
sick friend, or perhaps even to the first person 
who happened to call. It was not that she 
failed to appreciate or enjoy the gift, but that 
with her the impulse to give away was irre- 
sistible. Some one said to Mrs. Stewart that 
one of her nearest belongings would probably 
end her life in the Queen's Bench from her 
over-charity and generosity. "Thank God if 
it is for that!" Mrs. Stewart characteristically 
replied. 

Mrs. Stewart retained the happy quality of 
eagerness about everything to a degree very 
unusual for her age. To the last she was 
most eager to promote and participate in any 
human enjoyment, and her eagerness to help 
others who needed it was measured only by 
her ability. She did not ask herself, " Should 
I do this.'*" but, "How much can I do?" and 
cold prudence had only a small voice in her 
counsels. Her kindness, her appreciativeness, 
her impulsive and sustained generosity, and 
her eager intelligent interest in everything, 
created for herself great happiness even in her 
later personal sufferings; and to one who 




iiKS. JDDNCAN STEWART 



MRS. DUNCAN STEWART 175 

asked her, when a book appeared with that 
title, "Is Life Worth Living?" she replied, 
" Ay, to the very dregs'' 

Mrs. Stewart could not endure any language 
which seemed to her the least exaggerated. 
Mrs. Kendal one day spoke to her of her being 
in "the honoured place of age," having reached 
"the table-land," whilst she and others were 
only like ants trying to climb up to it. Mrs. 
Stewart turned sharply round upon her, with — 
" My dear, you are a fool ; you know perfectly 
well that no one is old, and that there is no 
table-land." 

A visit which Mrs. Stewart greatly enjoyed 
in her last years was that to those who were 
then Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Tennyson. 

" Aldworth (1880 or 1881). — I will write on my 
first night at this precious house, because I think, I 
know, it must interest you. Sabine Greville brought 
me this afternoon by the loveliest of all lovely Enghsh 
drives, really a country fit for a poet to Hve in. We 
found here two young Roman Catholics, brother and 
sister, dear Mrs. Tennyson in all her delicate beauty, 
and the dear old man. The house is wonderfully 
beautiful, on a very high hill, commanding the whole 
country. I am installed luxuriously in three rooms 
en suite. We dined at 6.30. When Tennyson had 
finished his dinner, he went off. At first I thought he 
was ill, but everybody seemed to take it as a matter of 



176 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

course. We sate on and finished our dinners. Then 
we moved into another room, where dessert was laid 
and the master was sitting with his wine and fruit. 
Then, after an hour of very good talk, he went away to 
sleep and smoke, she went to rest till 9.30, and we 
young ones went into the music-room. Hallam tucked 
me up reverently and lovingly on a sofa, and the music 
began — real good music, Beethoven and such like. At 
9.30 to the drawing-room again, Mrs. Tennyson went 
to bed at ten, and he read to us, and it has been a 
great enjoyment ! Everybody breakfasts in their own 
room." 

^^ August 31. — Here at Aldworth — a happy day, a 
day to note, if I could do it worthily. A deal of good 
talk with the master, in and out. A walk by myself 
out of the gates. A very good talk with Hallam, 
whom I like more and more, and with dear beautiful 
Mrs. Tennyson. Hallam sung a German hymn to me, 
in his manly true voice, without music, just sitting by 
me, in the drawing-room ; it was very fine. 

" They drove me to a great house, but the drive to 
and fro was the thing. Much good talk. I wish I 
could remember all, not to record it, for it was very 
personal, but to enjoy it. After dinner, the master 
was very genial, very confiding, full of interesting talk. 
I think I know his character now. He read in the 
evening, and now at eleven o'clock I am come to bed, 
grateful that I am here, and saying to the time : — 

' Stay, for thou art fair ! ' " 

" Thursday night (aX. Milford — Mrs. Greville's again). 
— This morning was fine. On going down at eleven 



MRS. DUNCAN STEWART 1 77 

o'clock, I found Mr. Tennyson and Hallam waiting to 
walk with me ; they took me about the grounds, showed 
me the dogs and horses, and then went off for their own 
long walk. Dear Mrs. Tennyson was in the drawing- 
room, and I talked with her till one — very very interest- 
ing. Luncheon at 1.30, alone with them, and much good 
and loving talk. I was very thankful, for I felt that 
they loved me and trusted me. Sabine most kindly 
drove over to fetch me, nine miles of lovely country, 
and I felt all love and reverence, and was invited to 
come back with affectionate urgency. They said, * This 
is the thin edge of the wedge ; we hope that you will 
come again whenever you can and will.' All this was 
and is very pleasant and dear to one's heart, and I 
thank God again and again." 

The buoyant nature of Mrs. Stewart enabled 
her soon to rally even after the severest ill- 
nesses, but in 1883 her increased feebleness 
of body, though never of mind, struck all who 
loved her. Here are a few notes of this time : — 

"8/// July 1883. — This last has been a terrible 
week — Wilham Spottiswoode's funeral at the Abbey. 
I had not intended to go, but they sent for me, and I 
could not and would not shrink. It was a grand and 
terrible experience. I was so near the grave that I 
could touch everything and everybody with my hand, 
and I got so bewildered, that my only resource on 
leaving the Abbey was to drive smart out into the 
breezy country to blow off the atmosphere. The day 
after I went down to Kew (imperative and very good 

M 



178 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

for me), where I could not but clutch fast hold of dear 
Joseph Hooker, Lady Eastlake, and even Browning, to 
make sure they were still here." 

" Walton Heath, October gth. — I came here on 
Saturday to my dear Caroline Bromley — a charming 
place, full of books and kindness, and care and con- 
sideration. We are in the middle of a large airy heath 
— a most healthy place, and have the loveliest garden 
and orchard that you did ever see, full of sweet-smell- 
ing things." 

" November 4. — I have set up a fine large black cat, 
called Joe — a travelled cat. He was in Cairo with the 
poor Elliots when they died in one week. Joe is very 
fond of me, and will hardly leave my lap. 1 find him 
very heavy, and would often be glad to get rid of him, 
but don't like to disturb him : he does not so much 
mind disturbing me." 

^^ November 25. — I am getting quite fairly better. 
Henry James came and sate by my bedside a long 
while to-day, and I had a good time. Lady Gordon 
was here yesterday, and everybody is very very good 
to me. Mrs. Bald sends me beautifully chosen game, 
Mrs. Houldsworth grapes and figs — such grapes ! — and 
the goodness — and the goodness ! My maidens. East 
and Polly, are as you know them. I hope their mother 
is coming up to spend Christmas, and I intend and plan 
that they should have a happy time, please God." 

In the autumn of 1883, after a visit to her 
much-valued friend Mrs. Hamilton, of Brent 
Lodge, Mrs. Stewart had insisted, in spite of her 
infirmities, upon going to Scotland. Hitherto 



MRS. DUNCAN STEWART 179 

she had always travelled third-class, saying it 
was the one economy she could indulge in 
without hurting any one else. But this time 
her loving daughter Christina and Miss 
Hamilton insisted upon going beforehand to 
engage a Pullman car and have everything 
ready. When she arrived, she was as much 
enchanted as a girl of sixteen, shook hands 
with the caretaker, and completely captivated 
him ; washed her hands at once to try the tap ; 
was enraptured with the furniture, saying her 
only trouble was whether to lie on the sofa or 
sit in the arm-chair ; and then suddenly she 
burst into tears, and flung her arms round her 
daughter Chrissy, saying, "My dear, you should 
not make me wish so much to live ; surely the 
angels in Heaven can never take the care of 
me you do ! " 

In January 1884, the death of her kind son- 
in-law, James Rogerson of Wamphray, was a 
great shock to Mrs. Stewart in her enfeebled 
state. Soon her weakness increased so much, 
that her Hanoverian daughter was summoned 
from Gmunden, and came at once with her 
husband and children. The mother was able 
to have pleasure in this last reunion, and the 
daughter had the unspeakable comfort of 
having had the power of sharing with her 



I 80 DIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

sister in loving ministrations to the last weeks 
of their mother's life here. Before this, Mrs. 
Stewart had always seemed to avoid all 
thought of death, but now, when she saw and 
accepted that death must be the termination 
of her illness, she set herself, so to speak, to 
examine the process. She evidently had no 
fear, and repeatedly spoke of the entire trust 
and confidence with which she left herself in 
God's hands. She also said in a musing kind 
of way, more than once, "It is curious, this 
thing which you call dying — this curious thing 
called dying." She retained the use of all her 
powers of observation till a few hours before 
the end, and the whole of the last week was 
strongly characteristic of her — her intellect, her 
sweetness, her sense of humour, being all seen 
as it were under an electric light. A few days 
before the end, a dear Roman Catholic friend, 
who had always hoped that in her last hours 
she might be received into the Roman Church, 
came to her, and urged it vehemently — " There 
was no time to be lost ; it was not necessary to 
understand or receive all the articles of the 
[Roman] faith ; all that was really necessary 
was to resign one's own will entirely, to say 
in humble trust, ' Whatever God wills, I will, 
that would be enough." " Oh, dear friend," 



MRS. DUNCAN STEWART l8l 

answered Mrs. Stewart in the sweetest and 
most touching manner, " could it be possible 
that I, a poor weak woman, could will anything 
but what God wills ? I love you and I love 
much in your religion, and I love God ; but 
how can I accept technically what I cannot 
believe absolutely ? " and to this she remained 
firm against all entreaties, oft-repeated the last 
three days of her life, though, when the same 
friend offered to pray with her, she accepted 
it gladly with — " Yes, surely we may pray to- 
gether, to our common Father y 

On the 1 6th of February 1884, Mrs. Stewart 
passed peacefully and painlessly into the other 
life. Her sons and daughters were with her, 
and her two faithful servants. Her last words 
were " Higher, Higher," and we may believe 
that she has reached that higher existence 
where her thirst for life, not repose, meets 
its first fruition. Her mortal remains were 
laid in a grave of flowers at Kensal Green, 
many faithful hearts mourning, many sad eyes 
weeping, beside her coffin. East, her maid, to 
whom she had ever been caressing in thoughts 
and acts and words, only echoed the unspoken 
feeling of many as to the common round 
of outer events when she said simply, " It is 
so terrible that the omnibuses should still 



I 82 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

be running and Mrs. Stewart be gone." But a 
couplet written by a brother of Mrs. Barbauld 
might be applied to her, who — 

" From the banquet of Life rose a satisfied guest, 
Thank'd the Lord of the feast, and in hope went to rest." 



PARAY LE MONIAL 

Travellers often complain of the dulness of 
the journey through France which they are 
forced to take in the search after a warm 
winter climate. They think there is nothing 
to see between Paris and Marseilles, because 
they never look. Yet even the traveller who 
is hurried straight on without stopping might 
find much to interest him in the rapid transi- 
tions — the extraordinary changes in all the 
characteristics of the country he is passing 
through. First come the central plains of 
France ; then the rolling hills of Burgundy in 
the white moonlight ; then the great towns, 
Dijon and Lyons, deep down below and 
mapped out in the night by their lamps ; the 
dawn over the Rhone valley, with its arid 
hills and crumbling castles ; the change to 
the blue sky fading into softest amber ; the 
first stunted olives ; the white roads leading, 

dust-surrounded, to the white Proven9al cities, 

183 



184 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

Avignon, Tarascon, and Aries ; the desolate 
stone- laden Crau, so utterly forlorn that it 
seems like the world of another life ; the still 
blue Mediterranean with its fringes ot pink- 
blossoming almonds growing in thickets of 
asphodel and violets ; Marseilles, and its har- 
bour and its shipping, and its thousand bas tides 
gleaming snowy-white amid the foliage on the 
hillsides ; and lastly, the granite phase near the 
coast, and its peculiar growth of heath and 
lavender, and rosemary and pines. Even the 
winter traveller who is ill-tempered and in a 
hurry ought not to say that he can find nothing 
to admire. 

But for those who have time to break their 
journey and to linger on the way, no words 
can portray the wealth of interest and plea- 
sure and instruction which may be found, and 
which too often passes unheeded and unsought, 
in the charming little French towns by the 
wayside. The writer's own feeling is that his 
pleasantest Continental days, those which come 
back to him most in dreams, those which- he 
delights to linger over in memory, are not days 
spent in the great well-known sight -seeing 
places, Rome, Florence, Venice, Dresden, or 
Vienna ; not even days amid the greatest 
beauties of the Alps or the Pyrenees ; but 



PARAY LE MONIAL I 8 5 

those passed in lingering in the httle wayside 
towns of France and Germany. Seldom com- 
pelled to hurry, in annual journeys to and from 
the south, short mornings were spent in the 
railway, generally in reading up the story of 
the places to be visited, and happy afternoons 
in rambling about old churches too big and too 
grand for the little towns they adorned, in 
sketching the ruins of some forgotten abbey by 
a willow-fringed river, or hearing some charm- 
ing story of happy, and often holy and beauti- 
ful, peasant life from simple and friendly lips. 
Delightful too were the evenings in the primi- 
tive clean country inns — not great Anglicised 
houses, with the vulgarity and ostentation 
which generally follow the word "hotel," and 
which always attend the places whither couriers 
drag their long-suffering victims, but simple 
homes with a welcome from simple hearts, quiet 
cheerful wholesome dinners at bright little 
tables cC hote, where the mistress alternately 
carved and pressed her home-made dainties, 
and where the master formed one of the 
company — the humble village magnates, the 
doctor, the attorney, perhaps the mayor, and 
sometimes a stranger or two, making up the 
rest of the party. And then would come the 
rest in snowy beds, whose sheets were scented 



I 86 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

with lavender, in little rooms with brick floors 
and a single strip of carpet, and a china b^nitier, 
with a bunch of box blessed on Palm Sunday, 
hanging against the whitewashed wall at the 
bed's head ; and the being awakened by the 
hostess calling her chickens under the window, 
to the rippling of the river through the orchards, 
and the sweet scent of the lime-flowers which 
hung over the little garden. 

Such days as these may be spent at many 
of the places between Paris and Marseilles — at 
Fontainebleau, with its delightful palace-garden 
and its green forest alleys ; at Sens, with its 
grey cathedral and memories of Becket ; at 
Auxerre, with its excursions to the abbeys of 
Pontigny and Vezelay ; at Tonnerre, with its 
interesting churches and hospital and tombs ; 
at Montbard, with its lovely river and its 
beautiful abbey of Fontenay ; at Dijon, with 
its delightful walk to the hill of Fontaines ; at 
Nuits, with its glorious old church and its ex- 
cursion to Citeaux ; at Beaune, with its chest- 
nut-girded ramparts and mediaeval streets ; at 
Autun, with its Roman remains and glorious 
cathedral ; at Villefranche, for the sake of Ars 
and its memories, and at many places farther 
on, and, being more in the south, perhaps better 
known than these. 



PARAY LE MONIAL 1 87 

Circumstances certainly have a strange power 
of gilding, and there are companionships which 
make almost all scenes beautiful, and which seem 
to gather up the flowers of life and weave them 
involuntarily into a garland of perfect happi- 
ness. When the golden cord which twined it 
is broken, the garland withers. Nothing can 
ever be quite the same again, the delicate lines 
seem washed out of the picture, the pathos lost 
which made the poem, and yet, even then, it 
will often be found that Nature, especially in 
her quiet moods (and under the expression 
Nature, one may be allowed to mean all old 
"unrestored" buildings, for which Time has 
done more than even the builder), has a won- 
derful power of comfort and companionship. 

Once I was alone at Macon, where we had 
often been before. 

Macon is one of the places which people find 
most fault with, but which we have always liked. 
It has so completely a character of its own, with 
its long quay of quaint houses, two miles long 
I should think, facing the immense river, which 
has nothing beyond it, but which makes a great 
angle just fronting the centre of the town, and 
so sweeps all its impurities away to the rich 
distant pasture-lands, and leaves you to that 
fresh pure air which is now looked upon as a 



I 88 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

cure for Roman fever, and which is perfectly 
impregnated in May and June with the scent of 
lime avenues ; for here as well as at Tonnerre 
people cultivate the lime- flowers — tilleuls — and 
gather them in a regular harvest, to dry and 
sell to the apothecaries to mix with their tisanes. 
Indeed no old French wife who knows her duty 
ever dreams of being without a good supply of 
dried fieurs de tilleul to take in boiling water, 
with a feuille d'oranger and a teaspoon ful of 
Eau de Melisse des Carmes, for a cold, or 
hysteria, or indigestion, or sleeplessness, or 
headache, or . . . almost everything. 

The ruined cathedral of Macon, battered to 
pieces at the Revolution, stands with its two 
octagonal towers looking down upon the quiet 
market-place. The back part of the town is so 
deserted, so silent and grass-grown, that you 
might think you were in a Spanish city. The 
high walls of convents, with richly wrought 
heavy rails before the windows, throw a gloom 
over the narrow streets. Here and there the 
lines of houses are broken by a courtyard with 
acacias and lilacs, before one of the ancient 
Hotels^ which in winter receive the provincial 
noblesse. The whole life of Macon seems to 
be concentrated by the river-side, which is the 
scene of constant change from the quantity of 



PARAY LE MONIAL 1 89 

merchandise from the south of France, and the 
produce of the Maconnais vineyards, which is 
always being disembarked or embarked. Here 
also, for those who know the beauty of simple 
lines, there is a charm in the country seen be- 
yond the river : — 

" Large and strange, 
Crossed everywhere by long thin poplar-lines, 
Like fingers of some ghastly skeleton-hand," 

pointing at the town. There is a charm, and a 
great one, in the Inn, which faces the broad 
gleaming water, to which you look across the 
rugged pavement of the street, between great 
green boxes, set out on the edge of the pave- 
ment, and planted with huge tufts of white 
marguerites and Portugal-laurels clipped round 
to look like orange-trees. 

In the end of May there is always a great 
fair at Macon, which is resorted to by the 
whole country-side. Then the usually quiet 
town assumes a festal aspect, the walks under 
the lime-trees are lined with booths filled with 
gay wares and most brilliantly lighted towards 
evening, and in the little place are numbers of 
shows — theatres, and operas, and horseman- 
ship — at one sous of entrance money, between 
which a merry crowd wanders and laughs and 



190 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

chatters, entering first Le Tliddtre de Jesus, and 
then rushing to see La Vraie Femme a la Barde, 
who is exhibiting next door. The most popu- 
lar, and certainly the most exciting, of all these 
spectacles on our last visit was the Massacre 
of the Innocents, but then three sous were 
charged for that. It was an awful tableau. 
Soldiers were holding numbers of little chil- 
dren, without a vestige of garments, head 
downwards by their feet ; some were being 
slaughtered and apparently pouring with blood, 
while others were lying weltering in their gore 
at the feet of their agonised mothers. It was 
wonderfully done — far too horrible, and much 
more vivid than the famous picture of Guido. 
The crowd at the fair was so great and the 
weather so beautiful, that late at night, when 
the little theatres were all closing, and the 
shops were putting away their wares, Macon 
invented a new amusement, a fiery regatta on 
the broad limpid river, — boats which chased 
each other, wreathed from end to end with gar- 
lands of coloured lamps, reflected a thousand- 
fold in every little riplet. They pursued, they 
escaped, they turned, they pursued again, the 
crews sang and the people cheered, and, as 
our landlady said, '' il avail fair tout-a-fait 
Venitien" 



PARAY LE MONIAL IQI 

But lately the peasants who have come into 
the Macon fair from the neighbouring towns — 
from Bourg, and Chagny, Chalons, Autun, and 
Lyons — have extended their journey a little 
farther, and taken the opportunity of mingling 
a religious duty with a secular one, by mak- 
ing the pilgrimage to the shrine of Paray 
le Monial, which has only lately become a 
familiar name to Protestant England, though 
in France it has long been honoured. 

Since 1864, when the nun Marguerite- Marie 
Alacoque, who had died in 1690, received the 
tardy honours of "beatification," the interest 
in the place where her life was spent and 
where she lies buried has been gradually and 
steadily increasing. Before this, its noble old 
church attracted few but local visitors, and in 
England it was quite unknown : in Murray's 
Handbook it was not even mentioned. But 
the erection and opening of a new church 
above the grave of the saintly woman in June 
1866, and the announcement in the following 
September that steps were being taken at 
Rome for her future canonisation, became 
the signal for an extraordinary furore about 
her. English Catholics began to say to one 
another, "We must increase the devotion to 
the Mere Marguerite- Marie Alacoque ; this 



192 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

is a thing to be done," — and no energy lias' 
been wanting to fan the flicker of enthusiasm 
about her into a flame, which finally blazed 
forth at the time of the Sardinian occupation 
of Rome, when the neglected and almost lost 
saint was invoked by a myriad voices, and her 
intercession sought in favour of the dethroned 
Pope, who was even then employed in doing 
her honour. Since then the *' devotion " has 
grown in a way which is simply marvellous. 
By dint of preachings and persuasions, pil- 
grimages in her honour were established in 
1873 even in unenthusiastic England (though 
it must be owned that many of the nominal 
*' pilgrims " paid their visits by proxy), and in 
France processions with banners and chaunts 
streamed forth from every province in honour 
of the poor nun who had died nearly 200 years 
before, and with the hope of her influence in re- 
establishing the temporal kingdom of the Pope. 

For a long time Paray le Monial was only 
accessible by a branch line from Chagny, but 
now it has its own separate line from Macon, 
which is only used by the pilgrims and by the 
working people of the country. 

The district this railway passes through 
must be bleak and bare in winter, but in 
summer it is charming. The undulating up- 



PARAY LE MONIAL 193 

lands swell into free heights covered with 
heath or golden with broom, while here and 
there a granite fragment crops up above the 
short grass. The lower slopes are rich with 
vineyards, the vines being tied to low posts 
and cut close to the ground. At wide inter- 
vals come the villages clustering round their 
churches, which are almost always more or 
less picturesque. In the hollows, poplars 
fringe the abundant streams, and rows of 
luxuriant walnuts mark the divisions between 
the fields of clover and lucerne. By the side 
of the railroad the common flowers of France 
grow together most luxuriantly — scabious, 
salvia, mignonette, hawkweed, and here and 
there masses of dark blue columbine. 

It is the country where the childhood of 
Lamartine was spent, and of which he gives so 
vivid a description in his "Confidences." One 
may still see amid its trees the low pyramidal 
spire at his paternal home of Milly. One may 
follow the stony path which he describes as 
winding from door to door between the 
cottages amid which the little chateau stands 
like a great pillar of blackened stone, in its 
tiny garden surrounded by a low dark wall, 
behind which the hill begins to rise at once 
imperceptibly — treeless, shrubless, yet green 



194 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

in summer with vines. "This was all," wrote 
Lamartine — "yet it is that which sufficed for 
so many years for the happiness, the thoughts, 
the peaceful work and leisure of my father, my 
mother, and their eight children. It is that 
which now forms the centre of their recollec- 
tions. It is the Eden of our childhood, and 
we could wish that the world began and ended 
for us with the walls of this poor enclosure." 

Not far distant we may also see Monceaux, 
the chiteau which was the home of Lamartine's 
later life. It stands beautifully situated on a 
rising ground amid the vineyards, surrounded 
by tall trees. In 1870 the writer was present 
there at the sale, when all the sacred house- 
hold relics were first exposed to the curiosity 
of the country-side and then put up to auction 
in the little chestnut avenue, where the bidders 
sat pleasantly all through the hot summer day 
upon the grass ; and he secured as a precious 
memorial, for a few francs, the old green satin 
quilt which covered the bed of the sweet 
woman whose saintly life is laid open to us 
in Le Manuscrit de ma Mere. After reading 
her journal, the whole of this country seems 
fragrant with the recollection of her, and it 
was over these hills that the peasantry of 
Milly carried their beloved mistress at mid- 



PARAY LE MONIAL 195 

night, through the deep untrodden snow, to 
her last resting-place at Saint- Point. 

There are numbers of old chateaux like that 
of Monceaux dominating the Maconnais vine- 
yards, simple old country-houses, distinguished 
by their manorial dovecotes, and standing on 
heights in an enclosure surrounded by a wall. 
The owners are quiet folk, often proud enough 
of their "blue blood;" but leading simple, 
sleepy lives, with few other diversions than 
occasional visits to neighbouring chateaux, as 
sleepy as their own, and only a few miles 
distant, or the being occasionally joined by the 
priest or the doctor in a game of bowls upon 
their terrace. 

As we advance into the hills, the lines of 
poplars draw together as the uplands close in. 
Here is Cluny with its glorious Benedictine 
abbey, of which so large a portion remains — 
the abbey which furnished the line of German 
pontiffs to the Papacy, and trained its Prior 
Hildebrand for the Papal throne and placed 
him upon it. 

The train stops everywhere. It has super- 
seded all other means of locomotion in this 
quiet agricultural country, and it is the country 
people who are considered. At all the stations 
are groups of working men getting in and out 



196 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

in their blue blouses, and women in their blue 
aprons and their caps with flapping crimped 
white fringes. Endless are the little excur- 
sions which the train makes out of each of 
the stations, returning to it again before it 
finally moves on. But in the train, besides 
the country people with their baskets and 
umbrellas (of course we are going second 
class — and how much the pleasantest class it 
is !) are Sisters of Charity, priests with their 
breviaries and ever-moving but silent lips, and 
women in the Macon head-dress — the lofty 
little tower of straw, rising from a brim shaded 
by long black lace lappets ; and all these are 
on pilgrimage. 

The country opens again now. The fields 
are pasture-land, mistletoe grows in the or- 
chards, the vegetation becomes poorer, and 
here, stranded on the wind-stricken upland, is 
a brown Burgundy town, with high roofs and 
dormer windows. It is Paray le Monial. 

At the close of the seventeenth century, 
when the rapid growth of Jansenism was 
agitating the Roman Church, the Jesuit party 
sought for some new influence which might 
stimulate the flagging energies of ultra- Rom an 
Catholicism. This influence was unexpectedly 
found in a poor nun of Paray le Monial, who 



PARAY LE MONIAL 



197 



came, like St. Catherine of Siena, though by a 
very different path, and partly under the influ- 
ence of the strangest fanaticism, to the rescue 
of her Church, as the foundress of the new 
form of devotion known as the "Adoration of 
the Sacred Heart." 




PARAY LE MONIAL 



The Order of the Sisters of the Visitation, a 
branch of the Carmelites, had been founded by 
St. Fran9ois de Sales, and one of their con- 
vents was early established at Paray. Here 
was received as a nun, in her twenty-third year, 



I 98 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

in 1 67 1, Marguerite, the daughter of Claude 
Alacoque, a small proprietor at Veroure, near 
Autun, and of Philiberte Lamyn, his wife. On 
entering the convent, Marguerite adopted in 
religion the name of Marie, which she affixed 
to her own. From the age of four she is said 
to have been devoted to pious thoughts and 
acts, and she had always loved solitude. Her 
parents had wished her to marry, and on find- 
ing her impracticable, besought her, in choos- 
ing a convent, to join the Ursulines of Macon, 
whose abbess was her relation ; but she insisted 
upon selecting an Order more exclusively de- 
voted to the honour of the Virgin. 

Being of delicate health, and suffering cruelly 
from self-inflicted macerations, Marguerite- 
Marie Alacoque soon fell into a visionary state, 
which increased till her religious transports 
began to take a miraculous form. Even then 
there is something most sincere and touching 
in her desire to shrink from notoriety, and her 
own simple dread lest her fancies should be 
delusions. " I constantly fear lest, being mis- 
taken myself, I should mislead others," she 
wrote to her confessor. " I pray constantly to 
God that He will permit me to be unknown, 
lost, and buried in lasting oblivion. My Divine 
Master has required of me by my obedience 



PARAY LE MONIAL 109 

that I should write to you, but I cannot and do 
not believe that it can be His will that any 
recollection should remain after death of so 
pitiful a creature." 

She appears to have forgotten all else in the 
longing after a complete heart-union with her 
Saviour. " I desire," she wrote to one who asked 
her advice, " nothing more than to be blind and 
ignorant as regards human affairs, in order 
perfectly to learn the lesson I so much need, 
that a good nun must leave all to find God, be 
ignorant of all else to know Him, forget all else 
to possess Him, do and suffer all in order to learn 
to love Him." Many of her letters now exist, of 
which a great portion were written to a certain 
Father La Colombiere, who was then living in 
St. James's Palace, as one of the chaplains of 
Catherine of Braganza, Queen of Charles H. 
Those who read them will feel that, however 
imaginative and ecstatic she was, she had at 
least a firm faith in the facts and feelings she 
narrates, and a simple anxiety that while she, 
the instrument, was forgotten, the narration of 
them might redound to the glory of God. In 
the early part of her life at the convent, she 
seems to have been really anxious to counteract 
by honest practical work the increase of her 
visionary tendency, and we find her in turn 



200 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

fulfilling the offices of "infirmarian," "mistress 
of the children," and " mistress of the novices." 
Many of her letters at this time might be mis- 
taken for those of St. Teresa ; for instance : — 
" I would wish to love my Love with a love as 
piercing as that of the seraphim, and I should 
not grieve if it must be from Hell that I should 
love Him thus." And again: — "Nothing that 
the world can give would be more pleasing to 
me than the cross of my Divine Master, a cross 
exactly like His, that is, heavy, ignominious, 
painful, comfortless, pitiless. Others have the 
happiness of mounting with the Divine Master 
upon Tabor, but I am content to know no 
other path than that of Calvary, to spend my 
whole existence amid the thorns, the nails, 
the blows of the cross, with no other pleasure 
than that of knowing that this world has no 
pleasure to give me." Yet shortly after her 
writing thus, the simple truth of her natural 
character is shown by her adding — " Alas ! 
how I fear that this very thirst for suffering 
may perhaps in itself be a temptation of the 
Devil." 

"As to her prayers for suffering," rather 
quaintly says one of her biographers, " they 
were most abundantly answered. Her life in 
the convent was one of constant and acute 



PARAY LE MONIAL 201 

pain ; agonising neuralgia and rheumatism 
allowed her no rest, and her only comfort was 
in frequent communion — what she called the 
reception of * the Bread of Love.' " 

" I have such a thirst for communion," she 
wrote, " that I feel if I had to reach it barefoot 
through a path of flame, it would cost me 
nothing in comparison of being deprived of it." 

Gradually, as her sickness and her self- 
inflicted penances increased, her religious fer- 
vour began to border upon insanity. That 
which might profitably be understood in an 
allegorical sense was by her taken as an actual 
and literal occurrence. Her Saviour, she be- 
lieved, constantly spoke to her. He addressed 
her from the Sacrament of the Altar ; He met 
her beneath the walnut-trees in the garden ; 
He showed her His wounds, which He said 
were still bleeding from the persecutions of 
living unbelievers. He told her that the hour 
of divine vengeance was at hand, and she 
interceded with Him, as Abraham did with the 
Almighty on behalf of Sodom and Gomorrah. 
One day He said to her, " I search a victim for 
my heart, who will offer herself up as a sacrifice 
for the accomplishment of my designs." Then 
in her "longing after the presence of divine 
love," she offered her own heart to the Saviour, 



202 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

and He accepted it. Visibly and actually, as 
she believed and described (always under 
the promise of secrecy to those who swore it 
and immediately betrayed it), visibly and ac- 
tually the Saviour received her heart, and 
placed it within His own, which she said that 
she " saw through the wound in His sacred 
side, and that it was burning like the sun, or 
like a fiery furnace." Her own heart at the 
same time appeared "like an atom which was 
being consumed in this furnace." And when 
it was entirely aflame " Our Saviour placed it 
again in the side of His servant," saying, 
" Receive, my beloved, the pledge of my love." 
From this time Marguerite- Marie was possessed 
by one idea alone — the promulgation of the 
worship of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in its 
actual and literal sense. Persecuted at first, 
and laughed at by her own Sisterhood, she 
gradually gained an ascendancy over them, and 
henceforth believing that God had given her 
a mission to accomplish, she threw aside, in 
what she fancied to be His cause, all feelings 
of personal reticence, urging upon the world, in 
her letters and words, the adoration of the 
Sacred Heart, and announcing the eleven 
benefits which her vivid imagination assured 
her that her Saviour had verbally promised to 



PARAY LE MONIAL 203 

those who would honour Him under this 
peculiar form : — i. All the graces necessary 
for their condition of life. 2. Peace in their 
families. 3. Consolation in their sufferings. 
4. A refuge in Christ during their life, and 
more especially at their death. 5. Abundant 
blessings on all their enterprises. 6. That 
sinners should find in the Sacred Heart the 
source and infinite ocean of piety. 7. That 
through it tepid souls should become fervent. 
8. That by it fervent souls should be raised 
to a higher perfection. 9. That Christ would 
bless all houses in which the image of His 
Sacred Heart was set forth and honoured. 
10. That he would give to priests devoted to 
the Sacred Heart the power of melting the 
most hardened hearts. 11. That those who 
spread abroad this devotion should have their 
name indelibly written upon the heart of their 
Saviour ! 

Fortunately perhaps for the world and for 
herself, from the time of her "revelation" the 
health of Marguerite Alacoque failed rapidly. 
She was never free from a burning pain in her 
side, which on Fridays was increased to agony. 
When she knew that she was dying, with the 
ecstatic fervour of stronger days she implored 
the nuns not to attempt to alleviate her anguish, 



204 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

saying that " the last moments of suffering were 
only too precious to her, and that she had still 
the longing which had always possessed her 
of living and dying upon the cross." She died 
October 17, 1690, in her forty-third year, and 
the eighteenth of her religious profession. Her 
last words were — " I have now nothing left to 
do, but to lose my breath in the Sacred Heart 
of Jesus." 

The first important disciple of Marguerite 
Alacoque was her correspondent La Colombiere, 
who believed that her message was of heavenly 
origin, and solemnly consecrated himself to the 
devotion of the Sacred Heart. In 1678 she 
had the happiness of hearing that, in the 
Monastery of the Visitation at Moulins, the 
worship of the Sacred Heart had commenced, 
though at Paray it was not inaugurated till six 
years after her death. In 1697 Queen Mary 
Beatrice, then exiled in France, was persuaded 
by the Jesuits to implore the Papal authority 
to institute a festival in honour of the " Sacred 
Heart of Jesus ; " but her petition was rejected, 
and authority for the " Adoration of the Sacred 
Heart " was only obtained in 1 7 1 1 from Clement 
XI. Yet meanwhile, by the indefatigable exer- 
tions of the Jesuits, the " devotion " had already 
become most popular, and the extraordinary 



PAR AY LE MONIAL 20$ 

dimensions it has assumed since then are such 
that there is now scarcely a cottage or a room 
in a humble inn in France or Italy which is 
not decorated with a common gaudy print of 
the "Sacred Heart of Jesus." On August 23, 
1856, an apostolic decree of Pius IX. made 
the fete of the " Sacred Heart" obligatory upon 
the whole Catholic Church. For a time it 
seemed as if the wish of Marguerite Alacoque 
was to be fulfilled, and that she herself was to 
remain forgotten, while the doctrine for which 
she had laid down her life was received every- 
where. But her convent companions, seeing 
how great, though subtle, her influence had 
been, watched over the grave where she was 
laid, and in 1703 her tomb was opened and 
her body enclosed in an oak coffin. When the 
sisterhood were expelled from their convent 
at the Revolution of 1 792, they took her bones 
with them, and for some time they were con- 
cealed in the paternal home of one of the 
sisters at La Charite sur Loire. It is interest- 
ing, however, that, even during the dispersion, 
the nuns regularly assembled in the deserted 
chapel at Paray on the day and hour of her 
death, to sing hymns in her honour. After 
their return, bringing back the body of Mar- 
guerite, the Bishop of Autun was induced to 



206 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

allow an inquiry to be instituted into the life 
and miracles of " the servant of God." Three 
alleged miracles out of many were selected for 
strict investigation, all being instantaneous 
cures of nuns from shocking internal disorders 
upon touching her bones ! The examination 
proved satisfactory, and in 1824, Leo XII. 
saluted Marguerite-Marie by the title of Vener- 
able ; in 1863 Pius IX. gave her the additional 
honour of Beatification ; her canonisation is 
still to come. 

Paray in its present state is one great shrine 
to Marguerite- Marie Alacoque. It exists by 
the pilgrimages in her honour. Half its houses 
are inns or lodgings for the pilgrims. Two- 
thirds of its shops are for the sale of medals, 
prints, or biographies of La Bienheureuse. Its 
grand old romanesque church — La Paroisse 
— stands by the river side with two tall towers 
on either side of the gable of its west front, 
and, at the east end, a great apse diverging 
into a whole succession of little apses. Inside, 
it is a noble cruciform round-arched church, 
pure and beautiful. The only peculiar feature 
is the magnificent ancient font, now used as a 
bdnitier, and surmounted by a crucifix. All 
around in groups, and behind the high altar 
in masses, are the banners offered to the 



PARAY LE MONIAL 



207 



•' Sacred Heart of Jesus," chiefly of white 
satin, fringed and embroidered with gold. 
Some of these are from towns, some from 
congregations in Paris, but by far the greater 
number from small country parishes — painfully 
and laboriously contributed by peasants, chiefly 




SHRINE OF MARGUERITE-MARIE ALACOQUE. 



Bretons. The clean but rugged street winds 
up the hill to a picturesque old town-hall and 
the quaint tower of St. Nicholas ; but it is only 
a few steps from La Paroisse, between shops 
full of rosaries and relics, to the iron grille 
which screens the Church of the Visitation. 
This is the sanctum sanctorum. It is covered 
with colour and gilding. Day as well as night 



208 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

numberless candles blaze ceaselessly around 
the shrine. Against the walls hang ranges of 
banners even more splendid than those we 
have already seen. That of Alsace, adorned 
with a cross, and the motto "In hoc signo 
vinces," is hung with crape. Over the altar is 
a modern picture of the event which is sup- 
posed to have taken place so often on that 
very spot, the appearance of Our Saviour to 
Marguerite- Marie. Beneath lies her body in 
a golden shrine beautifully decorated with 
enamel. It is dressed in the habit she wore in 
life, and is formed from the still-perfect bones, 
enclosed in a waxen image. One portion of 
the actual flesh is believed to remain intact ; 
it is that portion of the head which is sup- 
posed to have rested, like that of St. John, 
on the bosom of the Saviour. The shrine of 
Marguerite, as it is now, almost forms the 
altar, and thus, as one of her poor devotees 
said, " The grave of the Bienheureuse serves 
as a pedestal for the Throne of the Sacred 
Heart." 

The convent adjoining the chapel is little 
changed from the days when Marguerite-Marie 
inhabited it. The corridors have been painted 
by the nuns with scenes from her life. The 
Chapter- House remains where she was so often 



PARAY LE MONIAL 209 

questioned about her visions, and the Infirmary 
where she died. In the garden we may still 
see the group of walnut-trees where she is 
affirmed to have laid her head upon the bosom 
of her Saviour, and the little " Chapel of the 
Apparition," erected on the spot where her 
heart is supposed to have been inflamed by 
actual contact with the Sacred Heart of her 
devotion. 

As we sate in the chapel, one group of pil- 
grims after another came in, and approached 
the shrine upon their knees and kissed with 
reverence the relics, and murmuring voices re- 
peated one of the authorised collects of the 
Beatified: — "O Lord Jesus Christ, who hast 
revealed in a wonderful manner to the Blessed 
Virgin Marguerite the impenetrable riches of 
Thine heart ; grant, that by her merits and her 
example, loving Thee in all and above all, we 
may become worthy to dwell eternally in the 
same Sacred Heart." 



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