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IN writing my father s life, I have aimed at producing 
rather a memoir of such length as should be within the 
compass of the general reader than a complete and 
exhaustive biography. I have adopted the method of 
inviting friends and colleagues who were associated 
with my father at different periods of his life to con 
tribute reminiscences of those periods, and to these 
friends, naming them in the order in which their con 
tributions appear in this book, it is now my pleasant 
duty to tender hearty thanks for their kind and generous 
response; to 

Professor E. Spencer Beesly. 

Sir Edwin Arnold, K. C. S. I. 

His Honour Judge Vernon Lushington. 

Canon Henry Bell. 

Mr. George Russell. 

Mr. Walter Leaf. 

V. S. 

The Very Reverend Dr. H. Montagu Butler, Master 
of Trinity College, Cambridge. 

Mr. E. F. E. Thompson. 

The Reverend Dr. H. A. James, Head Master of 
Rugby School. 

Professor C. E. Vaughan. 

Mr. C. L. Graves. 

J. D. R. 

The Right Reverend Bishop Montgomery. 


The Reverend W. E. Sims. 

The Reverend W. J. Somerville. 

The Venerable Archdeacon Vesey. 

Mr. T. Archibald Brooks, Principal of the Govern 
ment High School, Delhi. 

The Reverend Canon Page-Roberts. 

The following members of my own family, Mrs. J. S. 
Thomas, The Honourable Mrs. J. S. Northcote, The 
Reverend Eric M. Farrar, and The Reverend Ivor G. 
Farrar have contributed reminiscences, which I grate 
fully acknowledge. 

My mother, to whom I dedicate this volume, and my 
wife have given me much valuable assistance in the 
way of advice and criticism and in revising the proof 

I have also to acknowledge permission courteously 
accorded me by the respective editors to make extracts 
from the following periodicals ; from 

The Temple Magazine. The Quiver. 
The British Monthly. The Manchester Guardian. 
The Cornhill Magazine. The Morning Advertiser. 
Great Thoughts. 

I have also, by permission of the publishers, made 
use of extracts from " Men I Have Known " and the 
"Biographical Life of Christ" (Cassell & Co.). A 
bibliography of my father s principal published writings, 
compiled by Miss Zoe Hawley, has been added. 

To the help thus promptly and generously given is 
mainly due whatever of value the Memoir may possess. 
If I may be allowed a word of personal reference, I 
would beg indulgence for many shortcomings in the 
work, of which I am painfully conscious, on the ground 


that it has been compiled in the scant leisure of a busy 
official life. I have tried impartially to paint the por 
trait of my father as he lived, not ignoring the fact that 
his work was often the subject of criticism, but writing 
throughout, as a son must needs write of such a father, 
in a spirit of loving reverence. If I have in any meas 
ure conveyed the lesson that a manhood spent in the 
service of God and his fellow-men was the direct out 
come of a youth of stainless purity and strenuous effort, 
if I have helped any to realise the renowned preacher 
and writer as a genial friend, a most loving husband, 
and a most tender father, I have not wholly failed in 
my task. 



November, 1903. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY ......... xiii 



















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Reprinted repeatedly. 
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Sermons. Sonnenschein. Fourth edition, 1898. 

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versity Press. Third edition, 1894. 


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The Minor Prophets. Nisbet. Very large sale. 

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With the Poets : a Selection of English Poetry. Dent. 


Darkness and Dawn : a Tale of the Days of Nero. Longmans. 

Eighth edition, 1898. 
Social and Present-day Questions. Hodder. Fourth edition, 1903. 


The Voice from Sinai : the Eternal Bases of the Moral Law. Isbis 
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The Lord s Prayer: Sermons in Westminster Abbey. Isbister. 

Reprinted repeatedly. 
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i edition. 


Christ, Paul, and Early Christianity. 

The Life of Christ as represented in Art. Black. Third edition, 

The Second Book of Kings. (The Expositor s Bible.) Hodder. 

Second edition, 1902. 


Biblical Character Sketches. ( Joint authorship.) Nisbet. Third 

edition, 1898. 

Gathering Clouds : Days of St. Chrysostom. Longmans. 2 editions. 
The Book of Daniel. (The Expositor s Bible.) Hodder. Second 

edition, 1903. 
Woman s Work as Daughter, as Wife, and as Mother. Nisbet. 

Second edition, 1895. 


The Bible and the Child : the Higher Criticism and the Teaching 

of the Young. (Joint authorship.) Clarke, i edition. 
The Young Man Master of Himself. Nisbet. Third edition, 1898. 


Prophets of the Christian Faith. (Joint authorship.) Clarke. 

i edition. 

Sin and its Conquerors. (Preachers of To-day.) Nisbet. 
The Bible : its Meaning and Supremacy. Longmans. Second 

edition, 1897. 

The Herods. Nisbet. i edition. 
Westminster Abbey. (Reprinted from "Our English Minsters.") 

Isbister. Reprinted repeatedly. 


Allegories. Longmans, i edition. 

Great Books : Bunyan, Shakespeare, Dante, Milton, The Imitation. 
Isbister. Reprinted repeatedly. 




Temperance Reform as required by National Righteousness and 

Patriotism: Lees and Raper Memorial Lecture. Nisbet. 

Second edition, 1899. 

Texts explained ; or, Helps to understand the New Testament. 


True Religion : Sermons. Freemantle. Second edition, 1903. 

(World s Pulpit Series.) Brown & Langham. 


Progress in the Reign of Queen Victoria : a Brief Record of Sixty 

Years. Bliss. 

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Second edition, 1903. 




Seekers after God. Lippincott & Co. 


The Witness of History to Christ : Hulsean Lectures. Macmillan 


The Fall of Man and Other Sermons. Macmillan & Co. 


The Life of Christ. Cassell. Dutton. Wendell. 
Silence and the Voices of God, with Other Sermons. Dutton. 


An Eulogy on General Grant; Westminster Abbey, Aug. 4th, 1885. 


Inspiration: a Symposium. Whittaker. 
Success in Life : prefaced by a Brief Biography. Cupples. 
Treasure Thoughts from the Writings of F. W. Farrar. Lothrop. 


The History of Interpretation: the Bampton Lectures for 1885. 


Lectures, Addresses, Essays. Alden. 
Sermons and Addresses delivered in America, with an introduction 

by P. Brooks. Dutton. 


Africa and the Drink Trade. National Temperance. 

Books which have influenced Me. Pott. 

The Atonement : a Symposium. Whittaker. 

Non- Biblical Systems of Religion : a Symposium. Whittaker. 



Everyday Christian Life ; or, Sermons by the Way. Whittaker. 
Solomon: His Life and Times. (Men of the Bible Series.) Ran 
Twenty Sermons. (The Contemporary Pulpit.) Whittaker. 


The Minor Prophets. (Men of the Bible Series.) Randolph. 

The Passion Play at Oberammergau. J. W. Lovell. 

Truths to Live By: a Companion to Everyday Christian Life. 

Wider Hope : Essays and Strictures on the Doctrine and Literature 

of Future Punishment. Dutton. 


Darkness and Dawn. Longmans. 

Places that Our Lord Loved. Prang. 

Social and Present-day Questions. Bradley & Co. 


The Voice from Sinai: the Eternal Bases of the Moral Law. Whit 

In the Days of thy Youth : Sermons preached at Marlborough Col 
lege. Macmillan. 


Eric ; or, Little by Little. Macmillan. 

Non-Biblical Systems of Religion : a Symposium. Cranston & 

In the Field with their Flocks Abiding. (Xmas Carol.) Whit 

Julian Home : a Story of College Life. Macmillan. 

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The Cathedrals of England. Whittaker. 

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The Life of Christ as represented in Art. Macmillan. 


The Farrar Year-book: Selections from the writings of F. W. 

Farrar, D.D. Dutton & Co. 
Gathering Clouds. Longmans. 

My Brother and I, by F. W. F. and others. Hunt and Eaton. 
The Book of Daniel. (The Expositor s Bible.) Armstrong. 
The Life of Christ. 2 Vols. Crowell & Co. 
Westminster Abbey and the Cathedrals of England. Winston 



Biblical Character Sketches, by F. W. F. and others. Whittaker. 
The Bible and the Child, by F. W. F. and others. Macmillan. 
The Path of Duty : Counsels to Young Men. Crowell & Co. 
The Three Homes : a Tale for Fathers and Sons. Dutton & Co. 


Lectures on Ecclesiastical History delivered in Norwich Cathedral. 

(St. Ignatius and St. Polycarp, by F. W. F.) Whittaker. 
Men I Have Known. Crowell & Co. 
The Bible : its Meaning and Supremacy. Longmans. 
True Manhood : Sermons. W. B. Ketcham. 
Sin and its Conquerors ; or, the Conquest of Sin. Fleming H. 

Revell Co. 


Allegories. Longmans. 
Great Books. Crowell & Co. 
The Life Story of Aner : an Allegory. Longmans. 
The Herods. E. R. Herrick. Also Whittaker. 


Texts explained; or, Helps to understand the New Testament. 
Dodd. Mead & Co. 


Westminster Abbey ; with a chapter on the Poets 1 Corner by Dean 
Stanley. Mansfield & Wessels. 


The Life of Lives : Further Studies in the Life of Christ. Dodd, 
Mead & Co. 


True Religion : Sermons. Whittaker. 




FREDERIC WILLIAM FARRAR was born in the Fort of 
Bombay, August 7, 1831, his father, the Rev. Charles 
Pinhorn Farrar, being then a chaplain of the Church 
Missipnary_Society. It has been observed trjiat tfiere is 
a certain congruity in the fact that one whose luxuriance 
of imagination and diction was said at any rate by his 
enemies to be at times too tropical, should have been 
born beneath the "larger constellations burning" of 
the gorgeous East. Few traditions are extant of those 
early years, but I met in India in 1900 an aged Mahratha 
Brahman who was educated and taught English by the 
Farrars in Nasik, and who spoke of them with the 


In all letters signed by the late Dean Vaughan, 
please read C. J. Vaughan. 


Westminster Abbey ; with a chapter on the Poets Corner by Dean 
Stanley. Mansfield & Wessels. 


The Life of Lives : Further Studies in the Life of Christ. Dodd, 
Mead & Co. 


True Religion : Sermons. Whittaker. 




FREDERIC WILLIAM FARRAR was born in the Fort of 
Bombay, August 7, 1831, his father, the Rev. Charles 
Pinhorn Farrar, being then a chaplain of the Church ^ 
Missionary_Society. It has been observed tKat tEere Is i 
a certain congruity in the fact that one whose luxuriance / 
of imagination and diction was said at any rate by his 
enemies to be at times too tropical, should have been 
born beneath the "larger constellations burning" of 
the gorgeous East. Few traditions are extant of those 
early years, but I met in India in 1900 an aged Mahratha 
Brahman who was educated and taught English by the 
Farrars in Nasik, and who spoke of them with the 
utmost affection : and about thirty years ago an old 
Mahrathi woman was living who had been in the ser 
vice of the Farrars at Nasik, and who said to a lady 
missionary, " Ah ! you tell me the same things as 
Farrar Mem sahib." This old woman could remember 
"Freddy Baba," and spoke of him as "a great case," 
i.e. a very lively child. At the age of three, Freddy 
Baba was sent home to England with his elder brother 
Henry and placed under the care of two maiden aunts, 
cultured and refined ladies who lived at Aylesbury. A 
few memories of his childhood are preserved in " Eric," 

I A 


which is in some respects autobiographical, and from 
which, therefore, some quotations may be introduced to 
illustrate this period. 

" Very soon he forgot all about India ; it only hung 
like a distant golden haze on the horizon of his memory. 
When asked if he remembered it he would say, thought 
fully, that in dreams, and at some other times, he saw 
a little boy, with long curly hair, running about in a 
flower-garden, near a great river, in a place where the 
air was very bright. But whether the little boy was 
himself or his brother Vernon, whom he had never 
seen, he couldn t quite tell." 

" In his bedroom there hung a cherub s head, drawn 
in pencil by his mother, and this winged child was 
inextricably identified in his imagination with his little 
brother Vernon. He loved it dearly, and whenever he 
went astray, nothing weighed on his mind so strongly 
as the thought, that if he were naughty he would teach 
little Vernon to be naughty too, when he came home." 
His " little brother Vernon " was an imaginary portrait, 
but the little pencil sketch to which this description 
refers was an actual possession of my father s childhood 
which he dearly cherished, and looked on as, in some 
sort, his guardian angel, and is still preserved. 

His aunts, one of whom is remembered as " Aunt 
Rufella," and the training which he received at their 
hands, are thus described : " With Mrs. Trevor and her 
daughter, religion was not a system, but a habit not 
a theory, but a continued act of life. All was simple, 
sweet, and unaffected about their charity and their 
devotions. They loved God and they did all the good 
they could to those around them. The floating gossip 
and ill-nature of the little village never affected them ; 
it melted away insensibly in the presence of their culti- 


vated minds ; so that friendship with them was a bond 
of union among all, and, from the vicar to the dairy 
man, every one loved and respected them, asked their 
counsel, and sought their sympathy." 

" They called themselves by no sectarian name, nor 
could they have told to what party they belonged. 
They troubled themselves with no theory of education, 
but mingled gentle nurture with wholesome neglect. 
There was nothing exotic or constrained in the growth 
of Eric s character. He was not one of the angelically 
good children at all, and knew none of the phrases of 
which infant prodigies are supposed to be so fond. But 
to be truthful, to be honest, to be kind, to be brave 
these lessons had been taught him, and he never quite 
forgot them ; nor amid the sorrows of after life did he 
ever quite lose the sense learned at dear, quiet Fair- 
holm of a present loving God, of a tender and long- 
suffering Father." 

Thus kindly and wisely nurtured, Fred Farrar passed 
a happy childhood, a little fair-haired, blue-eyed fellow, 
roaming about the garden and orchard at the bottom of 
which ran a clear stream, and which supplied him a 
theatre for endless games. He was allowed to go 
about a good deal by himself and it did him good. He 
grew up fearless and self-dependent and never felt the 
want of amusement. 

Having been rather a solitary child, he developed at 
a very early age a voracious appetite for books. He 
had the good fortune to be born and to develop his 
literary taste before the modern boom in cheap and 
ephemeral fiction, before the flooding of the market 
with the abysmal futilities of the modern sixpenny 
magazine. The few books to which he had access, 
both at this period and in his school days in the Isle 



of Man were perforce read and re-read till they became 
a part of himself. Thus he made an early acquaintance 
with Scott s novels, of which, as with all boys, "Ivanhoe" 
was the favourite, and the characters in it grew to be as 
real to him as the people in the streets. The little 
volume of Milton which his mother gave him when he 
was quite a child, and which was his constant compan 
ion till the day of his death, he conned so intently and 
so often that, while still a child, he knew many passages 
of " Paradise Lost " by heart. At the age of six Fred 
Farrar was sent to the Latin school at Aylesbury. Of 
this school he thus speaks in " Eric ": "Although he learnt 
little there, and gained no experience of the character 
of others or of his own, there was one point about Ayrton 
[Aylesbury] Latin School which he never regretted. 
It was the mixture there of all classes. On those benches 
gentlemen s sons sat side by side with plebeians, and no 
harm, but only good, seemed to come from the inter 
course. The neighbouring gentry, most of whom had 
begun their education there, were drawn into closer and 
kindlier union with their neighbours and dependants, 
from the fact of having been their associates in the days 
of their boyhood. Many a time afterward when Eric, 
as he passed down the streets, interchanged friendly 
greetings with some young glazier or tradesman whom 
he remembered at school, he felt glad that thus early he 
had learnt to despise the accidental and nominal differ 
ences which separate man from man." 

When he was eight years old his parents returned from 
India and took a house in the Isle of Man, on the shores of 
Castleton Bay. Here for three years, till their return to 
India, he and his brother Henry, for whom he had a very 
strong affection, lived with their parents, and attended 
King William s College, which was close to their home. 


With his father, a very reticent and somewhat austere 
man, of the strictest evangelical opinions, he appears, 
partly owing to absence during the years of boyhood, 
never to have been on really intimate terms. For the 
memory of his mother, a saintly woman, whose maiden 
name was Caroline Turner, he cherished the deepest 
love and reverence. In 1890, when he was nearly sixty 
years old, he thus wrote of her : 

" First among the influences which have formed my 
life, I must mention the character of a mother who has 
been dead for nearly thirty years, but of whom my remi 
niscences are as vivid and as tender as if she had passed 
away but yesterday. I have never spoken of her, though 
I dedicated one early book to her dear memory. She 
has had no memorial in the world ; she passed her life 
in the deep valley of poverty, obscurity, and trial; but 
she has left to her only surviving son the recollections 
of a saint. I may say of her with truth that she was 
canonised by all who looked on her, and I echo with all 
my heart the words of the Poet Laureate : 

"Happy he 

With such a mother! faith in womankind 
Rests with his blood, and trust in all things high 
Comes easy to him." 

In another passage he says : 

" My mother s habit was, every day, immediately after 
breakfast, to withdraw for an hour to her own room, 
and to spend that hour in reading the Bible, in medi 
tation, and in prayer. From that hour, as from a pure 
fountain, she drew the strength and sweetness which 
enabled her to fulfil all her duties, and to remain un 
ruffled by all the worries and pettinesses which are so 
often the intolerable trial of narrow neighbourhoods. 


As I think of her life, and of all it had to bear, I see the 
absolute triumph of Christian grace in the lovely ideal 
of a Christian lady. I never saw her temper disturbed ; 
I never heard her speak one word of anger, or of cal 
umny, or of idle gossip. I never observed in her any 
sign of a single sentiment unbecoming to a soul which 
had drunk of the river of the water of life, and which 
had fed upon manna in the barren wilderness." 

He preserved her last letter in an envelope, on the 
back of which he wrote, "Sacred to the most dear 
memory of the best of mothers. The enclosed was 
the last letter she ever wrote Farewell, darling 
mother, till the Resurrection morning, when God shall 
|f bring with Him them that sleep in Jesus." 

A letter written to one of his Harrow pupils, a letter 
which influenced the boy s whole life, and which he 
carefully preserved " among his most sacred arcana 
for more than thirty years, may be inserted here. 

" MY DEAR : My esteem and regard for you, ever 

since I knew you, have been so sincere, and I have so 
firm a belief in the manliness and Christian principle 
which mark your character, that I feel sure you will 
allow me the privilege of a friend and master, if I speak 
to you about one very sacred and solemn duty your 
bearing at home. I should never think of intruding 
into so delicate a matter, if one who loves you had not 
asked me affectionately to let you know that sometimes 
by a little impatience about advice you are led to use 
expressions which wound and cause pain to those whom 
I know that you would wish in your inmost heart to 
shelter from the least breath of sorrow at any cost of 
your own personal suffering. The chief duty of a 
Christian lies, my dear boy, in the quiet, unseen life of 


his own home, and if he does not learn there to practise 
that noble virtue of unselfishness that highest type of 
charity which consists in daily and hourly consider- 
ateness for the feelings of others, he will have lost one 
of the strongest resources and one of the most healing 
memories for all his future life. 

" As life goes on you will realise with more and more 
intensity the fact that true, pure, devoted friendship 
and still more that genuine love is a thing which we 
very, very seldom obtain in life. As we grow older we 
more and more walk alone, and our path is marked by 
the graves of those who were more to us than others can 
ever be. It is then, I think, that we yearn most strongly 
for the sacred affection of mother or sister or kinsman 
whom we have lost. It is now eight years since my 
own mother died. She was, if ever there was, a saint of 
God. Her love to me was more than almost any love 
can ever be, and I loved her with all my heart. And 
yet one morning, as I sat in school, a letter brought me 
the intelligence that the previous night she had gone 
to bed in perfect health and happiness, and yet before 
morning God had called her to Himself. When this 
news was brought to me, my first thought was how much 
kinder, how much more loving I might have been ; 
how in a thousand ways, by word and deed, which 
would have cost me nothing and which would have 
caused a thrill of happiness, I might have brightened 
and beautified her earthly life. It was a bitter thought 
that, much as I loved her, / had not always been as kind 
to her as I might have been, and I looked back with joy 
only to those occasions when I had not treated her love 
for me as a matter of course, but had shown by acts of 
kindness and gentleness how infinitely I valued her 
blessing and her prayers. Little faults of impatience, 


little haughtinesses in the expression of opinion and the 
rejection of advice, then seemed to me almost like crimes, 
and I longed, too late, for the opportunity which could 

never more return. That you, my dear , may be 

spared from all such painful retrospects, that you may 
live worthily of your high Christian calling, and that 
these few words of a sincere friend may not offend you 
but rather help to save you from vain regrets is the 
earnest hope of, yours affectionately, 


And two letters referring to his parents in India will 
not perhaps be out of place. 

"BOMBAY, November i, 1875. 

"REVEREND AND DEAR SIR: I have met lately with 
several Europeans who have read your very valuable 
work, the Life of Christ. I regret very much that its 
price places it quite beyond the reach of the English 
speaking natives of India, Christian and non-Christian. 

" Allow me to suggest that if a cheap edition were pub 
lished, there would be a considerable demand for it in 
this country, and your object in writing the book would, 
as far as India is concerned, be to a certain extent 

"Your venerable father, the Rev. C. P. Farrar, was 
the means of my conversion, he baptized me in Nasik in 
1845. The labours of both Mr. and the 1st Mrs. Farrar 
are still remembered by many Hindu people at Nasik 
and its vicinity, and many would have rejoiced at their 
return to India. Why should not you visit the land of 
your birth and benefit the people of it by your vast 
learning. Come over and help us, Acts xvi. 10. 


" Will you kindly give my best regards to your father, 
and accept the same yourself. 

" I am, Rev. and dear Sir, 
" Yours faithfully, 

" APPAJI BAPUJI, C. M. Society." 

" September 14. 

****** * 

" I had enjoyed in India, so far as an unlearned man 
may enjoy, your Hulsean Lectures, and you will not 
wonder at my especial interest in the works and career 
of Dr. Frederic Farrar when I tell you that from 1843 
to 1846 I was constantly hearing of their son Frederic s 
promise from your father and mother, whom in those 
years I knew so well at Nasik in India. I often fancy 
that those who leave us are watching us with intense 
interest, and as I read your work yesterday evening, I 
thought to myself, if the indications of genius in her 
boy gave your sainted mother such pleasure, what joy 
to find the great truths for which she laboured and lived 
thus put before the world by yourself. 

" I never met a lady in India whose work in every re 
spect I honoured as much as Mrs. Farrar s. . . . 
" I remain, dear Sir, 

"Yours faithfully, 

"H. D." 



AT King William s College Frederic Farrar remained 
for eight years, for the first three years as a day boy, but 
when his parents returned to India, after their furlough, 
he and his brother were boarded in the house of the 
head-master, the Rev. Dr. Dixon. 

The long vacations he spent with his aunts at Ayles- 
bury, for the Easter holidays he was sometimes invited 
to the beautiful home of Bishop Short of Sodor and 
Man, who delighted to encourage his young guest in 
his passion for outdoor excursions and the study of 
natural history. 

Of these visits he writes : " It was very delightful for 
us boys to be guests of the bishop at that charming 
country palace, and to wander through the supremely 
lovely mountain glen, watered by a crystal streamlet, 
which formed part of its grounds, to say nothing of 
the unwonted luxuries which the visit afforded us. It was 
also pleasant to accompany the bishop, haud passibus 
aequis, as with his long, thin, gaitered legs he strode 
about the mountains and seashores in the neighbourhood 
of his home. There was, however, a drop of myrrh in 
the cup of our enjoyment. The bishop was a double- 
first-class man and an ardent enthusiast in matters of 
education. He would amuse himself by examining us 
wretched schoolboys all day long at any rate all the 
morning. At last Mrs. Short, a charming lady, thinking 


that we looked depressed and emaciated," interfered 
on our behalf, and robbed the bishop of the luxury of 
gauging our very shallow attainments. 

" I remember that the first time I entered his study 
I saw on the chimneypiece a picture of my celebrated 
ancestor, the Marian martyr Farrar, Bishop of St. 
David s, who was burnt alive at Carmarthen in 1555. 
The bishop told me that he was thinking of writing a 
sketch of his predecessors in the ancient see of Sodor 
and Man, and that Bishop Farrar was one of them. I 
have since learnt that this was a mistake. Bishop Farrar 
was one of Archbishop Cranmer s chaplains, and was 
appointed Bishop of St. David s by Edward VI. There 
is not only no trace of his having set foot in the Isle of 
Man, but no trace of his having been appointed there. 
Perhaps the error arose from his sometimes signing 
himself R Men., which was an abbreviation for Mene- 
viensis, or of the see of St. David s. " 

That those were happy years may be gathered from 
the fact that under a coloured print of his old school 
he has written the lines from Coleridge. 

Ah ! dear delights, that o er my Soul 
On Memory s wing like shadows fly! 

Ah ! flowers that Joy from Eden stole, 
While Innocence stood laughing by. 

Rough as was the school, in some respects, and poor 
as was the teaching, he encountered there many of the 
influences that fundamentally moulded his character. 

First among these must be named the rugged and 
beautiful scenery of the island, unspoiled as yet by 
"trippers," where the mail came but once a week in 
winter, and the people generally spoke Manx. 

In " Eric " he thus describes the first impressions made 


upon him by his new home : " Not twenty yards below 
the garden, in front of the house, lay Elian [Castleton] 
Bay, at that moment rippling with golden laughter in 
the fresh breeze of sunrise. On either side of the bay 
was a bold headland, the one stretching out in a series 
of broken crags, the other terminating in a huge mass 
of rock, called, from its shape, The Stack. To the right 
lay the town, with its gray old castle and the mountain 
stream running through it into the sea ; to the left, high 
above the beach, rose the crumbling fragment of a 
picturesque fort, behind which towered the lofty build 
ings of Roslyn School. Eric learnt the whole land 
scape by heart, and thought himself a most happy boy 
to come to such a place. He fancied that he should 
never be tired of looking at the sea, and could not take 
his eyes off the great buoy that rolled about in the centre 
of the bay, and flashed in the sunlight at every move." 
1 Sojourning in this beautiful island my father acquired 
( that abiding love of natural scenery, which, to the end 
! of his life, remained the pure source of his keenest 
pleasures. He never failed to spend his annual holiday 
by the seaside, and to the last, the year held for him no 
happier hours than those he spent pacing the yellow 
sands, with his children at his side, drinking in the sea 
breezes, and holding his Panama hat in his hand, to let 
them gently ruffle his fine hair, to blow, as he expressed 
it, the cobw^b^^om^hiis^braig. 

"SuclTgames as were played in his school days 
were spontaneous, and athletics had not attained the 
compulsory, and perhaps excessive organisation with 
which we are now familiar, and which absorbs the whole 
energies of boys out of school hours, leaving them but 
little leisure or inclination for country rambles. He 
was never a cricketer, but was fond of fives and of foot- 


ball, which he continued to play as a Harrow master. 
He was, and remained till late in life, a fine swimmer, 
and as a boy loved to swim " far into the bay, even as 
far as the huge, tumbling red buoy that spent its restless 
life in ever climbing with the climbing wave ; " but he 
was a tireless and athletic walker, and his chief delight 
was in long rambles and climbs among the mountains 
and along the coast scenery for which the Isle of Man 
is famous, and here, while yet a boy, God spoke to him 
in the voices of the mountain and the sea, and loving 
nature, he learnt to love nature s God. 

His voracious appetite for books was perhaps an 
innate quality, but the circumstances of his school 
days did much, by their very limitations, to develop 
his literary taste. To the end of his life he loved the 
occasional relaxation of a good novel, but the boon, or, 
shall we say the blight, of cheap literature had not yet 
descended upon the land, and the schoolboy of those 
days was at least saved, in spite of himself, from be 
coming the debauchee of shoddy fiction. Even such 
standard novels as those of Scott, Fenimore Cooper, 
and Captain Marryat, which, fortunately, were almost 
the only romances then available, circulated almost by 
stealth. They were eagerly devoured, and he relates 
how the boys used to lie awake at night hotly discussing 
their favourite characters in these novels. The teaching 
of the school was poor in many respects, poor, especially, 
as regards the niceties of classical scholarship, but one 
wise custom prevailed for which in after years he was 
always deeply thankful. This was the practice of set 
ting passages of English poetry to be learnt by heart. 
In the course of these exercises he committed to memory 
long passages of Byron, Goldsmith, Moore, Scott, Shelley, 
Wordsworth, and other poets. A memory naturally reten- 


tive was thus developed to a phenomenal degree, and the 
foundation was laid of a knowledge of English poetry, 
that for range and accuracy has probably never been 
equalled except, it may be, by Lord Macaulay. In his 
Marlborough days it was a tradition in the Common 
Room that it was impossible to "stump" the master 
with any known passage from the English poets. In 
respect of prose, mere dearth of books to stay his vora 
cious appetite drove him back upon his school prizes ; 
thus, before he was sixteen he had read such works as 
Hooker s " Ecclesiastical Polity," Prideaux s " Connec 
tion between the Old and New Testaments," and Cole 
ridge s " Aids to Reflection," solid fare, which the modern 
schoolboy would, it is to be feared, be apt to regard as 
"stodgy." Some stress is due to the fact that the 
absence of organised school games conferred an immu 
nity from that atmosphere of athletic "shop" which is 
to the modern public-school boy as the breath of his 
nostrils. The young cynic of to-day derides the boys 
of Eric and St. Winifred s, who are represented as 
eagerly discussing out of school the characters of Ho 
meric heroes ; but the fact remains that the more intel 
ligent boys of that epoch, being precluded from such 
lofty themes as cricket averages, or the prospects of 
Surrey v. Yorks, did find interest in discussing the 
" shop " of their school classics, regarded as human 

Among the influences of his school days, which de 
cisively moulded his character, must be mentioned a 
sermon which he heard preached from the text, " Let 
them be as the grass growing upon the housetops, which 
withereth before it groweth up ; wherewith the mower 
filleth not his hand, nor he that bindeth sheaves his 
bosom." This image of barren grass upon the house- 


top, presented in vivid language, as the symbol of an 
idle and useless life, powerfully stimulated his imagi 
nation, and caused him to register a vow that, God help 
ing him, that reproach should never be his. This text I 
and its lesson are recorded in connection with the char- I 
acter of Daubeny in " St. Winifred s." Few definite ) 
incidents of his life at King William s College have been 
preserved, though his memories of that school have con 
tributed much to the local colour of " Eric " and " St. 
Winifred s." One of the few recorded refers to the fire, 
in 1844, by which the school buildings were destroyed. 
Fred Farrar was one of the first to give the alarm. " I 
shall never forget," he says, "waking up at night with 
the suffocating smell of smoke, and, when I opened the 
door at one end of the long dormitories, being met by 
the bursting flames. I roused my brother, and we ran 
together from bed to bed, waking up the boys. Then 
came the fearful suspense, while we all stood huddled 
together in a dark passage, waiting for the key to be 
found for the only safe door of exit ; and the joy when 
it was at length opened, and we rushed pell-mell out 
of doors, barefooted, and with scarcely anything on but 
our nightshirts. It was a December night, and the 
cold was intense ; but the wonderful sight of the flames 
issuing from the windows made me forget everything 
else. It was the grandest and most awful sight I ever 
witnessed. Fortunately my brother and I had friends 
to take us in; and afterwards we were placed, along 
with other boys, in a house, until the college was re 
built, and trusted entirely by ourselves, without a master 
being placed in charge." The boys scanty wardrobes 
were destroyed by this fire, and they had to borrow 
clothes from friends. Among his schoolfellows were 
the Rev. T. R. Brown, author of " Fo c sle Yarns," and 


Professor E. Spencer Beesly, who was for a year his 
study-mate, and to whom I am indebted for the follow 
ing contribution. 

Professor Beestys Narrative 

When I went to King William s College after the sum 
mer vacation of 1846, Farrar and I were both fifteen, he 
being a few months my junior. He had been there for 
several years, and had just reached the highest form. I 
was placed in the same form, and we shared the same 
study. We at once became great friends. I had been 
taught entirely by my father, and had read, in a loose, 
slovenly way, a great deal more Latin and Greek than 
Farrar had ; but he was the more accurate scholar, and 
he always beat me in examinations. Our study was a 
tiny room high up in the tower, just big enough to hold 
our two chairs, a table, and a wooden coal box of cu 
bical shape with a covrr, which furnished a third seat. 
The table must have been a very small one, for I re 
member that our two writing-desks, when opened, com 
pletely covered it. The room was lofty, relatively to its 
other dimensions, and in winter very cold. Our coal 
box was filled up once a week, and its capacity was not 
great, for one of us used to carry it up to the study. 
We could, therefore, not afford to have even the smallest 
fire, except in the evening ; and very cold we often were 
as we sat at our work. Everything was on the same 
Spartan scale. For breakfast and tea we had thick 
pieces of buttered bread : for dinner one very scanty 
helping of meat, with boiled rice or swedes instead of 
bread or potatoes. Bread was very dear that winter, 
and the potato crop had perished. On Sundays there 
was pudding, and on Thursdays treacle roll; on other 
days no second course. My recollection of those din- 


ners is vivid. I used to rise from them almost as hun 
gry as when I sat down. Silence was strictly enforced. 
If a boy was observed whispering to his neighbour he 
was " stood out," and lost the remainder of his meal. 

I do not know that we had any claim to a more 
liberal dietary. The charge for our board and educa 
tion was very low, and I dare say the margin of profit 
was small enough. I do not remember that there was 
any illness while I was there. The situation was a very 
healthy one on the seashore, and the schoolrooms and 
dormitories were airy and not overcrowded. There 
were four boarding-houses. Ours occupied a wing of 
the college, and consisted, I think, of about forty boys. 

The classical teaching was poor, the mathematical 
a subject in which my education had been entirely 
neglected was, I believe, better. ^Eschylus, Demos 
thenes, Virgil, and Tacitus were the classical subjects 
that year in our form. Our Greek and Latin composi 
tion did not go beyond Kerchever Arnold s books. We 
were made to write English verse sometimes, in my 
opinion a most useful and humanising exercise for 
schoolboys. Farrar shone at this; and I, and others, 
caught some of his enthusiasm for poetry. But we 
were almost entirely without books, and we had access 
to no library. A few well-thumbed novels, liable to con 
fiscation, circulated surreptitiously. We had no news 
papers, and knew nothing of what was going on in the 
world. In the winter there was postal communication 
with England only twice a week. 

The religious teaching, of which we had a good deal, 
was, of the narrowest evangelical type. It was for that 
reason that Farrar and I and many other boys had been 
sent there. But none of the masters had any religious 
influence that I know of. The moral tone, at the 


beginning of my time, was neither better nor worse than 
in most schools ; but in the course of the year it was 
much injured by some new arrivals. Perhaps this 
deterioration was confined to our house; I remember 
little or nothing about the others. Farrar s influence 
was always exercised on the side of all that was honour 
able, high-minded, humane, and refined. He was already 
as a boy what he was afterwards as a schoolmaster, 
a " preacher of righteousness," and not a preacher 
only, but a shining example and a support to all who 
were well inclined. Having never left my home till I 
went to King William s College, I was quite unprepared 
for the difficulties, dangers, and temptations of school- 
life, and I had great reason to be thankful that I was 
from the first thrown into close intimacy with so valu 
able a friend. 

In a well-organised school, where his remarkable 
ability and untiring industry would have procured for 
him monitorial authority, Farrar, who had plenty of 
pluck, would have had the means of repressing and 
punishing evil-doers. But there was no such organisa 
tion at King William s College. The law of the strong 
est prevailed, and there were many older and stronger 
than Farrar. But his approbation and friendship were 
valued by the better sort, and many, no doubt, were 
kept straight by unwillingness to lose his esteem. 

Games were not cultivated in any systematic way. 
Cricket was as primitive and unconventional as upon a 
village green. There was no regular eleven. Foot 
ball was pursued with vigour, but with no particular 
rules. I do not remember that Farrar played cricket, 
but he was fond of foot-ball and fives. 

I left King William s College at midsummer 1847. 
Farrar had to return there after the vacation. He wrote 


to me very despondently. The examination at mid 
summer had placed him at the head of the school. 
There were no more honours for him to gain. He had 
learnt all that any one there could teach him. It was 
a dreary outlook for an ardent young fellow conscious 
of his own ability and thirsting for better instruction. 
But before the end of the year his prospects brightened. 
His parents returned from India. His father became 
the incumbent of a parish in the north of London, and 
Farrar, living at home, pursued his studies at King s 
College. I was with a private tutor at Brixton, so we 
saw one another from time to time. During 1850-1853, 
while he was at Cambridge and I at Oxford, we did not 
meet, but we kept up a correspondence. In 1854 we 
were again thrown together as assistant masters at 

I am sorry that I have not been able to paint my old 
school in more favourable colours. My friendship with 
Farrar is the only pleasant recollection that I have of 
it. I believe it is now an excellent school." 

As I muse upon these years, extremely uneventful, 
yet of interest in virtue of their formative influence upon 
the character of one who was destined to turn many to 
righteousness, I conjure up the picture of a happy and 
healthy schoolboy, of a bright and open countenance, 
with eager, well-opened eyes, clear-cut features, and fine 
waving hair ; gay and playful, yet tremendously in 
earnest; joining heartily in games, fond of bathing and 
swimming, but fondest of long rambles and scrambles 
along the cliffs or over the mountains, with his ear at 
tuned to the voice of nature ; remarkably well read for 
a schoolboy, and with his memory stored with treasures 
gathered from the best English poets ; a good scholar, 


in spite of the deficiencies of his training, who, at the 
age of sixteen, stood at the head of his school, and had 
won all the prizes it had to offer, and who had laid 
already the foundation of that habit of unflinching, un 
remitting industry which was one of the chief secrets of 
his success in life; a boy whose moral influence was 
always strenuously exerted on the side of all that is 
manly and honest ; beyond all, a boy of stainless and 
virginal purity, who took for his motto the text " keep 
innocency and do the thing that is right, for that shall 
bring a man peace at the last." 



FREDERIC FARRAR was entered as a student at King s 
College toward the end of 1847. His father, who had 
finally left India, had obtained the curacy in charge of 
St. James, Clerkenwell, and so for three years " Fred " 
lived at home and enjoyed the precious privilege of 
daily intercourse with his saintly mother. 

These were indeed strenuous years, of intense and in 
cessant application, during which he appears to have 
taken for his model the youthful Milton. 

When I was yet a child no childish play 
To me was pleasing, all my life was spent 
Serious to learn and know, and thence to do 
What might be public good ; myself I thought 
Born to that end, born to promote all truth, 
All righteous things ; therefore, above my years, 
The law of God I read, and found it sweet, 
Made it my whole delight 

These lines from " Paradise Regained " are inscribed 
under a portrait of Milton as a boy, which for years 
hung in my father s dressing-room. The influence of 
Milton on his character, his thoughts, and his style was 
one of the determining factors of his life, and was exer 
cised especially in his King s College days. His old 
College Reports are still preserved and testify to his 
diligence and progress at this period. 


" King s College, 1848, 

Divinity .... First prizeman of his year. Most satis 
factory. Edward H. Plumptre. 

Classics .... Very satisfactory. 

English Literature Highly satisfactory, prizeman of his year. 
F. D. Maurice. 


Divinity .... Most satisfactory (as usual). R. W. Jelf. 
English Literature Very satisfactory, Stephen s prizeman. 
F. D. Maurice." 

In addition to a classical and theological scholarship 
at King s College, he gained a London University 
scholarship, and thus relieved his parents from the 
burden of any expense for his education. He was 
placed first in the examinations both for matriculation 
and for honours, and graduated B.A., London, in 1852. 
In 1858 he was appointed an Honorary Fellow of 
King s College. One of his chief pleasures was to go 
about on Sundays with his brother Henry to hear 
celebrated preachers. In this manner he heard Bishop 
Wilberforce, Canon Melville, Canon Dale, Dean Close, 
and all the foremost preachers of that day. At this 
time he was also a regular Sunday School teacher. 

Of his teachers, those to whom he owed most were 
the great F. D. Maurice, and Dr. Plumptre, afterwards 
Dean of Wells, with whom he maintained a lifelong 
friendship, and of whom he says, " I count his friendship 
among the conspicuous blessings, and his teachings 
among the formative influences of my life." In " Men 
I have Known," he says, " Dean Plumptre of Wells was 
a lifelong friend to me, since the days when I was a 


boy at King s College. He weekly looked over my 
papers in answer to questions on his Lectures, and he 
gave me excellent advice and useful encouragement, 
together with the blessing of his unfailing regard and 
kindness. I was very diffident about myself, and I 
might almost say of Dean Plumptre, as Jeremy Bentham 
said of Lord Lansdowne, He raised me from the bot 
tomless pit^ofhumiliation ; he first taught me that I 

The influence of Maurice upon his life may be 
described in his own words. 

" I first learnt to know, to honour, and to love F. D. 
Maurice when, as a boy of sixteen, I went to King s 
College, London. He was then Professor of History 
and Literature, and lectured to us twice a week. We 
were supposed to take notes of his lectures, and were 
examined on the subjects of them at the end of the 
term. I never learnt shorthand; but the desire to 
profit by the lecture system, which was the main method 
of teaching at King s College, made me so far a tachy- 
graph that I could with ease take down everything 
that was essential in the lectures of Professor Brewer, 
Professor Maurice, and Dr. Jelf. Maurice s lectures 
were caviare to the general. Many of the stu 
dents, as we were called, cared nothing for them, and 
were much more impressed by the lectures of his assist 
ant, which were full of facts. But those of us who had 
any sense of reverence, or any insight into genius and 
character, felt that we were in the presence of a great 
and noble man, and were proud to be under his instruc 
tion. His lectures were meant to deal rather with the 
meaning and philosophy of history than with those 
details which he rightly supposed we could derive from 
any ordinary hand-book. Certainly his lectures were a 


strong intellectual stimulus to those of us who were at 
all capable of rightly apprehending them. 


"The classes were attended by some ninety or a hun 
dred students, whom it was the custom of the place to 
regard and treat as University Men, though so many 
of us were but boys. Every on^ was addressed as Mr ; 
and as we were all living at our respective homes, only 
those of us who formed friendships among ourselves 
knew anything about each other. A certain number 
were of course the merest Philistines, who neither 
understood the lectures nor cared for them in the slight 
est degree ; and some, of yet coarser grain, had not the 
ordinary manners to respect the lecturer or their fellow- 
students. These youths often behaved execrably. 
Maurice did not know most of them even by name, as 
he only saw them in the lecture room ; and as none of 
the ordinary public-school discipline existed, and any 
punishment short of expulsion was unknown, he had 
no means of controlling them. That power of disci 
pline, which many seem to possess as a natural gift, 
was not his; and as we students were not a homo 
geneous body living under one roof, but a conglomer 
ation of separate atoms without a particle of authority 
over each other, we could not coerce boors into a better 
demeanour. At last, however, one man was in some 
way identified, and Dr. Jelf brought him into the lecture 
room and made him apologize. Even this was not 
effectual. On one occasion things came to a climax. 
Some brainless youth had concealed himself under the 
platform on which the seats rose tier after tier, and as 
the lecture proceeded, he emphasised its periods, unseen, 
by tapping with a stick on the floor, giving very pro 
nounced raps when there was any sentence peculiarly 


solemn and eloquent. This was too much for our 
equanimity. I never knew the man s name, but I joined 
in a memorial of sympathy to Maurice, in which we 
expressed our disgust at such ill-bred barbarism, and 
offered our best services to put an end to it thereafter. 
From this time the disorder ceased. 


" At that time I was intensely interested in the learning 
and historic research of the four portly volumes of Elliot s 
4 Horae Apocalypticae, of which, boy as I was, I had made 
a complete analysis. I asked Maurice what he thoughts 
of it, and I remember the sort of cold shock I felt when ) 
he told me that he regarded the entire system of inter- 1 
pretation as utterly baseless. It was some years before * 
further study brought home to me his conviction, that, 
though the book of Revelation might, like those of all 
inspired writers, have springing and germinal develop 
ments, it was primarily the thundering reverberation 
of a mighty spirit struck by the plectrum of the Nero- 
nian persecution. 


" When I was a master at Harrow, Professor Maurice 
was more than once my guest, and he was a most de 
lightful one. He kindly became godfather to my second 
son the Rev. Eric Maurice Farrar who bears his 
name. I was seriously taken to task, and almost had a 
quarrel with certain excellent, but narrow-minded, per 
sons, for inviting him to address the members of the in 
stitute at Harrow ; but I stuck to my point, and we were 
rewarded by hearing his beautiful lecture on The 
Friendship of Books. " 

F. D. Maurice was regarded by many as a somewhat 
transcendental philosopher, and was humorously charac 
terised by Matthew Arnold as one " who spent his life 


in beating about the bush with deep emotion, but never 
starting the hare"; but my father always felt that he 
owed a deep debt to his teaching, and in particular it 
was from his books that he learnt the germ of those con 
victions to which he gave utterance in his sermons on 
" Eternal Hope." 

Dr. Hayman, of Rugby, who was my father s private 
tutor at King s College, thus wrote of him at a later 
date: "A more interesting pupil I certainly never have 
had, nor one more remarkable for rapid acquisition, 
ready insight, and careful attention. ... I have found 
matured in the man the same purity and unselfish gen 
tleness which were conspicuous in the boy, and I have 
noticed in his works a power of clothing the repulsive 
skeleton of a dry subject, and illuminating the dead letter 
of the past with a sympathetic light and insight of his 

To Sir Edwin Arnold I am indebted for the following 
generous and beautiful appreciation of my father as he 
appeared in those days to a friend and fellow-student : 


" I have been honoured by a request from the Editor of 
this Biography that I should furnish him with some brief 
notes of what I recollect about Dean Farrar, when he 
was a fellow-student of mine at King s College, London. 

" There is more than one pen, among our contempo 
raries at that time, which could better discharge this 
task ; but none that would undertake it with livelier and 
more admiring nay, I must frankly say, with more 
affectionate memories than the present writer. My 
impressions of the Dean, then for the first time formed, 
were from the beginning instinctively of a friendly 


character, so impossible was it not to be interested and 
attracted by the tall, quiet, soft-mannered scholar, with 
the serious eyes and the gentle smile, who did all his 
class work with such dutiful precision, and was never 
at fault when questioned by the classical master, 
whether it was about a tough passage in Tacitus, a 
disputed line in a Greek Chorus, or the ^Eolic Aorist, 
the enclitic de, or the geography of St. Paul s voyages. 

" Our classical lecturer was the Rev. Mr. Browne, an 
elegant and tasteful scholar, who was particularly 
strong in Greek iambics, and loved the exactness and 
the ardour of his rural pupil. For like myself, Farrar 
in those days had lived more in the country than the 
town ; and, like myself also, was going through three 
or four terms at King s College before proceeding to 
the University. Sometimes our Latin class would be 
taken by Frederick Denison Maurice, who had also, 
as would be expected, a deep appreciation of the value 
of classical learning, and a capacity to measure the 
stately grace and finished skill of the great authors of 
Athens aud Rome. Yet the personal appearance of 
that eminent clergyman went somewhat strangely not 
to say uncouthly now and then with the exquisite 
levity of Catullus, and the plain speaking of Juvenal. 

" I call to mind with half amused, half painful retro 
spect an afternoon in the College Hall, when Maurice 
was reading with us that well-known Ode of Horace, 
beginning with Quis multa gracilis te puer in rosa. 
He felt no doubt better than we, the delicate charm with 
which the verses were embroidered and jewelled by 
phrases too subtle for translation ; but the contrast be 
tween the solemn, ascetic countenance of the lecturer, 
the airy daring of the poet, and the deplorable levity of 
his Latin lady associates proved too much for the good 


behaviour of the class. The students broke into a dis 
respectful clamour, offering rude comments, and auda 
cious new readings, to their hypersensitive teacher, who 
became so indignant at such disrespect that he refused 
to continue his lecture. 

"To teach such ill-mannered pupils for a nature as 
refined and shy as that of Maurice was like trying to 
shape logs of timber with a penknife. I recall the 
trivial incident only to mention how much Farrar im 
pressed me at that moment by the youthful gravity with 
which he rebuked the noisiest of those ungrateful young 
rebels, and the scholarly shame I could see him experi 
encing at the slight put upon the famous author and 
the gifted tutor who were being so unworthily treated. 
The words of agreement which passed between us on 
that occasion served as an introduction, and from them 
arose a friendship which has been for me one of my 
most prized possessions, and which never changed, and 
never grew colder on either side for I know I may 
venture to say as much from that afternoon when 
Farrar s gentle indignation helped to bring the hall 
to its senses, until the day when my class-fellow died, 
a pillar and ornament of the Church, and the most 
brilliant name upon the long and renowned line of the 
Deans of Canterbury. 

" There grew up, as all are aware, between Farrar and 
Maurice a fast friendship, which was continued until 
the death of that earnest and conscientious man. Far 
rar was not likely to make many boyish alliances with 
the students who flocked at that time to King s College. 
They were naturally no very distinguished samples of 
the rising generation; and were attracted in larger 
numbers to the practical departments of the institution 
than to its classical and literary side. Some half a 


dozen, however, in each of the classes rapidly separated 
themselves, as is the wont, from the rank and file ; and 
equally as is also the custom, tutors and professors gave 
themselves almost exclusively to those among us who 
had evidently come to learn. We formed, therefore, a 
favoured little clique, of which Farrar was certainly the 
best and brightest specimen, while of the others I can 
call up very few individuals. Mr. Edward Dicey, C.B., 
was one of them, and another who gave promise of be 
ing a great legal luminary was Mr. Clement Tudway 
Swanston, about whom I only know that he afterwards 
married the daughter of a well-known judge, and be 
came lost to literature in the Nirvana of the courts. 
But, already some of us were bent upon climbing one 
side or the other of Parnassus. We started a monthly 
serial for ourselves, The Kings College Magazine, and 
I think that the very earliest efforts of our respective 
muses, as regards Farrar, Dicey, and myself, saw the 
light in that now-forgotten periodical. I recollect a 
little poem appearing in it from my dear old friend 
upon the theme of a Roman triumph, the opening line 

of which ran : 

"The golden Pompa cometh, 
The Pompa streams along ; 

and, let it be declared, there were some mighty fine lines 
in that little piece of work. So were there also in cer 
tain other stanzas from his pen, describing scenes in 
Elysium, of which my memory supplies me with this 
pretty passage picturing the heroes of the Iliad repos 
ing after their warlike toils, and telling how 

" Achilles and Tydides 

In happy quiet there 
Unbind the shadowy helmets 
From off their golden hair. 


I did not dare then, and much less will I venture now, 
to set anything of my own by the side of the really ex 
cellent work with which Farrar s taste and learning en 
riched our humble serial. He was nevertheless pleased 
to admire a certain piece of mine upon The Sacrifice of 
Iphigenia, and it is a curious recollection, showing 
how the early bent remained, that he gained the Chan 
cellor s prize at Cambridge, for English verse, in the 
same month in which I won the Newdigate at Oxford. 
Throughout these early exercises of his genius, as in al 
most everything he wrote or uttered in later years, there 
was evidenced that deep-seated love of ornamental epi 
thets and richly embellished diction which sciolists, 
who could not to save their lives have penned a 
single line to rival it, attacked as florid, turgid, and 
tawdry. It was his manner, and often splendidly 
sustained. Like an architect who prefers to build in 
the Corinthian order, rather than the Doric, or Ionic, he 
knew well what he was about, and there was nothing 
except erudite adornment and masterful command of 
musical or beautiful phrase in the literary acanthus 
leaves of his capitals, and the flowing volutes of his 
rhetoric. It is only a great sculptor who will have the 
courage to make his statue of Pallas Athene out of gold 
and ivory, and it was from inexhaustible quarries of 
memory, and the sure control of a wide scholarship, 
that he could thus safely trust himself to gild and to 
embroider the melodious march of his periods. 

" A good many prizes and examinations brought our 
little band of the classical department into almost con 
stant rivalry. In the course of these it was my almost 
invariable fate to be proxime accessit to Farrar, thus see 
ing him carry off, even if sometimes only by a neck, 


the coveted prize of the race ; but along with the others 
I grew accustomed to these inevitable defeats, soon 
learning to recognise that nothing could make head 
against his indomitable energies. Oddly enough, I beat 
him in one or two theological contests ; and my library 
shelves have always held and now exhibit a dry and 
solemn work entitled Pearson upon the Creed, which 
is a liturgical trophy presented by the college and won 
in battle against the comrade who was destined to die 
the Dean of Canterbury. In subsequent years, when he 
was become a popular and famous preacher and a shin 
ing light of the Church, I did not allow my unopened 
volumes to persuade me even secretly that I ought to 
have been made a bishop, but I think I chuckled more 
than once over such a grotesque triumph. So little, 
however, did these rivalries develop into jealousies that 
on one occasion when he had vanquished myself and 
six or seven others in a scholarship examination, it was 
I who took a cab up to Clerkenwell to communicate the 
fact to our conqueror. Nobody in truth could grudge 
any success to his modest and gentle worth, and I be 
lieve that I was almost as well pleased in telling him as 
he in hearing. The same old story, dear boy, Farrar 
first, proxime accessit Arnold. 

"There he was only a few hours out of the exami 
nation-room working away as hard as ever for some 
new approaching contest, behind a barricade of books, 
maps, and dictionaries, an antagonist too indefatigable 
to contend with, too amiable and kind-hearted to envy 
or underrate. With such a passion and power for work 
you would not expect to hear me say that Farrar, at this 
time, cared for out-of-doors sports, or any of the pas 
times which generally absorb youthful enthusiasm. We 
should have tried in vain to get him to take part in our 


occasional boating trips on the river, visits to the theatre, 
cricket matches, and the like. Books were enough for 
him. In them he found the society which he most loved, 
and, moreover, he knew very well that circumstances at 
home rendered it necessary to earn his living by them, 
and win from scholarship the only competence likely to 
fall within his reach. If learning was to be the goddess 
of his aspirations, he must, somehow or other, live by 
what lay in her hands to bestow ; and in this respect he 
was, perhaps, the only one of our set who took so serious 
a view of the advantages of early hard work. Yet it is 
only when a young man begins to teach himself, that 
he has really commenced what can be called education. 
" No doubt the exclusiveness arising from such cease 
less industry kept him destitute of that true joy of early 
life youthful friendships and gave to his character, 
among those who judged it imperfectly, an air of asceti 
cism and semi-monkish solitude. Farrar was very impa 
tient, as I well remember while at King s College, of 
frivolous conversation and the light jests of lazy minds. 
I am afraid at that date he looked upon the society, even 
of ladies, as a dreadful waste of time, and the gentler sex 
itself as, in the ungallant phrase of a great poet, nothing 
better than a fair defect. Often since then I have 
ventured to rally him, the centre of an adoring wife and 
affectionate children, the light of a happy household ; 
but he stayed me once by quoting from Shakespeare 
what Benedict says, When I swore to die a bachelor, I 

did not think that I should live to be married. 


" But next to books, even in those days, and more than 
books in the days which came afterwards, little children 
held his heart by the strings. For them he always 
evinced a tenderness and interest which were almost 


feminine ; and it was quite natural, therefore, that after 
his brilliant career at Cambridge, he should have given 
himself to the life of a schoolmaster. Anybody may 
see in his novel of school-life, entitled Eric, how high 
his estimate was of what a good teacher ought to be, 
and how great and absorbing, but also how serious, a 
duty, he thought it to superintend the education of 
youth. I sent a son of my own to his care when he 
was appointed head-master of Marlborough, for the 
simple reason that I regarded him as the best of all 
schoolmasters. All the clever boys grew deeply at 
tached to the patient, earnest, and richly endowed man, 
whose smile was so sweet when an act of boyish virtue 
or a brilliant piece of class-work pleased him, and who 
was so gentle in his displeasure, and so just, even in his 
anger. The noisy, lazy, and shallow among his pupils 
found him, perhaps, pedantic, dry, and exacting, for he 
loved hard work too well for himself to understand how 
distasteful it seemed to some natures. Boys are stern 
and keen judges of their instructors, and those who were 
smitten with the modern passion for athletics did not al 
ways find Farrar enthusiastic enough about cricket, foot 
ball, and the out-of-door portion of an English boy s 
upbringing. Yet he was proud of the victories which 
Marlborough, under his rule, gained in the fields of exer 
cise and youthful competition, though I doubt whether 
he ever wielded a bat or handled any implement of 
sport, such as gun, fishing-rod, or hunting gear. I do 
not know if my son picked up at Marlborough any 
thing much more important than to swim well, yet that 
was certainly not the fault of his head-master. 1 There 

1 Is there not a story in Goethe where the fond parent brings his offspring 
to a famous pedagogue to be transformed into a philosopher ? After a 
year or so the father comes back to inquire into his son s progress, and 



came a certain evil day when the dahabieh, in which I 
was sailing on the Nile, was capsized by a desert whirl 
wind, and the fact that I was able to save from drown 
ing my wife, my daughter, and all but one of my score 
of Arab sailors was largely due to the unclassical por 
tion of the training which my son obtained while a pupil 
under Dr. Farrar s mild ferule. 

" At the universities we were separated Farrar 
going to Cambridge though he had, I think, no 
very great taste for mathematics and I to Oxford. 
But King s College had made us lasting friends, and 
London eventually brought us again into personal and 
literary contact. Others, however, will have the happy 
task of dwelling upon the steps by which he ascended 
the hill of Fame, becoming even more renowned as a 
preacher than he had made himself as a teacher, and 
building up a record of honour by his books, one of 
which The Life of Christ would have sufficed to 
confer renown adequate to any ambition. The world 
has judged that magnificent work by a verdict which no 
petty criticisms can affect or alter. I believe that it has 
taken and will always occupy an important place on the 
shelves of that theological literature which has grown 
up from the strong and earnest desire of our age to 
reconcile religion and science. The spirit of sincere 
belief which mingles in it with an equally sincere devo 
tion to truth is to be found also in his Eternal Hope, 
and was heard by many a comforted and grateful ear 
among the congregations which listened with delight to 
his" ardent sermons. I, however, must not go beyond 
the period of his noble and blameless life of which I am 

beholds him gallop up at the head of a string of horses which he. has been 
training. Whereupon the pedagogue explains that he would have made 
him a philosopher if his Creator had not intended him for a horse-breaker. 


permitted, in these few pages, to recall some passing 
impressions. It was for me, also, an epoch of impor 
tance. Oxford lay before me, and those happy years 
when, under her wing, work and play went so pleasantly 
together, and we passed from boyhood to manhood over 
a golden bridge. It was the time when I was reading 
Shelley and Keats and Coleridge with a great deal more 
assiduity than I could bring to classics and mathematics; 
and then the British Museum, close to my London 
lodgings, absorbed a great deal of my devotion. 
Thus, except in theology, of which I knew nothing, 
and Farrar everything, I never once scored against my 
amiable antagonist. And if it would have given him 
one grain of satisfaction, I think I could have sacrificed 
to his dear and pleasant comradeship even Pearson 
upon the Creed. >: 

The following touching letter from an old King s 
College friend and rival is of interest not only for itself 
but from the fact that it is utilised in connection with 
one of the characters of " Julian Home." 

"CANADA WEST, 3oth Oct., 1858. 

" MY DEAR FARRAR : Our lots in life, since at King s 
College we ran a neck and neck race, have been widely 

" To use a more congenial metaphor, you have hitherto 
sailed through life with spreading sails and flying colours, 
until you are now quietly anchored at Harrow, after 
a successful voyage; while I, on the contrary, have 
often been nearly wrecked from mad and careless navi 
gation, and my shattered bark, which made a bad start 
from Oxford, has turned up like a waif or stray at 


(in Canada West), and is, I hope, soon going to be en 
tirely refitted. 

" To drop the well-worn classical simile, I have come 
to Canada to better my fortunes, and as I am now a 
wiser, sadder, and better man than I have been, I trust 
most devoutly to succeed. 

" I am a candidate for. . . . You know, my dear 
Farrar, that I was naturally blest with good abilities. 
You know also, doubtless, from some kind friend, that 
I sometimes made a bad use of these abilities ; but in 
memory of our old King s College friendship the most 
pleasant by far of my old friendships I would beg of 
you to forget my errors, and ignore my shortcomings, 
and to speak of me in a few lines of recommendation 
as you once knew me when we were kindly rivals in the 
arena at King s College. 


" Though I have begun the labour of life later in the 
day than yourself and others, and have not borne the 
heat, I cannot forget that even those who wrought one 
hour likewise received their pay. 

"The old book of my life was so smutched and 
begrimed, torn, dog-eared, and scrawled over, that it 
was scarcely worth while to turn over a new leaf. I 
have, therefore, commenced an entirely new volume, 
and trust by God s blessing that when Finis comes 
to be written in it, some few of the pages will bear re- 

" At the distance of nearly four thousand miles from 
home in this cold climate with no friends no for 
tune nothing but my head and heart I feel some 
times so melancholy that I almost wish to be out of the 
world altogether. 

" Forgive me then for writing to you in the spirit I 


do now, and pray that my efforts to improve my life, 
my talents, and my fortunes may be crowned with suc 
cess. I will add no more. Accept my kindest wishes 
for your happiness and well being, and believe me, my 
dear Farrar, now as ever, 

" Your sincere friend, 

"A. B. 
"To the Rev. F. W. FARRAR, Harrow." 



IN October, 1856, my father went up to Trinity Col 
lege, Cambridge, as a "sizar," and supported himself 
at first entirely on the income derived from his sizar- 
ship and King s College scholarship. His father, being 
only a curate, was a very poor man, and the son took 
a legitimate pride in the fact that from the time he 
entered at King s College, and throughout his career 
at Cambridge, he paid the expenses of his own educa 
tion entirely by scholarships and exhibitions, and, as he 
has often told me, his education never cost his father a 
penny. So poor was he, and so rigid was his self-denial 
and his resolution to spare those struggling parents in 
London the least farthing of expenditure on himself, 
that during his early undergraduate days at Trinity he 
refused himself the indulgence of tea for breakfast and 
drank only water. 

At this period the sizars dined an hour after the 
general " Hall," and their dinner consisted of the 
dishes which had previously figured on the Fellows 
table. In other ways the sizars were needlessly dif 
ferentiated by somewhat invidious distinctions from the 
rest of the undergraduates; and my father, judging from 
some remarks in "Julian Home," seems to have been 
rather sensitive on this head. At the age of twenty-one 
he obtained a Trinity scholarship, and his material cir 
cumstances were greatly improved. Meanwhile neither 



his position as a sizar, nor the austere self-denial which, 
partly from necessity, partly from a strong sense of duty, 
he practised, at all precluded him from sharing in the 
best intellectual society of the place. In particular he 
was a member of the very small society of " Apostles," 
a club formed for the reading and discussion of papers, 
to which never more than five or six undergraduate 
members at a time belonged, and which has always at 
tracted, as it still does, the best intellects of Cambridge. 
To this society such men as Archbishop Trench, Dean 
Alford, Thompson Master of Trinity, Lord Houghton, 
F. D. Maurice, Sterling, Sir Henry Maine, the late 
Sir A. Buller, Sir J. Fitzjames Stephen, Lord Tenny 
son, Arthur Hallam, F. T. Hort, and many eminent 
men now living have been proud to belong. 

One of his fellow-members and a very intimate per 
sonal friend was the late Professor J. Clerk Maxwell. I 
extract, as illustrating the thoughtful tone prevalent in 
his circle of undergraduate friends, the following lines 
from a notice of his friend, contributed by my father to 
the Temple Magazine : 

" At one time when I was an undergraduate I became 
very despondent about my mathematics. In those days 
the rule had only just been altered which insisted that 
a classical student should take honours in the Mathe 
matical Tripos before he was even permitted to present 
himself in the classical. I might have availed myself of 
this rule, but did not like to do so. Having been origi 
nally intended for Oxford, I had never taken much 
trouble with mathematics, and had, moreover, been very 
badly and carelessly trained in them. Hence I was 
nervous about the Tripos ; and seeing this, Maxwell, who 
was a ready verse-writer, felt a genuine sympathy with 
me in my disheartenment, and wrote me a little apologue 


called The Lark and the Cabbage. In this he com 
pared himself, with his mathematical studies, to the cab 
bage ; and me, with my supposed poetic aspirations, to 
the lark, the upshot being that I had better not 
attempt the Mathematical Tripos, but reserve myself 
for classics. I replied in a similar strain of nonsense, 
ending with 

" It is a lark to be a lark, 

Tis green to be a cabbage. 

" Sometimes, however, he wrote more serious verses ; 
and when I left Cambridge he was one of the half-dozen 
friends who entered their thoughts for me in a little 
manuscript book. What he wrote was striking and 
noble far more so, I should imagine, than has often 
been written by one undergraduate for another. It was 
as follows : 

" He that would enjoy life and act with freedom must 
have the work of the day continually before his eyes. 
Not yesterday s work, lest he fall into despair ; not to 
morrow s, lest he become a visionary; not that which 
ends with the day, which is a worldly work ; nor yet 
that only which remains to eternity, for by it he cannot 
shape his actions. 

" Happy is the man who can recognize in the work of 
to-day a connected portion of the work of life, and an 
embodiment of the work of eternity. The foundations 
of his confidence are unchangeable, for he has been 
made a partaker of Infinity. He strenuously works out 
his daily enterprises, because the present is given him 
for a possession. Thus ought man to be an impersona 
tion of the divine process of nature, and to show forth 
the union of the infinite with the finite; not slighting 
his temporal existence, remembering that in it only is 


individual action possible, nor yet shutting out from his 
view that which is eternal, knowing that time is a mys 
tery which man cannot endure to contemplate until 
eternal truth enlighten it. " 

In those days dinner was celebrated at what seems to 
us the early hour of four o clock in the afternoon, an 
arrangement which gave a long morning for work ; and, 
for reading men of that time, when athletics were less 
highly organised than is now the case, a long evening, 
a two hours "constitutional" before Hall being the 
usual form of exercise. 

About nine o clock the undergraduate was quite ready 
for tea and the relaxation of a chat, and it was the rec 
ognized custom that a man was at liberty to drop in and 
take "tea-pot luck" with any friend provided that he 
contributed to his own entertainment by bringing with 
him his milk-jug. 

A quotation from "Julian Home," which like "Eric" 
contains many autobiographical touches, is here given to 
illustrate the zest with which my father entered into the 
social life of his college : 

" Oh, those Camford conversations how impetuous, 
how interesting, how thoroughly hearty and unconven 
tional they were ! How utterly presumption and igno 
rance were scouted in them, and how completely they 
were free from the least shadow of insincerity or ennui. 
If I could but transfer to my page a true and vivid pic 
ture of one such evening spent in the society of St. 
Werner s (Trinity College) friends if I could write 
down but one such conversation, and at all express its 
vivacity, its quick flashes of thought and logic, its real 
desire for truth and knowledge, its friendly fearlessness, 
its felicitous illustrations, its unpremeditated wit, such a 
record, taken fresh from the life, would be worth all that 


I shall ever write. But youth flies, and as she flies all 
the bright colours fade from the wings of thought, and 
the bloom vanishes from the earnest eloquence of speech. 
" Yet, as I write, let me call to mind, if but for a mo 
ment, the remembrance of those happy evenings, when 
we would meet to read Shakespeare or the poets in each 
other s rooms, and pleasant sympathies and pleasant 
differences of opinion, freely discussed, called into genial 
life friendships which we once hoped and believed would 
never have grown cold. The belief has proved to be 
mistaken, the hope delusive, and the evanescence of 
youthful friendships, amid the hardness and malice of 
the world, is not the least bitter of life s experiences. 
But though the reality has ceased, who shall forbid to 
any one the enjoyment of remembrance ? Let the image 
of that bright social circle, picturesquely scattered in 
arm-chairs round the winter fire, rise up before my fancy 
once more, and let me recall what can never be again. 
Of the honoured and well-loved few who one night re 
corded their names and thoughts in one precious little 
book two are dead, though it is but five years back; 

C. E. B is dead; and R. H. P is dead; C. E. 

B , the chivalrous and gallant-hearted, the champion 

of the past, the Tory whom Liberals loved ; and 

R. H. P , the honest and noble, the eloquent speaker, 

and the brave actor, and the fearless thinker he, too, 
is dead, nobly volunteering in works of danger and diffi 
culty during the Indian mutiny ; but others are living 
yet, and to them I consecrate this page ; they will for 
give the digression, and for their sakes I will venture to 
let it pass. We are scattered now, and our friendship 
is a silent one ; but yet I know that to them, at least, 
changed or unchanged, my words will recall the fading 
memory of glorious days." 


His method of work and reading may be illustrated 
by the following extract : 

" He studied with an ardour and a passion before 
which difficulties vanished, and in consequence of which 
he seemed to progress not the less surely, because it 
was with great strides. For the first time in his life, 
Julian found himself entirely alone in the great wide 
realm of literature alone to wander at his own will, 
almost without a guide. And joyously did that brave 
young spirit pursue its way now resting in some fra 
grant glen, and by some fountain mirror, where the 
boughs which bent over him were bright with blossom 
and rich with fruit now plunging into some deep 
thicket, where at every step he had to push aside the 
heavy branches and tangled weeds and now climbing 
with toilful progress some steep and rocky hill, on whose 
summit, hardly attained, he could rest at last, and gaze 
back over perils surmounted and precipices passed, and 
mark the thunder rolling over the valleys, or gaze on 
kingdoms full of peace and beauty, slumbering in the 
broad sunshine beneath his feet. Julian read for the 
sake of knowledge, and because he intensely enjoyed 
the great authors whose thoughts he studied. He had 
read parts of Homer, parts of Thucydides, parts of 
Tacitus, parts of the tragedians, at school, but now he 
had it in his power to study a great author entire, and 
as a whole. Never before did he fully appreciate the 
thunderous lilt of Greek epic, the touching and vo 
luptuous tenderness of Latin elegy, the regal pomp of 
history, the gorgeous and philosophic mystery of the old 
dramatic fables. Never before had he learnt to gaze 
on the bright countenance of truth, in the mild and 
dewy air of delightful studies. Those who decry clas 
sical education do so from inexperience of its real char- 


acter and value, and can hardly conceive the sense of 
strength and freedom which a young and ingenuous in 
tellect acquires in all literature, and in all thought, by 
the laborious and successful endeavour to enter into that 
noble heritage which has been left us by the wisdom of 
bygone generations. Those hours were the happiest of 
Julian s life ; often would he be beguiled by his studies 
into the wee small hours of night; and in the grand 
company of eloquent men and profound philosophers 
he would forget everything in the sense of intellectual 
advance. Then first he began to understand Milton s 
noble exclamation : 

" How charming is divine philosophy ! 
Not harsh and rugged as dull fools suppose. 
But musical as is Apollo s lute, 
And a perpetual feast of nectared sweets, 
Where no crude surfeit reigns. 

" He studied accurately, yet with appreciation ; some 
times the two ways of study are not combined, and while 
one man will be content with a cold and barren estimate 
of 7e s and TTOV S derived from wading through the un 
utterable tedium of interminable German notes, of which 
the last always contradicted all the rest; another will 
content himself with eviscerating the general meaning 
of a passage, without any attempt to feel the finer pulses 
of emotion, or discriminate the nicer shades of thought. 
Eschewing commentators as much as he could, Julian 
would first carefully go over a long passage solely with 
a view to the clear comprehension of the author s lan 
guage, and would then re-read the whole for the pur 
pose of enjoying and appreciating the thoughts which 
the words enshrined ; and finally, when he had finished 
a book or a poem, would run through it again as a whole 


with all the glow and enthusiasm of a perfect compre 

" Sunday at Camf ord was a happy day for Julian Home. 
It was a day of perfect leisure and rest ; the time not 
spent at church or in the society of others he generally 
occupied in taking a longer walk than usual, or in the 
luxuries of solemn and quiet thought. But the greatest 
enjoyment was to revel freely in books, and devote him 
self, unrestrained, to the gorgeous scenes of poetry, or 
the passionate pages of eloquent men. 1 On that day he 
drank deeply of pure streams that refreshed him for his 
weekly work ; nor did he forget some hour of commune, 
in the secrecy of his chamber and the silence of his 
heart, with that God and Father in whom alone he 
trusted, and to whom alone he looked for deliverance 
from difficulty and guidance under temptation. Of all 
hours his happiest and strongest were those in which 
he was alone alone, except for a heavenly presence, 
sitting at the feet of a Friend, and looking face to face 
upon himself." 

The effect produced upon his mind by the chapel 
services he thus describes : 

" St. Werner s (Trinity) Chapel on a Sunday evening is 
a moving sight. Five hundred men in surplices throng 
ing the chapel from end to end the very flower of 
English youth, in manly beauty, in strength, in race, in 
courage, in mind all kneeling, side by side, bound to 
gether in a common bond of union by the grand historic 
association of that noble place all mingling their voices 
together with the treble of the choir and the thunder- 
music of the organ. This is a spectacle not often equalled ; 
and to take a share in it as one for whose sake, in 

1 The poets that most influenced his mind at this period were Milton, 
Wordsworth, and Coleridge. 


part, it has been established, is a privilege not to be 

I make no apology for introducing these passages 
from " Julian Home " because, from many conversations 
I have had with my father, I know that they reproduce 
not only his ideals, but his practice and habit of mind 
during his Cambridge career. 

The following extract from " Men I Have Known " 
gives us a good idea of his attainments in his under 
graduate days : 

" Professor Harold Browne, afterwards Bishop of Ely 
and Winchester, was always kind to me. He welcomed 
some of my papers in the Preliminary Examination with 
words of singularly high encouragement, and told me 
that he had kept them for years. I only came across 
the learned Professor Mill once. He had set a paper 
in the University Scholarship Examination, and his way 
always was to print four or five Latin and Greek pas 
sages for translation, and ask the candidates to assign 
them to their proper authors. This was generally an 
easy thing to do ; but one year he set a passage from the 
soldier-historian, Ammi-mus Marcellinus, who died about 
A.D. 390, and had been an officer in the bodyguard of the 
Emperor Julian. I should think that this was the first 
and the only instance in which the Latinity of the Syrian 
author has been used as a test of scholarship in a Uni 
versity competition. Dr. Mill told me that I was the 
only one of all the candidates who had assigned the 
passage to its rightful author ; and as I was only a fresh 
man at the time, he was a little surprised, and asked me 
how I came to be acquainted with such a writer, whom 
he personally admired, but who was wholly unknown to 
the classical curriculum of Cambridge. I answered that 
it was by mere accident. Ammianus Marcellinus is not 


infrequently referred to in Elliott s Horae Apocalyp- 
ticse, and this had interested me in him, and made me 
acquainted with his style." 

By his untiring industry, joined to a memory singu 
larly retentive, my father not only attained distinguished 
university success, but laid the foundation of an edifice 
of learning, which those of his contemporaries who knew 
him best regarded as phenomenal. 

His college tutor, J. L. Hammond, thus wrote of 
him : " From a long list of pupils I should select him 
as the one most remarkable for mental activity and 
eager pursuit of knowledge. To this vigour and earnest 
ness of purpose he united a high and generous spirit 
and a perfectly blameless character the pleasantness 
of his manners and the frankness and amiability of his 
disposition made him one of the most agreeable, as he 
certainly was one of the most distinguished, of my pupils." 

In 1854 he graduated B.A. First class (bracketed 
Fourth Classic) in the Classical Tripos and a junior 
optime in the Mathematical Tripos. In 1855 he won 
the Le Bas Prize (for an essay on " The Influence of the 
Revival of Classical Studies on English Literature dur 
ing the Reigns of Elizabeth and James I "). In 1856 he 
was elected a Fellow of Trinity College, and won the 
Norrisian Prize (for an essay on " The Christian Doctrine 
of the Atonement not inconsistent with the Justice and 
Goodness of God"). He graduated M.A. in 1857. 

" The Master of Trinity at this epoch was the famous 
Dr. Whewell, author of the History and of the Philos 
ophy of the Inductive Sciences, a man who was supposed 
to know something about everything, and everything 
about some things, and of whom it was said that science 
was Dr. Whewell s forte, omniscience his foible. On one 
occasion, two of the Fellows, thinking to get beyond his 


range, began to talk on the subject of Chinese meta 
physics, which they had got up for the purpose. Whe- 
well listened in silence for a time, and then observed, 
Ah ! I see you have been reading a paper which I 
wrote for an Encyclopaedia of Science. After that, 
they laid no more plots to find limits to his universal 
knowledge ! " 

My father thus writes of him : "I vividly recall the 
fine and stately presence of the Master, which (as an 
other myth related) made a prize-fighter deplore that so 
splendid a physique, and such thews and sinews, should 
be thrown away on a mere clergyman ! " 

" To me Dr. Whewell was always kind, and more than 
kind. When I was elected a Scholar he addressed me 
in friendly terms. He read through with me the poem 
on The Arctic Regions, which obtained for me the 
Chancellor s medal. In one line I had called the ice 
bergs unfabled Strophades. Ah ! he said, an ad 
mirable expression ! And he had a little talk with me 
as to whether I meant a particular word to be irrides- 
cence or iridescence. In the examination for the 
Trinity Fellowships a paper was always set in Moral 
Philosophy and Metaphysics. I happened to have read 
all through the works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, for 
whom I felt in those days a boundless admiration, and 
whose works I had selected for one of my Trinity prizes. 
In my paper I had often referred to the views of Cole 
ridge, and this pleased the Master very much, for 
(though I did not know it) he, too, had a great sympathy 
and admiration for S. T. C. He told me with a pleasant 
smile that he had never before met with a fellowship 
candidate who had made the same use of Coleridge s 
views as I had done." Criticising some essay of my 
father s in which he thought he had made undue use 


of the editorial "we," Dr. Whewell said, "Ah, that is 
what I call Wegotism. " 

The Chancellor s gold medal for English verse was 
won by my father in 1852. The subject for the year 
was " The Arctic Regions and the Hopes of Discover 
ing the Lost Adventurers." In his " Reminiscences of 
Lord Tennyson " he thus tells the story of it : 

" I was fortunate enough to obtain the Chancellor s 
gold medal at Cambridge for a poem a very poor one, 
I fear on The Arctic Regions. It was in blank 
verse, and my competing for the medal was almost ex 
clusively due to the accident that I had once been 
detained for more than two hours at a small railway 
station in the country. The prize had not once been 
given for a poem in blank verse since the single occa 
sion on which it had been won by Tennyson in 1829 for 
a poem on Timbuctoo. There is a legend at Cam 
bridge that one of the then examiners the History 
Professor, Professor Smyth had written on the outer 
leaf of this poem v.q., which he meant for very queer, 
but the other examiners took it for v.g., very good, and 
assigned the medal to it. The legend is, I should think, 
an entire myth, and unquestionably Tennyson s prize 
poem contains some far finer passages than any other 
poem which had been so rewarded either at Cambridge or 
Oxford, though among the successful competitors have 
been such names as those of Heber, Macaulay, and Mack- 
worth Praed. As so many years had elapsed since he 
had broken a fixed tradition by a blank verse poem, and 
since I had followed his example, I took the liberty, 
which I knew his kindness would forgive, of sending 
him my verses, and mentioning the circumstance. In 
those days the poet wrote his own letters, which he rarely 
did in later years, and I received the following reply : 


" DEAR SIR : I have just received your prize poem, 
for which I return you my best thanks. I believe it is 
true that mine was the first written in blank verse which 
obtained the Chancellor s medal. Nevertheless (and 
though you assure me that reading it gave you the deep 
est pleasure), I could wish that it had never been written. 
Believe me, dear sir, yours very truly, 


The two following letters from Cambridge friends are 
given to illustrate the high level of life and thought 
which obtained in the little coterie of friends : 

"Mv DEAR FARRAR: I have just read the Tripos list, 
and I assure you that your place gave me more pleasure 
than any other, bracketed with your old enemy or 
rather rival. There is no one, dear Farrar, of all those 
who have gone out this year who in my opinion has 
been a greater blessing to the circle of friends among 
whom they have been thrown than you have all who 
knew you must ever recollect the kindness and goodness 
of your heart, and the warmth of your love. Your social 
and pleasant evenings in which the greatest pleasure 
was always to hear you talk will ever be one of my 
dearest recollections of Trinity. I am sure, too, you will 
let me add that there is no one to whom a University 
career has done more good or on whom high University 
honours could have been better conferred, than on you. 
Others may have maintained their former reputation. 
But you have each year increased yours and will no 
doubt shortly succeed in surprising every one by some 
tremendous doings in the fellowships. . . . 
" Ever your affectionate friend, 



Judge Vernon Lushington writes : 

" To me he then seemed and I greet the memory 
of it as the type of a gifted and rich-hearted young 
student, rejoicing in his first outlook on intellectual life 
as a man. He had no special interest, I think, in the 
scientific studies of the place, or even in history, and 
still less in politics; but in scripture phrase he had 
compassion for the multitude. 

" His subject was a pure and exalted personal morality 
for all, not of the mere negative kind, but a very active 
one, and the imaginative literature illustrating such 
aspirations, the literae humaniores in short. He de 
lighted in the cloud of witnesses. These he studied 
with extraordinary eagerness, for the matter chiefly, but 
also for the form. They fed his ardent spirit, gave him 
a great hope and courage, and called forth his own 
powers of copious expression both by word and pen. 

" His own life at that time was a retired one. Simple 
and healthy himself, he took little or no part in games 
or other amusements ; he was essentially a student, and 
a most industrious one, consorting meanwhile with the 
most thoughtful of his contemporaries, and delighting 
in discussing with them his favourite subjects : they in 
turn recognised his remarkable talents and character. 
Mutatis mutandis he was a sort of young Milton among 
them. It was my good fortune to be often in his fa 
miliar company, and we were always on affectionate 
terms, but I hardly lived with him. Our after paths 
diverged, and I had no share, except as a remote spec 
tator, in his brilliant and strenuous career. But our af 
fectionate regard for one another remained on both sides 
unchanged to the end. 


" To sum up : in my memory of your father, the youth 
was in a rare degree the father to the man. He showed 
in his youthful manhood the elements, the striking fea 
tures of his after goodness and distinction ; necessarily 
also the corresponding limitations (since life is so wide 
as well as so deep, and happily so manifold). 

"With grateful and happy recollections of my old 
friend, I am 

" Always truly yours, 




IN 1854, before the results of the Tripos were out, 
he was invited to become an assistant master at Marl- 
borough College. The circumstances of this mastership 
and of his ordination are told in an autobiographical frag 
ment, " My First Sermon," contributed to a magazine: 

" My life has been planned and guided for me. When 
I stood for my degree at Cambridge, I did not know what 
my lot was to be. I had decided to become a candidate 
for Holy Orders ; but whether I should stay up at Trinity 
College, Cambridge, try for a fellowship, and live on it 
as a tutor, or whether I should take a curacy somewhere 
in the country, or whether I should seek work as a school 
master, or whether I should become a missionary as my 
father had before me, all these things lay, as Homer says, 
on the knees of the Gods. The call and the direction 
came unsought. Before my degree was out I received 
a letter from the Head-master of Marlborough College, 
afterward Bishop of Calcutta, Dr. G. E. L. Cotton, 
then a perfect stranger, asking me to accept a mas 
tership in the Wiltshire College, where my friends, Pro 
fessor E. S. Beesly and Mr. E. A. Scott, were already 
at work. I obeyed the call, and after a few weeks Dr. 
Cotton, who remained a very dear friend to me and 
corresponded with me up to the day of his sudden and 
lamented death, asked me to be his colleague in the 
work of the Sixth Form. Many of the boys in that 



Sixth Form have, since then, risen to positions of emi 
nence. I remember once seeing a boy chasing another, 
who wore a scarlet cap, round the court, and shouting 
after him, Keblepuris ! Keblepuris ! That is the Greek 
for the red cap, and the boy had taken it from The 
Birds of Aristophanes, which we were then reading. 
The boy who was chasing the other is now the Right 
Reverend, the Primate of Australia ; the boy in the red 
cap is now the Right Reverend, the Lord Bishop of 
Glasgow. It reminds one of Shenstone s lines : 

"Yet, nurs d with skill, what dazzling fruits appear! 
E en now sagacious foresight points to show 
A little bench of heedless Bishops here, 
And there a Chancellor in embryo. 

"When Cotton went to Marlborough the school, now so 
popular and famous, was passing through an acute period 
in its history. One of the first remarks which Dr. Cotton 
made to me was, You know any day the school may 
disappear in blue smoke. The college was at that time 
overwhelmed with debt, owing to bad management, and 
at first each boy was actually costing more than the low 
annual sum he paid, though the boys were badly fed 
and roughly housed. With indomitable patience and 
resolution, and often in the teeth of clenched antago 
nisms, Cotton altered this ; and though he was by no 
means a facile schoolmaster, and could punish with sever 
ity, his quaint humour and his unqualified devotion to 
their interests, together with his admirable weekly ser 
mons, soon gave him the highest influence among the 
boys. He gathered round him a devoted staff of mas 
ters, who, for the sake of the school, were ready for any 
self-denial, and who treated the boys as so many younger 
brothers. In the old rough days there were masters 


who, though they doubtless meant to be kind, kept up 
the inexorable severity with which, until this generation, 
boys had normally been trained for many years. In 
those days the commonest possible sight was to see 
boys backs scored with red and blue marks from strokes 
of the cane, or to see their hands sore or cut from what 
were called pandies, inflicted by the same instrument 
of torture. Nous avons changt tout cela. The rebel 
lion, which had most seriously shaken the very exist 
ence of the school, was hardly detumescent ; but Cotton s 
sovereign good sense soon swept away even the remem 
brance of it. I recollect that, when I arrived as a young 
master, some forty-three years ago, the first thing I saw 
was a huge chalk inscription on the wall, Bread or 
blood .f Cotton simply summoned the boys together, 
told them that his best efforts were being given to im 
prove the commissariat (which was not in his hands), 
and that, instead of scrawling up vulgar and stupid in 
scriptions, they should confide in him. The masters con 
ferred together, swept away the old bursar-and-steward 
arrangement, took the finances in their own hands, agreed 
not to draw one penny of their incomes till the end of 
the year (to save interest), and then to regard each pound 
as a share. They also offered to give up the whole of 
their incomes altogether, if funds were not forthcoming, 
or only to take any percentage of them which might be 
available. At the end of the year such had been the 
improvement in the management every hundred pounds 
was worth more than a hundred pounds, though the com 
fort of the boys had been largely and in every way im 
proved. The whole body of masters then at once gave 
up the additional quota which was fairly theirs. That 
year of crisis saved in all respects the fortunes of the 
school, and turned all its sons into the most loyal of 


Marlburians. It is a great delight to me to have been 
a master during so interesting a year." 

Old pupils still living recall how he would take them 
for long walks over the downs, pouring himself out in a 
continuous flood of vivid talk the whole time, and how 
he would entertain them to tea on his return, and the 
lavish recklessness with which he shovelled the tea out 
of his caddy into the tea-pot 

The following characteristic sketch by Canon Henry 
Bell, a pupil of my father s during the first Marlborough 
period, and an assistant master for a year during his head- 
mastership, gives a delightful picture of this epoch : 

" Farrar came to Marlborough as a master in 1854. I 
was one of his first pupils in I think it was the 
Lower Fifth. We were taken in the big schoolroom 
with eight other Forms. I quite remember how his 
treatment of us was a revelation. His whole manner, 
his kind way of speaking to us, was something we had 
never been accustomed to : he completely won our 
hearts, and there was nothing we would not have done 
for him. The old regime was that of the law, Do 
this, or die ; Know your Virgil, or, Stand round. 
No doubt we were a rough, idle lot how could it have 
been otherwise when the cane was the only incentive 
and the sole civiliser ? To have a kind word spoken to 
one was a thing unheard of, undreamt of but Far 
rar came. He was one of Cotton s inspirations, with 
him Edward Ashley Scott, and Charley Bere, as we 
affectionately called him. 

"More inspirations joined him the following year, 
names never to be forgotten for all time for all they did 
for Marlborough, Spencer Beesly, 1 Tomkinson, Bull, 

1 Spencer Beesly was already at Marlborough when my father joined 
the staff. 


Jex Blake, Gilmore. Well, Farrar came, and brought 
the boys who were in his Form a new idea of life, and 
the conviction that we were made for something better 
and higher than to be caned and cuffed. Till Farrar 
came we did our verses out of a book, I hope I have 
forgotten its name forever, but I remember it opened 
with a sketch of an exulting horse careering over a plain, 
or some twaddle of that kind. 1 We were thoroughly 
satisfied with it we knew nothing better; and was 
there not a convenient crib ! Well, Farrar pitched the 
book into the fire, and gave us some poetry instead. 
Why, most of us had hardly heard of poetry : the exult 
ing horse was our one ideal of it. Our first copy was, Oh, 
call my brother back to me, which was followed up by 
Cophetua, Ye Mariners of England, and many another. 
" I remember we were doing in Form Horace s Epistles, 
and one day I suppose he was the head of the Form, 
I certainly was not there came a letter to Fryer 
we called him Friar Tuck asking some of us to tea. 
I wish I could reproduce the humorous words in which 
the invitation was couched : all I can recall about it is 
that it was a parody on one of the Epistles, of the Third 
Book I think, which we had been doing in Form. 

" Si potes archiacis convive recumbere lectis 
Nee modica coenare times olus omne patella 
Supremo te sole domi Torquate manebo. 

" Such an event as tea with a master was an event in 
deed. I for one was in mortal terror. What was one 

1 The lines run 

The fiery steed, his tail in air proudly cocked, 
Not without much neighing traverses glad pastures. 
As my father said of it in his Royal Institution Lecture, "This is the 
sort of kelp and brick-dust used to polish the cogs of their mental ma 


to say ? how comport oneself ? I almost wished my 
name had been left out of the invitation. But the mo 
ment we got into the room he shook hands with us, 
welcomed us, and in two minutes we were at ease and 
at home with him, as he plied us with jam and cake, and 
chaffed us in his own genial way. I remember he es 
pecially chaffed me about cricket : What fun can you 
see in trundling a piece of leather at three bits of 
stick ! He was with us in the Fifth only a very short 
time, but I look back to it as the time when my friend 
ship with Farrar began which lasted till his death. 

" Of course his place was with the Sixth. I can recall 
a whole holiday when he took the members of the Sixth 
in a Brake to Stonehenge, and I was invited to join them. 
Philistine as I was, I persuaded them to take a football. 
I m afraid Stonehenge in itself had but little interest for 
me. On our arrival I remember being taken to gaze on 
the huge stones, and being terribly bored and only too 
glad when the lecture was over and one could get the 
football out. I remember how we chose sides and Far 
rar joined in the game and enjoyed it as much as we 
did. But what ruffians he must have thought us ! 
What a bathos ! Football and the Druids ! 

" Farrar was never what you may call a game lover, but 
he knew that he could get hold of fellows best by join 
ing with them in their games ; so when he came he took 
to fives and was soon no mean hand, and to football, in 
which he could perhaps never have excelled, but which 
he played with an energy which many of us of that day 
well remember. 

" Too soon, alas ! Harrow stole him from us and kept 
him till 1871, when he returned to us as head master. 
It was my privilege to work under him for a year, only 
too short a period, but long enough to show me how his 


whole heart and soul was bent on doing his best for every 
boy in the school to make his school days bright and 
happy. He loved Marlborough always with the intens- 
est love, and never spared himself for her. Well, I will 
only add that I feel an affection for Farrar, and retain 
a memory of his very many kindnesses which will always 
last. He had a peculiarly lovable nature, which could 
not fail to attract. The world is indeed poorer for his 
death. H. B." 

Of his work at this period Dr. Cotton wrote : " I 
never knew any one who had a greater power of stimu 
lating intellectual exertion and literary taste. The im 
pulse which he imparted to my sixth form was quite 
extraordinary. When boys first joined it they seemed 
in a very short time to be imbued by him with a new 
intellectual life and a real desire of knowledge and im 
provement for their own sakes." 

The following is the story of his ordination and of 
his first sermon : 

" As soon as I was old enough to be ordained, I sent 
my name as a candidate to the then Bishop of Salisbury, 
Dr. Walter Ker Hamilton, asking him to ordain me on 
my mastership to help in the clerical work of the school. 
My name was at once accepted, and I had just time to 
get to Salisbury for the ordination examination on the 
day that the school broke up. 

" The only way of getting to Salisbury in time was by 
taking a coach which passed through Marlborough at 
three at night. Accordingly, I got the college watch 
man to awake me ; and then I was absolutely insane 
enough, on a night in late December, to take a seat out 
side the coach with no rug and no great-coat ! It was 
a night of keen frost, and I wonder that the night drive 


did not kill me. I was congealed to the very bone, and 
when we got to Salisbury I felt very ill. Fortunately, 
however, I was young, and my health was very strong ; 
and although everybody noticed how ghastly I looked 
when I entered the Bishop s Hall for examination, I 
escaped with nothing worse than a bad cold. 

"I was ordained on Christmas Day, 1853, and I was 
appointed to read the Gospel in the Cathedral. On the 
morning of that day one of the Salisbury clergy wrote 
and asked me to take a service and to preach for him at 
the workhouse in the afternoon. He said that of course 
I could not write a sermon at such short notice, espe 
cially as the whole morning was broken up with the 
long ordination service ; but he sent me a volume of 
the Church Homilies, and advised me to preach the 
Homily for Christmas Day. I felt a dislike, however, 
to take a book with me and read a Homily which I did 
not know very well, and which would necessarily sound 
a little archaic. I therefore snatched what brief leisure 
I could, and sat down to write at least a sermonet. My 
text was naturally the angels song, and I think a poorer 
little sermon could rarely have been preached. It was 
an attempt to show what the world might have been if 
man had never fallen ; what the world would be once 
more when God was all in all ; and how we might per- 
. sonally attain this blessedness by faith in Him who for 
us men and for our salvation had taken our nature upon 
Him. I remember the scene now : my walk to Salis 
bury Infirmary ; the gathering of poor feeble old men 
and women in the bare and miserable chapel ; the ill- 
equipped and unprepared young deacon, a few hours 
old in the ministry, who had to read and preach to them ; 
the vacant gaze of the old women, and the stony stare 
of the old men as they listened to a sermon of a style 


somewhat academic, and wholly unsuited to them ; the 
fact that one at least, and I think several, unceremoni 
ously got up in the middle and walked out, which under 
the circumstances was very excusable. And yet that 
wretched little sermon, which I believe exists somewhere, 
but at which I certainly could not look without a shudder, 
contained one lovely passage which (as I faithfully ex 
plained) was not my own. It was the beautiful close of 
the Christmas Day Homily, and is, I think, the most 
beautiful passage in all the Homilies. It runs as follows : 
Therefore, dearly beloved, let us not forget this ex 
ceeding love of our Lord and Saviour. Let us confess 
Him with our mouths, praise Him with our tongues, be 
lieve on Him with our hearts, and glorify Him with our 
good works. Christ is the Light; let us reveal the 
Light. Christ is the Truth ; let us believe the Truth. 
Christ is the Way ; let us follow the Way. And because 
He is our only Master, our only Teacher, our only Shep 
herd and Chief Captain, let us become His scholars, 
His soldiers, His sheep, His servants. . . . Let us re 
ceive Christ not for a time, but for ever; let us believe 
His word not for a time, but for ever ; let us become 
His servants not for a time, but for ever, considering 
that He hath redeemed us not for a time, but for ever, 
and will receive us into His heavenly kingdom, then, 
to reign with Him, not for a time, but for ever. 1 

" Such was my first sermon, preached in a country 
workhouse, and a dead failure, I should imagine, if ever 
there was one. Why, it may be asked, did I not take 

1 My collateral ancestor, Robert Farrar, Bishop of St. David s, burnt for 
the Protestant faith at Carmarthen in the reign of Queen Mary, was a 
chaplain of Cranmer s, and is known to have had some share in the 
Homilies. I try to persuade myself that he wrote this homily, and so lent 
me the only good part of my first sermon. NOTE BY DEAN FARRAR. 


what would have been the natural and much more effec 
tive course, and speak to the poor people a few words 
extempore ? Often and often since I have preached 
extempore to poor haymakers in a barn, and to great 
congregations in cathedrals and elsewhere, and prob 
ably, with a little training, it would have come even 
more easy to me to preach without a manuscript than 
with one. But I had never had one-quarter of a min 
ute s training or advice about either reading or preach 
ing, and it never occurred to me that I could preach 
without book. The chief thing that strikes me as I look 
back across the vista of nearly forty years, is how sad 
was the neglect of that ordinary training, which might 
have made so many of us more effective, who belong 
to the generation which is passing away ; how much we 
might have gained if we had even been vouchsafed a 
little practice in the art of reading. How much our con 
gregations might have been saved if the elementary 
rules of elocution had ever been explained to us, and, 
above all, if some little instruction had been imparted to 
us about those things which constitute the faults or the 
merits of sermons. . . . But we of earlier date were 
left to stumble on our way as best we could. ..." 

The f o 1] owing extract from a private letter gives an 
interesting little vignette of the young master as he 
appeared to another of his pupils : 

" F. W. F. came to Marlborough like an apparition 
a flame of fire kindling enthusiasm for all that was 
noble and chivalrous. No one ever was so young as he 
was in those days, and I suppose he was then twenty- 
three or twenty -four ; but the marvel was, how he knew 
such a lot and associated himself with us little fellows, 
as if we could minister to his happiness. I learnt much 
from him which has made my life a happy one. . . . 


He played football (Rugby) like a madman, running 
amuck with his eyes shut, and got awfully mauled, 
Icetissima pulvere farm, as some fellows said, much to 
his delight. We were reading the Georgics at the 

I give here an extract from my father s sermon, on 
" The History and Hopes of a Public School," one of 
the series of sermons preached at Marlborough during 
his head-mastership, and collected in the volume, " In 
the Days of Thy Youth " : 

"On August 25, 1843, tne first Marlburians walked 
with considering footsteps about the place which was to 
be the new home of their boyhood, and to which, as time 
passed on, some of their sons were to follow them. Some 
of you who sit on these benches to-day are sons of some 
of those two hundred who, thirty-one years ago, first 
entered this place as Marlborough boys ; and of their 
traditions, of their influences, of their characters, of the 
motives brought to bear upon them, of the manner in 
which they yielded to those motives, so far-reaching 
are the pulsations of our moral life, all of you are the 
heirs. The sound of their boyish laughter, the echo of 
their happy voices, has died away, and many of them 
have passed away from the life of earth. In a body so 
large as this, many die as the years pass on. I remem 
ber the first boy who ever entered my room as a pupil 
here nearly twenty years ago. He lies now under the 
deep sea wave. I remember the first head of my form 
here that memorial window records his character. Yes, 
we die ; but not the effect of our deeds. All other sounds 

" Die in yon rich sky, 
They faint on hill, on field or river ; 
Our echoes roll from soul to soul, 
And live for ever and for ever. 


"If you be living weak, miserable, effeminate lives, 
then let it be a warning and an awful thought ; if you 
are living true, manly, righteous lives, let it be an en 
nobling, an inspiring thought, that your lives too will 
live, in their moral echoes, for coming generations of 
Marlborough boys. 

* *#### 

"The college then was founded, and they who had 
laboured and given their substance for it won thereby 
a grace and a blessing which nothing else could have 
given them. 

" But how did their work prosper ? At first not well. 
Let us bear in mind that in those days it was a great 
and wholly new experiment; and some hundreds of 
boys all strangers to one another, collected in one build 
ing, without a past, without unity, without traditions, 
fell at first into many rough and discreditable ways, 
which seemed likely at one time to make the name 
of Marlburian a byword and a hissing. It must have 
been a bitter thing for those who then worked for our 
school to bear ; but they who sow faithfully, though it 
be in tears, shall reap in joy. Yes, laborare et orare 
were (as in one way or other they always are) success 
ful, and the first master of Marlborough * has lived to see 
that he was doing a work which, though different from 
that achieved by others, has yet been granted to few. 
For to those days of trial, and greatly to his work, we 
owe that organisation which has since been imitated in 
its minutest particulars by later schools. And what was 
still wanting, it was granted to his successor to achieve. 
It is something for every Marlborough boy to know that 
when he looks at that portrait of Bishop Cotton which 

1 Dr. Wilkinson. 


adorns our hall, he is looking at the likeness of one of 
the best men whom this generation has produced. It 
was God s special blessing to a new school that sent him 
here. He was not great as the world counts greatness. 
When he came here he was but little known beyond a 
narrow circle of attached friends. Nor was it at once 
either in numbers, or in intellectual successes, or in im 
proved finances, that Marlborough began to flourish. 
Yet undoubtedly it was Bishop Cotton who saved the 
school. He was here but six years ; and great as was 
his work as Bishop of Calcutta and Metropolitan of 
India, before that disastrous fall into the waters of the 
Indian river after which he was seen no more, it is yet 
with this place that his name will be most identified. 
It was my own deep happiness in those days to know 
him, to love him, to work with him, and in daily walks 
and intercourse with him, as afterward by letters, until 
he died, to learn what manner of man he was. And 
how did he save Marlborough when it might any day 
have disappeared, unhonoured and unregretted, from 
its place among the public schools of England ? My 
brethren, it is well for you to know ; it is a valuable 
lesson for any one to know : it was not by the genius 
of the thinker; it was not by the brilliancy of the 
scholar; it was not by that burning enthusiasm and 
personal ascendency with which Arnold of Rugby had 
done his work. Such gifts were not his ; but it was by 
those fruits of the Spirit which are in the reach of all 
and by that heavenly grace which is given in even larger 
measure to them that seek it. A calm hopefulness, a 
cheerful simplicity, an exquisite equanimity of temper, 
a humility which made him a learner to the very end, 
a genuine, self-denying love for Marlborough, and for 
those boys whom God had here intrusted to his charge 


these were what gave to his life that mysterious power 
which is always granted to the unselfish purpose and the 
single eye. And this was the type of character God 
grant that it may long be stamped upon some of the 
sons whom this school shall train ! which he produced 
among his pupils and his colleagues. I shall never for 
get the spectacle which the Marlborough of that day 
presented. Something was due, no doubt, to the fact 
that it was a day of adversity, which often brings out all 
that is noblest and sweetest in human lives. But cer 
tainly the few here present who remember that time will 
bear me witness that it taught us all a priceless lesson. 
We all felt that it was a struggle, first, whether Marl- 
borough College should live at all, next, whether it 
should live in honour or obscurity. We won no great 
successes; we were beaten in every game; there was 
much that was mean in our surroundings; much that 
was trying in our arrangements; much that was still 
coarse and rough and unintellectual in the habits of the 
place. And yet how we all loved it ! How boys and 
masters alike worked for it ! What a pride they felt, 
even in its humility ! What a thrill of delight we all felt 
when one succeeded ! How ready they were, some of 
them, even to the permanent surrender of better pros 
pects to serve Marlborough and work for her. And 
verily they have their reward ; they have their reward, 
that is, if the highest price which life can offer is clearly 
to see what is best, and resolutely to do it. And is there 
anything better than this ? Life is not the mere living. 
It is worship ; it is the surrender of the soul to God, 
and the power to see the face of God ; and it is service ; 
it is to feel that when we die, whether praised or 
blamed, whether appreciated or misinterpreted, whether 
honoured or ignored, whether wealthy or destitute, 


we have done something to make the world we came to 
better and happier; we have tried to cast upon the 
water some seeds which long after we are dead may 
still bring forth their flowers of Paradise." 

The following lines were composed as he returned 
from Dr. Wilkinson s funeral: 


Aye, they are o er, his pain and his endeavour, 
Our scant acknowledgment, and frequent wrong ; 

Hushed are all tones of praise or blame forever, 
For those who listen to the angel s song. 

He sowed the seed with sorrow and with weeping, 
Barely he saw green blade or tender leaves ; 

Yet in meek faith, unenvious of the reaping, 
Blessed the glad gatherers of the golden sheaves. 

But we, when reapers unto reapers calling, 
Tell the rich harvest of the grain they bring, 

Shall we forget how snow and sleet were falling 
On those tired toilers of the bitter spring ? 

And yet of him nor word nor line remaineth, 
Picture nor bust, his work and worth to tell ; 

And though not he nor any friend complaineth, 
We ask in sadness, " Marlborough, is it well?" 

Enough ! he murmured not, in earthly races 

To winners only do the heralds call ; 
But oh ! in yonder high and holy places 

Success is nothing, and the work is all. 

So since ye will it here be unrecorded 
The work he fashioned and the path he trod ; 

Here, but in heaven each kind heart is rewarded, 
Each true name written in the books of God. 

F. W. F. 


To his first Maryborough period belongs this hymn, 
which is printed in the Marlborough College hymn- 
book : 

Father! before Thy throne of light 

The guardian angels bend, 
And ever in Thy presence bright 

Their psalms adoring blend, 
And casting down each golden crown 

Beside the crystal sea, 
With voice and lyre in happy quire 

Hymn glory, Lord, to Thee. 

And as the rainbow lustre falls 

Athwart their glowing wings, 
While seraph unto seraph calls, 

And each thy goodness sings ; 
So may we fall, as low we kneel 

To thank Thee for thy grace 
That Thou art here, for all who fear 

The brightness of Thy face. 

Here, when the angels see us come 

To worship day by day, 
Teach us to feel our heavenly home 

And love Thee, e en as they : 
Teach us to raise our songs of praise, 

Like them, Thy love to own, 
That boyhood s time and manhood ^ prime 

Be Thine, and Thine alone. 

Two letters to his friend, Professor E. S. Beesly may 
be inserted here : 


" MY DEAR BEESLY : I have many friends at M. 
[Marlborough] to whom I would gladly write, both 
among boys and masters, but no one has an earlier or 
better claim than you. I must, however, write chiefly 
on business. 


" Will you also tell Turner and Ilbert to go to Fleuss 
and get their likeness well finished by September, in order 
that I may take it with me if I come down. I should 
like to have Warren s phiz very much, and also Han- 
bury s together ; but I don t know whether Fleuss s like 
nesses are good enough to make it worth while to have 
another picture as a pendant to the Ilberto-Turner. 

" I am trying to read for a fellowship, but despairingly 
and under great disadvantages. I shall leave in about 
ten days for Harrow to see about furniture, and get 
taken in. 

" Tell Bull I travelled up to Cambridge with his minute 
nephew, who did not cry once, and showed a temper 
most angelic for a baby ! Though Bull and I used 
intellectually to drive each other into corners, I hope, 
in spite of our skirmishes, that he will not forget a 
coadjutor who will always remember him with mingled 
gratitude, friendship, and respect. 

" I hope Scott is in more vigorous health ; please give 
him my love, and also remember me to all friends. I 
shall be very glad to hear from you. You can t think 
how painful I felt it to leave M. A tear starts while I 
think of it not the place or the position, but those 
whom I loved there more fondly than I knew, and who 
will already have well-nigh forgotten my existence. I 
met Ilbert in London and hardly spoke to him. 

" Excuse my folly, and believe me ever 

" Your affectionate friend, 

" F. W. FARRAR." 

"COLEHILL, January 25. 

" MY DEAR BEESLY : I am sorry to hear of your in 
tended attempt at Brazenose, because if you try you are 


pretty sure to succeed, I suppose, and then we shall lose 
you, which will be a loss to all of us, but peculiarly to 
me, for I have little real society among the masters. 

Still it will, I suppose, assist your prospects, and so I 
heartily hope you success on this ground. At the 
Union I hope you will make a brilliant and effective 
display, but take care and don t compromise yourself 
by too violent language. It does no sort of harm to 
adopt a conciliatory tone for expressing the most uncom 
promising arguments. 

" I passed the ordination examination with flying 
colours, and was first in it, and so had to read the Gospel 
in the Cathedral, which I did with the completest self- 
possession, greatly to the astonishment of the rest. The 
Bishop complimented me peculiarly on my doctrine, 
though I expressed my opinions quite unshrinkingly. 
I had to preach and take a full service next day in Salis 
bury at very short notice, and have since been assisting 
my father, and it is the general opinion of the drapers 
and grocers here that I am a promising young man. 

" I have done next to nothing, owing to the greatest 
interruptions. I have heard from Theobald and the 
darling IXfieprtSiov, and many Upper VI fellows, but 
only from two Lower. I was disgusted at the way they 
did. Cobb got a quadruple first only throngh super 
human diligence, and they all might have done the same; 
but though they worked hard, it was not hard enough 
for their dull and sluggish capacities. 

" A brother of Hawkins, the senior classic of my year, 
is coming into the Lower to be under me, by his brother s 
advice. Wishing you heartily all happiness, I remain, 
" Your affectionate friend, 

" F. W. FARRAR." 



TOWARD the close of 1855 my father was appointed by 
Dr. Vaughan, who remained to the close of his life one 
of his most affectionate friends, an assistant master at 
Harrow. Here he remained for fifteen years, years 
filled not only by a strenuous devotion to his magisterial 
duties, which won for him the grateful and loyal affection 
of successive generations of Harrovians, but by many 
and varied activities outside the routine of school, which 
brought him into wider prominence. 

In 1858 he may be said to have begun his public 
career as an author with "Eric, or Little by Little," 
published by request, and founded on reminiscences, 
partly autobiographical, of his old school in the Isle of 
Man. This was followed in 1859 by "Julian Home," a 
tale of college life, of which the local colour is derived 
from Trinity College, Cambridge. " St. Winifred s, or the 
World of School," was not published till 1865. "The 
Three Homes" was originally published under the pseu 
donym F. T. L. Hope (derived from Tennyson s " faintly 
trust the larger hope") and the authorship of the book 
was not publicly claimed till 1896. It first appeared as 
a serial in the Qtiiver, and since its publication in book 
form more than thirty thousand copies have been sold. 

This seems the proper place to attempt a critical esti 
mate of my father s work as a writer of schoolboy fiction. 
It would be idle to blink the fact that these books have 
been exposed to much hostile criticism, and in particular 



" Eric," the most popular and the most characteristic of 
the series, alike in its real beauties and noble moral les 
sons, and by reason of some defects which lay it open to 
cheap criticism. 

No journalist, writing of Farrar s work, considers that 
he has done his duty by the public till he has duly insti 
tuted a comparison between "Eric" and "Tom Brown," 
to the disparagement of the former. For the discerning 
critic these books, each admirable in its own genre, no 
more challenge comparison than do the works of Fra 
Angelico and Frith. 

" Tom Brown s School Days" is the work of a realist, 
and no book more true to the life of the schoolboy has 
been, or is likely to be, written. It gives an incompara 
ble picture of the average public-school boy, healthy, 
athletic, chock-full of animal spirits, morally sound at the 
core, common-sense, if also commonplace. We recognise 
the portrait as drawn by a master-hand. We get noth 
ing but good by reading the book ; yet healthy and ex 
cellent as is its tone, we are not profoundly touched to 
finer issues by it. 

Again, the genius of Rudyard Kipling has given us 
in " Stalky & Co." a lively and amusing presentment 
of one side, the slangy side, of schoolboy life. Those 
who do not know the schoolboy, not seldom find the 
ntst Stalky detestable ; but for all his cynicism the young 
scamp is sound at heart, and his moral ideals, so stoically 
veiled, are not ignoble. He is such a humorous rascal 
that I almost forgive even his jeers at Eric. But no 
high moral purpose underlies these sketches. We enjoy 
them, but are neither better or worse for them. 

"Eric" and "St. Winifred s" are of a wholly different 
strain, and no one of enlightened literary judgment 
would attempt to compare them with the above. They 


are the work of an idealist, and of one who never wrote 
without a definite moral purpose. If, Reader, you dislike 
idealism, and cannot tolerate books written "with a pur 
pose," cadit qucestio, " Eric " and " St. Winifred s " 
are not for you. No cynic, and no mere worldling, was 
ever wholly in sympathy with Farrar s work ; and the 
clever modern public-school boy is but too often an ama 
teur of cynicism, whose motto is Surtout point de ztle. 
He detests emotion, sneers at it in others, and stoically 
suppresses it in himself. 

" The boys of Eric and St. Winifred s are not real 
boys like Tom Brown," says the youthful cynic of to 
day, " but young prigs who are always high-f alutin 
and spouting poetry." He does not spout poetry not 
he. Well, perhaps they are not convincingly real 
boys, any more than the characters of Dickens are real 
persons. Their virtues, and even their vices, are ideal 
ised, but the heroes are such boys as Farrar was him 
self, and, be it remembered, " Eric " was written from 
reminiscences of a school in the Isle of Man, and of an 
epoch where alike the virtues and the vices of boys were 
more primitive and less sophisticated, than is the case 
in our large modern public schools of this generation. 
"St. Winifred s," which came six years later, and was in 
fluenced by both Marlborough and Harrow experiences, 
though it has had less effect, perhaps, than " Eric," is 
truer to the real life of boys, and has been far less open 
to criticism. Judged by the mere vulgar standard of 
sales, the success of these two books has been phe 
nomenal. " Eric " has gone through more than fifty 
editions, but the inner history of the book will never be 
fully given to the world. I dare venture to say that 
few boys, however much they may sneer at it in after 
years, have read " Eric " for the first time without tears 


coming to their eyes ; but the number of simple-hearted 
lads who have been profoundly touched and uplifted by 
this book, and of those who have been turned from evil 
courses and moved to sincere repentance by it, will 
never be fully known. 

Hardly a week ever passed since " Eric " was first 
published without my father receiving from all parts 
of the English-speaking world from India, from the 
colonies, and from America letters from earnest men 
who were not ashamed to write and confess with grati 
tude that the reading of " Eric " had marked a turning- 
point in their lives, and that its lessons had been with 
them an abiding influence for good. 

Some of these letters, too sacred and too intimate for 
print, have been preserved, and are an eloquent testi 
mony to the far-reaching power with the meek and 
lowly of heart of this much-criticised little book, a 
power that will survive the sarcastic comments of the 
Press, and even the sneers of Stalky & Co. 

Of all the tributes to " Eric " none is more moving 
than that paid by the great Dr. Magee, who was at that 
time Bishop of Peterborough. In consequence of the 
Bishop s dictum that " it would be better that England 
should be free than that England should be compul- 
j sorily sober," a sharp and somewhat bitter controversy 
had arisen between my father and the Bishop. When 
in 1883 the latter lay upon what he himself and others 
thought to be his dying bed, he wrote to my father and 
in words of touching dignity, and of peculiar pathos as 
coming from so proud a man, expressed his sorrow for 
all that had beclouded their friendship, and went on to 
thank him for having written " Eric," of which he said, 
" It has been the salvation of my son. You should have 
known this earlier but for the demon of pride." 


I insert here a few letters, 1 referring to " Eric " and his 
other works of schoolboy fiction. The first three are 
from my father to his friend E. S. Beesly. The remain 
der are specimens of letters he was constantly receiving 
from readers of those books. 

" HARROW, November 16. 

"My DEAR BEESLY: I fear I forgot to write your 
name in the Eric I sent you, a neglect which I will 
supply hereafter. I hear that it is selling rapidly and 
that a second edition is likely to be soon required. I 
know the Saturday Wasp only too well personally, but I 
won t mention names. His unchristian tone will do the 
book no harm, except that little fools here have read it 
and think him an oracle. 

" The lacrimosity is, I know, too much, and arises from 
the state of mind in which I wrote it. I really never 

thought of B , who will probably never see or hear 

of the book, or N neither. Montagu and Owen 

are Harrow boys; the latter mentally developed and 
made to act as he would do if he were ever in such cir 
cumstances. Wildney is a little boy named W who 

was really introduced to me as a very nice little fel 
low a regular devil. He brutalised himself by drink, 
was expelled, and went to sea. 

" I had absolutely and totally forgotten young H 

as much as if he never existed, and it was only by an effort 
of memory that I now recalled him. You remember 
infinitely more than me. Russell, too, is a Harrovian. 
Wildney and Duncan are the favourites here : the book 
here has sold immensely. I had quite forgotten the 

I 1 may mention that my father seldom, if ever, prefixed the date of the 
year to his letters, but only that of the month. 


bottle of wine incident, which was suggested by a carouse 
before your time. 

" Ball is C . Tell me if Eric finds its way among 

Marlburians and if they and the masters like it. Also 
please let me know if, and when, a review occurs in the 
Daily News. The Critic, Spectator, Examiner, Daily 
Express, and Evening Courant have all been favourable, 
and I am daily expecting more. I have had ^50 for 
the book (this entre nous) and am to have more at the 
second edition, if there is one. 

" By the bye, Black quite supposes you to be at work 
on the History and will be glad to hear from you 
when it is at all in a forward state, he bade me tell you. 

" If you can do anything to help Eric, I know you 
will. The letters I have received from Oxford and 
Cambridge have been most kind and also the warm 
encomiums of boys and master here the former all the 
more valuable from their happy and warm spontaneity. 

" Good-bye, 

" Ever your affectionate friend, 

"F. W. FARRAR." 

" HARROW, December 7. 

" MY DEAR BEESLY : One line I have no time for 
more to tell you that I am exceedingly obliged for the 
Review in the Daily News and feel indebted for your 
kindness. I hear but have not yet seen that the 
odious Press has been abusing Eric and me. I daily 
expect the second edition. 

" I have just heard from Brown at K. W. C. Eric 
has been read there. No opinion can be got out of 
Dixon, but H. thinks it will injure the school. Absurd ! 
but even if so, I am not to blame for the picture, as 


far as it is one, is highly flattered. K. W. C. has no Mr. 
Rose, or even Mr. Gordon or Dr. Rowland. K. W. C. 
had certainly no Russell or Owen ; and the things that 
did go on there are really far worse than I have 
described. By the bye you are supposed by some 
readers to be the prototype of Montagu. Are you flat 
tered ? It was confidently asserted to me by an old 

" Ever your affectionate friend, 

" F. W. FARRAR." 

" HARROW, March 2nd. 

" MY DEAR BEESLY : By all means come on Sunday, 
whichever you like best. I shall be glad to see you. In 
these days to me the days are dark, and friends are few. 
Do not think that I care for the Saturday Review. 
With Coleridge I deplore unfavourable criticism from the 
good, but I despise it from the weak, and I welcome it 
from the bad ! 

" Julian has done all the good I meant him to do, and 
more. I have had many warm testimonies as to the 
good the book has done, and one of them from a judge, 
one of the most distinguished on the bench, and a per 
fect stranger to me. I can despise the lies of the Sat 
urday Reviewer. They injure him more than me. 
Meanwhile thirteen thousand copies of the book have 
sold already. When you come, tell me frankly as a 
friend what things offended you. No one is more open 
than I to candid criticism, and no one winces at it 

" Do come, and believe me always 

" Your affectionate friend, 

" F. W. FARRAR." 


"CAMBRIDGE, November 15, 1874. 

" SIR : I write to perform a duty that I owe to you 
and one which I have intended to do for some time. I 
wish to tell you that I have experienced more pleasure 
from that schoolboy tale of yours, viz : Eric, than from 
anything that has happened to me in my life. I first read 
it at school, and have had a copy by me for years now. 

" I really can fairly say that I have never gained so 
much from all that I have ever heard or read, or that 
has ever happened to me as I have from that book. I 
like Eric s nature and the pieces of poetry in it im 
mensely, and I am sure those to whom I have lent it 
have also enjoyed it. 

" Believe me, 

"Yours truly, 

"A. B. (Student)." 

" NORWICH, May 29, 1878. 

" REVEREND SIR : As Secretary of a very influential 
Literary Class, and that moreover in connection with a 
Churchman s Club, it may perhaps give you some 
amount of pleasure to hear that a great many members 
of the class have derived a very great and lasting bene 
fit from those eloquent and beautiful books Julian 
Home, and Eric, or Little by Little. I myself have 
to thank you most sincerely for writing them. They 
elevate the mind to a purer and more holy atmosphere, 
and if read when the mind is in chaos and tumult, they 
whisper peace, calm, blessed peace ! They give tone, 
health, and vigour to the spiritual frame, and feed the 
lamp of the Shekinah with oil pure as a crystal. In 
the hour of weakness I have found them a source of 
strength, and from many of my friends I hear con- 


stantly of the good that has resulted from a thoughtful 
perusal of your forcible works. . . . 
" I am, Reverend Sir, 

" Your faithful servant, 

" R. D ." 

"December 29, 1879. 

" DEAR DR. FARRAR : I expect that you will be sur 
prised at my addressing you thus, but, although we have 
never met, you seem to be quite an old friend to me. 
My special desire is to thank you most heartily and sin 
cerely for the great comfort, sympathy, support and en 
couragement I have in the first instance received from 
the reading of your Eric and St. Winifred s, as a 
boy : and especially from your Marlborough Sermons, 
as a young man. I wish that the Captain of every school 
in England could read what you say." 

"HUNSLET, Leeds, 29, i, 01. 

" REVEREND AND DEAR SIR : In the belief that the 
following fact will be of interest to you, and tho perhaps 
quite familiar, may give some satisfaction, I venture to 
write this note tho a complete stranger to you. 

" During some years of work in E. London, and 
here on the outskirts of Leeds, I have tried to do some 
thing by way of getting boys to read books of the 
healthy sort. And I have repeatedly noticed that both 
among the very poor of London, and among the better 
sort of working folk here, boys have always been enthu 
siastic in praise of Eric and St. Winifred s. 

" I confess that this has surprised me, as I always 
feared that the clothing of the stories would make them 


somewhat difficult for the less educated. But I have 
found myself altogether mistaken. 

" May I therefore, sir, offer my small tribute of thanks 
to you on behalf of my own boyhood, and for the many 
boys who, to my own knowledge, have been delighted, 
as well as braced, by the books. 

" Believe me, Reverend Sir, 

" Yours obediently, 

" T. S. G. B , 

" Curate, Hunslet Parish Church." 

" March 27, 1902. 

"My DEAR SIR : I am taking the liberty of writing to 
you without personally knowing you, because I wished 
to tell you what good your books have done me. I left 
Shrewsbury School at Xmas, and it was through read 
ing Eric that I first learnt to hate sin, and ever since 
that time, about four years ago, I have tried to live a 
pure, brave, and true life at school ; and I have tried to 
help others to do the same, and I know in some cases 
by God s help I have not failed. I feel so deeply grate 
ful to you for writing such books, for I tremble to think 
what my school life would have been, if I had gone on 
as I was doing till I read Eric and others. I was going 
into the army, but now it is my dearest wish to become a 
priest, so I shall be going to Oxford, I think, but not just 
yet. I felt I must write to you, so please do not mind. 

" I wish I had the honour of your acquaintance : some 
day I may have, perhaps, when I am a man, and not 
just a big boy. 

" With many thanks, 

" Believe me, 

" Ever yours gratefully, 

"W. H. P. K ." 



" SIR : Having been too deeply interested for words 
in a very touching work edited by you, called Eric, or 
Little by Little, I take the extreme liberty, which I 
hope you will excuse, of addressing myself to you, and 
the further liberty of confessing a very great curiosity 
to know the exact situations of various places mentioned, 
and the further or present history and names of those 
mentioned in that beautiful, because unadorned, little 

" Your little schoolboy history has led me to reflect 
on my former life and resolve with not my own strength 
to fit myself for a useful man, and not a mere backslider 
as heretofore. 

" I pledge myself as a boy of honour and a gentleman s 
son not to disclose whatever you may choose to honour 
me with to any one whatever. I also sign my true name 
to this letter. 

" I am, sir, 

" Yours truly, 

R. c. A ." 

The following appreciation written after his death 
may be inserted here : 


"A great Churchman is dead, but to boys he will always 
be remembered as the author of two of the finest school 
tales ever written. In Eric and St. Winifred s he 
has left behind him a more lasting monument than any 
that could be erected of marble. He wrote of the deeper 
emotions of boy life and touched its inner chord in a way 
which, it seems to us, no other writer has ever equalled. 



So wonderfully beautiful and pathetic are some of the 
passages in these two stories that even the most hard 
ened reader cannot get over them without tears coming 
into his eyes ; and yet they are so thoroughly manly. 
We look upon the heroes as if they were our friends ; 
we glory in their triumphs, we suffer with them in their 
misfortunes. The good that these two books have done 
must be incalculable, and in reading them one feels the 
stronger to withstand temptation and a more loving 
spirit enters the heart for one s fellow-men. 

"F. J. S." 


The epithet which most characteristically attaches to 
my father s qualities as a teacher is " stimulating." His 
old friend Dr. Butler, then head-master of Harrow, 1 says 
in a letter about this date, " your teaching and inspiring 
powers would throw life and thought into any form of 
any school in England." He was not content to be 
merely an effective teacher within the limits of a narrow 
routine, but aimed at realising for himself, and imparting 
to others, the true meaning and ideal of education as an 
instrument of bringing out the full powers of the mind 
and equipping the student for the duties of life. Brill 
iant as were his own scholastic attainments, and his 
powers as a classical tutor, he was not content with 
instilling an accurate knowledge of Greek and Latin 
syntax, or facility in prose and verse composition, which 
in those days were regarded in most public schools as 
the be-all and end-all of a classical education, but tried 
to awaken in his pupils a sense of the grandeur of the 
literature which is enshrined in those "dead " languages, 
to lead them to appreciate the "thunderous lilt" of Greek 

1 The present Master of Trinity. 


epic, the touching and voluptuous tenderness of Latin 
elegy, the regal pomp of history, the gorgeous and phil 
osophic mystery of the old dramatic fables, 1 to regard 
the Odyssey as " the best novel that was ever written," 
and Herodotus as a Greek romance of the rise and fall 
of empires, and " strange stories of the deaths of kings." 

In this connection I cannot refrain from inserting 
the fine rendering of the denouement of the Odyssey 
which he gives in " Julian Home " : 

" So he read to them how Ulysses returned in the 
guise of a beggar, after twenty years of war and wander 
ing, to his own palace-door, and saw the haughty suitors 
revelling in his halls ; and how, as he reached the door, 
Argus, the hunting-dog, now old and neglected, and full 
of fleas, recollected him when all had forgotten him, and 
fawned upon him, and licked his hand and died; and 
how the suitors insulted him, and one of them threw a 
footstool at him, which by one quick move he avoided, 
and said nothing, and another flung a shin-bone at his 
head, which he caught in his hand, and said nothing, 
but only smiled grimly in his heart ever so little, a 
grim, sardonic smile ; and how the old nurse recognised 
him by the scar of the boar s tusk on his leg, but he 
quickly repressed the exclamation of wonderment which 
sprang to her lips ; and how he sat, ragged but princely, 
by the fire in his hall, and the red light flickered over 
him, and he spake to the suitors words of solemn admo 
nition ; and how, when Agelaus warned them, a strange 
foreboding seized their souls, and they looked at each 
other with great eyes, and smiled with alien lips, and 
burst into quenchless laughter, though their eyes were 
filled with tears of blood ; and how Ulysses drew his own 
mighty bow, which not one of them could use, and how 

i Cf. " Julian Home." 


he handled it, and twanged the string till it sang like a 
swallow in his ear, and sent the arrow flying with a whiz 
through the twelve iron rings of the line of axes ; and 
then, lastly, how like to a god, he leaped on his own 
threshold with a shout, and emptied his quiver on the 
ground, and gathered his rags about him, and, aided by 
the young Telemachus and the divine swineherd, sent 
hurtling into the band of wine-stained rioters the swift 
arrows of inevitable death." 

But, more than this, he first kindled in the heart of 
many a Marlborough and Harrow boy a love for Eng 
lish literature, and especially for English poetry, for 
which they have blessed his name all their lives. 

He was, as Dr. Thring of Uppingham pithily said of 
him, " not a mere knowledge-box with the lid open, but 
a true guide and teacher, able and willing to help, 
inspirit, and lead the way." 

Though he had never been trained in any branch of 
natural science, and indeed had no special aptitude in 
that direction, he was very keen to implant in his boys 
a love of nature and to encourage the study of natural 
history. With this object he founded the Harrow 
Natural History Society, a pioneer of many similar soci 
eties. He took great pains to ascertain from Sir Joseph 
Hooker and others the best method of teaching botany 
and became himself a fairly proficient botanist. 

The following appreciation, by one of his favourite 
Harrow pupils, Mr. George Russell, gives an excellent 
description of my father s teaching : 

" When I was at Harrow, Farrar was an assistant mas 
ter there, and I have always blessed the day when I fell 
under his influence. At that time he had charge of the 
Remove, the top form of the Lower School, the 


average age of the boys who composed it being, I suppose, 
about fourteen. Every one who knows Public Schools 
knows that boys of that age are thorough Philistines, 
despising intellect and glorying in their brutal ignorance. 
For such creatures it was a most beneficial experience 
to pass into Farrar s hands. He employed all his varied 
resources kindness, sympathy, sternness, rhetoric, sar 
casm in the effort to make us feel ashamed of being 
ignorant, and anxious to know. He was ruthless in 
his determination to disturb what he called the duck 
weed the mass of sheer indolence and fatuity which 
pervaded his form and to bring out and encourage 
the faintest signs of perception and intelligence. His 
contagious enthusiasm stimulated anything which we 
possessed in the way of intellectual taste or power. 

"He taught us to love what was beautiful in literature, 
art, and nature. He lived and moved and had his being 
in poetry, and was never so happy as when helping us 
to illustrate our Virgil or Euripides from Wordsworth 
and Milton. His Dissertation on Coleridge in the Fellow 
ship examination at Trinity had won the rare and stately 
praise of Dr. Whewell, and he loved to indoctrinate his 
Harrow pupils with the wisdom of the great poet- 
philosopher. Again, he had early passed under the 
influence of Ruskin, and that influence reproduced itself 
in the constant endeavour to make us see the loveliness 
of common things, sunsets and wild flowers and fresh 
grass and autumn leaves. He tried to make us under 
stand Nature as well as love her, by elementary lessons 
in botany and mineralogy. He decorated his school 
room with antique casts as models of form, and Fra 
Angelico s blue Madonnas and rose-coloured angels on 
golden backgrounds as models of colour. 

" He brought illustrations for his teaching from Alps 


and rivers and rainbows, and pursued his love of beauty 
down to the microcosm of gems and bindings, illumina 
tions and stained glass. He laid great stress on delicate 
and graceful penmanship not a common accomplish 
ment among schoolboys, and he paid heed to the 
minutest details of his pupils appearance and manners. 

B , how many centuries have elapsed since your boots 

were last cleaned ? is a sonorous interrogation which 
comes rolling on the ear of memory, blent with such 

voices as these : A , don t sit there " gorgonising me 

with your stony British stare," and C , your igno 
rance is so profound that it ossifies the very powers of 

" As some critics here depreciated Farrar s preaching, 
it is only fair to say that at Harrow it was a powerful 
influence for good. His sermons in the School Chapel 
were events long looked forward to and deeply enjoyed. 
His exuberance of rhetoric, though in latter years it 
offended adult audiences, awed and fascinated boys, and 
his solemn yet glowing appeals for righteousness and 
purity and moral courage left permanent dints on our 
hearts, and what is less usual on our lives. I have 
never forgotten the first sermon which I heard from him. 
It was preached after the first communion of the boys 
confirmed at Harrow on March 19, 1868, and is printed 
under the title Hope in Christ, in the vclume called 
The Fall of Man, and other Sermons. I had never 
before heard eloquence employed in the service of 
religion, and the effect was indelible." 

Another old Harrovian thus writes : 

"The news of Farrar s death one can t somehow 
lead off with a prefix or an affix to the name of the noble- 
hearted man now gone to rest, preferring to remember 


him and style him as we did when boys at school will 
be keenly felt by many a middle-aged man who came 
beneath his genial influence years ago. With us he was 
always Farrar ; no soubriquet, complimentary or other 
wise, was ever fastened on him : the nature and the ele 
vated character of the man forbade the slightest approach 
to juvenile frivolity ; and whilst we admired and re 
spected, we all loved Farrar. It was my inestimable 
privilege to pass the best part of three years under his be 
nign control, for I was in the second shell, the first shell, 
and the remove with him at Harrow, and I can most truth 
fully aver that the memories of the example he set his 
form, and the great lesson of human charity which he 
impressed upon our minds, cannot fail to have proved a 
blessing to us all in after life. In all my experience of 
this man of exquisite nature, and our associations con 
tinued long after the old Harrow days, I never heard 
him utter an ill-natured or a harsh observation concern 
ing any human being. His great and increasing object 
was to discover what good an individual possessed, and 
to develop that good, no matter how small, by all that 
in him lay. 

" In pursuance of this end he used to lay himself out 
to gain the confidence as well as the respect and the 
regard of his form, and the boys reciprocated the feel 
ings of good-will that he expressed towards them by act 
as well as word. There was no master in the school who 
could show a lighter punishment book, for even if his 
boys were disinclined for work, their affection for their 
master insured discipline amongst them ; and as fcra iTy- 
body attempting to deceive Farrar, who- always trusted 
to one s honour, why, the r/*st ?f the form would have 
had something to say and do that would have been most 
unpleasant to the delinquent. Our dear old master 


one calls him old, though he was on the sunny side of 
his eighth lustrum at the time I am writing of however, 
possessed methods peculiarly his own for getting his 
boys to work. If a lad professed his inability to commit 
to memory the Latin lines included in a repetition lesson, 
Farrar would substitute Milton for the other poet, as 
suring his victim with a serene smile that the substituted 
task was not beyond the capacity of the most case-hard 
ened victim of Circe a very favourite expression of 
his that had ever conceived the world to be formed 
in the humble imitation of a cricket-ball : this being the 
utmost limit of sarcasm to which our master would com 
mit himself. So in the case of other work, a boy who 
evinced a desire to cut one subject was promptly coun 
tered by the imposition of another, and perhaps easier, 
task which for very shame he could not plead his in 
ability to perform. 

" I am not aware that in any of the allusions which 
have been made to the life-work of Dr. Farrar that a 
reference has been made to the devotion he bestowed 
upon natural history subjects. His form room beneath 
the Vaughan Library was more like a miniature museum 
than a place for instructing a lot of boys in Greek and 
Latin. It was entirely owing to his initiative that special 
prizes, and valuable ones too, were offered in successive 
years for the best collections of birds eggs, butterflies, 
fresh-water and land shells, and such like objects, his 
idea being to provide an interest in life for the boys who 
were not enthusiastic in the matter of cricket. An ex- 
ceptief^Jlv fine swimmer himself, he was determined 
that every boy in his form should acquire the art of 
keeping himself above *-tei ; and in pursuance of his 
desire to attain that end he used to give out at the com 
mencement of the summer term that as soon as every 


boy could swim the length of Ducker twice, he would 
let the whole form off a morning school. The hint was 
always taken, and it became the business of the big boys 
to see that the small ones qualified for the test. Farrar 
even went the length of taking part in the football match 
which took place between Remove A and Remove B, 
but it must be confessed that we did not gain much by 
his assistance; for the master of our opponents, Mr. E. E. 
Bowen, a great athlete, assisted his boys, and so Remove 
B lost on the deal, but we won the match, and in his 
delight our dear old master let us off another first school, 
which gave us an additional hour in bed the next morn 

" At the time when Dr. Farrar was appointed Uni 
versity preacher at Cambridge it was my lot to occupy 
rooms in Caius just opposite St. Mary s Church, and in 
an unguarded moment I let it become known that he 
had invited himself to tea after the service. The result 
was a scene that he referred to years afterward, when 
we met one day in Ludgate Hill, as one of the most 
gratifying experiences of his life, as my rather restricted 
quarters were filled to overflowing with old Harrow boys 
all eager to greet our guest. Nor was there one amongst 
them that went empty away, for he had a word of good 
will and counsel for all, and not a few amongst them 
expressed their sense of the value of his service. In 
short Farrar possessed a faculty such as Arnold had, 
for identifying himself with the nature of the boys 
under his care, and hence the secret of his influence over 
them. Incapable as he was of a dishonourable action, 
his example was contagious, and he knew his power and 
exercised it for the benefit of us all. As a churchman, 
as a writer, and as a scholar he was doubtless great ; but 
as a teacher for the young he stood alone amongst his 


contemporaries. Had it been otherwise the memories 
of his gentleness of disposition, his nobility of character, 
his manliness, and love of truth, would have long since 
passed away instead of remaining crystallised in the 
minds of many others who, like myself, were privileged 
to be benefited by the great truths he expounded for the 
welfare of his boys." 

When I wrote to the writer of the above extract, 
which appeared in the Morning Advertiser, for his per 
mission to make use of it, I received from him the follow 
ing very kind answer : 

" Morning Advertiser ; FLEET ST. July 26, 1903. 

" DEAR SIR : My Editor has handed to me your letter 
to him, and also the enclosure which I hasten to reply 
to. It will afford me much melancholy satisfaction if 
you make any use of what I wrote about your dear, 
good father, for whom my respect and boyish love will 
ever continue, though I left Harrow as far back as 1868. 
He was, to my mind, the ideal adviser for the young, a 
Christian with a great mind, and a scholar, yet his gen 
tleness and goodness were such that he was incapable 
of despising the direst of his victims of Circe, amongst 
whom I fear I was conspicuous. I was with him for 
nearly two years in the Remove, and I never heard 
him say an ill-natured or an unkind thing about a living 
creature, except to a boy who had lied to him. Very 
few fellows, however, tried a falsehood with your father, 
for we others, idle, lazy, or whatever we were, would not 
stand that, for he possessed a faculty for making every 
body who came in contact with him remember that he 
was a gentleman : so in our form it was considered the 
height of blackguardism to deceive Farrar. I only 


wish we had all followed out his teachings in after life. 
You must excuse the abnormal length of this letter, but 
your father is a theme upon which I have great diffi 
culty in restraining my feelings. . . . 

" Yours very truly, 

After preaching the University Sermon alluded to 
above, my father received the following letter, dated, 
it will be noticed, nine months later : 

" DEAR SIR : I have taken up my pen to write to you 
more than once, but until now have never really deter 
mined on doing so. 

" Please excuse the liberty I take in addressing you. 
The fact is, since I heard your sermon preached before 
the University of Cambridge in March last, my desires 
and aims have been so completely changed that it is my 
duty as well as great pleasure to write and inform you, 
that you, through God s grace, have been the means 
of it. 

" Your book of sermons has helped me on still further, 
and I trust you will soon publish another set. 

" I suppose a minister must preach for an object ! If 
yours was to set your hearers desires on high, above 
this earth, and its passing pleasures, in one you have 
succeeded, and I pray, my dear sir, you will have long 
years to effect changes as complete as mine. 
" I am, with great respect, 

"January 18, 1869." 


The following contribution is placed at my service by 
his old pupil, Walter Leaf, Fellow of Trinity College, 
Cambridge, and senior Classic in 1874: 

"In 1866, when I first knew Harrow, Farrar was, I 
think, already looked upon by his school at large as by 
far the most distinguished member of the staff the 
Head Master being, of course, hors cottcotirs. Farrar 
himself, I well remember, was never tired of telling us 
that our greatest man was Westcott ; but whatever truth 
there may have been in this unselfish eulogy, Westcott s 
reputation was at that time limited to academical and 
theological regions, while Farrar was fast making a name 
in the world at large; and his F.R.S. was an official 
stamp which we boys were ready enough to recognise 
and reverence. We believed this distinction to have 
been given for his philological work, and respected to 
the full his Greek Grammar even his Greek Grammar 
card, which summed up in striking form, with vivid illus 
trations, some of the most characteristic peculiarities of 
Greek Syntax. 

" Personally I had no experience of Farrar as a form- 
master. In 1866 he was still taking a low form lower 
than the one at which I entered the school. But he was 
never at his best as a teacher of a low form ; his half- 
humorous impatience of the dull and backward was not 
all assumed, and his quick sympathies needed the in 
telligent response of the picked boys before his powers 
of stimulating and guidance could show themselves. 
Hence it was that he was never so happy at Harrow, 
where he never had a high form, as with the Sixth at 
Marlborough. But I was during my whole school career 
his pupil in the technical sense, which at Harrow 
practically excluded teaching; for the weekly pupil- 
room, where the tutor gave a lesson of an hour to the 


whole of his pupils in the lower school, was by the nature 
of the case somewhat of a farce, and was looked upon 
both by boys and tutor as a perfunctory task. 

" It was, I think, his public reputation which induced 
my father to place me under him, for when he went to 
reside at Harrow he knew none of the masters person 
ally. But this official connection led to a warm and inti 
mate friendship between Farrar and my parents, which 
lasted to the end. As regards myself, the relation of 
pupil and tutor brought me ample instruction, though 
outside the official time-table. Farrar s sympathy, when 
once engaged, was unfailing ; and his talk, with its infi 
nite resources of quotation and literary enthusiasm, was 
just what was wanted to stir a boy s open but unin- 
structed spirit. It would be too much to pretend that 
after a lapse of nearly forty years I can remember many 
details ; but I have a distinct recollection of a constant 
influence brought to bear upon my somewhat unimagi 
native nature in favour of poetry. It is perhaps charac 
teristic that one poem which I remember approaching 
through him was Myer s St. Paul, then, of course, 
very recently published. It appealed to him unmistak 
ably, and his admiration was handed on to me. 

" But our purely personal relations were, of course, 
even more important to me than the intellectual. The 
high moral standard which he set before himself, and 
fearlessly impressed upon us boys, may be lightly passed 
over here, for his whole life tells equally of it. We were 
all sensible of it through his sermons, and in private 
intercourse with him the better we knew him the more 
we saw that his preaching spoke the inmost being of the 
man. But in the every-day affairs of We those who had 
to deal with him could always trust to his sympathy and 
active help. I still remember the trifling incident which 


first won the heart of a shy and reserved new boy. In the 
temporary absence of our regular master, the form was 
taken by a colleague not gifted with a warm heart or 
keen insight. He brought up against me an imaginary 
offence, and, refusing to listen to my denial and expla 
nation, gave me my first punishment. It was trifling 
enough in itself, some fifty lines ; but it had to be 
written out on special paper, pun-paper, which one 
had to get from one s tutor. Smarting with the in 
justice, I went to Farrar to get the paper ; and I have 
never forgotten the sympathy and kindness with which 
he heard what I had to say, and instead of giving me 
the pun-paper promised to speak to his colleague. 
I heard no more of my punishment. 

"Shortly before I left Harrow he succeeded to the 
mastership of a large house which, during the long and 
ultimately fatal illness of his predecessor, had lapsed 
into notorious want of discipline. I had hitherto been 
living with my parents as home-boarder; but now 
Farrar strongly urged upon them and me that I should 
enter his house as head, practically undertaking the re 
duction of it to order. The task was a formidable one 
both for him and for me. I foresaw the intense unpopu 
larity which my position would involve, and begged to 
be excused. But he pressed and gained his point. Into 
the struggle which followed I need not enter ; it was 
even harder than I anticipated. But when it was once 
over I saw that Farrar had been right ; and I have ever 
looked upon it as my greatest debt to him that he should 
have insisted upon my taking this first share of the grave 
responsibility of life. It was a lesson that I needed, and 
I am most grateful for the firmness with which he 
insisted on teaching it. 

" Another great debt brings none but pleasant memo- 


ries with it. When he went to Palestine in 1870, shortly 
after I had left the school, he asked me to go with him 
and his old friend W. F. Ingelow, brother of the poet 
ess. The journey was a hurried one, as it had to be 
compressed into the Easter holidays. We went by Alex 
andria to Jaffa and Jerusalem, riding north to Mount 
Gerizim, where we were present at the most interesting 
ceremony of the Samaritan Passover. We then went 
on by Nazareth to the Lake of Gennesaret, and thence 
by Safed and the coast road past Tyre and Sidon to 
Beirut and back by Alexandria (with a flying visit to 
Cairo) and Naples, where I left my companions to join 
my parents in Florence. 

" It is needless to say how admirably qualified Farrar 
was to stir the imagination on every site of the Holy 
Land always ready with his historical reminiscences 
and the apt quotations, bearing the little hardships of 
travel with a grim patience for he did not enjoy them 
yet ever active and alert to all that could throw a light 
upon the great subject on which his mind was continually 
brooding. Of incidents somewhat outside the ordinary 
routine of the journey I remember particularly a visit to 
Mr. Holman Hunt in his studio at Jerusalem; he was 
then, I think, engaged on studies for Christ among the 
Doctors. The journey had its humorous events. In 
those days it was considered proper for every traveller 
to carry a revolver for defence against the possible party 
of marauding Bedawin. Farrar, who was destitute of 
the warrior s instinct, regarded his weapon with consid 
erable anxiety. One evening, however, he thought he 
ought to clean it and went outside the tent for the pur 
pose. Ingelow and I, sitting outside, heard a report- 
in voluntary of course and two holes in the tent showed 
that the bullet had passed within measurable distance of 


our heads. Then I have a vivid recollection of his face 
in the tent of the Sheikh of the Samaritans on Mount 
Gerizim, when a nargileh was placed before him and he 
was told that courtesy to our host required him to smoke 
it. Again, when our tent was blown down upon us in a 
violent thunderstorm at Safed, I remember the comic 
pathos of his voice exclaiming, I m outside a posi 
tion which Ingelow and I presently shared. The con 
tretemps, by the way, pleasantly enlarged our experience 
tents and bedding alike were too soaked for further 
use; and for the rest of our journey to Beirut we had to 
trust for shelter to the hospitality of the village sheikh 
or the native caravans. 

" But of all my recollections the clearest and deepest, 
because strengthened and confirmed by many years of 
later intercourse, is that of the warm and generous heart 
which offered a full and loyal friendship so early and in 
such wise fashion." 

The charm and interest of his teaching remain as a 
tradition in the memories of many old pupils, but a more 
permanent monument of his skill as a trainer of scholars 
is enshrined in his " Greek Syntax," which was amplified 
out of Farrar s " Greek Card," so well known to many 
generations of schoolboys, and was first published 
in March, 1867. The scope of this work is best indi 
cated by a citation from its preface : 

" I aimed above all things at making every point intel 
ligible by furnishing for every usage (as far as possible) 
a satisfactory reason ; and by thus trying to eliminate 
all mere grammatical mysticism, I hoped that I should 
also render grammar interesting to every boy who has 
any aptitude for such studies, and is sufficiently advanced 
to understand them. On the latter point I venture to 


lay some stress. I have published elsewhere my rea 
sons for believing that we commence too soon the study 
of formal grammar, and that this study, which is in itself 
a valuable and noble one, should be reserved to a later 
age and for more matured capacities than is at present 
thought necessary. I should never think of putting this 
Grammar into the hands of boys who have no aptitude 
for linguistic studies, or of any boys below the fifth or 
sixth forms of our public schools ; and I have purposely 
avoided stating rules or reasons under a form in which 
they could be learned by rote. Taught in a parrot-like 
manner to crude minds, I believe that grammar becomes 
bewildering and pernicious ; taught at a later age and in 
a more rational method, I believe that it will be found 
to furnish a most valuable insight into the logical and 
metaphysical laws which regulate the expression of 
human thought, and that it will always maintain its 
ground as an important branch of knowledge, and a 
valuable means of intellectual training. 

" All grammars must necessarily traverse a good deal 
of common ground, but the careful perusal of a very few 
of the following pages will prove, I trust, that this Syn 
tax differs in its method from all, or nearly all, that have 
preceded it ; partly in the more free and informal manner 
of treatment, partly in its perpetual reference to the gen 
eral principles of Comparative Philology, and partly in 
its constant endeavour to leave no single idiom of Greek 
unillustrated by the similar idioms or peculiarities of 
other ancient languages, of modern languages, and of 
English. A good illustration often throws over an idiom 
a flood of light unattainable by the most lengthy expla 
nation ; and I feel great hopes that a student who has 
gone, carefully, through the following pages will, in 
addition to what he will have learnt about ancient Greek, 



have acquired some insight into the principles of his 
own and of other languages. Further than this, I shall 
have failed in my endeavour if he do not also gain some 
interest in observing the laws and great cyclical ten 
dencies of language in general. The historical devel 
opment of one language bears a close analogy to the 
historical development of a large majority of the rest ; 
and this is the reason why I have called such repeated 
attention to modern Greek, and to the traces in Hellen 
istic Greek, which in modern Greek are still further 
developed and carried to their legitimate result." 

How amply the "Greek Syntax" fulfilled those ob 
jects, let any public-school classical master testify. That 
it met a long-felt want is proved by its immediate success 
and by the fact that by 1880 it had reached its eleventh 
edition. 1 Every rule of syntax is explained in lucid 
English, and impressed on the memory by a wealth of 
illustration which makes the book a pleasure to read. 
Indeed, a friend who is by no means a profound scholar 
once told me, long after he had abandoned classical 
studies, that he found it as interesting as a novel, and 
frequently picked it up for the amusement of an idle 

Before Farrar appeared to ease their shoulders from 
the burden, the public-school boys of England had 
groaned under the yoke of the " Primer," of which 
he thus writes : 

" The Primer that utterly disastrous legacy of the 
commission, which, in spite of the strenuous opposition 
of many of us, is now forced as a standard grammar 
upon nine great public, and countless private, schools 
is a delightful manual, in which the little victim, not 
without amazement, learns by heart in Latin such a 

1 Over 14,500 copies of this book have been sold. 



multitude of lucid empiricisms as that facSHVe* 
have two accusatives, one of the object, the other of 
the oblique complement. Here, too, at the tender age 
of eight or nine his young imagination is terrified, 
often by ignorant men, with such incubi and succubi 
as quid-quale verbs, gerundive attractions, sub- 
oblique clauses, spirants, receptive complements, 
relations circumstantive and probative, quasi pas 
sives, semi-deponents, and I know not what, 
which are hard enough for grown men to understand, 
even if they do not despise this clatter of pedantic (be 
cause needless) polysyllables, but which to a child must 
be worse than gorgons and hydras and chimaeras 
dire. " 

The above extract is taken from a lecture " On Some 
Defects in Public School Education," delivered by my 
father before the Royal Institution. It is a significant 
fact and highly characteristic of his energy and versatil 
ity that, at the very time he was bringing out this Syn 
tax, which was to do so much, not only to make smooth 
for the public-school boy the stony paths of classical 
learning, but to vindicate his own reputation as a scholar, 
he should simultaneously be engaged in preparing the 
most tremendous onslaught that has ever been delivered 
on the system of classical education as then in vogue. 

The "Syntax" was published in March, 1867; the 
Royal Institution lecture had been given in February 
of the same year. This attack on current methods of 
education all the more effective for being delivered, as 
it were, from within, by a scholar whose achievements 
as a schoolboy and undergraduate had been exception 
ally brilliant, and who was armed with the experience of 
thirteen full years of labour spent in the heart of public 
schools and devoted to their service mercilessly ex- 


posed the shortcomings of a system which turned out 
boys, not only destitute of all literary and scientific 
culture, but even so ignorant of the dead languages in 
which they had been assiduously drilled for an indefi 
nite term of years, that they could not speak two Latin 
sentences, or construe Xenophon without a crib. 

He drove home this indictment of the hide-bound 
obscurantism and obsolete pedantry of so-called " classi 
cal " education, with all the force of his ardent rhetoric, 
in glowing periods, enriched with a wealth of imagery, 
illustration, and quotation. The lecture is now out of 
print. The subject was so important, its effect has been 
so far-reaching, and its style is so characteristic that I 
have here ventured to take from it a few extracts which 
will give some idea of its scope. 

A Royal Commission had recently reported on pub 
lic schools ; the lecture was an outcome of this report, 
drew popular attention to its findings, and gave voice 
to the determination of the younger and more progres 
sive school of teachers that the old system should be 
reformed : 

" I must, then, avow my own deliberate opinion 
arrived at in the teeth of the strongest possible bias 
and prejudice in the opposite direction arrived at 
with the fullest possible knowledge of every single argu 
ment which may be urged on the other side I must 
avow my distinct conviction, that our present system of 
exclusively classical education as a whole, and carried 
out as we do carry it out, is a deplorable failure. I say 
it, knowing that the words are strong words, but not 
without having considered them well ; and I say it be 
cause that system has been weighed in the balance and 
found wanting. It is no epigram, but a simple fact, to 
say that classical education neglects all the powers of 


some minds, and some of the powers of all minds. In 
the case of the few it has a value, which, being partial, 
is unsatisfactory ; in the case of the vast multitude, it 
ends in utter and irremediable waste. 

" The proofs of the fact are now but too patent in the 
faithful report of eminent and most friendly commis 
sioners. For after diligent, anxious, and repeated study 
of the four thick blue volumes in which their laborious 
investigations lie buried from the public ken, I can draw 
from them no other conclusion than that which may be 
summed up in these few words : That but a small pro 
portion of our boys (say twenty-five per cent) go to 
the universities ; that yet the entire curriculum of our 
public schools is framed with a view to the universities ; 
and that even of this poor twenty-five per cent, who are, as 
it were, the very flower and fruit of the system, and if 
I may so phrase it, its raison d etre, a considerable 
number (many would be inclined to say the larger num 
ber) leave school at the age of eighteen or nineteen, 
not only ignorant of history, both ancient and modern, 
ignorant of geography and chronology ; ignorant of every 
single modern language ; ignorant of their own language 
and often of its mere spelling ; ignorant of every single 
science ; ignorant of the merest elements of geometry 
and mathematics ; ignorant of music ; ignorant of draw 
ing ; profoundly ignorant of that Greek and Latin to 
which the long, ineffectual years of their aimless teach 
ing have been professedly devoted ; and, we may add, 
besides all this, and perhaps worst of all, completely igno 
rant of altogether content with their own astonish 
ing and consummate ignorance. 


" Are we, in the nineteenth century, to learn no more 
and to teach no more nay, to attempt and to achieve 
actually less than was learnt by young Romans in the 
school of Quintilian, or at best by Gregory and Basil in 
the retirement of Athens ? The young Greek learnt 
something of geometry; the young Roman something 
of law ; even the young monk of the Middle Ages 
learnt in his meagre quadrivium some scraps of such 
science as was then to be had. Are we alone to follow 
the example of the Chinese in a changeless imitation of 
our ancestors, and to confine our eager boys for ever 
between the blank walls of an ancient cemetery, which 
contains only the sepulchres of two dead tongues ? 

" That Greek or Latin taught in a shorter period, 
and in a more comprehensive manner should remain 
as the solid basis of a liberal education, we are all (or 
nearly all) agreed : none can hold such an opinion more 
strongly than myself ; but why can it not be frankly 
recognised that an education confined to Greek and 
Latin is a failure because it is an anachronism ? It has 
outlived its time. It is utterly out of harmony with the 
spirit of the age. It may have been all very well three 
centuries ago, but is it to remain unaltered after three 
centuries, which in the history of the human race have 
the importance of thirty ? This is an age of progress, 
and we keep spinning round and round on the same 
pivot; an age of observation and experiment, and 
we keep bowing and scraping to mere authority; 
an age, as Professor Huxley has said, full of modern 
artillery, and we turn out our boys to do battle in 
it, equipped with the sword and shield of an ancient 
gladiator. Its continuance is due not to its importance, 
but mainly, as the commissioners admit, to custom and 
prescription ; and now the new wine is bursting the old 


In " Men I Have Known " my father thus writes of 
the effect of this lecture : 

" Struck with the good effect of interest in science on 
the intellectual development of many boys, I urged in 
my Lecture that the very artificial drilling in Latin and 
Greek verse should be minimised, and entirely aban 
doned in the case of boys who had no sort of aptitude 
for it. I had known boys, who after years of training 
in it, only succeeded in producing at last some limping 
and abortive heptameter ! Sir Henry Holland was in 
the chair; Professor Tyndall, Mr. Spottiswoode, after 
wards President of the Royal Society, and other scien 
tific leaders were present. They hailed my Lecture 
with the utmost warmth paid it the unusual honour of 
printing it, not in epitome, but at full length, in the 
Transactions, and also begged me to publish it as a 
separate pamphlet. I was, of course, howled at as a 
hopeless Philistine by all who were stereotyped in the 
old classical system. That is the result which invariably 
follows the enunciation of new truths or plans for nec 
essary reform. But the Lecture produced a marked 
effect. At that time there was certainly not more than 
one well-known school which had a Science Master ; 
now there is scarcely a school of note which has not. 
Then the Latin verse system which for most boys 
was almost abysmally useless, or which, at the best, 
only produced very indirect results was in all but 
universal practice : now it is almost entirely abandoned. 
This is not the only battle in my life in which outbursts 
of ridicule and anathema have been wholly fruitless to 
hinder progress in a cause which I had ventured to 
plead at a time when it was new and entirely unpopular. 
I had one reward in the lifelong pleasure of enjoying 
some intercourse with men who hailed my advocacy with 


the highest approval. It was in consequence of this, 
and events which followed, that I first received the fol 
lowing very interesting letter from Mr. Darwin. He 

wrote : 

" March 5, 1867. 

" MY DEAR SIR : I am very much obliged to you for 
your kind present of your Lecture. We have read it 
aloud with the greatest interest, and I agree to every 
word. I admire your candour and wonderful freedom 
from prejudice ; for I feel an inward conviction that if 
I had been a great classical scholar I should never have* 
been able to have judged fairly on the subject. As it is, 
I am one of the root and branch men, and would leave 
classics to be learnt by those who have sufficient zeal 
and the high taste requisite for their appreciation. You 
have indeed done a great public service by speaking out 
so boldly. Scientific men might rail for ever, and it 
would only be said that they railed at what they did not 
understand. I was at school at Shrewsbury under a 
great scholar, Dr. Butler. I learnt absolutely nothing 
except by amusing myself by reading and experiment 
ing in chemistry. Dr. Butler somehow found this out, 
and publicly sneered at me before the whole school for 
such gross waste of time. I remember he called me 
a Poco curante, which not understanding I thought was 
a dreadful name. 

" I wish you had shown in your Lecture how science 
could practically be taught in a great school. I have 
often heard it objected that this could not be done, and I 
never knew what to say in answer. I heartily hope that 
you may live to see your zeal and labour produce good 
fruit ; and with my best thanks, I remain, my dear sir, 
" Yours very sincerely, 



" Mr. Frederic Harrison wrote : 

"<7 NEW SQUARE, LINCOLN S INN, March 27th. 

" MY DEAR FARRAR : I have read your Lecture with 
very great delight. I thoroughly go with you, and I 
feel that such words coming from such a quarter and 
from the position from which you utter them, are worth 
volumes from any other. I know how much public 
spirit it takes for any one in the place you hold to speak 
his mind independently, but such expressions of yours 
make it easier for others to be candid. And they will 
be. There is one point in which I think your Lecture 
fails to be consistent with itself. The style in which 
the old classical system is condemned by you is in a 
measure its own justification. It may fairly claim in 
the felicity of expression and the fulness of illustration 
and reference an example of the literary value of 
scholarly training. The attack on scholarship could 
only have come from a scholar. It is hit by a shaft 
from its own wing. 

" Yours ever truly, 


" My Lecture on Public School Education was fol 
lowed by another, on January 31, 1868; by various 
papers in magazines ; by various speeches ; by a volume 
of Essays 1 which I edited, and which were contributed 
by Mr. C. S. Parker, M.P., Lord Houghton, Archdeacon 
Wilson, Professor Sedgwick, Professor Seeley, Professor 
Hales, and myself. But perhaps the chief effect of the 
initiative I had taken was that I was asked to read a 

1 Sc. : " Essays on a Liberal Education." [The Essay on " Greek and 
Latin Verse Composition as a General Branch of Education " is by the 


paper on the subject at the meeting of the British Asso 
ciation in Nottingham, 1867. At the reading of that 
paper many scientific men were present. The British 
Association granted my request to form a Committee on 
the subject of Public School Education. The members 
of the Committee were Professors Tyndall and Huxley, 
Archdeacon Wilson (then a Master at Rugby), the late 
Sir G. Grove, Mr. Griffiths, secretary of the Associa 
tion, and myself. I remember a delightful dinner at 
my house at Harrow, at which, among others, Tyndall, 
Huxley, and Mr. Herbert Spencer were present, when 
we discussed the subject. Another of our meetings was 
at Professor Huxley s, where we dined, and where I 
remember that Sir G. Grove, illustrating the general 
ignorance of the most ordinary matters of science, said 
that he had once vainly challenged any one of a society 
of gentlemen to tell him accurately the difference be 
tween a barometer and a thermometer ! As a result of 
the discussion, Archdeacon Wilson and I drew up a 
report, which was freely annotated by the other mem 
bers, especially by Professor Tyndall. 

" This report was accepted and printed by the British 
Association. The consensus of opinion in favour of our 
views grew constantly stronger, and the futile character 
of the old public-school curriculum has been so far 
amended that it is no longer a subject of regret and 

Concurrently with his other work, my father was 
much engaged at this period in philological studies. In 
1860 he published "An Essay on the Origin of Lan 
guage," based on modern researches and especially on 
the works of M. Renan; in 1865, "Chapters on Lan 
guage"; in 1870, "Families of Speech, Four Lectures 
delivered before the Royal Institution of Great Britain 


in March, 1869." In 1878 the "Chapters on Lan 
guage " and " Families of Speech " were reprinted in 
a single volume, " Language and Languages." 

His " Origin of Language " attracted the notice of 
Charles Darwin, who was so much struck by the book that 
in 1866 he proposed my father for the Fellowship of the 
Royal Society, to which he was duly elected. In this 
distinction, which is not often attained by those whose 
sphere is literature rather than natural science, he felt 
a justifiable pride. 

In this connection the following letter which my 
father received from Darwin is of interest : 

"DOWN, BROMLEY, KENT, November 2. 

" DEAR SIR : As I have never studied the science 
of language, it may, perhaps, be presumptuous, but I 
cannot resist the pleasure of telling you what interest 
and pleasure I have derived from hearing read aloud 
your volume. 

" I formerly read Max Miiller, and thought his theory 
(if it deserves to be called so) both obscure and weak ; 
and now, after hearing what you say, I feel sure that 
this is the case, and that your cause will ultimately 

" My indirect interest in your book has been increased 
from Mr. Hensleigh Wedgwood, whom you often quote, 
being my brother-in-law. 

" No one could dissent from my views on the modifi 
cation of species with more courtesy than you do. But 
from the tenor of your mind, I feel an entire and com 
fortable conviction (and which cannot possibly be dis 
turbed), that, if your studies led you to attend much to 
general questions in Natural History, you would come 
to the same conclusions that I have done. 


" Have you ever read Huxley s little book of Six Lec 
tures ? I would gladly send you a copy if you think you 
would read it. Considering what geology teaches us, the 
argument for the supposed immutability of specific types 
seems to me much the same as if , in a nation which had 
no old writings, some wise old savage was to say that 
his language had never changed ; but my metaphor is 
too long to fill up. 

"Pray believe me, dear sir, yours very sincerely 

obU S ed CH. DARWIN." 

Though an evolutionist in philology, my father, who, 
of course, made no claim to be a biologist, never fully 
accepted the Darwinian theory of evolution in the ani 
mal kingdom, inclining to the belief that species were 
immutable. But he imported no " odium theologicum " 
into the discussion, and always regarded the question 
of the evolution of species as an open one to be decided 
on purely scientific grounds. He thus writes : 

" Acknowledging his gift of the Descent of Man, 
I said that one insuperable difficulty in the acceptance 
of his theories was, that from all I had ever read about 
Anthropology, and from all my studies in Comparative 
Philology, it seemed to me indisputable that different 
germs of language and different types of race were 
traceable from the farthest prehistoric days The argu 
ment has, since then, been indefinitely strengthened by 
the discovery of the earliest known skulls and remains 
of primeval races, which show that, even in those im 
measurably distant days, there were higher and lower 
types of humanity. Mr. Darwin admitted the fact, but 
made this very striking answer : 

" You are arguing from the last page of a volume of 
many thousands of pages 


"When Darwin died, I happened to see Professor 
Huxley and Mr. W. Spottiswoode in deep and earnest 
conversation at the Athenaeum. I asked them why no 
memorial had been sent to the Dean of Westminster, 
requesting that one who had been an honour to his age 
should be buried in the great historic Abbey. There 
is nothing which we should like so much, said Professor 
Huxley. Nothing would be more fitting ; it is the sub 
ject on which we were talking. But we did not mean to 
make the request, for we felt sure it would be refused. 
I replied, with a smile, that we clergy were not all so 
bigoted as he supposed ; and that, though I had no 
authority to answer for the Dean, I felt no doubt that, if 
a memorial were sent to him, the permission would be 
accorded. I said that I would consult the Dean, and 
let them know at once. Leave was given. I was asked 
to be one of the pall-bearers, with nine men of much 
greater distinction Sir J. Lubbock, Professor Huxley, 
Mr. J. R. Lowell, Mr. A. R. Wallace, the Dukes of 
Devonshire and Argyll, the late Earl of Derby, Sir J. 
Hooker, and Mr. W. Spottiswoode ; and on the Sunday a 

evening I preached at the Nave Service the funeral 
sermon of the great author of the Darwinian hypothe 
sis. Ecclesiasticism was offended ; but if what God 
requires of us is to do justly, and to love mercy, and to 
walk humbly with Him, I would rather take my chance 
in the future life with such a man as Charles Darwin, 
than with many thousands who, saying, Lord, Lord, 
and wearing the broadest of phylacteries, show very 
faint conceptions of honour, kindness, or the love of 
truth, and are sadly to seek in the most elementary 
Christian virtues." 

In his funeral sermon he thus spoke of Darwin : 
" This man, on whom for years bigotry and ignorance 


poured out their scorn, has been called a materialist. I 
do not see in all his writings one trace of materialism. 
I read in every line the healthy, noble, well-balanced 
wonder of a spirit profoundly reverent, kindled into 
deepest admiration for the works of God. . . . Calm 
in the consciousness of integrity ; happy in sweetness 
of home life ; profoundly modest ; utterly unselfish ; ex 
quisitely genial ; manifesting, as his friend has said of 
him, an intense and passionate honesty, by which all 
his thoughts and actions were irradiated as by a central 
fire, Charles Darwin will take his place, side by side, 
with Ray and Linnaeus ; with Newton and Pascal ; with 
Herschel and Faraday, among those who have not 
only served humanity by their genius, but have also 
brightened its ideal by holy lives. . . . And because 
these false antagonisms have been infinitely dangerous 
to faith, over Darwin s grave let us once more assure 
the students of science that, for us, the spirit of mediaeval 
ecclesiasticism is dead. We desire the light. We believe 
in the light. We press forward into the light. If need 
be, let us perish in the light. But we know that in the 
light we shall never perish. For to us God is light; 
and Christ is, and will be, to the end, the Light of the 
World. " 

I may here introduce a fragment from " Men I Have 
Known," reminiscent of my father s friendship with 
another great biologist, Thomas Huxley: 

" I continued to know and to meet Professor Huxley 
for many years and on many occasions. I sometimes 
met him in company with Mr. Matthew Arnold, and 
nothing could be more delightful than the conversation 
elicited by their contrasted individualities. I remember 
a walk which I once took with them both through the 
pleasant grounds of Pain s Hill, where Mr. Arnold s 


cottage was. He was asking Huxley whether he liked 
going out to dinner parties, and the Professor answered 
that as a rule he did not like it at all. Ah, said Mr. 
Arnold, I rather like it. It is rather nice to meet 
people. Oh yes, replied Huxley, but we are not 
all such everlasting Ciipids as you ! 

" I sometimes had very earnest and delightful conver 
sations with Professor Huxley on religious subjects, and 
I always found him perfectly open-minded, reverent, and 
candid. But in his case, as in the case of other eminent 
men of science and literature, I found that his concep 
tions as to what the clergy are bound to believe and 
maintain were exceedingly wide of the mark. He 
imagined that we are compelled to defend a great many 
opinions, especially with reference to parts of the Old 
Testament, which might possibly have represented the 
views of a hundred years ago, but which are now repu 
diated even by learned archbishops and bishops. When 
I showed him that some difficulties and objections to 
parts of the Christian creed which loomed large upon 
his mind had no connection with the faith at all that 
they affected beliefs which had never been incorporated 
into any catholic formula that some of the statements 
which he impugned were the mere accretions of igno 
rance, the errors of superstition, and the inventions of 
erring system, he would listen indeed with sincere inter 
est, and promise to consider the points of view which I 
had tried to explain, but which were wholly new to him. 
I always fancied that he retained the notion that, while 
what I urged might represent the views of a few of the 
clergy, they were the reverse of the views of the many. 
I failed, I fear, to convince him that Christianity is one 
thing, and that current opinions about Christianity may 
be quite another. But conversations with him left on 


my mind the deep impression that what many men dis 
like is not in the least the doctrine and the revelation 
of our Lord Jesus Christ, but something which has no 
necessary connection with it, and is sometimes a mere 
mummy painted in its guise." 

The range of my father s studies and the breadth of 
his views is further illustrated by the fact that about 
this period, viz. in 1867, he found time to write "Seekers 
after God," a popular historical account of three great 
heathen philosophers, Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus 
Aurelius, " who amid infinite difficulties, and surrounded 
by a corrupt society, devoted themselves to the earnest 
search after those truths which might best make their 
lives beautiful before God. " 

Two volumes of sermons, also, " The Fall of Man, 
and Other Sermons preached before the University of 
Cambridge," 1867, and "The Witness of History to 
Christ : Five Sermons, being the Hulsean Lectures for 
1870," belong to the Harrow period, besides single ser 
mons, lectures, and articles, a record which shows an 
amazing power of work and concentration in a man 
who was all this time actively engaged in the onerous 
duties of a schoolmaster, responsible not only for routine 
teaching in school, but for private tuition, and the care 
of a house full of boys. 

In 1869 he was appointed an Honorary Chaplain to 
the Queen, a distinction to which very few men in the 
position of Assistant Master at a public school have 
attained. He was promoted to be Chaplain-in-Ordinary 
in 1873. 

In connection with one of his articles for " Smith s 
Dictionary of the Bible," he tells the following story : 

" I had been asked to write the article on Deluge 
for Smith s Dictionary of the Bible. I wrote it, but 


took the views about the non-universality of the Deluge 
which most inquirers now hold. The editor and pub 
lishers, alarmed at this deviation from stereotyped opin 
ion, postponed the insertion of the article, and in vol. i. 
inserted, Deluge : see Flood. But even when they 
had got as far as Flood they had not made up their 
minds, and said, Flood : see Noah. My article was 
consequently sacrificed ; for Noah had been already 
assigned to the present Bishop of Worcester. Yet, 
after all, Dr. Perowne (as he then was) came to much 
the same conclusion as myself; for he wrote, that even 
the language used with regard to the Flood itself 
strong as it undoubtedly is does not oblige us to sup 
pose that the Deluge was universal" 

Unless we realise the extent to which current theo 
logical opinion has been revolutionised in the last forty 
years, a change which has been due in no small meas 
ure to the fearless advocacy of my father and a mere 
handful of men like-minded, it is difficult to under 
stand the storm of obloquy which the very mild rational 
ism of Bishop Colenso excited in the early sixties. In 
these days when the notorious Cape Town judgment 
is forgotten, and when what was regarded as blasphe 
mous heresy by our fathers has become a commonplace 
article of belief for ourselves, it is not easy to appreciate 
the courage required, a generation ago, to take up the 
cudgels for this God-fearing and saintly Divine. 

I therefore insert here some passages from my 
father s " Reminiscences of Bishop Colenso," which 
throw an interesting light both on the Broad Church 
views of the subject of this biography, and the tendency 
of thought in the last generation : 

" Indignant at the utterly shameful treatment which 
he was receiving at all hands, and glad to show my 


humble sympathy with a noble-hearted man, conspicuous 
for the ardent and fearless sincerity of his love of truth, 
I wrote to ask him to stay with me at Harrow. He had 
himself in former days been a Harrow Master, and he 
intensely enjoyed one or two quiet and happy Sundays 
with us. In those days, if a Bishop happened to be 
present in Harrow School Chapel, it was the custom to 
ask him to pronounce the benediction. Bishop Colenso 
did so ; and will it be believed that numbers of letters 
came from parents, objecting that their sons should be 
blessed by one whom, in their utter ignorance of all the 
merits of the questions involved, they chose, with great 
injustice, to stigmatise as a heretic ! The burden of this 
disagreeable correspondence fell, not on me but on the 
Head-master ; and consequently, when next the Bishop 
wrote to offer himself for a Sunday, I had, with the 
deepest regret, to ask him to come on a week-day in 
stead. The persecution he incurred which even went 
to the length of an impotent attempt to deprive him of 
his bishopric, and to reduce him to the condition of a 
pauper by robbing him of his income was as incredi 
ble as it was infamous. I well remember his telling me 
that he found it by no means easy to get servants ; and 
that his laundress had actually declined to wash for him 
any more, because by doing so she lost customers ! I re 
member, too, that once when I had been preaching in a 
large West End church, the Bishop invited me to his 
house, and I walked out of the church with him, he 
taking my arm. As his tall form was seen amid the 
throng of worshippers, he was recognised as he left the 
church, and I heard audible and awestruck whispers, 
He s walking with Bishop Colenso! He faced this 
tornado of abuse, and these hurricanes of universal 
anathema, with the calmest dignity. He never once 


lost his temper; he never returned so much as one 
angry word to men who had heaped on him every 
species of abuse and contempt, and of whom many were 
incomparably his inferiors, not only in learning, but in 
every grace. 

" A touch of humour helped him. He told me how, 
once, seeing an English bishop at Euston Station, the 
Bishop, to his great surprise, advanced most cordially 
to meet him, and gave him a warm shake of the hand, 
which Colenso as warmly returned. But, alas ! the next 
moment the English prelate said, The Bishop of Cal 
cutta, I believe ? (or some other see). 

" No, replied Colenso, the Bishop of Natal. The 
effect, he said, was electrical. The English bishop almost 
rebounded with an Oh ! and left him with a much 
alarmed and distant bow, as if after shaking hands with 
him he needed a purifying bath. 


" Bishops and ecclesiastics denounced and excom 
municated him ; and others wrote epigrams like 

" There was a poor Bishop Colenso, 
Who counted from one up to ten, so 
That the writings Levitical 
He found were uncritical, 
And went out to tell the black men so. 

Yet the Bishop of Natal had written, with utter self- 
sacrifice, at the cost of all, for the sake of what he re 
garded as the truth. When questioned about the literal 
accuracy of parts of Scripture, which were perhaps 
never meant to be literally understood, My heart, he 
says, answered in the words of the prophet, Shall a 
man speak lies in the name of the Lord? I dare not do 
so. Future times will remember Bishop Colenso with 


honour and gratitude when the names of nineteen- 
twentieths of his accusers have been buried in merciful 

With characteristic generous impetuosity my father 
threw himself into the work of organising a Colenso 
defence fund, in connection with which the following 
letters from Dr. Jex Blake and from Bishop Colenso 
himself are of interest : 

" RUGBY, Feb. 26, 1864. 

" MY DEAR FARRAR : Do not be in such a hurry. I 
came back from Oxford this afternoon, having spoken 
to a good many men there about Colenso Appeal Fund. 
I found no one, except Jowett, inclined to go in for the 
Fund as at present started. I found a good many 
people prepared to join in an effort to bring " in the 
interests of justice " the Cape Town trial before a 
superior court. Speaking generally, people had a 
distrust of Colenso, and were prepared to help him as 
a victim but not as a champion. I hope that Spottis- 
woode will be able either to get a more satisfactory 
preamble to the present list altogether, or a separate 
column for men who like myself wish to subscribe on 
the ground of protest against Cape Town verdict. Or 
failing that, I hope a separate list may be got up on 
that basis : and that such a list may help Colenso, and 
be a comfort to him. 

" Names are likely to be conspicuous by absence if 
the movers of a Defence Fund omit to take into con 
sideration the wishes of a large part of the few clerics 
who at all sympathise with them ; and as regards 
Temple himself, he would probably say that men must 
not set up to be religious innovators who cannot stand 
the burden of temporary isolation. He might also be 


inclined to add that few things so unbusinesslike in 
their proceedings as the Colenso Defence Fund appears 
at present to be, find things go smoothly with them. 

" You must give people time ; and a few names had 
better not be paraded prematurely. Still less will it pay 
to publish anonymous Priest of 41 years standing. 
Please let Bowen see these few lines, as my work is in 
arrears and I really have not time for a duplicate letter. 

"We shall be very glad to see you at Easter. 
" Yours sincerely, 

" T. W. JEX BLAKE." 

"May 6, 1864. 

" MY DEAR FARRAR : I have been thinking that I had 
better not accept the invitation to Harrow this year, 
under present circumstances. I don t doubt that I 
should have a friendly reception, perhaps even a hearty 
one, from the school. But after the experience of last 
year, some parents may feel very strongly on the sub 
ject and it would be a pity to expose the school to 
the danger of suffering from too close a connection with 
me. Unless, therefore, you strongly urge the contrary, 
I intend to decline Dr. Butler s invitation, if it comes. 
" Ever yours sincerely, 

"M. NATAL." 

In 1860, at Easter-tide, and shortly after his sainted 
mother s death, Frederic Farrar met and loved at first 
sight a sweet and beautiful girl of nineteen, Lucy Mary, 
third daughter of the late Mr. Frederic Cardew of the 
East India Company s service. They were married 
before the end of the year, and for forty-three years of 


love unbroken trod the path of wedded life in mutual 
society, help, and comfort. 

What my mother was as gracious hostess, sympathetic 
counsellor, and affectionate friend, old Harrovians, old 
Marlburians, Westminster parishioners, and dwellers in 
Canterbury who loved and almost idolised her, have 
testified ; of her virtues as mistress and ideal housewife, 
Cooper and Frances who died in our service, Nana and 
Gauron who are still with us, and other old servants 
who have served her with lifelong devotion could speak ; 
what she has been and is as mother, we, her children, 
who rise and call her blessed, know, but could never 
fully express. What she was as a wife is a theme too 
sacred for her son to handle in these pages, but those 
who call to mind the image of my father in his home 
life will ever see at his side the tender and gracious 
figure of her whose adorning was the ornament of a 
meek and quiet spirit, of a woman loving and amiable, 
faithful and obedient to her husband ; in all quietness, 
sobriety, and peace, a follower of holy and godly matrons. 

Eight children were born during the Harrow period, 
the two youngest, Percival and Ivor, being born at 

In 1868 my parents moved from a much smaller 
house at Harrow to the Park, which my father thus 
describes : 

"The Park had once been the seat of Lord North- 
wick, and before it was built over as it now is, was a very 
beautiful place. It stood in its own grounds of thirty- 
six acres, with fields and a home farm in the midst of 
them. A wooded walk, shady in the hottest summer 
day, ran round it, full of speedwell, enchanter s night 
shade, agrimony, and other wild plants. The Park cov 
ered one side of Harrow Hill. It commanded lovely 


views and was adorned with some rather effective 
modern-antique ruins. At the bottom of the hill was a 
sheet of water, on which we placed some canoes and 
some swans. There were nearly sixty Harrow boys in 
our house, but they were separated from us in another 
part of the building. It was a charming and healthy 
home for children. The farm supplied them with eggs 
and milk, and gave them plenty of amusement when 
they went down to play with the swans, or the huge 
mastiff, or the tame pigeons. The large kitchen garden 
supplied the house abundantly with all kinds of fruit 
and vegetables, and the vine in the hothouse was laden 
with grapes." 

In this house my father was free to exercise that 
simple but refined hospitality in which he always took 
delight, making many friends, not only among his col 
leagues, with all of whom he was on cordial, and with 
many on intimate terms, but among the parents of his 
boys and with many men eminent in literature, science, 
and art. 

Such was my father in his Harrow days, a man be 
loved by his boys, though they sometimes made fun of 
his impetuous enthusiasms, honoured and trusted by the 
parents who were glad and proud to confide their sons 
to his care ; loved and honoured by his colleagues, who 
were generously proud of his growing fame ; laborious 
in acquiring and eager in imparting his growing store 
of learning ; throwing himself with ardent and even well- 
nigh reckless chivalry into all causes which make for 
progress and increased breadth of thought ; displaying 
at times a certain impatience, which old friends recall 
with a regretful tenderness ; but animated always by a 
fiery zeal for righteousness and a passionate hatred of 
all that is mean or false or vile. 


From a large number of letters I have selected a few 
illustrative of the Harrow period. 

Here is one from a parent : 

" DEAR DR. BUTLER : I find from my boys that the 
fact of Mr. Farrar s having succeeded to Mr. Harris s 
house, etc., will in the natural course of things remove 
Theobald from his tuition. 

" I am in utter despair at the idea, and so I find is 

" It will be very, very good of you to allow Theobald 
to be still his pupil and arrange with Mr. Farrar that 
he shall keep him on. 

" I assure you, all my boys have the greatest possible 
regard, esteem, respect, and affection for him, and he 
possesses an influence over them which I feel it would 
be very difficult for any one else to acquire, and Theo 
bald having been so long his pupil ! Could not and 
would you not make an exception in his favour ? If you 
are so good as to grant it, I am certain from gratitude it 
will be an additional incentive to Theobald to be steady 
at his work and to get on. 

" I am sure that you will kindly remember that my 
three youngest boys have never had any other tutor but 
Mr. Farrar, that it was by your own appointment that 
they had the privilege, and the event has proved how 
judicious your arrangement was by the influence for 
good which he has exercised over them, and by the real 
affection and devotion they feel for him. 

" With my kindest regards to Mrs. Butler, 
" Believe me, 

" Yours very sincerely, 

"A. B." 


Another from the son of the above writer : 

" December 29th. 

" MY DEAR MR. FARRAR : Hubert showed me your 
letter you wrote to him about my going to the Univer 
sity, that is, to Oxford ; Cambridge is simply a hole. 
I am sure you think it so now. The worst of it is that I 
shall have to swat, which as you know I don t like at 
all. But then if I could make up my mind to swat, 
and took a pretty good degree at Oxford, it would leave 
me quite free, whereas if I went into the army I should 
have to stick to it. You think I had better go to Ox 
ford. I think too, it will be best on the whole. Just 
fancy, I have read the whole of that Milton s " Para 
dise Lost " and all the holiday task once ; I intend to 
read it again. I mean to swat like fun next quarter, 
as I was so ashamed of the place I took last quarter, and 
Nil desperandum Farrar duce et auspice Farrar. 

" I hope Mrs. Farrar and the children are quite well, 
and believe me ever 

" Yours sincerely, 

"A. B." 

From a boy who had been expelled : 

" MY DEAR MR. FARRAR : Thank you very much 
for your kindness in writing to me. I have indeed 
begun life very badly, but I now mean to turn over a 
new leaf. 

" It was very kind of you to try and take me back as 
you have so often before forgiven me. All my endeav 
ours shall be that I should turn out a good man, and I 
sincerely trust that your kind hope of seeing me again 
may be realised, and that you will find me changed 
from a bad boy into a God-fearing man. Thank Mrs. 


Farrar for me for her kind message, and if she will 
accept a sad farewell from me, as also yourself, I shall 
feel gratified 

" Believe me 

" Yours sorrowfully. 

" P. S. I have received all my things, for which I 
thank you. I left a small prayer-book in chapel. If it 
will not give you trouble, may I ask you to send it me ? " 

From the late Bishop of Durham : 


" MY DEAR FARRAR : I rejoice to see your volume 
of sermons. They cannot but do good. Some I know ; 
some I hope to know : and all are alike welcome. We 
probably differ in some opinions and approach many 
questions from different sides, but I should be unwilling 
to think that we do not agree fully as to the scope of 
life, and the strength of life ; and in that fellowship of 
highest aspiration and faith all lesser differences are as 
nothing. Almost every day makes me feel more keenly 
that it is not the work that is seen that is most fruitful 
and that all earthly measures fail in spiritual things, and 
there is deep consolation in the thought. 

" With sincerest thanks for the volume, and every wish 
for the full continuance of your great work among us, 
" Ever yours most truly, 


From the late Dean of Llandaff : 

" MY DEAR FARRAR : I must not insult you by com 
pliments upon your sermon of yesterday : but neither 
can I leave you without the expression of the deep debt 
of gratitude which I feel myself to owe you for such a 


noble effort for the good of souls. I cannot doubt that 
it will be remembered by many, as it was listened to 
with profound attention by all. 

" The time will come, I hope, when you will publish 
that sermon with others. Perhaps a sermon published 
by itself does not possess the permanence of character 
which one would desire for it : but I am sure that, when 
the time comes for publishing a volume of sermons, you 
will not find them passed by. 
" Ever, my dear Farrar, 

" Yours truly and affectionately, 


" HARROW, Monday. 

" Do not trouble yourself to write in answer. I only 
send this, because it is a comfort sometimes to be assured 
that one has not preached to inattentive or unsympa- 
thising hearers." 

From the present Master of Trinity : 

" MY DEAR FARRAR : I must not let the Sunday 
night quite pass without heartily thanking you for your 
most valuable sermon. 

" I think we greatly wanted to have your main point 
put before us, and I could not have wished to have it 
put more beautifully, convincingly, and solemnly. 

" We have both of us lived too long to expect to see 
any very immediate or palpably extensive effects from 
sermons. The listlessness of the Harrow boys will, I 
fear, continue to be our thorn in the flesh as long as we 
continue to labour together here. But I nevertheless 
believe that your words will have touched many a con 
science and that they will come back to such in listless 


hours, partly here, partly in college rooms, partly in the 
days of professional life. 

" It seems to me that our material here illustrates most 
strongly the How hardly shall they that have riches 
How hardly shall the sons of parents, the majority of 
whom are probably men of easy means, learn to regard 
exertion as at once a duty and a happiness ! 

" Still there is a considerable remnant of non-idolaters 
if not of heroic Abdiels. The seven Harrow firsts in 
the last Trinity May was a good sign not less good 

because it was not brilliant. S and P are 

working thoroughly hard there; so I fancy is P 

and dear good C . 

"Here all the first seven are working at high pressure, 
and apparently with great interest, unless it be possibly 

the ill-adjusted A . He broke down deplorably in 

the Demosthenes last week, no less than twice. 

" This must read like a rambling letter, but I think 
you may trace a certain unity running through it. God 
bless you always, dear friend. 

" Affectionately as ever, 


"HARROW, March 16, 1862, 11 P.M." 

A humorous letter in rhyme, from his colleague, 
E. H. Bradby: 

" HARROW, August 9, 61. 

" Dear Farrar, I grieve to disquiet your rest, 

Or mar your ruricolar ease, 
But truth fairly spoken must always be best, 
Though it fail at the moment to please. 

When you left it, your house had a scaffold in front, 
And now could you see it, you d find 


Of your wrath let the builder encounter the brunt 
A scaffold just like it behind. 

Thus for decapitation on both sides prepared, 

Is the victim put out of its pain ? 
No to mark execution the public have stared, 

And waited and clamoured in vain. 

Can it be that you hold a reprieve still in view ? 

If not, as a matter of sense, 
Tis not fair to the house, to say nothing of you, 

To keep it so long in suspense. 

I know from one corner the slates have been stript, 

And an angle of brick has arisen, 
But if more has been done, may the writer be whipt, 

And his progeny pine in a prison. 

Bricks and timber, tis certain, encumber the road, 

Bricks and timber encumber the door, 
But I don t see them rise to their final abode, 

Or condense into storey and floor. 

Some six or eight hands there were eight on to-day, 

Rush hither and thither apace, 
But time, the unceasing, works faster than they, 

And will beat them, I fear, in the race. 

My fears may be vain, but I think it were well 

That you sent to your landlord a letter 
To ask how things prosper, your wishes to tell, 

And cry, " Finish, the sooner the better." 

This I know from experience, though honest and kind, 

He s a horse somewhat slow on the road, 
And without being cruel you ll certainly find 

That his paces are helped by the goad. 

For the rest, don t betray whence your knowledge arose, 

For I ve matters on hand of my own ; 
And should he be wroth, why the six weeks may close 

And leave me and my mansion undone. 


All Harrow now rests from its terminal whirl ; 

We have had but one birth since you parted, 
Madame Ruault the mother, the offspring a girl ; 

The parents are not broken-hearted. 

Good-by! We are happy, thank God, we are well ; 

They flourish, my wife and my daughter. 
I hope you, my friend, the same story can tell 

Of your wife, son, and self, at Freshwater. 

E. H. B. 

To his friend, E. S. Beesly, on the birth of his eldest 
son : 

" May i Qth. 

"DEAR BEESLY: Many thanks for your kind lines 
of congratulation. The pleasure of having a child is 
indeed intense, it seems to open up in one s heart an 
unfathomable fountain of love. Still it is v\vKV7riicpd<; 
and brings its own anxieties. He is a pretty little boy 
but so delicate. I hope, indeed, that he will have you 
for a kind friend when he grows up, if he does grow up, 
as I trust he will. You must come and make his ac 
quaintance this term, by the time Mrs. Farrar is well. 
She and the child are doing well at present. 

" I was very glad to catch even a glimpse of Mr. Con- 
greve at your house. 

" Ever, my dear Beesly, 

" Your affectionate friend, 

" F. W. FARRAR." 

The above letter refers to the editor of these memoirs, 
who has outgrown his youthful delicacy of constitution. 

The two next letters allude to a ridiculous canard as 
to my father s Harrow experiences which seems to have 


obtained some vogue at Maryborough and caused some 
temporary annoyance. 

" HARROW, Nov. 6. 

" MY DEAR BEESLY : I am eternally obliged to Ilbert 
for letting me know the preposterous scandal which 
I hope I have now effectually knocked on the head, 
though not before I have been sufficiently annoyed ; for 
like ill winds it spread even to Cambridge, where fortu 
nately my friend, Cecil Monro, at once tore it up by 
the roots. 

" Meanwhile I get happier every day ; fellows of all 
sorts understand me better : I have a tight grip (which I 
shall not soon relax) on the turbulent, and I am getting 
(I hope) into the affections of the better ones, in spite 
of certain lewd fellows of the baser sort. Briefly, I am 
getting a footing here among the boys. I shall have 
ample room and verge enough to work under a defective 
system. The thing I feel most is want of sympathy. 
Watson is my most genial friend here, and him I really 
like. I do wish you were here to flounder about a little: 
/ can t do it half so effectually. But still, some things 
I have done already and shall do more. I preach on 
Sunday, and shall, if I can manage, rottgh them well. 
They need it. They are too supercilious and absurd by 
half. But unluckily one only preaches to the lower half 
of the school. I was so sorry that Blake missed All 

" Do come ; a day or two s warning will be ample, for 
I could let you know then in the (unlikely) case of my 
being unable to receive you. Why not next Saturday ? 
Would a boy be a bore to bring (he must come in a hat, 
caps being unknown here). Warren or Ilbert? but 
follow your own taste and do just as you like about it 


altogether. I am looking forward to seeing Bull. Why 
not come with him if possible. 

" You can t think how society stagnates here. Conver 
sation is unknown. Harrow forms the sole topic of 
Harrow, the only good point being that scandal is never 
talked or hinted. 

" I met young Oxenham the other day and was 
delighted with him. 

" You should see my daily list of punishments. Heigh- 
ho ! This kind of thing requires a brave, stout-hearted, 
patient, strong man. 

" Ever your most affectionate, 

" F. W. FARRAR. 

" You told me nothing about my missing goods." 

" HARROW, October 29. 

" MY DEAR BEESLY : I am perpetually annoyed by let 
ters from the boys at M speaking as if I had been 

subjected to personal violence (!) by the boys here, and 
to-day I was informed that I had been tied by a great 
coat, and pelted with cinders ! ! I can t tell you the 
ineffable disgust which those preposterous reports give 
me; and as they are as grotesquely and groundlessly 
and absolutely false, and as diametrically the reverse of 
anything possible as they can be, I do wish, once for 
all, that they could be authoritatively contradicted. 
Whence such absurdly and gratuitously nonsensical 
tittle-tattle can have originated I cannot even dream, 
unless some Harrovian has been humbugging one of 
the M fellows. 

" The idea ! I wonder whether you all think me 
made of straw? Likely that I should be roughly 
handled, every one and all of whom instantly obey 
my slightest order, and who are in as complete a state 


of subjection now as any form in Marlboro . Never 
was there a better exemplification of the story of the 
three black crows. While I am absent some boys, tak 
ing advantage of Mayor s ignorance of their names, 
unscrew a desk and crack nuts, and from that Ilbert 
tells me half the school believe that I have been gar- 
roted ! a thing just as likely as that Scott and Tom- 
kinson should be found some fine morning crucified 
with their heads downward on the first eleven cricket 
ground by their respective forms. 

" I really should not have troubled about this if I had 
not been bothered by rumours of it from all sides, and 
am now quite tired of the absurdity ; so please if any 
of the members of the Common Room share these hal 
lucinations, will you kindly undeceive them ? 

" In fact I am getting on excellently ; I declared war 
with my form and have conquered. Now we get on 
together as well as it is possible to do on a system 
where boys only know masters as punishment machines, 
a system whose trammels I am breaking more and 
more every day. Do come and see me if only to assure 
the boys from ocular demonstration that my exhausted 
frame can just survive the dangerous injuries it has 

" Yours ever, 

" F. W. FARRAR." 

Later, he writes in a more cheerful strain : 

" HARROW, Oct. 20. 

" DEAR BEESLY : I put off answering your letter, 
hoping to do it more at length ; but I have never been 
busier than now, and find it hopeless just at present. I 
am to be ordained priest at a fortnight s notice! 


"All things here are very happy. I love my pupils 
more and more, and my little house contains four of the 
most promising boys in the school. Will it all last ? I 
don t deserve it. Vaughan favours me with really an 
unusual share of kindness and confidence. 

" Many thanks for your kind congratulations. It is a 
great relief to have got the Fellowship, as it makes one 
feel more independent. I hope now to work a little at 

" Love to friends, and believe me ever 

"Your affectionate friend, 

" F. W. FARRAR. 

" Pray tell H anbury, will you, that I cannot write at 
present, being steeped in work, and tell Cobb I will write 
(don t forget) as soon as I possibly can." 

" HARROW, Feb. i. 

" DEAR BEESLY : Scene dining room ; fire gone 
out and all the people fast asleep in bed. Time 12 on 
Sunday night. Condition very cold feet, fatigue, and 
general muddle-headedness ; in spite of which, as this 
is my only chance of having leisure for a fortnight, I 
must write now. 

" Your letter telling me how lax I have been convicts 
me of gross selfishness, for which the extreme and ever 
increasing heaviness of my engagements constitutes no 
excuse. But indeed I had no notion how dilatory I had 
been, hearing of you so constantly as I do, when not 
from you; only believe me, my dear Beesly, nothing 
would be a deeper pain to me than if this laziness of 
mine (for I must call it by this name, though harsher 
than I deserve) ever lost me your friendship or made 
you think me cold or indifferent. On the contrary, I 


value it as one of my best possessions. Once in my 
life once only I think I lost a true friend ; and one 
other has caused an estrangement to him on my part 
both cost me such bitter grief that I could not bear the 
lessening of another s esteem. One mustn t be always 
saying so : but as insincerity is certainly not one of 
my many faults, you will, I know, forgive and excuse 

" B stayed a day with me, and made himself very 

agreeable : indeed, I thought him much improved in all 
ways. But then, you know, I always believed in him 
while you were one of those who considered him only a 
specious humbug. 

" Fowler is my guest at this moment with cartloads 
of photographs which he displays all day and night. 
They are from Rome, Florence, etc. Our tour was pre 
eminently successful and delightful. The Harrow boy 
who came with us I had always liked, but now I love 
him tenfold, having been cheered by his ruddy face in 
perils and pleasures. 

" Won t you come here for a Sunday this term ? It is 
one s only chance of seeing you, and we could talk over 
many things. 


" So do come here bringing a boy if you like, and 
whom you like and you shall find a warm welcome from 
"Your affectionate friend, 

" F. W. FARRAR." 

Archdeacon Vesey thus describes one of the Harrow 
holiday tours : 

" I think I first became acquainted with your father 
at Cambridge, shortly before he took his degree. When 


I was curate of Great St. Mary s, at the end of 1855, I 
used to see him from time to time, when he came up 
to Cambridge from Marlborough, and afterward from 
Harrow ; but our real intimacy began when, during the 
Harrow holidays at Christmas, 1856, he joined me at 
Rome, where I was spending some weeks with another 
Cambridge friend on my way to Sinai and Palestine. 
Your father came out with a Harrow boy named Far- 
quhar, and we had a delightful time visiting together 
most of the points of interest which were new to both of 
us. He had had a disagreeable voyage to Civita Vec- 
chia, and had to put in at Elba on account of bad 
weather ; he arrived at our apartment in the Piazza, di 
Spagna bleeding pauls, as he expressed it, from 
every pore, from successive encounters with the Pon 
tifical Dogma officials. You will readily imagine how 
his companionship more than doubled the pleasure of 
my visit, whether in our morning explorations in the 
Forum, such as it then was, with French soldiers over 
looking the unwilling excavators as they wheeled their 
barrows at a snail s pace ; or in the Coliseum, where a 
Franciscan monk was to be heard preaching at every 
station, and the massive blocks of travertine were partly 
hid with flowers and fern and other foliage, now, alas ! 
removed when what the witty Americans called the 
sandpapering process was carried out by the Italian 
government; or in the delightful afternoon excursions 
into the Campagna, to Tivoli, where we lunched al fresco 
on New Year s Day; or to the graves of Keats and 
Shelley in the old Protestant cemetery hard by the pyra 
mid of Caius Cestius. Wherever he went, his keen 
power of observation, his enthusiasm, his fund of know 
ledge and wealth of varied quotation made him the 
most delightful fellow-traveller. Sometimes he ex- 


pressed in verse the thoughts which our visits aroused. 
For example, after an excursion to Hadrian s villa near 
Tivoli he wrote the following lines, which once appeared 
in print, but are not, I think, generally known : 

" Where the cypress upheaves its dark green leaves 

By the side of the glistening pine, 
Mark how the rose of the sunlight glows 
And the snow-fringed mountains shine. 

And round us arise to the wondering eyes 

The wrecks of imperial pride, 
As along the walls of the painted halls 

We are wandering side by side. 

And not one aisle of the royal pile 

But adds to the ruined scene, 
And ferns are waved, o er the courtyards paved 

With mosses of red and green. 

Aye ! the lightning hath shattered, the storm wind hath scattered, 

The palace-homes they built ; 
And the dark years fall like a funeral pall 

On the tale of their purple guilt. 

And the golden domes of their gorgeous homes 

Are crushed on the crumbling soil : 
For unless God hath given His blessing from Heaven, 

But lost is the builder s toil. 

ROME, New Year s Day, 1857. 

" On one occasion we went together to the studio of 
Overbeck, the well-known German artist. Among other 
pictures, he showed us one which he called Marriage ; 
and the way in which he treated the subject, in a series 
of vignettes, will be apparent from the lines which your 
father handed to me the next morning : 


" Magnum sacramentum : dico autem de Christo et 

" With a deepening impulse of love and prayer, 
We gazed on the lines of the picture fair ; 

And the holy Painter stood at our side, 

As we traced the tale of the gentle bride, 

The joys and the sorrows of wedded life, 
The glory of peace, and the shade of strife. 

Now they are linked in the golden band, 

Heart in heart and hand in hand ; 
And forth on the untried path they start 

With eyes upraised and a beating heart. 
And they heed him not on the bridal morn, 

The angel who scatters the boughs of thorn. 

Mark how he hovers their path above, 
The glittering spirit with looks of love. 

And the cross he bears thro the thickest glooms, 
Is bathed in the rays of his silver plumes, 

And yet on the pair is the burden laid, 

As they wearily toil thro the checkered shade. 

Soon, neath the weight of the painful load, 
They faint and fall on the steep hill road. 

But the Holy One shines at their side again, 
To lighten the labour and heal the pain ; 

And with gladder steps and a calmer soul 
They pass along to the heavenly goal. 

But o er them a seraph is leaning down 
With a gleaming wing and a golden crown, 

And children come with their innocent eyes 
And pure souls, white from the starry skies, 

As over the sunlit moss he throws 
Violet and lily and wreathed rose. 

Thro the sun and shade, thro the joy and woe, 
Dark or bright does the life-stream flow ; 

But the cares are veiled, and the Cross is bless d 
As they near the gates of their final rest ; 


And they hear blest pair ere the path is trod 
The songs that welcome their souls to God. 

The gates are alight with a million gems, 
And the flash of the rainbow diadems, 

And the diamond swords and the helm of truth, 
And the flower-like curls, and the brows of youth, 

And the robes of light, and the tongues of fire, 
And the golden harps of the seraph choir. 

Keep, O Lord, in our memory green 

The image fair of that saintly scene ; 
Teach us, O Lord, that we ne er repine, 

Give us hearts that may rest on Thine, 
And aye may the thoughts of our journey blend 

With the glories that wait at its holy end. 
ROME, 1856. F. W. F. " 

To my father s old friend and quondam chief, Dr. 
Butler, the Master of Trinity, I am indebted for the 
following tribute : 


" MY DEAR REGINALD FARRAR : In offering you these 
few recollections of your dear Father, I am very sensible 
of their utter inadequacy. It is only in the faintest way 
that they recall either his beautiful youth at Trinity or 
his brilliant services at Harrow. But, as you know, I 
have been writing under physical difficulties, and the 
publication of your Memoir would not bear delay. I 
must trust and believe that the other records of your 
Father s rich and beneficent career will be far more 
fully and generously expressed. 

" Believe me affectionately yours, 


" My friendship with Frederic Farrar must have begun 
in 1852 or 1853, when we were undergraduates at Trinity, 


he in his second year of residence, I in my first. We 
were both members of a small Shakespeare Society, 
which met once a week in our several rooms to read a 
play, the parts of which had been previously distributed. 
In these delightful hours we came of course to know one 
another very closely, and, half unconsciously, to take 
measure of our respective gifts and tastes. Farrar was 
greatly loved and admired by us all. Intellectually he 
was conspicuous by his very wide reading in English 
literature, notably in poetry and in the philosophical 
writings of S. T. Coleridge. He came to Trinity from 
King s College, London, and brought with him a pro 
found love and reverence for F. D. Maurice, whose 
lectures he had there attended, and a keen interest 
in all the Christian social schemes which Maurice and 
Charles Kingsley and others were at that time advo 

" Apart from this high mental culture, he impressed us 
all by the singular purity and elevation of his whole 
character, his fiery enthusiasm for every noble cause or 
idea, his outspoken courage, his passionate scorn for 
injustice, for concealment of convictions, for anything 
that he held to be mean and low. 

" His special gift of eloquence was occasionally, but not 
very frequently, exercised at the Union. Whenever he 
spoke, he was listened to with marked respect as not 
only a good speaker, but as an orator of quite exceptional 
powers; but perhaps he was somewhat too much in 
earnest for so mercurial an assembly. A lighter touch, 
with a little more playfulness and humour, might have 
been more effective. 

" Once, I remember, he electrified us all by a crush 
ing reply to some mosquito of a critic who had dared 
almost to impeach the unfortunate members of the 


Library Committee. These officers had been elected 
some three weeks before by universal suffrage to select 
new books for the Term s consumption. And now 
heard themselves denounced as a narrow, heartless 
etc., oligarchy because they had not included in their 
choice a few silly books which had been recom 
mended by some irresponsible advisers. Farrar, as 
one of the oligarchs/ came down upon this con 
spirator with all his thunders. He treated him as a 
Catiline or a Borgia. We were somewhat amused, but 
we loved him all the better for his narvet6 and his 

" His winning the Chancellor s medal for an English 
poem on the Search for Sir John Franklin gave great 
pleasure to us all. It was not a commonplace prize ex 
ercise. It was a real poem, marked by deep feeling 
and rare wealth of language, and it was felt that the 
right man had been crowned. 

"When, in 1854, he became Fourth Classic in a very 
strong year, and was summoned by Dr. Cotton to assist 
him in his task of revivifying Marlborough College, his 
departure from us was keenly felt. He had been truly 
a burning and a shining light. His friendship had been 
a delight, his example a privilege, his fine, rich, vehement 
nature an inspiration. When, in October, 1856, he be 
came a Fellow of Trinity, we all rejoiced with him. The 
tradition still lives, I believe it to be well founded, that 
Dr. Whewell, our great Master, was especially pleased 
with his philosophical and metaphysical paper. It 
showed very extensive reading and keen interest in 
such subjects. 

" It is not for me to follow Farrar to Marlborough, and 
to speak of the few happy years of his apprenticeship 
there. Enough to say, what I know from Dr. Cotton 


himself, that the Master was proud of his young and 
brilliant colleague, that he felt the value of his influ 
ence over the Sixth Form, and that he became deeply 
attached to him as a friend. 

" Cotton and Dr. Vaughan had been on the most affec 
tionate terms of friendship ever since their undergradu 
ate days at Trinity, and it was doubtless through Cotton s 
reluctant mediation that Vaughan, in 1855, invited the 
young Trinity Fellow to join his distinguished staff at 
Harrow a staff which at that time included the names 
of Harris, Steel, Rendall, Westcott, H. W. Watson, 
all, like the Head-master himself, past or present Fel 
lows of the same College. E. E. Bowen was soon to 

" I must not attempt to give more than the barest 
sketch of Farrar s services to Harrow during the re 
maining years of Dr. Vaughan s head-mastership and 
the first eleven years of my own. His position was 
from the first, and throughout, original and peculiar. 
He was all along the companion of his boys, whether in 
form, or in the house, or in games or walks. He had 
no fears of compromising his dignity by such familiarity. 
Some boys no doubt took advantage of his confidence 
and his informalities, but he soon became loved and 
looked up to as well as admired. His teaching was 
strangely fresh and inspiring. On the one hand, he 
drew up formal printed cards to impress upon young 
learners the simple facts of accidence and the simpler 
rules of syntax. On the other hand, he was always 
drawing forth, from the stores of his really wonderful 
memory, which we had known so well at Cambridge, 
noble and memorable quotations from the poets, es 
pecially his grand favourite Milton. By this double 
action he sought to make his pupils feel that if grammar 


was the gateway to knowledge, literature and human 
nature were all the while its temple. 

" Devoted as he was to scholarship and literature, he 
was also the founder of our Natural History Society. 
Himself a considerable botanist, he inspired a number 
of boys, not all of them classics or mathematicians, with 
a desire to explore the secrets of nature, and especially 
to make careful collections of flowers gathered during 
happy walks in the neighbourhood of Harrow. 

" His gradually increasing intimacy with men distin 
guished in science and literature was pleasantly placed 
at our service. It was to him that we owed the first 
lectures of Tyndall on sound, of Huxley on the anatomy 
of the lobster, of Ruskin on minerals. In short, he 
helped to enlarge our intercourse with the wider intel 
lectual world outside our own borders. 

" It would be wrong, and even absurd, to close this 
brief notice without a few words on his school sermons. 
His position as a great preacher is part of the history 
of the Church of England during the last thirty-five 
years of the nineteenth century. I suppose there is 
scarcely a cathedral or a university pulpit or a school 
chapel in which his voice has not been heard, and he 
rarely refused a request from a brother clergyman in 
either town or village. A man who has preached so con 
stantly, so ubiquitously, and to such varied audiences, 
has left a definite impress on those who either heard or 
read his words. To define that impress is no part of 
my task, save so far as it concerns Harrow. There his 
position was unique. Our custom was that the clerical 
assistant masters preached in turn at the morning ser 
vice in the school chapel. Farrar s turn was eagerly 
expected both by the boys and by the parents of our 
home-boarders. There was always great pressure to 


obtain admission to the chapel on the Sundays on which 
he preached. Needless to add, he was listened to with 
the most breathless attention. To say that the solemn 
cadences of his fine, rich voice were weighted with the 
most intense earnestness is the language of common 
place, but it is at least true. He seemed always to have 
before him two haunting visions, the one of boyish inno 
cence, the other of boyish wickedness. If to some of us 
he appeared sometimes to see these two great extremes 
out of their due proportion, and to be less clear-sighted 
as to the wide region which lies between them, we were 
none the less grateful for his loving sympathy with the 
one and his solemn warnings to the other. Hundreds 
of Harrow boys, I cannot doubt it, will look back upon 
his words from the chapel pulpit his voice, his look, 
his whole personality as among the chief blessings of 
their school life." 



IN 1871 my father was appointed Head-master of 
Marlborough on perhaps the strongest testimonials ever 
given for a similar candidature. Among others, Profes 
sor Max Miiller, his antagonist in the lists of philology, 
generously testified that he "would add lustre to any 
school in England " ; and his old tutor Maurice declared 
that he would be " well able to combine the culture of 
other days with the special wisdom of ours." 

It was a great delight to him to return to Marlborough, 
his first love, and the years spent here were in some 
respects the happiest and most unclouded of his life. 

In 1867 he had been a candidate for the head-master 
ship of Haileybury, which was given to one of his Har 
row colleagues, Dr. Bradby. That more unqualified 
support was not accorded to him on this occasion is due 
in part to regretful doubts inspired by the perhaps some 
what indiscriminate vigour of his onslaught upon the 
system of classical education, and by fears on the part of 
old and dear friends that his characteristic impetuosity 
might imply a certain lack of judicial balance. 

This defeat was, naturally, a keenly felt disappoint 
ment at the time, but better things were in store for 
him ; and when he stood for Marlborough his reputation 
not only as a brilliant scholar, preacher, and man of 
letters, but as a leader of men and a schoolmaster of ex- 



ceptional strength of character, was so fully established 
that his claims could no longer be resisted. 

During Farrar s mastership, assisted as he was by an 
exceptionally able staff of colleagues who served under 
him with loyal and heart-whole devotion, Marlborough 
rose to the very zenith of her great reputation. 

The story of those days is so well told by others in 
the following pages that I need add but little to it. I 
will merely insert, from a chart of the school history, a 
brief list of the principal organic changes inaugurated 
during Farrar s mastership, though some of them had 
been projected and prepared in the reign of the great 
and good head-master who preceded him, Dr. Bradley, 
the late Dean of Westminster : 

1871. Improvements in the Drainage. 
Purchase of Freehold. 

Science Teaching commenced (Mr. Rodwell, Science Mas 

1872. The "New Houses," i,e. Littlefield and Cotton House. 

1873. Bradleian. 

1875. Masters 1 Retirement Fund. 

Decoration of Chapel, conversion of Covered Playground to 
Gymnasium during this Period. 

In the actual execution of these schemes the lion s 
share fell to the " Bursar," named, loved, and revered by 
every generation of Marlburians to the present day, my 
father s former pupil, colleague at Marlborough, son-in- 
law later, and lifelong friend, the Rev. John Shearm 
Thomas (died September 26, 1897). 

To the Marlborough period belong, besides other 
publications, two volumes of sermons, " The Silence and 
Voices of God," 1874, and " In the Days of thy Youth," 

1 876, preached in Marlborough Chapel. None who heard 
those sermons can wholly forget the overpowering in- 


tensity of conviction, or the fiery eloquence with which 
the master drove home to his boys the great truths 
of righteousness. I was a lad of fifteen when I heard 
those sermons preached, but there still rings in my ears 
the passionate force with which my father delivered the 


How like a younker or a prodigal 

The scarfed bark puts from her native bay, 

Hugged and embraced by the strumpet wind. 

How like a prodigal doth she return, 

With over-weathered ribs and ragged sails, 

Lean, rent, and beggared by the strumpet wind. 

These sermons will illustrate one of his strongest 
characteristics as a preacher, the power, namely, of 
riveting great moral truths upon the mind by apt and 
striking quotations from the poets, which lingered in 
the memory even after the sermon itself was forgotten. 

I have given already one extract from " In the Days 
of thy Youth," and must resist the temptation to add 
others. Of his powers and gifts as a preacher I shall 
speak again ; here I will only say that in force and direct 
ness of appeal, as well as in beauty of language and 
imagery, these sermons to boys revealed the preacher 
at his best. 

The following letter serves to illustrate the effect the 
sermons produced in, at least, one instance : 



" A Marlborough boy desires to express his greatest 
gratitude and thanks to Mr. Farrar, for a sermon which, 
he trusts, has done him more good, and brought him 
nearer heaven, than anything he ever heard in his life. 



My father s description of Marlborough, from the 
" Memorials of Cyril Lytton Farrar," may be quoted as 
giving a picture of this beloved home : 

" The Lodge at Marlborough College was as charming 
a home as children could possibly have enjoyed. The 
grounds of the college, the master s garden, the wilder 
ness, the bathing-pool, the mound, the playground, were 
delightful places for their walks and games. The green 
downs with their copses and fresh breezy air were close 
at hand, and in spring they were a mass of primroses, 
wild anemones, and violets. When the children went 
to the west woods they could get baskets full of daffodils. 
The forest with its deer, and its lovely undulations, and 
its green glades and avenues and noble trees was close 
at hand. The garden of the Lodge itself was full of 
roses. It had a lawn-tennis ground and a field, and the 
river Kennet flowed at the bottom of the kitchen garden. 
The schoolroom and nurseries were in a separate part of 
a beautiful and convenient house. Our carriage and 
pony-carriage were in constant request for picnics to Mar- 
tinsell and other lovely places. We also had two pretty 
ponies, called Tommy and Ruksh, for the children to 
ride. They had a multitude of pets. Mr. Lucas had 
given us a tame fawn, which followed us about the gar 
den. He had also given us some rare and beautiful 
fowls, and we had plenty of poultry. We brought a 
tame sea-gull from Swanage, which after a time flew 
away. We had a dove-cot full of white pigeons, which 
were perfectly tame, and would settle in crowds on the 
sill of the nursery window and eat from the children s 

" The children grew up amid the fresh young life of a 
great English school in the country. They were sur 
rounded by its deep and varied interests, and had their 


little share in its constant festivals. Many a happy 
afternoon they enjoyed in the forest and on the downs 
with boys of the school. Some of the boys, who in one 
way or other were known to us, had the run of the house, 
and came in and out almost as they liked. Among them 
were Hallam Tennyson, Everett Millais, Philip Burne- 
Jones, and Leslie Norris. Our guests were numerous, 
and some of them were distinguished and well-known 
men. Sir J. E. Millais, Mr. E. Burne-Jones, the Bishops 
of Salisbury and Limerick, Mr. E. Normand Lockyer, 
Sir Henry Thompson, Sir Edwin Arnold, Judge Thomas 
Hughes, Canon Rowsell, Dr. Abbott, Bishop Creighton, 
and many others came to stay with us. It was an 
advantage to the children to meet such men, and they 
received abundance of kindly notice both from guests 
and from the masters and boys of the college. Mr. 
F. Storr and Canon Bell, who were then assistant 
masters, were great friends with the children. The 
former was constantly in the schoolroom, and once dis 
arranged the machinery of the Swiss cuckoo clock which 
Mrs. Orford Holte had given to Maud, and which she 
still has with her in Tasmania, by hanging one of the 
dolls to the chains. Cyril, with his bright temperament, 
was always a special favourite. At that time he had fixed 
on the army as his future destination, and when asked 
what he meant to be, he used to answer stoutly that he 
should be " Captain Farrar of the Royal Horse Guards, 
b oo" O. "Blue"]. 

Mr. P. E. Thompson, one of his colleagues, contributes 
the following reminiscences : 

" I am very glad of the opportunity of paying my 
tribute of respect to my old friend and former chief at 
Marlborough, the late Dean of Canterbury. 


" My earliest recollection of Farrar (the surname alone 
comes naturally, and surely needs no addition) is of him 
as an undergraduate at Cambridge. I was a student at 
King s College, London, which he had left two or three 
years before, covered with honours. He came to take 
part in our Debating Society. We regarded his coming 
with great interest, for, naturally, to us he was a hero who 
at Cambridge was more than fulfilling our expectations. 
I can recall his appearance vividly. He was still some 
what boyish in figure, slim, with fairly thick, dark brown 
hair, and without that white complexion which was so 
marked in later years. His manner was simple and 
pleasant, without the sense of complete sureness, and 
his speech ready but not measured. A modest, able, 
delightful young fellow, you would have said. He was 
a strong liberal in politics, and in a good-humoured way, 
without any bitterness or sarcasm, rallied the conserva 
tive proposer of the motion debated, sketching from 
the premisses of his speech the probable career which 
awaited him. My next reminiscence is about a year 
later, when Farrar had taken his degree. I was talk 
ing with our classical professor, the late Archdeacon 
Browne. Farrar was here yesterday, he said to me ; 
he is doing a very stupid thing. With his degree and 
university distinctions he might make sure of his fel 
lowship and work at Trinity. He ought to stay up at 
Cambridge ; instead of this he is going to Marlborough, 
a new school with a bad reputation, so far as anything 
is known of it. This was at the beginning of Cotton s 
mastership, when that truly remarkable man, whom 
Farrar always held in deep reverence, was gathering 
about him a band of exceptionally able young Oxford 
and Cambridge men, attracted by no prospect of mate 
rial advantage, but animated solely with the enthusiasm, 


which his own magnetic character inspired, for creating 
a great public school after an unfortunate start. Of 
that band of men, among whom Farrar was conspicuous, 
who cast their bread upon the waters, I have often 
thought in the words of the divine paradox, He that 
loseth his life shall save it. When I was at Oxford I 
remember a young Marlborough scholar coming up to 
my own college, full of admiration and affection for the 
brilliant young Cambridge man who threw himself heart 
and soul into the work of the Sixth, and the life and 
thoughts of the whole school. 

"Years passed. I had gone to Marlborough in 1859. 
Farrar, who in 1855 had been appointed to a mastership 
at Harrow by Dr. Vaughan, had made himself widely 
known as teacher, educationalist, preacher, philologist, 
and writer of fiction. He was to come and preach our 
Founder s Day sermon at Marlborough. This was, I 
think, in 1866. I had not seen him for thirteen years, 
and naturally my curiosity and interest were deeply 
roused. As he walked up the College Chapel my sur 
prise at the change which had come over him was ex 
treme. The boyish undergraduate of 1853 had become, 
speaking unchronologically, the Dr., or the Canon Far 
rar of middle life. His form was ampler, his carriage 
more erect, his movements deliberate and stately, the 
hair darker and thinner, the complexion whiter. The 
rich, mellow voice rolled out its measured periods of 
sustained and controlled oratory. The sermon produced 
a powerful effect on the Sixth. Our Founder s Day is 
the festival of St. Michael and All Angels. The angels 
of God were the crises in human life which come as his 

" Four more years had passed, and Bradley was leav 
ing Marlborough for Oxford. It was no secret that 


Farrar had always cherished the hope of becoming one 
day Master of Marlborough. He had never lost his 
first love. I remember how at a school dinner, a dis 
tinguished Harrow master, in speaking of Farrar, who 
was present, humorously reminded him that all through 
his Harrow career he had never lost an opportunity of 
assuring the Harrow people of the far greater impor 
tance and interest of Marlborough. The great Brad- 
leian period had drawn to a close. The brilliant sunset 
was obscured by some clouds of temporary anxiety. 
There had been one or two bad bouts of scarlatina, and 
doubts had naturally risen about the sanitary arrange 
ments of the school. But if the misfortune had occurred 
in Bradley s time, it was he, with the cooperation of the 
bursar, the late Rev. J. S. Thomas, the right-hand man 
of three successive masters, who provided the remedy. 
The sanitary arrangements were thoroughly overhauled 
and rectified. The overcrowded college dormitories 
were to be relieved by building two large boarding- 
houses, which were at once commenced. Of Bradley, 
confessedly the greatest head-master of his own day, 
no one who had the happiness of serving under him can 
speak without emotion, admiration, and affection. At 
this juncture Farrar came as head-master, with a splen 
did reputation and a splendid new connection. Testi 
monials will always be read with some critical hesitation ; 
but there was no mistaking the unreserved terms in which 
the present Master of Trinity, the late Bishop Lightfoot, 
Max Muller, and F. D. Maurice his revered teacher at 
King s College, spoke of him. His connection was as 
large as it was varied, comprising men of the greatest 
eminence in art, science, literature, and commerce. 
Such a reputation, and such a connection rapidly dis 
pelled the anxiety which was felt at the time by the 


friends of the school; and if Marlburians cherish, as 
they ever will cherish, the memory of Bradley with 
imperishable gratitude, they will also feel the deepest 
gratitude to Farrar for this alone, that his coming 
helped the school at what must be regarded as a crisis 
in its history. None was more sensible of this great 
service than Bradley, most generous of men, and the 
able bursar ; none more ready to recognise it. 

" Farrar s delight on coming back to Marlborough as 
head-master was quite touching. He was interested 
in everything : the teaching of the Sixth, the reviewing 
of the forms, the games, the various institutions, such as 
the Rifle Corps, the Natural History Society, parent of 
all similar school institutions (he was himself a keen 
amateur botanist), the music, and above all the preach 
ing. Well do I remember his first sermon. He took 
as his text, What mean ye by this service ? He 
preached without notes, and I always regretted that he 
afterwards abandoned ex tempore preaching, for his style 
was less, rather than more, rhetorical than in his written 
sermons, and arrested attention in a most remarkable 
manner. This service of the College Chapel was 
meant to be no mechanical roll-call, but the source of 
spiritual life to the school. Such, indeed, had always 
been the ideal, and still is the ideal, of successive mas 
ters ; but the ideal was admirably put. Equally well 
can I recall his first Prize Day gathering. On these 
occasions he was at his greatest ; he was quite supreme. 
The freehold of the college property had been secured 
shortly before his coming, after protracted negotiations. 
Standing upright before the table in the presence of 
the school and the guests, in heroic vein, the mock ele 
ment of which was admirably concealed, he rolled out 
this sentence, From the Pavilion to the Bowling Green 


and the Kennet, from the Bathing-place to the London 
Road we are monarchs of all we survey. 

" Humour was not a conspicuous quality in him, but 
he keenly enjoyed a sally, even when good temperedly 
directed against himself, and sometimes displayed it very 
effectively. On that morning he had said to me, Tell 
me if there is anything which I ought not to omit. 
Don t forget Mr. Sellick, I replied. For the benefit of 
non-Marlburians I must briefly describe the indescribable 
and invaluable Mr. Sellick. He served Marlborough 
faithfully for some forty years as extra master, being 
a factotum whose place no one has since taken or could 
take. He was responsible for getting and issuing 
school books, pens, ink, and paper, for organising the 
coming and going of the boys, for issuing pocket money, 
journey money, and for a host of things too long to be 
recorded here. He was a very thick-set man, with a 
broad ruddy face, quick eyes, and a rich Devonshire 
lingo, in which he uttered judgments of men and things 
quite impartially with unapproachable pithiness. It was 
he who managed all the arrangements for the upper 
school on Prize Day, including the disposition of the 
many prizes ready to the hand of the master. Bradley s 
allusion to Mr. Sellick at the end of the prize-giving 
was always keenly looked forward to, for Mr. Sellick 
was universally loved, feared, and enjoyed. The mo 
ment came. The master appeared to have no more to 
say, when after a pause he recommenced, And now 
I have one more duty to perform, a duty which un 
performed would mar this great gathering with a sense 
of incompleteness. Another pause. That duty is 
to thank publicly that Prince of Organisers, Mr. Sel 
lick The rest was lost in the thunders of applause 
awakened, while Mr. Sellick s rubicund face and twin- 


kling eyes sank like a setting sun behind the screen of 
his ample arms. 

" Farrar came with a strong sense of the continuity of 
Marlborough traditions, with deep reverence for his 
predecessors, but at the same time with that most valu 
able of gifts in a new head-master, the fresh eye. 
He introduced many smaller alterations, such as regu 
lations for greater neatness and uniformity of dress, 
rules concerning examinations, and other things which 
need not be noticed specially. Some of these new regu 
lations were perhaps a little resented by the laudatores 
temporis acti, but they were undoubted improvements and 
justified by success. Farrar unquestionably did some 
thing or much to cultivate the manners of the Marl- 
borough boy, which were certainly a little to seek, 
and to polish his exterior; but he had no desire to 
impair their Wiltshire simplicity. 

" What then were his chief characteristics as teacher 
and head-master, as ruler of boys, and president of his 
colleagues ? Farrar was an omnivorous and a rapid 
reader, with a prodigious memory. He had done great 
things by his own efforts and he expected great things 
from others. There are two distinct methods of teach 
ing, the minute and the wide, the intensive and the 
extensive. Milton s ideal was a combination of the two. 
It is futile to discuss their comparative merits ; a good 
teacher will choose the one for which he feels himself 
best fitted. Bradley s method was the minute. I only 
got through seven lines of Vergil this morning, he said 
to me one day ; this being of course an extreme case. 
To suppose that a pupil trained in the intensive method 
may not develop into the wide and extensive reader, or 
that one whose lessons cover wide stretches of reading 
may not in time use his large experience for analysis 


and minute criticism, is refuted by facts. Farrar be 
lieved in wide reading as a means both to culture and 
accuracy. Not long ago I received a letter from an old 
boy of mine who had been under Farrar in the Sixth. 
He had been ranching for many years in the wilds of 
Texas. He had never lost a love for English literature 
with which Farrar had infected him, indeed he has now 
a finer taste and a fuller knowledge of English authors 
than most cultivated and well-read men. We have often 
exchanged notes on books. In that letter, at the end 
of a list of works which he recommended, he added 
Farrar s favourite motto, Lege t lege, aliquid haerebit. 
When another very able boy in my house was going up 
for his scholarship, I asked him what classical books 
and what English authors he had read. I was fairly 
amazed with the ground he had covered. An unseen 
passage or a subject for an essay could scarcely come 
amiss to him. He was far and away first in that schol 
arship examination. Undoubtedly, Farrar s power of 
stimulating able and susceptible boys to wide reading 
on their own account was very remarkable. 

" Farrar was an optimist with regard to boys in some 
but not in all respects. He drove his Sixth in most mat 
ters with a loose rein. There was in his period a re 
markably able succession of boys, and not only able but 
original in mind and independent in character. A few 
can only be described as eccentric in the true sense of 
the term and well, a bit impish. With some there 
was a tendency to vftpis for the time. But only for the 
time. I have followed the career of most or all, and, 
knowing most of them personally, I can truthfully say 
they have become useful, upright, honourable men, most 
in good, some in distinguished positions. 

" But it must not be supposed that he was lax or soft 


where sternness was demanded. Where a question of 
morals was concerned, no head-master could be more 
prompt and severe. He consoled and encouraged the 
offender, but his first consideration was the welfare of 
the community. Similarly, in dealing with a breach 
of manners or discipline. In the upper school once a 
chorus of distinguished amateurs entertained the school 
on the evening of a cricket match. Some thoughtless 
louts at the back so far forgot themselves as to interrupt 
the singers with silly imitations. In an instant the master 
was on his feet. Facing the claque, with flashing eyes 
and imperious voice, he asked them if they imagined that 
he would tolerate such behaviour. Did they know what 
was due to the performers, to their guests, to themselves 
as members of the school, that they dared indulge in 
manners which would disgrace a twentieth-rate theatre ? 
The effect was electric. Boys can understand and ap 
plaud a display of instant and fearless authority. 

"Of his masters, again, Farrar expected much, rightly 
much ; sometimes, I think, too much in the way of read 
ing. He was annoyed when there were signs that a 
form master s teaching was not abreast of the latest 
scholarship. He was once positively indignant, when 
examining the lowest form of the upper school in Greek 
accidence, to find that the boys had not even an elemen 
tary knowledge of the influence of the lost letter Jod on 
Greek inflection. So indignant was he that I almost 
expected him to exclaim with Longfellow s Rabbi: 

" So surely as the letter Jod 
Once spake and cried aloud to God, 
So surely shalt thou feel the rod, 
And punished shalt thou be. 

This is an amusing and an extreme case, at which he 
would have laughed against himself by and by. But, 


as with boys, so with masters, Farrar s stimulating effect 
was great. I can only say for myself that during the 
five and a half years of his mastership I read far more 
widely than I had ever read before. One could not 
keep up with him, but one could keep him in sight. 
Here I should like to tell a favourite story of mine at 
the risk of being personal, for it shows Farrar at his 
best. At the end of the holidays he asked me what I 
was going to read with my form next term. Some 
of the Iliad, I replied. Have you read Paley s pref 
ace ? he inquired. Paley s edition had just been pub 
lished. Well, I had read it very carefully, for I intended 
to discuss it with my boys. I consider, the master 
continued, that Paley completely proves his case in all 
the three points which he raises. I did not think so, 
but purposely said little or nothing, for I anticipated 
what would come. I had a very sharp set of boys that 
term, and from time to time examined Paley s hypotheses, 
giving my reasons for disagreement. In due time the 
form went in for review. Review over, the head boy 
came to me in high feather. Something, I saw, was in 
the wind. Awful sport, sir, he exclaimed. What 
do you mean ? I asked. Oh, the master trotted us 
out on Paley. " Don t you think that Paley is right, when 
he says, etc." " No, sir, no," we called out. " No ! why 
not?" " Because, sir, etc." "Oh, I see," the master 
said, and burst out laughing, "your form master has 
been at you. We ll drop the subject." I am very fond 
of this incident, for it shows Farrar s native magnanimity. 
A smaller-minded head-master would have resented the 
appearance of being bearded by an assistant master 
through his form. Not so Farrar ; he saw the fun of 
the thing, and was delighted to find that a teacher could 
read and think for himself. Needless to add that we 


were always on the best of terms or this would not have 
occurred. I could give many instances of his generosity 
of mind. He may sometimes have been impatient and 
even hasty. He may have been in the right or in the 
wrong, but a misunderstanding was impossible if you 
went the proper way to work. You had only to go to 
him, to treat him fairly, and he would at once meet you 
with open arms, literally so, as I once well remember. 

" The nearer you got to him, the better you understood 
him, the more you liked him, honoured him, and loved 
him. Can more be said ? To some he appeared stately 
and unapproachable. The truth is that Farrar was 
naturally a shy man, not at ease in all company, with 
out the gift of small talk. The mistake was to treat 
him as unapproachable. Treat him as a friend, a thing 
of flesh and blood, even poke good-humoured fun at him, 
and he gave way in a moment, becoming brother with 
brother. The following authentic story shows how he 
appeared to a small boy who regarded him as nil mor- 
tale: I was never in the Sixth, he explained, but Dr. 
Farrar came to review the lower school form in which 
I then was. As he came in, in his silk gown, with 

that stately form, oh, I did feel small ! " Go on, ," 

he said to me. I went on and got through it. When 
the review was over, he stopped and talked to us, among 
others to me. " Where were you born ? " he asked. 
" In India, sir," I replied. " Ah, I was born in Bom 
bay myself." We had quite a talk, and then he shook 
hands. I was proud of myself. I didn t wash that 
hand for two days. I never got into his form ; but when 
he was installed dean, I took a holiday and went to 
Canterbury ; and when he died I went there to the 
funeral service. We never allowed a word to be said 
against him at home. 


" One or two more anecdotes before ending. The first 
illustrates his generosity. Thomas, the bursar and sub 
sequently son-in-law, went to remonstrate with him at 
what he considered his extravagance in contributing to 
school objects. You are always heading lists with 
twenty or thirty guineas. You must think of yourself 
more. Oh, he exclaimed, it only means writing 
another article for the Contemporary or Fortnightly 
More than one assistant master can remember, when he 
was out of sorts, how the master came to his room, and 
said, Now, don t you worry yourself. You go to bed. 
I ll take your form in the morning. Not many men 
could have endured the extra physical strain, still fewer 
would have volunteered it. Of his prodigious powers of 
work I remember a conspicuous instance. At the close 
of the Christmas holidays I went to see him, and asked 
him what he had been doing. Looking through the 
proofs of the " Life of Christ," he replied. Have you 
not been away ? I asked. No, he answered, I 
have worked at them thirteen hours a day the whole 
time. I remonstrated. Oh no, he said, change of 
work is as good as a holiday. 

" It has been said that Farrar was interested in the 
whole life of the school. He breathed spirit into 
departments in which he had small knowledge. He 
was no musician, but he greatly encouraged the singing 
of the school, and the House Glee Competition was 
instituted in his time. He had been Chaplain to the 
Rifle Corps at Harrow, and took great interest in the 
drill and shooting. The shooting Eight won the Ash- 
burton shield at Wimbledon for the first and only time in 
the history of the school. Marlborough had not beaten 
Rugby at cricket for nine years when he came. It won 
during his first two years, was beaten the next three 


years, and won again in his last year and the year after. 
Of course it would be absurd to attribute these successes 
to him, but his famous Collapse sermon shows the 
power of stimulus which he could exert. We had been 
badly beaten the year before by Rugby. Next year, 
shortly before the end of term, when the match at 
Lord s was to come off, the master preached on Moral 
Collapses. The real object of the sermon came after 
a pause at the close. And a defeat in cricket may be 
due to a collapse, to a moral collapse. On this he 
briefly but powerfully dwelt, ending with a quotation 
from Assheton Smith (!), apropos of taking a fence : 
Throw your heart over, and your horse and body will 

"The period from 1871 to 1876 was one of great and 
undoubted success. Farrar had relieved Marlborough 
from anxiety by his coming. He had thrown himself 
heart and soul into his work during his mastership. We 
knew that he could not stay long, that he was on the 
high-road to preferment, said one of his best and most 
devoted pupils, but that did not interfere with his 
giving his best to the school. Widely known and 
famous as he was, he made Marlborough more widely 
known. In an important debate at a head-master s 
conference, when another great head-master, Dr. Percival, 
and he were ranged on opposite sides, on rising to speak 
he was introduced in a ballad sent to the Journal of 
Education as Great Marlborough preluding war. The 
list of university successes gained by the school during 
his five and a half years holds its own well with any 
period of equal length preceding or succeeding. 

" Farrar was an idealist, an ardent, perhaps impatient, 
enthusiast, conscious of a mission, conscious also of his 
own powers and of the obligation laid upon him. Such 


he appeared, doubtless, and possibly such alone, to 
those who had not known him at closer quarters, or in 
his own home, where all that was simplest, most genuine, 
and tenderest in his nature was revealed. And respice 
finem. In his last afflicting and humiliating illness he 
was visited by a friend of a kinsman of mine to whom 
he said, Farrar had preached many an eloquent sermon, 
but nothing in his life was so eloquent as the patience 
and resignation with which he bore his suffering. Then 
the real man shone out. 

" No sketch of Farrar s life at Marlborough would be 
adequate without some allusion, however brief, to the 
hospitality ever freely accorded at the Lodge to boys 
present and past, to masters, and to guests. It can 
easily be understood how great a refreshment such hos 
pitality is felt to be after the daily routine of class room 
and playground. But it was when only one or two were 
present, when one was privileged to be, as it were, one 
of the family, that Farrar was seen at his best in his own 
home. And Mrs. Farrar may I without a breach of 
good taste say how much we all owed to her and how 
gratefully we remember her kindness ? Always the same, 
gentle, companionable, putting you at once at your ease, 
sincere, you soon found out how exceedingly competent 
she was, how invaluable a help to her husband, how wise 
and true a guide to her children. Much more might be 
said ; I trust that I have not said too much. 

" On the morning of his leaving, I thanked him for 
what he had done for the school, and for his personal 
kindness to me, expressing at the same time my sense of 
his loss. At once, but with deliberation and conviction, 
he uttered one of those common-sense and just judgments 
with which now and again he startled one. No one is 
necessary here. This school is too well established. 


Strictly true, as I at once admitted, but that it is true is 
due to a few able and devoted men like Farrar. 

" In a prayer which the late Dean wrote for the school 
he bids us thank God for our benefactors, and for the 
lives and examples of all who have served Him here. 
Among these he will ever hold a conspicuous place." 

" The Rev. Dr. James, Head-master of Rugby and a 
former colleague of my father s, has kindly allowed me 
to insert the following appreciation : l 

" It is a sad pleasure for me to write, as best I may, 
a sketch of Dr. Farrar for the Marlburian. It must be 
clearly understood that I can only do so from the point 
of view of one who was, for all too brief a period, associ 
ated as a subordinate with him in his magisterial work. 
What he was to the school must be told by one of his 
Sixth form. 

" It should not be forgotten that Farrar was once an 
assistant master at Marlborough in its early days of 
struggle. He used to tell, with an amused sense of con 
trast, stories of that bygone time ; how once he had wit 
nessed a procession of hungry boys parading the court 
with a banner inscribed with the words Bread or blood ; 
or of the unfriendly relations, which he strove hard to 
ameliorate, between boys and masters. Nothing, per 
haps, that he ever wrote was more graceful than the 
little poem in which he appealed to the Marlburians of 
a later generation the glad gatherers of the golden 
grain to perpetuate the memory of Dr. Wilkinson, 
the first master of the college. But it is of his head- 
mastership that I must chiefly speak. It was my privi 
lege to serve as an assistant master at Marlborough, 

1 For permission to use this and the following extract I am indebted to 
the courtesy of the editor of the Marlburian. R. F. 


under Bradley for a year, and under Farrar for three. 
Seldom, indeed, has it been the good fortune of any 
public school to be ruled by two masters of such emi 
nence in succession ; and seldom, surely, have two suc 
cessive masters been in such marked contrast. I was 
not at Marlborough when the change came, nor until 
a year or two afterwards, having taken up work at Ox 
ford in the meantime. But I knew from my friends on 
the staff, and I learnt afterwards for myself, how great 
in some ways the change was, and how it had impressed 
itself upon the school : naturally it was some time before 
boys or masters became reconciled to it for public 
schools are conservative institutions. Both Bradley and 
Farrar were inspiring chiefs, but the stimulus was con 
veyed in very different ways. Bradley had been vivacious, 
curt, plain-spoken, ubiquitous, restlessly energetic. If 
the truth must be told, we junior masters (I am not sure 
that I might not leave out the word junior ) were not 
a little afraid of him, popular as he was with us. But 
Farrar was nothing if not dignified, courteous, consider 
ate, conciliatory. It was not that he could not be angry ; 
many a time I have seen the indignation gather upon 
his brow when he had to deal with meanness, disloyalty, 
or wrong-doing. But he was by nature far less critical 
than Bradley ; generous of his praise, as of everything 
else ; easily wounded by unfair criticism himself, and 
so scrupulously careful not to wound others. Disre 
spect he could not tolerate; alike in boys and in col 
leagues it hurt him. I remember once a junior master 
began a letter to him with My dear Farrar. It was a 
pure lapsus calami, I believe ; but it called out a dignified, 
if kindly, rebuke. The master was bound, Farrar wrote, 
to exact, even from colleagues, the respect due to his 
position. The line of teaching which these two great 


masters followed (I cannot help perpetually comparing 
them) was very different, as the Sixth of 1871 found, 
and as we found who were in charge of lower forms. 

" Where Bradley had insisted upon accurate scholar 
ship, Farrar exacted literary attainment. I do not mean 
by that that either neglected the other point ; I could 
quote amusing stories of Bradley s merciless denunciation 
of illiteracy and the stimulus he gave to private reading ; 
and I remember how Farrar came away quite refreshed, 
as he put it, from a review of a form taught by a spe 
cially scholarly master. But where Bradley had looked 
first and foremost for accuracy, Farrar demanded the 
knowledge of grammatical parallels and literary illustra 
tions. Where Bradley had encouraged the intelligent 
teaching of syntax largely as an aid to the prose com 
position which he valued so highly as an instrument of 
education, and in which he was himself so great a mas 
ter, Farrar s interests centred rather on the classification 
of points of style, and on the elements of philology, 
a study which seemed likely at that time to take a more 
important position in the curriculum of school and uni 
versity than it has since actually attained, and in which 
he had been a pioneer. These reviews of our forms 
were a considerable power in the school. I have heard 
boys say that they went into a review of Bradley s in 
a state of absolute terror, well knowing the verbera 
linguae which they had to expect if they did not know 
their work. The review was thoroughly business-like ; 
every boy was put on, and the marks carefully assigned. 

" Farrar s reviews were much more of a literary lesson. 
Only a few boys construed ; the marks represented less 
the gradations of individual knowledge or ignorance 
than the efficiency of the form as a whole. And what 
we learnt principally from his reports was our success 



or failure in interesting our boys in the literary associ 
ations of their work. No doubt each method of exami 
nation had its special value. Farrar s was the harder 
to satisfy, but we grumbled sometimes that it was too 
much in the air, and too little in the nature of a per 
sonal incentive to work so far as the boys were con 
cerned. But, as he once put it, he found them with 
the dust of their grinding thick upon them, and his 
desire was for more sweetness and light; and to our 
selves I am sure the results, and the master s criticisms, 
were valuable as encouraging a broader view of teach 
ing, as well as a wider range of reading on the part of 
the teacher. 

"But the channel through which Farrar s influence 
principally found its way into the school was, unques 
tionably, the Chapel pulpit. His sermons were an un 
failing source of delight, interesting the dullest, kindling 
the ablest, going to the very core of boy life, moral and 
spiritual. His style is familiar to us all ; it has been 
severely criticised a thousand times, not always fairly. 
Reviewers, Farrar complained to me once, never recog 
nised that, bad or good, it was at any rate natural to 
him, and that he could not substitute another for it 
It was due in part, he said, to his fondness for certain 
authors (among whom he mentioned Jeremy Taylor) in 
early life. At any rate, the sermons were written always 
in most pictorial English ; they were replete with illus 
trations from poetry, history, biography, which he poured 
forth like wealthy men who care not how they give, 
vigorous, pathetic, denunciatory, persuasive, by turns ; 
but always splendidly eloquent. The veriest dullard 
could not but attend, for though parts of them were 
only for the ablest of his congregation, there was al 
ways ample food for the youngest. Take them all in 


all, I have heard no such sermons to boys as Farrar s. 
Who that listened to them, or has read them, could ever 
forget, for instance, the one on poor Congreve s death ; 
or that in which he described the martyrdom of Bishop 
Coleridge Patteson ? They owed something, no doubt, 
to that clear, mellow, and powerful voice of his so 
singularly musical in one who had not been endowed 
by nature with the gift of a specially musical ear. 

" Then there was his warm, personal interest in us all, 
masters as well as boys. In my own case it was deep 
and life-long, and I can never forget or, alas ! repay it. 
No trouble was so great, no pressure of work so severe, 
as to prevent his doing a service for one who was, or 
had been, a colleague. 

" His power of work was stupendous (the word is no 
whit too strong). How he found the time, amid all the 
thousand duties of a head-master s life, to write such a 
book as the Life of Christ, 1 has always been a marvel 
to me. No doubt he was a singularly rapid worker, but 
it was an extraordinary achievement. 

"I must say something and yet I feel the subject 
is too sacred to say much about the home life at the 
Lodge, and afterwards at Westminster and Canterbury. 
None of us who were privileged to get glimpses of it 
from time to time and Farrar s boundless hospitality 
made this possible for most of us will readily forget 
them. His home was all that an English home can be 
at its best. The love of wife and children lay deeply 
rooted in his heart, and they repaid it with a true devo 
tion. This sketch would be incomplete in a most vital 
point if it omitted to say how much we all, and the 

1 It is from no want of appreciation that I have not attempted to deal 
here with Farrar s works. Being public property they seemed to lie out 
side the limits of a personal sketch such as this. NOTE BY DR. JAMES. 


school at large, owed to Mrs. Farrar s gentle, gracious 
presence, unvarying kindness, and keen interest in all 
that concerned Marlborough. It was a privilege, too, 
to meet, from time to time, the well-known men of whom 
the master counted so many among his friends, and who 
visited him at the Lodge. It was a great wrench to him 
when he decided to accept the canonry at Westminster. 
To my inexpressible sorrow, he wrote, I am called, 
by what seems the clear voice of duty, to leave my 
beloved Marlborough never more flourishing, never 
more happy or more blessed than it has been this year. 
I must not look back, but let the brightness of the past 
cheer me in the dimmer, sadder, more uncertain future. 
The work, with the addition of his continued literary 
labours, was oppressively hard. The Abbey alone 
would furnish me with employment more than ample, 
he wrote again, and the parish [of St. Margaret s] 
ten times more. No need to tell what a power his 
sermons were in the Abbey. But we had all hoped 
he would be made a bishop ; and it was, no doubt, a 
I trial to him, conscious as he was of his own powers 
\ and services, to see third-rate men promoted over his 
head to episcopal rank." 

Prof. C. E. Vaughan, an old Marlburian and formerly 
head of the school under my father, thus writes to the 
Marlburian : 

" Dr. Bradley died on the I3th of March ; Dr. Farrar on 
the 22nd. It is not often that a school has been called 
upon to mourn two such losses within so short a space, 
and it is strange that two men, so closely connected in 
the work of their lives, should have been so closely 
joined in death. 

"When Dr. Farrar was appointed Head-master, in 1871, 


he was met by a task about as difficult as it is possible 
to imagine ; a task before which he himself might not 
unnaturally have quailed. He was called to follow one 
of the most brilliant teachers and one of the most suc 
cessful Head-masters ever known. And I fear it cannot 
be said that the Sixth Form of that day did much to 
lighten his burden. With the perverse loyalty of youth, 
we were more concerned to show our devotion to the 
parted, than to welcome the coming guest. Everything 
that was not done exactly as Bradley would have done 
it, was looked at with suspicion. All the ideas which 
made the originality of our new teacher were set down 
as wandering fires to be followed at our peril. We con 
veniently forgot that nothing would have been so bad 
for the school, and nothing probably so hateful to our 
selves, as a copy, however good, of the excellent thing 
which had just been taken from us ; and that having 
lost an original man of one sort, we were fortunate 
more fortunate than we deserved in finding an original 
man of quite another sort. 

" Many of those who began by nursing this prejudice 
came before long to feel ashamed of it, and have never 
ceased to reproach themselves for their folly. It was 
a bad way of showing our gratitude to Bradley ; it was a 
lamentable display of ingratitude toward Farrar. 

" It is perhaps the greatest of all tributes to Farrar s 
powers, both of intellect and character, that he should 
have speedily triumphed over such a prejudice. Even 
before the first generation, the generation which had 
been under the spell of Bradley, had passed away, the 
great qualities of Farrar had begun to make themselves 
felt. And long before his too short time at Marl- 
borough was at an end, it is pleasant to think that they 
were universally acknowledged. It was simple justice 


the justice which, in the long run, comes to every 
man of lofty character and conspicuous talents that 
this should be the case. And, if any man ever deserved 
the admiration and affection of his pupils, surely it was 
Farrar. Personally, the longer I live, the more strongly 
I feel the vastness of the debt I owe to the quickening 
power of his teaching. And I have no doubt that 
others feel the same. 

" Farrar brought to his work two qualities which have 
always been rare among masters, and which, it is to be 
feared, by no means tend to become commoner. What 
ever the critics may have said, but the really com 
petent critics never said it, he had a wide, deep and 
constantly increasing knowledge : the knowledge not 
of the accomplished man of letters, but of the genuine 
scholar. And he had also a literary instinct such as 
few teachers can ever have approached. 

" His thirst for knowledge was an education in itself 
to those he taught. Books of which we had never heard 
were constantly, though metaphorically, hurled at our 
heads; fields of interest, of which we had never dreamed, 
were opened to all who had the wits to enter. Without 
any desire to do so certainly without any delight in 
doing so he made us feel our own ignorance at every 
moment; and, if we had any grace in us, he made us 
eager to share what we could appropriate of his 

" It is sometimes said that a teacher has no need of 
learning; that the gift of teaching a certain method, 
natural or acquired is all that he should ask or seek. 
Give me half an hour s start on a book, such a teacher 
has been heard to exclaim, and I will back myself to 
do as much for my pupils with it as the greatest 
scholar. To such follies as this Farrar was a standing 


rebuke. He knew that a teacher is the better for every 
scrap of knowledge he can add to his store. And it is 
just because his own knowledge was so wide and so 
well under command, that so many of his pupils owe 
their first conscious love of knowledge to his lessons. 
Many of us may feel that we do little credit to our old 
master ; and that we might have done much more than 
we have done to follow his lead. But all who have 
thought about the matter must be aware how much he 
had to offer; they must know that it was something 
immeasurably more valuable than what the vast ma 
jority of teachers, even of good teachers, have it in their 
power to give. 

" His knowledge covered a very wide range of sub 
jects. Natural history, philology, theology, history, all 
came within his net. But it was his literary knowledge 
and his literary sense that probably made the deepest im 
pression on his pupils. Here was a man who knew the 
literature of his own country as well as he knew that of 
the ancients. That, in itself, was surprising enough in 
those days ; let us hope that it is commoner now. 
Here again was a man who, with all his feeling for 
words, never stopped short at the mere words of his 
author, but always insisted on looking through them to 
the thought, the imagination, the human heart, at work 
behind. There must have been many to whom this was 
a revelation. I am sure it was to me. And this also 
was one of the greatest services a teacher could possibly 
have rendered to his pupils. 

" His literary sense made him, among other things, an 
excellent translator. Snatches of his extemporised ver 
sions of Tacitus and Aristophanes rather a queer 
combination, especially for so grave a man still linger 
in my memory after more than thirty years. But it 


was perhaps of yet greater use from the power it gave 
him of presenting every subject in a way which was 
always effective, and not seldom, in the best sense of 
the word, enlightening. As his books and published 
sermons show, he had an infallible instinct for seizing 
exactly the points which were most certain to rouse the 
interest of his hearers, and combining them in the most 
vivid and attractive setting. He was a born orator. 
And the gift that made him so, though it may sometimes 
have carried him away, was a gift that any teacher 
might do well to covet. If it were a commoner posses 
sion than it is with teachers, there would be less igno 
rance and more keenness among their pupils. 

" But, after all, it would give a very false impression to 
speak merely of Farrar s intellectual qualities. They 
may have been the first things to strike one. They are 
bound to come first into one s mind, when one thinks 
of his influence as a teacher. But behind them all was 
a character of singular nobility ; transparently simple ; 
keenly sensitive; capable of strong indignation, but 
quick to forgive and forget, however just might be his 
ground of offence ; full of self-denial ; full also of kind 
ness and generosity toward others. 

"Perhaps his native kindness was never shown so 
strongly as when any of his pupils were in trouble or 
ill-health. He would come to sit with them; or which 
he knew would give yet greater pleasure would ask 
Mrs. Farrar to come in his stead. He would supply 
them with a mount from his own stable, and sometimes 
come himself for a gallop with them on the Downs. 
Even when work was most pressing, he would find time 
for genial services of this sort ; perching himself, stiff 
and stark, on the box of his carriage to correct proofs, 
while the invalid sat behind in state. There was a 


comic side to his appearance on these occasions, as he 
himself, in all probability, was well aware. But the 
kindness was none the worse for that. On the con 
trary, the recipient of it, if he had^any humour, was 
likely to be all the better pleased. 

" It was not in the nature of things that talents so brill 
iant should be allowed to remain for ever in the service 
of a school, not even if the school were Marlborough 
itself. In less than six years Dr. Farrar was called to 
Westminster. There he remained, one of the most 
powerful religious influences in London, till, some six 
years ago, he was appointed to the Deanery of Canter 
bury. It is a deep reproach to successive Ministers 
that he was never advanced further, to a bishopric. 
But there is a sense in which his pupils and all who 
love his memory may be proud of the slight. It was 
the price that he paid, and paid willingly, for his advo 
cacy of what he knew to be the truth." 

Another old Marlburian, C. L. Graves, writes : 

" Of the five and a half years your father was at 
Marlborough I spent four and a half under his headship 
and three and a quarter Easter 1872 to Midsummer 
1875 m the Sixth. In his youth he had known my 
mother s family in the Isle of Man, and was thus pre 
disposed to take a friendly interest in me, but I have no 
reason to suppose that the unfailing kindness I received 
at his hands was in any way exceptional. 

"As a teacher he was eminently stimulating. The 
actual number of hours spent in school by the Sixth 
especially by those who, like myself, were on obtaining 
the Responsions Certificate let off mathematics was 
few, but my impression is that Farrar was most success- 


ful in inducing us to work and read for ourselves out 
of school. 

" Lege, lege, aliqttid haerebit was his constant cry, and 
the appeal was not in vain. His lessons were always 
picturesque, notably those on history, which were 
enriched by anecdotes and quotations, largely from 
the poets, which he delivered almost invariably from 

" Toward his pupils his prevailing temper was one of 
geniality, though he would indulge in outbursts of indig 
nation at our Philistinism which at times bordered on 
the comic. Can any boy, I remember him once ask 
ing, tell me within five hundred years the date of Joan 
of Arc ? I will not say that he never lost his equa 
nimity, but he certainly often had great provocation. 
Some of the cleverest boys in the Sixth used to lay 
themselves out to play on his foibles and susceptibilities, 
yet I have good reason to believe that the most ingenious 
of his tormentors had all the while a warm feeling for 
the Head-master whose sense of propriety they would 
from time to time endeavour to disconcert. 

" As an instance of his magnanimity I may recall the 
following episode. It was the custom, and doubtless is 
still, that in competing for the school prizes the name of 
the competitor should be enclosed in a sealed envelope 
bearing a motto which was also written at the head of 
the exercise. The announcement was generally made 
in hall, when the Head-master broke the seal of the 
envelope containing the motto of the successful compet 
itor and gave out the winner s name. One year the 
subject of the English verse prize was The Death of 
Nelson ; and the strongest competitor chose as his 
motto, He s gone where the good niggers go, hoping 
that if he succeeded the Head-master would be obliged 


to read out the grotesque legend. I am sure many 
Head-masters in similar circumstances would have 
resented such a piece of impertinence, even to the 
extent of disqualifying the competitor at the outset. 
There was no doubt, however, as to the superiority of 
his poem, so Farrar awarded him the prize, contenting 
himself with merely announcing his name. 

" If Farrar never overworked his Sixth, he never spared 
himself. Of his extraordinary industry ample evidence 
will be found in other parts of this memoir. Yet he 
was the most accessible of Head-masters, always ready 
to give information or advice. His lessons were pre 
pared with the utmost care and an almost superfluous 
wealth of illustration. Indeed, he often tried to get too 
much into the hour, and as time ran short the lesson 
generally became a monologue. One of the trivial 
things that stick in my head in this connection is the 
way in which, when he was pressed for time, he used 
occasionally to misplace his words. My dear boy, 
I remember his once saying, appalled by a confession 
of unexpected ignorance, do you mean to say that you 
have never heard of the famous statue of Michael Angelo 
by Moses ? 

" Of the generous and gracious hospitality dispensed 
by Farrar and his wife at the Lodge, I have the most 
grateful and pleasant recollection. In hall, too, where 
he regularly dined with the Sixth, and often brought a 
guest, he was, for all his stately demeanour, the least 
formidable of companions, his invariable mode of 
address being, Come and talk to me, and amuse me, 
my dear boy. 

"Judged by the test of numbers, of games, and of 
scholarship, Farrar s head-mastership coincided with a 
period of great prosperity and efficiency at Marlboro ugh. 


The school was fuller than it had ever been before : in 
cricket it was the era of A. G. Steel : the Spencer cup 
and the Ashburton shield were won for the first time 
by Marlborough : while on the score of entrance scholar 
ships to the universities, and other distinctions, Marlbor 
ough stood in the front rank of the public schools. But 
that Farrar had his limitations as well as his fine quali 
ties as a Head-master it would be impossible to deny. 
To put it in an exaggerated way, he was incapable of 
inspiring terror ; underneath that impressive and stately 
exterior there was a very soft heart. His faults and 
foibles were essentially those of an ingenuous and affec 
tionate nature." 

My father did not impress all men, or all boys, alike. 
To deny that he had the defects of his qualities would 
be to give a false impression, and it cannot be gainsaid 
that there have always been some who, in spite of love 
and even reverence for him, were apt to be tickled by 
incongruities that arose at times from contact of the lofty 
and remote plane on which he lived and thought with 
the plane of commonplace realities. 

I give, therefore, some extracts from an article written 
in a vein of kindly cynicism, contributed to the Cornhill 
Magazine by one of his old pupils "J. D. R." 1 

There are spots in the sun, so we are told. I do 
not endorse all J. D. R. s criticisms, and whole-hearted 
admirers of my father may think that he has been over- 
keen to discern and expose his old Marten foibles, but, 
despite the pin-pricks, his essay is on the whole a tribute 
of genuine if somewhat critical appreciation : 

1 By kind permission of the Editor of the Cornhill Magazine. 


" The first characteristic of Farrar old habit makes 
me drop the Dean which struck the average school 
boy was his grandeur of manner. I have been told that 
those who first met F. D. Maurice face to face were 
similarly struck. 

" Aristotle s description of the external marks of the 
grand man suited Farrar exactly. His gait is slow, his 
voice deep, and he speaks (like heroic verse) in meas 
ured cadence. And this grand manner clung to him 
inalienably, came from or passed into his very soul, I 
hardly know which. At all events, it revealed the man s 
inmost literary bent. What was most genuine in his 
literary tastes impelled him toward grandeur. Bias 
toward the big was an instinct with him. Nothing was 
more inevitable than that he should prefer Milton be 
fore all other poets and Milton before all other prose 
writers. Probably he is the only nineteenth century man 
of letters of whom it could be said that his character 
was steeped and saturated in Milton. Admiration for 
Milton in the sense in which Farrar admired Milton 
exists no longer, if it ever existed. Some attraction or 
affinity drove him toward whatever looked large and 
splendid, away from what looked little and sordid. That 
was why he preferred the desolate unearthly glory of 
Milton to the glorious humanity of Shakespeare. In 
deed, I think that he liked Milton the more, because 
Milton is remote from humanity, shrinks from contact 
with its coarser manifestations, and lets us too easily 
forget the facts of actual life. Probably, after Milton, 
^Eschylus came next in his heart of hearts : and his 
sympathy was intense with that conception of the awful- 
ness of fate which pervades the great epic and dramatic 
writings of every age. His sympathy was intense, and 


it was also discerning ; and he used to illustrate it with 
unerring felicity by such and such an adjective in the 
suitors scene of the Odyssey, such and such a turn in 
the plot of Macbeth, such and such sentences in Sopho 
cles, or even by a well-known passage from Shelley, 
and a little-known passage from Froude. When the 
Erinyes darkened the air, Farrar was in his element. 
Now Farrar was essentially a worshipper of poets and 
the like ; and I thought then, and still think, that these 
literary tastes formed the inmost fibre of the man, and 
therefore of the schoolmaster. And this semblance of 
grandeur cast on everything which he said and did some 
times some shadow of itself, sometimes some shadow of 
its opposite, but more usually an intermixture of serious 
and farcical which used to strike us as so whimsical that 
we could not laugh at it, we could only quote it. 

" I can certainly remember one occasion on which he 
conveyed to me a sense of pure unadulterated grandeur. 
It was one Sunday evening when he read in chapel the 
chapter in Job about the horse, with a classic repose 
and a rich resonance of voice, the like of which I have 
never heard since. His voice was not suited to decla 
mation, or emotion, or variety of intonation ; but if only 
the speaker could keep quite calm and speak or read 
something which really suited it, it was matchless, and 
Job and Isaiah suited it. His reading of Job and Isaiah 
has produced on me the effect of some great but severe 
piece of music which bears being played monotonously 
say, some fugue of Bach performed on a perfect 



" As I have said, under certain conditions and for cer 
tain purposes, his voice could produce unrivalled legato 


effects with the ease and certainty of some old Italian 
violoncello. Now, his voice was always with him ; and 
is it to be supposed that this was the only occasion on 
which it did justice to itself? that Milton, ^Eschylus, 
and those passages from Shakespeare, Sophocles, and 
the Odyssey which appealed most to him did not also 
elicit the same nobility of tone ? Over and over again 
while teaching us he spoke and read big things well and 
without effort ; and whenever he did so, he did so un 
affectedly and majestically. The best, perhaps the only, 
philosophic scrap which I picked up from his table was 
a lucid exposition of Coleridge s distinction between the 
imagination and fancy. But I am much more grateful 
to him for the way in which he made me feel in my 
marrow and my bones some far-off inkling of the imag 
inative power which possessed Milton and ^Eschylus, 
and inspired one side of Homer s, Sophocles , and 
Shakespeare s genius. 

" Farrar s industry was positively tireless, and the more 
so because he did nothing by deputy. He was like 
perpetual motion or radium. The man who was form 
master and transacted all the business of Head-master of 
a great public school, preached hundreds of sermons, and 
crammed his Life of Christ with references to scholars, 
pedants, poets, and saints during those five brief years, 
1871 to 1876, lived a crowded life. And he seemed to 
have thought or hoped that his pupils would prove 
equally energetic. So one afternoon he took some 
friends on a surprise visit to some Sixth-form studies in 
A house, thinking or hoping to find its occupants 
like Charity Pecksniff at work. O sancta simplicitas! 
The industrious apprentices were caught red-handed in 
the very act of enjoying a brew, or ought I not to 
write brown-handed? For in those days a brew con- 


sisted of cocoa and roast potatoes. At the next lesson 
Farrar began to narrate the story of his disillusion in low, 
mourning voice thus : I confidently expected to be 
able to point with pride to my sixth-form boys absorbed 
and immersed in study of some Attic masterpiece 

" Presenting Thebes, or Pelops line, 
Or the tale of Troy divine. 

Then, gradually raising his voice, he continued : But 
what was my indignation, vexation, and shame when I 
discovered them greedily engaged in ravenously devour 
ing the semese fragments of a barbaric repast, and 
those last six words, uttered fortissimo with intense 
vigour, launched him on a speech whose sesquipe 
dalian grandiloquence Dr. Middleton might have envied. 
Indeed, for full five minutes he was like a bitten dic 
tionary, and at the end of it his good humour was 
quite restored. Our first impression was, how odd it 
was that he should have felt disappointed ! Our second, 
Could he really expect to crush cocoa and roast pota 
toes with those furious blows of his Nasmyth hammer ? 
Our third, What Gargantuan humour ! What fresh, 
fluent, and spontaneous rhetoric ! How purposeless it 
seemed when levelled against our cocoa and roast po 
tatoes ! How effective it has proved against his dumps ! 
True, it was at first unconscious, then semi-conscious, 
and only at last (if then) wholly conscious ; but this 
only made the humour more humorous. Such outbursts 
as these made our school life lively. 


" I have referred to his all-devouring industry. That 

in itself was stimulating and inspiring. Moreover, he 

had a fine memory and a sense of the picturesque which 

fed largely on literary histories, and which invested our 


studies of Guizot, Duruy, Sismondi, and Michelet with an 
unique charm and fascination. Yet how incredible the 
advice sounded which he used to impart to all and 
sundry, students and athletes, dull and clever, when he 
said good-bye to them for the holidays : My dear boys, 
if you will take down from your shelves and read during 
the holidays some good books like Gibbon s " Rome," 
Milman s " Latin Christianity," Grote s " Greece," or 
Mommsen s " Rome," it will be so much clear gain. 
I can still remember the innocent assurance with which 
he hurled forty-one volumes at our devoted heads, and 
his curious emphasis on the last four monosyllables still 
rings in my ears. We could not help remembering it, 
if for no other reason, for the reason that it seemed 
absurd ; and, we said, There is not much light in it, 
and we smiled ; then we thought over it again, and said, 
There is, after all, some true fire in it, and we went 
away and worked. It is possible that our Head-master 
sent toddlers on the tramp before they could walk : but 
not all the sensible, prompt, and decisive persons in the 
world will ever persuade me that zeal has not something 
to do with knowledge. And, assuredly, Farrar was a 
whole-hearted, infectious, proselytising zealot. 

"Perhaps Farrar s influence as a zealot for belles 
lettres was increased by the sense we always had that 
he formed part of that literary world to which he was 
so passionately devoted. We did not derive that 
sense from the oddity with which he invariably re 
ferred to Ruskin, Stanley, Browning, Tennyson, M. 
Arnold and others as his eminent friends an oddity 
to which it would require Dickens s pen to do justice 
far less from his literary ventures : but partly from the 
fact that it was true that they were his friends, and 
partly from the fact that when at his best and simplest 



he was himself a distinguished man and seemed, as I 
have said, at home with big things ; and partly from the 
quiet way in which he would now and then repeat some 
familiar talk with one of that glorious company, say, 
with Browning or Tennyson. Thus he would tell us how 
Browning told him how the famous ride from Ghent to Aix 
had set pedants diving into old books, but that it really 
took place in the nineteenth century in a yacht on the 
Mediterranean. And I remember the following conver 
sation early in 1875 : Dr. F. : I have just been staying 
with Tennyson, who read me his new poem. It is a com 
pletely new departure. Precocious Boy : Then it is 
a drama. Dr. F., with withering contempt : My dear 
boy! do you really think that I am a little child with 
whom you can play at guessing ? And the P. B. 
was baffled. A few months later Queen Mary was 
published. Farrar s nearness to these kings of dream 
land invested them and the dreams which were their 
subjects with a reality which helped us to understand 

" As a disciplinarian he was unconventional, to say the 
least. He did not take a drill-sergeant view of his pro 
fession. He gave us great liberty, rode with a very loose 
rein, and trusted to our moral force instead of to his own 
vigilance. However, he proclaimed all his own weak 
points from the house-top ; thus, his rooted belief that 
he knew boys whom he did not know led him into many 
blunders, for which, however, his evidently kindly mean 
ing easily atoned ; and the too great care with which 
he took offence, and then forgave, looked like want of 
judgment, but was partly due to the unsuspecting sincer 
ity which made him utter everything that was passing 
through his mind. He made up for want of firmness by 
excess of kindness. Indeed, as a form master he would 


have been defenceless against his pupils, if his pupils had 
been against him. 

" Farrar s stateliness invariably brought his blunders 
into unfair relief; his unfailing earnestness, candour, 
and kindness invariably corrected the effects which his 
blunders might have otherwise produced. We regarded 
his great qualities with admiration and his failings with 

" I remember the shock which the contrast between 
Bradley and Farrar produced on veteran pupils of Brad 
ley. One of them, indeed, who was neither a scoffer nor 
a Philistine, wrote to his late Head-master on a post-card, 
in the days when post-cards were the last new thing : 

" Dear Dr. Bradley, 
We miss you sadly ; 
And wish Dr. Farra 
Would go back to Harra 1 . 

" Other veterans carped worse even than this bad boy 
cackled; and predicted a plentiful crop of milksops, ped 
ants, prigs, and sciolists on the one hand, and, on the other 
hand, of untamed rebels marching under the banner of 
inculta rusticitas. But I have no patience with those 
who expect any class of people to conform to a given 
type. One good custom can corrupt the world : and an 
able man who means well and is true to himself can 
break the best rules. Besides, facts are on the side of 
Farrar s efficiency as a Head-master. It was just after 
the great fever. Parents wrote by every post withdraw 
ing their sons names from the doomed school. The 
bursar s books were all but a blank. The school was 
threatened with extinction. Then Farrar came, and the 
tide turned. He raised the school out of the slough of 


despond. During the five years that followed, the for 
tunes of the school were restored, and boys who were 
immediately under him won as high and as many hon 
ours as those won in Bradley s five best years, though 
the credit for that feat was doubtless partly due to 
other masters, or possibly even to the boys themselves. 
Indeed, it is impossible to see who could have done 
better for Marlborough than Farrar. He was the very 
man for the post at that time. The moment required a 
head-master with a reputation and a personality, with un 
sparing energy and unflagging enthusiasm : and Farrar 
fulfilled these requirements. 

" He was as unlike in nature to the typical schoolboy 
as it was possible to be. None could have ever called 
him jolly or old fellow. He was not adamantine and 
Rhadamanthine like Temple. He was not sunny, sen 
sible, and wide-awake like Bradley. He was sui generis. 
At first sight he seemed all stateliness and austerity; 
cold, splendid, one-sided, unattainable : resembling what 
he used to call that burnt-out old cinder, the moon. 
The last sight of him revealed only an excess of sincerity, 
sensitiveness, candour, and kindliness. Would that 
Aristotle or some one else had invented some word for 
this particular excess ! He was transparency itself. 
The first quality set off and ennobled the very rare and 
high enthusiasm which was his most valuable teaching 
asset ; it also accounted for some of his faults and ac 
centuated all his faults as a schoolmaster. The last 
quality the glass-house in which he lived accounted 
for his other faults and saved him from the effects 
of all his faults as a schoolmaster. So singular a 
character was likely to be misunderstood by geese and 
carps who are guided by superficial impressions ; nor 
was it likely to show much knowledge of the characters 


of others ; but it appealed irresistibly either to the imagi 
nation or to sympathy, and that did almost if not quite 
as well. I have known some half-dozen other head-mas 
ters, and have often discussed all of them with their 
pupils for I fear that I was ever a gossip but I 
adhere to my belief that Farrar was the most interesting 
of the lot. 

" So at least this fine man s virtues and frailties appeared 
to me a generation ago, when I was a dreamy, short 
sighted, half-baked schoolboy, with but little knowledge 
of character and but little sense of proportion ; and as 
I now diffidently raise the curtain on some few almost 
forgotten scenes of private experiences in a public 
school, I only hope that in doing so I have offended 
none, either by my incapacity or by my mistakes, either 
by my stinted praise or mild criticism, because, as Dante 
said of his old schoolmaster, 

" Che in la mente m e fitta ed or m 1 accuora 
La cara e buona imagine paterna 
Di voi quando nel mondo ad ora ad ora 
M insegnavata come 1 uom s eterna." 

The following sketch, by my sister Mrs. Thomas, of 
my father in his home life, before marriage and profes 
sional duties had more or less scattered the circle of 
children, seems to belong rather to Marlborough than 
to Westminster days, and is therefore inserted here : 

" In looking back on childhood, it is difficult to analyze 
the working of a father s influence on the home. That 
of a mother is all-pervading. She is constantly with her 
children, her love and tender care surround them, and 
to her they naturally turn for every detail of family life, 
while as a rule the father has more power, but less 
opportunity, more authority and less intercourse. Yet 


it is undoubtedly the fact that a good father more 
even than a mother forms the character of the home. 
The mother carries out his plans, softens, beautifies his 
designs, completes the whole building, but the master- 
hand is the father s. 

" In the case of my father, though we only saw him, as 
a rule, in the brief intervals of his incessant work, I do 
not hesitate to say that his influence was the under 
current of our lives, and that from him we learnt high, 
strong lessons of self-denial, self-control, self-culture, 
and above all self -surrender to God. He left us a heri 
tage of good, for which we and our children after us 
may well be called to give account. A man of few 
words, with scarcely any aptitude for ordinary chit-chat, 
a remark from him came with more than ordinary 
weight, and a conversation with him taught and sug 
gested more than school books could do. It gave us a 
consciousness of worlds beyond our petty ken ; it opened 
glimpses of literature and art ; it awoke the possibility 
of travelling for ourselves in those regions of knowledge 
and research which his own steps trod so unweariedly. 
Our petty ideals fell away before his lofty standard of 
right and high endeavour, and yet with him it was 
always Go and do thou likewise, so that we were 
borne along the wave of his enthusiasm, not drowned 
by its volume. He never quenched our small aspira 
tions but listened kindly to the crudest opinion so long 
as conceit was not mixed up with it. This was one 
secret of his influence over children and young people. 
Even the hobbledehoy stage learnt self-respect under 
the courteous sympathy that encouraged their efforts. 
Teach thy tongue to say, I do not know, he once 
remarked with a kindly smile to a blushing, awkward 
child, overwhelmed with shame at being unable to 


answer a question put to her at the luncheon-table ; only 
that yet the smile and aptly quoted proverb relieved 
the shame of self-conscious youth and put in its stead 
desire to clear the reproach of ignorance by effort at 

" I never remember my father giving us a set lesson ; 
he taught us more by apposite suggestion, by allusions 
to books or events, by anecdote or illustration, especially 
he taught by his own appreciation of the good and great, 
making us see for ourselves what was worth learning. 
I might mention many instances of this. An episode of 
Francis d Assisi s life told in a sermon, and in reply 
to our questions a few glowing words on the saint, with 
you should read it for yourself, and the volume is 
handed over as is anything that we ask for from his 
study. (Read it we did, and many another book the 
same way.) A walk among the cornfields on a doubtful 
summer afternoon while waves of shadow went over 
the wheat ; and after his quotation, I think more than 
one of us went home resolved to get Tennyson s ex 
quisite song by heart. A story from the Idylls of the 
King, and soon Arthur and his Table Round becomes 
one of our household plays. 

" Or we watch his face quivering with enthusiasm while 
we listen to his generous eulogy of a great or noble 
deed, and feel how awful goodness is and see virtue in 
her shape how lovely. Again we catch his burning 
words of scorn or hatred of wrong and oppression, mean 
ness or cruelty, and we too learn to hate what is base. 

" My father rarely spoke directly on religious matters 
in the family circle, but we instinctively knew that he 
lived for God and His service. He showed us the beauty 
of religion in his life. 

" He was a man of fastidious refinement and delicacy 


of feeling, reserved almost to pride, austere, even stern, 
at times. Coupled with this, however, were great ten 
derness and much quiet humour. He could not bear to 
see his children in pain or grief he loved to give them 
pleasure ; and though he seldom caressed us, we never 
doubted his warm family affection. Which of us, for 
example, can forget the long illness and temporary 
blindness of a tiny brother, and our father s solicitude 
then ? 

" As to humour, he appreciated it fully in others if not 
witty himself. I am tired, talk to me and amuse me, 
he would say to his children, or to boys at the sixth- 
form dining-table, and would then lean back in his 
chair, enjoying their chatter, after a time perhaps rous 
ing himself to join in as eagerly as they. Many a time 
did his hearty, infectious laughter break out in recount 
ing some tale, or his eye light up with quiet glee in 
exchanging repartees with friends. Little oft-repeated 
family jokes inspired by him have now been invested 
with almost sacred remembrance, too dear for repetition 
in these pages. His playful tilts at ignorance or awk 
wardness may be mentioned as instancing his power 
of dealing with the young satire without a sting, be 
cause of the genial smile and kindly inflection that 
accompanied them. Grotesque idiot, Antedilu 
vian megatherium, Have you ever heard of an 
obscure person named William Shakespeare, are among 
these. We think of them now with that laughter which 
is akin to tears. 

" Love of the beautiful was strongly marked in my 
father. The wide stretches of green down, with the 
strong, sweet air fanning his bare brow; the stately 
beech avenue, and sunflecked glades of forest bracken ; 
the hosts of golden daffodils ; the fragrant carpets 


of bluebells ; the banks of pale, tender primroses ; 
the patches of frail, rose-stained anemones in the 
copses, all these were positive joy to him. His face 
would light up with rare pleasure, as he gazed over the 
rolling foam, or marked the quiet splash of the rippling 
tide, and drank in large draughts of sea-breezes while 
pacing up and down the smooth, yellow sands. The 
spirit of Heber s lines seemed ever in his thoughts. 

" O God, O good beyond compare, 
If thus Thy meaner works are fair, . . . 
How glorious must the mansions be, 
Where Thy redeemed shall dwell with Thee. 

I quoted these lines to him not long before his death, 
and he seemed to listen with pleasure. Beauty in art, 
too, was a source of great delight, a delight which he 
tried to transmit to others. He used to say that good 
art was an important factor in education, and he carried 
out his theory by covering the walls of every room in the 
house with pictures suggestive of the sacred and lovely, 
either copies or originals. His explanations of pictures 
and the graphic way in which he would point out their 
beauties were lessons in themselves. He could never see 
a treasure in art, beautiful either from rich colour or grace 
ful form, whether picture, vase, or figure, without wish 
ing to possess himself of it. This was his one form of 
self-indulgence, and it was a happy one, for our home 
became, in time, a museum of lovely objects. 

" It was a dear home, that in Marlborough, and our 
thoughts must often revert to it with fond regret. We 
remember the large, sunny garden, with its terraces 
ending in the field, its clump of shady trees, and the 
river below. But I can best describe it in his own 
words : 


" The river valley with its towers and trees ; the 
forest with its mossy glades and primroses and waving 
boughs ; the west woods with their wild anemones and 
daffodils ; the free, fresh downs with the winds of heaven 
that breathe health over them ; the natural amphitheatre 
of Martinsell, and the glorious expanse on which I had 
gazed so often from its green and breezy summit ; and 
more than these, the nearer scenes so bright with their 
thousand imperishable memories ; the terrace, the mound, 
the cricket field, the wilderness, the roofs of the old 
house rising over the clipped yews and between the 
groups of noble limes. And often, as on these gorgeous 
summer evenings, the sunsets have rolled over us in 
their countless waves of crimson fire, I have sat in my 
own garden amid the woodland sights and sounds the 
peace, the coolness, and the song of birds, the quiet 
lapse of the river heard in the stillness, the air full of 
the odours of rose and jasmine, and then heard the 
chapel bell breaking the stillness, and passed through 
the court with its groups of happy boys, and so into the 
beautiful reverence of this dear House of God I have 
thought that not often has our Heavenly Father given 
better elements of happiness to you and to me. 

" My father sympathised in our love of pets. There 
was the innocent-faced donkey, Blacknose, who every 
day might be seen plodding steadily along the lanes 
with the scarlet-capped babies in panniers on each side, 
and a vigorous little fellow astride his back. There 
were the white pigeons with rosy feet who came to our 
nursery windows to feed from our hands, the sea-gulls 
brought from Swanage Bay, the numerous families of 
rabbits and the tame fawn that ran races with us on the 
terrace and which we fed with milk from a bottle. Mar 
tins built in the shady schoolroom porch, and he with 


us loved to watch the tiny mother darting in and out to 
feed her nestlings and see the fledglings perched on the 
ledge ready for their first flight. 

"Opposite our house was the sick house, where my 
mother daily cheered the invalids with her sweet face 
and words. Convalescent boys would be given the run 
of our garden, and were taken for drives by my father 
himself he as often as not perched on the box, cor 
recting papers, with his guest on the carriage seat. 
We have spoken elsewhere of his love for boys, and I 
can only recall here the way he would pace up and 
down his garden, with his arm on a boy s shoulder, or 
sit with him on the lawn correcting his prose. Per 
haps the happiest times in our young lives were when 
starting out in brakes and carriages, crowded with happy 
boys, to picnics to Martinsell or the forest, and on these 
occasions my father was not the least happy of the 

" We left Marlborough with singular regret, and to my 
father the pang of leaving his beloved school and peace 
ful country scenes for the squalor of London life was 
never quite got over. I remember the melancholy 
journey to London and how one of the party was unable 
to restrain her tears at the last glimpse of well-known 
landmarks. My father, putting aside his own regret, 
said tenderly, Never mind you will come back to 
Marlborough one day. It was a curious coincidence 
that the child to whom he spoke was the only one who 
did come back to make a new home in Marlborough. 

" Our life in Westminster was very different and we 
greatly missed our freedom and country pleasures ; my 
father never could get reconciled to the comparatively 
noisy and sordid surroundings of our new home. Also 
the gloom, grime, and hideous eighteenth century deco- 


rations of St. Margaret s church filled him with pain. 
He used with pathetic humour to groan over the big iron 
stove in the south aisle where a certain disreputable- 
looking man took his seat on Sunday evenings ; the 
fat and frowsy pew-opener ; the false apse, painted blue 
with yellow stars; the huge galleries like the reced 
ing forehead of a gorilla, as he used to say. But he 
bravely and cheerfully made the best of it. The church 
after stupendous efforts was restored and beautified. 
The graceful arches and historical interest of West 
minster Abbey partly made up for his lost country 
duties. St. James s Park, where he would take us to 
feed the water-fowls, was a pleasure, also the old college 
garden in which we children spent the summer evenings 
in merry games. 

" What helped most to cheer and brighten my father 
in those early Westminster years was the society of 
The Curates, who, young, ardent, bright, and intel 
lectual, gave an atmosphere of cheerful vigour to the 
house, and lightened many an hour of anxiety and de 
pression. Chief among those he reckoned the two who 
afterward became members of our family and of whom 
it is not necessary to speak here ; but I cannot pass 
over the Sunday evenings when parents, children, and 
curates gathered in a circle after supper, when talk 
literary, witty, or serious went on, led by my father, 
who on these occasions seemed to open the treasures 
of his learning and experience for our benefit. When 
it grew late he would rise with the stereotyped joke, 
Your mother wants to go to bed, and so disperse 
the reluctant company. 

"The restrictions of London life were broken annually 
by our visits to the seaside, holidays looked forward to 
by my father with as much eagerness as by his children. 


Even at the seaside he allowed himself no real holiday, 
for, with the exception of two daily walks, he sat at his 
books from morning till night, content if from his open 
window he could catch the breeze and see the blue 
expanse of ocean. Here his marvellous powers of con 
centration came in. As a rule we had only one sitting 
room, beside that appropriated to the babies, so that he 
was seldom alone. Yet he did his writing all day at 
the window table, not only undisturbed by games, read 
ing aloud, or chatter, but ever ready to turn round with 
an observation on the subject of discussion. I may safely 
say that never do I remember his showing irritation at 
having to write under circumstances that would deprive 
most authors of power to compose. Rather do I think 
that his work was aided and not hindered by the atmos 
phere of simple, domestic joys which surrounded him 
in our holidays. One or more of us were his compan 
ions in his daily walk, walks when he would repeat 
and make us repeat poetry. Then, too, he would search 
with us for wild flowers and talk of their properties or 

" Others have written of his parish work in London, 
so I will only speak here of the large circle of friends, 
men or women of fame and power who added greatly 
to the interest of our lives. Such names as Tenny 
son, Browning, Matthew Arnold, Millais, Frith, Hoi- 
man Hunt, Jean Ingelow, Tom Hughes, and perhaps 
first in friendship among ecclesiastics, the beloved Dean 
Stanley, are typical of the society in which my father 

" Above all, we had the happiness of living for many 
years, with few separations, since the school or profes 
sion of most of us lay at one time in London, and the 
only thing which troubled my father s pleasure in having 


his children round him was his anxiety to see them 
all well started in life, ambition for them being among 
his few weaknesses if weakness it may be called. 

" Of the large family party who lived in those happy 
homes of Marlborough and Westminster, 

" All are scattered now and fled, 
Some are married, some are dead, 

And he who was to them as father, priest, and friend 
sleeps under the gray cathedral wall of his last home." 


IN 1874 was published the "Life of Christ," the 
magnum opus by which my father s name is best known 
to the world. The Preface is dated from The Lodge, 
Marlborough College, Monday before Easter, 1874. 

The work was undertaken at the request of the 
publishers, who " wished to place in the hands of their 
readers such a sketch of the Life of Christ on earth 
as should enable them to realise it more clearly and 
to enter more thoroughly into the details and sequence 
of the Gospel narratives." 

It would be foreign to my purpose, even were I com 
petent to the task, to attempt a detailed appreciation 
of the book, which will, besides, be more or less familiar 
to any who are sufficiently interested in my father to 
read his Life, but a work so important demands some 
thing more than a passing notice. 

The author says in his Preface : " After I had in 
some small measure prepared myself for the task, I 
seized, in the year 1870, the earliest possible oppor 
tunity to visit Palestine, and especially those parts of it 
which will be for ever identified with the work of Christ 
on Earth. Amid those scenes wherein He moved 

in the 

" Holy fields 

Over whose acres walked those blessed feet 
Which, eighteen hundred years ago, were nailed, 
For our advantage, on the bitter cross 


in the midst of those immemorial customs which re 
called at every turn the manner of life He lived, at 
Jerusalem, on the Mount of Olives, at Bethlehem, by 
Jacob s Well, in the Valley of Nazareth, along the 
bright strand of the Sea of Galilee, and in the coasts 
of Tyre and Sidon many things came home to me 
for the first time, with a reality and vividness unknown 
before. I returned more than ever confirmed in the 
wish to tell the full story of the Gospels in such a 
manner and with such illustrations as with the aid 
of all that was within my reach of that knowledge 
which has been accumulating for centuries might 
serve to enable at least the simple and the unlearned 
to understand and enter into the human surroundings 
of the life of the Son of God." . . . 

" If," he continues, "the following pages in any meas 
ure fulfil the object with which such a Life ought to 
be written, they should fill the minds of those who read 
them with solemn and not ignoble thoughts ; they should 
add sunlight to daylight by making the happy happier ; 
they should encourage the toiler ; they should console 
the sorrowful ; they should point the weak to the one 
true source of moral strength. But whether the book 
be thus blest to high ends, or whether it be received 
with harshness and indifference, nothing at least can 
rob me of the deep and constant happiness which I 
have felt during almost every hour that has been spent 
upon it." 

This journey was undertaken in company with his 
friends Walter Leaf, a beloved Harrow pupil, and the 
late William Ingelow, the witty and genial brother of 
the poetess. Readers of the book will appreciate how 
much it has gained from the knowledge of local colour 
which the author was thus enabled to acquire. 


The Hulsean Lectures of 1870 on "The Witness of 
History to Christ," had to some extent prepared and 
qualified him for the work, but can only be regarded 
as preliminary studies. 

The " Life of Christ " is generally spoken of, and 
often by ignorant critics with a sneer, as " popular," and 
popular it certainly is in the sense that it is avowedly 
written in the service of the simple and the unlearned, 
popular too in the sense that it is understood of the 
people, and has brought the Light of the Gospel to 
thousands to whom the books of theologians accounted 
more learned and profound are sealed. But if " popu 
lar " be held to connote " superficial," no epithet could 
be more misapplied. Whatever defects the Life of 
Christ may be thought to have, and it has been freely 
criticised, that it is a monument of learning and re 
search can only be denied by those who have never read 
the book. The list of authorities, giving the catalogue 
of books and editions frequently referred to in the Life, 
is alone sufficient to vindicate the deep learning of the 
author, and on almost every page will be found evi 
dence of the minute and laborious pains he took to 
illustrate and elucidate every incident, and even every 
phrase of the Gospel Narratives. 

In judging Farrar s work, and this is true not only of 
the " Life of Christ," but of all his books, it must not 
be forgotten that there are two orders of scholars, the 
" intensive " and the " extensive " school, both necessary 
to the world those whose function is original re 
search, and those whose function it is to interpret and 
make available the labours of the former class, whose 
work would otherwise remain buried under its own 
weight. And it was to this latter class that my father 
unquestionably belonged. He laboured in the fields of 


Philology, Theology, and History ; but, wide as was his 
learning, it cannot be claimed for him that either as 
a philologist, as a theologian, or as a historian he un 
earthed new treasures of knowledge by original re 
search. But it is true of him, as has been said, that 
"as a writer he came into the market-place with the 
treasures of Biblical and historical learning and put 
them at the service of the simple " ; and not of the 
simple only, for though some few may have been his 
masters in depth, very few were his equals in width of 
learning, and even of professed English theologians 
there are but few, from Lightfoot downwards, who 
would not gratefully acknowledge their indebtedness to 
Farrar. Indeed my father had no warmer admirers 
than those great theologians Lightfoot and Westcott, 
with whom he is sometimes invidiously contrasted. 
For instance, though a Hebrew scholar, he was not a 
profound Hebraist ; but he was the first great literary 
churchman of his day to appreciate and make effective 
use of the body of Talmudic learning made available 
by German scholars. 

In regard to the style in which the " Life of Christ " 
is written, the terms " florid " and " exuberant " have 
been reiterated ad nauseam by every journalist, and it 
is true, as has been expressed by one of the kindliest 
of his critics, and not all were kindly, that " in matters 
of composition his intellectual method was of the Corin 
thian rather than the Ionic or Doric order " ; but the 
same critic goes on to say, " If the faults of Dr. Farrar s 
mental temperament, in his love of gorgeous phrase and 
encrusted epithets, are to be plainly discerned in these 
pages, it does but render them like a missal which has 
been a little overgilded and painted, the book itself 
being a noble and precious product of English theo- 


logical learning, and an enduring witness in every line 
to the piety, the lofty faith, and the conscientious accu 
racy of the author." To the question of style I shall 
recur in connection with my father as a preacher. 

It must not be forgotten that this gigantic task, which 
would have been a notable achievement as the outcome 
of years of lettered leisure devoted to no other object, 
was with my father a vrapepyov, accomplished in the 
spare hours of a busy schoolmaster s life, between the 
years 1870 and 1874. Engaged often in teaching and 
other routine magisterial duties from seven o clock in 
the morning till nine o clock at night, with many letters 
to write and frequent sermons to prepare, " months," 
he says, " have often passed without my finding time to 
write a single line ; yet, even in the midst of incessant 
labour at other things, nothing forbade that the subject 
on which I was engaged should be often in my thoughts, 
or that I should find in it a source of peace and happi 
ness different alike in kind and in degree from any 
which other interests could either give or take away." 
But leisure, with him, meant ever change of occupation, 
not smoking, or chatting, or a game of whist ; and after 
a hard day s work in school his steady lamp would burn 
far into the night ; while he valued his holidays chiefly 
for the privilege they gave him of working thirteen 
hours a day at his beloved book. Which of his chil 
dren does not remember the ponderous and solidly 
constructed "book-box," with its fifteen cubic feet of 
formidable tomes, mostly German theology, the working- 
tools of my father s literary craft, which accompanied 
the family to the seaside on every successive summer 
holiday ? 

And he reaped from the " Life of Christ " a rich 
reward in the suffrages of the simple and unlearned 


for whom the book was written. Though financially 
the profits of the author were scanty indeed in propor 
tion to the commercial success of the book, for it was 
not published upon the "royalty" system (and indeed 
my father sometimes felt that his work had deserved 
more generous treatment at the hands of his publishers); 
the demand for the book was enormous. Twelve editions, 
at the rate of one a month, were exhausted in the first 
year of its publication. Since its first appearance the 
work has gone through thirty editions in England alone, 
has been " pirated " in America, and has been translated 
into almost every European language, including two 
independent translations into Russian, and even into 

But more, even, than the evidence of success derived 
from sales, the author valued the testimony of hundreds 
who, year by year, and from all parts of the world, con 
tinued to write to him, acknowledging their deep spiritual 
indebtedness to this and other works of his. The joy of 
feeling that he had been, under God, the humble instru 
ment of turning many to righteousness was a reward 
which no bitterness of criticism could take from him. 

The " Life of Christ " may be regarded as the first of 
a trilogy, dealing with the foundations of the Christian 
faith, being followed in 1879 by the " Life of St. Paul " 
(which is considered by many judges as of greater 
theological value, if of less popular interest, than the 
"Life of Christ"), and in 1882 by the "Early Days 
of Christianity." 

He continued to make further studies in the Life of 
Christ, publishing in 1894 the beautiful " Life of Christ 
as represented in Art"; and finally, in 1900, from the 
Deanery, Canterbury, his last important work, " The 
Life of Lives," written when the atrophy, which finally 



compelled him to abandon all literary work, had begun 
already to fasten on that right hand which had toiled so 
long in the service of mankind. The " Life of Lives " 
is dedicated 


Dilectissimae et Fidelissimse 

Laborum, Felicitatis, Dolorum 

Per XL Annos Participi 

Hunc Librum 


Fredericus Gulielmus Farrar 

In his Preface the author sent it forth "with the 
humble petition offered, with bent head and beseeching 
hand, that He who deigned to bless my former efforts, 
will bless this effort also, to the furtherance of His King 
dom, and the good of His Church." 

Had this beautiful book, so full of pathetic interest 
for those who love the author, been confined merely to 
the first and last chapters, in which he employs all the 
resources of his wide knowledge of history and litera 
ture, and all the fervour of his intense conviction, to 
bring home to the hearts of his readers the compelling 
force of the life, teaching, and example of Christ Jesus, 
it would have been a profoundly valuable contribution 
to the cause of Christianity ; and comparing the " Life 
of Lives " with the earlier " Life of Christ " we recog 
nise that age, without dimming the learning of the 
divine, had brought with it added depth of spiritual 

The following letter from Professor Margoliouth, the 
great Hebrew scholar, illustrates the value attached by 
a man of profound learning to " The Life and Work of 
St. Paul " : 



" DEAR SIR : Utter stranger as I am to you, yet I can 
not resist the strong desire which took possession of my 
mind, and heart, too, to write a few lines to you. 

" I have now read and re-read, attentively and criti 
cally, your great opus, The Life and Work of St. Paul. 
I have the courage of my conviction to pronounce it the 
greatest useful practical work that the Church of Eng 
land has produced since the Reformation. 

"The two volumes, indeed, contain certain opinions 
and sentiments, criticisms and exegeses, quotations and 
renderings of the same which I cannot possibly acquiesce 
in. But the difference in our respective readings, con- 
struings, and applications of some passages in Hebrew, 
Greek, Latin, German, etc., does not alter my matured 
judgment of the importance of your last two volumes 
to the Church of Christ. 

"The reason for my presuming to write all this to 
you is a patriotic one. I am anxious to give expression 
to a thought which haunted me whilst I read and re-read 
The Life and Work of St. Paul. The thought was, 
and is, this : If the two volumes were but somewhat, not 
too much, condensed and then rendered into Hebrew, 
the work might prove the most effective preparer and 
maker-ready of the way for turning the hearts of the 
disobedient and unbelieving Jews to the wisdom of the 
Just One. Far more so than the numerous tracts pub 
lished and circulated by certain missionary associations. 

" I am, dear sir, 

" Yours faithfully, 




Two other books, " Darkness and Dawn," a tale of 
Nero s days, and " Gathering Clouds," a tale of the days 
of Chrysostom, dealing with the period of degeneration 
which set in with the fourth century, when the faith lost 
its first ideals, though in form works of fiction, treat of 
the history of the Early Church and may be regarded 
as continuing the same series which was further carried 
out in " Lives of the Fathers." 

The works forming the " Trilogy" reveal the author s 
profound and intimate knowledge of theological scholar 
ship ; these later books and his " Lives of the Fathers " 
exhibit a knowledge not less profound and intimate of 
the history of the early Christian centuries. In " Dark 
ness and Dawn" and " Gathering Clouds" the manner 
in which history is interwoven with fiction, like threads 
in the texture of " shot " silk, affords an excellent exam 
ple of the method in which Sir Walter Scott was so 
successful ; indeed, in reading them we are irresistibly 
reminded of that author. We are equally fascinated by 
the flowing grace of the style, the charm and interest 
of the narrative, and the marvellous historical lessons 
which it conveys. 

I may give some idea of their scope by a citation from 
the preface of " Gathering Clouds," which is dedicated : 

Filiis carissimis 
R.A.F. E.M.F. F.P.F. I.G.F. 

Hanc Corruptae Quidem Ecclesiae 
Fidei Tamen Incolumis Adumbrationem 

Pater Amantissimus 

" In Darkness and Dawn I endeavoured to illustrate 
in the form of a story an epoch of surpassing historical 
and moral interest, the struggle in the first century 


between a nascent Christianity, armed only with the 
irresistible might of weakness, and a decadent pagan 
ism, supported by the wit, the genius, the religion, the 
philosophy, the imperial power, and all the armies of 
the world. I showed that the victory of Christianity 
was won by virtue of the purity and integrity which it 
inspired ; and that nothing was able to resist a faith 
which placed the attainment of the ideal of holiness 
within the reach of the humblest of mankind. I tried 
to show some glimpse, so far as it was possible, of the 
frightful spiritual debasement for which a heathendom 
which had become more than half atheistical was re 
sponsible; and of the noble character which Christianity 
developed into a beauty till then not only unattained, 
but unimagined, alike in the high and in the low. So 
far as the historic outline was concerned, the picture 
was not an imaginative landscape but an absolute photo 
graph. Every circumstance, every particular, even of 
costume and custom, was derived directly from the 
history, poetry, satires, and romances of classic writers, 
or from the literature and remains of the early days 
of Christianity. If I had not followed this method 
I should not have been faithful to the main object 
which I set before me. 


" In Darkness and Dawn I showed the influences 
which enabled the Church to triumph over the world : 
it is now my far sadder task to show how the world re- 
invaded, and partly even triumphed over, the nominal 
Church. I there showed how the Darkness had been 
scattered by the Dawn : I have here to picture how the 
Sun of Righteousness, which had risen with healing in 
his wings, was overshadowed by many ominous and 
lurid clouds. Of the Byzantine Empire, says Mr. 


Lecky, the universal verdict of history is that it con 
stitutes, without a single exception, the most thoroughly 
base and despicable form that civilization has yet 
assumed . . . the Byzantine Empire was preeminently 
the age of treachery . . . the Asiatic Churches had 
already perished. The Christian faith, planted in the 
dissolute cities of Asia Minor, had produced many 
fanatical ascetics and a few illustrious theologians, but 
it had no renovating effect upon the people at large. It 
introduced among them a principle of interminable and 
implacable dissensions, but it scarcely tempered in any 
appreciable degree their luxury or their sensuality. 

" The apparent triumph of Christianity was in some 
sense and for a time its real defeat, the corruption of its 
simplicity, the defacement of its purest and loftiest 

" Yet, however much the Divine ideal might be 
obscured, it was never wholly lost. The Sun was often 
clouded; but behind that veil of earthly mists, on the 
days which seemed most dark, it was there always, 
flaming in the zenith, and it could make the darkest 
clouds palpitate with light. No age since Christ died 
was so utterly corrupt as not to produce some prophets 
and saints of God. These saints, these prophets, in age 
after age, were persecuted, were sawn asunder, were 
slain with the sword by kings and priests ; but the next 
generation, which built their sepulchres, had, in part at 
least, profited by their lessons. 

" The Church, said St. Chrysostom, cannot be 
shaken. The more the world takes counsel against it, 
the more it increases ; the waves are dissipated, the 
rock remains immovable. 

"In reading this story, then, the reader will be pre 
sented with an historic picture in which fiction has been 


allowed free play as regards matters which do not affect 
the important facts, but of which every circumstance 
bearing on my main design is rigidly accurate, or, at any 
rate, is derived from the authentic testimony of con 
temporary Pagans and of the Saints and Fathers of the 
Church of God." 

From many hundreds, the majority of which I have 
not had time even to glance at, I have selected a few of 
the letters which my father constantly received, and 
which my mother s loving devotion preserved, thanking 
him for the " Life of Christ " and other books and 
sermons. I have tried to avoid overloading this memoir 
with eulogistic letters, a plethora of which would have a 
fulsome effect ; but it is impossible to give an adequate 
conception of the results of my father s teaching with 
out introducing at least a few typical letters testifying 
to its quickening and ennobling influence on the hearts 
and lives of men. 

"August 20, 1874. 

" MY DEAR FARRAR : Just before I left London I had 
the pleasure of receiving your book from yourself, and 
it is furnishing both Mrs. Vaughan and me a profit 
able and interesting study during our season of rest. 
It is, indeed, a marvellous proof of your industry and 
power of abstraction, that you should have been able to 
create such a work in the horcs subsecivce of such a labo 
rious life as yours. Its success seems to be an accom 
plished fact within the first few weeks (I had almost 
said days ), of its publication. May you receive on all 
sides the thanks and the applauses which you have 
so richly earned. Active and useful as your life has 
been hitherto and nevermore so than in your present 


great sphere I do not wish that education (in the 
narrower sense of that word) should engross the whole 
of it. I look forward to seeing you compelled, ere long, 
to give your mature and disciplined powers to the more 
direct (though not perhaps the more real) service of the 
Church in her highest ministries. 

" I have never thanked you as I ought and would, for 
your wonderful kindness to me in my illness. I never 
knew till then the soothing capacity of a telegram. 

" Ever your affectionate old friend, 

" C. T. VAUGHAN." 

"July 2nd, 1874. 

" MY DEAR FARRAR : Habes confitentem ! I long to 
make a clean breast to you on the subject of that 
promised review of your great book, which must have 
appeared so inexplicably deferred. For the first week 
after I laid it on my desk I was severely indisposed ; 
then I took it up and perused it from beginning to end 
with the truest admiration for a work of such far-reach 
ing scholarship, noble inspiration and unfailing grace in 
treatment. But I felt that / could not and must not 
write the review. From its honourable initial motto manet 
immota fides to its eloquent close I must have arraigned 
it for the philosophical fault of draping upon that noble 
and sacred central figure the ideas and the morals, 
the discoveries and developments which are not neces 
sarily propter Christum because post Christiim, Why 
not arraign it ! you will say ; and certainly in any indict 
ment of a book and such an author there would have 
been little, probably, to touch our friendship, but the 
book appeared to me too precious as an educator to be 


made a theme for polemics ; it appeared so good and 
useful, so high and sweet a presentation of Chris 
tianity as you see it (as I wish I could see it) that I 
decided to give it over to a hand more skilful, very 
likely, and certainly more orthodox. 

"This gentleman has accomplished his easier task, and 
I shall shortly print the notice. But you will say there 
are two sins confessed a promise to you deferred, 
and a duty to the public put by. I can only say that 
if I am to state my reasons for believing that Chris 
tianity must disappear as all faiths qua faiths have 
disappeared and are disappearing, it must be against 
some champion whose lofty and noble purpose does not 
constantly disarm my convictions. It would take a long 
conversation to justify this feeling and to tell you how 
thoroughly I share your faith in the divine humanity of 
Christ while I look for many and many Christs to 
be. Suffice it if you believe my sincerity and take on 
trust the things I cannot now write. I shall preface the 
notice with a mention of the book s great popularity. 

" If I should ask you shortly to let Julian come home 
a week before the statutable time, would that be per 
missible ? The reason is, we are going for two months 
to Norway with the two elder lads, and it is of great 
importance to start early to enjoy the long, sub-arctic 
daylight; thus a week s grace would mak2 a valuable 
difference in our plans. With best regards from us 
both to Mrs. Farrar, 

" I am most sincerely yours, 



"Sept. i, 1874. 

" MY DEAR DR. FARRAR : Why do you allow the 
critics to wound you so deeply. They are, after all, but 
heartless units, whereas there are at this moment so 
many thousands with hearts who are thanking you for 
your interpretation and explanation of the Precious 
Life, which will thereby be rendered infinitely more 
precious to their souls. In a letter this morning my 
friend Mr. Coleridge ends his few favourable lines on 
the subject thus : In such an age as this, I thank God 
for such a book on such a subject. The sympathy of 
many loving hearts and a conscience that you have been 
the means of doing much good should at any rate be 
elements in mitigating the force of the remarks of the 
few adverse critics. Pardon my having written thus, 
but we are feeling deeply for your vexation. 

"With affectionate remembrances from us both to 
Mrs. Farrar and yourself, 

" Believe me, my dear Dr. Farrar, 

" Most sincerely yours, 


"FLORENCE, Oct. 20th, 1877. 

" REVEREND AND DEAR SIR : I venture to trouble you 
with a note to thank you for the precious delight I have 
enjoyed in reading your truly wonderful Life of Jesus. 
No other book, except my Bible, has ever been, or I 
think ever can be, what yours has been. Therefore, 
though a stranger and unknown to you, I trust you will 
pardon the liberty I have taken. But I have another 
cause for gratitude. A few months ago it pleased the 


Lord to take from our home a sweet little boy of five 
years. He was taken from us suddenly, and one of the 
comforts we had given to us in his removal was the 
interest he took in your Life. It happened in this 
way. In the evening his mother read a portion of it, 
and next morning after I left home to attend to my pro 
fessional duties she took our little darling to her own 
room and reread to him in child s language the portion 
of the previous evening. It awakened in his young mind 
a remarkable interest for one so young, and questions 
like these were put by him to his mother : Then was 
Jesus once a little boy like me ? Did Jesus play with 
marbles as I do ? Was Jesus a real Falegname (car 
penter) ? Why were the Jews so unkind to Jesus ? 
One day during his reading he suddenly said, Mamma, 
Signer Vitta will not go to Heaven. Why ? was his 
mother s answer. Not unless he changes and believes 
on Jesus, because it was his people who killed Jesus. 
Signor Vitta is a Jew ! 

" Frequently when the day was wet and he was kept 
with his nurse indoors he would come to his mother and 
say, Mamma, read a little out of the big brown book ! 
meaning your Life. It seemed to touch his heart, 
and we never saw him so interested in any narrative as 
in the parts of the book relating to the early life of our 
Lord. We desire to thank you most heartily for all the 
comfort and joy we have derived from your labour, and 
to express the wish that He whose blessed life you have 
so touchingly narrated will abundantly bless you and 

" Now a word about myself. I am one of the English 
physicians in practice here, and beg to offer you a warm 
invitation to occupy our Prophet s Chamber should 
you ever come to Florence for a whole day. It will 


give my wife and myself sincere pleasure to welcome 
you to our home. 

" I am, 

" Reverend and dear sir, 

"Yours very faithfully, 

"A. B." 

16/11 / 77- 

" In an illness which confined the writer to his bed 
room during the early months of this year, his trained 
nurse read aloud to him Canon Farrar s two volumes of 
the Life of Our Lord, which he had previously read 
with so much satisfaction. In the hours of nightly 
wakefulness and suffering, he was often comforted and 
refreshed by Canon Farrar s careful and conscientious 
setting of the precious jewels, the words and acts, as 
the Urim and Thummin, of the High Priest of the 
Church of Christ, the Lord of Glory. 

"STOCKHOLM, Sept. 17, 1883. 

" MY DEAR ARCHDEACON : I have found your name so 
lovingly spoken of by Swedes and Norsemen in my re 
cent tour, that I feel it only kind to write to tell you of it. 

" When I was at Lund, two years ago, one of the 
students (a philosophy-faculty student), whom I casually 
joined in looking over the Museum, told me (in poor 
German) that he had read your Life of Christ in 
Swedish, and, not to name several others (natives) who 
have spoken of you in my present town, I was particu 
larly struck to-day in the fact that the commander (an 
artillery captain) of an obscure fortress about twenty- 


five miles east of Stockholm told me that he had read 
your Life of Christ, and that several other works of 
yours, which he did not seem to know, were also trans 
lated into Swedish, and that the Life of Christ was in 
two forms, an expensive and large form with pictures, 
and a small popular edition ; and unless I misunderstood 
him (he was speaking in Swedish), he said that your 
Life of Christ had gone into more than one edition. 
The old soldier s face brightened as he talked about it 
and you. 

" Though, I believe, as life gets on, you feel less and 
less to care for criticism, favourable or adverse, than 
you once did, yet it must be a joyous satisfaction to 
you to think that you are the unknown teacher of thou 
sands who will never know your face in the flesh ; and 
that you can afford to appeal to the hearts of these, 
when you are nibbled at by stupid old Mrs. Orthodoxy, 
and priggish Miss Criticism, and bitter Mr. - ! 

" I have been wandering alone for seven weeks in 
Norway and Sweden, perhaps more interested than 
instructed. But, if you do not fear the sea voyage, I 
could recommend it from its health-giving character 
(equally with the Engadine), as a very accessible spot 
for an overworked man to run off to in an August, any 

" Forgive my intrusiveness, and believe me, 

" Ever yours faithfully, 

"A. S. F." 

ST. PETERSBURG, Au S" si 2 3 I , 88 , 
Sept. 4 J 


"Your admirable work, The Life of Jesus Christ, 
was translated into Russian, and had several editions. 


We have nothing similar in our literature, therefore you 
will find this work not only in the metropolis, but in 
remote parts of our vast empire. My mother is the 
proprietress of a country land in the Sovern of Smo 
lensk district, Sytscheoka village, Nashokino, with a very 
beautiful orthodox church, at a distance of twenty-two 
hours from St. Petersburg, and about fifteen hours 
from Moscow. Now I take the liberty to ask your 
photographic card for presenting to my mother at the 
day of her names day the 17/29 Sept. I am assured 
that a better present I cannot imagine. In the same 
time I must inform you that your admirable book pro 
duced many times a real consolation in her solitude, 
and not only your name is pronounced with veneration, 
but your book read always with a full admiration in our 
family. Now you see that the aim of this letter was 
to inform you of my sincere intention, and of the effect 
produced by your book in Russia. 

" I am, sir, with fullest respect, your very obedient 


" REV. FATHER MR. FARRAR, Chaplain of H. M. the 
Queen of Great Britain care Mr. Quaritch editor and 

lighted with the depth of the thought, the charm of 
the narration and the new clear view of your respected 
book, The Life of Christ, the idea occurred to me of 
consecrating my time to its translation into Russian, 
and of thereby acquainting our society with the English 
fathers of the Church, as yet quite unknown to the 

Russian public. 



" I therefore beg you will grant me your permission 
and benediction to begin my work. 

" But I find it my duty to add, that as there exists in 
Russia an ecclesiastical censure, jealously guarding not 
only the dogmas, but the traditions and rules, I am 
reduced to the necessity of changing the text in some 
places, for only on this condition the book may be 
published in Russian. 

" Guided by your saint blessing I shall do my best to 
make my translation, as much as possible, correspond 
to the perfect original. 

"With the most profound respect I am, 
" Most Reverend Father and dear Sir, 

" Your devoted servant, 


"STOCKHOLM, April i5th, 1902. 

" MY REVEREND SIR : It has been my wish for many 
years to send you a few lines from an unlearned layman, 
but have hesitated as I was sure that you would be 
troubled by receiving from all parts of the world, warm 
affections of thanks for the valuable enlightening con 
tents of your writings. 

" However, after having read for the third time The 
Bible, Its Meaning and Supremacy, I fee 1 , it impossible 
to refrain from sending you the warmest thanks from 
the bottom of my heart, for all the great, beautiful, and 
glorious benefits I have received from the merciful hand 
of God through your works. 

"I have read The Life of Christ, Eternal Hope, 
Mercy and Judgment, Seekers after God, Life of 
Christ represented in Art, Life and Work of St. Paul, 
and now at last The Bible, Its Meaning and Suprem- 


acy, and now I can say, through these works God has 
become to me greater and more glorious ; Christ, my 
Saviour, better understood, more loved and indispensa 
ble ; the Bible more precious, and my view of things 
wider, brighter, and clearer. I have rejoiced with ad 
miration that with your amazing erudition you have the 
power of expressing the deepest truths in a language 
simple enough to be understood by laymen. Your 
brilliant exposition, however valuable, is yet of less value 
than the great simplicity with which the most important 
vital questions are set forth and answered by you. 

" Be pleased, therefore, to accept my deeply felt, sin 
cere gratitude for all the joy and blessing your writings 
have for many years given my spirit in its thirst after 
the things of eternity. 

" May God richly bless you and may His promise be 
fulfilled in you. They that turn many to righteousness 
shall shine as the stars for ever and ever. 

" With profound respect, your humble and respectful 

"C. O. B., 
" Formerly member of the Swedish Parliament." 

"Oct. 24, 1879. 

" DEAR CANON FARRAR : Allow one of your many 
readers to thank you heartily and sincerely for much 
profit, instruction, and benefit received from your ardu 
ous, honest, painstaking labours, in bringing, as it were 
to our very doors, the living, ever living, story of the 
Divine Artisan in his daily life in Palestine. You 
have coloured my life since perusing the pages of His 
life as narrated so graphically, so truth-lovingly by you 
in this nineteenth century. 


"Perhaps it may interest you to know that at the 
time it was published one Englishman up to the neck 
in business and for a fortnight employing a cab some 
eight hours a day, made it the pleasant companion of 
solitude in his cab and elsewhere in this big, busy Lon 
don ; and not even the pleasure of reading for the first 
time Southey s Nelson or Boswell s Johnson or 
Lockhart s Scott (which few forget) was equal to the 
zest with which he perused page by page the wondrous 
record of Jesus the great philanthropist, physician, 
teacher, and Saviour of all mankind. 

" I had read Neander and Renan. The Frenchman s 
vivid word-paintings of the Surroundings, his charm 
ing landscapes, his vivid colouring and animated style 
may interest, but, as water can only rise to its own level, 
so his conception of a benevolent Frenchman lacking 
the divine, has never taken hold of the common people, 
who heard the Divine Founder of our common Chris 
tianity so gladly ; presenting a marked contrast to the 
audience your book has gained amongst all classes in 
England. . . . 


" MY DEAR FARRAR : I have seldom welcomed a gift 
book more than the two volumes which you have so 
kindly sent me. I feel sure that they will live, and that 
many men of all parties will acknowledge that you have 
done good service to the cause of the Great Master in 
writing them. 

" And to many thousands, I cannot doubt, they will 
come as at once widening their knowledge and by it 
strengthening their faith, as showing that freedom and 


reverence are not only not incompatible with each other, 
but attain their true proportions and reach their end 
only when they work together. From some sections, 
chiefly, I imagine, the Extreme Right and the Extreme 
Left, you must expect sharp attacks ; but those who set 
things at their true value will see in these attacks almost 
a guarantee of excellence. 

" I feel humbled by the kind, too kind, way in 
which you have mentioned my name in the Preface. I 
feel that the book owes very little, directly, to anything 
that I have been able to contribute, and I have seldom 
more regretted the pressure of work and care which has 
been on me for the last eight or nine months than when 
I found it hindering me in what I would so gladly have 
done under happier conditions. I am content to think 
that long years ago I was, perhaps, enabled to open to 
your mind the path in which it has gone on so success 
fully, and has attained results which I only dreamed of. 
At present I feel as if my lot were rather that of a 
hewer of wood and drawer of water for the Temple 
than to offer the sacrifice or wave the incense or sit in 
Moses seat. 

" When will you come and see us ? 

" Ever yours affectionately, 

"E. H. P[LUMPTRE]." 

"Nov. 17, 1879. 

" MY DEAR FARRAR : CasselPs people have at last 
sent me the copy of St. Paul which you kindly destined 
for me. 

" I shall value it as being a treasury of thought and 
knowledge to which I shall always turn with the cer 
tainty of finding much that I would not find elsewhere. 


" I must thank you also for the kindly mention of 
my name in the Preface. 

" No good work, I imagine, is ever done in the world 
without a semi-chorus of detractions rude, but in the 
long run, or even, as in this case, the short run, this is 
more than balanced by the knowledge that the work 
has been helpful to those whom it was meant to help. 
Securus judicat orbis terrarum. I am so glad that 
Hilda and Margaret have met. 

" With all kindest regards, 

" Yours affectionately, 


"THE TEMPLE, May 3, 1879. 

" MY DEAR FARRAR : I have trespassed unduly on 
your long friendship by delaying thus long my expres 
sion of gratitude for the gift of your book. Hitherto, 
I have not been able to read it continuously ; I have 
dipped here and there into its contents, at points of 
special interest, finding always something to admire, if 
also (as must be the case where one has lived so long 
and so intimately with the subject), something also to 
hesitate or to pause upon. 

" You need not words of mine, dear Farrar, to assure 
you of the success of your great untertaking, both as a 
matter of public interest and of grateful and devout study. 
I know which of the two you will most value, the 
heartfelt thanks of those whom you help to enter with 
a fuller appreciation into those immortal writings, or 
the more superficial applause of people who admire 
eloquence and assent without judgment 

" I shall have the book always near me. I shall use 



it, as I have used The Life of Christ, whenever I want 
to be sure that I have not overlooked something vital 
in the interpretation or enforcement of the inspired 

" May the highest and best of blessings be upon your 
work and upon the workman ! 

" Your attached old friend, 

" C. T. VAUGHAN." 



IN 1875 Mr. Disraeli (as he then was) offered my 
father the crown living of Halifax, which, after some 
hesitation, he declined. 

" Confidential. 


" MY DEAR VESEY : I am offered (strictly entre nous) 
the Crown Living of Halifax, one of the most impor 
tant. I shrink from it utterly and am sorry it has been 
offered. Moreover Marlboro has serious claims on me, 
and I feel a most deep conviction of my entire unfitness. 
You have known me for twenty years : Could I do the 
work ? Ought I to take it ? The decision must, one way 
or other, affect my whole future life. Do let me have 
your sympathy, your prayers, and what I shall enor 
mously value, your advice. 

" Yours affectionately, 

" F. W. FARRAR. 

"I have written to Disraeli to ask till Monday to 


" My DEAR VESEY : I have been torn by conflicting 
advice and conflicting views of duty, but this afternoon 
not without many a pang of misgiving telegraphed 



what is probably a final refusal. I believe Halifax will 
soon be a Bp s see. Crushed with work or would write 

" Yours affectionately, 

" F. W. FARRAR." 

In 1876 my father accepted at Mr. Disraeli s hands 
the post of Canon of Westminster and Rector of St. 
Margaret s, in succession to Canon Conway. Writing of 
Lord Beaconsfield, he says : 

" To me he was always conspicuously kind, though he 
was perfectly well aware that I belonged to the Liberal 
school of politics. It was he who, when I was Master 
of Marlborough College, offered me the important and 
valuable vicarage of Halifax, which, however, I was un 
able to accept. He now offered me the Canonry of 
Westminster, which is attached by act of Parliament to 
the rectory of St. Margaret s. I kept him long waiting 
for an answer ; for at that time I had no experience in 
parochial work, and in those days the parish was not only 
far more densely populous, but also unspeakably more 
wretched than it subsequently became. Had I followed 
my own inclination, I should have shrunk from so heavy 
a burden, and all the more because the church itself was 
then as repellently unattractive, with its churchwardens 
Gothic and hideous galleries, as it subsequently became 
beautiful and interesting. But, on consulting friends of 
some distinction in the Church, they advised me to ac 
cept the offer ; and I did so. Dean Wellesley told me 
afterwards that if I had asked his advice he would have 
recommended me to decline ; and that, in that case, it 
was certain a higher office would have speedily been 
placed at my disposal. I do not, however, in the least 
regret this, though I was assured on the highest author- 


ity, that the only reason which deterred Lord Beacons- 
field from promoting me later on was the outburst of 
denunciation which followed the publishing of my ser 
mons on Eternal Hope. This is no more a subject of 
regret to me than the other. The determination of our 
little destinies lies in hands far higher than our own, and 
I have every reason to thank God that, throughout my 
life, the lot has, by His mercy, fallen to me in pleasant 
places. When some kind friend said to Mr. Disraeli, as 
he then was, Why, you have given preferment to a 
strong Radical (a remark which certainly required modi 
fication), he only answered, with a laugh, that perhaps 
I should in time be brought round to his own views. " 

On the last occasion when my father ever met the 
great statesman he said to him at parting, " Dr. Farrar, 
I have always felt a sincere regard for you." 

It may here be noted that every successive promotion 
in my father s career, from Marlborough onwards, was 
an " Irish rise " in point of income, involving some 
pecuniary loss. The head-mastership of Marlborough 
was far less lucrative than the command of a large 
house at Harrow, and the position involved a larger 
expenditure in hospitality. His Westminster preferment 
was, again, less lucrative than Marlborough ; while ac 
ceptance of the deanery of Canterbury involved a very 
heavy sacrifice of income. 

How reluctant he was to leave his beloved Marl- 
borough, may be gathered from the following letter : 

"July 26, 1875. 

" MY DEAR VESEY : I must write to tell you how 
much your kind help at St. M. s has cheered me, and 
how grateful I am for this proof of your affection and 


" The bitterness of death is past. I start to-morrow 
for i Marine Parade, Folkestone, where we stay until 
we exchange the sweetness and freshness of God s 
country the air full of roses and jasmine scent, the 
garden, the river, the downs, the forest, the West Woods 
for the choking atmosphere and dusty purlieus of 
Westminster. I change the inexplicable clearness of a 
good, bright, and most flourishing English school for 
the dull, close-fisted suspicions, envies, hatred, malice, 
and all uncharitableness of grown traders in the big, 
brutal, brick-bombarded Babylon. Misery, you see, 
makes sport to mock itself. 

" No, I was not offered Calcutta, should have gone 
if I had been. I have the feeling one has in sea-sick 
ness : Please chuck me overboard. 

" The proofs which the last week has brought that I 
have stirred and touched boys hearts and consciences 
are a fresh pang. Why God removes me from this 
work I know not. I know that all we have in life is 
His, not ours, lent, not given, given sometimes and then 
taken away, and then given back (sometimes) in the 
same or other forms. May He grant this to me, and 
give me back, if not the past, and work so sweet and so 
encouraging, and so suited to my powers (for that can 
not be), at least the country again ! 

" I shall work at St. M. s, at least I shall try. God 
knows what will come of it all. 

"Come and see us, and take a prophet s chamber 
when you come to Convocation. 

" We shall be starving, but you shall have a crust. 
" Yours very affectionately, 

" F. W. FARRAR." 


His ever affectionate old friend, Dr. Vaughan, wrote 

thus from the Temple : 

"April 19, 1876. 

" MY DEAR FARRAR : Your letter reaches me here 
to-day, and I long to be able to say God bless you 
with a voice carrying comfort and reassurance to your 
soul. Such a change is anxious and formidable, and 
one is always asking oneself, Why made ? But I 
have an unshaken trust in the hand that is over us, and 
in the love above all love, which takes under its charge 
the new life, and makes it quietly and half-consciously 
absorb rather than replace the old. 

"You will find a thousand interests arising around 
you in your new home and work. It is a grand work 
in itself, though no one knows better than I that the 
charge and love of the young can never be equalled in 
pathos and tenderness by any other work or any other 
oversight which can be given us in this world. Still, it 
will be always coming back upon you in the form of 
unexpected gratitudes and imperishable affections, seek 
ing you out in your new position and ever looking to you 
as their natural rest and home. How happy it will make 
me to feel that in the great, and sometimes homeless, 
world of London you will find at the Temple a love and 
a sympathy at once old and new. 

" I know that you will suffer yourself to look only 
forward and upward, feeling that the lot has fallen, and 
that its disposing is of the Lord. 

" Ever affectionately yours, 

" C. T. VAUGHAN." 

In spite of the natural pangs he felt in leaving Marl- 
borough, the Rector soon became deeply attached to his 
new cure. 


St. Margaret s is an extremely interesting, and, in 
spite of the hideous metamorphosis it had undergone at 
the hands of Puritans and eighteenth-century Philistines, 
an intrinsically beautiful church. Nestling under the 
shadow of the great Abbey, the parish church is as old 
as the Abbey itself, being meant for the population, 
whereas the Abbey church was mainly for the monks. 
The parish of St. Margaret s is mentioned in a charter 
of King Edgar as early as A.D. 962. Shortly after 
the great Abbey of Westminster was established on 
Thorney Island, there gathered round its walls an 
ever-increasing community of persons, many of them 
engaged in work for the Abbey. Others had settled 
there for the sake of protection, for hard by was 
the Sanctuary, an historical connection still perpetu 
ated in the names "Broad Sanctuary" and "Little 
Sanctuary." In 1064 Edward the Confessor found that 
the spiritual attention required by this settlement dis 
tracted the monks from the due exercise of their reli 
gious duties and meditations. Accordingly the saintly 
secular monarch caused a church to be built within the 
precincts of the Abbey, the purpose of this edifice being 
to serve as a parish church to the inhabitants of the 
infant city of Westminster. The old round-arched 
Saxon building stood until the reign of Edward I, when 
it was pulled down, and a new church raised in its stead. 
In the reign of Edward IV the parishioners modernised 
the building into the early Perpendicular Gothic edifice 
which still stands. At a later date the church was 
saved from destruction by the zeal of the parishioners, 
who demolished the scaffolding which Protector Somer 
set had raised round it with a view to pulling it down to 
make way for a new palace for himself. 

The complete restoration of the ancient and historic 


church was the new Rector s first task. The restora 
tion had indeed been contemplated in his predecessor s 
time, and a small sum of money had been collected, but 
nothing further had been done. 

No trait was more characteristic of my father than 
his ardent devotion to the beauty of God s temple. 
He passionately desired not only that the services of 
the temple should be, not indeed ornate, but decorous 
and stately, and resonant with exquisite melody, but 
that the fabric should lack no structural dignity and 
grace which could be bestowed on it, and should glow 
with the rich and vivid colouring for which he had a 
passion almost Oriental. 

When he went to Marlborough the chapel was a 
bare and barnlike erection, which was, structurally, 
perhaps past praying for; but he never rested till at 
least the interior had been beautified and enriched by 
Bodley s designs, till the bare walls glowed with frescoed 
panels, carved scroll work, and gilded tracery. The 
chapel being dedicated to St. Michael and All Angels, 
he commissioned Spencer Stanhope to paint a series of 
frescoes representing the angels of Scripture, which 
for beauty of design and delicacy of colouring are among 
that artist s masterpieces. 

When the new school chapel was built, in 1886, these 
frescoes, together with the panel work, were transferred 
to it. Some exquisite windows by Burne-Jones and 
Morris were also added during Farrar s mastership. 

On coming to St. Margaret s he found the interior 
of what had been originally a fine Perpendicular church 
metamorphosed into a Georgian changeling of the ugliest 
and dreariest type. Heavy galleries, which my father 
was wont to compare to " the receding forehead of a 
gorilla," ran round three sides of the building, the choir 


and organ being, as was usual in Georgian churches, in 
the west gallery ; a sham apse of lath and plaster, 
painted blue with gilt stars, desecrated the chancel ; the 
fine Perpendicular mouldings of the windows had been 
destroyed by Puritans or mere Philistines ; the pulpit was 
one of the old " two-deckers " ; and the walls were thickly 
plastered with ugly mural tablets setting forth the virtues 
of worthy citizens, long since forgotten, while on the 
other hand certain beautiful and interesting Tudor monu 
ments were plastered up and out of sight. The very 
spirit of Georgian apathy and Philistinism seemed to be 
brooding over this once beautiful church. 

This was a state of things which the Rector could not 
tolerate for a single day. With impetuous energy he 
set about the Herculean task of sweeping clean away at 
once the accumulated filth and the eighteenth-century 
erections which disgraced the fabric. The wooden gal 
leries, together with the sham apse, were ruthlessly 
demolished, the plaster scraped from the walls, and the 
stones pointed. His method of dealing with the hideous 
mural tablets was distinctly original. They could not 
well be destroyed, but the Rector, having obtained the 
requisite " faculty," consigned the bulk of them to the 
decent obscurity of the belfry tower ; while the few that 
were beautiful and of interest were released from their 
plaster shrouds, cleaned, freshly coloured where neces 
sary, and placed in appropriate positions. The original 
mouldings of the windows, which had been mostly re 
placed by a plain and tasteless pattern, were restored 
according to the design of the few that fortunately 

The ceiling was covered in with oak, an oak screen 
was erected, and the choir and the main body of the 
church filled with carved oak pews. A carved stone 


pulpit painted with glowing colours replaced the old 
" two-decker." 

The pride and glory of St. Margaret s church is the 
noble east window, perhaps the most beautiful and 
interesting window in England. It was originally pre 
sented by the town of Dort, in Holland, to Henry VII, 
to commemorate the marriage of his son Arthur with 
Catharine of Aragon, and contains the only surviving 
portrait of that prince. Intended to be erected in 
Henry VII s chapel in Westminster Abbey, which 
was not yet completed at the time, the window was 
placed pro tempore in Waltham Abbey. The relations 
of Henry VIII with Catharine of Aragon would not 
be likely to inspire him with any wish to claim the 
window for Westminster ; and in Waltham Abbey, ac 
cordingly, it remained till the dissolution of monasteries, 
when it was removed to New Hall. There it remained 
till the civil wars, when it was taken down and buried 
underground by General Monk to save the treasure 
from the violence of the Puritans ; but at the Restora 
tion it again saw the light. About 1740 it became the 
subject of a bargain, and was sold to a private gentle 
man for fifty guineas, whose son, some twenty years 
later, realised a handsome profit by selling it, for four 
hundred guineas, to the restorers of St. Margaret s, 
where it has found its permanent resting place. 

The authorities of Westminster Abbey instituted a 
lawsuit to recover what they considered, perhaps not 
unjustly, to be their property ; but the then Rector and 
churchwardens of St. Margaret s, holding possession to 
be nine points of the law, fought stoutly to retain what 
had been for so long their own, and after prolonged liti 
gation won the lawsuit and kept the window. When 
my father was restoring the church he found that the 


window had suffered rather seriously from damp during 
its prolonged sojourn in the earth, and that the colour 
was flaking off in parts. To preserve it from future 
damage it was thought necessary to cover it with a fac 
ing of plate glass. This somewhat detracts from the 
appearance of the window, but it is hoped that it will 
have the desired effect of saving this priceless treasure 
of art for future generations. The interstice of masonry, 
between the moulding proper to this window and that of 
the window put in during the Civil War, was filled with 
beautiful fresco work by Clayton and Bell. 

The churchyard, when the new Rector came, was 
filled with crumbling tombstones with indecipherable 
legends, the vacant spaces between which held muddy 
pools of water in rainy weather. He boldly determined 
to sink these obsolete memorials six feet under the earth. 
After obtaining the necessary "faculty," and getting 
with infinite labour and the exercise of much tact the 
permission of surviving relatives, this was accomplished ; 
and Londoners of to-day may well be grateful for the 
fine tract of close green turf which forms such an effec 
tive foreground to the Abbey. An inner vestry was 
added, and the final structural improvement was the 
addition of the beautiful west porch in 1891. 

I may mention among the features which give interest 
to the church a carved reredos in lemon wood, Italian 
work circa 1768. This represents Our Lord at supper 
with the two disciples at Emmaus. One of the disciples 
is a portrait of Cardinal Ximenes. 

I have dealt with the restoration of St. Margaret s at 
some length, because the story is very characteristic of 
my father s zeal for the house of the Lord, and also 
of his thoroughness, energy, and diligence. None but 
those who remember the church as it was, and are able 



to contrast this picture mentally with its present condi 
tion, can realise how gigantic was the task, nothing less 
than the transformation of the whole building from roof 
to floor. And none but those who were behind the 
scenes can realise the labour it cost, the hundreds of 
letters it involved, and the efforts needed to raise the 
necessary funds, a feat that would have been impossible 
for a man of less commanding influence. 

Having restored the fabric and made it worthy of its 
ancient traditions, my father proceeded further to beau 
tify the church, in which he now felt the greatest pride, 
by filling the windows with stained glass. When he 
came to St. Margaret s there was only one stained glass 
window in the building, the glorious east window. The 
Rector successfully exerted all his influence with his 
friends to procure the erection of a series of windows 
commemorative of the history of the church, and made 
further interesting by quatrains inscribed under them, 
specially composed for him by some of our greatest poets. 
Of these my father has told the story in " Men I Have 
Known," from which I have introduced some extracts 
for the interest of the personal reminiscences involved. 

" The printers of London gave me a beautiful stained 
glass window in memory of the first English printer, 
who lies buried in the church, and whose signature 
occurs in its records as an auditor of its accounts. I 
wanted to place four lines under the window, and asked 
the Laureate to write them for me, suggesting that he 
might make them turn on Caxton s motto, Fiat Lux. 
I was with him when he wrote them, in his bedroom at 
the deanery of Westminster, and witnessed, so to speak, 
their birth throes, until he became satisfied with them. 
He declared that they had cost him more trouble than 
many a substantial poem. They are : 


" Thy prayer was Light more Light while Time shall last ! 
Thou sawest a glory growing on the night, 
But not the shadows which that Light would cast 
Till shadows vanish in the Light of Light. 

" When I placed the Jubilee window of Queen Vic 
toria s reign in St. Margaret s, I asked Mr. Browning 
to write the quatrain under it for me. He did so, and 
these were the four highly characteristic lines : 

" Fifty years flight ! wherein should he rejoice 
Who hailed their birth, who as they die decays ? 
This : England echoes his attesting voice 
Wondrous and well : thanks, Ancient Thou of Days. 

"The very quaintness of the lines, their charac 
teristic oddness of collocation, as in Ancient Thou of 
Days, the fact that they were written in the poet s 
special style of what his critics called Browningese, 
made them more interesting to me than if they had been 
smooth and commonplace. They illustrate the cause 
which made people call him unintelligible ; namely, 
that his sentences frequently did not construe, but 
required some long subauditur to show their dependence. 

" Yet so far was he from being careless about the 
lines, that he took the trouble of a long walk to St. 
Margaret s to see if they were correctly punctuated on 
the brass plate underneath the window. He found that 
the engraver had altered a comma, and requested me to 
have it at once corrected. 

" When the fine west window to Sir Walter Raleigh 
was given to me by Americans to commemorate the 
fact that the headless body of that great explorer lies 
buried in St. Margaret s, I chose Mr. Lowell (who was 
then the American Ambassador) as the fittest poet to 
write the memorial quatrain. 


" The New World s Sons, from England s breasts we drew 

Such milk as bids remember whence we came ; 
Proud of her Past, whereupon our Future grew : 
This window we inscribe to Raleigh s fame. 

"When I told Mr. Childs (of Philadelphia) how 
closely Milton had been connected with St. Margaret s, 
where his banns of marriage were published, and where 
his dearest wife ( my late espoused saint ) and infant 
daughter lie buried, he gladly consented to give a 
window to Milton s memory. For this window I asked 
Mr. Whittier to write the inscription. 

" The New World honours him whose lofty plea 
For England s freedom made her own more sure, 
Whose song, immortal as its theme, shall be 
Their common freehold while both worlds endure." 

The bodies of certain Cromwellians were basely 
ejected from Westminster Abbey at the Restoration. 
Among those thus foully outraged was the body of 
Admiral Blake. My father rejoiced to pay a belated 
tribute to Blake s memory, by inducing naval officers 
and others to subscribe to a window to his memory in 
St. Margaret s. He thus writes : 

" His dishonoured resting-place is that promiscuous 
and forgotten pit, which to the shame of our indifference 
covers the mortal remains of Pym, of Strode, of May 
the historian and poet, and of Cromwell s venerable 
mother. Into that pit in St. Margaret s churchyard 
their bodies were flung, two hundred and twenty-eight 
years ago, by the meanest act of revenge upon the dead 
which ever disgraced an English king and an English 
Parliament. And no honour has ever since been shown 
to the man whose splendid courage held Portugal and 
France in awe ; who chastised the pirates of Tunis ; 
who defended England against the fleets of Van Tromp 


and De Ruyter and De Witt, and who died on his way 
from that great victory at Santa Cruz, in which he 
attacked and destroyed the Spanish fleet after deeds 
unsurpassed even by Grenville or by Nelson." 

For the Blake window the following lines were written 
by Sir, then Mr., Lewis Morris : 

Kingdom or Commonwealth was naught to thee, 
But to crown England queen o er every sea, 

Strong sailor, dauntless patriot, true and just, 
Rest here ! our Abbey keeps no nobler dust. 

For the Lloyd window Sir Edwin Arnold wrote : 

A master printer of the press, he spake 
By mouth of many tongues, he swayed 

The pens which break the sceptres. 

Good Lord, make 
Thy strong ones faithful and thy bold afraid. 

" My dear son, Cyril Lytton Farrar, was Lord Lytton s 
godson, and was named after him : and when this glad- 
hearted and gifted youth died at Peking at the age of 
twenty-one, Lord Lytton contributed the lines placed 
under the memorial window in the vestry of St. 
Margaret s : 

" Dead almost ere his race of life began, 
Far is his boyhood s grave in bright Cathay : 
Farther beyond our reach the future man, 
Whose life has now begun the larger Day." 

And "Mr. Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote for me 
the quatrain which is carved on his memorial tablet : 

" Afar he sleeps whose name is graven here 
Where loving hearts his early doom deplore ; 

Youth, promise, virtue, all that made him dear, 
Heaven lent, earth borrowed, sorrowing to restore." 


The death in 1891 of my brother Cyril in China, where 
he was an officer in the " Customs," was a great grief 
to my father. Cyril was a youth of rare promise, of a 
singularly gay and sunny temperament, rich in artistic 
talents, and one who amid manifold temptations pre 
served the purity and simplicity of his childhood, and 
" kept the spell of home affection still alive in his heart." 
Of his early death my father wrote : " All life will be 
darker to the end because of it." His home letters, 
some brimming over with pure fun and merriment, some 
describing his life in China with graphic descriptive 
touches which gave promise of great literary power, 
others, dealing candidly with his religious difficulties and 
spiritual aspirations, have been enshrined by his father 
in a volume of touching interest, printed for private 
circulation, "Memorials of Cyril Lytton Farrar." At 
this time Dr. Vaughan wrote to him : 

"THE TEMPLE, February 8, 1891. 

" MY DEAR OLD FRIEND : I could not read unmoved 
the tidings of your great sorrow. The loss of a dear 
son seems to me (to whom it can only be an imagina 
tion) almost too hard a trial to be lived through. But 
you are borne up by a firmer faith than mine. The dis 
tance adds to the bitterness depriving you of the 
sorrowful comfort of looking upon the dear face in death 
and laying the precious body in its last bed. 

" May God comfort you and the dear patient sufferer 
beside you and dear Eric too, and the loving sisters. 
I hope, and I hear, that your great effort of last Mon 
day was got through before you actually knew of the 
departure from earth. 

"Always, in joy and sorrow, 

" Affectionately and gratefully yours, 



During the restoration of St. Margaret s, services were 
held in the Chapter House of Westminster Abbey, and 
with characteristic liberality the Rector seized the oppor 
tunity thus afforded him of inviting Max Miiller and 
other distinguished laymen to occupy the pulpit. 

The restored church soon became the centre of in 
tense spiritual activity, and one of the most popularly 
frequented in London. To meet the demand for seats 
of the hundreds who flocked from all quarters of the 
town to hear the golden-voiced preacher, a system was 
adopted which seemed to be equitable to regular parish 
ioners and strangers alike. There were no pew-rents, 
but sittings were assigned to members of the congre 
gation, and reserved for them, if they chose to be 
punctual, till the moment the organ began to play. From 
that moment all seats became free, and strangers were 
at liberty to occupy any pew of which the regular ten 
ants were not already in possession. The Rector himself 
almost invariably preached on Sunday mornings, and 
the sight of the morning congregation was deeply im 
pressive. Not only was every pew quite full, but the 
chairs in the aisles, the chancel steps, the step of the 
altar rails, even the steps of the pulpit itself were eagerly 
seized upon. Hassocks were passed out from the pews 
to seat others, many were glad to stand throughout the 
service, and frequently scores who had been unable to 
find even standing room overflowed into the adjacent 
Abbey. The style of these sermons has been criticised, 
tastes differ, but no one dare deny that the elo 
quent pastor fed the spiritual hunger of thousands of 
earnest men and women. And his words rang out with 
authority, and came home to the hearts and consciences 
of men, because his hearers felt that the passionate elo 
quence was no mere rhetoric, but the language of utter 


sincerity and intense conviction, the language of one 
who was, as has been said of Luther, a " Gott-ertrunkener 
Mensch," a man steeped in God, who preached not for 
effect, but lived the truth he preached, who loved right 
eousness with all the force of his being and hated sin 
with a perfect hatred. The wife of the present writer 
was once walking with the Rector in the Chapter Garden 
at Westminster, and ventured to say, " That was a won 
derful sermon you preached this morning; do you mind 
my asking do you believe it all, every word?" "Ab 
solutely," replied my father. " But what would you do 
if, after death, you found it was partly a mistake after 
all?" "I should go before the throne and say, I fol 
lowed my reason and my conscience, the highest things 
I had to guide me. " 

To the question of my father s sermons I shall recur 
in the next chapter. 

St. Margaret s had long been the church of the House 
of Commons. The Rector strove to render this official 
connection, which had almost fallen into abeyance, a real 
and vital one. Seats were reserved at Sunday morning 
services for members, and the Speaker, several officials 
of the House, and many of the members were regular 
attendants. Special services were held in St. Margaret s 
to commemorate the Queen s Jubilee and on other occa 
sions, and the emphasis thus given to religious observ 
ance in connection with the great council of the nation 
was felt to be of real value. 

The selection, therefore, of the Rector of St. Mar 
garet s to be Chaplain to the House of Commons, in 
1890, was very appropriate. My father held this office 
for five years and greatly enjoyed the opportunities it 
gave him of making friends among the members, many 
of whom, from the Speaker downward, were warmly 
attached to their Chaplain. 


On being appointed Archdeacon of Westminster in 
1883, he wrote thus to his friend, Archdeacon Vesey : 


" MY DEAR VESEY : It was the greatest pleasure to 
hear from you. How odd is one s destiny. Here I am 
stranded like a desolate wreck on the lonely shore ! 
in a title which of all others I could most loudly have 
declared I should never possess, and which seems to me 
of all others to suit me least ! No emoluments, and no 
duties, except Ruri-decanal. Certainly no gaiters or 
shovel-hat father of cooking pots ! only an apron on 
grand occasions. My little granddaughter asks whether 
I shall carry crumbs in it to the sparrows ? and whether 
it will be as pretty as mother s lawn-tennis apron ? I 
reply that I shall have it black, because it saves wash 
ing. Mrs. Farrar won t let me stir about any change of 
dress till I have consulted you. Tell me ought one, 
when archidiaconally dressed in an evening, to wear 
apron, silk stockings, knee-breeches, and shoes with 
silver buckles ? I am as ignorant as a babe. 

" I am very glad that you like My Object in Life. 
" Yours very affectionately, 

" F. W. FARRAR." 



OF my father as a parish priest three of his former 
curates, the Right Rev. Bishop Montgomery, the Rev. 
W. E. Sims, Vicar of Aigburth, Liverpool, and the Rev. 
W. J. Sommerville, Rector of St. George the Martyr, 
Southwark, testify in the present chapter ; my brother, 
the Rev. Eric Maurice Farrar, Vicar of St. John s, 
Hoxton, also a former curate, writes of his temperance 
work. To these testimonies I need not add. They 
afford convincing proof that the man who was known to 
the world as a great preacher, a profound scholar, and a 
man of unparalleled literary activity, was at the same 
time the energetic and efficient ruler of one of the best- 
organised parishes in London. From time to time 
charming " At Homes," to which every grade of parish 
worker was welcomed and truly made to feel "at home " 
gave a concrete embodiment of the spirit of loyal and 
hearty devotion, which knit together the pastor and his 
flock. These cheerful and eminently social parish gath 
erings were known in the family as " The Herrings," and 
certainly were somewhat densely packed. In reference 
to parish work, my father was wont humorously to 
allude to himself, his wife, his daughters, and the curates 
respectively, as " the Rector, the Director, the Miss Di 
rectors, and the Correctors." 



Bishop Montgomery writes : 

"When Canon Farrar came to Westminster in 1876 
he had had no experience of the science of parish work. 
It is a science, and one in which growth is always pos 
sible, for it is a little world to be governed, which includes 
every sort of character and problem ; and unless a man 
is ever pondering, he is likely to discover one day that 
he has omitted even to think of his whole classes of 
parishioners in any complete sense : for example, all 
the publicans in the parish, or the servants, or the 
young men lodgers, or the cabbies, or the police. 

"As almost the first of the Canon s new curates, I 
strongly advised him to leave the details of parish work 
to us, to whom it was a familiar science, and of course to 
the large band of workers under us. It was obvious 
that the Canon was not brought to Westminster for 
the parish work, but for the sake of the Abbey and of 
St. Margaret s pulpit, as a factor in the religious life of 
London. Upon the whole, the Rector accepted this 
position, whilst he kept himself in constant touch with 
parish work, and himself took part in certain work ; for 
example, he regularly taught for some years in the 
schools, those schools to which he was so deeply 
attached, headed as they were by the remarkable man 
who was known and loved and trusted by every one con 
nected with the parish and the church. The Rector, 
with his eager and sympathetic nature, visited of course 
to a certain extent. Ere long he encountered an expe 
rience novel to him, but familiar to us who had grad 
uated in the school of parish life. He called one day 
at the house of a parishioner, about whom it might be 
said that he was suffering from over-exertion in drink. 
The caller was dismissed with contumely. It was long 
before the dear Canon recovered from the shock, and I 


suppose we young fellows laughed, and begged him all 
the more earnestly to reserve himself for those who 
called for him, whilst we did that rougher work for 
which our more brutal natures were better fitted. 

" Rough it was indeed in those days in part. Old Pye 
Street still stood. I think it would have been difficult 
to have found a spot more full of crime. A lay reader 
of ours knew London life, and had seen a house in that 
street more than once strewn with silver plate. To him 
it was pewter. He was no detective, and could never 
have shown his face there if he had given information. 
The whole street drank hard whilst such plunder lasted. 
One case which came under my own experience may be 
of interest as an instance of low life under the shadow 
of the Abbey. I received a message one day to admin 
ister Holy Communion to a dying girl in Pye Street. 
She was in the last stages of consumption, and her story 
was to the effect that her husband lived on her wages, 
which he forced her to obtain by a life of sin. Some 
memory of her childhood made her ask for the Sacra 
ment before she died, more sinned against than sinning. 

" It was a case for giving what she asked for without 
overmuch examination. She summed up her repentance 
in one sentence : I have worked very hard, and I am 
very tired. The husband was playing dominoes with a 
companion whilst his wife was dying behind a screen. 
I did what I could to make all decent and in order 
behind the screen whilst I gave her the Sacrament. 
The game, however, was not intermitted. 

" But the transformation of St. Margaret s, both as a 
building and as a spiritual force, was the crown of the 
Canon s work as Rector. It is no derogation to the 
earnest men who were in power in the parish before him 
to say that Canon Farrar revolutionised the church from 


every point of view. It was simply that the old order 
changed. No one who enters the church now can realise 
what it was in 1876, with the hideous galleries blocking 
the windows, the three-decker with the dirty velvet 
cushion (the special aversion of the new Rector), and 
the general appearance of neglect caused by the squalid 
appointments of the church. With characteristic energy 
he determined to sweep the place clean, whatever the 
cost might be. He put all his tremendous force into 
his appeals : his wonderful voice rang through the 
building pleading for the worthy restoration of a build 
ing scarcely inferior to any in London for historic 
interest. The congregations were of course enormous. 
Constantly those who could not gain admittance betook 
themselves to the Abbey instead. The House of Com 
mons seats (for it is the church of the House of Com 
mons) were filled. Americans made it a point to 
worship, not only in the Abbey, but also to listen 
to Canon Farrar in his parish church. Soon a large 
choir was formed, homely in one sense, a truly parochial 
choir, composed of men who were never absent, and 
whose numbers were only limited by the space in the 
chancel. The sidesmen and churchwardens never 
failed to be present, and were hard-worked officials in 
their attempts to cope with eager throngs collected from 
all parts of London, and indeed of the world. I have 
seen the church so full, again and again, that it was 
almost a painful sight. To many of us it has seemed 
that the Rector s ministry in his own church was almost 
a greater thing than his preaching in the Abbey. In 
the parish church his preaching had a more homely 
note. He was addressing his own people, and his 
sermons were all the more helpful to earnest-going 
people because they were not quite so much tours de 


force. Thousands came to be fed by a man who believed 
in righteousness, and was not afraid of thundering 
against those who did not. Upon the whole I think his 
most helpful sermons were those which explained a book 
of the Bible in its broad outlines. A sermon on the 
Book of Job haunts me to-day. Equally effective were 
his sketches of men and women, whether in the Bible or 
outside of it. Indeed I remember the feeling that passed 
through the congregation one Sunday evening when he 
spoke of a Frenchman named Arouet and of his public 
spirit, and then after a thrilling pause reminded them 
that he was speaking of Voltaire. No one can doubt 
that a very deep and beneficent influence was exerted 
on broad Christian lines by the Rector of St. Margaret s, 
an influence felt by thousands in all parts of the world. 
Voice, manner, and matter, all combined to make men 
ready to go back and do a better week s work in conse 
quence of the Rector s sermon. 

"The church was shut for about a year, while the 
work of restoration went on under Sir Gilbert Scott and 
a distinguished committee. Meanwhile the congrega 
tion worshipped in the Chapter House, lent by the 
Dean and Chapter ; and when the work was nearly com 
pleted it was difficult to believe that it was the same 
building. A little girl, upon first seeing the effect, 
exclaimed, Why, mother, this is heaven. Not much 
of great importance was discovered during the restora 
tion. I remember spending an evening with the Abbey 
clerk of works in a vault under the altar, trying to find 
Raleigh s head, but without success. 

" One is inclined to linger lovingly over the affection 
ate parish life of that period. There was no particle of 
disunion ; money was forthcoming for every purpose. 
Every worker seemed to consider that there was no 


parish like St. Margaret s. The yearly reunions of old 
boys, of churchworkers, of every sort of parish organi 
sation, were charming. Nor is it possible to omit (how 
ever much she might desire it) some allusion to the 
conspicuous, but inobtrusive, part taken by the Rector s 
wife in every parish movement. Those who were there 
in those days can alone know what it meant. The 
Rector was, I think, the first to allow that one depart 
ment at least was better in his wife s hands than in his 
own. It is still mirth-provoking to recall the subject 
of parish accounts during the first few months of the 
Rector s reign. Was it not the duty of the Rector to 
keep the parish accounts himself ? Could a distinguished 
Head-master and scholar not cope with so small a matter 
as that ? It was but a short time to the end of the 
year, and we awaited the result with bated breath. At 
length, about Christmas time, the moment came when 
the Rector s balance-sheet must be prepared. It was 
an occasion not to be forgotten when the distinguished 
scholar produced a sheet of paper scored all over, and 
crossed with figures, which represented the accounts of 
numerous organisations. 

" My dear, I can t quite make these accounts come 

" I do not think any human being ever made anything 
out of them. It was a day of laughter, tender and over 

"The Rector s wife after this took charge, with 
boundless success. 

"Parish life is a prosaic subject to the public. But 
it means a great deal to those who find in it their little 
world, and a very happy, human, and useful world. 
Some of us think that the St. Margaret s career of Canon 
Farrar contains the brightest and most permanently 


useful portion of his life after he left Marlborough, and 
that no place is so fitted for a memorial of him as his 
parish church." 


The Rev. W. E. Sims writes : 

" The career of a parish priest whose days are passed 
in ministering to the needs of the people committed to 
his care, and who finds his reward in the joy of doing 
good, whatever may be its real intrinsic value, affords 
perhaps little that is interesting to the general reader. 
Its success is the result of diligent attention to details 
that viewed separately seem to be trifles, and although 
perfection is no trifle the consideration of multifari 
ous items making up the common round, the daily 
task, is apt to be tedious. The annals of a parish are 
seldom rich in romantic incident, and a plain unvarnished 
tale of industrious devotion to simple duties lacks force 
in its appeal to the imagination. And yet no account 
of Dr. Farrar would be complete that left out of sight his 
labours as Rector of St. Margaret s for the long period 
of nineteen years. The world knows that he was an 
accomplished scholar, a brilliant writer, and a preacher 
of prophetic power, but only those who were brought 
into close association with him at Westminster are 
fully aware of the influence that he exercised in the less 
conspicuous sphere of a pastor. It is no exaggeration 
and implies no adverse reflection upon his predecessors 
to say that he completely changed the conception of 
parochial work that prevailed in the parish of St. Mar 
garet s, and made a church, that probably had been saved 
from demolition chiefly on account of its historical 
associations, the centre of an active and vigorous reli 
gious life. His fame as an orator and an author whose 
name was a household word attracted immense con- 


gregations with the result that ample means were found 
for the prosecution of enterprises, having as their object 
the welfare of the parishioners, that were impossible 
under any previous regime. Nor was material provi 
sion for the efficient conduct of parochial organisations 
the only, or chief, outcome of the Rector s efforts. He 
possessed to a remarkable degree the power of com 
municating his own enthusiasm to others, and gathered 
round himself a large, devoted, and ever increasing band 
of workers, both men and women, who derived inspira 
tion from his teaching and gave practical effect to 
schemes suggested for the social amelioration or reli 
gious improvement of the people. It was Dr. Farrar s 
policy to allow his colleagues and other helpers an 
absolute freedom in the management of these various 
agencies when once the particular object had been 
approved and the proposed method of attaining it ex 
plained. There was no unnecessary interference, but 
always the keenest interest and sympathy. Easily ac 
cessible at all times the Rector would lay aside the 
unfinished sermon or book to listen to reports of the 
progress of parish affairs, and apparently the more 
minutely they descended into details, the greater satis 
faction they gave him. His wonderfully retentive mem 
ory, so remarkably displayed in public utterances, enabled 
him also to retain a multiplicity of particulars respect 
ing the organisations of the parish and the circumstances 
of individual parishioners, astonishing to those who 
thought not unnaturally that his incessant literary activ 
ities and the many important claims made upon his 
time and energy as Canon of Westminster as well as 
Rector of the parish, must leave but little leisure for the 
comparatively minor duties that engross the attention 
of less busy men. But Dr. Farrar made it a regular 



part of his work to familiarise himself with everything 
that was going on. He required his colleagues to report 
all cases of sickness or distress, and presided regularly 
at the meetings of district visitors, where the circum 
stances of the infirm or indigent were fully discussed 
with a view to their relief ; and he frequently requested 
the present writer to let him know of any persons in 
affliction who might be glad of a personal visit of sym 
pathy or condolence. Systematic house-to-house visita 
tion had, of course, to be left to the curates ; but where 
the Rector s presence could afford any comfort, he was 
always ready to go. He reckoned nothing human 
alien to himself. When Dr. Farrar was appointed, the 
parish of St. Margaret s presented many features of 
unusual difficulty. The church, built in close proximity 
to the Abbey, was scantily attended, it badly needed 
restoration, and was surrounded by a churchyard that 
was an eyesore to the neighbourhood. The new Rector 
immediately addressed himself to the task of remedying 
this unsatisfactory state of things. His sermons at 
once attracted enormous and influential congregations, 
the services were improved, the church was completely 
restored and greatly beautified at a cost of ^30,000, and 
the adjacent desert of dilapidated tombstones was con 
verted into a pleasant open space, with wide approaches 
to St. Margaret s and the Abbey. What took place in 
and around the church was typical of what happened 
also in the parish. 

"A large part of the area was occupied by the palace 
of Westminster, palatial government buildings, and pub 
lic or private offices. In close vicinity to these were 
mean streets, inhabited chiefly by the very poor. As the 
march of improvement gradually cleared some of these 
away, they were replaced by huge blocks of highly 


rented flats, occupied largely by people with homes 
elsewhere who hardly recognise any responsibility 
towards the district of their temporary sojourn. No 
class of parishioners is more inaccessible to the clergy, 
as a rule, than the inhabitants of flats. It would seem 
speculatively improbable that in a parish such as I 
have described any great work could be done out 
side the walls of the church. And yet before long 
it had become the home of almost every kind of paro 
chial organisation. At Dartmouth Hall, a disused Dis 
senting meeting-house situated in a street at that time 
notorious for poverty and vice, and acquired by the 
Rector for that purpose, there were established mis 
sion services, Sunday-schools, clubs for working-men 
and working-women, and for young lads and girls, 
sewing classes, Bible readings, a Band of Hope, and 
popular Saturday evening entertainments. At the new 
mission room in another part of the parish there were 
Sunday services for children and infants, Bible classes, 
mothers meetings on two days in the week, Girls 
Friendly Society classes, temperance meetings and 
concerts, literary and scientific lectures, and a youths 
Institute furnished with a gymnasium. Classes of in 
struction for Sunday-school teachers were held in the 
vestry of the church and a Bell Ringers Society met in 
a room in the tower under the belfry. In addition to 
these organisations of a purely parochial character large 
National Schools, fully equipped with every requisite for 
the work of education, were maintained for the benefit 
of the children of the neighbourhood and used on Sun 
days for religious purposes. In all these agencies the 
Rector took the keenest personal interest. He presided 
invariably at meetings of the managers of the day 
schools. He visited the Sunday-schools. He lectured 


on Dante, Milton, and other subjects of interest before 
the Literary Society. He kept himself in touch with 
the secretaries and treasurers, the teachers, the mem 
bers of various committees, the choirmen and all who in 
any way helped forward the work of St. Margaret s. 
When candidates were being prepared for confirmation, 
it was his rule to make the acquaintance of each one 
individually and to address them collectively at least 
once a week. 

"It is not easy to convey to a reader unfamiliar 
with the details of parish life an idea of the inces 
sant labour involved in these manifold duties. A 
clergyman s work is never finished : at the beck and 
call of all who need his services, and they are many ; 
the victim of constant interruptions, with a correspon 
dence larger than that of many business men, Dr. 
Farrar usually wrote about twenty letters a day, with 
a congeries of societies, such as those to which refer 
ence has been made, claiming unremitting attention to 
maintain their efficiency, for all clerical experience 
proves that, however zealous an incumbent s helpers 
may be, these organisations cannot be kept in a vigorous 
state of usefulness without much personal effort and 
self-sacrifice. When we consider these facts and re 
member that this constant daily wear and tear was 
maintained during all those nineteen years of Dr. Far- 
rar s incumbency of St. Margaret s, it becomes a matter 
of astonishment that, amid so many distractions, he 
found opportunity for the preparation of sermons that 
display to perhaps a greater extent than any contem 
porary pulpit discourses the fruits of culture, and the 
composition of works that have attained a wider celeb 
rity than was supposed to be possible for scholarly 
productions in the province of theology. But Dr. 


Farrar worked in the spirit of that line of Goethe s 
unhasting, unresting, and, because he was never idle, 
found time for everything. He usually wrote standing 
at a table desk near the window of his study which 
overlooked Dean s Yard, and there he might be found 
immersed in literary production or parochial business 
at almost any hour of the day. Sometimes during the 
last few years in Westminster he felt that the respon 
sibilities attached to the maintenance of a highly 
organised parish, in combination with his other work, 
involved too great a strain ; but he never spared himself, 
and even when absent during his autumn holiday ex 
pected to hear from the curate left in charge detailed 
narratives of all that was going on in his beloved St. 
Margaret s, the church and parish that he raised by his 
splendid abilities and untiring energy from a position of 
comparative insignificance to one of commanding influ 
ence and widespread renown. 

"AIGBURTH VICARAGE, September, 1903." 

The Rev. W. F. Sommerville writes : 
" During the whole of Dr. Farrar s life at Westmin 
ster, St. Margaret s was thronged from Sunday to Sun 
day. When he himself was not preaching on a Sunday 
morning, he gave his people opportunities of hearing 
all the greatest preachers in the church. Sunday by 
Sunday, Bishops, Canons, Deans, occupied the famous 
pulpit when the Rector himself was absent. 

"Practically all the distinguished preachers in the 
church, between 1875 and 1895, preached at some time 
or other in St. Margaret s. Surely never was congrega 
tion so favoured, and never did curates have so much 
reason for thankfulness. 


" But there was another side to his character. The 
world knew him as the great preacher, writer, and 
orator ; but we who served under him knew him as our 
inspired leader, guide, counsellor, and friend. 

" We knew him in the humbler r61e of a parish clergy 
man, and never did a parish have a more faithful and 
earnest pastor than he. Dr. Farrar worked for his 
people, thought of them, and prayed for and with 

"In all the various details of parochial life he took 
the keenest interest. Sunday by Sunday, when he was 
not in residence in the Abbey, he was to be found open 
ing the Sunday-schools (which he rightly regarded as 
the great bulwark of the church) like the humblest 
curate in the land. We knew, too, how keen was the 
interest he took in the mission services, clubs, and 
guilds of the parish, and how ready he always was to 
visit a dying parishioner. I never knew the possibil 
ities and beauty of extempore prayer until I knelt with 
him one day by the bedside of a dying man in a small 
street close to the Aquarium. 

" But perhaps Dr. Farrar was seen at his best in the 
preparation for confirmation. Who that ever heard 
those addresses on the six Saturday evenings after 
Easter will be likely to forget them? The scholar, 
preacher, and writer were laid aside, and one saw only 
the saint of God yearning over those young soldiers of 
Jesus, and desirous, above all, of leading them into the 
paths of righteousness. I shall never forget the last 
night of his ministry at St. Margaret s. He had in 
vited all the young people who had been confirmed under 
his ministry to join with him in the Lord s Supper 
after evening prayer. In spite of the almost tropical 
downpour of rain, nearly six hundred young men and 


women responded to his invitation, and joined with him 
in the great sacrament of Christ s love. I have seen 
letters from many young men and young women in 
business addressed to him, thankfully acknowledging 
the blessings they had derived from his influence and 
teaching ; and this, after all, is the true test of min 
isterial success. 

" Nor were his activities confined within the borders 
of his own parish. He was a devout and loyal member 
of the Church of England, and never had the slightest 
inclination to attach himself to any other communion ; 
but his great heart beat in sympathy with all forms of 
religious activity. No good cause ever appealed to him 
in vain. In everything connected with social ameliora 
tion he took the keenest interest. 

" The temperance cause never had a more earnest ad 
vocate than he. No one ever more strongly denounced 
the squalor and degradation in which so many of the 
poor were compelled to live. I have been with him on 
Sunday afternoons to large gatherings of men in East 
and North London, where he spoke on such questions 
as purity or home life with marvellous power, and on 
week nights to missionary gatherings, temperance dem 
onstrations, large assemblies of Boys Brigades, in all of 
which he was equally at home. St. Margaret s, West 
minster, was indeed a Rational Church, and worthy of 
its great position as the Parish Church of the House 
of Commons during his time. He opened its doors 
to General Booth and the Salvation Army, to the 
Church Army, to Volunteers, to almost every society 
doing good work in the church itself or without it, to 
Dr. Barnardo and Dr. Stevenson and their orphanages, 
and last but not least, to that great charity for the 
blind, the Royal Normal College at Norwood. This is 


surely what one means by Catholic in the highest sense, 
not the obstinate clinging to, or revival of, some puerile 
ceremony or custom, but the frank recognition of the 
fact that the Christian Church is the sum of all those 
who profess and call themselves Christian, the blessed 
company of all faithful people." 

The Rev. Eric Farrar writes : 

" No biography of Frederic William Farrar would be 
complete without some allusion, however brief, to his 
temperance work. Many, especially working-men, who 
knew him not as the author of The Life of Christ, 
knew him as one of the most eloquent temperance 
preachers of the day. During his University, Harrow, 
and Maryborough career he was not convinced of the 
necessity for total abstinence ; but as soon as he came 
to London his labours as a parish clergyman, where he 
was constantly confronted with the ravages of the 
Drink Demon, caused him to take an active interest 
in the temperance cause. He signed the pledge and 
preached his first temperance sermon in Westminster 
Abbey on October 8, 1876. 

" In an address delivered in New York he himself gave 
some of the reasons which induced him to become a 
total abstainer. 

" I first became a total abstainer because I was easily 
convinced that the use of alcohol was not a necessity. 
I saw, for instance, that whole nations had not only 
lived without it, but had flourished without it. I be 
lieve that the human race had existed and had flourished 
a considerable time before it was discovered. 

" Other reasons were because he saw in the carefully 
prepared statistics of insurance societies that total ab- 


stinence as an indisputable fact contributed to longev 
ity ; that greater feats of strength and endurance were 
achieved without it than with it ; that a great number of 
our most eminent physicians had declared most positively 
that, in hundreds of thousands of cases, alcohol was a 
prolific source of disease, even in those who took it in 
quantities conventionally deemed moderate. 

" It was then because Dr. Farrar believed that total 
abstinence would tend to simplicity of life, to health, to 
strength of body, to clearness of mind, and to length of 
days, that he decided it was a desirable thing for him, 
at any rate, to give up alcohol altogether. 

" But to this must be added one more reason, which, 
more than all else, made Dr. Farrar, as it has made thou 
sands, a total abstainer. It was pity, sheer human pity. 
In his ministry at St. Margaret s, under the shadow of 
the great Abbey of the Houses of Parliament, he wit 
nessed the effects of alcohol. He was brought into 
almost daily contact with or cognisance of tragedies the 
most brutal, miseries the most unspeakable, the depths 
of Satan, the horrible degradation of womanhood, the 
death and anguish of children, the catastrophe and 
devastation of homes, the abnormal debasement of souls, 
the chronic and revolting squalor, the unspeakable, im 
measurable, and apparently illimitable arrears of human 
misery in its most unmitigated forms, which have their 
source and origin in the temptations forced upon the 
poor by the shameless multiplication of gin-shops and 
public houses. He saw that public houses were, to 
many of those for whom Christ died, what the flames 
of the guttering rushlight are to the wretched moths 
who flutter about them and through them and into 
them, until they are first singed and maimed, then 
shrivelled and scorched to death. It was the deep 


pity, then, Dr. Farrar felt for all the slaves and victims 
of strong drink, that not only made him an abstainer, 
but caused him to speak out with impassioned eloquence, 
endeavouring to arouse others to their duty towards the 
victims of intemperance. 

" Till almost the last year of his life, in spite of many 
other laborious works and pressing duties, he threw 
himself into the cause. In the pulpit and on the plat 
form, he made his voice heard with no uncertain sound. 
He spoke to mass meetings of men on the subject in 
nearly all the large towns of England. He was made a 
vice-president of the Church of England Temperance 
Society, of the United Kingdom Alliance, and of the 
Temperance League. Many of his sermons were pub 
lished by these and kindred societies, the most remark 
able of which are perhaps The Vow of the Nazarite, 
A Nation s Curse, The Shadow of Civilisation, 
and Individual Responsibility. His controversy with 
Lord Bramwell in the Nineteenth Century was not only 
exceedingly powerful, but also most useful in strength 
ening the hands of abstainers. He counted it an 
honour and a privilege to have been chosen to deliver 
the first Lees and Raper Memorial Lecture. On this 
occasion Archbishop Temple presided and Archdeacon 
Wilberforce, Sir Wilfrid Lawson, and many other dis 
tinguished people were on the platform. It was a great 
occasion, and Dr. Farrar in spite of the weakness 
which was even then growing upon him fully sus 
tained his reputation. He lectured for an hour and 
twenty minutes, gathering up into one terrible in 
dictment facts of every kind concerning the evils of 
the drink traffic. At the conclusion of the lecture, the 
archbishop described Dr. Farrar as a man with the 
gift of using such language as it was delightful to 


hear and difficult to forget. The lecture has since 
been published in book form and constitutes a repertory 
of apt and high-class temperance quotations. 

"But though an impassioned and fervent temperance 
preacher and speaker, Dr. Farrar was no fanatic. He 
never asserted anything so wrong and so foolish as that 
it was a sin to drink wine ; nor was he ever so unchari 
table as to pronounce a syllable of condemnation against 
moderate drinkers. Though he encouraged all his 
family to "^stain, there was always wine at hand for 
guests who desired it, and he clearly saw and taught 
that the question of abstinence or non-abstinence was 
one which could be only settled by the individual con 
science and in connection with individual circumstances. 

" With regard to the political aspect of the question Dr. 
Farrar, though he did not shrink from the distinctively 
American mode of prohibition, gave his preference to 
the more English policy of local option and direct 
veto. Long before Mr. Ritchie and Mr. Goschen so 
vainly raised the question of compensation (in 1888 and 
1890), Dr. Farrar declared : You might as well talk of 
protecting the vested interests of a cancer as protecting 
the existing conditions of a system which, in the lan 
guage of the president of one of its own Defence 
Leagues, gives us at least 64,000 too many out of our 
107,337 licensed houses, of which he describes some as 
seething hells of vice, immorality, and crime. Dr. 
Farrar was eager for temperance legislation and used 
all his influence in this direction, believing that little 
could be done to overcome England s national sin with 
out the help of Parliament. In the House of Commons 
he was often present on the occasion of temperance 
debates, and there he heard Mr. Gladstone declare that 
the evils wrought by drink were more deadly because 


more continuous than the three great historic scourges 
of war, famine, and pestilence combined. 

" On his death the temperance press unanimously de 
clared that the cause had lost one of its best and most 
persuasive champions. God buries His workmen, but 
continues their work ; and though dead, Dr. Farrar will 
continue to speak for many a long day, until it may be 
the deepest shadow of civilisation has given way to the 
dawn of a brighter day." 

My father s beautiful but little known Teacher s Hymn 
may fitly close this chapter. 

Soft is the blush of dawn 

In heaven s serene repose, 
And bright the dewy lustre gleams 

Upon the opening rose ; 
But clouds may dim the day, 

And evening skies may lower, 
The dewdrop vanisheth away 

And cankers kill the flower. 

Sweet as the dawn, and pure 

As rose in early dew, 
The light of Innocence doth shine 

In childhood s heaven of blue ; 
Oh, never may that light 

Be quenched in cloudy gloom ; 
Oh, that no cankerworm may blight 

That rose s crimson bloom ! 

The mirth, the beauty pass, 

We do not bid them stay, 
We ask Thee not, dear Lord, to keep 

Thy blessed griefs away ; 
We pray that sin alone 

Be conquered by Thy grace, 
Nor evil in the heart be sown 

Thine image to efface. 


As lilies by the waves 

Thy childhood grew to man, 
In loveliness and graciousness 

Thine early summers ran ; 
So may Thy children grow 

To be for ever Thine, 
Till onward to noon s perfect glow 

Their golden dawn may shine. 

And oh ! to us, dear Lord, 

May grace and aid be given 
To save Thy little ones for Thee, 

And guide their feet to heaven ; 
To love, as Thou didst love, 

Their tender early days, 
Till in Thy Paradise above 

They join our song of praise. 



THESE twenty years at Westminster witnessed the 
zenith of my father s power and reputation as a preacher. 
His sermons preached to boys at Harrow and Marlbor- 
ough were in their sphere intensely powerful for good, 
and their echoes still live in the ears of many of his old 
pupils; but his influence at Westminster was national, 
and his title to rank among the very few great pulpit 
orators of the Victorian era cannot be questioned. 

Some critics have thought that Farrar s style was 
marred at times by a certain exuberance of diction, and 
that his sermons were overloaded with poetical imagery. 
There is perhaps some justice in the criticism, but two 
facts must be considered in mitigation, if mitigation be 
needed. The sermons were delivered in the routine of 
an exceptionally busy life by a prophet whose mission it 
was to preach the Kingdom to all people, and to as 
many as would hear him, and who became all things to 
all men that he might by all means save some. Certain 
great pulpit orators, as Liddon and Magee, whose out 
put of sermons was far less in amount, have had leisure 
to prepare discourses, studied, polished, and refined, 
which may have been finer as oratorical efforts, though 
hardly richer in moral and spiritual influence, than in 
dividual sermons of Farrar s. But my father, it must be 
remembered, never aimed at the reputation of an orator ; 
he had his message to deliver, and could not stop to cull 



phrases or deliberate niceties of rhetoric. His eloquence 
was unstudied, and if unchastened, his style was at any 
rate absolutely natural, spontaneous, and sincere. 

How could it be otherwise ? He preached to his own 
flock always once, and frequently twice, on Sundays, 
and his great kindness of heart made it very difficult for 
him to say " No " to requests to preach away from home 
during the week. Indeed, few men have been more ready 
than he was to help his brother clergy when appealed to. 
I am, probably, well within the mark when I compute that 
he preached not less than one hundred and twenty ser 
mons every year. Up to the eyes in pastoral and liter 
ary work, burdened with a large correspondence, and 
never shrinking from any labour that presented itself to 
his sensitive conscience as a duty, he was seldom able 
to devote more than three or four hours to the prepara 
tion of a sermon. Scant leisure was his to prune and 
polish, and, as has been said, " The ink upon the paper 
was often damp as the chimes for service marked time 
for eager multitudes." These sermons, then, were 
written currente calamo, and the manuscripts show very 
few erasures ; expression was easy to him ; he poured 
out his ardent soul as the Spirit gave him utterance, 
and without effort lavished from the rich treasures of 
his memory garnered stores of poetic illustration and 
historic parallel. 

Again, the wealth of poetic imagery which en 
riched and embellished his sermons has been held 
by some fastidious critics for a defect in style : this 
fault, too, if fault it be, was at least absolutely natural. 
It may be safely said that my father never paused, as 
do some preachers, to choose a quotation which should 
illustrate his meaning. We cannot do justice to this 
aspect of his preaching unless we try to realise that 


quotation with him was entirely spontaneous, almost 
involuntary, because his marvellous memory was stored, 
nay, saturated with passages from the poets which had 
become, as it were, a part of his very being, and which, 
when the appropriate association evoked them, came 
unbidden to his lips. To quote was with him as natural 
and automatic as to breathe, and even those florid turns 
which passed for mere exuberance of diction were not 
seldom unconscious or semiconscious quotations which 
the sapient critic failed to recognise. But why pause, 
after all, to justify these purple patches. In them lay 
one of the secrets of his power to touch the heart. He 
had in a transcendent degree the art to rivet a great 
moral or spiritual truth upon the memory with some 
passage of immortal verse which should remain a 
KTrjfjba e? det long after the echoes of the sermon had 
died away. Again, with what a flood of historic 
illustration and parallel were these discourses enriched 
and fertilised ! Read, for example, " The Witness of 
History to Christ," the Hulsean Lectures for 1870, and 
you cannot fail to be amazed with the learning and 
research of the preacher, yes, but even more with 
the habit of mind which led him to regard all history 
and all literature as so many witnesses to God, and to 
set store by his vast knowledge only as a trust to be 
used in the Master s service. 

The following extract from a newspaper humorously 
illustrates my father s prodigality in the use of quota 

" Those who are acquainted with Dean Farrar s works 
know that they swarm with all manner of quotations, 
acknowledged and unacknowledged, but we venture to 
think (says the Daily News} that the following beats 


the record : In the course of the two sermons that he 
preached at Great St. Mary s, Cambridge, he quoted 
twenty-three Scriptural phrases or texts, excluding para 
phrases, and used altogether upwards of eighty different 
quotations. An analysis will be read with curiosity. 
Dean Farrar has four Greek quotations in original 
Pindar the Greek comedian, the Greek father, and an 
unacknowledged passage ; also two Greek words used 
by St. Luke, and Latin quotations in the original from 
the Roman Poet, the Roman bard, the gay lyrist, 
St. Augustine, St. Francis Xavier, and Orosius, to say 
nothing of the inscriptions on Balliol College and Lin 
coln s Inn and such flowers of speech as summum 
bonum and toto ccelo, toto inferno. These were, no 
doubt, introduced out of compliment to a University 

"Some score of sentences, which may be prose or 
poetry, are found in the two sermons within quotation 
marks and without their source being stated. Dean 
Farrar quotes poetry without mentioning the author 
(Shakespeare, Tennyson, etc.) twelve times in all the 
total amounting to forty-seven lines. He also quotes a 
late eminent judge, the German writer, a brutal 
onlooker, and one of our greatest men of science. 

"Dean Farrar quotes from and mentions by name the 
following list, which is worth setting out after the man 
ner of all records 

" Christ (three passages) 
St. Peter 
St. Paul 
St. John 
St. Luke 
St. Augustine 

St. Francis Xavier (two pas 
sages, Latin and English) 
Marcus Aurelius 


Orosius Milton (four passages) 

Leibnitz Browning (ditto) 

Amiel (two passages) Byron (twice) 

Von Hartmann Renan (twice) 

Novalis Wordsworth 

Schopenhauer Lord Herbert of Cherbury 

Salvator Rosa Emerson 

Henry Smith Ruskin 
William Brown (the boy martyr) Thackeray 

Shakespeare (two passages Sir Fitzjames Stephen 

After this it savours of anti-climax to add that the 
preacher also alluded by name, without quoting from, to 
the prophet Isaiah, Whitefield, Augustus Caesar, Trajan, 
St. Louis of France, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Thomas 
Aquinas, the author of the Imitatio Christi, Dives, 
Lazarus (the subject of miracle), the poor, ugly teacher 
whom the Greek Pharisees doomed to drink hemlock, 
Mary (Queen), Othello, Desdemona, Cordelia, and Pan. 
There has been nothing to equal this since Sir John 
Lubbock published his Pleasures of Life. " 

The wide range of subjects covered by his sermons 
is well exemplified in a volume published in America 
under the title " Social and Present Day Questions." 
This embraces some of my father s deeply interesting 
biographical studies Sir Walter Raleigh, General 
Grant, General Garfield, Dean Stanley, Cardinal New 
man, Charles Darwin, John Bright, Garibaldi, and Count 
Leo Tolstoy, and a sermon on " Biography (The 
Teachers of Mankind)," highly characteristic of his 
method and style, a sermon on "Art" to which I 
shall recur later, and, among other subjects, sermons on 
" Social Amelioration," " National Duties," " National 
Perils," and "The Ideal Citizen." In this volume is 


also included a generous tribute to the national char 
acter of the Jews and an appeal against the stupid 
ferocities of the Judenhetze whieh won for him the 
gratitude and affection of many of the leaders of that 
ancient people. 

To those who have never heard him preach it is im 
possible to convey an adequate idea of his personality, a 
magnetism which was the birthright of perfect sincerity, 
intense conviction, and utter purity of heart, or to de 
scribe the matchless music of his voice, now melodious 
and even as a flute, now ringing out like a clarion, anon 
sinking to a hoarse whisper of passionate emotion. To 
many who heard him the tones of that beloved voice, 
now hushed in death, are among their dearest memories. 

An American divine, the Rev. John Reid Shannon, 
writes thus : 

" Dr. Farrar was a prose poet. His discourses were 
fragrant with the most beautiful flowers of speech. It 
was natural for him to speak with golden utterance, 
with artistic colouring, and poetic efflorescence. He 
was a weird magician of language ; he had a marvel 
lously rich flow of good, racy, vigorous, idiomatic Eng 
lish, a wonderful command of phrase and range of 
expression ; he clothed his ideas with noble, musical, 
picturesque words, which were as lenses giving clearest 
vision of the thoughts he presented. The splendours of 
his rhetoric touched the imagination with flashing lights, 
not unlike diamonds whose facets throw back upon the 
eye the lustrous rays of the morning sun. 

"There was in his discourses a freshness like the 
wind that blows around the mountain heights. How he 
preached inward righteousness ! How he denounced 
formalising priestcraft ! How he inveighed against the 


hollowness and emptiness of religious externalism ! He 
would not have the form put for the reality, the shadow 
for the substance, which seems to be the trend of things 
to-day in the Established Church of England ; for its 
glorification of ordinances, its gorgeous outward religious 
conformities, are, in many sanctuaries, not far removed 
from the ceremonialism of the Church of Rome. The 
avowed and uncompromising opponent of all this, Dr. 
Farrar stood as a teacher and preacher of spiritual 

By courtesy of the editor I am permitted to give the 
following extract from an article by W. Scott King in 
the British Monthly : 

"Old St. Philip s, Birmingham, is crowded from altar 
to doors with eager-eyed, panting, expectant young men 
waiting to hear the brilliant author of The Life of 
Christ and Seekers after God. Among them is a 
boy student from a neighbouring college. Standing erect 
in the far pulpit is a noble, stately figure with pure, 
clear-cut features, gentle yet throbbing brow, and sil 
vered hair, and a voice oh, what a voice ! He is tell 
ing a story of shame and wrong, and Tom Hood s 
pitiful lines are falling from the angry, quivering lips : 

" Mad from life s history, 
Glad to death s mystery. 

Oh, end it ! end it ! It is insupportable. The very altar 
candles flickered like some torch held low and search- 
ingly over the dark waters. The end comes Young 
man ! is this your handiwork ? And a deep sob as 
of conscience-smitten remonstrance goes up from the 
heaving mass in answer. 

" Again, it is a Sunday morning in May, and the altar 


is dressed in white lilies, and two thousand of the city s 
wealthiest and most cultured have gathered to hear the 
author of St. Winifred s and Darkness and Dawn. 
It is Temperance Sunday and the text is awaited almost 
with fear. Then it came ! Ye shall be hated of all 
men for My sake. Did they look a martyred congre 
gation stylishly dressed, well fed, complacent ? Then 
followed the characteristic sermon quotation upon 
quotation from Juvenal and Herodotus, from Milton and 
Browning, metaphor on the heels of metaphor, gorgeous 
in purple and gold diction, illustrations from London 
life, Athenian life, from Corinth and Birmingham, anal 
ogies from nature, and apothegms from Cicero, from 
Dante, from General Booth. It has been said that 
Dean Farrar thought in quotations, and indeed so it 
seemed ; but the quotations were a-thrill with molten 
passion and consuming solicitude, reminding one of what 
his old friend and master said of him so long ago, In ! 
Farrar the culture of other days is blended with the 
wisdom of ours. " 

There is an interesting passage in "Dean Stanley s 
Life," in which allusion is made to one of these sermons, 
preached on the last Sunday in 1876. The Dean had 
picked up Lord Beaconsfield in Whitehall, and carried 
him into the Abbey, where the two men, in their different 
ways the most remarkable, and, so to say, picturesque, 
individuals of the time, stood for a few minutes on the 
pedestal of one of the vaster monuments in order to 
hear Canon Farrar preach. As they came out into St. 
Margaret s churchyard, the Premier confided to the 
Dean his impressions. " I could not follow him," he 
said. " Perhaps I am hard of hearing, and I was not 
accustomed to his voice ; but it was a fine delivery and 


suitable to the occasion. But I would not have missed 
the sight for anything the darkness, the lights, the 
marvellous windows, the vast crowd, the courtesy, the 
respect, the devotion and fifty years ago there would 
not have been fifty persons there ! " 

I may here add that my father throughout his life 
almost invariably wrote his sermons ; but as he did not, 
after the manner of some preachers, keep his eyes glued 
to the manuscript before him, but was able at a single 
glance to take in the substance of a page, his utterances 
had a freedom and power which is seldom associated 
with written discourses. His style was so easy that 
hearers who did not know his practice not seldom 
thought they were listening to an extempore sermon. 
The intensity of his zeal for God and fervent hatred of 
evil gave a vehement force to many of the preacher s 
utterances. On this point he says himself, in " Mercy 
and Judgment " : 

" It has been laid to my charge, almost as if it were a 
fault, that in those sermons I adopted a vehement tone. 
Is it a sin to feel strongly and to speak strongly ? Are 
the Prophets and the Psalmists never vehement? Is 
St. Paul never vehement? Are St. Peter and St. 
James and St. John never vehement ? As for adopting 
a vehement tone, my reply is that I never adopt* 
any tone at all, but speak as it is given to me to speak, 
and use only such language as most spontaneously and 
naturally expresses the thoughts and feelings with which 
I write. Every one, says Dr. Newman, preaches 
according to his frame of mind at the time of preaching, 
and it is quite true that at the time when I preached 
those sermons [sc. Eternal Hope ] my feelings had been 
stirred to their inmost depths. I am not the least 
ashamed of the excitement at which party news- 


papers and reviews have sneered. I do not blush for 
the moral indignation which most of what has since been 
written on this subject shows to have been intensely 
needful. In the ordinary course of parochial work I 
had stood by death-beds of men and women which had 
left on my mind an indelible impression. I had become 
aware that the minds of many of the living were hope 
lessly harassed, and I can use no other word devas 
tated by the horror with which they brooded over the 
fate of the dead. The happiness of their lives was 
shattered, the peace of their souls destroyed, not by the 
sense of earthly bereavement, but by the terrible belief 
that brother, or son, or wife, or husband had passed 
away into physical anguish and physical torment, 
endless and beyond all utterance excruciating." 

There are not a few who hold that Farrar s chief 
service to God and the Church was his outspoken repu 
diation of the commonly held doctrine, which attributed 
to a loving Creator the everlasting torture of souls which 
He has created ; and who believe that, when all his 
other books are forgotten, he will still be remembered 
with gratitude as the fearless preacher of " Eternal 

Though this ghastly doctrine of everlasting torment is 
seldom taught in the present generation, it cannot be too 
strongly asserted that a generation ago it was commonly 
received as a tenet of orthodoxy that sinners were pun 
ished by God with everlasting torment in hell-fire, and 
that only a few souls were exempt from this damnation. 
Even so late as 1880 the devout and earnest Dean Goul- 
burn wrote, and dedicated to the Dean of Chichester, an 
elaborate defence of the thesis that God s purpose in 
creation was that the majority of mankind should suffer 
everlasting punishment in hell, and that this purpose 


is not inconsistent with His justice and love. That the 
doctrine still found many supporters is shown by the 
fact that a second and enlarged edition of " Everlasting 
Punishment " was published in the following year. 

The theory, thus nakedly upheld with uncompromis 
ing and courageous plainness of utterance, less than a 
quarter of a century ago, by a dignitary of the Church, 
justly honoured for his learning and piety, was commonly, 
almost universally, believed during the first half of the 
nineteenth century. 

It was this doctrine that made of the elder Mill a 
professed atheist. "Think," said he, "of a God who 
could create mankind with the infallible foreknowledge 
and therefore with the intention that the vast majority 
of them should suffer everlasting torment." " What 
ever power," says John Stuart Mill, " such a Being may 
have over me, there is one thing He shall not do. He 
shall not compel me to worship Him ; and if as a penalty 
for my refusal to worship Him, that Being can send me 
to hell, then to hell I will go." And it cannot be doubted 
that more than any single cause a dogma founded on 
the distortion of isolated texts, mostly mistranslated 
and all misapplied, elaborated by the sombre imaginings 
of mediaeval monasticism, and rivetted upon Protes 
tantism by Calvinistic divines, a dogma which imputes 
to the God of love the malignant and maleficent attri 
butes of a fiend, has contributed to the spread of 
atheism and infidelity. " If this," says Leslie Stephen, 
"be the logical result of accepting theories, better 
believe in no God at all." 

The pious author of the " Saints Rest," after im 
pressing on his readers that they are but a small part of 
mankind to whom "it is their Father s good pleasure 
to give the kingdom," proceeds to declare : "The ever- 


lasting flames of hell will not be thought too hot for the 
rebellious ; and when they have burned there through 
millions of ages, He will not repent him of the evil 
which has befallen them. Woe to the soul that is thus 
set up as a butt for the wrath of the Almighty to shoot 
at ! and as a bush that must burn in the flames of His 
jealousy, and never be consumed ! . . . Terrible thing, 
when none in heaven or earth can help them but God, 
and He shall rejoice in their calamity ! " And the 
doctrine thus enunciated by the saintly Baxter has been 
explicitly taught by Jonathan Edwards, who declared, 
inter alia : " The damned shall be tormented in the 
presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the 
Lamb, so will they be tormented also in the presence of 
the glorified saints. Thus the saints will be made more 
sensible how great their salvation is. The view of the 
misery of the damned will double the ardour of the love 
and gratitude of the saints in heaven." 

Dr. Pusey has taught : " Apart from all those terrific 
physical miseries of which our Lord speaks, . . . the 
society of the damned were misery unutterable. Gather 
in one in your mind an assembly of all those men and 
women from whom, whether in history or in fiction, 
your memory most shrinks ; gather in mind all which 
is most loathsome, most revolting. Conceive the fierce 
fiery eyes of hate, spite, frenzied rage, were fixed on 
thee, looking thee through and through with hate . . . 
hear those yells of blasphemy and concentrated hate as 
they echo along the lurid vault of hell ; every one hat 
ing every one " (" Parochial Sermons "). 1 

Charles Spurgeon wrote : "When thou diest thy 
soul will be tormented alone ; that will be a hell for it : 

1 It is fair to add that those views of Dr. Pusey were much modified in 
after years. 


but at the day of judgment thy body will join thy soul, 
and then thou wilt have twin-hells, thy soul sweating 
drops of blood, and thy body suffused with agony. In 
fire exactly like that which we have on earth thy body 
will lie, asbestos-like, for ever unconsumed, all thy veins 
roads for the feet of pain to travel on, every nerve a 
string on which the devil shall for ever play his diaboli 
cal tune of hell s unutterable lament ! " (Sermon on the 
Resurrection of the Dead.) 

The catechism of the Wesleyan Methodists describes 
hell as " a dark and bottomless pit full of fire and brim 
stone, in which the wicked will be punished by having 
their bodies tormented with fire, and their souls by a 
sense of the wrath of God. And these torments will 
last for ever and ever." The saintly churchman from 
whom they take their name seems to have held similar 

It is true that a silent revolt against this fetich had 
been spreading among thoughtful people, and that mur 
murs had been whispered even within the pale of ortho 
doxy ; that a few broad-minded theologians had hinted 
at the revision of current eschatological doctrines, and 
that of educated laymen few even professed to be bound 
by the clanking chains of Calvinism. But the doctrine 
commonly taught was that propounded by Baxter. 

It is needful to insist on the fact that the belief iri 
everlasting hell-fire was generally held by orthodox 
Christians in the last generation, because we cannot 
otherwise appreciate the fearless courage required in a 
clergyman to stand up in the National Pulpit and de 
nounce this doctrine in language which left no room for 

In 1877 a discussion was being held in the Nineteenth 
Century on the soul and future life ; and the question 


raised by Mallock, " Is Life worth Living ? " had excited 
the attention of both clergy and laity. 

In reference to this question my father delivered 
from the pulpit of Westminster Abbey in November 
and December the five sermons, never originally in 
tended for publication, and preached in the ordinary 
course of his duties, which, when it became necessary 
to do so in simple self-defence against the many perver 
sions of his real views which were prevalent among 
those who had not heard the sermons, he published in 
the volume entitled " Eternal Hope." 

It must be borne in mind, therefore, in regard to the 
style of the book, and to allegations sometimes made, 
that it depends for its effect rather on rhetoric than on 
close reasoning ; that this, which was in respect of its 
far-reaching influence, perhaps, my father s most im 
portant work, and the one by which his name will be 
handed down to posterity, was not an elaborately pre 
pared theological treatise, but consisted mainly of ser 
mons thrown off in the routine of a very laborious life, 
and preached Sunday after Sunday to vast popular 

It is impossible to give here anything approaching to 
a full account of " Eternal Hope," which will, besides, 
be familiar to most readers of these pages. 

Its importance as a contribution to systematic theol 
ogy resides in the Preface and Excursus, in which the 
author pleads earnestly for a revision of certain transla 
tions rendered "hell," "damnation," and "everlasting" 
in the Authorised Version. He shows that the words 
Kplcris, /cpivco, KaraKpivw, etc., rendered into "damn" 
and its cognates, imply neither more nor less than 
"judgment," or "condemnation"; that often words 
rendered "hell," "Sheol," "Hades," and "Tartarus" 


(2 Pet. ii. 4) mean simply " the unseen world," or the 
world "beyond the grave," and "Gehenna" a punish 
ment which, to the Jews, as a body, never meant an 
endless punishment beyond the grave ; and, finally, 
that the word al&vtos, rendered "everlasting," means 
"age-long" or "eternal," and confessedly does not and 
seventy times out of ninety cannot mean " endless." 

But though many of the clergy, including not a few 
learned theologians, acknowledged the soundness of his 
arguments, and, in several cases, confessed that they 
had tacitly held similar views, but had never ventured 
to formulate them ; and though my father in a subse 
quent book, " Mercy and Judgment," successfully de 
fended his views against the criticisms of the learned 
Dr. Pusey : " Eternal Hope " was not addressed to the 
ologians, but to the masses of the people ; and was not 
primarily designed to convince the clergy, but to deliver 
humble believers from the bondage of an intolerable 
error, and to bring home to them the love and mercy 
of God. 

Those sermons, delivered on successive Sunday after 
noons in the winter of 1877, will never be forgotten by 
those who heard that clarion voice, ringing through the 
vast arches of the dim Abbey, amid the hushed silence 
of the listening throng. For those who only read them 
they abound in passages of matchless eloquence. I will 
select but one. 

" But to all these comes the cry Comfort ye, comfort 
ye my people, saith our God. Your own holier instinct 
tells you so. Son, or brother, or friend, or father dies ; 
we all have lost them ; it may be that they were not 
holy ; not even religious ; perhaps not even moral men ; 
and it may be that, after living the common life of man, 
they died suddenly, and with no space for repentance ; 


and if a state of sin be not a state of grace, then cer 
tainly by all rules of theology they had not repented, 
they were not saved. And yet, when you stood O 
father, O brother heavy-hearted by their open grave ; 
when you drank in the sweet words of calm and hope 
which our Church utters over their poor remains ; 
when you laid the white flowers on the coffin ; when 
you heard the dull rattle of earth to earth, ashes to 
ashes, dust to dust ; you, who, if you knew their sins 
and their feelings, knew also all that was good, and 
sweet, and amiable, and true within them, dared you, 
did you, even in the inmost sessions of thought, con 
sign them as you ought logically to do, as you ought if 
you are sincere in that creed to do, to the unending 
anguish of that hell which you teach ? Or does your 
heart, your conscience, your sense of justice, your love 
of Christ, your faith in God, your belief in Him of whom 
you sing every Sunday that his mercy is everlasting, 
rise in revolt against your nominal profession then ? " 

But while he dared not set limits to the infinite mercy 
of an all-merciful God and Father, none ever pointed 
with sterner finger to the ineluctable Nemesis that at 
tends on sin. " The man who is sold under sin is dead, 
morally dead, spiritually dead ; and such a man is a 
ghost, far more awful than the soul which was once in 
a dead body, for he is a body bearing about with him a 
dead soul. Better, far, far better for him to have cut 
off the right hand, or plucked out the right eye, than to 
have been cast as he has been, now in his lifetime 
and as he will be cast until he repents, even beyond the 
grave, into that Gehenna of aeonian fire ! It shall purify 
him, God grant, in due time ; but oh ! it shall agonise, 
because he has made himself, as yet, incapable of any 
other redemption. So that if any youth have wickedly 


thoughts in his heart that God is even such an one as 
himself that he may break with impunity God s awful 
commandments, that he may indulge with impunity his 
own evil lusts, let him recall the sad experience of Solo 
mon, which he heard this morning, Walk in the ways 
of thine heart and in the sight of thine eyes ; but know 
thou that for all these things God will bring thee into 
judgment. Let him remember the stern warning of 
Isaiah, Woe unto them that call evil good and good 
evil ; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness ; 
that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter ! There 
fore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame 
consumeth the chaff, so shall their root be as rottenness, 
and their blossom shall go up as dust ; because they 
have cast away the law of the Lord of Hosts, and de 
spised the word of the Holy One of Israel. " 

"Eternal Hope " was regarded by certain churchmen as 
a challenge, and led to a controversy, conducted on both 
sides with perfect courtesy, and finally to a friendly cor 
respondence with the learned Dr. Pusey. Dr. Pusey pub 
lished in reply to my father, "What is of Faith as to 
Everlasting Punishment ? " This controversy and the 
correspondence which ensued cleared the air and vindi 
cated, if vindication was needed, the orthodoxy of the 
preacher of "Eternal Hope" ; for, though my father bated 
no jot of his belief as expressed in that work, Dr. Pusey 
was able to write to him : " It is a great relief to me that 
you can substitute the conception of a future purification 
[instead of a state of probation] for those who have not 
utterly extinguished the grace of God in their hearts. 
This I think would put you in harmony with the whole of 
Christendom" And again " You seem to me to deny 
nothing which I believe. You do not deny the eternal 
punishment of souls obstinately hard and finally impeni- 


tent. I believe in the eternal punishment of no other. 
Who they are God alone knows." 

The views expressed in "Eternal Hope" were, of 
course, misunderstood, distorted, and perverted not only 
by the working-man who exclaimed, " It s all right 
Farrar says there s no ell," but by writers in the ecclesi 
astical press, for whose distortions there was less excuse. 
In 1 88 1, therefore, my father followed up the sermons 
by a book, " Mercy and Judgment," in which he ex 
pressed in more permanent form his matured and 
deliberate convictions on this great question. As his 
real views have been so widely misrepresented, I may 
be allowed to reproduce here the closing words of this 
book, in which the writer marshals and exhaustively 
reviews the whole body of eschatological theology from 
the Fathers down to modern times : 

" In accordance then with what the Church has ever 
held adding nothing to that Catholic creed, and sub 
tracting nothing from it ; 

" I believe that on the subject of man s future it has 
been God s will to leave us uninstructed in details, and 
that He has vouchsafed to us only so much light as may 
serve to guide our lives. 

" I believe in God the Father, the Creator ; in God the 
Son, the Redeemer ; in God the Holy Ghost, the Com 

" I believe that God is Love. 

" I believe that God willeth all men to be saved. 

" I believe that God has given to all men the gift of 
immortality, and that the gifts of God are without repent 

"I believe that every man shall stand before the 
judgment seat of Christ and shall be judged according 
to his deeds. 


" I believe that He who shall be our Judge is He who 
died for the sins of the whole world. 

" I believe that if any man sin, we have an advocate 
with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous, and He is 
the propitiation for our sins. 

" I believe in the forgiveness of sins. 

" I believe that all who are saved are saved only by 
grace through faith ; and that not of ourselves ; it is the 
gift of God. 

" I believe that every penitent and pardoned soul will 
pass from this life into a condition of hope, blessedness, 
and peace. 

" I believe that man s destiny stops not at the grave, 
and that many who knew not Christ here will know Him 

"I believe that in the depths of the divine com 
passion there may be opportunity to win faith in the 
future state. 

" I believe that hereafter whether by means of the 
almost-sacrament of death or in other ways unknown 
to us God s mercy may reach many who, to all earthly 
appearance, might seem to us to die in a lost and unre- 
generate state. 

" I believe that as impenitent sin is punished here, so 
also it is punished beyond the grave. 

"I believe that the punishment is effected, not by 
arbitrary inflictions, but by natural and inevitable con 
sequences, and therefore that the expressions which 
have been interpreted to mean physical and material 
agonies by worm and flame are metaphors for a state of 
remorse and alienation from God. 

" I see reasons to hope that these agonies may 
be so tempered by the mercy of God, that the soul 
may hereafter find some measure of peace and patience, 


even if it be not admitted into His vision and His 

" I believe that among the punishments of the world 
to come there are few stripes as well as many 
stripes, and I do not see how any fair interpretation of 
the metaphor, few stripes, can be made to involve 
the conception of endlessness for all who incur future 

" I believe that Christ went and preached to the 
spirits in prison, and I see reasons to hope that since 
the gospel was thus once preached to them that were 
dead, the offers of God s mercy may in some form be 
extended to the soul, even after death. 

" I believe that there is an intermediate state of the 
soul, and that the great separation of souls into two 
classes will not take place until the final judgment. 

" I believe that we are permitted to hope that, whether 
by a process of discipline, or enlightenment, or purifica 
tion, or punishment, or by the special mercy of God in 
Christ, or in consequence of prayer, the state of many 
souls may be one of progress and diminishing sorrow, 
and of advancing happiness in the intermediate state. 

" I believe that there will be degrees of blessedness 
and degrees of punishment or deprivation, and I see 
reasons to hope that there may be gradual mitigations 
of penal doom to all souls that accept the will of God 
respecting them. 

" I believe as Christ has said, that all manner of sin 
shall be forgiven unto men, and all their blasphemies, 
however greatly they shall blaspheme, and that as 
there is but one sin of which He said that it should be 
forgiven neither in this aeon nor in the next, there must 
be some sins which will be forgiven in the next as well 
as in this. 


" I believe that without holiness no man can see the 
Lord, and that no sinner can be pardoned or accepted 
till he has repented, and till his free will is in unison 
with the will of God ; and I cannot tell whether some 
souls may not resist God for ever, and therefore may 
not be for ever shut out from His presence. 

"And I believe that to be without God is hell ; 
and that in this sense there is a hell beyond the grave ; 
and that for any soul to fall even for a time into this 
condition, though it be through its own hardened im 
penitence and resistance of God s grace, is a very awful 
and terrible prospect ; and that in this sense there may 
be for some souls an endless hell. But I see reason to 
hope that through God s mercy, and through the merits 
of Christ s sacrifice, the great majority of mankind may 
be delivered from this awful doom. For though, accord 
ing to the Scriptures, I know not what its nature will be 
or how it will be effected, 

" I believe in the restitution of all things ; and I be 
lieve in the coming of that time when, though in what 
sense I cannot pretend to explain or to fathom, God 
will be all in all. 


If, as has been often thought and said, " Eternal Hope " 
cost the fearless preacher high ecclesiastical preferment, 
the sermons won for him a far higher, reward in the love 
and gratitude of thousands who looked up to him as the 
deliverer of the faithful from the gloom and terrors of a 
fetich worship, which they had been taught to regard 
as an essential of right belief, and who rejoiced in the 
freedom to worship God as the God of Love, not as the 
pitiless Creator whose vengeance had decreed the great 
mass of His creatures to a doom of hideous and never 


ending torment. From a very large number of letters 
I have selected a few illustrative of the deep gratitude 
which those sermons evoked : 

"November 26, 1877. 

" MY DEAR SIR : Millions will bless you for your brave 
and inspired utterance against the most sorrowful super 
stition that ever oppressed weary and heavy laden man. 
We want again the outright, burning words of old pro 
phetic times when men felt that the hand of the Lord 
was upon them. 

" Heartily yours, 

"J. P. H." 

" November 28th. 

" MY DEAR CANON FARRAR : I must express my 
thanks to you for your sermon in the Abbey. God give 
you the wisdom and the courage to free our Church from 
the incubus of the hell of Dr. Watts K.T.\. which has 
kept the laity away from us more than ritualism or any 
thing else. Is your sermon published ? If not might I 
have the special favour of the loan of the MS. 

I have talked to many persons privately in the last 
few years upon this subject, and especially to the Bishops, 
and I believe that every Bishop on the bench agrees in 
his heart with you, but they dare not say it. Don t 
trouble to do more than reply on a post-card. I know 
how you are pressed. 

" I am most truly yours, 

"B. W." 

"KALNTARA, CEYLON, Dec. 1 8, 1877. 

" MY DEAR CANON FARRAR : I seem to draw a new 
jreath ! to live a new life ! to have heard the best tidings 


of comfort to all men that I have ever yet heard during 
the sixty-two years of my life, now that I this moment 
read of your sermon preached in the sacred Abbey de 
nouncing the doctrine of Eternal Punishment. 

"It seems to me as if all through heaven and earth 
there was a general rejoicing on the day you rent 
asunder that hideous veil, tore the black hiding cloth, 
from top to bottom, and showed God s real face to man. 

" For a long time past, more especially since the two 
years I have spent in this island, I have sorrowed in 
heart over the blasphemy of representing our Creator as 
He is represented by those who preach the doctrine of 
eternal damnation and everlasting hell-fire, and make 
the devil the triumphant conqueror and our God (our 
Almighty God) the helpless God who yields up those 
He cannot save by tens of thousands, whilst those He 
has saved and will save are counted by scores. Much 
as there is of devil worship in the island, there is noth 
ing that approaches the intensity of faith in the power 
of the devil that is, alas ! so universally preached in our 
Church. Sad as it is to see the hopeless, helpless at 
tempts of these dear, dark races to propitiate the Devil 
in the Swami festivals, bringing the sick forward, 
adorning themselves with garlands of flowers, gay robes 
of saffron, blue, white, and red, piling edifices of brass 
pans, beating tom-toms and kettledrums, making deaf 
ening noises and yelling shouts, dancing hideous dances 
with savage contortions, dragging a poor solitary goat 
along with this deluded crew, and finally sacrificing it 
with a red cock and a sheep; all this to propitiate their 
devil, to cure their sick, to avert surrounding pestilence 
or threatened famine, or any impending evil : this 
devil worship of theirs, so sad to see, is, surely, but 
child s play compared with the devil worship of our 


Church with our creed of the omnipotence of the devil, 
with the faith that our God creates a world nine-tenths 
of which He dooms or has to see doomed to everlasting 
punishment, while He, the Creator, the Redeemer, the 
Sanctifier, is content to decree that this should be so, 
and is made to say that for this end the human race was 
and is created, to feed the everlasting flames of a hun 
gry, never satisfied, all devouring hell-fire. 

" May God give you length of days to establish your 
new doctrine to man. Dearest F. D. Maurice, from 
heaven, he will be glad. May you live to see our Bible 
the message of salvation, to see the hell side torn out 
of it for ever and ever, and God as He is in His Holy 
Majesty, the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever, there 
given to us as always Love, Justice, and Mercy, a Heav 
enly Father dealing with His children not less tenderly 
than a human father with an erring son ! 

" Do you remember who it is that troubles you with 
this long letter ? Do you remember when you kindly 
walked from Farringford to Freshwater one day and in 
my dining-room (as I see you standing now) gave your 
Holy Book to your ever grateful 


"Palm Sunday, 1878. 

" MY DEAR FARRAR : There is nothing of the kind 
I can say quite sincerely which would give me greater 
pleasure than to be allowed to sympathise with your 
work, and to have my name in any way joined with it. 
You cannot have the subject more at heart than I have, 
but you can bring it home to men, and that is a great 
privilege. I rejoice to hear of the sermons and of 


their effect. May they become a thousand-fold more 

" He whose soul constrains him to speak strong words 
will rouse some violent opposition, but sympathy is real 
if more commonly silent ; and I am sure that you need 
not fear that many hearts are not with you. That is 
not to be unpopular in any sense of the word which 
can cause a moment s pain. 

" Brooke s success was a great joy to me. He will, I 
think, use it as a trust. 

" With kindest regards, 

" Ever yours sincerely, 


"Sunday Evening, I4th January, 1883. 

" MY DEAR CANON FARRAR : I cannot help writing 
to thank you for the sermon of this afternoon ! I had 
said so much to Horsley, and other friends, about last 
Sunday s sermon, that I hardly dared hope they would 
hear one as fine. But I must say they were as satisfied 
as I was. Horsley said, coming out, Do you pretend 
that you thought last Sunday s sermon finer? If so, 
all I can say is, I cannot understand how it could be, 
for / have never heard any thing to equal what we have 
heard to-day. And I feel sure he is right, and the 
crowd of young and old men who heard it will thank 
you and bless you in their hearts as I do most sincerely. 
Fierce in your denunciation of sin, you comfort one 
and encourage one at the same time by telling us how 
to overcome it in words that the first scholar of our 
time as well as the humbler people like myself can/^/ 
and understand as you intend they should be under 
stood. I know you will excuse my writing thus, but 
I feel so grateful to you that I hardly know how to 


express my feelings without appearing foolish. Of 
course I do not dream of your answering this note. 
When we meet I will be able to tell you in better Eng 
lish how much I have felt and how you have touched 
me. I happened to sit with numbers I knew, and they 
joined me in a chorus of delight. The anthem cooled 
us down a bit ! 

" Ever yours sincerely, 

"A. B." 

"January 2, 1902. 

" MOST REVEREND SIR : I trust you will not deem it 
an impertinence on my part in addressing these few 
lines to you, but I cannot refrain from expressing the 
deep sense of gratitude I feel towards yourself after a 
perusal of two of your books. Some twenty years back 
I frequently went to hear you at St. Margaret s, West 
minster ; and at the time derived much pleasure and 
comfort : since then, I regret to say, I have not looked 
so closely to my future welfare as I should have done, 
but an event in my life which recently happened has 
recalled me (I sincerely trust) to my senses. It was a 
loss by death. I at once turned my thoughts, or rather 
my thoughts voluntarily returned, to the old days I 
mention, and as I could no longer go to hear you, by 
some impulse I was led to get one of your books from 
the public library. It was The Fall of Man, and I can 
assure you I studied it with delight and profit. I have 
just finished reading your Mercy and Judgment, and 
no book I have ever read so much comforted, instructed, 
and delighted me. I feel so deeply grateful for such a 
well thought out and common-sense book that I could 
not refrain from attempting in a few feeble words to 
convey the sense of heartfelt gratitude I feel. Many 


doubts which I had have been cleared away, and I think I 
understand your meaning in the works referred to. Their 
perusal has made me more than ever determined to strive 
to have the higher life of the hereafter, and the other 
questions do not so much matter ; but at the same time, 
your vivid descriptions of God s love (as against the 
doctrine of vengeance) have made me think that one s 
shortcomings will be looked upon from a heart of love, 
and not one wishing to put forward all errors so as to 
punish. I cannot well express my thoughts, but I do 
indeed again and again thank you. I shall, if they are in 
the library, read your works. I wish I had done so 

" Might I, as a set-off for troubling you, tell you of a 
little incident connected with yourself ? About eighteen 
years ago I went to hear you one Sunday afternoon at 
the Old Victoria Coffee Hall, Waterloo Road. The old 
theatre was packed with persons, mostly from the sur 
rounding slums. Your address was listened to in great 
silence, and at its close a man of the costermonger class, 
sitting next to me, turned to a friend of his, and, slapping 
him on the knee, said, Bill, I can understand that bloke, 
meaning yourself. I thought at the time, and still 
think, that this was as eloquent a tribute as was ever 
paid to a man of learning addressing such an audience. 
Again asking your pardon for addressing you and with 
my heartfelt thanks I beg to remain, 

" Your ever grateful servant, 

"T. F. D." 


" It will interest you to know that up here, right in 
the wilds, in a Norwegian house, we have found a trans 
lation of your father s Eternal Hope and Mercy 


and Judgment. It belongs to the farmer here, and is 
well worn. t( TT 

But if the sermons brought the preacher much grati 
tude, they also drew down upon him not a few anathe 
mas from those who were wedded to the doctrine of 
everlasting torment as a tenet of orthodoxy. Of these 
a single sample shall suffice : 

" SIR : If your sermon has been correctly reported in 
the John Bull, which you preached last Sunday after 
noon in Westminster Abbey, in which you boldly denied 
the doctrine of eternal punishment, which is distinctly 
taught in the Church of England, as well as in the 
Word of God, for the Church teaches nothing contrary 
to God s word ; you will, of course, if you are an honest 
man, secede from that church as I believe Sir Samuel 
Minton has done. You may be a theologian, but I fear 
that you have never been taught by God s Spirit, or you 
would not preach such a soul-destroying error as that 
which you preached last Sunday, if the report be a cor 
rect one. Look, for instance, at one passage, out of 
multitudes that can be adduced, Rev. xx. 10: And the 
devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire 
and brimstone, where the beast and false prophet are 
and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. 
Then read the 22d chapter, verses 18, 19, and you may 
well tremble. I think that your position as a clergy 
man is a most fearful one, and I pray that your eyes 
may be opened to see your danger before it be too late, 
and you find yourself in the lake of unquenchable fire. 
" I am, sir, 

" Yours faithfully, 



The following letter, written by my father to Mrs. 
Hypatia Bradlaugh Bonner, daughter of the late Charles 
Bradlaugh, is of interest : 

" DEAR MADAM : I do not know a single reasonably 
educated Christian who takes the mere symbols of 
heaven for heaven. We do not suppose that heaven is 
a cubic city, or a pagoda of jewels, or even an endless 
seven-fold chorus of hallelujahs and harping symphonies. 
Long ago a Christian poet sang : 

" O for a deeper insight into heaven : 
More knowledge of the glory and the joy 
Which there unto the happy souls is given ; 
For it is past belief that Christ hath died 
Only that we eternal psalms might sing ; 
That all the gain Death s awful curtains hide 
Is this eternity of antheming, 
And this praised rest : shall there be no endeavour ? 

" If I could find a printed sermon of mine, entitled 
What Heaven Is, you would see that we regard it as 
a place of progress, of fruition of all that is noble, of 
growth and progress upward and onward, of endless and 
beneficent activity, of a love which knows no fear and 
no hatred, of a growing more like to God because we 
shall see Him as He is. In Browning s poems you will 
see this view of heaven constantly set forth ; and the 
eminent theologian, Whichcot, said two centuries ago, 
Heaven is a temper. I have often quoted with ap 
proval the saying of Confucius, Heaven means prin 
ciple. The old detestable notions of happy souls 
rejoicing over the torments of the lost have long been 
exorcised, and if you have time to glance at my Eter 
nal Hope or Mercy and Judgment, which now re 
present the best opinions in the Church, you will see 


many proofs that the Calvinistic horrors of an unnatural 
theology have never been authorised by many men, 
even by greatest Christian fathers and canonised saints 
of the mediaeval Church. 

" Let me add, I for one have not uttered a syllable of 
disrespect about your father, though I am a convinced 
believer. I only met him once, as Chaplain of the 
House of Commons, and we exchanged a courteous 
greeting. Had I been able to show him Christianity 
as I see it, I do not think he would have wished to be 
counted among the foes of our Gospel if such was 
his attitude. But Christianity has been more sorely 
wounded in the house of its friends than by its enemies. 
" Yours faithfully, 

"F. W. FARRAR." 



IN 1885, my father, in company with his friend, Arch 
deacon Vesey of Huntingdon, and Mr. W. Ingelow, a 
brother of the poetess, paid a long visit to Canada and 
America. He landed at Quebec on September 13, 
1885, and after visiting Montreal, Toronto, Buffalo, Bal 
timore, Philadelphia, Washington, New York, Boston, 
Chicago, and other principal cities of America, sailed 
from New York on December 5. He was received by 
both Canadians and Americans with quite extraordi 
nary warmth and enthusiasm, a reception which justified 
the prophecy made by Dean Stanley on the occasion of 
his American visit that "if Canon Farrar should ever 
visit this country, he would create a furore : he is exactly 
the kind of man that would suit Americans." 

Not only was he already popular in America from his 
books and sermons (several of which, by the way, had 
been freely " pirated " by American publishers), but the 
warmth and kindness of his reception was in no small 
measure due to the fact that he had won the hearts of 
Americans by his magnificent eulogy on General Grant, 
delivered in Westminster Abbey in August of the same 

He was engaged to deliver lectures on Dante and 
Browning, and he gave besides many sermons, lectures, 
and addresses on "Education," "Temperance," "Biblical 



Exegesis," "Napoleon," "The Press," and "Farewell 
Thoughts on America." 

His eloquent lecture on Dante sent many Americans 
to the study of that poet, and was most warmly received ; 
though he used to quote with amusement the comment 
of a Chicago journalist, who said that the fact of the 
poet having gone over from the Guelphs to the Ghibel- 
lines was proof that Dante was a Mugwump, and the 
father of Mugwumps ; and the saying of an Indianapo 
lis newspaper man, who remarked of the lecture, " Oh, 
yes, it is all very well, but Dante is a dead issue ! " 

"Dante," replied the lecturer, "is not a dead issue. 
He taught lessons which are rilled with instruction and 
inspiration for all time to come." His application of 
the moral truths to be learned from the study of Dante 
and the poet s message for ourselves is so fine and char 
acteristic an example of my father s literary methods 
and style that I am tempted to give here an extract 
from this lecture. 

"Is vice in this nineteenth century dead, that you 
can afford to despise the lessons which would set it 
before you in its true nature ? Is any of that pitch on 
our hands ? Are any of our tongues tipped with that 
envenomed flame ? Are none of us tempted like those 
wretches in the vestibule of hell, to stand leisurely neu 
tral in the great conflict between good and evil ? If any 
of us have followed the example of those whom Dante 
saw in that place, then Dante has the same strong and 
significant lessons for this century that he had for the 
days in which he lived. You have all read the Book 
of Wisdom, and you know the lesson of the last chap 
ters of that remarkably eloquent book is this : That 
wherewithal man sinneth, by the same also shall he 
be punished. It is always one sin, and that a favourite 


one, by which souls are destroyed. Sometimes in a 
single line Dante infuses a moral lesson which is a 
moral gain for life. One lesson he teaches is that the 
forgiveness of sin is one thing and the remission of sin 
another. The spirits in purgatory do not feel worthy to 
see God till the angels have brushed from their fore 
heads the seven letters which stand for the seven sins. 
That punishment is the easiest to bear which follows 
soonest on the sin. Another truth which Dante points 
out is the absolute necessity for repentance. He means 
to teach us, too, that there is danger in contact with 
evil. He feels the taint of the vices he looks on. He 
feels that he becomes base as he listens to the revil- 
ings of the base, and false when he listens to treachery. 
" Dante s vision has in it a moral lesson worthy to be 
pondered long, for it is a faithful allegory of a spiritual 
torment, certain to be visited on all who forsake God s 
law. The moral hell and moral heaven consist not only 
in flames of torment and beatitude, but in tempers; not 
only in flames or golden cities, but in phases of the soul. 
His object is to hold up before men the purity of God s 
moral government, to arouse them to a sense of the 
mystery of their state, to point them to the beauty of 
the Christian temper, to teach them the fulness of the 
grace of God, to bring the human soul to a conception 
of the possibility of rising step by step into a joy not 
imaginable by man, and yet of a higher order than the 
ideal of earth. His subject is not so much the state of 
souls after death, about which Dante knew just as much 
and just as little as you or I, because he knew just as 
much and just as little as has been revealed to us by 
God. He does not mean to describe a kind of hell in 
which all mankind has ceased to believe as a reality, but 
behind this he means to give the full verity of a moral 


hell. His subject is not so much the state of souls after 
death as that man is rendering himself liable, by the 
exercise of free will, to the rewards and punishments of 
justice. It is solely by realising such truths that any 
one of us can attain the ideal which Dante wanted to 
picture forth before us and help us to attain the ideal 
of one who in boyhood is gentle and obedient and 
modest, in youth is temperate, resolute, and loyal, in 
ripe years is prudent, just, and generous, and who in age 
has attained to calm wisdom and to perfect peace in 

His lecture on Browning was no less eloquent. My 
father drew much of his inspiration from Browning, and 
seldom preached a sermon without quoting from him. 
He had the deepest reverence for his genius, and 
counted it among the choicest rewards of his life to be 
honoured with his intimate personal friendship. He 
says of him in this lecture : " A hundred names drawn 
from the history of all ages would not exhaust Brown 
ing s dramatis persona or adequately represent the 
many-coloured tapestry on which he has woven so many 
figures, now lurid as the thundercloud, now soft as the 
summer s eve. No other poet has sounded such depths 
of human feeling, or can startle the soul with such a 
kindling energy. There is hardly a period, hardly a 
human situation, on which he has not flung the light of 
his splendid genius." 

The effect of this lecture is described in " Men I 
Have Known " : 

" In later years Mr. Browning was particularly cordial 
to me, not only because he knew how deep was the 
debt of gratitude which I owed to him for all that I had 
learnt from his poems, but also because he was kind 
enough to believe that I had greatly promoted the sale 


of his writings in America. When, some ten years ago, 
I visited America, it had not been at all my original 
intention to make what is called a lecturing tour, 1 but 
only to deliver a theological course on a particular 
foundation to which I had been invited by the Bishop 
of Pennsylvania. When, however, I yielded to the 
strong pressure which induced me to lecture in some of 
the great cities of the States, I chose Browning s 
Poems as the subject for one of my lectures. The 
poet s readers and admirers in America could not at 
that time have been very numerous, for before I gave 
my lecture at Boston certainly the most intellectual 
and literary city in the United States I was told that 
not half a dozen copies of his poems had been sold there 
during the year. The morning after my lecture, every 
copy which could be procured either in Boston or in the 
neighbourhood was in immediate demand. Mr. Brown 
ing more than once expressed his obligation to me for this 
service; but I could not claim the smallest gratitude. 
I am sure that he overestimated the effects of my lec 
tures upon the sale of his works ; and, in any case, I 
was only acting in the spirit of the old sentence, Xa/tTra- 
8ia ev xepalv e^ovr&i SiaBaxrova-iv aX\7/X,ot5. I was trying 
to hand on the torch which had given light to me." 

It would seem from this that Browning s recognition 
by the American public was even tardier than it had 
been in England. In this connection my father tells in 
" Men I Have Known " the following interesting anec 
dote, which he had from the poet s own lips : " I once 
spent a Sunday at Oxford at the house of Dr. Jowett, 
the master of Balliol one of those charming Sundays 
in which he used to welcome the presence of one or two 
congenial guests. Mr. Browning was on that Sunday 
the only other guest staying with Dr. Jowett, and I had 


a long walk and talk with him that afternoon. The 
second volume of The Ring and the Book had just 
come out, and something turned our conversation in the 
direction of his poems, of which he did not often speak 
voluntarily. He alluded without the least bitterness to 
the long course of years in which his works were doomed 
to something like contemporary oblivion, during which 
very few copies, indeed, of them were sold, and scarcely 
one of them attained to a second edition. I said some 
thing about the Browning Society, which had then been 
recently formed, and he said that there were many who 
professed to laugh at it, but for his part he was grateful 
for this and every other indication of a dawning recog 
nition, considering the dreary time of neglect and 
ignorant insult which he had been doomed to undergo. 
And then he told me the story which he also, I believe, 
told to others, but which I narrate in the form in which 
he told it to me that Sunday afternoon. He said that 
when one of his earlier volumes came out I think, 
Bells and Pomegranates a copy fell into the hands of 
Mr. John Stuart Mill, who was then at the zenith of his 
fame, and whose literary opinion was accepted as orac 
ular. Mr. J. S. Mill expressed his admiration of the 
poems, and of the originality of the lessons they con 
tained ; and he wrote to the editor of Taifs Magazine, 
then one of the leading literary journals, asking if he 
might review them in the forthcoming number. The 
editor wrote back to say that he should always esteem 
it an honour and an advantage to receive a review from 
the pen of Mr. J. S. Mill, but unfortunately he could 
not insert a review of Bells and Pomegranates, as it had 
been reviewed in the last number. Mr. Browning had 
the curiosity to look at the last number of the magazine, 
and there read the so-called review, It was as follows : . 



" Bells and Pomegranates," by Robert Browning : 

" It depended, you see, said Mr. Browning, on 
what looked like the merest accident, whether the work 
of a new and as yet almost unknown writer should receive 
an eulogistic review from the pen of the first literary 
and philosophic critic of his day, a review which would 
have rendered him most powerful help, exactly at the 
time when it was most needed, or whether he should 
only receive one insolent epithet from some nameless 
nobody. I consider, he added, that this so-called 
review retarded recognition of me by twenty years 
delay. " 

The extraordinary enthusiasm with which my father 
was received by Americans is illustrated by the fact 
that when he was advertised to deliver a lecture on " Edu 
cation " at the Johns Hopkins University at Baltimore, at 
least twenty-five hundred persons, not including mem 
bers of the University, made written application for 
admission to the academy. 

The following extract from a Philadelphia paper gives 
a good picture of the multitude which thronged to hear 
him preach in the Protestant Episcopal Church of the 
Holy Trinity : 

"The appearance of nave and transept realised the 
hackneyed expression of a sea of faces to the most 
jaded imagination. It was a veritable sea, in which all 
architectural distinction was drowned. Nothing could 
be seen of the dividing lines of pews. The divisions of 
the aisles were completely lost, or only indicated by 
currents in the ocean of humanity. This marine effect 
was heightened by the appearance of the organ loft, 
which, hanging in the air above the entrance of the 


church, and crowded with a multitude of people so great 
as to hardly allow the choristers room to open their 
hymnals, looked like a towering rock to which the sea 
below had risen, and, falling, left there the debris of the 
tide. Only the Holy of Holies was left uninvaded by 
the multitude. The steps to the chancel were occupied 
by long rows of men and women. One white-haired 
old gentleman sat on the very pulpit steps. Between 
these places of observation and the chancel were chairs 
on which women were seated. The very cushions on 
which communicants kneel about the chancel rail were 
occupied. The fringe of this crowd was on the steps 
of the church and in the street itself." 

The sermon was on Biblical Exegesis, and the 
preacher took for his text Hebrews xiii. 27, "And this 
word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those 
things that are shaken as of things that are made, that 
those things which cannot be shaken may remain." 

"People," he said, "often worry themselves because 
they cannot believe this or that, when this or that has 
nothing to do with true religion, when this or that is 
not insisted upon by the Universal Church. You feel 
uncertainty about this or that passage in the Old Testa 
ment, about the sun standing still, or about the rising 
of a dead man at the tomb of Elisha. I counsel you to 
study these things humbly, get the best accounts of 
them you can, but remember that they are questions 
of history, or archaeology, to which you, at the best, can 
only bring intelligent consideration. Finally, if you 
cannot understand them, let them go. These are not 
generally necessary to salvation. There is not a word 
about them in the Apostles , or the Nicene, or the Atha- 
nasian Creed, nor in the Thirty-nine Articles of the 


Christian faith, nor more important still is there 
a word about them in the Lord s Prayer, nor in the 
Sermon on the Mount. You will not be questioned 
about those things at the bar of Judgment. You will 
be asked if you have kept your body in temperance, 
soberness, and chastity ; if you have been rigidly hon 
est ; if you have heightened the moral standard of the 
world by your presence in the world. 


" Do not, I entreat you, confuse the truths of Chris 
tianity with a mass of disputed or disputable questions. 
Christianity does not depend upon this or that particu 
lar view of sacraments or mysteries. Christianity is not 
what St. Augustine taught, nor St. Anselm, nor Bishop 
Pearson, but what Christ taught. Do you believe in 
the Lord Jesus Christ ? Do you keep His command 
ments ? Do you love your brother as yourself ? These 
are the questions for you to ask yourself. In heaven 
there are neither Anglicans, nor Catholics, nor Dissent 
ers ; neither High, Low, nor Broad Churchmen ; neither 
the Damnamus of Augsburg nor the Anathema of 
Trent. It is the abode of saints that is, of the good. 
So taught the Founder of this, your city of brotherly 
love, saying it would be for you to stand or fall as you 
fulfilled the teaching or neglected it. If we are Chris 
tians, if we are good men, according to our lights, 
nothing can make us afraid." 

Another extract from a sermon preached in the same 
church from the text " Little children, keep yourselves 
from idols " is a splendid example of the fiery eloquence 
with which my father denounced wickedness and idolatry. 

" Do none of you, my brethren, worship Moloch, or 
Mammon, or Baal Peor? Have none of you in your 
hearts a secret niche for Belial ? When your heart is 


absorbed in a passion of envy, hatred, and rage ; when 
you are determined, if you can, to wound by false words, 
by bitter attacks, by open or secret injuries ; when you 
display the eternal spirit of the populace by giving 
yourselves up to a passion of reckless depreciation of 
social, political, or religious opponents ; when you in 
voke the very name of God that you may emphasise 
the curses against your enemies is God the God of 
your worship ? Of your lips, yes ; of your life, no. 
What are you then ? Whatever you may call yourself, 
what are you but a worshipper of Moloch ? 

"And when you talk of nothing, think of nothing, 
scheme after nothing, I had almost said, pray for noth 
ing, but money, money, money, all the day long ; hasting 
to be rich and so not being innocent ; ready, if not down 
right to forge or steal in order to get it, yet ready to 
adulterate goods, to scamp work, to have false balances 
and unjust weights, to defraud others of their rights and 
claims, to put your whole trade, or commerce, or profession 
on a footing which, perhaps conventionally honest, yet 
goes to the very verge of dishonesty ; toiling for money, 
valuing it first among earthly goods, looking up to those 
who have won it as though they were little human 
gods, hoarding it, dwelling on it, measuring the sole 
success in life by it, marrying your sons and daughters 
with main reference to it is God the God of your 
worship ? Of your lips, yes ; of your life, no. What 
are you then but an idolater, a worshipper of Mam 
mon ? 

" If you are a drunkard, or impure ; if the current of 
your life is absorbed and swayed by unholy impulses ; 
if you have flung the reins upon the neck of your evil 
passions ; if the temple of your body is full of chambers 
in which wicked thoughts are ever banding before the 


walls which glow with unhallowed imagery again is 
God the God of your worship ? Of your lips, yes ; of 
your life, no. What are you then but an idolater ? In 
what respect are you then less guilty than Zimri, the 
Prince of Simeon, who worshipped Baal Peor ? Not an 
idolater ? Alas ! my brothers, every one of us is an 
idolater who has not God in all his thoughts, and who 
has cast away the laws of God from the government of 
his life. I know not that it is a much worse idolatry to 
deny God altogether and openly deify the brute impulses 
of our lower nature than it is in words to confess God, 
yet not to do, not to intend to do, never seriously to try 
to do what He commands, or to abandon what He for 

My father was much touched, as he could hardly fail 
to be, by the cordiality of his reception in America. " I 
have been impressed," he said, " with the warmth and 
universality of the kindness that I have received on all 
sides. It has come not merely from the bishops of the 
United States and Canada, but also from the representa 
tives of all religious denominations, including Roman 
Catholics, Quakers, and Congregationalists. I have 
been most struck with the enormous power of life, 
energy, and vivacity in every department." 

Of American audiences he says : " Some one has 
spoken of the appalling silence of American audiences, 
and that strikes one as their most remarkable character 
istic. The stillness is absolute, and the attention of the 
audience is perfect, but they are exceedingly undemon 
strative, much more so than English audiences." 

This remark applies to his Dante and Browning lec 
tures, but when he lectured on a subject so near their 
hearts as Temperance, an American audience could be 
demonstrative enough. Of his lecture on Temperance, 


delivered under the auspices of the National Temperance 
Society in Chickering Hall, New York, a correspond 
ent wrote : " Over and over again some enthusiastic 
listener, bubbling with excitement, let his feelings run. 
riot in applause, and when the Archdeacon rose to reply, 
the scene for a few moments was of a most extraordinary 
kind, so terrific was the outburst of applause. One less 
used to public life would assuredly have been tremen 
dously embarrassed by the overwhelming cordiality of the 
demonstration, but the man of massive, marble brow, 
lined with the intense application of his life of study, 
stood the very picture of calm self-possession waiting to 
be heard." 

The following letter from an American pastor is of 
interest in this connection : 

" BROOKLYN, U. S. A., June 4, 77. 

" DEAR DR. FARRAR : Ever since your incomparable 
Life of Christ appeared I have counted you a personal 
benefactor. But now whenever I read your fearless and 
eloquent speeches for the total abstinence reform, I hail 
you as the benefactor of all Britain and the world. 

" Allow me to thank you not only for myself, but 
for the Executive Committee of the National Temper 
ance Society of which I have the honour to be the 

"When in London (in 1872) and addressing meetings 
in Exeter Hall, with my intimate friend Rev. Newman 
Hall and with Sir Wilfrid Lawson and others, I had not 
yet known of you as a battler in our ranks. When next 
I visit England, it will give me great delight to take the 
hand which has wrought such a service for me as the 
preparation of your books and addresses. 


" We, too, have an tiphill clamber with this movement 
against the decanter and the dram shop. 

" But in God s by and by the victory shall be won. 
We are fighting the most gigantic curse that desolates 
our globe. You in Britain and we in America have a 
common partnership in toil for the rescue of our Saxon 
race from this monster evil. 

" It will give me great pleasure to receive even a line 
from one whom I so revere and even love. 

" Please to present my kind regards to Dean Stanley, 
who honoured me with many courtesies when I was 
visiting London, as the Deputy to the Presbyterian 
General Assembly of Scotland. I cherish the memory 
of that rare and saintly woman, the Lady Augusta, as 
do other Americans who ever saw or knew her. 

" With highest regard, 
" Believe me, 

"Yours most sincerely, 

"Pastor of Lafayette Ave. Church." 

Considerations of space forbid me to relate in detail 
the incidents of this American tour. In " Men I Have 
Known " my father has given reminiscences of his pleas 
ant intercourse with famous Americans, Oliver Wendell 
Holmes, John Greenleaf Whittier, James Russell Lowell, 
his dear friend Phillips Brooks, his generous host George 
W. Childs of Philadelphia, Cyrus Field, and others. 
After this visit especially, reciprocal ties of peculiar 
kindliness attached him to the Americans. He fre 
quently entertained Americans, both at Westminster, 
and afterwards at Canterbury ; an American pew was 
set apart in St. Margaret s for their use ; and he took 


especial pleasure in showing parties of quick-witted and 
enthusiastic Americans over Westminster Abbey or 
Canterbury Cathedral. America was associated for him 
with some of the happiest memories of his life, and he 
never failed to recall with gratitude the generous en 
thusiasm, the warm kindliness, and the boundless hospi 
tality which he experienced, both in Canada and among 
the citizens of the Great Republic. 

His old friend, Archdeacon Vesey, who accompanied 
him during a great part of the American tour, has been 
good enough to contribute some reminiscences which I 
will preface with a letter which my father wrote to urge 
him to be his companion : 

" 17 DEAN S YARD, WESTMINSTER, May 5, 1885. 



"As to America grasp your nettle! or rather your 
rose, with its odour and few thorns. If you don t come 
now, you never will you will never see Niagara or 
the Lake of the Thousand Isles or the Rocky Moun 
tains or Boston or an iceberg or a humming-bird. 
As for the Bishop, he will be only too glad that you 
should have a change, and would be horrified to think 
that two days with him should keep you. He needs 
nothing. I do. I want your company. It would make 
all the difference to a neglected and unprosperous man 
like me. We will sail to Quebec early in September. 
I know the Allans of the Allan line, and would get a 
good cabin. The fare is only , 18 first class. By com 
ing with me you would have very little expense. We 
should probably get free passes on some, if not all, the 
lines, and I have already invitations for self and friend 


at all the principal cities, so you would be saved all hotel 
bills which might not happen another time. We 
should be received very kindly ; it would cost you very 
little, and you would come back like a giant refreshed 
with wine. What is 50 (it would not cost you more) 
to a man like you ? Why, it is less than 10 or 5 is 
to a wretch like me ! I enlist the powerful aid of Mrs. 
Vesey. I am sure she will wish you not to lose this 

" Yours affectionately, 

"F. W. FARRAR." 

Archdeacon Vesey writes as follows : 
" It was my good fortune to accompany Canon Farrar 
for a considerable part of his tour through Canada and 
the United States in 1885. On the voyage out we 
experienced an Atlantic gale. It was approaching on 
our first Sunday, and the conduct of the service held 
in the saloon was, to those responsible for it, a matter 
of some anxiety. Farrar preached admirably for a few 
minutes on the words He bringeth them to the haven 
where they would be, supporting himself by the handrail 
of the companion ladder, and, in spite of the general un 
comfortable conditions which he shared with the congre 
gation, succeeded in riveting every one s attention. In 
Canada he began delivering his lectures on Dante and 
Browning, preaching always twice on Sundays, and often 
at other times. The first was the popular lecture, and 
was given in many of the large cities. It was always 
highly appreciated, though a hint was once given to me 
by a great personal admirer of the lecturer, but for 
whom the subject had not an equal attraction, that I 
should ask my friend not to talk quite so much about 
that Dant ! 


" I think his greatest effort was the address at the 
opening of term at the Johns Hopkins University at 
Baltimore ; this was expected to be delivered to a body 
of some 150 or 200 students, but the desire to hear it 
was so great that it became necessary to engage the 
large theatre of the Academy of Music, where about 
3000 people rilled stalls, pit, boxes, and gallery to the 
roof. From the stage he gave a brilliant address upon 
the Educational Value of Philosophy and the claims of 
science to occupy a large share in the studies of a great 
University. It was illustrated, after his manner, by 
abundant quotations, and he held the vast audience 
enchained for nearly an hour and a half, not only by the 
interesting and attractive way in which a dry subject, as 
some might have thought it, was presented, but also by 
the charm of his singularly musical voice. 

"Wherever he preached great crowds assembled to 
hear him, and there were instances where some, unable 
to get into the church, climbed ladders and listened at 
the open windows. One lady told me she had travelled 
one thousand miles to hear him. At one church I 
think it was in Baltimore the crowd was so great that 
hundreds stood outside, and the carriage in which Farrar 
was could not get up to the door. When at last he got 
out, he was taken in charge by a policeman, who called 
out Room for the Deacon ! and when the vestryman 
asked where he was, replied, I ve got the Deacon under 
my arm. 

" No one could accuse Farrar at any time of want 
ing the courage of his convictions : and so, with a most 
cordial feeling towards Americans and the deeper appre 
ciation of the extreme kindness and hospitality with 
which they had received him, he did not hesitate to 
speak out on certain points, as may be seen from the 


Farewell Thoughts on America, an address delivered 
in Boston, Philadelphia, and New York. He smarted 
occasionally when the interviewers worried him at inop 
portune moments, and though always courteous, he could 
not help alluding in the above-mentioned address to the 
intrusiveness of the baser portion of your Press, a , 
complaint which was justified by the conduct of one of 
the journalists, who forced himself into your father s 
bedroom, and next morning entertained his readers with 
a detailed, but not very accurate, description of his 
dressing-gown and slippers. 

" Among the remarkable Americans whom he met, or 
who showed him hospitality, were President Cleveland, 
Mr. Bayard, Secretary of State and afterwards Ambas 
sador to Great Britain, Mr. Cyrus Field, Mr. C. Vander- 
bilt, Mr. George W. Childs, his friend Phillips Brooks, 
afterwards Bishop of Massachusetts, the Reverend Dr. 
McVicar, and many others." 

I cannot better conclude this chapter than with a 
passage from his address, "Farewell Thoughts on 
America" : 

" I have stood astonished before the growth, the 
power, the irresistible advance, the Niagara rush of 
sweeping energy, the magnificent apparent destiny of 
the nation, wondering whereunto it would grow. It is 
the work of America to show to the nations the true 
ideal of national righteousness. In numbers you are, or 
soon will inevitably be, the greatest ; in strength, the 
most overwhelming ; in wealth, the most affluent, of all 
the great nations of the world. In these things you 
not only equal other people, but excel them. Why ? 
Mainly, I believe, because your fathers feared God, and 
God has said, Him that honours Me I will honour. 



I do not believe that America will turn her back upon 
the ideal of her fathers. I believe that she will be 
preserved from those perils which lie before her by the 
memories of the dead and by the virtues of the living. 
I believe that she will help to keep the nations from the 
horrors of war. I believe that she will lead us on in a 
triumphant path to a legislation that shall fearlessly 
smite the head of every abuse, to a religion that shall 
be free from fetich worship. I believe that she will 
justify to humanity her majestic faith in man. I believe 
that it is for these objects that God has given her an 
exhilarating atmosphere, a constant azure above her 
head, and a boundless territory beneath her feet. I 
believe that she is linked with us of the Old World 
in the bonds of a manly and of a righteous friendship, 
and that by the blessing of God s peculiar grace, you 
with us and we with you shall be so enabled to work 
out a new world for the glory and happiness of mankind, 
that hoary-headed selfishness shall feel his death-blow 
and go reeling to his grave, and many of the vilest evils 
which have hitherto afflicted the corporate life of man 
shall live but in the memory of time, which, like the 
penitent libertine, shall start, look back, and shudder at 
his earlier errors." 



FARRAR S books are before the world to be judged on 
their merits. They do not, of course, appeal to all alike ; 
but, in so far as popularity is a true measure of worth, 
his reputation may be safely left to the verdict of the 
public. That his teaching has been spiritually helpful 
to thousands, is proved not only by the enormous de 
mand in all parts of the world for such works as " The 
Life of Christ," " The Life of St. Paul," and " Eternal 
Hope," but by the fact that during a long course of 
years never a week, hardly a day, passed without his 
receiving, from learned and simple alike, earnest letters 
expressing the heartfelt gratitude of the writers for in 
struction, help, and comfort derived from his books and 
sermons. Hundreds of such letters exist, of which I 
have only been able to find space for a few examples. 

But the point which I wish now to emphasize is that 
there was in his teaching a sympathetic quality, an ele 
ment of psychic magnetism, which impelled many to 
whom he was personally a stranger to look upon him 
as an unknown father confessor and to write to him, 
from time to time, letters confiding their spiritual 
doubts, difficulties, and aspirations, or the most inti 
mate problems of their lives. Such letters, though 
they added much to the burden of a heavy corre 
spondence, my father, who was one of the most kind 



and generous of men, and grudged neither time nor 
trouble in the service of his fellows, never failed to 
answer, if only in a few well-chosen words of earnest 
sympathy or helpful advice. 

By the courtesy of Mr. Brooks, a correspondent from 
India, who, though he had never seen his beloved 
teacher, yet wrote to him every year or even oftener to 
acknowledge his spiritual indebtedness to his works, I 
am permitted to print the following letter, which well 
illustrates this gracious quality of accessibility in my 

"When on the 23d of March I saw the brief notice 
in the Morning Post an Indian paper that Dean 
Farrar is dead, the shock was so real that I went about 
for days after as one who had received a heavy blow ! 

" You would not wonder at it if I could convince you 
of what your venerable father had been to me. So far 
back as twenty-one years ago it was through him that 
I was brought, while reading Eternal Hope, to the 
feet of the Saviour whose life he had so uniquely por 
trayed, and for whose sake he was ever pleading with 
such strength and beauty. 

" I have never left India, and hence it was never my 
privilege to see the Dean ; but he has been at once so 
ennobling and elevating a character to me, and has ever 
been so accessible and gracious, that he allowed me to 
feel as if he knew me perfectly well. 

" Eighteen years ago I could not resist writing to him 
and begging him to enrich me with his photograph. 
That picture for a long time now has been the sole 
adornment of my study table, and to-day it stands 
below a ledge holding over fifty volumes from the pen 
of him whose likeness this is. Two years later my 


request to publish two of the Canon s sermons one on 
the Salvation Army, the other on the Luther Com 
memoration was acceded to with the same old-time 
grace and courtesy. 

" It was so good of him that he never failed to reply 
to a letter. I wrote to him once, sometimes twice, 
every year, and without a single failure, and punctually 
by return mail, the cheering, comforting, inspiring an 
swer would come. Precious as these letters undoubt 
edly are, they are doubly more so when I remember that 
with an environment of incessant pressure and a thou 
sand calls on his time, the Dean yet would reward every 
one with an autograph answer. If punctuality is the 
politeness of kings, accessibility is, if anything, a higher 
virtue ; and how preeminently both these shine out in 
Dean Farrar, while it seems an impertinence to empha 
size it, is what I could humbly bear very strong testi 
mony to. 

" He once wrote, It is a pleasure to me to know that 
one whom I have never seen . . . entertains a kind 
feeling for me. How characteristic a remark, when I 
could frame everything I have had from him in gold ! 

"Another letter a very short one indeed betok 
ens the pressure of his surroundings : 

" HOUSE OF COMMONS, August 8, 1892. 

" DEAR MR. BROOKS : I write this line to offer you 
sincere thanks for your birthday congratulations re 
ceived this morning. May God be with you. 

" Here is a quotation from another letter also dat 
ing from the House of Commons which has been as 
a guiding star to me in my profession of life. 

" It rejoices me to know that you have attained so 



useful and blessed a post as that of Head master of so 
large a school. It is a most important and respon 
sible opportunity of doing good to those who are the 
trustees of posterity, and you can render no service to 
God more valuable than that of trying to win to faith 
and true holiness the hearts of the young. 

"Would it occasion any surprise if I said that my 
duties have received quite a new shape as I try to per 
form them in the light of these words ? 

" I owe, and my family owe, to this scholar-saint what 
we cannot even faintly acknowledge. My youngest 
brother and my eldest boy are both called Farrar, and 
they are conscious that the name is an incentive to the 
doing of all that is lovely and honourable and of good 

"Almost the last letter I had from the Dean con 
cluded with the words, I offer up for you at the throne 
of grace an earnest prayer that God s care may keep 
you safe from all evil. There are some who would re 
gard the language as conventional ; but I would say, in 
all humility, that to me and mine, most truly the prayers 
of this righteous man have availed much. 

" You would not accuse me of egotism for writing as 
I have done. I am writing to a son, and feel I cannot 
adequately speak of the goodness of the father, as I 
experienced it. 

" Such a character as his was, could only be happy in 
blessing others, and I suppose I am only one of a host 
who, though personally unknown to Dean Farrar, still 
enjoyed the high favour of his counsel and the benefit of 
his prayers. His was a large heart, and he was always 
graciously open to speak to everybody. 

" It is in and through such men that the Kingdom of 
the Christ is exalted, and sons and daughters are von 



to Heaven. Can we ever be sufficiently grateful to 
them, or exhaust ourselves in expressing our deep appre 
ciation ? T. ARCHD. BROOKS." 

I have also ventured to give anonymously, and with 
such reservations as shall secure from discovery the iden 
tity of the writers, a few letters which show how men and 
women, seeking comfort for their souls, turned instinc 
tively for help to the author whose books and sermons 
had been to them as dew in the wilderness, and who 
felt justly confident that in appealing to him for a more 
personal and individual measure of counsel and sym 
pathy they would not appeal in vain. More of these 
letters, many of them human documents of touching 
interest and pathos, might be given, if space per 
mitted ; I think, however, these are enough for my pres 
ent purpose. 

"April 27, 1901. 

" MY DEAR SIR : I cannot help writing just a few 
lines to you, to say how very glad I am that you have 
got through your severe illness. I have watched the 
papers every day to see how you were going on. I am 
so glad that you are better. I do hope that such a 
great man as you will long be spared to preach and 
write as you have done. I have a few of your books, 
some of them written thirty years ago, The Silence 
and Voices of God, Seekers after God, Eternal 
Hope. I work ten hours a day in a cotton-mill, but 
never a week passes but I take one of your books down 
and read some portion of it. They are really charming 
to me. I only wish that I could go and hear such a 
man speak or preach, but I am only poor, having been 


somewhat unfortunate, and I have four children to bring 
up ; one boy I am trying to keep at school till he is put 
to some trade. 

" But I shall try to get more of your books if I can, 
and leave them to my boy, and tell him that he must 
read such books. I have only been to London once, a 
long time ago. If I could come again sometime, I 
should try to come to see you and perhaps hear you 
preach, about which I have read so much. You gave an 
address on temperance at Oxford a long time ago, the 
best that ever I read. I am a temperance man, never 
touches drink in any form. Allow me to say again how 
glad I am that you are better. 
" I am, sir, 

" Yours truly, 

" F. S ." 

" DEAR SIR : I am a Jew by birth, and have given 
my heart to Christ through your work, Life of Christ. 
Twenty times I have read the chapter of the Cruci 
fixion, and twenty times I have bitterly weeped. I am 
a Russian Jew, and your valuable work I have read in 
Russian language. Being persecuted of my brethren, 
I have corned in London, and now I am in a Christian 
establishment for converted Jews. But my medicin, 
what has lead me to bliss, I cannot forget, and now being 
in England five months, I have wished to read the origi 
nal of Life of Christ. But alas ! I cannot find it. To 
buy I am poor, and to read it in the free librias I have 
not time ; have I decided to ask of you, in memory of 
my salvation, the book Life of Christ. I trust in your 
Christian love. 

" Your truly disciple in mind, 



" February 6, 1879. 


" Well-beloved though unknown friend : Although 
you are chaplain to the Queen of England, and I a poor 
isolated, world-hidden, neglected invalid, I cannot help 
loving you, and I beg you to lend me your eye and heart 
a few moments. 

" You perhaps remember that I wrote you several 
years ago, when you were yet at Maryborough. Your re 
sponse, although brief, was the very marrow of the law of 
the Spirit of Life, and I prize it above rubies. I was then 
clinging in remorse and torturing apprehension to the 
edge of the precipice that slopes into bottomless perdi 
tion. Your letter awakened me fully to a sense of my 
ruin and the absolute necessity of an immediate, final, 
and self-sacrificing grapple with the legion of devils 
which had taken possession of me. I would have writ 
ten to you sooner in acknowledgment of your kindness, 
but thought it best to defer till I could honestly say that, 
through the grace of Christ, I had been more or less 
victorious over my enemies. I have lost many a battle 
since you wrote me, but not the burning desire and ever 
increasing effort to be more than conqueror through 
Him that loved me. I am still a poor sinner, but have 
broken many of my fetters, and hope, through grace, 
soon to be the Lord s freeman. 

" I have no words to express my sense of the great 
ness and grandeur of the Christian life inspired by your 
writings. Although I cannot go with you in your view 
of the ultimate destiny of those who perish in their sins, 
my heart has gone a thousand times across the Atlantic 
in warmly affectionate greetings for your sweet, lofty, 
soul-guiding, soul-elevating words." 


" DEAR SIR : I write to you in awful trouble, because 
you are so good and merciful. Oh, help me ! My brother 
is dead has destroyed himself. Not on purpose oh ! 
do not think that, he was ill, worried, not himself, 
and in a moment of madness it was done. But I cannot 
bear it, cannot be resigned, cannot pray. I feel as if I 
could never believe in God or love Him again. 

" And so I come to you, because you believe so truly, 
because you are so sincere, so merciful ; because I have 
more faith in you than in any man on earth. Oh! if 
you have any pity, write one little line and help me. I 
am only a poor weak girl, whom you have never met. 
But you will forgive me because I am crushed with 

" Direct to ..." 


"REVEREND SIR: Pardon a stranger for intruding 
upon your valuable time, and believe that only the desire 
for the information asked for below prompts me to do so. 
Many years ago, when but a boy, I read, in some publi 
cation, the name of which I have forgotten, a sermon 
preached by you at Westminster. The text was John 
xvi. 9-11. 

" It sunk deep into my mind and fifteen years of pioneer 
life on this Western frontier have not effaced the domi 
nant thought of it, Christ judging the Prince of this 
world. I have tried to find it among your published 
works in this country, but so far have been unsuccessful, 
hence this letter to you. Will you please inform me 
where I can procure it, either in pamphlet form or among 
your published works ? I have your Life of Christ, 
Seekers after God, Early Days of Christianity, and 
In the Days of thy Youth ; and though belonging to 


no church, those books have often steadied me by their 
high ideals in this rushing life of the West, when other 
wise I might have gone utterly astray ; for the life of an 
attorney my profession is here full of temptation. 
" Trusting that you will not think me too presumptu 
ous in thus trespassing upon you, 
"I am, sir, 

" Respectfully yours, 

"S. B. M ." 

" March 17, 1902. 

"DEAR DR. FARRAR: Though an insignificant stranger, 
I am venturing to write to you, as I would like you to 
know how one of your books has been used by God. 

" Some five years ago, I gave a copy of your Lord s 
Prayer to a lady to whose sister I am betrothed. She 
lent the book, humanly speaking by chance, to a friend, 
upon whom it made a great impression. It was the 
beginning of a new life for him. Of course he had gone 
through certain forms before, but apparently did not 
have any real love for Christ. But all that is changed 
now, and I know from my own personal knowledge that 
he has experienced a very real conversion. He has 
been working for God ever since, and on Saturday night 
there was opened at Smithwieks a Gospel Hall which he 
has largely, if not entirely, built. The lady I mentioned 
went to the opening meeting, when about five hundred 
people were present. The gentleman told her how 
rejoiced he was that God had so blessed his efforts, and 
added this sentence All through Dean Farrar s book. 

"Those are the words I was desirous you should 
know. My friend has joined the Plymouth Brethren, 
whilst I am as keen as ever upon the Church of England, 
but I know you will agree that the denomination is of 


secondary importance, that the belonging to the real 
Church of Christ is the essential thing. 

" Thanking you for help myself, as indeed I have done 

" Yours very respectfully, 

E. W. J ." 

"November 7, 1899. 

" REVEREND AND DEAR SIR : Loving reverence and 
deep gratitude constrain me now to write thus to you, 
as indeed I have thought of doing for some years past. 

" Amid all the work in which you are engaged for God 
and His Church, and among the many claims, which 
even perhaps as you read this are upon thought and 
time, will you pause for a brief moment to receive the 
thanks of one who owes, perhaps more than pen and 
ink may express, of deep and earnest thanks for all the 
spiritual and intellectual help your writings have been 
to me. 

"For twenty years your Life of Christ/ that beauti 
ful study of the grandest theme that has ever occupied 
the mind and thought of man, has been beside my Bag- 
ster s Bible almost as a daily text-book ; and I want to 
tell you that some years ago, when for months I was 
going through a dark time of doubt and soul-question 
ing, when through looking too much at Christians repre 
senting the Christ, I had lost sight of Himself for a time : 
then it was that glancing again at that Life of Christ, 
and knowing that to one of your great intellect and 
questioning mind, Jesus Christ was a living blessed 
reality, my soul found anchor and my heart could rest, 
in spite of storm and stress. God bless you, dear Dean 
Farrar, and reward you ten-thousand fold by flooding 
and filling your heart with that same rest and peace. 


" Then since the mists have rolled away your other 
books have been a great joy to me. ... * From Dark 
ness to Dawn I have read and re-read, for it opens up 
that page of history in an intensely fascinating way. 
My children like it better than any of their story-books. 
I am reading now to my three little girls at home, on 
Sunday afternoons, Gathering Clouds, to which they 
look forward with much pleasure. And though you may 
smile at her precociousness, the youngest, who is only six, 
is deeply interested in the story of Philip and Eutyches 
entwined with the history of the great Chrysostorn. . . . 
You will forgive my telling you all this, but I thought 
you would like to know how the children love your books, 
as well as those of a larger growth. 

"With many apologies for thus trespassing on your 
time, and with earnest prayer that our God may spare 
you yet for years to His church, which has so much 
naed of your faithful voice and fearless pen, and with 
deep and affectionate gratitude, 

" I am, dear and Reverend Sir, 

" Your obedient servant, 

C. K. T ." 

" Will the Dean allow a woman to whom his writings 
gave great help and light doctrinally (twenty years ago, 
and more, now), to thank him again, not only for that 
but for more personal comfort and strengthening in a 
time of spiritual depression which she has received 
from hearing his rendering of the lessons lately, in the 
Morning Prayer at the Cathedral? As a pastor of 
souls, he will, she trusts, think it no intrusion on her 
part, to tell him of this good gift which God has sent 
through him." 


IN 1895 my father was nominated by Lord Rosebery 
to the Deanery of Canterbury, rendered vacant by the 
death of Dean Payne-Smith. Although its acceptance 
involved a considerable sacrifice of income, having lived 
to see most of his sons and daughters settled in life, 
he had little hesitation in accepting the appointment. 
Canterbury is the premier Deanery of England, and the 
new Dean, the thirty-first since the Reformation, took 
over the rule of the great Cathedral, imbued with a 
profound sense of the value to the Church of England 
of its historic associations. 

An extract from his inaugural sermon may be given to 
illustrate the spirit in which he assumed his new duties, 
and his high ideal of the Cathedral as a factor in the 
life and thought of the nation : 

"Canterbury Cathedral surpasses even Westminster 
Abbey in the closeness of its connection with the eccle 
siastical history of the English race. What the Abbey 
is for the history of the English nation, that the Cathe 
dral is for the history of the English Church. It has its 
memories of Henry II and of Edward III, and its 
tomb of Henry IV, and relics of the flower of English 
chivalry. Here lie many of the English Primates ; here 
are concentrated the memories of thirteen centuries of 
our Church s history memories of St. Augustine of 


Canterbury, and the Bretwalda Ethelbert ; of St. Dun- 
stan and King Edwy ; of St. Alphege and the Danes ; 
of Lanfranc and the Conqueror; of St. Anselm and 
William Rufus ; of St. Thomas a Becket and Henry II ; 
of Stephen Langton and Magna Charta; of Chaucer 
and the Canterbury Pilgrims ; of St. Edmund of Canter 
bury (one of the loveliest of our holy examples); of 
Archbishop Parker and Queen Elizabeth ; of William 
III and the saintly Tillotson ; of the tragic martyrdoms 
and violent deaths of Archbishop Sudbury, of Arch 
bishop Alphege, of Archbishop Cranmer, and of Arch 
bishop Laud. 

" And every English Cathedral, by its structural mag 
nificence and its historic reminiscences, is a noble wit 
ness for two most precious heritages of the Church of 
God : the continuity of worship and the continuity of 



"These glorious cathedrals evinced the intensity of 
that belief, stimulating a princely munificence which 
must almost be said to exist no more. We do not, and 
could not, alas ! in these days build Canterbury Cathe 
drals or Westminster Abbeys, though they were built, 
not by a nation of thirty-nine million, but by a nation 
of less than five million, which is now the population of 
London alone, and they were built by a nation of which 
the wealth was but a drop compared to the Pactolus of 
riches which now rolls into our coffers over its sands 
of gold. They are the costly legacy from the poor ages 
of faith to the wealthy ages of selfishness. It cannot 
be denied that in those days in spite of error, igno 
rance, and superstition the saints of God held their 
faith with a more burning and self-sacrificing conviction 
than in these more feverish and worldly times. Happy 


is it for us that their faith has been eternised in these 
lovely legacies, for 

" They dreamt not of a perishable home 
Who thus could build. Be mine, in hours of fear, 
Or grovelling thought, to seek a refuge here ; 
Or thro 1 the aisles of Westminster to roam, 
Where bubbles burst, and folly s dancing foam 
Melts if it cross the threshold. 

" Only let us all, from the highest to the lowest, be 
of one mind, that without sincerity, without reverence, 
without thoroughness, without attention, there can be 
no acceptable service, no beauty of holiness. The in 
cense will but smoulder distressfully on the altar if it be 
not enkindled with the flame of true devotion. Oh, let 
no familiarity, let no frequency in our services, cause 
them to sink into mere idle functions. Let our songs, 
our anthems, our services, our Scripture lessons, our 
sermons, always mean something ; let no professional 
ism, no careless lolling, lounging indifference, or lack of 
due reverence, ever degrade their pure gold into odious 
dross ; and even you, my boys of the choir, in whose 
present happiness and future welfare I shall always feel 
a deep interest, difficult as I know the effort may 
often be to you, yet learn habitually to regard this sa 
cred scene as the place of angels and archangels, the 
Court of God and the image of heaven. Never whis 
per together ; never stare about you to right or to left 
as you enter this holy place ; never enter in a straggling 
or irregular manner. Let no wandering thoughts taint 
with worldliness or sin the prayers and praises which 
will be so blessed if you learn to offer them with a pure 
heart fervently. May God take you under His gracious 
care and keeping, and make you, in heart as well as in 
name, the children of His Sanctuary ! 


" But, apart from its architectural glory, and beyond 
the sphere of its daily worship, a Cathedral should be 
an impulse, a source of elevation, a centre of all civilis 
ing influences, material, intellectual, social, in the world 
around it. The City, the Diocese, the whole Church 
of God, should rejoice in it, and be the better for it. 
Each separate class and guild of Art and Science, of 
Commerce and Soldiership, of Philanthropy and Educa 
tion, as well as all ranks and degrees of our ordinary 
life, should look to it as a source of strength. It should 
extend a sympathetic love and generous influence to the 
young ; the boys and girls who grow up under its purple 
shadows should be the better in life, and the richer in 
memories, from its influence. Sometimes, at least, it 
should gather the little ones of Christ under its roof in 
the Name of Him who loved them, took them up in His 
arms, laid His hands upon them, and blessed them." 

What the Dean did for the structure of the Cathedral 
is briefly told by my brother, the Rev. Ivor Farrar, in 
the following narrative : 

" Like many another English Dean, Dr. Farrar had 
to bear the punishment for the negligence of those who 
preceded him. During the palmy days of the eighteenth 
century, when the Dean received ; 10,000 a year, the 
Cathedral buildings had been suffered to fall into sad 
decay. Then followed the days of agricultural depres 
sion, and the stipend of the Dean dropped to ^1000 a 
year, and tottering walls and leaking roofs called loudly 
for a fabric fund to save them from utter ruin. The 
work of preservation had been begun by Dean Payne- 
Smith, but he had only appealed to the county of Kent, 
too poor to render much assistance. On his appoint 
ment in 1895, Dean Farrar issued a wider appeal to all 


churchmen to come to the rescue of their premier Cathe 
dral. ^20,000 was needed for absolutely necessary work, 
and by three years of incessant and ungrudging labour 
Dr. Farrar raised some ; 19,000, which with care was 
made sufficient to carry out the greater part of his de 
signs. Of this large sum the main portion was spent on 
work which made no show, and could only appeal to 
genuine lovers of the old Cathedral. The roof of the 
Chapter-house, the Cloisters, and portions of the Nave 
had to be releaded before anything else could be thought 
of, and only a small sum was left to restore the Crypt 
and Chapter-house to something of their ancient beauty. 
In the Chapter-house the neglect of centuries was pain 
fully apparent. The ancient ceiling, once gorgeous in 
blue and scarlet and gold, and bearing on its bosses the 
escutcheons of the pious donors who had helped to 
build the Cathedral, was in a lamentable and even dan 
gerous state of decay ; the rain swept in through the 
broken windows, and the walls streamed with moisture. 
In commemoration of the thirteenth centenary of Augus 
tine s mission, the Freemasons of Kent filled the great 
East window with stained glass, depicting the heroes and 
benefactors of Canterbury from Augustine and Bertha 
of the sixth century down to Victoria and Benson of the 
nineteenth. The ceiling was restored to its ancient col 
ours and design, the remaining windows were reglazed, 
and a new floor replaced the old and broken tiles. 

" The Crypt was in a yet more pitiable condition. A 
long wall running east and west cut off the south aisle 
from the rest of the Crypt, which is the largest in Eu 
rope : the windows were unglazed, and the floor was two 
feet above its proper level. The result of Dean Far- 
rar s restoration enables the tourists of to-day to see the 
fine proportions of the Crypt as they existed in the days 


of King Henry VIII, without however the rich votive 
offerings which once made the chapel of Our Lady of 
the Undercroft the wealthiest treasure chamber in Eng 
land. The side Chapel dedicated to the Holy Innocents 
was furnished for occasional services. There was much 
else that Dean Farrar wished to do. He had it in his 
heart to make a marble floor for the choir, to repolish 
the lovely marble pillars in the Trinity Chapel, and to 
fill the west window of the Chapter-house with stained 
glass. All this still remains for another Dean of Can 
terbury to do ; but the paintings which adorn the screen 
above the Holy Table, the splendid brass Communion 
rails, the mosaic floor of the Sanctuary, and the beauty 
and reverence of the Cathedral services bear eloquent 
witness to the high zeal of the great and saintly Dean, 
who thus sought to make the House of God exceeding 
magnifical. " 

My father s loving care of the structure of Canterbury 
Cathedral was the outcome, not only of his characteris 
tic zeal for the structure of God s House, which he had 
before so effectively exercised at Marlborough and at 
St. Margaret s, but also of the ideal, which he felt so 
profoundly, and constantly strove to make others realise, 
of the Cathedral as the living centre of social and spirit 
ual life in the city. 

At Canterbury, my father, by constant personal at 
tendance and unceasing exercise of personal influence, 
strove to bring it about that the daily services in the 
Cathedral should be not only reverently and seemly 
conducted, but imbued with the living spirit of worship ; 
and, further, that every citizen in Canterbury should 
realise and take pride in the Cathedral as part of his 
own inheritance. 


The impression contributed by an American to the 
American Sunday School Times may be introduced here 
as giving an adequate portrait of the Dean in his 

"So many Americans have had much more than a 
glimpse of the famous Dean of Canterbury that there 
might seem to be no reason for writing this impression 
of a Sunday afternoon at Canterbury. Yet somehow 
that service, with all that went to make it up, has always 
remained fixed in memory as one of the whole and per 
fect impressions of my life. I had been on a cathedral 
tour on the Continent, but the English cathedrals, after 
all, had been the ones which I always figured to myself 
in the years when I kept hoping that some day I should 
see cathedrals. 

" Canterbury was my first in England, and not one 
single element of all that my boyish and later imagina 
tion had pictured out to me as the proper circumstance 
and atmosphere of a cathedral was wanting. The altar, 
the highest and remotest I ever saw, gleamed off and 
up in the distance with its lights. The congregation 
was made up of people from all parts of the earth, 
among whom, here and there, appeared the bright- 
coated soldiers. I remember the face of one of them 
now. All around us were the tombs, and just beyond 
the screen, at the foot of the steps, the Martyrdom. 
The organ broke the silence now and then with one 
of those restless, preliminary groanings which make an 
organ seem like a living thing, and then, beginning 
softly, I heard on the stone flags of the aisles in the dis 
tance the scuff of the feet of the choir as they came 
down for the service. 

" At the end of the procession came Dean Farrar, 
and for the time Canterbury summed itself up for me in 


him, just as Westminster always does in Stanley. The 
thing that impressed me about him most, and at once, 
was his apparently utter obliviousness of himself or his 
position. The Dean walked on to his place, with his 
head bowed, and seemingly with no sense of being 
anything but a part of it all. Professor Palmer says 
that one of the signs of being spiritually mature is in 
feeling that one is only a part. Well, then, I never saw 
a great man in a great position from whose whole being 
that feeling seemed to go forth as from Dean Farrar. 
He was evidently at his own disposal for that service, 
and wholly so. The service was all; he was simply 
a part. 

" But the crowning impression for me that afternoon 
was when the time came for the second lesson, which, I 
believe, is always read by the Dean, when he is present, 
as his regular part of the service. In the same absorbed 
manner, as if seeing nothing around him, but wholly 
devoted to the thing he was doing, he went up to the 
reading-desk, found the lesson of the day, and began to 
read words which, of all Scripture, were to me the most 
perfect and wonderful to express what I was feeling, 
and which said out the very heart of an occasion, as 
words had never said for me before, Wherefore, seeing 
we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of 
witnesses. I sat spellbound by the appropriateness of 
it all, and feeling something beyond good fortune in my 
being there the day on which that lesson fell. And now 
Dean Farrar is one of the witnesses, but I shall always 
think of him as he stood reading those words. 


The Dean kept in warm touch, through the Mayor 
and Corporation, with the municipal life of Canterbury ; 



through his friends Colonel Abadie and Colonel Frith, 
and subsequently through his friend an old Harrow 
pupil Colonel Hegan, with the soldiers in the barracks, 
who after his death testified their respect by volunteering 
to line the nave at his funeral; with St. Augustine s 
College ; with the parish churches of Canterbury ; with 
the hospital; with every organisation for good in the 
old city. 

For one instance, he revived an old kindly custom, 
which had fallen into desuetude, that the Dean and 
Chapter should go down into the nave and shake hands 
with each member of the congregation at the close of 
the evening service on Christmas Day. How much this 
custom was valued by the citizens, and its effect in giv 
ing a sense of personal relation between the Cathedral 
body and the humblest worshippers, the following letter 
will show : 

" Cheer up, mother ! Please God I shall be with you 
again Christmas Day and shake the dear Dean s hand 

" Ah ! mother, I so often think of our Sunday even 
ings, when I see in the "Press" that the dear Dean is 
going to preach ! 

" My first sentence was uttered on the platform of 
the S. E. R. Station at Canterbury, when my dear boy 
started for South Africa, where after a few months service 
he succumbed to enteric fever ; the other sentence is an 
extract from my boy s letter who is serving with his 
regiment in Burmah. My youngest boy is a member of 
the Y. M. C. A. and a constant attendant at the Bible 
Classes, and I feel sure that, after God, we are indebted 
to Dean Farrar for the influence his sermons (more 
particularly the course preached on the Prodigal Son ) 
have had on the lives of these boys, May God help the 


Dean and spare him long to minister in the Cathedral 
he has done so much to beautify ! 

"Christmas, 1901." 

At Canterbury his perennial love of young people 
found ample and beautiful scope. His numerous grand 
children whose highest privilege was a visit to the 
Deanery ; the boys of King Edward s School ; the boys 
of the Simon Langton Schools; the boys of the Cathedral 
choir ; and most of all perhaps the boys of the King s 
School, on all these he lavished the paternal affection 
which was one of his best characteristics and which con 
tact with the young never failed to elicit. 

An extract from some reminiscences contributed by 
my brother, Ivor Farrar, to an article in the British 
Monthly, which the editor has courteously allowed me to 
quote, gives a good picture of this side of his Canterbury 

" No mention of my father s work at Canterbury would 
be complete without an allusion to his work among the 
boys of the King s School and Cathedral choir, for he 
had a wonderful gift of imparting to boys his own im 
mense love of all that is best and noblest in English 
literature. The boys were frequent guests at the 
Deanery. Four of the senior boys were invited to break 
fast every Sunday morning, while the younger boys 
were invited during the summer months to tea in the 
garden. I was always struck by the high tone which he 
gave to the conversation among these boys. He spoke 
of the past history of the Cathedral, of the stories of 
great and noble men in all ages and countries, and of 
the poets, especially his four supreme favourites 
Milton, Dante, Coleridge, Tennyson. He never cared 


to talk of things of merely passing interest; but how 
ever deep the subject might be, he never failed to make 
it intelligible even to boys of thirteen and fourteen. 
Still more wonderful was his influence among the little 
boys of the Cathedral choir. My father dreaded lest 
their frequent attendance at long Cathedral services 
should make their religion formal and unreal. To 
avert this danger, he devoted Sunday afternoons, from 
two to three, to teaching them himself. Other and 
less great men would have taken such a class without 
any special preparation ; but on Monday morning the 
Dean began thinking of next Sunday s class, and he de 
voted a portion of every day to preparing for it. After 
his strength began to fail, I was often able to help him 
by reading aloud to him when his poor hands were too 
weak to hold a book, or even turn a page. And I noticed 
that Driver, Cheyne, Stanley, Ellicott, and Westcott were 
only a few of the books used in preparing to teach these 
little boys of twelve and under. Still more remarkable, 
when the lesson came to be given, the learned comments 
of great scholars had become delightful stories, full of 
life and thrilling interest, with lessons that any boy could 
both understand and use. The choir boys never failed 
to enjoy his class, and the very last piece of work which 
my father did on earth was preparing for this class the 
night before he died ! " 

The following testimony by a King s School boy is 
taken from the obituary notice to The Cantuarian: 

" He ever took the kindest interest in our work and 
in our play. His delight at the success of some indi 
vidual member of the school was unbounded. His 
words of consolation and encouragement have many 
a time we speak from experience taken away the 


bitterness of failure. Those who were privileged to 
enjoy the hospitality of his house and they were not 
few will count as some of the happiest in their lives 
those hours spent in the quiet bowling green, or over 
the chess board, or walking along the old city wall while 
the Dean advised and counselled or poured lavishly 
forth from his wonderful fund of anecdotes. Often, 
too, the monotony of the sick house was relieved by 
a visit from the Dean, and if he was unable to come 
himself he would send round some dainty for the in 
mates with kind and thoughtful messages. For O. K. S. 
he maintained the same regard as he had for the school. 
He was ever anxious to hear of their doings, and re 
joiced in their successes. 

" Many have heard him say that at his death the 
names of Marlborough, Harrow, and our own King s 
School would be found written on his heart. We feel 
sure that his name will ever be treasured in the hearts 
of all King Scholars." 

A sidelight on his enthusiasm for the young is given 
in the following letter to one of my sisters : 


" MY DARLING LILIAN : Just now I am unusually 
pressed with work, and the Garden Party, with its three 
hundred guests, drove out of my head my loving con 
gratulations on your birthday. I need not tell you, my 
dear child, how earnestly I wish and pray that, now 
and ever, God s best blessings may be richly outpoured 
upon you, making you very happy in your marriage, 
and causing your life to be most useful for the spread 
of His Kingdom. 



"I enclose the autograph, and with kindest regards to 
John and Mrs. Darlington, I am 

" Your very loving father, 

" F. W. FARRAR. 

" We had such a happy function at the Cathedral 
yesterday. More than eight hundred boys and girls 
from the Sunday Schools came, sang hymns, and I 
gave them a ten minutes talk on Missions. They pro 
cessed round the Cathedral with trumpets and banners, 
singing hymns 1 " 

Even at some risk of overlapping, I give here three 
further sketches by different hands, portraying my 
father as Dean. 

The first is an appreciation of his beloved chief con 
tributed to this Memoir by his devoted colleague, Canon 
Page Roberts ; the second an extract from the beautiful 
memorial sermon preached on Sunday, March 29, in 
Canterbury Cathedral by a colleague no less loyal and 
devoted, Dr. Mason, Master of Pembroke College, 
Cambridge; the third an extract contributed by my 
sister, the Hon. Mrs. J. S. Northcote, to the British 
Monthly. This last extract refers in part to earlier 
periods of my father s life with which I have already 
dealt, but I could not find it in my heart to share it into 
fragments, and have preferred to introduce it here in its 

Canon Page Roberts writes : 

" I had only known Dr. Farrar slightly before he 
became Dean of Canterbury. Occasionally we chanced 
to meet in London, and more than once I preached for 
him at St. Margaret s. Soon after I had been appointed 


to a Canonry in Canterbury Cathedral I remember say 
ing to him, Archdeacon of Westminster as he then was, 
that I hoped he might become Dean of Canterbury, 
that place being then vacant. He shook his head and 
with an air of depression said there was no chance of 
further preferment for him. It had long been felt by 
many that both Liberal and Conservative Governments 
had overlooked the preeminent claims which Dr. Farrar 
had upon the highest distinctions of the Anglican Church; 
that both Liberal and Conservative Prime Ministers 
deserved blame for ignoring such merits as his while 
elevating less distinguished persons to the highest places. 
It was thought by many that he was best qualified to 
succeed Stanley in the Deanery of Westminster. Lord 
Rosebery removed the reproach and Dr. Farrar became 
Dean of Canterbury. 

" It was as though a load of suspicion and depreciation 
had been removed from his shoulders, as though his 
deserts, so long disregarded, had at length been acknow 
ledged, that Dr. Farrar entered upon his new position. 
Old friends and acquaintances perceived in him an un 
usual contentment. Eager always and incessantly active, 
he had now the air of cheerful satisfaction. At this time 
he was certainly the best-known clergyman in the Eng 
lish Church. Throughout the whole land, throughout 
the whole English-speaking peoples, his name was famil 
iar, the brilliance of his eloquence known. Wherever 
he went he attracted crowds to the pulpits from which 
he preached and the platforms from which he spoke. 
Canterbury felt that a very conspicuous person had 
come to occupy the decanal stall, was proud of the dis 
tinction conferred on the city, and at once was fascinated 
by the fervour of his splendid rhetoric, the richness of 
his historic knowledge, and the high moral inspiration 


of his aims. He called attention to the Mother Church 
of England, till then too little considered. Looked upon 
with favour by his Sovereign and the Royal family, the 
King and Queen, at that time Prince and Princess of 
Wales, honoured Canterbury by their presence at the 
reopening of the Chapter house; and many eminent 
persons visited her, attracted by his urgent appeals. 

"The need of the Cathedral for serious structural 
repairs was felt by the Chapter. Our holy Mother 
Canterbury sat with tattered robes. The revenues of 
the Cathedral had been gradually declining while the 
permanent charges remained as large as ever, the Dean 
and Canons alone suffering from the diminished yearly 
income. The fabric was carefully maintained ; but there 
were no funds available for large structural restoration. 
With all the eagerness and pertinacity of his nature the 
new Dean initiated a movement in cooperation with the 
Canons of the Cathedral for the purpose of accomplish 
ing the necessary work. The main burden of collecting 
the funds required was undertaken by the Dean. To all 
sorts and conditions of men he wrote, setting forth the 
needs of the Cathedral and its historic and national 
claims. Thousands of letters he wrote with his own 
hands, those hands so soon to become tremulous and 
helpless. To our kindred across the Atlantic, whose 
response did not come up to his expectations, to whom 
we may say the Cathedral belongs as well as to our 
selves, he made appeal. From week to week, taxing 
a strength which the unresting labour of years had 
severely tried, he preached and spoke for the purpose 
on which he had set his heart. From one end of Great 
Britain to the other he pleaded the cause of the Cathe 
dral he had come to love so well. What no other man 
could have done, he did. Twenty thousand pounds were 


collected by his untiring efforts and were expended dur 
ing his tenure, too brief, of the decanal office. There is 
little to catch the eye which can tell of the good work 
which has been done. It is hidden in roofs and walls. 
Not for decoration but for the preservation of the noble 
fabric the funds were provided; and into that fabric, 
making it secure for years, those funds have been 

"But in the care for the building itself and with 
all its history, national and artistic, he was minutely ac 
quainted and ever loved to communicate it to those who 
came to visit it he did not lose sight of the moral and 
spiritual purposes for which it exists. He preached 
frequently at the popular Sunday Evening service, and 
vast numbers crowded to hear him. He had a large cir 
cle of friends among the clergy, and the most eminent of 
these he invited to occupy the Cathedral pulpit. He was 
the most generous and appreciative of critics. Few 
could dream of equalling his eloquence or the extent of 
his ever available knowledge. He took a certain amount 
of pleasure in his own success, although he had a 
tincture of pessimism, at least he liked to tell how 
great were the numbers he from time to time addressed. 
But he imagined that others could be as attractive as he 
if they chose. While averse from the ritualism which 
symbolised sacerdotal dogmas, he was careful of dignity 
in worship. The ceremony appropriate to great eccle 
siastical functions was studiously considered by him. 
He never failed, whether it were at an assemblage of 
bishops, the enthronement of a primate, or the solemn 
pageant of an archbishop s funeral, to represent with 
dignity the Cathedral of which he was chief. He insti 
tuted a yearly meeting of the Deans of Cathedrals, the 
first of which took place in Canterbury. He revived an 


ancient custom of personally greeting, together with the 
Canons, the citizens of Canterbury in the nave of the 
Cathedral, at the conclusion of Evensong on Christmas 
Day. He also organised a yearly service for the com 
memoration of benefactors of the Cathedral. In the 
boys of the choir he took the deepest interest, solemnly 
admitting them to their office, encouraging them with 
parental caresses, providing places for them when their 
term of work was over, and each Sunday afternoon 
teaching them himself in a Bible Class, a class for 
which the widely read scholar made special preparation. 
He was never more attractive than when with boys. 
His interest in the King s School was unceasing and 
that of an expert. The masters looked up to him as a 
chief in their own profession. The boys recognised in 
him a friend who sympathised with them because he 
understood them. No one could speak to them as he 
could. The brilliance of his meditated rhetoric disap 
peared when he addressed them. Playfulness, sim 
plicity, tenderness, memories of thoughts and things 
from various ages, made a speech from him invigorating 
and delightful. It was good to hear Archbishop Tem 
ple, who had also been a schoolmaster, delivering his 
rugged remarks with paternal benignity sunshine on 
wintry rocks ; but the Dean was incomparable ; his 
speech was like a thoroughbred, easy, graceful, and 
free. The sixth form in the school received his frequent 
hospitality and knew him intimately. Indeed, the hos 
pitality of the Deanery was unbounded. Until the 
completion of the new Palace the archbishops were 
entertained by him. The Sunday afternoon and even 
ing preachers received his welcome. On every possible 
occasion the citizens of Canterbury were invited to his 
home. His conversation was delightful without being 


monopolising, and the timid and retiring were encour 
aged by his graciousness. At all the civic celebrations 
of Canterbury he was careful to be present and was the 
chief speaker; and some preferred his spontaneous 
utterances to his prepared productions. There were 
persons who thought his taste too florid. Certain dec 
orative additions to the Cathedral buildings, while 
admired by some, by others were looked upon with less 
favour. In these he was not alone responsible. Nothing 
was done without the assent of the Chapter, and the 
whole Chapter must take the praise or blame. If the 
Dean had a fault, and most of us have more than one, 
it was that when some idea entered into his mind, it 
became, for the time, a part of his life, to be pursued 
with unyielding determination. Opposition inflicted a 
wound. He could not bear it; and at times his col 
leagues yielded to his insistence from a sense of the 
quivering pain refusal would inflict. The Dean s nature 
was highly sensitive, and it was anguish to his colleagues 
to bruise it. 

" But patience came at last, that rarest product of 
Divine Grace, and with him it had its perfect work. 
Gradually the silvery voice became inaudible. The fluent 
pen refused to answer to the will. The energy which 
never flagged, but carried the orator and advocate from 
one end of Great Britain to the other, ebbed away into 
trembling helplessness. No word of complaint was 
uttered. Carried to his stall, from time to time he strove 
to utter the words of benediction, and like St. John at 
Ephesus, to the last he sought his Church. Perhaps no 
one did so much in the nineteenth century to enlighten 
what have been called the Philistine religious classes as 
he did. While his learning was wider than that of the 
majority of scholars, it was used to elevate that stratum 


of unintelligent piety which is the largest constituent of 
the Churches. Lightfoot instructed the few. Farrar 
educated the many. They read his books with delight 
and without suspicion, imbibing almost unconsciously 
a more liberal spirit. For he was liberal in spirit rather 
than rationalistic in conclusion, more a preacher than 
a theologian. Suspected as unsound by some because 
of the very modest and almost hesitating book called 
Eternal Hope, those who knew him clearly saw how 
truly conservative was his faith. Not to doubt but to 
pray was his ideal. For religion was paramount with 
him. Theology was subordinate. Therefore it was that 
the insinuations and virulence of certain critics failed to 
alienate the middle classes of the various denominations 
from his writings. Religion was the touch of nature 
which made them kin. There is no one to take his place. 
Other men will do other work, in some respects higher 
work, than he did. His work was unique, and he being 
dead yet speaketh. His light still shines : 

" Oh, never star 
Was lost here but it rose afar." 

From Canon Mason s eloquent and beautiful memo 
rial sermon I take the following extracts : 


" How well he allowed us to know him. It was a part 
of his great generosity that he did not shut himself up, 
as some students might have done, in the retirement, 
well though he loved it, of his study, or in the sacred 
seclusion of his home life, though few men have ever 
been so blessed in their home life as he. That home 
was itself thrown open with the most liberal hospitality, 
and we felt that the Dean not only came out to us from 


time to time, but that he lived among us. There was 
nothing going on in Canterbury, nothing, I mean, of a 
wholesome kind, nothing that concerned the welfare of 
the City or of any class which it contained without 
the Dean having his share in it. At all kinds of gath 
erings the Dean was there, pouring out lavishly of his 
wonderful store of knowledge, and of his renowned elo 
quence. A respected citizen of Canterbury said to me 
yesterday, I feel that Canterbury has lost the best 
friend it ever had. Especially where the happiness and 
the well-being of the young were concerned, his time, 
his powers, his possessions, were bestowed without stint. 
Many in Canterbury of all classes of society have life 
long reason to be thankful to him for the pains he took 
to procure suitable situations and employments for their 
sons. His great influence was exerted for that purpose, 
in letters and interviews, which cost him what money 
could not buy. What he did for the Cathedral choris 
ters, whom he taught every Sunday with a fatherly ten 
derness, and for whom he was preparing a lesson as 
usual last Sunday, when the hand of God summoned 
him; what he did for the King s School, and for the 
individual members of it, will not soon be forgotten. It 
was a characteristic of all his life at Canterbury that his 
last public act, the very day before he died, was to drive 
out in the high March wind to bestow his loved and 
honoured presence upon the King s School sports. Then, 
what a life of industry it was ! It seemed as if he did 
not know how to be idle. When he came back from 
what were called his holidays, we usually found that he 
had preached in the principal sometimes also in the 
lowliest churches of the neighbourhood ; and that his 
pen had been even busier than it was here, where all 
sorts of avocations interrupted it. Can you form any 


estimate of the number of letters which he must have 
written letters with a rare force of persuasion in them 
to gather nearly .20,000 together for the repair and 
adornment of this church ? Most of his books were 
written before he came to Canterbury, but he went in 
cessantly on with his writing here, in his library, or 
sometimes in summer in the arbour on his garden wall, 
until that most pathetic of infirmities fastened upon his 
hand, and for ever stopped his active pen. Few men 
have ever written so much as he, and still fewer have 
written what has been so widely read. I have been 
able to count up more than thirty separate books of his, 
some of which are books in two large volumes, without 
reckoning the innumerable articles which he wrote for 
magazines. If you glance at the list of them, you see 
that many of these books are in their third, fourth, and 
fifth editions, while one is in its twelfth, another in its 
fourteenth, another in its eighteenth thousand, while one 
is in its twenty-fourth edition. This last is, of course, his 
famous Life of Christ/ and the twenty-four editions of 
which I speak are all English editions. I do not know 
whether there is any civilised language into which his 
* Life of Christ has not been translated. He told me 
himself of two independent translations of it into Russian. 
I know that when I first travelled in Scandinavia some 
years ago, there were two names of Englishmen, and 
only two, which were known to every Dane, as famil 
iarly known as that of any born Scandinavian ; the two 
were those of Spurgeon and Farrar. It would be idle 
to pretend that the world was unanimous in its judg 
ment upon the value of some of our Dean s works. His 
impetuous and rapid intellect sometimes carried him to 
conclusions which might perhaps have been modified if 
he could have lent himself seriously to thinking out an 


opposite view. But those are at least for the moment 
generally the ineffective men who, like Erasmus or 
Maurice, see both sides of a question and plead for the 
recognition of what is valuable in beliefs or practices 
other than their own. Farrar was not of that ineffective 
order of mind. What he was convinced of, he was con 
vinced of, and all his ardent soul went into the procla 
mation of it, whoever might take the other side. He was 
conscious of having no wish but to follow and to enforce 
the truth as he apprehended it. 


" You must not think that this characteristic intensity 
of conviction derogated from the largeness of his soul. 
On the contrary it made it all the more remarkable all 
the more a sign of Divine Grace that he should have 
been so forbearing and so charitable towards those who 
at any time differed from him. He felt more acutely 
than other men do the pain of difference. His was a 
peculiarly sensitive nature. He had a more than ordi 
nary longing to be approved and loved ; and any sign that 
others disagreed with him caused him a degree of suffer 
ing beyond what rougher men could sympathise with. 
But his heart went out tenderly towards those who in 
flicted the suffering, and he was incapable of bearing 
them ill-will. 


" It was said of Cranmer that the way to gain his 
affection was to do him an injury and to repent of it. I 
have reason to know that this was the way with Dean 
Farrar. All Canterbury was proud of its Dean ; but I 
believe that when we look back upon those eight years 
we shall feel that he helped us even more during the 
last part of the time than he did during the first. Great 


as was his work for the City and the Cathedral in the days 
of his brilliant energy, he did yet more for us when his 
powers began to decay, and he showed us by example 
how to suffer. If I may dare to say what appeared to 
me to be the case, I think the Dean himself was happier 
during the last two years or so than I ever knew him 
before ; and I am sure that he deserved to be so, for the 
presence of the Spirit of God shone out more and more 
conspicuously from his wasting frame. That busy right 
hand lost its cunning, till he could not so much as turn 
the pages of his sermon for himself, but had one of the 
King s scholars beside him in this pulpit to turn them for 
him ; then that wonderful voice which used to set the 
hearts of thousands vibrating as he spoke of righteous 
ness and temperance and judgment to come became 
husky and feeble, and he was compelled even to give up 
reading the lessons. But he never murmured. Not 
even in his utmost privacy did he complain. All impa 
tience, all fretfulness, were banished. We saw nothing 
but cheerfulness, gratitude, ever growing thoughtfulness 
for others, the courageous determination to go on doing 
what he could and as long as he could. Not the greatest 
of his sermons at Cambridge, or at Westminster, or here, 
was so eloquent as the sight of our speechless Dean car 
ried day after day to his place in the choir. Not the 
most influential of his books was so convincing a wit 
ness to Christ as that epistle known and read of all 
men, the epistle of his infirmities, not paraded, but 
not concealed after the example of Him who confessed 
upon the cross, I thirst, where we saw exhibited the 
transforming power of faith, so that it might be said of 
the Dean, as it was said of one of the ancient martyrs, 
that, Christ suffering in him achieved a great triumph, 
showing in a pattern for the rest to copy that there is 


nothing to be feared where the love of the Father is, and 
nothing painful where is the glory of Christ. Even if 
we should forget the word of the Lord which the Dean 
spake to us with his lips while he had the rule over 
us, it will, I believe, be impossible for us to forget the 
issue of his life and conversation in the months of his 
brave and calm advance towards a Christian death. 
God grant that as we consider it especially you, the 
young men and boys whom he loved so dearly we may 
learn to imitate his faith. " 

My sister, the Hon. Mrs. J. S. Northcote, writes as 
follows : 

" My earliest recollection of my father goes back to 
1869, when he was a Harrow master, and we children 
delighted to look out of the nursery window on a winter s 
afternoon, and watch him return from a game of foot 
ball, looking so fresh and vigorous, his muddied dress 
betraying the activity of his play. Another recollection, 
relating to days when we had grown a little older, is of 
our walking with him in the park at Harrow, when he 
took us to feed the tame swans, and delighted our child 
ish ears with stories, stories of Solomon and the Hoo- 
poo birds, and other beautiful legends ; or of wandering 
with him on the Marlborough Downs while he recited to 
us such poems as O Mary, go and call the cattle home. 
His mind was such a beautiful storehouse of all that is 
noblest in English literature, and I shall always love to 
remember that the best part of our education was our 
walks and talks with him. He simply loved Marlbor 
ough. As we climbed the Downs he taught us to spy 
out the blue-and-pink milkwort and tiny shepherd s purse, 
to look for the rare orchids that were to be found in the 
copses, or to gather the wild geraniums in the hedges. 


My father always walked with his hat off, usually giving 
it to one of us children to carry, while the wind blew the 
hair from his forehead. He was a great walker when 
ever he had leisure, as in the summer holidays, when he 
invariably stayed some weeks at the seaside. Swanage, 
in Dorsetshire, was a favourite resort for many years, 
also Llanfairfechan, in North Wales, and Newquay, in 
Cornwall. These summer holidays are particularly treas 
ured in our memories as most delightful times. We 
were a family of ten children, all healthy and strong, and 
we went out in large parties with my father for long 
walks over the mountains and along the seashore. These 
rambles were always enriched by his wonderful talk. He 
was very athletic. A Scotchman whom he used to visit 
describes how he went up the mountains with the agil 
ity of a young deer. 

" I can also recall how in those same summer holidays 
my father possessed a marvellous power of absorbing 
himself in his work, in spite of so many children always 
around him. Many of his books were largely written in 
the leisure of these holidays, he sitting in the garden, 
never disturbed by our merry games, or in a room where 
other occupations were going on around him. In Lon 
don his sermons were all written in a study that was only 
separated by folding doors from a drawing-room where 
his five daughters practised on the piano in succession. 
His power of concentration prevented him minding in 
the slightest degree what would have driven so many 
men distracted. Those sermons in St. Margaret s ! 
how wonderful they were, preached to such vast crowds 
as, I suppose, no other preacher ever gathered there. 
Not only were the aisles crowded up with extra chairs, 
but people sitting on the chancel steps, the pulpit steps, 
on hassocks put out from the pews, and crowds standing 



the whole service through to listen to the golden words 
which have changed for good so many lives. 

" The social life at Dean s Yard was very charming. 
Around his table he gathered the historians, poets, 
churchmen, and the eminent in science and art of his day, 
and by his exceptional geniality and charm of manner 
not only fascinated them one and all, but got even the 
most reticent and silent to open out and talk as he did. 
He also yearly filled his rooms with the rich and the 
poor alike among his Church workers, having most 
delightful At Homes, which, as his enthusiasm for 
social and philanthropic work widened, grew to many 

" During the last years of his life my father preached 
comparatively seldom, but he strove to make the Deanery 
the centre of the Cathedral and town life of Canterbury. 
The Deanery was filled with beautiful objects and rich 
with colour. It was a quaint old house, and my father 
was very proud of it and of the interesting collection of 
Deans portraits, of which not one was missing, from 
the Dean of Queen Elizabeth s time down to his own. 
Gradually the last sad illness, which began two years 
ago, robbed him of his bodily, though never of his 
mental, activity. It was atrophy of the muscles, 
brought about by a slight fall some years before. But 
it gradually stole over his whole body, till his hands and 
arms were so helpless that he could not raise them even 
to feed himself, and he could no longer hold up his head. 
Then one by one he had to surrender the occupations 
that he loved, writing, reading, walking, and serving 
in God s house. One by one they were laid aside with 
unmurmuring sweetness, though it was a sorrow un 
speakable to him not to be able to administer the Holy 
Communion, or to read the lessons in the Cathedral, or 



even to read prayers in his own household. He had to 
be carried into the Cathedral for the daily services, yet 
he bore it all with cheerfulness and a sweet dignity that 
was very touching. 1 

" But to the last his wonderful memory remained, and 
his power of clear, full expression of thought in articles 
and letters that could only be dictated. The last months 
of his life were happy and peaceful, nevertheless. His 
sons and daughters, who constantly gathered at the 
Deanery from their different homes, felt themselves to 
be in a holy presence, and never left him without a sense 
of calm and strength and uplifting. He was cheered 
by the diligent presence of many friends who loved to 
be with him, and he was sustained and comforted by no 
hands less loving and tender than those of her who for 
forty-three years had been his beautiful helpmate, and 
to whom he owed more than ordinary husbands ever can 
owe to their wives. There was no distress of farewell 
at the end. He sank quietly to sleep at the age of 
seventy-one, on Sunday, March 22. The grave in the 
quiet cloister that he loved is a fitting resting-place for 
one who not only himself has entered into the joy of his 
Lord, but who had set the feet of thousands on the same 
shining road thither. In CJiristo vixit In Christ o 

The Deanery of Canterbury, the structure of which 
dates back in part to the fifteenth, and in its older por 
tions to the thirteeenth century, is in respect of its fine 

1 Extract from a poem by another sister, Mrs. J. S. Thomas : 

How the light of love streamed round him when his noble frame was 

bowed ! 

In what a Sabbath calmness did the last long shadows fall ! 
Hushed was the wondrous voice that used to thrill the listening crowd, 
But this his latest sermon was the holiest of all. 


reception rooms and lovely garden one of the stateliest 
of the English Deaneries, and the joint taste of my 
father and mother made of it a very beautiful home. A 
striking feature of the Deanery is a very valuable series 
of contemporary portraits of all the Deans of Canterbury 
since the Reformation. To the restoration of these 
portraits my father generously devoted a sum of money 
which formed part of the farewell gift of his parishioners 
at St. Margaret s. Very proud was he to be the custo 
dian of the unique collection. He knew by heart the 
history of all his predecessors (among whom was Dean 
Bargrave, who had been, like himself, Rector of St. 
Margaret s and a Royal Chaplain); and even in his 
latest days, when he could no longer raise his head to 
see the portraits, he was never weary of explaining them 
with characteristic fulness of historical detail to the 
numerous guests at the Deanery. The walls of every 
room in the Deanery were clothed with beautiful and 
interesting pictures which my father had gradually 
amassed, and especially with copies, prints, or photo 
graphs from sacred art. His passionate love of Art, 
especially of sacred art, was one of his strongest char 
acteristics. He was not a connoisseur of technique or 
an amateur of style : he did not value pictures for their 
rarity or costliness ; he knew little of, and cared less 
for, " processes " ; he loved his pictures with a Catholic 
taste, partly as ministering to the refined colour sense 
which he possessed in a very high degree, but chiefly 
as the beautiful embodiments of deep moral and re 
ligious truths. He could not endure walls bare of 
pictures. As a schoolmaster, he loved to clothe with 
prints or with the reproductions of the Arundel Society 
the walls of his class rooms. Even the servants hall 
was thus beautified. 


He had travelled a good deal on the Continent, es 
pecially in his earlier Harrow days, and the range of 
his knowledge of sacred art in Continental galleries 
and our own National Gallery was almost Ruskinian. 

This knowledge bore fruit in one of his later works, 
the beautiful " Life of Christ in Art," published in 
1894, a thesauron of reproductions of some of the most 
exquisite sacred pictures in the world. 

One of his best sermons is the Sermon on Art, pub 
lished in " Social and Present Day Questions," from 
which I am tempted to give the following extract, to 
show the preacher s power of seizing on the moral les 
sons conveyed by a great picture : 

" There was yet a deeper lesson in another strange 
picture by Mr. Burne-Jones, called The Depths of the 
Sea. A mermaid, beautiful in face, but hideously 
repellent in her scaly train, has flung her arms around a 
youth, and is dragging him down through the green 
waters to her cave. In her face is the intense malignity 
of cruel triumph and cruel scorn ; in the youth s face is 
the agony of frustration and of death. And the motto be 
low is : Habes tota quod mente petisti, Infelix ! Thou 
hast what thou soughtest with all thy soul, unhappy one. 
Oh, that it were in my power to preach to all young men 
a sermon of meaning so intense as that picture ! The 
mermaid, like the Siren of mythology, like the strange 
woman of the Proverbs, is the harlot Sense. She is the 
type of carnal temptation, ending in disillusion, shame, 
anguish, death. It is the meaning of that saying of the 
rabbis, The demons come to us smiling and beautiful 
when they have done their work, they drop their mask. 
It is the meaning of Solomon : But he knoweth not 
that the dead are there, and that her guests are in the 
depths of hell. God has granted to that youth his 


heart s desire, and sent leanness withal into his bones. 
He has got what he passionately longed for, and it is 
death ! 

" Or, once more ! If a youth needs not so much a 
warning against the idolatries of sense as hope to secure 
the conquest over them, could he learn the lesson in 
a more inspiring form than by going into our National 
Gallery, and there reading the meaning of Turner s 
great pictures of Apollo and the Python ? The youthful 
Sun-God, the emblem of victorious purity, is seated in 
his circle of light, launching arrow after arrow at that 
huge, loathly monster of corruption. Awful and terrible 
as that destructive monster looks, it is but a colossal 
worm. When the arrow pierces it, it bursts asunder in 
the midst. Any youth, I think, who had in his soul one 
gleam of noble imagination, might well, as he looked at 
that picture, be inspired to hate the foulness of that im 
purity which can so frightfully crush to death all who 
put themselves in its power, but which is yet weak as a 
worm to those who walk in the light as Christ is in the 
light, and who pierce the pestilent foulness with the 
arrows of the dawn." 

In reference to his love of art the two following 
letters are of interest : 

" BOLOGNA, Oct. ist, 1891. 

" MY DEAREST LILIAN : I began a letter to you a 
week ago, but the pressure and exigencies of daily 
travelling, and the absorbing demands of Venice, pre 
vented me from finishing it. I therefore send this line 
to tell you that you and all my children, as well as 
Mother, are always in my thoughts. You had all the 
enjoyments of a delightful trip last year, so you can 
judge how pleasant it has been to Eric and me, and how 


much we have learnt. Venice was as enchanting as 
ever, to the last ; and I have greatly enjoyed my brief 
visits to Ferrara and Bologna, where I have learnt more 
about Giotto, Mantegna, Ercole Grandi, Dossi Dossi, 
Garofalo, and other painters than I ever knew before. 
At Bergamo I learnt to know the sweetness and power 
of Lorenzo Lotto, and at Brescia the splendours of 
Moretto and Romanino. I have kept art steadily in 
view, and it has been a great delight to me. I am 
bringing home no presents. Your mother objurgated, 
or rather adjured me, not to waste money on Salviati 
glass and wooden figures, or pictures for which we have 
no room ; and Eric bullied me out of buying an original 
Paolo Vanino (which I could have got for 3) and an 
inkstand copied from the Porta della Salute, so I shall 
have no presents this time. I am much distressed to 
think that dear Mother has practically had no holiday 
at all. We shall all miss Ivor. It is my earnest hope 
that he will be happy and do well. You, I know, will 
throw yourself heartily into all Parish work, and will 
go on educating yourself. Good-bye. I am, dearest 

" Your loving father, 

" F. W. FARRAR." 

"Oct. 8th. 

" MY DARLING LILIAN : We were so glad to hear from 
your letter that you are enjoying delightful Venice 
so much ; but we were sorry to hear of mosquitoes. 
Eric and I, by the help of pastilles burnt inside the 
Zazezicri, carbolic acid soap, eucalyptus oil, and other 
things, escaped without one bite. 

" Tennyson is dead. What a loss ! but I knew when 
Phillips Brooks and I spent that happy day with him 


at Aldworth last July that I should never see him 
again. Since my youth he has been a delight and a 
teacher to me ; and for twenty-five years a most kind 
personal friend. One of the poems in his forthcoming 
volume a very noble one was written at my sug 

" Do you remember the picture shop at the left hand 
of the Fresconici, I think, a little after you turn from the 
left out of the Calle which leads to the Hotel Britannia, 
where I saw, and have ever since coveted, a little picture 
by Padovanicino, of a child Christ with His arm on a 
globe ? If it is still there, and the man will let you have 
it for 2 (he will ask double, but will take 2), I wish 
you would buy it for me. Miss Winthrop would doubt 
less be kind enough to advance the money, and I would 
pay her the moment you return. I hope that the rest 
of your stay and your return will be very happy. Kind 
est regards to Miss Winthrop. I am 

" Your loving father, 

" F. W. FARRAR. 

" P. S. I write in great haste. I shall probably preach 
twice on Tennyson at St. Margaret s on Sunday." 

In his beautiful Deanery my father, who was one of 
the most hospitable of men, delighted to entertain a con 
stant succession of guests. On one occasion he had the 
honour of entertaining to lunch the Prince of Wales (now 
our King), who came with the Princess of Wales and a 
distinguished company to the opening of the restored 
and beautified Chapter House. It was his constant aim 
to secure illustrious and able preachers to edify and in 
terest the congregations in the Cathedral. The preachers 
were almost invariably entertained at the Deanery, so 



that he had generally one, frequently two, clergymen 
staying with him from Saturday to Monday. It was 
his practice to invite two of the King s scholars in turn 
to breakfast on Sunday morning, and some guests were 
almost sure to be invited to the charming and informal 
suppers on Sunday evenings. 

The visitors book kept at Canterbury, as at Marl- 
borough and Westminster, showed a long roll of names, 
including many of the most illustrious. 

Of all his guests at Canterbury none were more 
welcome or more honoured than the two successive 
Archbishops, Benson and Temple. The old Arch 
bishop s Palace at Canterbury was accidentally burnt in 
the time of Cranmer, and was left in ruins till Arch 
bishop Parker came, in 1559. He rebuilt the Palace 
and resided in it, but after his time part was pulled 
down and part converted into tenements. Since then, 
until 1899, when the portion remaining was restored, in 
Archbishop Temple s reign, and now forms once more 
the Archbishop s official residence, it was the traditional 
custom for the Archbishop when at Canterbury to be, 
together with his chaplain, the guest of the Dean. For 
the short, all too short, period about a year that in 
tervened between my father s appointment to Canter 
bury and the death of Archbishop Benson, who died 
on his knees in the House of God, a death in beautiful 
harmony with a most saintly life, it was my father s 
constant privilege to receive the Archbishop and Mrs. 
Benson as his guests whenever they came to Canterbury. 
The friendship which had always subsisted between them 
ripened in this intercourse into the deepest affection. 
My father obtained from the Home Secretary permis 
sion to bury Archbishop Temple in the Cathedral, where 
no Archbishop of the Reformed Church had ever before 


been buried. The last Archbishop interred in the 
Cathedral had been Cardinal Pole, in 1558. When 
Archbishop Temple succeeded Benson, the same cus 
tom obtained until the restoration of the Archbishop s 
Palace. For him, too, my father had the profoundest 
respect and almost the same affection as he had felt 
for his predecessor. On the last occasion when he en 
tertained him, Archbishop Temple, one of the least 
effusive of men, took my father s hand in both of his 
and said to him, " Words fail me to express my sense 
of your kindness to me." 

The closing years of my dear father s life at Canter 
bury will always be thought of by those who knew and 
loved him as the most beautiful years of a life of saintly 

An accidental fall, some years before, had set up an 
insidious process of degeneration in the spinal cord, the 
results of which gradually became manifest in progres 
sive muscular atrophy, and finally robbed him of all 
power in the upper extremities. Already, in 1899, he 
began to lose the use first of his right hand, that right 
hand which had toiled so long and so fruitfully in the 
service of mankind. The beautiful "Life of Lives," 
published in 1900, was his last important book, the 
most precious, in some respects, of all his books. The 
atrophy spread till both hands hung helpless from 
the shoulders. Even the muscles of the neck were 
attacked, till he could no longer hold his noble head 
erect; and finally atrophy of the muscles of respiration 
brought his life to a peaceful and painless end. But to 
the last his memory and his powers of mind were quite 
unimpaired, and his touching progressive weakness was 
concomitant with a wonderful and beautiful exaltation 
of the spiritual life. 



Truly for such as he 

The soul s dark cottage, battered and decayed, 

Lets in new light through chinks that time has made. 

If, in the ardent zeal of youth and manhood, he had 
ever been impetuous or impatient ; if, in his hatred of 
overweening sacerdotal claims, he had ever been unduly 
vigorous in denunciation intolerant he never was ; if 
any gusts of controversy had ever ruffled the surface of 
that strenuous and noble life, all petty flecks and flaws 
were now stilled in the calm of a deeper spiritual insight, 
all clouds were banished by a fuller light of love. When 
he could no longer gird himself to go forth and preach 
the Gospel, there was granted to him a closer walk with 
the God whom he had served. 

Often in suffering, daily growing weaker, he bore 
both weakness and suffering not only with unmurmur 
ing patience but with unfailing cheerfulness; and the 
dogged courage with which he faced his duties to the 
last day of his life, is comparable to that of Browning s 
heroic Grammarian. 

As his weakness grew upon him, he talked often of 
resigning the Deanery, but his friend Archbishop Tem 
ple would not suffer this : and indeed he carried out to 
the end, and most effectively, his duties as Dean. 

His colleagues can testify that to the last his experi 
ence, his moderation, and his wise counsels guided to 
the best ends all the deliberations of the Chapter : when 
he could no longer walk to the Cathedral, he was daily 
carried thither in a chair by strong attendants, whom 
he never failed to reward with a few words of friendly 
gratitude, and the spectacle of that once powerful, 
now helpless frame daily borne to worship in the 
House of God was more eloquent than many a sermon : 


to the last the social influence of the Deanery and the 
generous hospitality of the beloved Dean were a power 
for good in Canterbury, even though the gracious host 
sat among his guests, cheerful, witty, kindly, full of 
anecdotes and interesting historical reminiscences, as of 
old, though wholly unable to lift a hand to feed himself, 
or even to raise his head. 

Wholly dependent for his physical needs on the min 
istrations of others, he was enabled to bear his disabili 
ties by an absence of self-consciousness as rare as it was 
beautiful. He never developed the peevishness or ex 
acting selfishness which so often mars the character of 
invalids, but was touchingly grateful for every little ser 
vice, to his kind and devoted physician, Dr. Reid, 
whom he was wont to greet with a shower of kindly 
chaff ; to his children or guests when they read to him ; 
to visitors when they brought him some little offering of 
flowers or fruit. 

To my dear mother, who throughout his long decay 
of physical powers hardly left his side for an hour, love 
gave strength to minister to him by night as well as by 
day, and, aided only by our c^.d family nurse, to do the 
work of two trained nurses. How faithful, how tender, 
how lovely was her devotion, even those who best knew 
my father in his home can only partially guess. 

I think my father was never happier, certainly never 
more serene and cheerful, with a serenity that often 
found its expression in a gracious playfulness, than in 
the last three years of his life. Certainly he won the 
love of others in fuller and more unstinted measure than 
ever before. Many letters of sympathy reached him 
from all quarters, among others a gracious message of 
enquiry from the highest lady in the land. 


One of these letters is given here : 

"LONDON, April 13, 1901. 

" SIR : I do pray God will soon restore you to health. 
England has few if any godly men like you. Oh, how 
often I and thousands more have deplored your leaving 
St. Margaret s how often I have been privileged to lis 
ten to your never to be forgotten sermons. I thank God 
I had that privilege and your books, full of comfort to 
the dying. Oh, may God spare you. I am only a poor 
woman, but I hope to see you in Heaven. There will be 
a crown of glory awaiting you. 

" From a devoted hearer." 

I may be allowed to give here, for the sake of the 
touching review of his We with which it concludes, the 
last letter I ever received from his own hand, a letter 
written on the type-writer, which for a time he was able 
to use, when no longer able to guide a pen. It was 
addressed to me in India, where I was at the time en 
gaged on Famine duty : 

"THE DEANERY, CANTERBURY, April 19, 1900. 

" MY DEAREST REGGIE : Your letter reached me this 
morning. I need not assure you, for you will be sure 
without my saying it, that you are constantly in our 
thoughts, and are remembered daily before God in our 
prayers. What wonderful experiences you are having ! 
They must at times be very fatiguing, but must at the 
same time be full of interest, and will always remain in 
your memory. Have you ever thought of putting down 
your adventures, and publishing them in the form of a 
little book ? I cannot really say whether it would be 


wise or not, for, in these days more than ever, of 
making many books there is no end, and there are 
shoals of books, and even some which are not devoid 
of merit, which fall from the Press still-born. Have you 
ever heard how many novels are published every single 
day in the year ? No less than five ! One wonders 
how many of these survive for a single week. 

" We most earnestly trust that you may keep your 
health in the midst of all your most useful labours, and 
I feel sure that you will be sustained by the thought 
that you are thus called to take your part in the Imperial 
duties involved in the possession of our vast Empire. 
It must require no little fortitude, and the assistance of 
good spirits, to be moving day after day in the midst of 
pestilence and famine ; but it will help you to know that 
you are doing your best to alleviate both. 

" I have been to two experts about the weakness of my 
right hand, to Dr. Buzzard and to Dr. Ferrier. They 
both recommended the same line of treatment, namely, 
daily injection of strychnia and weekly electrifying of 
the arm. I tell Dr. Reid that he is constantly guilty of 
assault and battery, and tell him that, like Henry the Sixth, 

" My anointed body 
By him is punched full of deadly holes. 

"Whether it does any good or not I really cannot 
tell, but although the hand does not seem to get any 
better, it does not seem to get rapidly worse. My ter 
rible dread is lest the muscular atrophy should spread 
and make me a cripple ; but I must bear whatever it 
may please God to send. 


" I can most honestly say that throughout my whole 
life I have been kind to many, have earnestly striven 


and desired to be kind to all, and have never once in 
my life done any intentional harm to any human being. 
That is enough for me, and 

" If powers Divine 

Behold our human actions, as they do, 
I doubt not then that Innocence shall make 
False accusation blush. 

"With best love from mother and me, I am, my 
dearest Reggie, 

" Your most loving father, 

" F. W. FARRAR." 

On March 2ist, in spite of a bitterly cold east wind, 
rather than disappoint the boys of his beloved King s 
School, my father insisted on being driven to witness 
their school sports. On the evening of the same day 
he was busy in preparing with his usual conscientious 
thoroughness the lesson which he was accustomed to 
give on Sundays to the boys of the Cathedral choir. 

On Sunday, March 22, 1903, faithful unto death, he 
passed away to receive his Crown of Life. 

"They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of 
the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness 
as the stars for ever and ever." 

Printed by BALI.ANTVNK, HANSON &* Co. 
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CAT. NO. 1137