time, so earnestly does he affirm its inadequacy, its shortcomings on the moral side, its need to be steadied and purified by religion, that at the end we feel that what we have heard is the final utterance, never to be repeated or needing to be supplemented, of Christian Humanism: as if the spirit evoked by Erasmus had found its voice at last.


SOPHIST AND SWASHBUCKLER

WHEN Kingsley, in a review of Froude's History, gave a passing flick at Newman, neither he nor any of his readers could have guessed the results that were to follow. Newman in 1860 was no great figure: out of the world, and almost out of memory. It was supposed that he was uncomfortable in the Church of Rome: he was not, or at any rate the Church was the more uncomfortable of the two. He was regarded, so far as anyone regarded him at all, with some pity, some suspicion and some contempt. He had been badly treated by Rome, but why had he ever left Oxford? He wrote fine English, but the meaning was sometimes doubtful and sometimes repellent. What had an Englishman, an Oxford man, with taste and judgement refined by the classics and philosophy of the Schools, to do with the glories of Mary, and the healing oil that flowed from the bones of St Walburga?

Dislike and fear of Popery is a Victorian datum. The educated eighteenth century took its Catholics very coolly. Plans could be discussed for a union of the Anglican and Gallican churches. French privateers were ordered to spare the Manx fishermen out of respect for the apostolic virtues of Bishop Wilson: emigrant French priests were welcomed, cared for, found employment. If Pitt had carried Catholic Emancipation with the Union, there would have been no line left on which the opposing creeds could array themselves. The division, which he was compelled to make between Protestant and Catholic citizens, crystallized the distinction between Protestant and Catholic believers. If we ask, what

-146-

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Victorian Essays
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction 1
  • Victorian Centenary 13
  • The Age of Tennyson 46
  • Eyes and No Eyes 70
  • Thackeray 74
  • Mr and Mrs Dickens 79
  • The Schoolman in Downing Street1the Two Mr Gladstones, by G. T. Garratt. 82
  • Mr Gladstone 90
  • The Happy Family 110
  • The Greatest Victorian 116
  • The Mercian Sibyl 129
  • The Victorian Noon-Time 133
  • Sophist and Swashbuckler 142
  • The Faith of The Grandfathers 146
  • Tempus Actum 153
  • B. A. Kohnfeldt 158
  • Katherine Stanley And John Russell 162
  • Maitland 173
  • Topsy 178
  • The New Cortegiano 183
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