MATTHEW ARNOLD AND OTHERS
THE most charming man, John Morley and I agree, that we ever knew was Matthew Arnold. He had, indeed, "a charm" -- that is the only word which expresses the effect of his presence and his conversation. Even his look and grave silences charmed.
He coached with us in 1880, I think, through Southern England -- William Black and Edwin A. Abbey being of the party. Approaching a pretty village he asked me if the coach might stop there a few minutes. He explained that this was the resting-place of his godfather, Bishop Keble, and he should like to visit his grave. He continued:
"Ah, dear, dear Keble! I caused him much sorrow by my views upon theological subjects, which caused me sorrow also, but notwithstanding he was deeply grieved, dear friend as he was, he traveled to Oxford and voted for me for Professor of English Poetry."
We walked to the quiet churchyard together. Matthew Arnold in silent thought at the grave of Keble made upon me a lasting impression. Later the subject of his theological views was referred to. He said they had caused sorrow to his best friends.
"Mr. Gladstone once gave expression to his deep disappointment, or to something like displeasure, saying I ought to have been a bishop. No doubt my writings prevented my promotion, as well as grieved my friends, but I could not help it. I had to express my views."
I remember well the sadness of tone with which these