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Philoc. But that idea is no offspring of science, Philalethes.
Philal. Not the idea, but the symbol in which it is embodied.
Philoc. But it is exactly that habit of mind, that readiness to find the spiritual in the material, that seems to me wanting in scientific men. They look at, not through, the window.
Philal. The window is their work. What lies beyond is without the bound aries of science. The tendency of early science is to forget those boundaries; the science of our day, in guarding perhaps too anxiously against this error, refuses to take cognizance of what lies beyond them. I anticipate for the maturity of thought a combination of what is right in both these tendencies, as I hope in my own age, to return to what was most precious in the feelings of the child, without losing anything of what was gained by the experience of the inan. Meantime, do not forget that our (lebt is not small to those scientific men who possess least of this spirit-who would regard any inclination to look
upon the material world as the expression, and symbol of the spiritual, as mere idle dreaming. You owe them this, that, while they spend laborious years in the painful elaboration of some new view of nature, they are translating for you a symbol, in which you may be most certain no conception of their own has mingled. If the result of their operations contain an element so carefully eliminated from the crucible in which the fusion was made, we may be perfectly certain that that element was a constituent part of the original materials.
Philoc. But tell me how you would reconcile with other and more important views of truth any theory which makes man the product of the lower tendencies of the animal world? Suppose it granted that the author of such a hypothesis is not bound to follow me to that ground, still, as I know you must be ready to take that point of view, do you not refuse to accompany me there.
Philal. On a future occasion I shall be very happy to do so.
TOM BROWN AT OXFORD.
BY THE AUTHOR OF “TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.”
shoots which the privet hedge is making in the square garden, and hail the returning tender-pointed leaves of the plane trees as friends; we go out of our way to walk through Covent Garden market to see the ever-brightening show of flowers from the happy country.
This state of things goes on sometimes for a few days only, sometimes for weeks, till we make sure that we are safe for this spring at any rate. Don't we wish we may get it! Sooner or later, but suresure as Christmas bills, or the incometax, or anything, if there be anything, surer than these- comes the morning when we are suddenly conscious as soon as we rise that there is something the matter. We do not feel comfortable in our clothes ; nothing tastes quite as it
For some time we do not trust the fair lengthening days, and cannot believe that the dirty pair of sparrows who live opposite our window are really making love and going to build, notwithstanding all their twittering. But morning after morning rises fresh and gentle; there is no longer any vice in the air ; we drop our over-coats ; we rejoice in the green
should at breakfeast; though the day least into the skirts of it, where he lay looks bright enough, there is a fierce rolling under bare poles, comparatively dusty taint about it as we look out safe, but without any power as yet to through windows, which no instinct get the ship well in hand, and make now prompts us to throw open, as it has her obey her helm. The storm might done every day for the last month. break over him again at any minute,
But it is only when we open our doors and would find him almost as helpless and issue into the street, that the hateful as ever. reality comes right home to us. All For he could not follow Drysdale's moisture, and softness, and pleasantuess advice at once, and break off his visits has gone clean out of the air since last to “The Choughs" altogether. He night; we seem to inhale yards of horse- went back again after a day or two, hair instead of satin ; our skins dry up; but only for short visits ; he never our eyes, and hair, and whiskers, and stayed behind now after the other clothes are soon filled with loathsome men left the bar, and avoided interviews dust, and our nostrils with the reek of with Patty alone as diligently as he had the great city. We glance at the weather- sought them before. She was puzzled cock on the nearest steeple and see that at his change of manner, and, not being it points N.E. And so long as the able to account for it, was piqued, and change lasts we carry about with us ready to revenge herself and pay him out a feeling of anger and impatience as in the hundred little ways which the though we personally were being ill. least practised of her sex know how to treated. We could have borne with it employ for the discipline of any of the well enough in November; it would inferior or trousered half of the creation. have been natural, and all in the day's If she had been really in love with him, work, in March ; but now, when Rotten- it would have been a different matter ; row is beginning to be crowded, when but she was not. In the last six weeks long lines of pleasure-vans are leaving she had certainly often had visions of town on Monday mornings for Hampton the pleasures of being a lady and keepCourt or the poor remains of dear Ep- ing servants, and riding in a carriage ping Forest, when the exhibitions are like the squires' and rectors' wives and open or about to open, when the reli- daughters about her home. She had a gious public is up, or on its way up, liking, even a sentiment for him, which for May meetings, when the Thames might very well have grown into someis already sending up faint warnings of thing dangerous before long; but as yet what we may expect as soon as his it was not more than skin deep. Of late, dirty old. life's blood shall have been indeed, she had been much more frightthoroughly warmed up, and the Ship, ened than attracted by the conduct of her and Trafalgar, and Star and Garter are admirer, and really felt it a relief, notin full swing at the antagonist poles of withstanding her pique, when he retired the cockney system, we do feel that this into the elder brother sort of state. But blight which has come over us and she would have been more than woman everything is an insult, and that while if she had not resented the change ; and it lasts, as there is nobody who can be so, very soon the pangs of jealousy were made particularly responsible for it, we are added to his other troubles. Other men justified in going about in general dis- were beginning to frequent “The gust, and ready to quarrel with anybody Choughs” regularly. Drysdale, besides we may meet on the smallest pretext. dividing with Tom the prestige of being an
This sort of east-windy state is per- original discoverer, was by far the largest haps the best physical analogy for that customer. St. Cloud came, and brought mental one in which our hero now found Chanter with him, to whom Patty was himself. The real crisis was over ; he actually civil, not because she liked him had managed to pass through the eye of at all, but because she saw that it made the storm, and drift for the present at Tom furious. Though he could not fix
on any one man in particular, he felt that mankind in general were gaining on him. In his better moments indeed he often wished that she would take the matter into her own hands and throw him over for good and all ; but keep away from the place altogether he could not, and often, when he fancied himself on the point of doing it, a pretty toss of her head or kind look of her eyes would scatter all his good resolutions to the four winds. · And so the days dragged on, and he dragged on through them; hot fits of conceit alternating in him with cold fits of despondency and mawkishness and discontent with everything and every body, which were all the more intolerable from their entire strangeness. Instead of seeing the bright side of all things, he seemed to be looking at creation through yellow spectacles, and saw faults and blemishes in all his acquaintance which had been till now invisible.
But, the more he was inclined to depreciate all other men, the more he felt that there was one to whom he had been grossly unjust. And, as he recalled all that had passed, he began to do justice to the man who had not flinched from warning him and braving him, who he felt had been watching over him, and trying to guide him straight when he had lost all power or will to keep straight himself.
From this time the dread increased on him lest any of the other men should find out his quarrel with Hardy. Their utter ignorance of it encouraged him in the hope that it might all pass off like a bad dream. While it remained a mat ter between them alone, he felt that all might come straight, though he could not think how. He began to loiter by the entrance of the passage which led to Hardy's rooms; sometimes he would find something to say to his scout or bedmaker which took him into the back regions outside Hardy's window, glancing at it sideways as he stood giving his orders. There it was, wide open, generally-he hardly knew whether he hoped to catch a glimpse of the owner, but he did hope that Hardy might hear his
voice. He watched him in chapel and hall furtively, but constantly, and was always fancying what he was doing and thinking about. Was it as painful an effort to Hardy, he wondered, as to him to go on speaking, as if nothing had happened, when they met at the boats, as they did now again almost daily (for Diogenes was bent on training some of the torpids for next year), and yet never to look one another in the face; to live together as usual during part of every day, and yet to feel all the time that a great wall had arisen between them, more hopelessly dividing them for the time than thousands of miles of ocean or continent ?
Amongst other distractions which Tom tried at this crisis of his life, was reading. For three or four days running he really worked hard—very hard, if we were to reckon by the number of hours he spent in his own rooms over his books with his oak sported,--hard, even though we should only reckon by results. For, though scarcely an hour passed that he was not balancing on the hind legs of his chair with a vacant look in his eyes, and thinking of anything but Greek roots or Latin constructions, yet on the whole he managed to get through a good deal, and one evening, for the first time since his quarrel with Hardy, felt a sensation of real comfort—it hardly amounted to pleasure—as he closed his Sophocles some hour or so after hall, having just finished the last of the Greek plays which he meant to take in for his first examination. He leaned back in his chair and sat for a few minutes, letting his thoughts follow their own bent. They soon took to going wrong, and he jumped up in fear lest he should be drifting back into the black stormy sea in the trough of which he had been labouring so lately, and which he felt he was by no means clear of yet. At first he caught up his cap and gown as though he were going out. There was a wine party at one of his acquaintance's rooms; or he could go and smoke a cigar in the pool room, or at any one of a dozen other places. On second
thoughts, however, he threw his acade- wè not told, too, or did I dream it, that micals back on to the sofa, and went what was true for him is true for every to his book-case. The reading had paid man—for me? That there is a spirit so well that evening that he resolved to dwelling in me, striving with me, ready go on with it. He had no particular to lead me into all truth if I will submit object in selecting one book more than to his guidance ?" another, and so took down carelessly “Ay! submit, submit, there's the the first that came to hand.
rub! Give yourself up to his guidance ! It happened to be a volume of Plato, Throw up the reins, and say, you've and opened of its own accord in the made a mess of it. Well, why not? Apology. He glanced at a few lines. Haven't I made a mess of it? Am I What a flood of memories they called fit to hold the reins ?” up! This was almost the last book he “Not I,” he got up and began walkhad read at school ; and teacher, and ing about his rooms, “I give it up.” friends, and lofty oak-shelved library “Give it up!” he went on presently; stood out before him at once. Then " yes, but to whom? Not to the demon, the blunders that he himself and others spirit, whatever it was, who took up his had made rushed through his mind, and abode in the old Athenian—at least so he almost burst into a laugh as he he said, and so I believe. No, no ! wheeled his chair round to the window, Two thousand years and all that they and began reading where he had opened, have seen have not passed over the world encouraging every thought of the old to leave us just where he was left. We times when he first read that marvellous want no dæmons or spirits. And yet defence, and throwing himself back into the old heathen was guided right, and them with all his might. And still, as he what can a man want more? and who read, forgotten words of wise comment, ever wanted guidance more than I now and strange thoughts of wonder and -here-in this room-at this minute ? longing, came back to him. The great I give up the reins; who will take them?” truth which he had been led to the brink And so there came on him one of those of in those early days rose in all its awe seasons when a man's thoughts cannot and all its attractiveness before him. be followed in words. A sense of awe He leant back in his chair, and gave came on him, and over him, and wraphimself up to his thought; and how ped him round; awe at a presence of strangely that thought bore on the strug- which he was becoming suddenly congle which had been raging in him of scious, into which he seemed to have late; how an answer seemed to be trem- wandered, and yet which he felt must bling to come out of it to all the cries, have been there, around him, in his now defiant, now plaintive, which had own heart and soul, though he knew it gone up out of his heart in this time of not. There was hope and longing in trouble! For his thought was of that his heart mingling with the fear of that spirit, distinct from himself, and yet presence, but withal the old reckless communing with his inmost soul, always and daring feeling which he knew so dwelling in him, knowing him better well, still bubbling up untamed, unthan he knew himself, never mislead- tamable it seemed to him. ing him, always leading him to light The room stifled him now; so he and truth, of which the old philosopher threw on his cap and gown, and hurried spoke. " The old heathen, Socrates, did down into the quadrangle. It was very actually believe that there can be no quiet ; probably there were not a dozen question about it ;" he thought, “Has men in college. He walked across to the not the testimony of the best men through low dark entrance of the passage which these two thousand vears borne witness led to Hardy's rooms, and there paused. that he was right—that he did not be- Was he there by chance, or was he lieve a lie ? That was what we were guided there? Yes, this was the right told. Surely I don't mistake! Were way for him, he had no doubt now as to
that; down the dark passage, and into the room he knew so well—and what then? He took a short turn or two before the entrance. How could he be sure that Hardy was alone? And, if not, to go in would be worse than useless. If he were alone, what should he say? After all, must he go in there? was there no way but that ?
The college clock struck a quarter to seven. It was his usual time for “The Choughs ;” the house would be quiet now; was there not one looking out for him there who would be grieved if he did not come? After all, might not that be his way, for this night at least? He might bring pleasure to one human being by going there at once. That he knew; what else could he be sure of ?
At this moment he heard Hardy's door open, and a voice saying, “Good night," and the next Grey came out of the passage, and was passing close to him. .
“Join yourself to him.” The impulse came so strongly into Tom's mind this time, that it was like a voice speaking to him. He yielded to it, and, stepping to Grey's side, wished him good evening. The other returned his salute in his shy way, and was hurrying on, but Tom kept by him.
“ Have you been reading with Hardy?”
“How is he? I have not seen any thing of him for some time.”
“Oh, very well, I think," said Grey, glancing sideways at his questioner, and adding, after a moment, “I have won dered rather not to see you there of late."
“Are you going to your school ?" said Tom, breaking away from the subject.
“Yes, and I am rather late ; I must make haste on ; good night.”
“Will you let me go with you to night? It would be a real kindness. Indeed,” he added, as he saw how embarrassing his proposal was to Grey, “I will do whatever you tell me-you don't know how grateful I shall be to you. Do let me go-just for to-night Try me once."
Grey hesitated, turned his head sharply once or twice as they walked on together, and then said with something like a sigh
"I don't know, I'm sure. Did you ever teach in a night-school ?”.
“No, but I have taught in the Sunday, school at home sometimes. Indeed, I will do whatever you tell me.”
“Oh! but this is not at all like a Sunday-school. They are a very rough, wild lot."
“The rougher the better," said Tom; "I shall know how to manage them then."
“But you must not really be rough with them."
“No, I won't; I didn't mean that," said Tom hastily, for he saw his mistake at once. “I shall take it as a great favour, if you will let me go with you to-night. You won't repent it, I'm sure.”
Grey did not seem at all sure of this, but saw no means of getting rid of his companion, and so they walked on together and turned down a long narrow court in the lowest part of the town. At the doors of the houses labouring men, mostly Irish, lounged or stood about, smoking and talking to one another, or to the women who leant out of the windows, or passed to and fro on their various errands of business or pleasure. A group of half-grown lads were playing at pitch-farthing at the farther end, and all over the court were scattered children of all ages, ragged and noisy creatures most of them, on whom paternal and maternal admonitions and cuffs were constantly being expended, and to all appearances in vain.
At the sight of Grey a shout arose amongst the smaller boys, of “Here's the teacher !" and they crowded round him and Tom as they went up the court. Several of the men gave him a halfsurly half-respectful nod, as he passed along, wishing them good evening. The rest merely stared at him and his companion. They stopped at a door which Grey opened, and led the way into the passage of an old tumble-down cottage, on the ground floor of which were two low rooms which served for the school-rooms.