Hurrell Froude Memoranda and Comments
This ebook is dedicated to
friend, colleague, mentor, and role model,
who fell off the planet far too soon.
MEMORANDA AND COMMENTS
LOUISE IMOGEN GUINEY
WITH SEVEN ILLUSTRATIONS
METHUEN & CO.
36 ESSEX STREET W.C.
First Published in 1904
|Some Memoranda of his Life and of his Ideals||1|
|Some reprinted Comments on him and on his Relation to the Oxford Movement||231|
|LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS|
|Hurrell Froude as a Child||Frontispiece|
|From a Photograph by F. Hollyer|
|Fac-simile Signature from a Letter of Hurrell Froude to his Friend George Dudley Ryder, Esq. (afterwards Rev.), 1832||xxii|
|From a Photograph by H. W. Taunt and Co.|
|Dartington Old Church, and Hurrell Froude’s Burial-place||202|
THE epistolary matter in the first section of this volumeis drawn from material already in print: chiefly fromPart I. of The Remains of the Reverend Richard HurrellFroude, M.A., Fellow of Oriel, published by the Rivingtons in1838, and, incidentally, from John Henry Newman: Lettersand Correspondence to 1845, published by the Longmans in1890: from one notable work, that is to say, which is whollyforgotten, and from another yet recent, of great and uniqueinterest, which has not yet won its full public appreciation.For the unrestricted use of the desired extracts from thesebooks, the Editor’s grateful thanks are due equally to therepresentatives of the elder branch of the Froude family, andto Cardinal Newman’s literary executor.
The liberal selection from Hurrell Froude’s Letters whichappeared in the Remains is invalidated, to modern curiosity,by manifold suppressions and omissions necessary for privatereasons then in force. Some clue, however, is to be found,if it be looked for, towards the identification of those to whomhis correspondence was addressed. The Editors of the Remainssilently adopted, for the Letters, the same system of differentiationas they had already employed, two years before, in regardto the authorship of the collected poems in Lyra Apostolica:that is to say, in both books stands for Keble, for Newman, for Robert Wilberforce, and for Isaac Williams. AsHurrell Froude’s own contributions to the Lyra had appearedover the signature , it was easy to surmise that Beta in theRemains might refer to his brothers or sisters, and Alpha, bya sort of primacy, to his father: as is certainly the case. Butit was more difficult, for instance, to identify as Mr. FredericRogers, or as the Rev. John Frederick Christie: for to thesexiithere was no key but that of internal evidence of an elusivesort. The Greek alphabet, in the Remains, served only as aheading to marshal the recipients of the Letters written byFroude; proper names figuring in the course of the Letterswere almost in every instance replaced by a blank. The verificationof these names will perhaps be accepted, though notall are based on a manuscript reading; and of course noblank has been filled experimentally without due indicationof that process. Nor has effort been made, at any point, tofill out sentences, or gaps of any kind, save those caused bythe suppression of proper names. This line of procedure, and,indeed, the entire scheme of the rifacciamento, stands subjectfirst and last to the circumstance that the Editor has had noaccess to the great mass of dated and classified manuscriptcorrespondence now at Edgbaston. As it was impossible tocollate the Froude-Newman Letters with the originals, thereappeared something supererogatory in reprinting any of theothers in their complete form, or including unpublished addendamost kindly placed at the Editor’s disposal, when an exceptionhad to be ruled in regard to the most interesting andmost important material of all. Unfortunately, moreover,Froude’s letters to his father, the Archdeacon, to RobertWilberforce and to Isaac Williams, have perished; and thoseto Mr. Keble, if existent, had not been recovered by his grandnephew,the Rev. George C. Keble, at the time when thisvolume went to press. A few letters have been pieced togetherby comparison of passages, as they stand in the Remains, andin the Newman Correspondence, issued a half-century later.Examination of the fac-simile page of the amusing letter fromBarbados, written on December 26, 1834, and of its counterpartin the text here given, copied from that of the Remains,will show that some de-editing might be called for, under theright conditions, in the matter of Hurrell Froude’s editedcorrespondence. It will be seen, on the whole, that neitherclose study nor long acquaintance with the subject could keepxiiithe reprinting, as it pressed forward, from degenerating intomore or less of a game of guesswork. Yet exclusions andlimitations may cast a befitting half-light upon used literatureof long ago, which was in itself elliptical, and tends to createnew ellipses, inasmuch as its purpose now is to throw stress lesson historic or theological issues than on human character.Many given data, or few, yield pretty much the same residuumwhen the personality which reigns over them is as rich andstrong as Hurrell Froude’s. Says one of the most penetratingof modern writers:
‘The art of biography has accustomed those who readto expect … as the word implies, the portrayal of a life, of aprocess: the record of the growth and unfolding of a soul andcharacter. This it is which interests the subjective temper ofour days…. Our mind has learnt that its choicest food neednot be sought from afar, but lies scattered with the wild flowersby the wayside, and that nothing is so extraordinary as theordinary. Thus we have come to care less for a full inventoryof the events which make up a man’s life, or for the strikingnature of those events in themselves, than for such a judiciousselection and setting of them as shall best bring out andexplain that individuality which is our main interest. Wecare less for what a man does and more for what he is; andit is mainly as a key to what he is that we study the circumstanceswhich act upon him, and the conduct by which hereacts upon them.’ A selection and setting to explain individuality:such is the aim, such (it is to be feared) is onlyvery partially the achievement, of this book.
Concerning its second section a few remarks may be calledfor. That section actually had, from the first, in the Editor’sintention, the right of way. It is quite independent, not calledinto auxiliary play as a mere illustrative collection of piècesjustificatives. Many of these essays and reviews have authority;a few have great literary beauty; the Editor’s work, whichcould not vie with them, has borrowed almost nothing fromthem, and thus preserved two integrities. Although limits ofspace forbade the reproduction of any one chapter of appreciablexivlength quite in its entirety, yet there existed no reason,but only the whim of artistic choice, for the inclusion or exclusionof one part of any paper at the cost of another part.The process of making excerpts, at best, has something ofdisagreeableness and of danger. Where that process cannotbe avoided, it is well, at least, if its lever be not a preconceivedtheory. An Editor not of Froude’s own religious communionshould scruple all the more to interfere in any wise with thewitnesses. Such lines or pages as are here scored out are notinaccessible in their original forms. It will be seen thatthey are not deleted to favour any special plea, but are eithersomewhat irrelevant to the subject in hand, or a repetition offacts and impressions more succinctly stated in other accompanyingpapers. Where aught of moment is involved, thefullest and clearest expression of it is in every case allowedto carry the field: e.g., Dean Church’s apologetics concerningFroude’s so-called ‘Romanising’ will be found more satisfactoryto the uneasy than the paler defence in the first Preface to theRemains. A broad selective principle has ruled the Editoralso in minor matters: e.g., a poem of Froude’s own, imbeddedin the text of an early review by Lord Blachford, or a poem ofhis great friend’s imbedded in an analysis by Mr. R. H. Hutton,are, though coveted, left where they are, and are not transferredto the main narrative sketch. A slight overlapping, as it were,is inevitable: what is super-serviceable sometimes serves morethan one pen. Nothing written in English about HurrellFroude which has colour and individuality, has been altogetherpassed by, though the present scheme is not in the least bibliographical.On the whole, there is set forth a richly variedtestimony: comment buttressed on comment, sometimes, andcontradiction against contradiction. Everything about theman calls for criticism, and gets it: his private examen ofconscience, his verses, his letters, his traditional sayings, hisecclesiastical theory and religious practice; everything, in fact,except his dreaded arguments. These are conspicuously letalone by those who disapprove of them. They lurk, however,beyond the borders of parley, and they constitute the aggressivenessof one, who but for insistence on them, and whateverthey imply, was essentially courteous and gentle. By his commentatorsxvhe is incessantly quoted: the ‘party of the secondpart,’ whoever may be writing, successfully holds the stage.It is always instructive to watch reflections of so simple andboyish, yet powerful a personality, on the complex surface ofliterary interpretation. We count Hurrell Froude’s a long-forgottenname; yet during the sixty-eight years since hedied, more serious students than would seem at first thoughtlikely, have felt for this fighting recluse true attraction, or theequally legitimate attraction of repulsion; and their numberbids fair to increase.
The apprehension of all he was, if not the whole truth abouthim, should be, in this synod of philosophical friends anddeeply interested foes, no difficult thing to win and hold.
It may not be usual to treat a man of genius like an unglossedmanuscript, and to set him forth impartially with all hisvariants. As dear Izaak says in his innocent-seeming irony,this is, perhaps, to impale him ‘as if you loved him.’ Buta free hearing is good law and good art; diverging guesses,contrasted points of view, exercised by the competent, havetheir uses, especially in England; and some natures andmotives bear analysis gallantly well. The reason, at bottom,for so catholic a treatment of Hurrell Froude, is that HurrellFroude, with his singular detachment and sound humour,would not have disclaimed it: that is, if he had come toknow that posterity would fain hear of him again. Andthere is but one conclusion to be drawn from the spiriteddiscussions about him. As M. Henri Malo was pleased towrite, not so long ago, of his historic hero: ‘En somme,quelle que soit l’opinion que l’on ait sur son compte, c’est unefigure!’
The sole purpose of this