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the teachers at whose feet he had hitherto sat, Froude found a thinker who paraded his religious doubts and trials, if not with gusto, at least without any attempt at disguise. He posed as an inquirer after truth, as one who had to search in order to attain-in short, he was to Froude the theoretic sceptic, the character which has been recently claimed for him by Huxley and others, and which has not a few parallels in the history of philosophy.
But Froude's Newmania was happily of no long duration, Like a few others of the stronger intellects among Newman's temporary adherents, Froude was ensnared by the glamour of the leader's ingenuity in the consideration of religious difficulties, and by a perverted application of logic to theological questions at the same time. The sentimentalisin which appreciated Newman's depth of religious feeling helped to negative it in Froude's own religious conformation. The force or energy was akin, but the disciple gave it a different direction from the master. What Newman largely limited to his own personal relation with Deity Froude extended, and withal intensified, to his relations with humanity. Here too was ample room for sentiment, for unbounded sympathy, for profound tenderness—the divergence from the too exclusively theological attitude of Newman to a position which made man and moral duties and interests the prime objects of human regard and sympathy. Mr. Froude was not an irreligious man, still less an agnostic; he had, indeed, no reverence for creeds or ceremonies; but we have seen him many a time follow, in the simplicity of a village church, with devout earnestness, the office of the sanctuary in which he had ceased to serve; and family prayer was never wanting in his household.
Reverting to Froude's academic career, he took in 1840 a second class in classics, and in 1842 he won the Chancellor's prize for an essay on 'The Influence of Political Economy on • the Moral and Social Welfare of the Nation.' About the same time he was elected a Fellow of Exeter College. Now also appeared overt signs of a profound intellectual and religious struggle which first broke him off from Newmanism, and not long afterwards had the effect of sundering him from the Church and the University. He published in 1847, under the pseudonym of · Zeta,' a book called The Shadows of the • Clouds. It consisted of two stories, which described with a marvellous faculty of introspection, and no little graphic power, varying phases of mental and religious doubt. Its readers, carefully scanning between the lines, had no difficulty in reading the unknown author's autobiography, and the book even now is not without interest as illustrating some of Froude's erratic and wayward speculations. But in point of general literary excellence as well as penetration, metaphysic and self-analysis, this first-fruit of Froude's pen was surpassed by a much better known work, The Nemesis of l'aith.' As manifesting a determinate stage in the mental developement of a modern freethinker, contemporary with Froude and probable sharer in his speculations, this work possesses no small importance. It exhibits the collision which it is conceivable might exist between the traditional orthodoxy of the Church of England and what may be called the instincts and processes of Nature and Reason. Written with amazing power and with a glow of passionate rhetoric, it reveals the intellectual ferment now progressing in Froude's mind, the Sturm und Drang which probably every man of talent must be conscious of passing through in the earlier stages of his intellectual struggle when it might be said of him as Tennyson said of Arthur Hallam :
“He fought his doubts and gathered strength.' Froude's Nemesis of Faith' justified in one sense its ominous title. It was the Nemesis of the career he had up to this date planned out for himself. He was dismissed from his fellowship, and he at once relinquished his deacon's orders which he took in 1844, and definitively abandoned the Church.
Froude's mental progress had taken for so long an independent course, attended by a gradually widening gap between his position and the traditional theology of the Church, that the final severance caused much less pain than might have been expected. Of course his whole after-life now took another direction. He resolved to dedicate it to literature, and commenced writing for the · Westminster' and other periodicals. In after-life he was wont to regret, as he once informed the writer of these lines, his determination to adhere exclusively to literature, though few Englishmen will feel anything but pride and gratification at a resolve which has enriched our language and literature with products which the world will not willingly see die. In accordance with this determination he set to work on an elaborate • History of England, from * the Fall of Wolsey to the Defeat of the Spanish Armada.!
The limits, however arbitrary in appearance, sufficed to mete and include a period of English and Continental
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history almost sensational in its diversiform commotions and controversies. Froude's method of treatment, its excellences and defeats, have long obtained their meed of praise and blame. Among other critical estimates, English or Continental, this Journal gave the successive instalments of the book as they appeared the notice to which they seemed to be entitled, so that we need not expend time in rewriting a series of verdicts and critical judgements, all of which have long been approved by the best judges of our time.
Froude's History'-to sum up finally the verdict of our age, and, we hesitate not to add, of posterity.-- will long hold a place in our literature for qualities, partly of excellence, partly of demerit, which we may well hold to be unique.
We may claim for it that incomparable simplicity and flexibility, that purity and clarity of style, which has made it a masterpiece of pure historical English. In no work of our time has the power of the English tongue, its unrivalled capacity for pictorial and descriptive writing, its rhythmic and musical force when moved by passion and stimulated by rhetorical energy, been more amply demonstrated. In none has an English author succeeded in attaining that combination of brilliancy with transparent clearness which distinguishes the masters of French descriptive and historical writing. It would indeed seem that his models of style were oftener classical and modern French than contemporary English. But Froude's own methods were marked by painstaking and industry of the most unwearied kind. He once told the author of these remarks that while writing the earlier volumes of his ‘History,' and therefore before his style acquired that fixedness and maturity which it ultimately came to possess, it was no uncommon thing for him to erase a sentence some half a dozen or more times before he was assured that it could attain no higher degree of the plasticity, clearness, and directness which he wished it to embody and convey. In connexion with Froude's masterly style was his keen perception of historical points and occasions which gave room for and even demanded graphic and picturesque description. In this faculty he was rivalled only by Macaulay-indeed it may be doubted whether in some respects Froude was not the greater master of the two, for he had strength without mannerism and point without antithesis.
In other qualities of the historian Froude has been not more successful in reversing long-formed traditional verdicts of posterity than Carlyle was in the similar case of Cromwell; and the fortune which has attended these two illustrious writers cannot be deemed encouraging to those who would fain resuscitate characters which the Muse of History has, after due trial, sentenced to death. At the same time, inasmuch as this theory of historical character-writing has again to come before us in connexion with Erasmus, we must be allowed to suggest that more might be urged in justification of Froude's opinion than is commonly alleged. That it was simply and only a selfwilled opposition to the judgement of history—the effort of a man who has wilfully started a paradox to maintain it-is of course futile. Whatever else he may not have been, Froude was certainly a man of the world, with varied and large experience of humanity in every grade, as well as of the way in which specific human actions are evolved from particular motives or the tendencies of the general character. A mere self-stultifying embodiment of obstinacy such as readers of his History' have supposed him to portray in Henry VIII. would be an impossible monsterà wantou contradiction of all human experience.
The theory or principle which sanctioned Froude's portrayal of Henry VIII. and certain other historical characters was what might be termed the contemporary motives, intentions, and judgements of history-makers. Instead of regarding history as a texture or web of events, sequences, and human characters, which should be tested by after-results, Froude thought it should be estimated only by the motives and aims of those who took part in its making. Thus his ideal Henry VIII. was the young prince whom Erasmus knew and flattered—affable, ingenuous, cultured and refined, the patron of learning and learned men-sympathising with religious freedom, and a foe to excessive religious dogma, whom the great Rotterdam scholar eulogised as the prince of the greatest promise in Europe. His self-reliance, occasionally taking the form of waywardness and obstinacy, was, in reality, only the firmness needed to put down the monks, and to keep the encroachments of the Papal Curia at arm's length. If the waywardness sometimes took the ugly form which it did in the atrocious murder of More and Fisher, we must accept it as the extreme to which even a wholesome principle might sometimes inadvertently extend.
This theory of history seems to have been the animating principle of all Froude's historical writing and speculation, as it was also Carlyle's. Contrasted with the usual one which estimates historical actions and characters by their results, by the goodness or badness of the actor's motives, it may be called the immoral theory. Froude reverts to it again in his 'Erasmus' as the true standpoint from which the events of the great scholar's life and times should be estimated. The passage is worth noting, as it throws an afternoon glow of reflected light on his early historical method, and his historical works of forty years ago :
The politics of Europe do not concern us here. We must continue to look through the eyes of Erasmus at courts as they arose with the future course of things concealed from him. This is the way to understand history. We know what happened, and we judge the actors on the stage by the light of it. They did not know. They had to play their parts in the present, and so we misjudge them always. The experience of every one of us whose lives reach a normal period might have taught us better. Let any man of seventy look back over what he has witnessed in his own time. Let him remember what was hoped for from political changes or wars, or from each step in his personal life, and compare what has really resulted from these things with what he once expected-how when good has come, it has not been the good which he looked for; how difficulties have shown themselves which no one foresaw; how his calculations have been mocked by incidents which the wisest never dreamt of--and he will plead to be judged, if his conduct comes under historical review, by his intentions and not by the event.' (Pp. 270-271.)
We need say no more on the historical method so graphically described in this as in other eloquent passages in Professor Froude's writings. That the theory-in contrast and comparison with other modes of reading the lessons of history and the characters of those whom history has rendered famous has nothing to allege for it-we should not dream of maintaining. It certainly is free from the temptation of interpreting the lessons of history by ex post fucto knowledge of subsequent events, and so reading the knowledge of the future into the present. It is one singular outcome of Professor Froude's History' that it has contributed, more than any other work in the language on the same subject, to start the question of the true meaning and object of historical writing. Ever since the publication of his magnum opus the question has been continually asked without receiving an adequate or at least exhaustive reply, What is the proper and truest function of the historian ? Is he supposed to stand like a lifeless but inscribed block of marble over the grave of the Past-a dead record and exponent of dates and documents; or one who reproduces by merely mechanical agencies the characters of