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motionless and torturing horizon. Faith triumphs, the skies brighten, the sun goes higher, salvation is nearing, the Desire cometh. . . But the wind wailed, and the waves thundered, and the sun sank, and the heaven was darkened above me.
I Residence at one of the British Universities (let me say Oxford) immediately followed the journey which, in a single main element, had raised my thoughts to a level worthier manhood. By the pages preceding, the writer has given proof that he does not hold a child's love in itself merely childish, far less deserving of the ridicule it meets often from critics (whose own true capacity for passion, a gift not universal, may be justly doubted. The derision of a whole insulting world, to me at least, would be silenced before remembrance of the lifelong fascination and empire exerted by this phase of feeling (not to seek more distant and romantic examples) over some of Europe's manliest men ; of the transports of Dante, of the agonies of Byron. Those who laugh here will be shallow in their best seriousness, and with such I hold no argument. Yet there is a truth in such contempt ; this love must lie within the limitations of the immature mind— must partake in what Wordsworth would almost authorize me to call childhood's more perfect, while evanescent, imperfection. There is ignorance in its purity, in its
abandonment, even in its constancy. We have not experienced the stings of the Sense, are not capable of reserve, cannot even for an instant then conceive that the world and friends and the vital power itself by which we love, will one day, after many, set themselves against fidelity. A sure gain, I therefore judge it, that now (to borrow Goethe's exquisite line) the interspace from • Zuleika to Zuleika ', was no longer the limit of my desire and of my retrospection ; that the world without began to work on the world within me; that Hope and Fear were added to Delight, to render it henceforth more delightful. This was a true step forwards. But it shall not be concealed that my mind's advance was not in all ways, or in many ways, commensurate. Backward in childhood I suspect I was— certainly in youth. God had appointed me six years of happiness from the period now reached ; but although not I trust utterly barren, the first three bore little fruit worthy garnering. Why this was so, how the soul gained strength by simple submission to Nature and the voice of living friends, and those (hardly less living) who spoke from Greece and Italy and other lands; how Studies passed into Thought, and Thought, daily more sadly serious, found a far more than compensating beatitude in the all-in-all of Désirée's dear presence,-1, believing that the sincere avowal of one soul's struggles is not impertinent or valueless, aim now at narrating.
II If the narrator profited little by this earlier half of his university life (and friends and tutors might, he regrets to know, illustrate, confirm, and enforce the statement), assuredly it was not from any scantiness in the favours of time and circumstance. A member of the dominant college, and this, (by common confession) at once in respect of students and of instructors, exercised already
in mind and body by the splendid English Public School Education, myself not without some interest and capacity for ennobling study, conscious that to success here I must look for prosperity in life,-preserving to the full, and (without weak shame I may add) in main points anxious to follow the warm religious faith implanted through the many forgotten hours of childhood by the unwearied wisdom of a dear mother's affection ;-and, to crown all, God's gift even more absolutely, the passion of love the most unswerving for one so pure and so noble that she seemed sent down for my desire, leading-star, and reward, from her birth-place in some heaven above the heavens :thus circumstanced, why were my first steps in University existence feeble and uncertain ? Perhaps even the sense of life, the joy of friendship, the exultation of physical sport, - the river for boats and bathing, the foot-ball field, the open heath, rides and running excursions, air and water, waste and weald, the rejoicing in what seemed insuperable strength, the spirits we too slightingly name animal', so far, at least, as these delights rendered the Present allsufficing,— certainly the varied character of that rich new scene, the many careers open, the thousand opinions, the vanity of youth, the childishness of distracted judgment, were elements of retardation, powerful and almost inevitable, to the immediate growth of the soul. Every prejudice could find an abettor amongst our equals : and I might despise Wordsworth (not to touch here on deeper matters), and express ignorant horror when one who more truly discerned the spirits ranked Lucretius above Virgil, or spoke of Goethe with reverence, not only safely, but triumphantly. For time was required, before the just decisions of the few could arise in strength and prove their duration amongst the fancies of the crowd who shared each other's follies, or
applauded them. Thus at first every preformed opinion gained force from that enlarged intercourse with men which should have corrected it. I despised and censured at will and random : I prided myself on narrowness of mind, when so many friendly hearts, the bright, the good, and the thoughtful, were satisfied to be narrow with me : I submitted with alacrity to other claims from authority than the one authority of truth. Meanwhile, by a strange and concealed contrast, college studies silently filled the mind with what I may venture to call the brute material of ideas, the inert and seemingly lifeless seeds of an inner life, absolutely irreconcileable with the judgments consciously formed and enunciated with the petulant arrogance of dogmatic youth. Little by little also, (a change perhaps more important yet in human life), the larger-hearted friends began to draw me in my folly towards them, compel me with wise love to audience of the manlier music, the more spiritual utterances I had heard at first, and derided. Strangers visit that city and walk the windings of the glorious street, and esteem it a metropolis of warmth and fertility and blooming youth, and all faults the excess of a life too exuberant; but to the wiser educators how often must Oxford seem a chilling waste wilderness, where their voice sounds unechoed; where the bread they give becomes a stone in the receiver's hand, to be cast, perhaps, finally, at the Socrates of the day for mockery or martyrdom! If they felt thus, I was one of the guilty then.
III Often, as I afterwards saw the young arrivals, light of step and swift of motion, at once rash and confiding, each in his turn appeared to me like one who from a high cliff, and after run and leap, and eyes closed, plunges into an unknown sea, and whether he can swim or not is unknown also until after trial : until he has in fact sunk, or