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1889 THE LIVING AGE enters upon its forty-sixth year. Ap

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ARTICLE I.-THE LATE PROFESSOR GREEN OF OX.

FORD THE “ DOCTOR GREY" OF “ROBERT
ELSMERE.”

Works of Thomas Hill Green, late Fellow of Balliol College,

and Whyte's Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Oxford, edited by R. L. NETTLESHIP, Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford, Vol. III, Miscellanies and Memoir, with a portrait. London, Longmans, Green, and Company, and New York, 15 East Sixteenth street.

Eight months ago, had the question been asked, who was Thomas Hill Green the answer would have been somewhat as follows: He was one of the ablest philosophical writers of the present generation and also one of the most effective agents for good in the University of Oxford, in various directions, specu

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lative and practical; a man whose influence moreover will for many years survive his untimely death. At that time the question and its answer would have interested only here and there a solitary reader. But it is far otherwise now when the answer to our question is: Mr. Green is Dr. Grey of “Robert Elsmere," the wise Sir Oracle of the tale, who was resorted to by its hero for needed counsel in the hour of his extremest necessity, and who is named with supreme confidence by the gifted author of the story as the object of her special regard, and of whom she more than intimates that he had long ago decided against the claims of the supernatural in the Christian history—which decision should be taken as authoritative and final.

It is altogether timely that just at this time the memoir of Professor Green should be given to the public in the last volume of his works. This memoir is admirable of its kind, prepared as it was with the careful and sympathizing fidelity of his associate for many years in Balliol College. And yet he writes under the constraint which is imposed by the desire on the one hand to allow Mr. Green and his friends to speak for themselves, and on the other to avoid any appearance of partizánship with respect to the opinions of his honored colleague and friend. This constraint is so obvious and pressing as to give an air of stiffness and reserve to a narrative which otherwise is picturesque with lively descriptions and glowing with personal sympathy. It is no secret to any one who is only superficially acquainted with the internal history of thought and feeling at Oxford—a story of controversy and debate-during the thirty years in which Professor Green was an inmate of Balliol College that essential changes have taken place in its intellectual and practical life and that to some of these changes Professor Green has given an important, if not a decisive, impulse. That Mr. Nettleship has designed to be evenly and severely veracious and just is evident upon every page and in every line. It is almost equally patent that this purpose has interfered somewhat with the vivacity and glow of which the narrative was capable and to which it almost of necessity impelled. Whatever disappointment we may feel that the narrative is less vivacious than we might desire is more than

counterbalanced by the modest and cautious and even-handed justice that seems to have controlled every description and statement.

Mr. Green was born in 1836, at Birkin, in Yorkshire, W. R., a country parish of which his father was Rector. It is worthy of notice as accounting somewhat for many things in his character and opinions, that an ancestor married as his first wife a grand-daughter of Oliver Cromwell and afterwards a daughter of one of Cromwell's officers, Colonel Sanders. His mother died in his infancy, and he was left to the controlling influence of his father who is characterized as “the best friend of his childhood—a man who combined deep religious feeling, unencumbered with dogmatic learning, with native eloquence, love for the peasantry, a keen interest in politics and humorous observation of men," all of them characteristics which were certain to form a congenial atmosphere for such a receptive nature as that of the son. From the first, he gave signs of marked individuality, rather in the form of a stubborn selfreliance in honest ways than of any flights of genius. At fourteen, he went to Rugby under Principal Goulburn, where he remained for five years till he went to Oxford, and where he earned no brilliant distinction, but developed more fully and consistently the self-reliance of his childhood-generally in fidelity to his school tasks, yet somewhat modified by an inconvenient unconformability to the ways of his fellows and of his instructors. Among other characteristic things recorded of him is this, that among four hundred boys he was the only water drinker. By this time he begins to have opinions of his own and looks forward to Oxford with no “glowing anticipations of its attractions or admiring estimate of the industry or aims of its inmates.” It would seem that up to this time he had not yet fallen in with any either books or men who were fitted strongly or permanently to affect his opinions or his character, but was still feeling about in an indefinite yet predestined fashion for the elements which would be congenial to his life. These he found at last in Balliol College, of which he had become a member, and which was then stirring with the beginnings of that intellectual life which its now distinguished Master has been the means of so effectively awakening in its

instructors and students, and to which Green in his time gave an impulse which was unique of its kind. It does not appear from the narrative that he had at first any special interest in the studies or authors which were used by the tutors or were prescribed by the examiners, but that he gradually connected with these tasks of routine, researches and studies which awakened an intellectual and moral interest on the part of his pupils over and above any arising from their relations to university examinations and honors. We know from other sources that, during his university life, the controversies and discussions which grew out of the Tractarian movement had gradually been superseded by the more fundamental inquiries which concern the historical truthfulness and supernatural trustworthiness of the evangelical story and that the temporary interest which had been awakened by Stuart Mill and Herbert Spencer had compelled a re-examination of the received philosophy of Locke and the imposing terminology of Kant and Hegel, so that the profoundest discussions of these themes were found to be altogether en règle, under the large discretion which was assumed and allowed by the men in authority. Whatever may have been the possible or the actual abuses of the English university system in its diversified history, the fact is unquestioned that at times it has been a most effective agent for good through its instructors and pupils in the great movements of thought which have characterized or rather which have created English history. The influence of Professor Green is a striking example of this truth. It is not easy to explain this except by a minute and attenuated detail which would be well nigh useless and unintelligible to those who are not acquainted with the operation of the system. And yet some light may penetrate the most darkened understanding which will follow the course of Professor Green, as recorded by his biographer.

It was in 1855 that he had entered Balliol, which for many obvious reasons would naturally attract a young man of his principles and temperament. Here he fell under the influence and was attracted by the society of Jowett, then a Fellow and Professor, and afterwards, and now, its accomplished Master. Professor Conington and Mr. Charles Parker are also named as among the intimate associates who discovered his promise and

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