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spectacles and asking him as he Church he intended to be head both put each on how things looked to of State and King; to place the him through them. As, however, Pope, and himself as the Pope's Lehe at the same time added how gate, in the place of God's vicegerthey ought to look if he wished to ents. When he found it written that have his eyes judged worthless for 'by me Kings reign and princes demilitary purposes, it was not hard cree judgment,' he appropriated the to arrive at a prosperous conclusion. language to himself, and his single Some such part does Mr. Froude un- aim was to convert the words thus dertake for our benefit. We must construed into reality. The first pubnever see the text without his gloss; lic intimation which he gave of his never be suffered to look at a fact intentions was the resignation of the till we have heard from him what chancellorship,
"'* and to make assurwe are to find there. He never for ance doubly sure, this account of the an instant hints it as conceivable that matter is backed up by another idea what he finds there may not be there equally philosophical, but as to the at all. Nay, he seems explicitly to proof which is vouchsafed utterly accept or to claim that very charac- childish, that he wished to avoid an ter of a reader of hidden things audit of his accounts, in which Mr. against which we are arguing. “Mo- Froude pronounces that “he tives," he tells us, * " which in one wise."' age are languid and even unintelli- Again, when ruptures began begible, have been in another alive tween King and Primate, and when and all-powerful. To comprehend the Pope urged the latter to keep these differences, to take them up within the laws of the realm, the into his imagination, to keep them fact is thus set forth : present before him as the key to what “ Alexander had no liking for he reads, is the chief difficulty and Becket. He had known him long the chief duty of the student of his and had no faith in the lately astory.”'
sumed airs of sanctity. On the Now for a few samples of the man- spot he dispatched a Legate," etc. I ner in which this difficulty has been Presumably, Alexander confided met and this duty accomplished. I these motives to Mr. Froude, for he We take them almost at random. seems never to have intrusted them
St. Thomas, as is well known, to any one else. when he became Archbishop, in- Again, the same Pontiff, who, as sisted, to the King's displeasure, on seems to common eyes, did his best resigning, his chancellorship. This to find a middle course which, withis the fact. Now for the philosophy. out sacrifice of principle, should not
“As Chancellor, he had been at exasperate the King, is thus depicted the head of the State under the King for his pains by the keener glance of As Archbishop in the name of the the philosopher:
“Harassed on both sides, know* Nineteenth Century, June, 1877, p. 549. The ing perfectly well on which side good italics here and throughout these citations are ours. † More than this, he seems elsewhere naively to
sense and justice lay, yet not daring admit the force of the very impeachment which we to declare Becket wrong and accept are attempting to urge. He writes in the same series of papers (October, p. 393): “In that distant cen- what after all that had passed would tury, when the general history is but outline, and
be construed into a defeat of the the colors are dim and the lights and shadows fall where modern imagination chooses to cast them." Church, the unfortunate Alexander But this is a stray seed of truth falling by the wayside and not bearing any fruit.
drifted on.'' It is no part of our present object to point out The side of good sense and justice misrepresentations of fact, and in dealing with Mr. Froude the task would be endless. We are engaged with the system only on which such history is con- * Nineteenth Century, July, p. 843: structed, and with that which serves to illustrate the † Ibid., p. 844.
I 'Ibid., p. 847. 2 Ibid., September, p. 223.
being, it is needless to observe, the sion of any story was held to be the side of the historian, and the only truest which gave most honor to the ground for asserting that the Pope martyr. The monks sought saw it to be so, being that the same their pallets with one thought in the authority judges that he ought to minds of all of them. Was the Archhave so seen it.
bishop a saint, or was he a vain Not to multiply examples, we take dreamer? God only could decide.” another from the finale of the his- And the way being thus scientifictory.
ally made straight, the vision which We all know the fact of the tre- one of these monks relates himself mendous revulsion of feeling caused to have seen can be safely introduced. by the Archbishop's murder, the And the writer who can put this triumph of his cause, and the peni- down as history is described as our tence of the King. We also know most illustrious living historian. that contemporary writers assert in But it is not with particular exterms the most explicit, that miracles amples that we are mainly concerned. were wrought by his relics or over We are attacking the system which his tomb, of which they, the writers, underlies such histories, be they right were eye-witnesses. Now let us or wrong in their particular conclutreat these facts philosophically. sions. Our protest is against the
“Martyr for the Church of Christ pretension of a writer to do what or turbulent incendiary justly pun- cannot possibly be done: to lay ished ? ... That was the alternative down in this manner motives and that lay before the Christian world. causes which neither are recorded, . Benedict of Canterbury.
nor which the facts themselves relates the influences by which alone necessarily suggest. the popular verdict was decided in the Now in the matter of St. Thomas Archbishop's favor." Mr. Froude we have seen what, on Mr. Froude's goes on to tell us that “miracles showing, were the unmistakable come when they are needed." But merits of the case. His was the he considerately adds that “they cause of sacerdotalism" as against come not of fraud, but of an im- “the prosaic virtues of justice and passioned credulity, which creates common sense.” And it was this what it is determined to find.” plainly and broadly “in the eyes
And having thus made clear the of Europe," so that no one, we preprinciple, he is ready to descend into sume, who knows anything of the the region of “facts."
facts could hesitate thus to esteem it. “In the eyes of Europe the cause More than this, Becket was seeking for which Becket fell was the cause to usurp a power not justly his. It of sacerdotalism as against the pro
"encroachment."'* If he saic virtues of justice and common were right, “then kings and cabinets sense. Every superstitious mind in ought to be superseded at once by Christendom was at work immediately commissions of bishops.”' He generating supernatural evidence. sought to secure, “not the purity of
Either the laws of nature were the Church, but the privilege and suspended, or for the four years which supremacy of the Church :''I the followed his death the power and the King, “ always moderate'' (Henry wish were gone to distinguish truth the Second), was moved to action from falsehood.* The most ordinary only by the clear evidence which the events were transfigured. That ver- Archbishop forced upon him, that
justice was to be withheld in the case * In which latter case it certainly is clear that the task must needs devolve upon some other century, such as ours, of making a history for the twelfth * Nineteenth Century, June, p. 548. which it was obviously quite incapable of supplying ^ Ibid., July, p. 847.
# Ibid., p. 843. for itself.
& Ibid., p. 846.
of clerics, and that “they might but an example to illustrate an evil commit murder upon murder, rob- which influences writers far more bery upon robbery, and the law worthy of our consideration than is would be unable to touch them." that unscrupulous partisan.
We In fact it is abundantly made evi- must enter our protest in the redent that the case of the Monarch mainder of this paper against what against the Prelate was that of justice of the same evil system we find in against injustice.
the work of an historian who has obBut while this is so, it is a little tained, and to a great extent most puzzling to a reader accustomed to deservedly obtained, an exceptiontake his explanations as well as his ally wide hold on the public mind, *facts on trust, to find that the same Mr. John Richard Green. facts have suggested another quite In some respects, indeed, Mr. opposite, albeit presumably quite as Green's Short History of the English philosophical a judgment. What is People is a yet more striking instance a plain man to think if, after what of the bad system we deprecate than we have just given, he stumble across is even anything of Mr. Froude's. the following ?
The latter does, at least, give us “ Times were changed in England references and notes, and the notes since the Second Henry walked bare- occasionally flatly contradict for us foot through the streets of Canter- the text to which they are appended. bury. ... The clergy had won the The former, after a very general inbattle then because they deserved to dication of “authorities, presents win it. They were not free from to us all the substance of his volume fault and weakuess, but they felt the purely on his own ipse dixit. meaning of their profession. Their And some few circumstances canhearts were in their vows, their au- not but suggest to our minds a doubt thority was exercised more justly, as to whether that authority be almore nobly than the authority of the ways truly philosophical. First, as crown; and, therefore, with inevita- to the selection of authorities. In ble justice, the crown was compelled his seventh chapter on the Reformato stoop before them.”
tion wę read as follows: And assuredly the bewilderment « The main authority .. is does not grow less on finding that Foxe's Book of Martyrs. In spite of this latter account, no less than the endless errors of Puritan prejudices former, comes from the pen of Mr. and deliberate suppressions of the James Anthony Froude. The one truth .. its mass of facts and he gave to the world in the year 1856 wonderful charm of style will always in his History of England,* the other give a great importance to the work this year in the pages of a Review. of Foxe.”' History has been changed between In the name of sober history, what these dates because Mr. Froude has is this? What is the meaning of changed his spectacles. One thing facts in conjunction with the name seems clear. If now he is teaching of a witness who is acknowledged to us history, then twenty years ago he be not only deceived, but deceiving? was perverting its most obvious les- What does it matter as to his hissons. If, in 1856, he was speaking torical credibility whether he lie with any authority, then is he a picturesquely or ungracefully? What slanderer in 1877. And surely the sort of a view of his duties can that historical method which leads to such historian have who can thus naively awkward dilemmas can hardly com- introduce a “main authority ?” mend itself to sober common sense. But we pass from authorities to the But Mr. Froude is, after all, for us use of the same, and with one in* Vol. i, p. 81.
stance thereof we shall be content.
We take the instance of Sir Thomas ary,” more ' largely human ;' in More.
England "more moral, more religiIn Mr. Green's treatment of More's ous, more practical in its bearings, history there seems to be portrayed both upon society and politics."'* in brief all the evil which follows Accordingly all these men of the from the adoption of the philosophi- New Learning, from More to Erascal method of historiography. mus, were at one in their general
The philosophical historian must aims, moral, religious, and practical, trace events to their causes, and the which aims the said New Learning actions of men to their motives. He evinced by steadily backingt the must, therefore, to a great extent, cause of the Reformation. What forget the individuality of men to then turned the particular man of manæuvre them like puppets in pla- this body with whom is our present toons. He considers them as spokes concern, against—and so very deof a wheel--members of a party fol- cidedly against-the cause which he lowing its evolutions—and their in- was so prepared to befriend ? Not dividual history as being explicable any weak and antiquated ideas of primarily through it. In More's the truth of one Creed as opposed to case the party in question is that of another, but the extremely un-newthe “New Learning.”
learned character of Luther's reply Given the fact that More and to Henry the Eighth. Fisher were friends of Colet and “ To More especially, with his Erasmus, and that Erasmus was a keener perception of its future effect, stepping-stone to the Reformation, this sudden revival of a purely theoit becomes abundantly clear that the logical and dogmatic spirit, severing Chancellor and the Bishop must have Christendom into warring camps, been some time or other near the and annihilating all hopes of union Reformation too. The drama for and tolerance, was especially hateful. . the purposes of the picturesquely The temper which hitherto had philosophical historian must be con- seemed endearing, gentle, and structed on broad lines easily fol- happy,' suddenly gave way." I So lowed by the eye of the audience, great in fact was the shock that he just as a scene-painter must deal in forgot the New Learning himself. bold strokes. That More while de- “ His answer to Luther's attack upon lighting in the new fields of human the King sank to the level of the learning which the “Renascence" work it answered.”'s Nay., so extra(as Mr. Green calls it) opened for ordinary was the revulsion of his him, still believed as firmly as his feelings at seeing dogma thus survive, forefathers in those sacred truths for that under its influence he went and the divinity of which he wrote and laid his head on the block for the died—is an explanation of facts too sake of dogma. petty, not sufficiently scientific, for Now we are not so much concerned the needs of the modern mind. In- in arguing that such an account is stead of this, we are invited to puerile and ridiculous, as in pointing believe that men of the
out that such stuff is the necessary Learning" throughout Europe product of the “philosophical formed a quasi-homogeneous whole, writing of history. or at least that their minds manceu- Where explanations have to be vred together with the regularity of given of everything they must be a flock of plover. Their principles found, and as they are not generally were common, though local circum- found ready to hand they have to be stances might give various developments to those principles. In Italy
* Short History of the English People, p. 298. the New Learning was more “ liter
† P. 315.
8 P. 316.
# P. 319.
made. The manufacture is an inter- great principle of religious toleraesting process, and in these days may tion.' almost claim rank as a fine art.
For our own part we must confess are far from saying that there is to a very uncomfortable qualm always or even generally deliberate within our soul as to the reliance to unfairness on the part of the manu- be placed on the exposition of aufacturer, but we remember Dr. Lin- thorities and documents unknown to gard's phrase about the writer who us when we find this treatment of “ will impose upon his readers and one that we know. To put it broadly, probably upon himself." We find we conceive it to be impossible more a good instance of our meaning in utterly to travesty'More's scope and the materials to support his view of teaching in this celebrated work. his character which Mr. Green brings For if this account is worth any. from More's Utopia.
thing at all it means that Sir Thomas This "wonderful book," Mr. More meant the Utopia to be, as is Green tells us, *
* " reveals to us the here represented, a picture of a state heart of the New Learning." In of things which he considers to be the kingdom of “ Nowhere" (as he ideal, or at l'east to be far better than rather affectedly translates the title)† the state of things in Christendom. the humorist philosopher” found But reading the work itself, can we realized by " the mere efforts of think that he so meant it? natural human virtue these ends of For in the first place, he himself security, brotherhood, and freedom tells us exactly the opposite. After for which the very institution of hearing the narrative of Raphael the society seemed to have been framed,” traveller, who describes the unknown in contrast to world where fifteen island and its inhabitants, the author hundred years of Christian teaching adds:† “ Many things occurred to had produced social injustice, religi- me both concerning the manners and ous intolerance, and political tyr- laws of that people that seemed very anny.” I
absurd, as well in their way of mak“ From Christendom More turned ing war as in their notions of religion with a smile to · Nowhere.' In “No- and divine matters.” And, indeed, where the aim of legislation is to for an ordinary unphilosophical secure the welfare, social, industrial, reader this piece of information could intellectual, religious, of the com- hardly be needed, seeing that the munity at large." And amongst chief point in Utopian warfare was these topics, “his treatment of the to bribe subjects to assassinate their religious question" was in a special leaders, and leaders to betray their manner in advance of his age. “The trust, while in religion they are religion of Nowhere' was in marked remarkably free, “some of them contrast with the faith of Christen- worshipping the sun, others the moon dom. It rested simply on nature or one of the planets,” and some and reason
Christianity indeed "such men as have been eminent in had already reached Utopia, but it former times for virtue or glory, not had few priests; religion found its only as ordinary deities, but as the centre rather in the family than in Supreme God.' the congregation. . ... More than In fact, the attempt to fasten on a century before William of Orange, More as serious proposals what he More discerned and proclaimed the thus playfully imagines, would land
his character in some very question* Short History of the English People, p. 310. able embarrassments.
For to say † Utopia, according to More, is named after King Utopus that conquered it."
* Short History of the English People, pp. 311, that the king's name rather than that of the island is rightly translated by Mr. Green.
† We quote throughout from Bishop Burnet's * P. 311.
We should think