'In every phenomenon the Beginning remains always the most notable moment'.--CARLYLE Sartor Resartus bk. ii. c. I.
EDWARD BOUVERIE PUSEY was born at Pusey House in Berkshire, on Friday, the 22nd of August 1800.
His father was the Honourable Philip Bouverie, the son of Jacob, first Viscount Folkestone; the of Bouverie having been exchanged by him for that of Pusey of Pusey, as a condition of succession to the Pusey estate.
His mother was Lady Lucy Sherard, daughter of Robert, fourth Earl of Harborough, and widow of Sir Thomas Cave, Baronet.
Edward was the second son of his parents, born just two years after their marriage. Their eldest son Philip, a little more than a year his senior. The two elder brothers were divided by an interval of ten years from the two younger: they thus formed a natural pair, both at home and at school, and were regarded by their parents and by the younger children as a sort of duumvirate. occupying a distinct rank in the family.
Three weeks after his birth Edward Pusey was christened in the Parish Church of All Saints, at Pusey, on Sunday, September 14th, 1800. The circumstance that this day is Holy Cross Day in the calendar of the Prayer-book was not without its influence on Pusey's life. He always observed the anniversary not only as an act of thanksgiving to God for making him in baptism a member of Christ, but also as a token that his life was thus providentially marked out for consecration to the mystery of Redeeming Love.
Pusey's father was fifty-two years old at the date of his marriage--twenty-four years older than his wife. This relative seniority, and the bachelor habits which were too fixed to be entirely surrendered, imparted a certain formal stiffness,--perhaps even an austerity--to the home-life at Pusey. An almost military exactness was insisted on in all the domestic arrangements. His politics were those of an inflexible Tory: he had an equal horror of Whigs and atheists, and when speaking of them together would use and rather than or. Portraits of Pitt and other Tory statesmen adorned the walls of his study and his intercourse with society, especially in London, was largely controlled by political feeling. When his eldest son desired to marry Lady Emily Herbert, Mr. Pusey opposed the match on the ground that her father Lord Carnarvon was a 'Whig who made speeches on behalf of Queen Caroline.' When the engagement had lasted for four years Mr. Pusey consented to waive his political objections; he lived to regret that he had ever entertained them.
He was a well-informed as well as an able man but the library, both at Pusey and at 35 Grosvenor Square was not so well stocked as might have been anticipated. His reading lay among a certain class of political treatises, books of travel, and the sermons of Barrow and Tillotson. But during the holidays Mr. Pusey took a great deal of trouble to foster literary tastes in his two elder boys; and with this view gradually collected an extensive and varied family library.
The ruling feature of Mr. Pusey's character was his eager benevolence: to no occupation did he address himself more seriously than to the relief of poverty and suffering. His charities were studiously unostentatious, and, when his income is considered, profuse. His poor neighbours and dependents had, as he always considered, a first claim on him; but he was a regular subscriber to nearly all the great London charities while poor clergymen, embarrassed tradesmen, distressed families, cottagers and labourers in all directions were constantly appealing to him, and they rarely appealed in vain. As long before his death his name was famous for lavish generosity, he did not always escape the wiles of impostors; and although he had a large share of common sense, his own simple integrity of character made it difficult for him to suspect others of deception. When at his death, his elder sons wished to describe their father's character, they called him 'pious and bounteous'.
The former epithet was not less deserved than the latter, though in the somewhat restricted and artificial sense which it has sometimes borne it would have been out of place. Mr. Pusey used to tell his sons that when he and his half-brothers went in the morning to their father Lord Folkestone's room, they always knelt down to receive his blessing before wishing him good-day. Even before his marriage his life was assuming more and more the character of a quiet protest against the carelessness and irreligion of the age. If anything was said in his presence against morality or religion he left the room, no matter who might be in the company. He was a man of quick feelings and temper; and he may have distrusted his own power of self-command while yet he was anxious to express moral disapproval. It might have been anticipated that he would sympathize with the so-termed Evangelical movement which, whatever its deficiencies as an exponent of the Christian Revelation, was in those days a protest on behalf of religious earnestness in an age of careless indifference. But he suspected it, not altogether without reason, of a disposition to think more highly of emotion than of conscience and to an eminently practical character this suspicion was decisive. Mr. Pusey was still living when his son Edward explained his attitude towards 'Evangelicalism' to a correspondent who was to a certain extent under its influence.
'My father,' he wrote in 1827, 'from hearing and seeing the abuses of preaching faith (as it has been often preached) without works, connects no other idea with the ãbeing justified by faith onlyä than by faith exclusive of works--not only as not entitling us to salvation, but as being in no way necessary to it·From his dwelling rather on the holiness of God, than on the imperfection and weakness of man the agenda have, in the statement at least, of his system, assumed a predominance.'
For the rest, Mr Pusey was a man of strong will, who liked to have his own way, which was, in the main, a very good way. He was formed to be a domestic autocrat. In early life he had ruled his mother, Lady Folkestone. In later life he ruled his wife, and while they were young, his children. As his boys grew up to manhood, it was inevitable that clever lads with strong characters, would quietly assert a measure of independence which curtailed the frontiers of their father's domestic empire. But they always regarded him with affection, and still more with reverence, although his age and the habits of that generation interposed between them and himself a distance and constraint which would now be considered excessive,
When they were young his reserved habits made the boisterous society of children unwelcome to him; and they had taken their own line when they were old enough to he his companions.
Thus it happened that the real training of his two eldest sons was left by Mr. Pusey to their mother, who, to do her justice, was far from unwilling to undertake the responsibility. Lady Lucy Pusey, in the later years of her life, was sometimes referred to as a typical lady of the days of Fox and Pitt. She was tall slim, with long hands and tapering fingers,--a feature in which all her children, and not least her second son, resembled her. She commonly wore a watered-silk dress, very plain, with large lace collars and ruffles. With a sweet but piercing expression in her blue eyes, there was still a touch of severity in her bearing: she rarely or never would lean back in her chair, and she used to say that to stoop was the mark of a degenerate age. When in 1857, at the age of eighty five, her health was failing, she never allowed herself to lie down or rest on a couch of any kind during the day. In the last year or two of her life she reluctantly consented to be taken in a sedan chair to South Audley Street Chapel, which she attended.
Lady Lucy gave people the impression of being a very practical and unsentimental person. There was occasionally in her manner that touch of bluntness which so often veils an affectionateness or a sensitive refinement that shrinks from exposure. Although perhaps not a clever woman, she had a fund of love in her nature which enabled her to see further, and to do more with her life, than is often given to mere cleverness. She was a devoted wife, consulting her husband's prejudices, at whatever inconvenience to herself she shared to the full his benevolent instincts she reinforced, or more probably she adopted, his precise and methodical ways, and heartily carried out all his wishes. Her time was laid out by role: a certain portion was always given to reading the Bible; and another protion to some book of established literary merit--generally an historical author. She would read this book with a watch at her side; and as soon as the self-prescribed time for such rending had elapsed, she eagerly turned to the more congenial task of needlework for charitable purposes. On Sundays, the time before between, and after the Church services, was regularly spent in taking short walks, or in reading sermons.
The secret of Lady Lucy's influence with her children, and especially with her second son, lay in her character. Pusey used to dwell with enthusiasm on his mother's charity, self-forgetfulness, and conscientiousness. She took a great deal of pains to screen her good deeds from publicity. Thus instead of allowing her name to appear among the subscribers to a hospital, she would, year by year, slip he £10 note into the box for donations. After her husband's death she made her home in Grosvenor Square 'a family hotel,' as she called it: and, to the end of her life, she would insist upon giving up her own room, and sleeping in a small passage-room, to provide accommodation for others. Although she had much natural dignity of bearing, she heartily believed herself to he inferior to every one about her; there were no limits to her unaffected self-depreciation and modesty. Yet she was capable of great decision at the call of duty; her quiet courage and determination always enabled her to do what was distasteful, if it had to be done.
Although a woman of strong actions, she was ever able to control herself, in times of anxiety or sorrow, for the sake of those about her and she never allowed the indulgence of feeling, however keen, to dispense her from the obligations or the moment. She attached great importance to the rule that actions should always be in advance of professions; and when she expressed herself warmly, it was thought remarkable. 'Mr mother's expressions of joy,' writes Pusey, 'are conveyed more in actions than in words. She always writes and says much less than she feels.'
Pusey consistently attributed the greatest blessings which he had received from Almighty God to his mothers influence. Perhaps in later life he may, to a certain extent, and unconsciously, have idealized it; but no one could know Lady Lucy Pusey and not be sure that her son was right in the main. Her life was a conspicuous example of love, disciplined by a sense of duty. Her tender, love for himself used to remind him of St Augustine's words about St. Monica: 'Non satis eloquor quid ergo me habebat animi.'
When he had not yet learnt the Church Catechism, he used to sit on a footstool at his mother's knee, while his elder brother, Philip, stood and answered questions. One day his mother told him that the time had now come for him to learn the Catechism too. He said, 'I know it.' His mother asked him how he had come to know it. 'By hearing Philip say it to you' was the reply. The boys used to say all their lessons to Lady Lucy before breakfast. When either of them was out of temper, she would put the lessons off until after breakfast, saying, 'You are not fit to say your lesson now: you will do better by and bye.' The staple of her instructions was religion: and especially our Lord's words and acts and the Church Catechism. 'All that I know about religious truth,' Dr. Pusey would say, 'I learnt, at least in principle, from my dear mother.' 'But then' he would add, 'behind my mother, though of course I did not know it at the time, was the Catholic Church.' Commenting in 1879 on some statements which had been made in America respecting his religious history. Dr. Pusey wrote to a friend:--
'I was educated in the teaching at the Prayer-bock...The doctrine of the Real Presence I learnt from my mother's explanation at the Catechism, which she had learned to understand from older clergy.'
Edward Pusey was a pale, thin, little child, with light flaxen hair, a somewhat high forehead, and light blue eyes. His mother used to say that no child could be more obedient or industrious: she used to speak of him as her 'angelic' son, a phrase which in a person of her reserved and prosaic temper was by no means a flower of rhetoric. His daily playmates were his elder brother Philip and his sister Elizabeth, who was three years younger, and who admired, and, so far as she could, emulated the proceedings of her brothers, as younger sisters do. She had a special love for her brother Edward, who, in those early years 'did whatever she bid him' As the boys grew older, they made friends with the keeper Warman who taught them to shoot, and with the groom, who taught them to ride. In both pursuits the younger brother soon excelled the future squire. 'Master Edward is a better shot,' the keeper used to say, 'than young Mr. Pusey: he do take more pains about it.' Long before he went up to Oxford Edward Pusey was well known as a very good rider across country.
There was not much society at Pusey; Mr. Pusey's reserved habits combined with his strong political feelings to limit it; but he and his wife entertained their relations and more intimate neighbours. Of this limited society, however, the children naturally saw little in their early years: they made their first acquaintance with the world when they went to school.
In 1807, when Edward Pusey was seven years old, the two brothers were sent to a school, of which the Rev. Richard Roberts was master, at Mitcham in Surrey. It was a school preparatory for Eton, and had a great reputation. Mr. Roberts was a scholar himself, and of a race of scholars; and the list of his pupils who afterwards figured m public life is sufficiently distinguished. On going to Mitcham Edward Pusey was at once placed at the head of his class.
Mr. Roberts was a schoolmaster of the old race, and as such believed more in the efficacy of corporal punishment than of moral influences. To drop a penknife was a serious offence; and Edward Pusey was once flogged for cutting a pencil at both ends, but the one crime which was never pardoned was a false quantity. Mr. Roberts was himself very accurate, and he 'knew how boys could be taught accuracy, if they could be taught anything,' His pupils soon learned to write, at a short notice, Latin verses, which, whatever else they might contain, contained no false quantities. Referring to this time, Pusey would speak of his first schoolmaster as
'a wonderful teacher. He never would allow ãcribs.ä He made us tear out the Latin translations of Homer and Creek writers where we could without destroying the text. He would make us translate a greet deal at first sight. Every Sunday we had to write an English theme; and during each week a Latin theme, and a copy of longs and shorts [elegiacs] and of lyrics. Towards the end of my time he made me do four copies of Greek verses also every week; I suppose they were Hexameters, and Pentameters in the style of the ancient epigrams. In later years, when I was in Council, and they were talking about the requirements for Little-go and Moderations, I used to say that knew a school in which half the boys could have passed Moderations-minus the logic paper, before they were eleven years of age. Perhaps,' he added, 'that was saying a great deal; but they were very well prepared.'
'You know', he used to say to his brother William, ' that either of us could have passed Little-go before we went to Eton.'
Mr. Roberts' boys took high places at Eton almost as a matter of course. However, this was not an unmixed gain: a boy is not commonly the better for being thrown among boys much older than himself, and the hard work at Mitcham was in some cases followed by a period of magnificent idleness, which was of advantage neither to mind nor character
The Puseys, however, were by inclination and habit industrious boys, although in their case too the motives of fear and ambition may well have had their share of influence. 'When I was eleven years old at school,' Dr. Pusey wrote to his son, ' I was kept to my books, I suppose, more than ten hours a day.' 'Both my boys' their mother used to say, 'were clever; Philip had more talent, but Edward was the more industrious.'
Among their contemporaries at Mitcham were the late Earl of Derby and his brother and Lord Carlisle. The latter was younger than either of the Puseys, but although a very little boy, he had already a reputation for a great power of reading character. Lord Derby was a year or two older than Philip. Lady Lucy Pusey was fond of telling, with, a mother's pride, how on one occasion Mr. Roberts being thoroughly put out by the mistakes or idleness of his pupils, exclaimed in school 'You are all of you dunces, except the Stanleys and the Puseys.'
Certainly Mr. Roberts must have largely contributed to make Edward Pusey the scholar he became. The sensitive impatience of 'bad scholarship', which was one of Pusey's characteristics, would not have been so marked without the training and bracing of Mitcham. In later life, accuracy had become to him, 'almost a new sense or instinct'. The raw material of such a faculty doubtless is God's gift as being part of the original outfit of the human mind; but for its development it is largely dependent upon early guidance and exercise.
It would not appear that Mitcham did anything for Pusey's religious life or convictions. As in most schools of the period, religion was treated as a necessary propriety rather than as a living influence. The boys went to church on Sundays, and prayers were read every morning and evening. But there was no energetic recognition of religion as prescribing motives and governing conduct. The Catechism was learnt, but it was not explained. On Sunday afternoons Mr Roberts read out to the boys Ostervald's 'Arguments'--a well-meant but unattractive work on the Bible, which has long since been forgotten . Even a much more interesting book would have failed of its purpose unless its lessons had been seconded by other methods of making religion at least as much a matter of importance as work or recreation.
Edward Pusey always retained a grateful sense of indebtedness to his first schoolmaster for making him a scholar. When he won the Latin Essay in 1824 he sent Mr. Roberts a copy of it, with an inscription which expressed this in terms which were warmly appreciated.
He was eleven years and a half old when, with his elder brother he was sent to Eton. The boys arrived there on January 16 1812. They were placed in the house of the Rev. Thomas Carter; and they found a friend in their first cousin, whose services in those bewildering hours of entrance on the strange scene of public school life were always gratefully recalled
The Eton to which the boys were thus introduced was the Eton of Dr. Keate. He had already been head Master for three years: his reign covered a quarter of a century.
'On the 13th of May, 1813', writes the late Rev. Edward Coleridge, I found myself sitting on the Laser bench with F. B. P. (in the lower division of the fifth form) with Jelf next boy to him,-- between him and me, Luxmoore' his future brother-in-law; Moultrie'; Law, now Dean of Gloucester; Eden afterwards Bishop of Bath and Walls; A. M. Wale, still Vicar of Sunning Hill... In 1817 I was in the sixth form with E.R P. as the third oppidan. During this time I, a colleger, knew little of him except that he did not engage in sports, did long exercises, and was very obscure in his style My intimacy with him, and my love for aim, were of later date.'
In those years the fifth form at Eton contained an unusually large number of boys who were destined to become remarkable men and of these not a few had come from Mitcham. Among them were a Prime Minister, a Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, a Colonial Minister and First Lord of the Admiralty , a Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, a Treasurer of the Household, a Speaker of the House of Commons, three Ambassadors, and others who by force or character or in virtue of their position were well known in after life.
Pusey had many acquaintances at Eton, but few friends. The future Lord Derby he regarded as having 'an iron will and unbounded self-confidence.' Of the three embryo bishops who were with him in the fifth--James Chapman, Robert John Eden, and Edward Denison-- he knew the latter best, but none intimately. He used to refer from time to time to Henry Nelson Coleridge, to John Moultrie, and especially to a younger boy at that time in the fourth form, whose poems, however, it is probable he never read in the busy years of manhood--Winthrop Mackworth Praed, with whom he used constantly to play chess. Two boys there were whose characters might have seemed to mark them out as his natural friends, but of whose relations with him it is difficult to discover distinct traces--J. J. Hornby, who was no unworthy successor of Sherlock in the Rectory of Winwick, and the Hon. George Spencer, who a quarter of a century afterwards passed at a bound from extreme Evangelicalism into the Roman Church, but whose memory can never be recalled without reverence and affection by any who had the happiness of knowing him. With Germain Lavie, who was his senior, with the two brothers Neave, with Mr. John Parker of Sweeney, and, in a different sense, with Julian Hibbert, Pusey was constantly corresponding during the ten years that followed his Eton life.
His greatest friend at Eton was the Hon. Edward Charles Hugh Herbert, whose elder brother, Lord Porchester, was on terms of equal intimacy with Philip Pusey. The friendship was brought about by an incident which discovered a prominent feature of Pusey's character. Young Herbert had made some remark, which led another boy to say jestingly, 'What would your mother say?'--upon which Herbert burst into tears. On Pusey's going up to him he discovered that Herbert's mother, Lady Carnarvon. to whom he had been tenderly attached, had lately died, and Pusey's tender and delicate sympathy was never forgotten. When Mr. Herbert died, almost suddenly, on Whit Sunday, 1852, Pusey wrote to his sister that 'nothing is sudden to one who is always ready: and all which he has ever said to me bespoke a mind which was ready for the change.' When eighteen years later Mr. Herbert's son was murdered by brigands on the field of Marathon, the tragedy woke up in Pusey's mind all his tender affections for his old school-fellow; had it been his own son--it was observed--he could hardly have been more distressed.
Another Eton boy to whom, throughout life, Pusey would very often refer in terms of great affection, but from whom, in his latter years, he was entirely separated, was Henry Law, afterwards Dean of Gloucester. The Dean writes:
'We were in the same form, and I have a most lively recollection of his appearance and general habits. He was rather junior to me in age. His appearance was that of a weakly delicate boy; He was remarkably quiet and retiring. He manifested a kindly feeling towards myself, and I think he preferred we as a companion to any other boy. But he was very grave and thoughtful, and I cannot recollect that he ever joined in any of our sports. I did not perceive in him at that time much promise of future celebrity.'
There is little to be said about Pusey's reading while at Eton, except that he worked steadily. He told his brother William. while the latter was still a schoolboy, and in order to encourage him, that on one occasion. when laid up at Eton by a bad foot, he had read through Xenophon's 'Anabasis' for amusement in bed in less than a week, He did not begin mathematics until he had left Eton; 'but then.' he adds, 'I read them by myself, and scarcely knew their importance'. He always regretted that when at school he 'had not been obliged to work hard at mathematics'. 'Of what is called divinity'--so he writes in 1826--'of the contents, historical and doctrinal, of the Bible, and of any illustrations of them.--Eton boys are generally shamefully ignorant.
In looking back to his Eton days Pusey would refer to them in varying terms. On one occasion, at any rate, he described them as 'not the happiest in my life.' At other times he certainly spoke of himself as very happy while at Eton. Such apparent contradictions are easily reconciled : the one phrase may refer to a single episode, the other to the general tenor of his life. He was a weakly boy; and often found himself unequal to taking his natural part in games. But he was as popular as a shy boy could be: older boys knew that he was no 'loafer;' and when he felt unwell he could always get off 'fagging cricket', which appears to have tired him greatly. But, on the other hand, he was well known to ride better than most boys; and he was a good swimmer. Once he was nearly drowned while bathing. He was apparently dead when taken out of the water; it is supposed that he had an attack of cramp. Whenever he wasted to suggest to another how easy it might be to die, he would refer to the experience of becoming insensible on this occasion as 'very delightful.' However, he seems to have cared less for outdoor exercise when at school than as an Oxford undergraduate: he had moreover the reputation of being the best chess-player at Eton.
The years which he spent at school were years of no common importance to England and to Europe. To the Puseys, as to other boys of that generation, Bonaparte had been the spectre of early childhood and they were now old enough to understand something of the significance of his downfall. Their Eton life began some time before the advance to Moscow; it did not close until more than a year after Waterloo. If ever events could take possession of the imagination, inspire purpose, and give strength and shape to character, the defeat and captivity of the great French Captain was surely well fitted to do this ; especially in the case of Eton lads; who, for the most part. had been accustomed to hear public matters discussed by their parents, and to look forward to a career of public activity for themselves. Most boys males an effort at times to understand what is passing in the world in which they will presently have to play their parts; and when a number of young Englishmen are thrown together at a great crisis in the history of their country, the interchange of information, of apprehension, of conjecture, of hope and fear, of all that belongs to the wisdom, the enthusiasm or even the folly of the time, has its effect on after-life. In the case of several Eton boys of that day these critical years may be traced in their effects on a public career: in Edward Pusey they contributed to develop that sense of the Presence of God in human affairs, as attested by swift and awful judgments, which coloured so largely his religious convictions. When, thirty years after, he had retired from society altogether, and was living, as men said, the life of a recluse, he kept his eye on the political events of the time. 'We may see perhaps,' he said, 'what God is doing, if we do not know what He means to do.'
It is difficult to trace any special characteristic of Pusey's religious life to the Eton system. There were, of course, the prayers in chapel, some religious lessons, and a clerical staff of masters; and these could not have been without their effect on a thoughtful boy. But at the beginning of the century the Church had no adequate idea of the splendid opportunities which Divine Providence still offered her in the public schools of this country. Pusey never referred to Eton, within the present writer's memory, as having been of religious advantage to him : but, on the other hand, except in the important particular of religious instruction, he did not complain of it as deficient.
About a year before the close of his Eton career Pusey was confirmed in the Chapel Royal, St. James's, by Dr. How!ey. then Bishop of London. Of his special preparation for that solemn moment in a Christian's life, and for his first Communion, no record remains. Yet it is known that while at Eton he led a blameless life, and that he never omitted the prayers which his mother had taught him. Moreover, before Pusey had left Eton he was regarded amongst his friends as the natural guide of the younger boys. At any rate the subjoined letter from his schoolfellow, Mr. R. W. Jelf, who had preceded him to Oxford, if a little didactic, as is sometimes the manner of big boys and young men, is honourable to both of them:--
RICHARD W. JELF, ESQ., TO E. B. P.
Oct. 14, 1817.
MY DEAR PUSEY,
You will, I dare say, be surprised at seeing my handwriting again after so long a separation. The truth is, I should not have troubled you with this, but for a Particular friend, who requested me to put a little commission into the hands of any one at Eton whom I can depend upon, Now, I know no one who will he more able, and I trust more willing, to execute this than yourself and I am the more encouraged to this from knowing the high situation you at present bear in the school. There is a boy of the name of Estridge at Holt's, and if it is in your power I know you will patronize him. I understand he is a boy of good abilities, but being born to a large fortune he is, I believe a little inclined to amuse himself at the expense of his studies, and is therefore of the first importance to his future welfare that he should be set in a good way at his entrance into a public school. Will you have the goodness to send for him and, without seeming to know that he it thus inclined, give him a little good advice in a kind way; particularly caution him against shooting, &c.? This dose of admonition it will be well to wash with some little kindnesses, such as a few liberties, &c., and I know I leave both the bane and the antidote in good hands.
Having thus far discharged my trust, I am glad to have an opportunity of expressing my wish that you would enter into a regular correspondence with me; as regular, at least, as is consistent with my usual want of punctuality. Pray write soon, directing to me at Ch. Ch., Oxford, where I return on Friday. Tell me what you can of your new project, and then give me a full account of everything at Eton, society, sixth form, &c., &c I shall expect you soon at Ch,Ch., where think I can introduce you to a good acquaintance. I am very happy there in every way; surrounded with friends and possessed of every comfort·.
Your very sincere friend,
Tuesday F. W. JELF.
This letter, however although sent to Eton, had to be re-dressed. On the lost Saturday of July, 1817, at Election, Edward Pusey had closed the five years and a half of his public school life, and had gone to a private tutor.
In October, 1817, Pusey was placed by his father under the care of the Rev. Edward Maltby, D.D., Vicar of Buckden, near Huntingdon, and prebendary of Leighton Buzzard in Lincoln Cathedral. Dr. Maltby had distinguished himself at Cambridge in scholarship; and to the end of his life he was before all things a scholar. Be was fond of remembering that Person had been kind to him; and he in turn liked the society of younger students; helped them with his advice and his money; and, when he could do so, recommended them for assistance to the Government of the day. He gave much time and labour to scholastic publications ; nor was he indeed forgetful of subjects which have a stronger claim upon a clergyman. But, in truth, Maltby, though an excellent scholar, was in no serious sense a theologian: his interest was almost entirely confined to the textual or literary aspects of the Sacred Books, where, to use his own words, he found 'ample employment in that course of reading to which his mind had been more peculiarly directed.' The Evangelicals of the day vigorously attacked his sermons and other publications. Maltby on his side never liked that party; and although he denounced the Tractarians in later years, he was careful to explain that he was 'not a party man.' His Evangelical opponents, however, could not prevent his elevation in the year 1831 to the Episcopal Bench. As a Bishop, his language and conduct were in entire consistency with the kindliness, the munificence, the love of learning, the Whig politics and the doctrinal latitudinarianism of his earlier life.
The Puseys were sent to Buckden by their father on account of Dr. Maltby's classical reputation; and the year and three months which Edward Pusey spent there were not without their influence on his future career. Unlike his elder brother, he recalled with satisfaction his life at Buckden. Maltby, he used to say, was a hard worker, and he made his pupils work; and while he inspired them with an enthusiasm for scholarship, they could not but enjoy the sunshine of his kindly benevolence. Probably, too, the greater opportunities for long hours of uninterrupted reading were increasingly welcome to a lad who was now forming the habits of a serious student. When in later years Dr. Maltby's name was mentioned, Pusey's face would light up, 'Ah!, he was a scholar of the old painstaking kind.' In the course of fifteen months Pusey was led or accompanied by his tutor through the larger part of the text of the poets and historians who, at that time, were taken in by candidates for Classical Honours at Oxford, and the assistance thus given, if too much fashioned on Porson's model always to command the approval of a ripened Oxford judgment, was often gratefully referred to as 'solid and judicious.' But Dr. Maltby was not the man to guide or even to detect the early workings of a religious mind. He himself conceived of religious mainly as the outcome of one branch of literature; and his idea of the nature and purpose of Christianity was too thin and meagre to affect anybody else, unless it should be by giving an impulse towards negative speculations. It has been conjectured that in fact Maltby did influence Pusey in this way and that certain features of the 'Theology of Germany' may be traced to Buckden. For this opinion, however, there is no adequate ground; Pusey never referred to him as among those to whom as was indebted for any religious guidance in early life. He went to Buckden for scholarship: and while he was well aware of the drift of Dr Maltby's theological opinions, his own practice was at this period of his life still in the main what he had learned from his mother, with such enlargement or modification as the experience or needs of school life might have suggested.
From time to time Pusey had communications with his former tutor. Maltby wrote him a warm letter of congratulation on his first class and his Oriel Fellowship; thanked him for his kindness to a nephew; bespoke his father's interest for the destitute family of a deceased clergyman and pressed him to revisit Buckden.
Eighteen years passed, and Pusey's tutor was now Bishop of Durham; Tract 90 had been published; and Pusey himself had already filled the Regius chair of Hebrew at Oxford during twelve eventful years. Bishop Maltby, after the fashion of the day, had been charging his clergy against the Tractarians, but more moderately than some other prelates, and, it may he added, in those vague and general terms which are perhaps natural when a clever man discusses a subject he is conscious of being imperfectly acquainted. The Bishop explained that he had had no intercourse with 'the able writers' whom he thus criticized, 'excepting indeed one distinguished individual, of whom as a former pupil I have no recollections but such as are most agreeable.' The charge, however, contained some matter of a different character, and Pusey wrote to complain of 'the severe and unmitigated censure' of the Oxford School. The Bishop could not allow that his language ought to be so described, but he really appears to have been unable even to understand Pusey's point of view: and he hastens to adopt 'that tone of familiarity and confidence with which an old tutor may address an old and much esteemed pupil.' He thanks Pusey for the 'spirit' of his letter. 'Although' he Concludes, 'we so unfortunately differ at present in our opinions, I shall always be glad to receive you as an old friend'.
This was Pusey's last communication with his former tutor. Bishop Maltby resigned the See of Durham in September, 1856; and died at his house in Portland Place on July 1, 1859, at the ripe age of eighty nine. Pusey never referred to him without a good word for 'Maltby's scholarship,' and would hold his tongue or change the subject when Maltby's relation to graver matters was discussed.
Six months before Pusey left Buckden, an event occurred of great moment to his future life. He was spending some weeks at home, when he net for the first time Miss Maria Catharine Barker. the youngest daughter of John Raymond Barker Esq,, of Fairford Park, Gloucestershire. Pusey had nearly reached his eighteenth birthday, and Miss Barker was just seventeen. Besides the attraction of her good looks, she was undoubtedly accomplished; while her character, although as yet very unformed, combined, with elements of impulsiveness and self-will, qualities of very rare beauty, which Pusey believed himself to have discerned from the first and instinctively. He did not at first suspect the strength, or indeed the nature, of the feeling which she had provoked in him. 'It was my brother Philip,' he wrote to her in after years, 'who first discovered to myself my attachment to you in 1818·I was no free agent (unless principle bade me stop) after I had seen you... . Everything has been the necessary consequence of that'. He does not appear to have seen her more than once before returning for his last three months of residence at Buckden; but he carried with him a new interest which made life unlike anything it had ever been to him before. Nine years were to pass before his wishes could be realized and, as will be seen, these years of alternating hope and disappointment were destined to exert a serious effct upon his character.
In January, 1819, Edward Pusey went up to Christ Church, which was then under the rule of Dean Hall, but was still thriving upon the great traditions of Cyril Jackson's administration. Among the Canons were Van Mildert, who was Regius Professor of Divinity, and Lawrence, who filled the chair of Hebrew. Lloyd, afterwards Bishop of Oxford, and Pusey's friend and patron, stood ninth on the list of students ; Fynes Clinton, the chronologist was a younger Master of Arts; while Longley, the future primate, and Burton, Van Mildert's successor were Bachelors of Arts. The undergraduate world of Christ Church contained its full share of names which were destined for distinction in after-life: among them may be mentioned, as in different senses related to Pusey's own career, Lord Porchester, Lord Ashley, Lord Sandon, Walter Farquhar Hook, R. W. Jelf, C. C. Clerke, Edward Churton, Frederick Oakeley, and Richard Salwey. The Rev. Thomas Vowler Short ,who died Bishop of St. Asaph, was Pusey's tutor; and among the several teachers to whom Pusey felt indebted for moral guidance and mental training, Short held a first place in his affection and respect to the last hour of his life. Whenever the value of the old religious system of the University was unduly depreciated by the New Liberalism that was bent on destroying it, Pusey would point to 'Short my old tutor,' as a proof that the most efficient assistance in preparing for the Schools might be combined with higher influences of lasting power. No dedication of a book was ever less the language of conventionalism than that which Pusey prefixed to the second volume of his Parochial Sermons. Pusey's still extant but fragmentary notes on Mr. Short's Divinity lectures in 1821, show that these lectures had been carefully prepared, and that they must have been marked by depth and reverence; and Bishop Short's 'faithful friendship and fatherly and episcopal kindness' were not less prized by his old pupil than his 'religious instruction and earnest practical teaching.' If the Bishop of St. Asaph could not always adopt the language of the Oxford School, he did not allow popular controversy to beguile him into forgetfulness of the duties which the understanding owes to learning, and the heart to high and disinterested characters: and he stood by Pusey more than once at a time when to do so implied no little courage in a ruler of the Church.
Pusey does not appear to have had many intimate friends among his Christ Church contemporaries. This was due partly to his state of health, partly to his natural shyness, and still more to the pre-occupation of his thoughts which his attachment to Miss Darker involved. He was in no sense unpopular; but he lived on the edge of general society rather than in it. Pusey's undergraduate friends were all, or almost all, old Eton acquaintances. Among these his cousin, Lord Ashley (afterwards the well-known Earl of Shaftesbury), claims prominent mention. Their friendship was however checked by one of those apparently trifling circumstances in early life which often have far-reaching results. Lord Ashley wished to read for lectures with Pusey; and Pusey, probably for no other reason than a belief that he would get through his work better by himself, declined. Another and more intimate friend, with whom however Pussy might have seemed to have less in common, was John Parker, of Sweeney Hall, near Shrewsbury. They had been boys together at Eton but Parker had gone up to Oriel a year before Pusey left Buckden, and accordingly greeted Pusey on his arrival at Oxford with the imposing authority of an older undergraduate. Parker was enterprising and discursive; too discursive to be persuaded by the Oriel tutors to read steadily for Honours. But his industrious habits, his knowledge of recondite subjects, his imagination and sympathy, directed by an amusing egotism, made him a useful, as he was certainly a kind, friend to Edward Pusey. Parker was much busied in elaborating an ambitious theory which, he called the 'classic system' a theory of life, art, and literature, the principles and details of which he constantly expounded to his friends. The 'classic system' appears to have prescribed an application of the Horatian metres to the Psalter, and even the versification of sermons. It undertook to regulate feeling and to repress emotions which could not appeal to classical models. It was especially concerned to uphold the statuesque purity of language. But the world of art was to be the main scene of its activity here Parker saw boundless visions of possible improvement. When in 1821 he took leave of Oxford, he wandered out to the hill above Hinksey, and
'from thence looking down upon Oxford in the distance and remembering a multitude of things together, felt more sadness than almost ever before!' 'I suppose,' he continues, 'I must add, not more sadness than is in harmony with the 'classic system'.
Describing his ordination as priest in St. Asaph's Cathedral in 1823, he writes:--
'If any peculiar feeling existed in my mind upon this occasion, it was a determination to blend religion and the fine arts together, in thought and practice--a feeling which I hardly care to avow to you, because I am afraid you may esteem it an unworthy one. But I acknowledge no error in it, for under such a conviction I would gladly die. Let my maxim always be, ãVirtue,--Beautyä'. 'It is easy,' he warns Edward Pusey 'to write moderate English, but far from easy to write it finely. I am sorry to say that almost the only man who writes English with purity, though be is frequently vulgar, is that infamous William Cobbet.'
Edward Pusey seems to have abandoned art altogether to Parker's discretion. But he openly rebelled against Parker's theories of the functions of versification and he certainly offered a dogged if silent and perhaps mistaken resistance to his purism in the matter of style.
A third and still more intimate friend of Pusey's undergraduate life was R. W. Jelf. Jelf took his degree et Easter, 1820, when his name appears in the Second Class--a decoration which his contemporaries held to be less Than he deserved. Pusey's letter to him on the occasion is still extant he accounts for the failure by Jeff's having been put on in a passage of Livy which he had not read. Jelf wished Pusey to join him in a foreign tour; but this, Pusey says, would not be sanctioned by his father.
'I do not know,' he writes, 'how far the intermixture with the vices and dissipation of a foreign country would appear to him [my father] salutary to that tenor of mind which he would not wish to maintain. I am aware that in [from] this avowal many would extract much pleasantry on the fancied rigidness of my father or my apparent constraint; but while I know that his principal esertion, every wish, is directed to the furtherance of our happiness, non me poeniteat sanum patris hujus.'
The letter, it must be owned, is rather stilted : as the letters of young men often are when they are not ostentatiously free and easy. Pusey goes on to refer with sincere distress to his own 'morbid feelings' about Fairford and Miss Barker; and be advises his friend to engage a companion of livelier spirits, more engaging manners, and more certain in his prospects, than him whom your proposals have so much obliged.' He concludes in giving the history of a college prize, together with a burst of enthusiasm about Eton.
Although Pusey's father did not, at this date, approve of a foreign tour, yet he did not disallow a visit to Wales in Jelf's company. The two friends left Oxford in June, 1820, and spent six or seven weeks together very pleasantly. The tour was prematurely cut short at Dolgelly by a letter from home, which told Edward Pusey that his elder brother was on the point of starting for Spain. He therefore hastened to Shrewsbury, where he left Jelf with his friend Parker, and then hurried home.
Young men at college are generally politicians ; and Edward Pusey was a Whig, if not a Liberal. This phase of opinion may have been partly due to Dr. Maltby's influence, partly a reaction from the stern Toryism which reigned at Pusey, but it was mainly the work of his elder brother, whose earlier bias had been confirmed by his engagement in 1819 to Lady Emily Herbert. The House of Carnarvon was at that time on the Whig side in politics. Lord Carnarvon spoke frequently from the Liberal benches in the House of Lords; he warmly espoused the cause of Queen Caroline.; and his efforts on her behalf were so unwelcome to Mr. Pusey, senior, that, as has been said, he long objected to his eldest son's engagement to Lady Emily Herbert. The younger Philip Pusey's Liberal opinions, besides being strengthened by his affections, were reinforced by his intimacy with Lord Porchester, his constant companion, both at home and in travel abroad; and the two brother Puseys, so far as their deference for their father would allow, raised the standard of a Liberal rebellion in the most Tory of households. Their enthusiasm for Queen Caroline was very irritating to Jelf.
'The Queen is dead,' he wrote to Edward Pusey, in August, 1821. 'How you Whigs will lament, not for her death, but for the destruction of those hopes which through her would have offered the seals of office to Lord Grey for the third time--But I spare you.'
After the lapse of a year, Pusey's father had modified or withdrawn his objections to foreign travel, and in the Long Vacation of 1821 Pusey went abroad for the first time. He went to Paris alone to meet his brother on the first return of the latter from Spain. On his way he stopped at Beauvais and wrote an enthusiastic account of the cathedral to John Parker. He was struck with the 'universal smile' on the French faces, and contrasted it with the serious gloom of Englishmen. During his visits to the Paris churches he saw some crucifixes upon which he commented on favourably in a letter to Jelf. This afforded the latter an opportunity for rallying him on his political feeling in favour of Roman Catholic emancipation. Jelf congratulated him on having rawn the full moral from the French crucifixes'.
'I doubt not,' he added, that the disgusting reality has weaned you from the arms of theoretical emancipation, and restored you to the bosom of your good old Protestant mother Church The absurd appetite for ultra-toleration is one degree only removed from schism.'
The Coronation of George IV. during Pusey's absence from, England gave him an opportunity for airing his somewhat vehement Liberalism. 'Although,' he wrote to Mr. Salwey,
Jelf in his Tory enthusiasm describes the coronation as ãthe most splendid and perfect spectacle that mortal eye could behold, one in which the days of chivalry came sweeping by one, &c. &c. I confess that be scene [would have] had no attractions for me. Unless viewed in the light of a king pledging himself in the presence of his subjects to the performance of his duty, it is an unsubstantial pageant, which leaves not a rack behind, amid even then the theatre it ill-chosen, where only those who understand the emptiness of the proceeding can attend to witness it--
'I thought myself far better employed in revelling amid the glories of Raphael and Titian, and studying the dying gladiator (who, I have at least learnt, ought not to be called so), at Paris. Cathedrals, churches, theatres, museums, libraries, filled up every moment I had there, and left impressions, --quae nunc perscribere longum est-- I was unhappily too late for the Chamber of Deputies. I would have given worlds to have heard the plea which was made for liberty...But they are so nauseated with having drunk the dregs of Freedom's cup, that they now abhor the taste·In fact they are slaves, and willing ones.
The brothers seem to have enjoyed themselves in Paris, but Edward Pusey returned hastily in consequence of news from home which touched him nearly. The passage was a rough one. The packet instead of reaching Dover was carried down Channel; a landing at Brighton was in vain attempted, and Pusey only got ashore at Southampton. When he reached home he found to his great distress that, while his family had become fully aware of his feelings towards Miss Barker, his father and mother both viewed the attachment with marked disfavour. In Mr. Pusey's eyes it was a passing gust of youthful passion, which would die away if no opportunities were afforded for feeding the flame. He accordingly forbade all intercourse between his son and Miss Barker. The effect on Edward Pusey was very serious. He was for the moment plunged in the deepest despair. He thought of giving up reading for his degree and leaving Oxford. He even had some dismal apprehensions that he would lose his reason. A gloom had indeed already settled on him since the beginning of his attachment; and in anticipation of its being discouraged by his father, Lady Lucy Pusey had from time to time prepared him, by gentle hints, for what was coming. But when the storm broke, his previous depression became a settled melancholy, which overclouded his life until the summer of 1827. Of this period he afterwards wrote:--
'Never did I feel any disposition, or make any effort, to be gay. It seemed to me unnatural; I loved my grief better than any hollow joy; and if my mother in society, when I occasionally forgot myself expressed to me her pleasure at seeing me smile, it invariably brought again a gloom over my countenance.'
But matters would have been, humanly speaking, much worse, had it not been for the support and counsels of Edward Pusey's sensible and affectionate friend, Richard Jelf, whose letters written at this period were carefully preserved. They are remarkable for sympathy, tact, insight, strong common sense, and true religious feeling. Pusey was at last persuaded that even to think of losing his mind was to lose trust in God; that to read for his degree was at once an immediate duty and an opportune distraction; and that if he would only wait and hope, matters might even yet be better with him.
It was to be expected that his health, which was always delicate, would suffer from this strain. For a week at least he seems to save broken down entirely; he could not write consecutively to his friends. He suffered constantly frosm violent headaches, and Dr. Kidd, whom he consulted, told him that they might not improbably lastt throughout his life. However, he returned to Oxford with a determination to bury himself in his books. He had read pretty steadily from the beginning or his Oxford life; but during the first two years, as he had his own horse, he rode a great deal, and at one time hunted three times a week, but without neglecting his reading. He would never miss a meet in the direction of Fairford; and when not hunting his favourite ride was to the top of Foxcombe and along the brow or the hill towards Cumnor, as thence he could descry if not Fairford itself; yet much of the valley of the Upper Thames. Now, however, these relaxations were greatly curtailed: he spent the greater part of his day in those rooms in the Old Library which he often referred to in later life 'I remember the rooms well' he said at the close of his life, 'for I worked hard in them'.
He probably worked much too hard. Parker refers to his 'suicidal practice' at this date of reading sixteen or seventeen hours a day. This was no doubt an exaggerated estimate; but Jelf writes at the time that 'Pusey reads most desperately, and it is as much as I can do to take him take an hour's exercise.' Pusey himself describes his later undergraduate life at Christ Church as having been that of 'a reading automaton who might by patience be made a human being.'
Of Pusey's reading at this date few traces remain. His notebook on Herodotus exists. Every chapter in the first six books is annotated: some at great length; and, as was usual even with serious scholars at that day--young as well as old--the notes are almost all in Latin. Here and there an Idiomatic English translation is given--apparently taken down from a tutor in lecture. There are extant too some notes on Aeschylus, the Satires of Horace, and other classics. In these performances, written in a round, almost boyish hand, Pusey already shows the qualities of his maturer work, and especially, the passion for exhaustive knowledge and statement, combined with complete indifference to method and style.
Of his notes on Pindar, whom he read perhaps more carefully than any ancient writer, nothing, so far as is known, remains. He read disinterestedly, so far as the Schools were concerned ; not only books which he did not mean to offer to the examiners, but books which would do him no good in the examination. 'You have read, I believe' , wrote Parker, who knew him intimately, 'the Phoenissae of Euripides: indeed, it is needless to ask you whether you have read it, for I always find that you acquainted with any work that I casually mention.'
His strength lay in accurate verbal scholarship rather than in philosophy. Indeed, in those days--with the great exception of Bishop Butler--the philosophy which succeeded in the Schools was a good knowledge of the text and sense of Aristotle and of some few modem illustrations of him. Pusey largely learnt his philosophy in maturer years; he reversed the old order of studies, and entered it from the court of Theology.
In Easter Term, 1822, he was in the Schools. He was examined viva voce by the Rev. John Keble, who had taken a double first class just twelve years before, 'I never knew,' Keble once said, 'how Pindar might be put into English until I heard Pusey construe him in his examination.' Of his examination another anecdote was told to Professor Farrar, of Durham, by the Rev. G. Porter, Fellow of Queen's College, who was the senior examiner:--
'On the viva voce day,' writes Professor Farrar, 'to keep Pusey employed Porter set him to write an oration on some subject which I forgot to illustrate the use of the tooi in Aristotle's Rhetoric, bk. ii.23. Pusey wrote an oratorical essay; I forget whether in English or in Latin. Porter said that in the essay he had embodied and used every one of the twenty-nine too. Porter predicted his greatness at that time--as I was afterwards told--and always regarded him as the man of the greatest ability that he had ever examined or known. He placed him far above Newman. Herein, of course, he was wrong; the two minds really being incommensurable.'
Edward Pusey's name appears in the first class with those of Edward Denison, afterwards Bishop of Salisbury, and of Richard Creswell, whom Oxford still remembers as one of the most learned and kindly of her older residents. Is. the same list is William Gresley, the well-known Prebendary of Lichfield, whose life in after years, not less than his writings, did so much to popularize the principles which the world has especially connected with the name of Pusey.