Page:Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects.djvu/388
years of a very trying Regius Professor have not worn out their goodwill.
Another point I will mention, though I need not tell too much of the secrets of the Seminar: there is a great gain to us in the spontaneous working of the little clubs of Historical debate which have sprung up within the last few years, collegiate and inter-collegiate. I will not talk of comparing great things with small, but I rejoice to see in these a continuity, with differentiation, of the old circles which I remember when I was an undergraduate and a bachelor: I was always proud of having been for a little time secretary of the Hermes, which Archdeacon Palmer, and, alas! how few besides, must recollect as a very small and earnest and affectionate literary brotherhood, well to be remembered as a seed-bed in the sowing time, not only of germinating ideas that spring and die with or without fruit-bearing, but of high sympathies and dear friendships that grow stronger and immortal by age. I would augur for our little History clubs as fair a future.
Another gain, which is still perhaps a matter for augury, is the formation of the Oxford Historical Society; if the choice of subject, singularly and universally attractive, rich in materials and full of varied interest, if the zeal, ability and perseverance of the promoters, and the sympathy of all historical students, can secure success, the Society has a most happy future in prospect.
But the mention of it suggests irrepressibly the memory of the man whose genius inspired the idea, and of whom the Society is in this place the fittest possible monument. John Richard Green, the dear friend of many amongst us, has left behind him a name which cannot soon be forgotten. His books are by themselves the warrant of the fame which he so widely gained; the extent of his reading, the power of his grasp, the clearness of his insight, the picturesque reality of his narration, are patent to all who are capable of judging. We, who knew him better than the world of his readers, know too of his unwearied industry, his zeal for truth, and the inspiring force of his conversation. For twenty years he