Page:Studies of a Biographer 2.djvu/113

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101
MATTHEW ARNOLD

given thyself to sides and to heroes not mine, only not to the Philistines! Home of lost causes and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names and impossible loyalties!' Oxford, as he says elsewhere,[1] had taught the truth that 'beauty and sweetness are essential characters of a complete human perfection.' Bad philosophies, another critic (I think Professor Flint) has said, when they die, go to Oxford. Arnold admitted the badness of the philosophies, but the beauty and sweetness, he would have added, are immortal. The effect, therefore, upon him was not to diminish his loyalty to philosophy; no one more hated all obscurantism: his belief in 'culture,' in the great achievements of scholarship, of science, of historical criticism, was part of his nature. He was not the man to propose to put back the hand of the dial, or to repel the intellectual ocean with the mop of an orthodox Mrs. Partington. But his keen appreciation of the beauty of the old ideals governed his thought. He even held[2] that the Christianity of the future would be Catholicism, though Catholicism 'purged' and 'opening itself to the light,' 'conscious of its own poetry, freed from its sacerdotal despotism, and

  1. Culture and Anarchy, p. 23.
  2. Mixed Essays, p. 121.