Page:Studies of a Biographer 2.djvu/160

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148
STUDIES OF A BIOGRAPHER

sense of duty overpowering reluctance to speak. At any rate, the tendency to administer a good tonic, bitter or not, became part of his nature. He was, as Professor Campbell puts it, an 'irrepressible mentor.' He had experience enough to know what is the general fate of good advice, especially when the recipient has no longer the malleability of youth. But he advised at all hazards, in season and out of season. When he sees a friend in danger of relaxing his zeal, even under the pressure of sorrow, he cannot help applying the goad. He may help his friend at least to 'pull himself together'; and no doubt there are times when it does a man good to have a thorough shake. The advice, too, seems always to have been prompted by genuine goodwill which generally disarmed resentment. One feels, however, that there is a certain humorous side to the propensity. When a man sees his old schoolmaster, he generally looks back upon the old emotion of awful reverence as a quaint memory which has no living force left in it. But in Jowett's mind the relation seems to have presented itself as though it were as permanent and indissoluble as marriage. Once his pupil, you were not the less his pupil, though you might have