Page:Studies of a Biographer 2.djvu/161

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149
JOWETT'S LIFE

become a judge, or a bishop, or a Cabinet Minister. You were absorbed in State affairs instead of -the study of Plato; but you would still be the better for a friendly crack of the old whip. Jowett was charged with having thought too much of genius in early years and of success in later. He measured a man by what he achieved and not by his capability of achieving; and was accused of being a little too fond of the 'great.' This, again, coincides with the natural view of the college tutor. He loves his pupils, it is true, but he always loves them as members of the college. He wishes to raise a harvest of first-class men, and believes a first-class to be an infallible indication of merit, and must be more than human if he does not exaggerate its importance. He wishes to see the college boards ornamented with long lists of men distinguished in their later career; to turn out men whose portraits may be hung in the college hall; and naturally thinks of it as a personal injury, or, which is the same thing, as an injury to the college, if some man of genius fails to obtain tangible honours. It is not that the genius is necessarily inferior—and Jowett could recognise, when it was fairly put before him, the inadequacy