Page:Studies of a Biographer 2.djvu/164

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152
STUDIES OF A BIOGRAPHER

adopt the mental attitude from which the value of wealth and influence receives fair recognition. They must be courted, not from snobbishness or personal motives, but from a hearty appreciation of their utility as possible supporters of the good cause. Another peculiarity of the don has some meaning too. The old college don often professed to look down upon the outside world; but was conscious at heart that the world is a little inclined to retort by calling him a rusty pedant. He was never better pleased than when he could fairly show that he too was a man of true literary and social culture—able to judge the last poem or novel, as well as to lecture upon Plato and Æschylus. Jowett's cordial spirit of hospitality, was fostered and stimulated by this sentiment. He drew all manner of distinguished people to Balliol Lodge in later years; he would show them—as he could well show them in the time of H. J. S. Smith—that Balliol too was a centre of enlightenment; and he could prove to Oxford in general that a college might be attractive to the foremost statesmen and men of letters. He could do so, of course, because his hospitality was thoroughly spontaneous, and his friendship with eminent writers, such as Tennyson, Browning, and George