Page:Studies of a Biographer 2.djvu/170

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STUDIES OF A BIOGRAPHER

leader of thought; but his influence was excellent as an irritant, which at least would not allow a man to bury himself in intellectual slumbers. You might be propelled in any direction, but at least you would not stand still. How much has been done by Balliol is not for me to say; but Jowett's real influence is to be found by considering him as an intrinsic element of Balliol. And this may suggest a final remark. The last ten years of life, as Jowett frequently remarked, are the best: best, because you are freest from care, freest from illusion and fullest of experience. They must no doubt be fullest of experience; they may be freest from care, if you are head of a college, and have no domestic ties; but, unluckily, the illusions which have vanished generally include the illusion that anything which you did at your best had any real value, or that anything which you can do hereafter will even reach the moderate standard of the old work. One of the advantages of Jowett's identification of himself with his college was perhaps that he was never freed from this illusion. He won the advantage at a heavy price—the price of not knowing the greatest happiness. But a man who is swallowed up in a corporate body, which will outlast himself, acquires a kind of derivative