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JAMES ANTHONY FROUDE
with other European thought, and for some acquaintance with scientific tendencies. Many of them became wiser in time. Froude learnt much, but never, as it seems, got over the shock which he had received. His weakness, I fancy, was a kind of intellectual timidity. He holds by Carlyle, but is always half afraid that his anchor may drag. He was afraid, and not alone in his fear, that the moral order of the world was being sapped by scepticism. That may be, as I should hold it to be, a mistake; but we may heartily respect the man whose hostility to agnosticism is a product of strong, even if mistaken, moral convictions. That I take to have been Froude's case. The misfortune was that his position led him to a sympathy with despotic remedies for the supposed disease, which made many readers suspect the reality of his moral sentiments instead of allowing for their accidental misdirection.