An unfinished autobiography by Gilbert Murray

By Gilbert Murray

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By Gilbert Murray

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She was well-read, pleasant and interesting, had travelled over a good deal of Europe and was thinking of going to North Australia. My second sister, Ev, as we called her, was some years younger. I think she was a little bullied by Leila, and was greatly beloved by all of us. She married a well-to-do squatter, Robert Morrison, and lived at his station, Burroway, where she at one time taught Sunday school in a wooden hall infested by snakes who had a nest underneath. This disturbed the class, till she put two boys with sticks at the holes where the snakes were apt to come through.

I felt sure it was Leila and called, thinking to surprise her. ' When I asked her how she had guessed she only said that 'Brown' seemed an unlikely name. Leila after her uncle's death became a great traveller. She travelled light and ruthlessly threw or gave away or burnt what she did not want, clothes that were worn out, books she had finished with, and the like. She despised possessions. When I visited her in Australia in 1892 she had no furniture of her own, one large box, one engraving of Princes Street, Edinburgh, on the wall, and, so it was rumoured, only one dress.

And through his close personal contacts with scholars the world over -- not least in Germany, where he had a long-standing friendship with Wilamowitz -- he helped to banish the tendency to provincialism which has been at times a real danger to British scholarship. The immediate impression made by Murray's personality was one of gentleness, serenity, effortless control and perfect balance. ) Whether his serenity was the gift of nature or the reward of self-discipline is -17- open to doubt. Shaw, who had known a younger Murray, described 'Adolphus Cusins' as 'a most implacable, determined, tenacious, intolerant person who by mere force of character presents himself as -- and indeed actually is -- considerate, gentle, explanatory, even mild and apologetic, capable possibly of murder, but not of cruelty or coarseness'; and there is perhaps a truth behind the exaggeration.

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