Pièce 207 - Letter from Henry Sidgwick to F.W.H. Myers

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Add. MS c/100/207


Letter from Henry Sidgwick to F.W.H. Myers


  • [May or Jun 1871] (Production)

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States that he shall be delighted to write Myers' autobiography, but adds that he must see a good deal of him to do it well. Hopes that he is coming to visit soon. Remarks that Venn seemed to expect him 'in an official capacity' in the neighbourhood. Refers to Myers' letter, which he deems to be 'very interesting', and claims to be 'impressed by the tranquil objectivity of [his] descriptions.' [Part of the letter torn out at this point.] Declares that he feels terribly ignorant of the whole subject, and claims that he does not believe in deliberate choice in love. States that when he was 'young and erotion (cf. Clough)' he used to repeat to himself 'the end of Iphigenia's prayer (Goethe, favourite play of [his] for wholesome warning'. Quotes some lines.

Refers to Myers' work and inquires whether it leads to a permanency. Asks him to tell his [Myers'] mother that Sidgwick is '[temporarily] supplied with a President of [his] "Hall" ', Miss Clough having promised to start them; she is to come only for one or two terms, so Sidgwick is still looking for her successor, 'though more tranquilly'. Reports that he is now examining houses. Complains that '[t]his whole matter' takes up so much of his time, but believes that it is worthwhile. States that he is 'forced more and more into involuntary antagonism with Miss Davies', and reports that she wrote to him recently 'and mentioned affably that [he] was the serpent that was eating out her vitals.' Reports that he saw [ ] [deleted] 'the other day' in Cambridge, and now regrets 'that she could not come.' Declares that she is 'so very [ ] [ ]' [deleted], and understands why, under some circumstances she might strike some people as 'unconciliatory.' Sends greetings to Myers' mother, to whom he is very grateful for 'her exertions' on his [and others'] behalf. Refers to J.A. S[ymonds'] poem.

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Part transcription in Sidgwick, Arthur, and Sidgwick, E. M, 'Henry Sidgwick'. London: Macmillan, 1906, p 246-247.

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