Item 18 - Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

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Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother


  • [1] Dec 1862 (Creation)

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[Sent from Haileybury]:- Remarks on the unfairness of the fact that because Arthur does not write to her, she does not write to him: Henry arrived at this conclusion from a message he got from [J. M.?] Wilson when he saw him at Trevelyan's dinner. Reports that he is 'pretty well' and 'tolerably busy'. Has been examining a school lately, and has made good progress with his Arabic. Adds that his eyes are pretty well. Reports that Trevelyan has gone down for good; his father has been appointed financial member of the Indian Council and his son is to be his private secretary. Observes that Trevelyan is the last of the friends that he made as an undergraduate, but declares that there are lots of nice men still at the university, and that he has not lost the power of making friends. States, however, that he feels that he is growing old, and 'probably appear[s] a great Don to freshmen'.

Is anxious to hear the result of the Great Ladkin case; asks 'is the monster subdued or have [they] had to "eat the [Leck]". Reports that Mrs Kingsley enquired after his mother; Mrs Kingsley has had quite a long illness, from which she is now recovered, and he has not seen anything of the Kingsleys this term. Declares Miss [Rose?] Kingsley to be 'a very nice girl.' Asks whether his mother has seen Kingsley's letters in the Times, and comments that most people at Cambridge think that he has done good by them, but observes that he has been 'as usual hasty and one-sided.' Believes that the Manchester people ought to have spoken before. States that he saw Temple's letter, which was 'very good as always', and comments on his testimony as to conduct of manufacturers.

Reports that Arthur is very well, and that he himself is staying with [A. G.] Butler in Hertfordshire. He saw Miss Mulock, who was staying with [Alexander?] Macmillan, some days previously; she 'looks pleasant and sympathetic, yet hardly capable of the powerful delineation of passion one meets with in her books'; she is said to be 'odd' and to 'come to evening parties in her morning dress'.

Attributes his mother's epistolary silence to dissipation, and asks if everybody on the Bilton Road asked her out to dinner, and whether they shall 'entertain "all manner of Dukes" as Arthur says' when they return. Asks if any family catastrophe has occurred. Tells her if she meets any Trinity man she may tell them that [J. L.] Hammond is going to be Bursar. Declares that Mr Martin is looking better every week; that Professor Sedgwick is flourishing, and is expected to lecture the following year 'for "positively the last time" as he has said any time the last ten years.'

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Part transcription in Sidgwick, Arthur, and Sidgwick, E. M, 'Henry Sidgwick'. London: Macmillan, 1906, pp 88-89.

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