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Benson, Mary (1841–1918), wife of Edward White Benson
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Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Thanks her for her letter. Reports on how his days are spent. Mentions William's visit to his family home. Is glad to hear his mother's good account of Minnie. Reports that he had a letter from Edward [Benson] some days previously; believes him not to be 'the right man in the right place', and thinks of him as 'thrown away' in his role as headmaster. In relation to a proposed stay at Sydenham declares himself to be 'tolerably indifferent', and states that he only wants to be able to see her and have the opportunity of quiet study. Thinks however that it might be a bore 'going and settling down for a short time [especially Xmas time] in a place' where they know nobody and have no introductions. Asks if her idea includes Edward and Minnie. Gives his own ideas in relation to how the time should be spent; 'paying visits vaguely and spending the rest of the time at Cambridge', and a week or so at Rugby. His idea, however, does not include William. Admits that he would enjoy being near London. Reports that Arthur is very well 'under his gymnastics' Announces that he is going on Tuesday to stay a night with a friend 'who has been among the D[ ] and [ ]'. Informs her that there is a little book about the latter by Lord Carnarvon. Asks if she has seen Dr [Joseph?] Wolff's life.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Anxious to receive news from her after her arrival at Fulford. Hopes that she will be able to stay as long as she wishes. Does not know when he shall get down to Rugby, or how long he shall stay, but states that his stay there 'will include Sunday the 5th'. Reports that he has seen Roche Dakyns, who was in Cambridge to take his M.A. degree. Reports that he went to Oxford the previous Saturday, saw William, and enjoyed himself very much. Remarks on the contrast between Oxford and Cambridge in respect of the more vibrant intellectual life in the former. Attributes this to the hot controversies that are always raging there.

States that he is inclined to agree with her about the new mastership at Rugby, and claims that the only doubt is what Arthur will do. Does not think that he will be sorry to have more time to read, and hopes that he will decide to stay in Cambridge. Reports that he has saved one thousand seven hundred pounds, and hopes to save four hundred a year as long as he stays in Cambridge. States that he dined at the Lodge the previous night 'and Lady Affleck [Everina Whewell or Maria Affleck?] enquired very kindly after Minnie'.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Proposes to come to visit her on 29 or 31 December, and to stay until 8 or 9 January. Asks if this suits her, and to answer him by return of post. Asks when Arthur is going. Reports that his motion [proposing the election of a Praelector for the direction of Physical Science studies and other new subjects] was lost at the College meeting. Declares that he is now reading principally philosophy, and that he has much to read. Asks her to tell him about Mary [Minnie] and Edward when she writes. Reports that there are considerable changes going on [at Trinity College], which, he claims, will affect him somewhat, but that he has 'now got so used to being unsettled' that he works 'just as well'. Asks if she wrote to Mrs Clough [see 101/172/1-2).

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Announced that he has decided to come to Rugby the week after the following week, instead of the following Thursday, as he had originally intended. States that he wishes to dine with his editor at Harrow on the following Saturday and see his friends there. Reports that Montagu Butler has been seriously ill, but is getting better. Is very sorry to hear about Mary, and asks for a better account to be sent as soon as she can. Also regrets to read her report of William, and states that he has no time to go and see him.

Regrets that he is not able to work as hard as he should like. Declares that he should have given himself a longer complete holiday during that long vacation. Reports on the work he has done. Thought that he 'should have got further towards explaining Spiritualism, one way or another'; however, 'it gives life an additional interest having a problem of such magnitude still to solve'. Asks his mother's opinion on the Bishop's address, and remarks that he thought it was 'exceedingly well composed on the whole'. Professes to be becoming more interested in ecclesiastical matters from reading English history. Sends his love to Mary and Edward.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Explains that he did not hear of the birth of Mary's baby [E.F./Fred Benson] until some days after the event. Sends his love to her. Does not expect that [J.W.?] Hales will have time to see him. Reports that he has had Arthur to breakfast that morning. Relates that he seems 'lively enough', that he is staying with Symonds, but not in his house, and that he goes to the Lakes on Thursday morning.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Announces that he intends to come to see her on Tuesday, and that he will be staying with C[harles] Bernard at Hampstead. Refers to the possibility of his mother going abroad, and hopes that she will avail of the opportunity. Thanks her for her offer of hospitality to Bernard and undertakes to bring her his answer. Declares that Mary has not written, but he 'take[s] the will for the deeds.' States that the present age 'is too busy a one for epistolary communion...' Declares that this is his last examination.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Declares that he was very glad to get news of Mary [Minnie], as the latter does not write to him. States that he has not heard from William either. Claims to be very busy with correspondence. Refers to developments at Rugby, and remarks that 'things keep dragging on'. Reports that he has asked about the governess, but without success. Asks his mother if she has applied to Mrs [Frances?] Kitchener, who has 'a sort of calendar of the women who pass and take honours in the July examination: in case they want any post of an educational kind. Reports that his old friend Tawney is in England, but that he has not seen him yet because of his [Tawney's] wife's illness. The latter 'was a Miss Fox daughter of the Dr. at Clifton'. Refers to the 'matter of young Meyer', which he declares to be 'a horrible puzzle'. Presumes that his mother hears enough from Rugby to know that 'the crisis seems to have come.' Speculates on the likely outcome.

States that he has read very little in the recent past, 'except Plato and Greek History', and reports that he has been writing 'an erudite paper on the Sophists for [their] Philological Journal.' Reports that he has 'only managed to read Macmillan and Miss Thackeray's story in Cornhill and Middlemarch: and O. W. Holmes's new book [Poet at the Breakfast Table]' which he thinks is 'a falling off but still enjoyable'. Has heard that the new Darwin [Expression of the Emotions] 'is very entertaining'. Sends his love to all, and adds that '[Strange] Adventures of a Phaeton in Macmillan [by William Black] seems to [him] excellent'.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Is in Cambridge for the term, 'plunged in Examinations' has not had very much holiday, as he has been spending most of his time in reading at the British Museum. Reports that he went down to Wellington College in Passion Week, and that Mary seemed much better, but he was concerned that 'there was something not healthy in the flush on her face, which told of headache.' Reports that the boys seemed well, that Arthur especially 'is much developed by his school[']s experience' and that when Henry left Arthur was 'endeavouring to compose a Latin Elegiac poem on the consecration...of C[ ] Church'.

Reports that Edward is 'full of Lincoln and the Mediæval chapter and the neo-mediæval chapter about to be revived in that favoured town.' Thinks that 'he feels the difficulty of realising his ideal without more aid than he is certain to get.' States that 'they are anxious about the election of a new headmaster [at Wellington College]', which was to be decided the following week. Thanks her for her information about his godson, and states his intention to go and see the boy in June. Supposes that she does not want books to read, as otherwise he would recommend Trollope's Australia [and New Zealand]. Reports that he stayed a night with the [Roden?] Noels, and that Mrs Noel asked after his mother.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

[Sent from Lincoln]:- Explains that he has been putting off writing because of 'a sense of incompleteness' about his life. Considers his life 'in three aspects'; in relation to his book [The Methods of Ethics], in relation to his enquiry into Spiritualism, and in relation to 'the holiday-making which may be supposed to be the proper business of the month of August.' Reports that Macmillan has decided to take on his book, and to give him half profits. Had urged Macmillan to show a portion of the MS to Mr John Morley, the editor of the Fortnightly Review, because it is 'written in a rather obscure and technical style, intended primarily for students', he [Henry] feared that it was unfair on Macmillan to ask him to take the risk of publishing the book, but Morley said that the book ought to generate a fair amount of interest, and to pay its expenses. Reports that since then he has been correcting proof sheets.

States that he has plenty of time to spare and has been researching Spiritualism. Reports that he went to stay with Lord Rayleigh early in August to meet Mrs Jencken, 'one of the original Fox girls, in connexion with whom these singular phenomena first attracted attention in America in 1848.' Declares that they heard 'an abundance of "raps" ', but that the experiment that they were trying did not succeed. After leaving Rayleigh he spent a fortnight at Hallsteads. Reports that 'many remarkable phenomena had occurred there before [he] arrived, which were all the more interesting because there was no public medium', and gives details of these incidents. Declares that Hallsteads [home of Walter and Annie Marshall] to be a charming place, and that he enjoyed his stay there very much. Reports that all at Lincoln [new home of his sister and brother-in-law] are well, that Mary is apparently very well, and that the boys are 'in excellent spirits.' Offers his 'sincere commiserations on the matrimonial engagement', and hopes that she is bearing up against the blow.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

Announces that on the following Tuesday he goes to Germany, and states that he hopes that he shall not return until he can speak German fluently. Undertakes not to read any English, apart from her letters and the Times, and to speak it as little as possible. Asks her to tell Edward that he shall be in London from Friday until Tuesday morning, staying with J. J. Cowell in Hyde Park, and that he expects a visit from him. Explains that he wishes to see some friends who are going up for the Eton and Harrow match at Lords. Reports that he heard on Monday from their mother, who 'is with William at Beddgelert without Books', and states that he sent Whewell's Plato to her. Remarks that she seems to be enjoying herself. Regrets that he could not have gone down to visit his aunt Henrietta before he went abroad. Reports that he read through 'the famous Leiden [des jungen] Werthers [by Goethe]' the other day, which, he claims, he could not put down until he finished it. States that he has begun on Jean Paul, but finds him very hard. Undertakes to write from abroad. Sends his love to Edward.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

Explains that he has been 'bothered and unsettled' since he came to Berlin, and that he is now living 'en famille' at the home of Dr Lüdde-Neurath, 1 Markgrafen St. Describes his lodgings as 'very simple and homely', and comments favourably on its cheapness, as Berlin 'is a dear town for Germany'. Reports that he has a big room to himself, with a good view, and that he gets 'boarded and instructed as well...for under £10 for 6 weeks.' Refers to his linguistic skills. Reports that Patterson, who went to Germany with him, developed 'an infinite disgust of Berlin, the Germans, their manners customs and language', and Henry could not persuade him to stay for longer than a fortnight, after which he went off to tour on his own account.

Declares himself to be 'a wretched man for seeing sights', but he went to Potsdam the other day; says that its palace is prettier and more interesting than the 'Schloss' in Berlin. Remarks on the 'intense hatred' that the Germans have for the name of Napoleon. Reports that they passed the palace where the Princess Frederic William resides. Claims that he saw the report of the 'W[ellington] C[ollege] speeches' in the Times, and remarks that he was glad to see that she was 'giving further support to the sinking literature of [their] country...'

Reports that he gained nothing from his spirit-rapping 'but experience in the lower forms of human nature.' Claims that the woman involved, who accomplished 'some very remarkable liftings of the table', 'was a complete humbug', but that the experience does not at all shake his [qualified] belief in spirit-rapping. Asks if Ada [Benson] is still in Dresden, and how long she is going to stay there. Announces that he is to spend a day or two there at the end of September, and is then going to the Riesengebirge, and thne on to Prague.

Reports that the previous day he paid a very pleasant visit to Dr Rau[ ] in the evening, but claims that his German in not yet up to scratch. Announces that he intends to call upon Dr Rau[ ]'s brother that day. Reports that he ate beer-soup that day, and describes its composition. Finds that he is in Berlin 'just at the wrong time, 'as there is no university and almost no society now.' Complains that the worst feature in Berlin 'is the abundance of ---s and ----s.' Sends his love to Edward and his mother.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

Expresses his delight at the news of the birth of her son [Martin, born 19 August]. Asks her to tell their mother that he shall be grateful to her if she would pay that 'bill of Warwick' for him. Admits that he has been very careless about it. Reports that he saw Mr Dale a week previously, who latter preached at a service attended by Henry and 'gave the unhappy congregation a rest from the pretentious and insolent platitudes of [their] regular man...' Claims that Dale believed that the Princess Frederic William would be present at the service for the first time after her confinement. Reports that he gave him news of Ada [Benson], whom Henry is to see in about two weeks' time.

Announces that after going to Dresden he intends to visit Brunswick with Professor H[errig], who is to introduce him to a society of philologues. States that after that he shall go walking in the Harz and on the Rhine. Reports that he is learning German. Recommends 'Tieck's Novellen' if she wishes for 'an easy and delightful German book' to amuse herself with. Recounts his amusement at the depiction of an Englishman on the Berlin stage. Regrets to hear of Arthur's renewed illness, especially as he is spending the summer at the Lakes. Claims that he has no impulse to indulge in composition at the present, but recounts a humorous story involving a hero and heroine named Edwin and Angelina, who are in love, but for whom it is impossible to declare their feelings to one another. One day they sit down to play the '[ ] duet of Beethoven together', and the music has such an effect on them that they fall into each other's arms, in which position they are found by [her] father. Claims that the foregoing 'is literally founded on fact', and is reserved in his notebook. Sends his love to his mother.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

Reports that Mr [G. G.?] Bradley told him that he forwarded Henry's watch to him at Wellington College, and suggests that she [Minnie] has pawned it. Asks her to send it to him at Trinity College, where is going on the following Saturday, if it is 'hanging about [Wellington] College anywhere'. States that he arrived at Rugby by Calais. Claims to like the house at Rugby very much. States that the dining-room can only hold twelve people, but that the drawing room 'is very nice.' Reports that there are 'an extraordinary number of new masters' there, with the result that 'the time-honoured arrangements are undergoing much criticism.' Hopes that Ada [Benson] got safely to Weston that day 'without having another attack.' Does not think that their mother looked very well. Claims that Mr Ladkin 'behaved like a Beast.' Reports that they have just been consulting Mr [Charles?] Waterfield as to the advisability of going to [Law] with him. States that he bought a print of his favourite Correggio 'with the jolly little cherub astride the cloud.' Asks whether Edward has filled up the vacancies satisfactorily, and sends his love to him.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

Announces that he is going to Paris for the Easter vacation. Remarks that he has not received any letters from her, and presumes that she is busy 'on domestic cases'. Reports that he has not heard anything about Wellington College for a while, and asks how many boys there are there. Mentions that he saw a paragraph in the Times 'about chapel', and hopes that they have not all caught cold in going in and out. Asks after Martin, and wonders if he would remember Henry if he saw him. Reports that Arthur is leaving them now for the continent; thinks that he is wise in going abroad instead of going home before the Tripos list is out, 'because at home he would brood over it so much more.' Claims that he will be surprised if Arthur 'is anywhere else than 2d.'

Asks if she has played any more chess, and states that he has had a game or two since he came up to Cambridge, but finds that it has always interfered with his work. In relation to his Arabic, claims that 'it has languished rather of late', and believes that the only place where he can work well at a subject of that kind is a place like Dresden, where he can isolate himself completely. Nevertheless, he hopes to be pretty well advanced both in Arabic and in Hebrew by the end of the Long Vacation. Remarks that he has heard that 'there are ten volumes of Les Miserables', but that he has hitherto been able to read only the fourth. Believes that there are two volumes of Kinglake's history of the Crimea, but that he read the first three weeks previously, and has got no further.

Is going down to Rugby for a day or two at the end of the week; undertakes to avoid politics, and to discuss only 'the more interesting subject of Matrimony.' Reports that lately he has been reading ' "Ladies' advice to each other" in several little books, and flatter[s himself] that he knows a thing or two of [her] sex'. Claims that he did so because he hates 'being taunted as a Fellow of a College with ignorance of the female character'. Sends his love to Edward, and remarks that he has not heard 'that he is found out yet.'

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

Expresses the hope that she will write to him in her convalescent state, if she ever got the 'valuable work' which he sent to her. Asks her to tell him her opinion of it if she ever reads it. Reports that he is very busy at present. Asks her to tell Edward that he was quite right about [Henry's] teaching history, and admits that he should never have attempted it, since history 'ought to be taught with enthusiasm and from a full mind', and he is not currently enthusiastic about it, with a mind full of other things.

States that she would have 'got quite well' had she been with him at Cannes., which, he claims, 'has exactly the sort of climate in which [he] can conceive of people worshipping the sun.' Reports that Tennyson is to come to stay at 'the [Master's] Lodge' at Trinity, and he hopes to see him. Claims not to like the poems 'that he has been sputtering all about the press lately...' Reports that their book [Essays on a Liberal Education] 'has been very [amiably] reviewed on the whole', and states that the most unintelligent review that he has seen was that in the Times the previous day. Thinks that Conington's review in the Contemporary Review was very good, 'only a little too minute and a little too egoistic.'

Announces that they have to elect a new member [of Parliament], and states that everyone feels that it is disgraceful that they have 'no really eminent man to bring forward.' Jokes that he cannot help it as he cannot stand, as he is too busy. Informs her that he is 'violently engaged in a scheme for improving female education', and that a Board 'is constituted of Oxford and Cambridge men...to examine governesses and schoolmistresses..' Sends his love to Edward, and states that he heard from [Henry Weston] Eve 'with amazement of his economical triumph[s]'.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

Announces that he has just returned to his work, and undertakes to do what he can about the ale. Urges her not to make the questions [on politics, see 100/19] 'a bore', and suggests that she think over any one of them 'at odd times', and put down any points she thinks she sees. Tells her to send her thoughts to him if she wishes any further light thrown on them. Hopes that she will get something out of Algebra.

Reports that she has been corresponding with Miss J[ex] Blake, who wants a medical degree. States that although opinion is advancing very fast in relation to female education, he fears that 'it has not yet got quite as far as that in [Cambridge]', and does not know what they can do for her. Asks if she saw his letter in the Spectator defending their Cambridge scheme for women's examinations. Claims that they [the reformers] 'hold the winning cards', and predicts that if they 'play quietly', they shall 'get the game without any fuss.' Fears that Gh[ ] 'is a frivolous little dog', with no taste for philosophy. Admits that he is intelligent, and hopes that 'some Political Economy and a little Logic may be driven into him.' Sends his love to Edward.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

Announces that he is in the midst of scenery [in Carnarvon], 'which is not first-rate but very pleasing...', and comments on its similarity to the Lakes. Predicts that he shall enjoy himself much, as they have 'much exhilarating good fellowship and good talk at breakfast and in the evening: George Trevelyan, especially, being a well-spring of both.' States that he intends to be there for at least a week, returning to London probably early in September. Claims that he is behind with his work, and thinks that when the holiday is over, he shall have to work hard on till Christmas.

Asks her to thank their mother for her letter [101/176], which he intends to answer soon. Refers to [his cousin] Annie's remark as 'discriminative', and explains that the reason he chose to comment on 'that particular essay of Arnold's was not because it was the most impudent, but because it seemed the most complete and decisive enumeration of his theory of life.' States that he was glad to get Arthur's address, but does not think he will be sending a letter to him in Switzerland. Is glad to hear of her progress. Encloses 'a little poem' [not included], which he cut out of a magazine, and also 'a German effusion' of his [not included]. Advises her to get hold of Rückert's Selected works if she ever feels inclined to break new ground in German poetry. [Incomplete?]

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

States that since he first got her letter he has been thinking over the question of 'C.B.'. Suggests that she split the question into two; firstly asks whether there is any prospect offered of C's finding occupation as a land agent after he has gone through the course, and if it is likely that there is a better opening for him in this line thatn in that for which he has already been trained, and secondly asks what abilities are required for even moderate success in the line. Is very glad to hear about William, and mentions that he is thinking of giving him a teapot as a wedding present, unless he hears that he has got teapots from elsewhere.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

Offers to send her a book called A Lost Love by Ashford Owen [Anne Charlotte Ogle], which reminds him of 'Romance of a Dull Life etc [by Anne Judith Penny], only it is written with less intellect and perhaps more passionateness'.

Reports that he hears excellent accounts of her, and hopes that they are all true. Assumes that she is still at Hastings, Mentions that she may possibly be seeing William in a few days. Reports that he saw the latter at Oxford, and that he has given up his work for the term, and is going away, probably to Rugby first 'and then perhaps to Hastings.' Asks her how she finds Hastings. Declares that he knows it well, and looks forward to seeing much more of it in years to come, if his ' poor friend Cowell's life is preserved'; does not expect that Cowell will leave Hastings again now.

Hopes that she is not experiencing any fogs. Declares that they have been having a splendid autumn [in Cambridge]. Reports that he is involved in a project for improving female education, by providing examination for governesses. States that there is an attempt being made to form a joint board, consisting of members of the two universities, for the purpose. Mentions that there are also other projects. Remarks that it appears that there is particular activity in the North of England, where schoolmistresses 'and other enlightened people have associated themselves in several great towns, and out of these associations a general council has been formed with lofty aspirations'.

Refers to Matthew Arnold, whose 'unfortunate lecture on culture has been attacked again in the Fortnightly Review by Frederic Harrison'. Advises her that 'the Guardian Angel by O.W. Holmes is worth reading, though he thinks 'not good as a novel'.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

Refers to 'the accompanying papers' [not included]. Claims that he has 'forgotten all about the Persian wars', but that the enclosed questions occur to him as natural. Refers to the 'Ladies' Lectures', which are doing well so far. Predicts that there is sure to be a reaction, and wonders how they shall deal with it. Hears that a similar movement at Edinburgh is also doing well, and remarks 'Mill has come forward like a Woman!' Reports that he has not written anything more in the Pall Mall Gazette [having had a long letter on 'Clerical Engagements' published on 6 Jan 1869], and that he has written a pamphlet on the text 'Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind', in which he discusses the duties of preachers of religion [Ethics of Conformity and Subscription, written for the Free Christian Union]. Is ashamed not having written to thank Edward for his sermon 'in the Bk. of M.', which he thought 'very striking and pathetic.'

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his sister Mary "Minnie" Benson

States that he has been very busy of late 'about the enclosed' [not included]. Reports that Annie [Sidgwick, their cousin] did not do well in Political Economy. Explains that he gave her paper to a friend of his who has examined in the subject, and he decided that she would have been let through if she had been an undergraduate. Asks her tell Edward that he is to breakfast with Henry on the following Sunday, and adds that '[a]ll sorts of swells are coming to meet him - Canons, Regius Professors, University Librarians, Public Orators etc....'

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his sister Mary "Minnie" Benson

Fears that most of his book [The Methods of Ethics] would give her 'more trouble than it is worth', but recommends Book 1, chapter five, on Free Will, and Book 3, chapter five on Justice, if she is inclined to try any of it. Is sorry to hear about Arthur [Benson]'s rheumatism [see also ADD.MS.c/101/137]. States that he would like to go to Lincoln, but says that after a round of visits ending with Rugby he shall be engaged for the rest of the vacation between Cambridge and London. A 'certain Scientific Investigation' is to take place in the latter. Refers to Ada's enterprise [Ada Benson was elected headmistress of Norwich High School, which opened on 22 Feb 1875], and claims that he was the author of '[ ] of the "Good Testimonials"'. Hopes that she will succeed.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his sister Mary "Minnie" Benson

Refers to the chocolate eggs, which his wife sent to Minnie's children for Easter. Announces that they go to Cambridge the following morning at nine o'clock. States that they have already made acquaintance with their temporary house and like it. Wishes that work on it 'did not begin quite so soon'. Reports that he saw Andrew Clark 'and promised to save him the trouble of writing to [her].' Informs her that Clark believes that their mother 'is suffering from a very mild form of the effect of gout on the brain'. Sends on Nora's love.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

Reports that he went up to London on the previous Saturday to lecture on Psychical Research to a 'College for Men and Women', and called to see her on Sunday, but found that they had gone to Ramsgate. Is delighted by her haunted house story, and wishes to begin making further inquiries. Enquires if she can find out for them where Mrs Tilghmans H[ ] is to be found in London. Asks her if she thinks his colleague Frank Podmore might call and ask her questions, or if Minnie would undertake the task herself. Lays out the main questions that he would like to have answered; wishes to know if the sisters Anna and Henrietta will write an account of their experiences, if the servants could be persuaded to testify, 'expecially Hannah Lilley and Minnie Forbes, and if it would be found out from Miss Hastings the names of the other persons who have lived in the house. Thinks that they certainly ought to take the house, if it is to be taken year by year. Remarks that a seven year lease 'would be rather a high price to pay for apparitions that may never come.' Encloses one of their slips 'of Phantasms of the Living '[book in preparation by Podmore, Myers and Gurney, published in 1886] not included], which Minnie may be able to help them in. Asks her if she could find out whether 'Rev.d James Walker' is alive, and if not whether he has left relations 'who know anything of the story.'

Announces that they shall probably be up in London again for the General Meeting of the Society of Psychical Research on Friday 28 March, and hopes to see her. Nora sends her love and hopes that 'nothing worse than transient colds' drove [them] to Ramsgate. Trust that Edward 'bears the sh[ ] of work prosperously'.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

Finds that he and Nora are unable to come to tea the following day, as it is the only time Nora can see her brother Gerald and his wife, as they are going to Paris on the following Thursday. Adds that they may have to go to Cambridge on Friday [12 Apr] for [Benjamin Hall] Kennedy's funeral. States that lunch-time on Thursday or any time on Saturday afternoon would suit them. Reports that they have just come from a Women's Suffrage meeting, at which Nora was speaking. Remarks that the question 'seems to be in a very thorny condition'.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

Reports that he and Nora have come to London for some days, and that various meetings will occupy them both until the following Thursday. Suggests that they might go to lunch [with Minnie and family] on the following day, 'or Thursday or to tea on Wednesday, or...any time after Thursday.' Announces that the following week he shall be busy - having his portrait painted [by J. J. Shannon], and finishing his book. Claims to be much interested in a general way in Edward's Trial [of Edward King, bishop of Lincoln, accused of ritualism] but admits that he hasn't yet had time to read the arguments.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

Refers to her invitation to himself and Nora to visit her from Monday to Thursday of the following week, which Nora cannot accept because of the Society of Psychical Research experiments at Brighton. Asks if she would like him to come by himself for two nights. Explains that he could not come for more, as he managed to disengage himself from attendance at the Brighton experiments in order to work on his book, but that he shall be reading at the [British] Museum library, and could come from Tuesday evening to Thursday morning without undue pressure on his conscience.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

States that he has just received her note. Reports that they found William at Zermatt when they returned from an expedition the previous afternoon, and have been with him all day, 'walking up to and down from the Gower Goat' Reports that William seems to them 'in a very satisfactory condition'. Refers to [Edward or James?] Rhoades, who has been with the latter for a fortnight, and states that that both he and William consider it to have been 'a most successful expedition'. Reports that William had intended to stay in the region and tackle some of the high passes there, but a decree of the Federal Government prohibiting the employment of French guides has forced him to change his plans, and he has decided to accompany Henry out of Switzerland into Italy to do the '[Tour] of Monte Rosa', and then go back to Chamonix. Informs her that he gave William her address. Hopes that she will have a good time. Reports that they are at present 'depressed by corporal ailments of various kinds', but they are otherwise cheerful.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

Refers to the fact that she is off to Florence in early April. Asks her to send him a postcard to let him know whether he shall find her at home on the following Monday, or whether he had better come on Tuesday. Announces that he and Nora and Arthur [Sidgwick or Benson?] are going to be in London for two or three days, and reports that they are not quite well again after a bout of influenza. They think that they have had enough of sea air, and that Arthur will give her the details. Claims that he has not quite got over 'a certain depression of energy and spirits', which were a result of his illness, but 'can detect no flaw' in his organic condition. Reports that he has been reading much light literature, but none that has left much impression on him, apart from the last story in George Meredith's book of three stories.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Edward White Benson

[Sent from Courmayeur]:- Refers to his failure to send any correspondence sooner, and to his attitude to sending letters from abroad. Claims that at Dresden he did not find that the time 'made itself for letter-writing'. Speaks of his progress in reading, writing and speaking German. Refers to Benson's holiday [in France], and to the beauty of the 'aiguilles and glaciers' of the vale of Chamonix. Remarks that Minnie must have enjoyed it. Reports that he walked for eleven hours along the Allée Blanche of Mont Blanc on his way to Courmayeur.

In relation to his stay in Dresden, claims that he liked Herr Schier very much, but disagreed with his politics. Speaks well of Professor and Mrs Hughes, but claims that he did not get on very well with anybody else. States that Mrs and Mrs Henry Hughes somehow did not suit him, and that the other English there kept him back in his German as they always spoke in English. Reports that Dale, with whom he used to spend the Sundays, was very kind, and that he asked after Benson and Minnie. Refers to [ ] having eight children, 'and no money to speak of!' Hopes that Benson 'found the boys as good as ever and the heather well out', and asks him to give his love to Minnie. Sends a poem to the latter [not included].

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