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Noel, Roden Berkeley Wriothesley (1834-1894) poet and essayist
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Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Reports that the portfolio has come and is beautiful. Hopes to come to visit her 'on Saturday week', or before that. Announces that the Pauls are to come on Easter Monday, and will stay for the week, and that he himself has to go back to Cambridge on the Monday afterwards. States that his friend Sedley Taylor is going to Rugby around Good Friday to stay with [Rev.?] C. J. Smith, and asks her to be hospitable to him if he turns up at the house. Thanks her for the portfolio. Hopes that she is well and has enjoyed her visits.

Reports that he is 'tolerably busy', and that he goes to see Roden Noel on the following Saturday - 'the day of the [boat] race'. Remarks that it is thought that Cambridge is to lose again. Reports that Tawney is coming to England that summer to be married. Reports that he has been in correspondence with his uncle Robert 'about a curious historical question connected with the founding of Shipton School', whose Master 'is bound to pray to the Virgin Mary every afternoon.' Mentions that he met a lady the previous day at [Rampride] who said that she knew his mother and Mrs Plunkett.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Explains that he had just heard from [Roden?] Noel that he intends to come on 19 [December], when he received his mother's letter [apparently informing him of an outbreak of measles in the area]. Does not believe that there would be a danger of contagion, but intends to write to Noel, alluding to 'the fact of measles', but not suggesting that they should not come. Advises her to expect him on 18 or 19 [December] if she does not hear from him.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

[Sent from Roden Noel's]:- Asks her, on receipt of the letter, to send off the box he left, 'corded...by Parcel delivery.' Announces that he shall be in Cambridge on Saturday night and that he should like to have it by Monday. Refers to his having had 'a complete holiday for a month', something he has 'not had for some time'; supposes holidays 'do one good' but always feels as if he should not be taking them. Still, has enjoyed himself, and declares that he 'had some good talk at Bailie.' Indicates his desire to invite Paul to come to Rugby. Reports that he saw Dr Rowland Williams [at Bailie/Rugby?], and believes that he is 'quite sincere in thinking that he is one of the very few orthodox clergymen in England now.' Reports that he found Cowell looking much better than he expected, and trusts now that the disease of the heart 'will not prove rapidly fatal'; does not know whether there is any hope of his 'ultimate recovery'. Announces that he himself is not well, 'owing to the sea-air having proved too strong a tonic as it always does with [him]'. States that he is pleased to hear that his pupil has [left] Cambridge for a term and gone to Jamaica, so that he shall be responsible for his being '[plucked] in [ ].'

Letter from Lady Victoria Buxton to Nora Sidgwick

Writes on the death of Henry Sidgwick to express her sympathy with Nora on her loss. Relates how much Henry was connected in her mind with her 'dear Brother's [Roden Noel's] earlier years', and consequently how much she cared for him. Describes how she had felt for Henry and his wife on account of their suffering, the news of which she heard from Newnham, and refers to how much Roden loved and admired Henry. Refers to 'a kind and beautiful letter' that Henry wrote to her when Roden died, and claims that she shall always treasure it. Is very glad that the Sidgwicks came to stay with her the previous year, and refers to Henry's 'very peculiar charm'. Claims to have thought about him often 'during those sad months of illness when he was so suddenly brought face to face with the end of his brilliant earthly career!' Prays that God may comfort and strengthen Nora to bear day by day her heavy load of sorrow. Reports that her husband and Victoria [their daughter] unite with her in expressions of sympathy.

Buxton, Lady Victoria (1839-1916) philanthropist

Letter from Lady Victoria Buxton to Nora Sidgwick

Relates that [Percy] Addleshaw has sent her the letters which her brother [Roden Noel] wrote to Henry Sidgwick; she is looking them over, and with Nora's permission will have some of them type-written for herself, to add to a collection she is making of 'R[oden]'s letters.' Says many of the letters 'only refer to differences about Roden's work and had better be destroyed', but assures Nora that she would not think of doing this unless Nora were to ask her to do so. Suggests that Fanny [Roden's daughter?] should be getting Henry's letters to Roden also, and states that she could go to Newcastle to fetch them. Handwritten note by Nora on letter.

Buxton, Lady Victoria (1839-1916) philanthropist

Letter from Lady Victoria Buxton to Nora Sidgwick

Expresses her deep gratitude to Nora for having sent her a copy of Henry Sidgwick: a Memoir. Asks Nora to write her name in it in her own hand. States that the early part especially brings back to her 'so much that Roden liked to talk about and so many familiar names too'. Adds that Nora pays a tribute to her brother's memory and work by the memoir, and states that Henry was 'always a true and faithful friend to him.'

Buxton, Lady Victoria (1839-1916) philanthropist

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 Mary Sidgwick to Henry Sidgwick

Reports on the situation regarding Fred Horton, and the attempts being made to see if a school could be found for him. Mentions Arthur having read over some Greek and Latin translation carried out by the boy. Refers to having sent Rugby examination papers to Mr Horton, and the latter's astonishment at the level of knowledge required, and reports having asked Mr Phillpotts about Winchester, whose scholarship examinations are more difficult than those at Rugby. Claims that she would like to have Rose Horton - her goddaughter - be taught by Madame [Barche] and Miss H[ugo].

Reports that she can 'get no money help from the Sidgwicks', and does not like to commit too much before she has calculated the cost, and refers to the fact that her near relatives, the Crofts family in Bedford, are also in some financial trouble: Henry's Uncle William 'is the victim of those frequent calls from the wretched Overseas and G[ ] Firm', and that his second son is coming from Australia unless he can get a better salary.

Reports that Mr Horton has enquired as to whether there were any teaching openings at Exeter or Torquay, but was disappointed. Asks Henry to find out if he can something about St John's Foundation School at Clifton. Reports that she has read [Browning's?] Paracelsus and admired it and was astonished by it. Reports that William saw 'several Invalid friends' at Nice, Mentone, San Remo, walked eleven days on the Riviera, climbed two mountains, and had very good weather. He walked from San Remo to Genoa, which was very cold, and went from thence by train to Florence, where it was also very cold. Asks Henry to send her [Roden] Noel's poems, and to tell her when he will come to Exeter. Reports that when Minnie last wrote she was in the middle of domestic troubles. States that she has just received the papers of the Cambridge Examination for Ladies, and asks Henry's opinion on them.

Sidgwick, Mary (d 1879) mother of Henry Sidgwick

Letter from Mary Sidgwick to Henry Sidgwick

Thanks him for sending [Roden] Noel's poems. Reports that Arthur has [James Russell?] Lowell's new volume and likes it very much. Claims that the amount of writing she had to do that term has prevented her from doing very much reading. Reports that she has not been able to do much about Fred Horton and his education, and that at present he is attempting some old Scholarship Examination papers, which she sent to him. Mentions St John's Foundation School at Clapton, and what Edward has told her about it.

Informs Henry that Arthur wishes him to know he will not now go abroad at Easter, as [Fred] Myers has taken ill and cannot go. Arthur thinks that he will go away as soon as he can. States that she will be very glad to see Henry either on 18 or 21 March, and Trevelyan if he comes any time between 18 and 25 March. Expects Edward, Minnie and their two eldest boys on 25 March, and states that Edward wants to go to Cambridge to finish some book that he is bringing out. Minnie is to stay in Rugby until he takes her to pay a visit to the Bishop of Hereford.

Regrets to hear that Henry has been suffering from strained nerves and sleeplessness, and suggests that he take a holiday. Admits to being a little worried about William because of his lack of correspondence since 29 January, and that she hears from Mr [Mandell?] Creighton that he has written to no Oxford friend since he left. Refers to Minnie's domestic problems. Asks to be remembered to Mrs Kingsley [?], and reports that Miss Temple has been very ill.

Sidgwick, Mary (d 1879) mother of Henry Sidgwick

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

[Sent from 18 Brookside, Cambridge]:- Reports that they have been 'vibrating between London and Cambridge for about ten days', and that Nora 'has nearly arranged the furniture of [their] new house [Hillside] to her satisfaction.' Expects that they shall probably transfer themselves into their new house in the week after the following week. Hopes that his mother is recovering and that she will soon be able to go out. Reports that they are beginning to have 'some lovely after-summer days' in Cambridge. Hopes that B[ ] has recovered from his attack. Reports that is is 'absolutely "saison morte" in Cambridge', but that there happen to be one or two friends there. Remarks that 'there is a prevailing theory that Cambridge is unhealthy in September', and he believes that this is because everyone goes away then, not vice versa.

Reports that he has had a letter from his uncle Robert, who informs him that the Pet[ ] Charity expects to get some money from the charity commissioners for the better education of girls in Shipton, and that an inquiry is to be held on 25 September. Does not think that 'the "Public Day School Company" have ever tried to deal with the case of towns of that size', and he is very doubtful what advice he ought to give to his uncle about the matter. Informs her that their cook 'has just achieved the manufacture of Fondu and S[ ] Pudding' from the receipts his mother gave him. Announces that Roden Noel is coming to stay with them on the following Wednesday. Refers to Temple's letter about the Eastern Question in the Times. States that Nora sends her love.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson, with list of five questions on a political theme

Refers to some enclosed questions [see below], some of which he believes were discussed by Bagehot, and some are 'one or two points [which] he does not allude to.' Suggests that if she does not feel inclined to make any remarks on 'Bagehot', the most stimulating thing she can do is to read Mill's Representative Government with 'Bagehot' in her head, and notice the difference between their views, 'and try to adopt a judicial frame of mind between them.' Also suggest that she read the Times, the Saturday Review, etc., 'to notice where any of the questions [which] Bagehot discusses is brought up, and try and catch the reviewers point of view and estimate the value of his arguments.' Declares that the advantage of politics or jurisprudence as a study 'is that there are so many cases continually turning up in every day talk and contemporary journalism for applying any principles that one may have taken in...'

Reports that he has been spending many pleasant days in London and in Dorsetshire since the Monday of two weeks previously; says he so many friends in London that its attraction is growing on him. Reports that he has been exploring Clifton, referring to Combe Valley and Leigh woods, and to a poem which mentions the latter [by William Leigh Bowles?]. Informs her that his friend Roden Noel has just brought out a second volume of poems, [Beatrice and other poems] which he judges to be very good. Expresses his regret at hearing her account of their aunt Henrietta, who, he believes, 'ought to be violently incited to cultivate her Art.' Sends his love to Edward.

On a separate sheet: list of five questions on a political theme, with references to the English constitution, the House of Lords, the House of Commons, the functions of a constitutional monarchy, and the [probable] effect of Republicanism in Spain, Italy and France.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

[Sent from Eton]:- Comments that it is very odd that he has received no books, and hopes that she has not forwarded any to [Roden] Noel's, whom he had left the previous Monday. Reports that he has been staying at Eton since Tuesday, and is going to Oxford the following Monday, until Wednesday. States that Arthur's degree is to come out on the Friday following. Asks if she has anyone staying with her. He was in London for one night, and went by the Metropolitan Railway [opened on 10 January 1863] on Monday: it is 'really most impressive - more so than any other "wonder of the age" [he has] ever seen'; it should be a 'great success', and there is 'no disagreeable smell'.

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

Announces that he is resigning his fellowships after the next election, and intends to stay in Cambridge to lecture. Believes this to be 'a good thing on the whole - assuming that the College is not at present likely to take pains to get a really good teacher of Philosophy.' Explains why he had not taken such steps before. Asks what shall be said of the man 'who cares only for the highest things, and to those cannot attain?' [Note in Myers' hand: 'quotation from letter of mine to Noel. I was then a Christian.'] Tells Myers to read Ludibria Lunae [by W J Courthope], which is 'original and of it's [sic] kind masterly', and whose intellectual content is 'beneath contempt'.

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

Thinks that it would be difficult to find a replacement for Myers in the Moral Science Tripos [in which Myers examined]. Advises him to write to Sidgwick or some other member of the Moral Science Board as soon as he has made a decision. [Note in Myers' hand: 'I thought of going to Australia with the dying Ch[ ] Taylor']. Declares that he is curious to see [Alexander?] Macmillan. [Part of letter cut out and some words obscured at this point.] [Note in Myers' hand: Ludibria Lunae] In relation to Courthope, thinks that he should not have recommended Myers to read it. Claims that he did not write consciously as an advocate, and that the subject of the satire irritated him.

As regards [Roden] Noel, asserts that he wrote 'with a positively painful effort to be rigidly impartial'. Discusses his attitude to writing reviews: he never reviews anything 'which has not really interested [him], and which [he does] not think other people ought to read', while at the same time he 'feel[s] more in [his] element' when calculating appropriate amounts of praise and blame 'than when enthusiasm and sublime flights are wanted'. Suggests that if it be true that Myers cannot write a novel it is because he does not care enough 'about little things, and therefore [does] not observe them enough.' Asks Myers to tell him the author of Monsieur Madame et Bébé [book by Antoine Gustave Droz] when he writes.

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

Undertakes to mention Myers' wishes in relation to the Moral Sciences Examination. Does not know 'who the other two [examiners] will be.' States that Mayor has been applied to. Is torn between 'a desire to get a good man and to do honour to the Tripos by getting a M. Sc. firstclass-man.' Says he 'quite accept[s Myer's] epithets for [D. G.] Rossetti's sonnets' which pleased him 'critically and classificatorily' since he discovered in Rossetti 'the "missing link" between Swinburne and Christina Rossetti'. Wishes Rossetti would write more.

Discusses Mozley's article on Modern poets in the Quarterly [Review], and claims that he is the first man 'who has spoken adequately of Clough.' Reports that there is a new edition of Clough in the press. States that he has not seen [Roden] Noel since he reviewed him. Remarks that 'that review has turned out unfortunate', and that '[R. H.?] Hutton likes the poems and therefore would have reviewed them...with his goldest pen.' Claims that he could not have said anything stronger in [Noel's] favour, and does not agree with Myers about the book. Declares that Markby 'is a little over enthusiastic about female prospects' and believes himself that 'the question is in a hopeful state.' Claims that 'there is no real conservatism anywhere among educated men.' Adds his opinion in relation to the use of 'esquire'.

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

Discusses Myers' intention to take up medicine. Warns that it could be 'too great an investment of time and nervous energy. [Part of letter deleted by Myers?]. Remarks that there seems to be much to be said for the subject, but that it does not seem likely 'to lead to much poetry'. Of a poem by Myers about Alfred de Musset, remarks that he 'cannot quite divine the evolution of thought in the whole piece...' [A note in Myers' hand states that he put an end to the poem 'on the receipt of this criticism.' Announces that he intends to go to Hallsteads on the following Saturday for a day or two. States that his book is 'at a standstill. Reports that Roden Noel claims that 'all people whose taste has not been perverted by academic education regard him as Coming Poet', and so he can't stand Sidgwick anymore. [Partly deleted note by Myers refers to Roden Noel]

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

Asks for information concerning Myers' coming to Cambridge, 'The Prospects of Poetry' and 'The Probabilities of Medicine etc etc'. Declares that they have much to discuss, Sidgwick having failed to write due to the unrealised expectation of seeing Myers at Rugby. Reports that he has to teach history that term, 'no successor having turned up to Pearson: and Cambridge breeding no historian'; they are 'thinking of taking some healthy young resident and locking him up with a Hume'; it is 'rather a disgrace to us that we all take so small an interest in the human race'.

Asks if he has seen Noel 'in the Dark Blue [a literary journal]'. Suggests that he may have been ashamed to send it to Myers, as 'some of the polemic is almost personal'. Declares that it is very well written, 'except the polemical part', and states that he writes better prose than verse. Reports that Noel nearly quarrelled with him 'for reluctantly avowing that [he] did not consider him an equal of Swinburne.' States that Noel 'thinks that the Verbal School (S[winburne?] Rossetti, etc - non sine te) have been found out'. Refers to the Edinburgh of July, and the Contemporary [Review] of October as having evidence to support this theory. States that Noel also thinks that 'Buchanan and R.N are going to be chaired instead by a mutable but at length appreciative public.' Refers to 'a certain Mutual Admiration league' between Noel and Symonds. Believes that Symonds's poetry could be successful, 'if he could only impassion himself about a good subject.'

Asks Myers to send his last epic. Tells him to read Noel's article. Sends his regards to Myers' mother. Announces that his second correspondence circular is soon to appear. Reports that Miss Clough is in Cambridge, that the house is 'getting on', and that there will be five [women] there that term.

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

Regrets that he is unable to accompany Myers to Paris at Christmas, due to time constraints. [Myers adds a note that he had invited Sidgwick]. Has involved himself in 'so much Education and Educationalism' that he cannot really work in term time; he 'must write one or two books in the course of the following two or three years', and since he finds he writes 'slowly and with great labour', must work during the vacation. Claims that he is getting into a state of 'Book on the Brain', but that 'instead of one, there are at least three'. Invites Myers to come and see him, and claims that he has the effect of making him feel '- temporarily -Wise and Good.' Maintains that if he said that to [Roden] Noel, 'he would think [Sidgwick] meant in contrast with himself'.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

[Sent from Paris]:- Gives an account of a wedding he attended recently. Refers to Roden Noel, whom he met in the Louvre. Claims to be enjoying Paris very much, and likes the Tuileries and the Champs Elysées 'as much as ever.' Admits not to be attracted by France as much as by Germany, and gives his impressions of Paris and of the French people. Thinks that he will leave Paris 'on Monday week', but may stay a day or two longer. Reports that Arthur is to leave on Thursday. Hopes that William is recovered from his attack.

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

Announces his intended movements over the following days, which include remaining in Margate until the following Tuesday, lunching in London, travelling to Harrow, staying with [Auberon?] Herbert in London, travelling to Wellington College [to see the Bensons], staying with Trevelyan at Weybridge, and travelling to Roden Noel. States that after 24 [June] he heads for Cambridge. Asks Myers if he intends to go to Miss Bonham Carter, and hopes that they [Sidgwick and Myers] shall meet.

Hopes that his ['____'] was effective, and states that he 'found it a pleasant Summer Beverage.' [Note in Myers' hand states that he cannot remember to whom Sidgwick refers]. Claims that Myers' 'emotional dissipation' fills him with 'entertainment, envy, amazement and certain sympathetic gloomy forebodings...' In relation to his work on philosophy, states that he thinks he has 'made a point or two about Justice', but that the relation of the s[exes] still puzzles him. Asks if the permanent movement of civilised man is 'towards the Socialism of force, or the Socialism of persuasion (Comte), or individualism (H. Spencer)?'. Quotes in Greek from Euripides' Bacchae 333-336: 'εἰ μὴ γὰρ ἔστιν ὁ θεὸς οὗτος, ὡς σὺ φῄς/παρὰ σοὶ λεγέσθω...' [Even if he is not a god, as you say, call him one...], adding 'This is not what the Devil says now, but something much subtler in the same style'.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mrs [Alice] Roden Noel

Copy of letter. Writes to express his sympathy to her on the death of her husband. Claims that he has been thinking of the latter and of the early years of their friendship, when they 'talked and wrote to each other, in the eagerness of youth, on all things in Heaven and Earth.' States that he believes that although Noel 'was keenly disappointed by the world's inadequae recognition of his genius he did his work in life none the less resolutely, and brought out his great gifts, and remained nobly true to his ideal.' Regrets that in later years he [HS] 'often vexed him somewhat by unsympathetic criticism of his [Behe] work', but states that he is glad to think that this never made any division between them. Adds how much he admired Noel as a poet, and hopes that she will always rely on him if the occasion should arise on which he could be of any service to her or to her children.

Sidgwick, Henry (1838–1900) philosopher

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Announces that he intends to come down the following week, leaving Cambridge on the Wednesday, probably spending a day with Roden Noel, and arriving home in or around Friday, or on Wednesday if the visit to Noel falls through. Does not feel that there is 'the least need that Arthur should try for a fellowship now'; he has discussed the matter with Lightfoot. Reports that he is still reading Hebrew, and has just finished Deuteronomy. Intends to continue reading when he goes home.

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

Announces that he yields to Myers' and Barrett's arguments, and undertakes to write to the latter 'to accept unconditionally.' Explains their possible travel plans from Newcastle to Cambridge, and on to Oxford. Asks Myers to breakfast at North Hill on the following Wednesday. States that they shall both be very busy, 'especially Nora', and he wishes to hear all Myers has to say. Reports that Barrett has written asking her to join [the] Committee. Undertakes to telegraph if they stay in Newcastle, in which case they plan to pass through Cambridge on their way to Terling [home of Lord Rayleigh], and would like Myers to come to lunch. States that Arthur Balfour will be Vice-President. Enquires about John Hollond and Roden Noel. Reports that Jebb is flourishing, but involved in an educational controversy.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Reports that he has returned to Cambridge, having spent a week in Paris with [G.O.] Trevelyan. States that he is staying with [Roden] Noel, but shall be in Cambridge on Thursday. Claims to have enjoyed his visit, but that he felt 'very dissipated'; his sole employment in the morning 'was to read the play for the evening.and go to the galleries.' Praises French acting and French cooking, as well as Paris itself. Asks her to tell Arthur that he disliked the St. Michael [attributed to Raphael] more than ever. Mentions a trip to the Louvre, and the fact that he finds that he takes much less pleasure than he did in modern French art: the only painting that he liked in the room reserved for it was Greuze's peasant girl. Asks whether she has read Trevelyan's book, Cawnpore, which he believes ought to increase his reputation. Maintains, however, that it retains some of his old defects. Reports that he got her stereo-photograph 'at 113 Rue [Boulevard?] de Sebastopol'; describes being allowed to try out the equipment and 'transported to any part of the world', and says it was 'more like magic than any other part of modern civilisation [he] ever came in the way of'.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Confirms that the box arrived. Regrets to hear that she is not yet recovered; he did not realise how ill she was, probably because she was doing so much, but declares that he ought to have known her better by this time. Is glad that she thinks that Martin [Benson] is like him, and hopes that he will turn out better; says he thinks a 'tide' in his own affairs, a few years ago, might have 'led [him] to greatness' had he taken it and hopes Martin may 'have as good opportunities and make more use of them'. Remarks that Martin surprised him by the extent to which he appreciated things, but thought that he had 'less character than Arthur', which may also be true of Henry himself when he is compared with either of his brothers.

Refers to Dr [Rowland] Williams, and admits to have been impressed with 'his courteous deference to the opinions of those who were arguing with him, and his candour'. Reports that Cowell has slight disease of the lungs, but states that the dangerous part of the ailment is the heart, which his father believes that he cannot get over. Of his pupil Lord Lorne, remarks that he is not very intellectual, but very charming. Reports that he did not see any more of 'the young ladies' of whom his mother speaks. Tells her to dismiss the notion that she may have had that he was 'making love to one of them.' Declares that his is studying Metaphysics, which is 'very absorbing', but bad for the digestion. Confirms that he knows Carlos Smith slightly, and states that he is a very accomplished man. Informs her that 'he plays beautifully on the piano and knows six languages.' Reports that he stayed two days with his friend Noel, who is also 'absorbed in Metaphysics'. Says he knows nothing about Ecce homo [by J. R. Seeley, published anonymously] but reports that everyone there speaks highly of it; had decided not to read it after seeing a review, but realises he will have to. Expresses his extreme regret at hearing about Tryphosa [Lace, his cousin].

Letter from Alice McAnally to Nora Sidgwick

Writes to express her sympathy with Nora on the death of Henry Sidgwick. Claims that she did not know of Henry's illness until quite recently, but fears that what Fanny [Henry's sister] tells her that he 'must have suffered much'. Assures her that he will be greatly missed, and refers to 'the beautiful useful good life he lived'. Declares that he was her husband [Roden Noel]'s earliest and best friend, and was his best man at their wedding. Recalls with fondness his many visits during her early married life, and is glad to think that he and Roden have met again. Prays that God may help Nora to bear the loss.

McAnally, Alice Caroline Maria (1846-1919) wife of Roden Noel

Letter from Robert Buchanan to Henry Sidgwick

Asks Sidgwick to accept an enclosed copy of the Book of [Sorrow] [not included]. Says that [Roden] Noel showed Sidgwick's letter to him, and expresses delight that Sidgwick liked his work. Claims not to mind that he did not like his Poems, and expresses gratitude for Sidgwick 'standing by my side when [he] really needed "backing"'. Refers to Noel and his poetry.

Buchanan, Robert Williams (1841-1901) poet

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to the Hon. Roden Noel

Refers to Noel's letter upon which he has been meditating, and explains that he has been busy with the education of women. Refers to the term 'absolute', which he declares to be used by both of them in different ways. Feels it important to refute its usage in 'implying that two contradictory opinions about the same object...held by two persons may both be true.' Believes that nothing is intrinsically unknowable. Uses the statement made by Noel in his letter that 'stars do not move in an ellipse rather than a circle, apart from the way in which minds with a certain knowledge view them' to refute Noel's use of the word 'absolute'.

States that 'all experiential beliefs...may either actually or conceivably be proved true or false'. With reference to beliefs which do not relate to possible experiences, such as the beliefs of memory '[cf. Ward]', the belief in the existence of the non-ego, or of any object of one's cognition apart from one's cognition, or of any ego except oneself etc., asks 'what criterion or criteria can be given for the truth or falsehood of these beliefs in a most deep and subtle problem of the higher Logic or Metaphysics which [he is] at present meditating.' Announces that he intends to offer a solution in 'April'.

Asks Noel why he takes so much trouble to bring Sidgwick to agree with him about the unknowable. Declares that both he and Noel believe in the existence of a plurality of egos, and states that if a solitary thinker denies it 'there is no possible test of experience by which his denial may be confirmed or refuted.' Gives an example, using 'A,B,C'. Refers to Noel's assertion that thought or cognition modifies that which is cognised, and asserts that 'the object cognised is not affected, modified by the mere fact of cognition.'

Discusses ethical beliefs, to which Noel had referred in his letter. Declares that it seems to him that 'the eternal debate on ethics may be represented as a discussion whether these beliefs are analogous, in respect of the criterion of their truth or falsehood, to experiential or extra-experiential beliefs.' Discusses the differing attitudes of a utilitarian and an anti-utilitarian in relation to ethical beliefs and their identification with experiential and extra-experiential beliefs.

Refers to Noel's ethical arguments, and contends that every moralist must obey his own conscience, when he has taken every possible pains to enlighten it, and that 'the injunction of conscience is felt to apply not to him as an individual, but to every person in given circumstances.' Asserts that there is some rule prescribing conduct for a person, not as an individual, but for him as a person of given nature, and in given circumstances. Claims not to have met anyone who have no moral sense at all, but admits to have met some whose '[varying] impulses coloured in the strangest fashion their assertions of objective rightness'.

Strongly believes that 'the Right is knowable', if not absolutely, but as a standard to which one may indefinitely approximate. Believes that the current morality is faulty - 'by having too general rigid rules and not making allowance enough for individual differences.' Hopes for progress in ethical conceptions, resulting from observation and experiment. Professes his ideal to be 'a law infinitely constraining and yet infinitely flexible, not prescribing perhaps for any two men the same conduct: and yet the same law...'

Declares this to be the longest letter he ever wrote and asks that it be sent back to him. With emendations and amendments. Accompanied by annotated covering sheet.

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