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Additional Manuscripts c Benson, Martin White (1860–1878), son of Edward and Mary Benson
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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 his mother

Announces that he intends to come to visit her 'from the 4th to the 11th'. Reports that he is up in Trinity College, working, and that he feels very well after a pleasant visit to Oxford. Reports that William seemed in very good spirits, and that he was sleeping 'very fairly' and hunts every other day. Desires to hear the Rugby news, and asks who are the five old Rugbeians. Reports that he wrote a letter to the Times, but that it was not published. Reports that he received a letter from his nephew Martin, which was 'very nicely written and with that curious mixture of childish and prematurely adult phraseology that one sees in a precocious child'. Asks her to tell him when Mary is going to visit her, and supposes that Edward will be very busy all the vacation.

Asks his mother's opinion on 'the new Tennyson'. States that they [in Trinity College] regard it 'as rather an imposition on the part of the publisher - republishing the Morte d'Arthur...and having so few lines in a page.' Complains that it is as bad as one of Victor Hugo's novels. Refers to a reading of the poem called The Higher Pantheism by Tennyson himself at a meeting of the Metaphysical Society, and to Tyndall's reaction to it. Remarks on 'how busy Death has been' during the previous six months among those whom he knows. Reports that he has just heard of the death of one of the Clifton Masters called Cay.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Reports that he finished his Marlborough examination on the previous Tuesday, and intends to cross the channel on Monday evening. Intends to stay one month in Paris with Graham Dakyns, and then shall probably spend a fortnight walking in Switzerland 'or somewhere', after which he shall 'probably settle down for a month in Germany', and return about mid-September. Supposes that by that time she will be well settled in Rugby. Regrets not having seen her at Wellington College, where he had a most pleasant visit. Was pleased to find both Mary and Edward so well. Comments on the ugliness of the new baby [Arthur Benson]; needs to do this to keep his 'character as a baby-hater', since he is 'compelled to join in the general Martin-worship'. Claims to have enjoyed his examinations on the whole, and to have been freer from hayfever than usual. Refers to the fact that 'poor Dale had lost two of his boys from Diptheria', and comments that it is supposed to be an unhealthy season at Dresden. Hopes to go there in the summer. Praises Marlborough, and reports that the boys 'are very nice and their relations with the masters more what one w[oul]d desire than at any other school with which [he is] acquainted.' States that he was very much interested in the Isle of Man, and was surprised to learn that his uncle Lace was a benefactor to King William's College there. Sends his love to his aunt.

Letter from F.W. Temple to Edward White Benson.

Announces that Henry Sidgwick comes [to Rugby] as the new Master. Hopes that Benson and his wife [Sidgwick's sister] will be glad. Sends his and Sidgwick's love to her. Tells Benson to give his boy 'a toss'.

Temple, Frederick (1821-1902) Archbishop of Canterbury

Letter from Mary Sidgwick to Henry Sidgwick

Declares that were it not for the fact that he is to go to her in October, she would be very sorry to say that she cannot receive him that month. Reports that she was at Stone G[appe] a week previously, and was going again to the Chancery, when she heard from William of their sudden move to Guernsey, so she hastened home. States that the 'whole party' seemed in good spirits, and hopes to hear the following day of their arrival in Guernsey. Refers to Henry's attitude towards the move, and to William's return to Oxford, which had proved to be a disappointment. Announces that she is going to see Minnie the following Monday, and will see Martin and Arthur before they go to school. Declares that the loss of 'the Crescent Villa family' is great, and hopes that the move may bring some greater good to William. Asks Henry to write to tell her when he is going to visit in October. Adds that William was anxious to know from Henry the day of the Ad Eundem, and whether he [Henry] could go to Oxford. Suggests that she could ask Mr and Mrs Trevelyan. Offers him lodgings on 20 September in Oxford, if he has 'any difficulty about a bed' and doesn't mind the distance from Lincoln College, and states that Mary could make him very comfortable there.

Letter from Mary Sidgwick to Henry Sidgwick

Expresses her delight at the receipt of his book the previously night. Claims that she will not understand its subject, but that if she could send it forth to the world 'with a mother's loving dedication, it would be that all the philosophical world would be the better for reading it.' Hopes that 'they' have written to him from Rugby to tell him that they are meeting on 4 January, and informs him that 'A[rthur] S[idgwick] and Charlotte have their visit at N[ ] and the Chancery first, and don't get home again until Sat: 2[nd] Jan[uary].' States that William's work was to end the previous day, but that he has had a bad cold, and Isabel and his [son] have also been ill. Invites him to go to Oxford, and suggests that they all go to Rugby together. Mentions Henry's friends, and declares that she doesn't know what the Greens' plans are. Reports that she has seen a good deal of them, and that 'they are most kind.' Reports that Mrs Symonds was with them a short time ago, and 'just as [she] was going to have a nice [ ] [ ] with her, a telegram came to say that one of her children was in scarlet fever and she must go home.' Adds that it turned out that the fever 'was of a mild kind'. Presumes that he is 'still engaged with work for the Ladies', and insists that he take a holiday. Reports that Arthur Benson has had a rheumatic attack 'just as he was going in for the Term's Examination at Eton - and so missed it - which grieves him.' States that he was expected at home on Thursday or Friday, and that Martin comes home from Winchester the following Wednesday. Adds that Minnie and Edward are both well, but that the family could not join the 'Rugby party'.

Letter from Mary Sidgwick to Henry Sidgwick

Reports that Minnie kept her well-informed about Henry when at Lincoln, and that his own letter told her more. Refers to his activities with regard to his lectures and book. Asks him to go to Rugby around Christmas, 'when A[rthur] S[idgwick] wishes to assemble [them] for his house warming.' Adds that Minnie and Edward cannot go because their boys will just have arrived home from school. Expresses a strong wish that he should come to Oxford. Adds that Mr Green has been asking her when Henry is coming. Reports that William and Isabel are recovering from colds. Asks if he had told her that Captain and Mrs Go[ ] lived at Cambridge, and asks him to send her the address of Mrs Go[ ]'s sister Be[ ]. Informs him that his godson Willy [Longsden] 'has been doing better lately + is promoted to a "Top hat" ' at Merchant Taylors' school.

Reports that the Committee of the Association for the Education of Women at Manchester have asked Miss Cannan to be Secretary 'for that [work] where she lives - [ ] Prestwick.' Suggests that Miss Clough might like to be informed of this. Claims that she is 'still in rather a mess with carpenter + masons + painters to follow.' Adds that she has two comfortable beds to offer to friends, and tells him to bear it in mind if he wishes to go to Oxford. States that William and Isabel would be pleased to see him [and Nora] and that Mr Green and his wife always have a welcome for him. Reports tha the Symondses have come home from Switzerland. Reports that Edward Sidgwick wrote to her to tell her another daughter of his was born some weeks previously. States that he was much interested in what Henry had to say about spriritualism, and that their friends the Cooksons told them that Henry was at the Lakes and talking on the subject.

Sidgwick, Mary (d 1879), mother of Henry Sidgwick

Letter from Mary Sidgwick to Henry Sidgwick

Expresses her delight at receiving word from Henry, and at knowing that he is not ill. Explains that she came to Budleigh Salterton to be with Miss Temple 'who has been poorly for many weeks'. The latter was disappointed that she could not go to Rugby for the Speech Day with her brother and nieces. Reports that William wrote to say that he was glad she was coming and thought 'that it was imprudent not to compress the business of moving into as short a space of time as possible'. States that she reached Exeter on 27 June with Katie and Agnes Temple, and came to Budleigh Salterton having spent two nights at the Palace, to which she returns on Saturday. Hopes to be at Rugby again the following week. Describes the scenery and the beneficial effects of the sea air.

Reports that she left Arthur and Charlotte well, and that Mr Whitel[ ]d 'is so poorly in a sort of low fever, as to be quite unequal to his work'. Adds that Mr J. Wilson's brother Charles 'is come to do what he can to help'. Reports that Mr Phillpotts has been away 'owing to the illnes of his eldest boy who is away from Rugby', suffering from some kind of fever also. States that Miss Temple read her 'part of a letter to the Bishop [her brother Frederick] from a clergyman of the name of Hawkins', who asked the Bishop's opinion on the subject of spiritualism, and promising to send him some 'Photographs of "Incarnate Spirits"' Adds that she has not seen the Bishop since, but hopes to ask him about the matter when she returns to Exeter. States that she talked to Mr George Woodhouse on the subject, and expresses her own interest in it.

Reports that Isabel's brother Reginald Thompson 'is lately married to a Miss de Morgan a daughter of the Mrs de Morgan who is a great spiritualist. Refers to Professor Clifton, who told Isabel and her 'some wonderful stories told him by the elder [Mr] de Morgan now dead.'

Relates that Minnie has been suffering from toothache, and that Edward is in full residence, and that they will not move away from Lincoln until the end of September or beginning of October. Adds that their boys, Martin and Arthur, are going for scholarship at Winchester and Eton respectively, about 21 July. Remarks that she thinks that 'C[harlotte] S[ophia] S[idgwick] is a great favourite with all who know her', and doesn't believe that Arthur 'will find any great defects of which he was not aware - such as want of higher culture etc.' Adds that she has 'a sweet gentle temper', which is 'very winning.' Is anxious to hear from Henry, and is glad that he wrote to Mrs [ ]well, from whom she has not heard since.

Sidgwick, Mary (d 1879), mother of Henry Sidgwick

Letter from Mary Sidgwick to Henry Sidgwick

Reports that Minnie gave birth to 'a very nice plump little boy' that morning', and is well. States that Edward was away for the birth. Adds that Elizabeth claims that the baby is like William. Refers to Henry's letter, and states that they are all astonished at his 'cheap board and lodging with instruction', but expresses concern about 'those dreadful scourges' which afflict him by night. Is grateful for his description of 'the strange ceremony at Aix.' Hopes that he will find a companion to travel with. Announces that Edward 'is emancipated now and in a few days, all being well with Minnie and his babe'. Adds that he intends to go to Marlborough for a few days and the following week to join the party at Nab Cottage for a week. States that Mr Lightfoot has induced him to do so, and she is sure that it will do him good. Complains that the weather is very gloomy. Reports that Edward was not very well when his boys went away, and she does not think he has fully recovered yet. Remarks on Minnie's selflessness with regard to Edward. Reports that she has heard from William, and is now writing to him at Innsbruck, where she supposes he and Mr [Francis?] Otter will be in a week's time. Adds that he wrote from Munich, and had seen Henry's friends Cowell and Browning on their way to him. Sends Edward's and Minnie's love to him.

Sidgwick, Mary (d 1879), mother of Henry Sidgwick

Letter from Mary Sidgwick to Henry Sidgwick

Reports again on the birth of a son to Minnie and Edward. Explains that the latter had gone to preach to Mr C[ ]'s at [Denbies] to preach at his church that day. Reports that Minnie is well, and that the baby is in good health. In relation to his name states that 'Martin', 'Edward White' and 'Arthur' have been suggested. Reports that the previous Saturday Edward went to spend some time with Mr Bradley at Marlborough, and then went to Tong, where he intended to spend the night with Emmeline [Woodhouse, his sister], and then on to Nab Cottage. Is of the opinion that Edward needed a break from Wellington College and all its attendant problems.

States that the following week Arthur, Trevelyan, Lee [Warner?], St[ ] and others accompany Mr Lightfoot and Edward to W[ast ]water 'en knapsack, weather permitting...' Adds that he must be home before 14 September when the College opens. Reports that Arthur has not been well, and has been suffering from his circulation. Announces that a trip to the Tyrol is not to go ahead, and that Trevelyan is going with him to Scarborough when their 'Lake Expedition' is over. Reports that she has not heard from William since she received a letter dated 16 August from Vienna, after which they were going to Innsbruck, and then on to Florence. Reports that she received a letter from Ada [Benson], who 'seems to be making progress'. She had been dining with Mr and Mrs Sergent, and the former's sister. Had hoped that Henry would come to Dresden.

Hears from Mrs S[ ] that a new master is soon to be appointed at Rugby. Relates that some days ago Edward received a letter 'from the author of [Other]Footsteps on the boundaries [of another world etc etc. - enclosing an account of the dreams connected with the Italian boy', which she believes Mr Eagles told them some years previously. States that 'Mr Owen has heard these dreams as connected with the family of a Mr. Benson - formerly a "Teacher at Rugby" and so writes to ascertain the truth'. Asks if Henry can help. Informs him that a bill came for him from Warwick's some days previously, and asks him what she should do about it. Reports that his uncle Christopher [Sidgwick?] was at Wellington College a fortnight previously, that the Raikes [party?: ie Robert Sidgwick and family] have been at Whitby, and also that the Riddlesden [home of John Sidgwick] ladies are going there.

Relates that Henry Longsdon and his family 'have been living for some weeks at a clerical hotel in London', and are travelling in Derbyshire, and that Fanny [Henry Sidgwick's cousin] goes home soon and will stay at Seacroft until Henry decides whether he will take the [ ] Secretaryship. Reports that William Lace [another cousin] and his family are at Stone Gappe, and that 'he is soon going to attend a social science meeting in Scotland'. States that her friends at Rugby keep looking for a house for her. Asks about Henry's progress with German.

Sidgwick, Mary (d 1879), mother of Henry Sidgwick

Letter from Mary Sidgwick to Henry Sidgwick

Claims to have been anxious about his welfare, and that she had often thought about him the previous week, wondering which day he was crossing the channel. Reports that she left his aunt [Henrietta?] at Brighton the previous Friday when she came to Bedford through London, having spent a fortnight with her, and that the latter invites Henry to come to visit her. Reports that Minnie, Elizabeth and the baby are now gone to Brighton, out of the way, she presumes of measles which seems quite an epidemic in Wellington College. Hopes that Edward has not caught the infection. Hopes that Henry got their joint letter at Frankfurt and that he enjoyed his travels and his introduction to the [ ]. Asks after his and Arthur's health.

Intends to go and see Mr and Mrs C. Ward at Stapleton near Bristol when she leaves Bedford, and then paying a few visits before settling where her winter quarters are to be. Reports that his aunt says that she would be delighted if he and Arthur could come for a Sunday. Encloses the receipt of the bill paid at Warwick's [not included], and tells him that he can repay her when they meet. Reports that Aunt Lace is there, and that all join in sending their love to him.

Sidgwick, Mary (d 1879), mother of Henry Sidgwick

Letter from Mary Sidgwick to Henry Sidgwick

Expresses her appreciation for his letter, which she received after seeing Mr [William] Boyd and Charles to the station, and explains that the presence of friends prevented her from writing to him. Reports that his Aunt [ ] came to stay, as did [John?] William, Katie and Annie Lace. She went with the latter three to Oxford, where she saw Mr Boyd at Merton College and Mrs Boyd and Charles at University College. Reports that Charles has been unwell.

Reports that she had been to Rugby, and that when she entered the house - Mr T. Evans' old one' - the servant told her that her master [Mr Palmer] 'was not quite sure that he was going away!!' States that she has since had 'an uncertain letter from Ladkin'. Is anxious that her family should have some place to call home. Reports that Fergus Moultrie is ill. States that she received a letter from Miss Mackenzie that day, and that Mrs Moberly has called upon her twice.

Reports that Henry's Aunt Ellen intends to pay her a visit for her last ten days in Leamington, and that she hopes to have Lucy Brown to visit as well. Asks him to tell her when his Easter vacation is. Hears that Henry's Aunt Lace is 'decidedly better', and that John Henry is still at home, no tutor having yet been found for him. Reports on the schooling arrangements for Robert, Alfred, Tryphosa and Julia, and remarks on how troublesome it is 'when you have very dull children to deal with!'

Announces that she is very anxious to have some absorbing book; refers to Herbert Spencer's book which William mentioned to her, and asks Henry to send it to her. Is very pleased to hear about Bernard. States that she has good accounts from Wellington College; that Minnie and Edward are both well, and that the baby's vocabulary is increasing. Remarks on the fact that Lord Derby is elected President of the College. States the report of Mr U[mpleby]'s death at Bolton Abbey is false, and that Christ Church, Skipton has a new incumbent, Mr Clarke, and that there is much anxiety about the appointment of a vicar of Bingley.

Reports that Henry's Aunt Mary Jane [Sidgwick] has been visiting her brother at Bathford, and that during her absence his Uncle Robert has been paying Mr Balme a visit at Cole Wall. States that times for the mills are very bad and that there are many unemployed people. Claims that she knows no one in Leamington, and does not like to ask for an introduction to Mr Martin's brother and sister. Reports that Ada Benson is now with the Dales at Dresden, and that she is better. Complains about the sermons she has heard in Leamington. Is glad that Arthur is well, and hopes that Henry is too, and asks if it is true that Sh[ ] has come to Cambridge. Reports that Mr Boyd has given her a beautiful book for Carte de Visite photographs, and encourages Henry to get his done for her. States that she has not yet seen Mrs Dakyns, but hopes to do so soon.

Sidgwick, Mary (d 1879), mother of Henry Sidgwick

Letter from Mary Sidgwick to Henry Sidgwick

Hopes that the letter reaches him, as she hears from Mrs Dakyns that he is moving his quarters. Reports that she left Brighton ten days previously and went to Rugby, and then on to Bedford. States that her work on her new house was not as advanced as she had expected, but hopes that it will be ready soon. Has offered their old servant Fanny Ladbrook some weeks' work, for which the latter was very grateful as she has had to leave her home, her husband having become a bankrupt.

Elizabeth is to come 'with the dear babies' from Wellington College, and they are to stay with her while Minnie and Edward are abroad with Mr Martin. Imagines that they will be in London the following day 'to see the Exhibition.' Announces that the following morning she is going with a group of ten 'to Town to have [her] first sight of the Exhibition....'

Reports that William met her at Rugby and helped her with the arrangements for the new house. Remarks that everyone she had known well there seemed gone. Describes the house as 'very tiny', but intends to make it comfortable, and hopes that the family 'shall have many happy days all together in it.' Remarks on the hot weather which they are experiencing. Discusses William's plans to see the Exhibition, and a possible trip to Wales or his joining a reading party, including Mr Ellis, at Harwich. Claims that she has heard nothing about the route that Mr Martin intends taking with Minnie and Edward, and suggests that Henry may meet them somewhere.

Confesses to having read no newspapers for a week, on account of the appalling news from America contained therein [the Civil War]. Reports that Henry's Aunt Henrietta is there in Bedford on her way to Yorkshire. Reports that Willy [Carr Crofts] was 'first after the 2 Exhibitions [and] the Examination' and received great praise from Mr Fanshawe for his Latin composition. Adds that the girls have grown much. States that she told Henry's Uncle Lace about him having been spoken of in the Isle of Man.

Reports that she has just heard from Minnie that she and Edward intend to set out on their tour about 7 August, and that they will be about a month away. They think of going through Normandy, and then to Auvergne and 'down South'. Would like to know how Henry is, and how long he intends to remain abroad. Reports that Arthur and his party reached Oban the week before the previous one, and 'are located at a Mr. [William?] Ralston's...' Sends kind remembrances to Graham [Dakyns].

Sidgwick, Mary (d 1879), mother of Henry Sidgwick

Letter from Mary Sidgwick to Henry Sidgwick

Admits that she could not resist opening Arthur's letter to Henry to see if there was one for her also, and, finding none, read it. Hopes that the '[Sen: Op.]' will come after all, and reports that the packet came the previous day. Reports that Edward left them that morning for L[ ], where he had to see a dentist, and hopes to reach Wellington College that evening. Refers to Mr Martin also. Reports that Minnie and the children hope to go home the following day if they hear from Mr Barford that the measles is no longer a threat. Announces that Elizabeth returns to her in about a month. Adds that William will tell Henry 'that Katie Lace is engaged to Mr Wawn!' Doubt that the Cononley curacy 'can possible keep 2 people.'

Reports that Henry's Aunt Henrietta came [to Rugby] the previous night, and will stay a few days before going on to Leeds. Urges Henry to come to visit her at Easter. Reports that Mr Conington sent her Deerbrook, [by Harriet Martineau] which she intends to read at the first opportunity.

Additional note: Sends 'the enclosed [her letter to Henry, above, and letter from Arthur to Henry - not included] with most frantic apologies.' Reports that she did two problems that morning , which has made her feel better.

Sidgwick, Mary (d 1879), mother of Henry Sidgwick

Letter from Mary Sidgwick to Henry Sidgwick

Reports that she has found 'abundant occupation' at Wellington College. Remarks on Minnie's activities there, and refers to the baby [Margaret] also, a description of whom William accuses Mary of failing to give. Claims that she and Martin get on well. Reports that Edward appeared very well, but that he had a few cases of serious illness in the Sanatorium. Reports that the 'house question is revived'. States that Ada had returned to Wellington College about a week before she [Mary] left, and claims that it was 'scarcely long enough for [her] to penetrate that [ ] of increased reserve....'

Reports that Eleanor [Benson?] and the [Osleys] are at Florence now, and have spent some time in Venice. Adds that Mr [Osley]'s little boy had a serious accident at Strasbourg, but it now recovering, and that they suffered from sore throats at Venice. Reports that Mr G. Woodhouse and Emmeline and their children are at Budleigh Salterton for the winter, refers to an offer of a house in Madeira made to Woodhouse by some friends of Lord Brownl[ ]. Reports that Henry's Uncle John [Crofts] has just taken his second son Ernest to a school in Germany for two or three years, and that Alfred Sidgwick 'just escaped being classed with the 25 "unplaced" boys in the Rugby scholarship examination....' Refers to her 'poor sister [Elizabeth] Lace', of whom they have not yet had 'any really improved account.'

Announces that she goes home on 27 November, and that on 28 November William brings Mr Conington and Mr Ellis to spend Sunday with them at Rugby. Remarks that James T[ ] appears to like Wellington College much. Reports the many of Edward's 'rather grand neighbours', such as Lord Calthorpe and Lord Gilbert Kennedy, invited him to dinner, and that he 'got some amusement from what he said and heard, and was all the better for it. Remarks that she found Wellington College decidedly healthy in the autumn time. [Incomplete]

Sidgwick, Mary (d 1879), mother of Henry Sidgwick

Letter from Mary Sidgwick to Henry Sidgwick

Thanks him for his last letter, and explains that she could not answer before leaving Rugby for Wellington College. Reports that Arthur went to Cambridge for the Fellowship Examination, the result of which is probably not to be known until the following Friday. States that his chances of success are increased by Mr [Joseph?] Romilly's death. Adds that Mr [J. L.?] Hammond came to Rugby to take his work for the week. Reports that William spent a few days with his Aunt, and then came to Wellington College. Thinks that he is better.

Reports that the family at the College are well, and that Edward is looking 'quite portly', and Minnie 'stout and strong', and the children, Martin, Arthur and the baby [Nellie], healthy also, having benefitted from their time at the sea at Swanage. Announces that she is to stay there longer than she had intended, and that if he decides to go home to Rugby he will find a bed, but will not see her. Suggests that if there was space at Wellington College he could come there.

Expresses her delight at his promise of the stamps of the German states, and states that her little friend will be very pleased. Refers also to the stamped envelopes which Henry wants for Miss [Meta?] Benfey.

14 Oct: Refers to Henry's letter from Lille. Reports that Arthur got his fellowship, as have [Henry] Jackson and [William Knyvet] Wilson, and that she is delighted for Arthur. States that William returns to Oxford that day, and that at Merton there is a fourth tutor, 'which will make the work less hard for him.' Reports that at Rugby they are still in the old house, and may have to wait until the following summer to get Mrs Leicester's house. Refers to the letter that Dr Temple sent to the Masters, and reports that it caused great discussion in Rugby. Discusses the matter, adding that letters 'are often appearing in the Rugby Advertizer recommending a speedy and thorough ventilation of the whole subject.' Explains that doctors and lawyers don't like the mixture of their class with the trades people, and so could not avail themselves of the proposed middle school, and that 'they want to retain the privilege of Foundation, and send their children to the other school free of charge.' Thinks that she may benefit from the fact that houses are not letting so well, and get a cheaper house.

Is grateful for the stamps, and is trying to get those which his friends want. Asks whether she should send the stamps to Fraulein Benfey or to him. Hopes that he will take Professor Ewald's advice and go on with studying Hebrew. Thinks of trying German herself. Hopes that he will come home as soon as he can at the end of term, for otherwise he will not see Arthur. Reports that Edward and Minnie are both plump and well, and that the former is in the midst of his scholarship examinations. Refers also to the children, who 'grow apace'. Reports on the progress of the Master's house in Rugby.

Reports that his Aunt [Lace] has been to Scarborough and is now near York, and that she seems 'so weak in bodily health'. Hopes for a recovery, however, for the sake of her husband and children. Intends to be at Wellington College for about another fortnight, and then will go back to Rugby or to Brighton. Claims to be better than she was, and able to do more and walk more. Asks him to let him know as soon as he gets to Cambridge. Announces that Mr Martin arrives the following day and will stay for a fortnight. Reports that Alfred Sidgwick is now at the Schoolhouse and likes it very much, and that all the 'Elders' of the Sidgwick family were well when she last heard.

Sidgwick, Mary (d 1879), mother of Henry Sidgwick

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 that she has recovered from her cough, and gets out whenever the weather permits. States that Arthur is quite busy, since no new classical master has yet been appointed. Claims that she spends much time writing to friends whom she had neglected while she was ill. Refers to [J.R. Seeley's] Ecce Homo, which she found very interesting, as well as to Lady Duff Gordon's Letters from Egypt, which she found pleasant reading. Asks Henry to tell her of some other interesting book. Expresses the hope that she sees signs of her 'heretofore active, restless life merging into something more quiet and contemplative...after the wear and tear of half a century....' Remarks on the amount of letters that Henry has written to her in the past, and suggests that he may like to look over them as Arthur has done with the letters he has written.

Reports that William has bought a horse, and that Minnie tells her that Martin was quite ill 'from the effects of a bad drain at Harrow'. States that the news from Stone Gappe 'is more cheering': Henry's Uncle Lace has hired a piano for 'poor Elizabeth' at York, who is much better. Refers to a melancholy letter received from [Lucy] Brown, who has been suffering from intense headaches. Asks him to send her the January number of Macmillan's Magazine, as she wants to read an article on ' "Natural prayer" '. Hopes to see Henry at Easter.

Letter from Mary Sidgwick to Henry Sidgwick

Claims that her days are busier as she has 'these two dear boys [Martin and Arthur Benson] still' with her, and they have 'small lessons daily.' Reports that Minnie is much better, and gives a description of her daily activities. Complains that William has not written to her since he was at Wellington College early in August. Reports that Arthur has written, and determines to go and see William if Arthur's letter brings no answer.

Is unsure as to whether she has written to Henry since returning from Leeds, and refers to 'that sorrow' [of her sister-in-law Ellen Croft's death]. States that Henry's Aunt Henrietta 'is with them now', and thinks that her present is a great comfort to his Uncle John and the children. Relates that a lady is being sought to take charge of his household, and that she has heard of 'an admirable Swiss Lady, with more than all the requisite qualifications....' Reports that William Crofts returns to Merton on the following Friday or Saturday, that Ernest will stay with his father until Christmas, and that Arthur is to live at home and 'go to business at once'.

Reports that Minnie has Miss Edwardes- 'a younger companion - staying with her. States that they have been expecting Dr Goulburn to preach for the Fox Memorial Sermon at Rugby the following day, but that he had a accident and is now confined to bed, and that Dr Temple has asked Edward instead. Reports that she has just had to send a very unfavourable report of Alfred Sidgwick's health to the Raikes, and his mother is to arrive that day. Relates that Mr Helm thinks he should go to some warm place for the winter. Expresses the wish that Henry might come to Rugby for a Sunday during term time. Adds that Trevelyan arrived at Rugby the day she came from Leeds and stayed nearly a week there. [Incomplete.]

Sidgwick, Mary (d 1879), mother of Henry Sidgwick

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 his mother

Explains that he has been busy with much official correspondence. Confirms that he will try to go to Rugby at Christmas, and states that there are other engagements which may prevent him. Reports that he nearly went to Oxford [where his mother now lives] at the beginning of the term, but was prevented at the last moment by business in Cambridge. States that the 'Education of Women' hampers his movements more than would otherwise be the case.

Hopes that she does not find the work of establishment very tiring, and notes that she does not mention whether Mary has arranged matters 'with her "young man" ', and when she is going to leave her. Reports that Edward is with him in Cambridge, and that he gave very good accounts of Mary and the children; 'Martin has already plunged into ephemeral literature and become a contributor to the Wykehamist [the Winchester College school magazine]'. Refers also to Arthur and Edward. In relation to his enquiries into Spiritualism, reports that he does not have much to tell about them. Believes that the young men in Cambridge are beginning to become very interested in the subject. Admits that he had forgotten about the G[ ], and states that he will go and give her message.

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 F.W.H. Myers

Reports that he has read Myers' article [on Mazzini] and found it very interesting. Refers to a particular passage in relation to 'M's views on income-tax' being used as a justification for calling him an assassin, and suggests that this charge actually rested on a specific accusation of having prompted an assassination attempt on Charles Albert [King of Sardinia]. Reports that his sister 'writes with serenity - even with a bright intensity of resignation [after the death of her eldest son, Martin]', but he claims to be 'half afraid of a reaction'; does not know what to write to her and finds his own 'ignorance as to το μέλλον [what is to come] appalling'.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

They are beginning to work again, and are preparing for a very long term; wishes that 'Convocation, instead of persecuting some miserable heretic, would fix Easter to the same day of the month every year'. Remarks that he should have written all his letters on his visits instead of having them all to write now when he ought to be reading Euripides. Enjoyed all his visits very much: found [Oscar] Browning just returned from Paris where he had been inspecting French schools. Refers to a letter of Brownings in Tuesday's Times, signed O.B. Remarks on the lack of freedom in French schools, and a Frenchman's views that English boys were 'beaucoup plus sages: mais... beaucoup moins intelligents' [much better behaved, but much less intelligent].

Reports that he was in Wellington College, but states that he 'could have dispensed with the [Isackes], who he found became a bore. Observes that Martin 'is growing interesting',and remarks what a thorough Sidgwick he is. Predicts that 'the other boy [Arthur] will be much finer-looking', and asserts that the baby [Nelly] looks like Minnie. Asks his mother when she expects Arthur [home], and reports that he has heard of him from Cobb, who has been in Dresden. Mentions that his friend Payne is gone as a master to Wellington College, and asks her to tell this to Arthur. Hopes that she enjoyed her visit to Oxford. Asks her to send two books that he left: The Statesman's Yearbook and 'Colonel Browne's Persian MS'. Reports that he read 'a delicious story in the Cornhill of Feb. called "Tid's old Red rag of a shawl".' Would like to know by whom it was written, as it is 'by no hand familiar' to Sidgwick, and 'wonderfully fresh, animated, and original' [the author was Henrietta Keddie].

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 Henry Sidgwick to his mother

[Sent from Berlin]:- Thanks her for her letter, but admits he was not very glad to receive it. Claims that he 'cannot the least realize [Minnie and his mother], under the new circumstances [the birth of Minnie's son Martin]'. Sends his love and congratulations to Minnie, and remarks that the news makes him feel old. Describes the family with which he lodges [the Lüdde-Neuraths] as poor since they only have one servant, and there is no wine, beer or pudding. The mother and daughters are engaged in housework all morning. Remarks, however, that they possess 'thorough unconstrained geniality; and considerable intellectual cultivation.' Explains that the son is serving as a volunteer in the Prussian army. Recounts some facts about the father, a doctor; he was a member of the Burschenshaft in 1823, when the Prussian government 'wished to crush the popular movement'. He was banished from his university and had to go to another one. Describes the theatre as his chief amusement in Berlin. Claims to like his teacher very much. Asks her to tell him when she next should write what her and Minnie's plans for the winter. States that he must pay his visits, but that he must 'go straight off to Cambridge' when he returns to England.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Edward White Benson

Reports that he is in 'a rustic inn in the Harz', and has been walking that day. Relates some of his experiences at 'a giant meeting of German "Philologues, Schoolmasters and Orientalists" ', which he attended in Brunswick with Professor Herrig. Reports having seen 'two or three celebrated men', including Ewald and Döderlein. Remarks on the 'universally good speaking in the discussions'. Claims, however, that the essays delivered were not very good, but that he heard 'a really splendid translation of Oedipus Tyrannus excellently read by the translator.' Remarks that German is a better language for translating Greek than English.

Claims to have enjoyed his stay in Berlin very much. Passes on greetings from Professor Herrig , the Director and Professor Ranke to Benson, and remarks on the kindness shown to him by Herrig. Comments on 'What a rum little old boy' Ranke is, and relays a story told by Ranke of being compared to Lord John Russell Refers to a portrait of the Director in the 'Berlin Exhibition of pictures'. Relates that he was present at three of four ' "Stunden" ' in his school, and remarks that politics and coffee at Stehely's [café]' 'formed a very pleasant item in the order of the day.'

Claims to be very slow in learning to speak German. Announces that he is now proceeding to the Rhine, where he intends to spend about ten days, after which he plans to return to England. Hopes to spend a night with Benson on his way to Cambridge to recount his experiences, 'and to see the young prince [his nephew].' Hopes that all is going on well. Presumes that Benson has begun work again, and hopes to hear a good account of the prospective chapel also. Concludes the letter at Göttingen, where he has been to pay a visit to Professor Benfey. The latter, he believes, has 'a European reputation in the Semitic languages.' Refers to the many erroneous notions current in England about the German universities of Göttingen, which he declares to be a dull town. Asks him to forward 'the enclosed' [not included].

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.