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Sidgwick, Mary (d 1879) mother of Henry Sidgwick
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Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

Refers to their lack of correspondence, to Edward, and to 'the latest news from Wellington College'. Announces that he is going to see their mother the following day, and plans to go to Paris at some point. States that if he goes, it will probably be with Graham Dakyns, 'who is desirous of learning French in order to qualify himself for a Government Clerkship.' Claims that the only real method of combining amusement with instruction 'is by learning a foreign language on it's [sic] proper soil.' States that he remembers firmly resolving to write to her on the twentieth of the previous month 'to condole with [her] on coming of age. Relates a humorous incident that occurred to him that day involving his addressing himself to the wrong man in Macmillans [bookshop?] Tells her to write to her in Leamington, and mentions the kinds of things he likes to read about in letters. Reports that he has not been doing anything literary that term, and has been 'lazily absorbing philosophy, history and politics.' Claims that he is 'engaged on a Great Work', but explains that he has invented this explanation as a reply to those who ask him what he is doing. [Incomplete].

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

Suggests that he had better pay the visit to which he looks forward, having ascertained from [Henry Weston] Eve 'that Edward had attained the desire of his laziness, and extolled Easter Holidays from an unwilling Committee...' Asks whether she intends to go to Rugby for the vacation. Informs her that the only time he can go to them is 'the Monday week after Easter to stay till the Saturday: or two or three days at the beginning of Passion week...' Explains that he has asked a friend [G. O. Trevelyan] to stay with them at Rugby for the week after Easter, and that he intends to go down to examine at Harrow at the end of March. Refers to a poem entitled 'Wander, o wander', which he wrote for her, and which now appears in 'McMillan's magazine'. Reports that he told their mother, and that she wrote him 'a reproachful criticism for being so unfeeling towards the young lady!' Asks if she has seen [Nathaniel] Hawthorne's [The] Scarlet Letter, which he judges to be 'a wonderful work'. Reports that he is just getting to the end of his hard work, as the Littlego begins the following Monday. Refers to an enclosed poem of [E.E.] Bowen's, [not included], about the Rifle-Corps. Tells her to show it to Donne, if he has not seen it.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

Remarks on the length of time it has been since they have been in contact 'except casually'. Claims that he has been waiting anxiously for the other Initial paper.' Urges her not to be lazy, and to write [it], and assures her that she will be glad of it afterwards. Mentions that he heard from their mother about the problems with the drainage, and hopes that 'the Prince is all right now: and that Edward has "repaired the semestrial losses". ' Refers to the fact that he has been offered a mastership at Rugby, and had at first accepted it. Announces that he has now refused it. Admits that he has behaved very badly, but claims that it has cost him much mental struggle to break his word. Thought it better 'not to prolong the error of a day into the mistake of a life.' States that he is going abroad to shake the whole thing off his mind.

Lists some of the reasons why he had accepted the offer in the first place, including the fact that their mother wanting to go there, his wish to live with her and his liking for Rugby, his having such an admiration for Dr Temple, his liking [A.G.] Butler so much, and explains that they all made him neglect the fact that he knows that his vocation in life 'to be not teaching, but study.' States that Edward will understand better than she, and asks her to show him the letter. States that he wishes him to know the truth of the matter, since he will probably hear of it from elsewhere.

Tells her not to send the next paper to him, but to Miss [Annette?] Kitchener in Newmarket, and that if she has anything to say to him, to address any correspondence to Post Restante Paris. Supposes that she has heard from their mother since he left her. States that she 'was quite well then at the Raikes, but she is now at Leeds.' Admits that part of the regret he feels in relation to his conduct is due to the predicted reaction of his mother to it.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

Wishes that he could drop in on her, 'like William can, and see the [ ] lodge' for himself. Reports that their mother, 'after an ominous silence', sent him 'a laudatory but vague sentence about her.' Claims that he is 'a Galley Slave' that term, with a lecture at nine o'clock on Monday morning. Reports that he saw [Henry Weston] Eve the other day, 'but he looked more like Cambridge than Wellington College.' Reports that he has nearly got through the Old Testament, and shall have done all but Ezekiel by the time he goes down. Claims that the finest passages of the translation [from Hebrew to English] 'are destroyed by the barbarous fidelity of a ruthless German commentator.'

Reports that they have been having 'a violent university contest', and refers to Joe Mayor, who has lost his professorship [of political economy] by ten votes. Claims that the 'Bald-headed People in the university are confounded to find that the young men have elected a blind Radical [Henry Fawcett]'. States that he voted against Joe, 'purely on public grounds'. Announces that he is to dine with the Master on Monday, and is sure that he shall meet Miss Grote [Mayor's fiancée?] there.

Reports that Arthur is not well, and is 'plagued with the grandfather of all boils' on his finger. Reports that he saw Henry Bramley that day, and wonders whether he himself 'shall ever have so big a beard.' States that Oriental Studies 'are at a standstill [in Cambridge University] as [their] Hebrew Professor [Thomas Jarrett] is temporarily insane, and there is no one who can teach Hebrew or Sanscrit', and that besides him they have 'an Arabic Reader who never lectures except to at least two undergraduates...'

Asks her if she has seen any literature. Reports that there is 'a poetess who calls herself "Jean Ingelow" who is estimable', and that the 'Reviews have discovered that Woolners Poem [My Beautful Lady] is a swan', and does not think it 'a goose' himself. Asks how the house is getting on, and asks after Edward. Inquires as to whether the boys say the beer is bitter.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

Claims to be ashamed of not having answered her first letter, and remarks that it is such an unusual thing to owe her a letter. States that he had hoped to go and see her that term just before the examinations, but explains that a friend of his has just arranged a visit to him, so he must postpone it. Announces that he is to spend the Long Vacation in England, and therefore shall be free to accept invitations then. Declares that had had also wished to go to Rugby at the end of the term. Reports that he is very busy with examinations, and if his hayfever gets worse, he 'must not venture...' as his eyes 'may be taken bad: [which] would be a disastrous preliminary to the study of Hebrew...' Remarks that Arthur seems to have enjoyed himself very much at Rugby, and reports that he heard from their mother that day, but that she seemed 'rather dull.' Announces that he is going up to town the following day, 'and shall try and cast a hurried glance over the Academy', but must be back in Cambridge again on Thursday morning as he has to 'non-placet a Grace of the senate (petitioning against Mr Bouverie's bill [to repeal the "Conformity to the Liturgy" clause in the Act of Uniformity).' Explains that the non-placeters are in 'a miserable minority', and he doesn't wish to make it even smaller.

Reports that he dined with the Kitcheners at Newmarket some days ago, 'and saw E. R[hodes]', who 'is not so good in conversation as Miss (Annette) Kitchener, though her writing is decidedly more powerful.' Regrets to hear that his mother is still 'a sleeping partner of the [Initial S]ociety.' Asks her whether he ever showed her some things he translated 'in Iphigenia in [ ]', and quotes from it. Declares that he is getting to know a great deal about English history, and is 'wondering whether a book could be written about it at once short, instructive and interesting.' Advises her to read Goldwin Smith's lectures, which are 'so carefully composed that it is a real pleasure to read them independently of anything one learns from them.' Asks her to keep for him a pair of laced boots, which he believes he left at her house. Asks her to send back Ch[ ] some time.

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

States that he has wanted to write to Myers since he and Nora went back to Cambridge [after his mother's funeral], but claims that he finds it difficult to write 'not from painfulness of feeling', since his mother's death 'seems really a release, but from perplexity and mingledness.' Writes that he feels as if he had 'reached the summit of the Pass of Life: behind the old memories from infancy, unrolled like a map, and before the strange world of "the majority" near though in a mist, at which [he is] forced to gaze. And more than ever the alternatives of the Great Either-Or seem to be Pessimism or Faith'.

Reports that Nora was away 'all the time at Terling'. States that, although she was not seriously ill, he had been worried about her, but she considers herself quite well now.

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

Refers to the news [of her impending marriage to Edward White Benson], and explains that he has not spoken to her on the subject because 'it was Mamma's particular wish that it should not be spoken of.' Speaks of the delight he felt when he first heard of it, and of how the news seemed to him 'like the sudden realization of a fairy dream...' Speaks of his admiration for Edward, and of how the latter has almost become a part of their family. Tells her that they shall all miss her very much, and that he shall miss her especially, as his recent illness has taught him to be less selfish. Admits that they cannot grudge her to Edward, 'lonely as he must feel now after the life at Rugby...' Looks forward to the visits that he shall pay her. Prays for God's blessing to be upon herself and Edward.

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

Regrets that he shall not see Myers. Announces that he is probably to leave the Lakes on 1 September. Reports on the weather, and relates that they lunched 'on the Island' and saw some cousins [of Myers], 'especially Miss Theodosia', who quite impressed Sidgwick's mother. States that [G.O] Trevelyan is in Penrith, and that he is to be married in a month. Reports that Arthur 'is very exultant in Norway', and that he himself is to go to Cambridge 'to make ready the Batting against [Myers'] Bowling in November'. Hopes to see the latter then. Is unsure as to where he shall be living.] Reports that it is likely that he will get C.H. Pearson 'to lecture on History in Trin. Coll.' Asks if Myers liked Mrs Kitchener; declares that she is 'at Rugby somewhat of a symbol or a Banner.' Note [in Myers' hand]: 'I examined for the Moral Science Tripos in Nov/69. HS coached men for [ ]'

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

Declares that he has been very successful in life since [their] 'brief and transitory yet happy...interview terminated at the Royal Academy', despite his pecuniary losses; thinks 'a large family on £300 a year' is the only thing which could make him 'properly thrifty'.

Is anxious to hear what she thinks of Elaine and [another painting at the Summer Exhibition?] Says that their mother had hinted that she was too much overcome with the heat to enjoy anything, and he hopes that Minnie and Miss Hadley 'strongly impressed on her the advantages that would arise from [Turkish Baths].' Claims that he found the Academy 'once almost as good as a T.B....' Refers to his mother's possible move to Cambridge, which he claims he urged on her as strongly as he felt he ought, but reports that she thinks that he is as yet not settled enough. Wishes that he had 'a kindred spirit still left at Cambridge', since all his friends are now 'wasting their sweetness as schoolmasters' and he visits them 'with a strange mixture of envy and regret for their sakes'; but claims that he is very happy there with his books. Reports that he read Macaulay and Mill alternately, and also reads geography. Announces that he is going to study geology during the summer. Asks her to send him the papers that J. Conington sent him if Arthur has left them at Wellington College. Wishes also toknow all her plans, and sends greetings to Edward.

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

States that 'the watch spoken of by the prophet would be highly acceptable', but that his mother 'has other ideas' [for a wedding present]. Supposes that Myers is coming to Cambridge, and informs him of his movements over the next week or so. Reports that they have not yet got over the shock of Lord Salisbury's speech [introducing a Bill to set up a commission to reorganise the colleges and university of Oxford along lines favoured by Sidgwick and other Cambridge Liberals], and suggests that the latter does not know what academic conservatism is, or does not care; perhaps 'Oxford Conservatives are unlike Cambridge ones.' Has 'nothing to do but suppress [his] exultation and see what turns up'. Announces that Arthur Balfour 'is expected daily now'. Reports that Nora is staying that night with the Marquis [of Salisbury], but Sidgwick is afraid that 'he won't talk to her about University Reform'. Hopes that Myers' brother [Arthur?] 'is still convalescing'.

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

Reports that 'Dr S[lade?] came to C[arlton] G[ardens] wrote on a closed double slate, and on one that [Sidgwick] partly held: but did not in either case keep the slate in sight the whole time after [Sidgwick] had looked at it.' States that other people 'seem to have had much better things', and refers to Serjeant Cox, St. G[eorge] M[ivart] and Hutton. Relates that he and others persuaded Dr Slade 'half to promise to come to [Cambridge] in October', but doubts that he will come.

Announces that he means to stay [in Beauly] until the end of the month. Refers to his mother's illness, and says that they shall probably go to Oxford in September to take care of her. States that he does not intend to let Slade go 'without wringing evidence out of him.' Reports that Miss Fairlamb 'has been having something good in N[ewcastle]: materialization [of being] outside the cabinet', and announces that he would like to stay a night or two there if possible. Reports that they are 'having splendid days' [in Beauly]. Wishes Myers 'all success in Cambridge'. Reports also that Miss Anderson was impressed by Slade, 'and could not conceive how it was done.' States that the weak point of Slade is that he won't try two slates screwed together, which George Darwin invited him to do. Remarks that [Con], C.C. [Massey], [Moses] and Myers 'form a strong phalanx.' Reports that Carpenter has been and says he can't explain it, and wants Slade to come to a meeting of the British Association. Adds that John Holland saw him there.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

Asks her to inform Edward that he will begin to make enquiries 'as soon as the men come up', and states that '[i]t is probably that [Henry Weston?] Eve will come if Fisher [Frederic or Edmund?] won't.' Claims to be 'in very low spirits', and puts into words some pessimistic thoughts. Refers to the following terms, which he claims to look forward to 'with some dread.' Reports that Arthur is with [Henry?] Lee Warner, and that 'Mamma is solitary'. States that he went with her on Monday as far as Ely, and that he left '[ ] The H[ ] and Shirley [by Charlotte Bronte] to console her.'

Suggests that she [his sister] would like some poetry, and tells her that the translations he read to her can be obtained from her friend Miss Hedley. States that the latter stayed with them a week after she [Minnie] 'had gone off in that most unsisterly way on the 23rd June /59 [to be married]', and that he 'being then German-mad used occasionally to plague her with raptures etc', so she wrote her out 'two or three translations as a reward...' Reports that 'old Mr [Francis?] Martin' called on them at Rugby and narrated how she [Minnie] and he met Miss Hedley 'with one of the bald-headed uncles, and mistook him for the other bald-headed uncle. Asks her if she remembers how the 'b.h.d used to come to Redland, and how well they used to fold up their nightgowns when they were little boys...' Relates that Elizabeth [Cooper?] says 'that William Jackson [warned] her...to take care of her boys' hair and make them get it cut [or else they would have no grey hairs to be brought down in sorrow to the grave...'

Reminds her that Miss Harriet Atty was about to be led to the Hatter when she [Minnie] left Rugby, and informs her that on the day before her wedding Atty was presented with a diamond necklace by an old gentleman that she had met on the seaside some time before, and that the result was that 'it was noised abroad that the older Miss A. w[ould] presently become Mrs Old-Gentleman...' Sends his love to Edward, and asks her to tell him how many boys they have got.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson.

Hears, through their mother, that she wishes to hear about Rugby. Reports that 'a settled gloom overspreads [them], broken only by occasional anecdotes about B_s', due to problems relating to the headmaster [Henry Hayman], and to 'Vaccination'. Reports that Arthur has been quite ill, and that Haslam has had to come and do his work. Claims himself to be '[ready] enough to feel very strongly that Science is in an imperfect state of development...' Reports on problems that have arisen between the sixth form and 'H_r', which has resulted in parents threatening to withdraw their boys, and the Trustees ordering an enquiry. States that the New Board is to be appointed before the end of the following term. Is certain that the crisis is having an adverse effect on the health of Arthur and his mother. Remarks that the chapel looks 'dreadful'.

Asks her to write to him telling him how she is, and reports that he is 'very well, also very lazy', though he spends a little of his time in writing on philosophical subjects, including 'scraps in the Academy and elsewhere, and also writes 'letters and scraps in the Cambridge Reporter, besides Secretarial work for the women's lectures'; he is therefore 'not found out to be idle'. Has given up the idea [of their mother moving to Cambridge], as he thinks that it would be too much for her. Sends the 'Programme' [not included]. Sends his love to Edward, who he hopes is better, and states that he is delighted to hear about Charley.

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

[Referring to his honeymoon] states that the time has passed wonderfully, and reports that they have had 'several days of most appropriate weather, cloudless and balmiest air', and claims that Paris has looked as lovely as he always imagines it. Reports that Eleanor instructs him in the art of domestic decoration, and in return he is 'gradually preparing her to read the Methods [of Ethics]'. Refers to the hotel in which they are staying. Reports that friends have found them out, 'but not to any disagreeable extent', and that Eleanor has persuaded him to be photographed. Hopes that everything went off 'as well as could be expected on Tuesday, and that nobody was much bored, and that Edward's work was not seriously interfered with'. States that having Edward to perform the [marriage] service made even more difference than he expected.

Asks her to tell him about Andrew Clark and their mother, and whether anything came of Minnie's letter. Reports that their mother has written to him 'in good spirits' [see ADD.MS.c/101/135]. Announces that they intend to return to England on Tuesday 25 April, 'probably to C[arlton] Gardens for a few days', and that he has to go up to Cambridge on Friday 28 April on business. States that they 'shall not be generally supposed to be in Cambridge till Monday May 1st.' Refers to 'the Fortnight of Callers which will supervene after May 1st', after which 'the long years of serious work in Cambridge' spread out before him. Claims to feel 'equal to anything in the way of services to mankind now'. Reports that there is an article in the Quarterly Review by John Mozley on ethics in relation to Henry's book. Claims not to much like it as a criticism, but that it contains 'an interesting and well-written exposition of his own views.'

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 his sister Mary "Minnie" Benson

[Written after their mother's death on 17 Jan 1879]:- Apologises for having misunderstood, and explains that it was 'William's mention of the "armchairs" ' that misled him. States that he is very glad to see the letters, which he sends back [not included]. Announces that he has informed William that he [and Nora] 'will come from Feb[ruary] 10th to 12th...to meet Edward'. In relation to the furniture, mentions that 'W[illiam] still proposes "lots" ', but he himself thinks that they can arrange about the things among themselves, and states that it is the memorial furniture that interests them most.

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

Explains that he had been expecting to hear her 'final views about the Greek', and says that he asked Mrs Peile to send her a circular. Still thinks that she would find it a mistake to learn Greek regularly, but offers his assistance nonetheless. Reports that their mother seems 'pretty well and in pretty good spirits', and that 'her absorbing interest is in Nevil, who has just left her.' Reports that they have seen Isabel, 'who seems to be going on well', and states that William 'is certainly not in a satisfactory state' according to their mother. Remarks that it is not surprising that he has no pupils yet, and thinks that he does not feel well enough to take them.

Discusses his thoughts on settling 'the exact amount of one's conscious need of dogmatic religion'. Claims that 'the consciousness of the comparatively low moral level on which [his] own nature seems to keep [him]' has often driven him to the verge of trying to alter his intellectual convictions, but that he has been prevented by the fear of moral deterioration. States that this dilemma 'belongs to some time ago', and that life has been made very smooth to him of late. Sends on his mother's love, and hopes that Minnie's children are all well again. Also sends Nora's love, and states that the latter is looking forward to seeing Minnie sometime in the following vacation. Sends their love to Edward, and looks forward to having them both in Cambridge in the following term.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

Blames his lack of letter-writing on 'professional engagements'. Remarks on the respect with which he is treated by his pupils. Comments on the swift passage of time, and states that he has got more work than he intended to take, but that he is enjoying it very much, and only regrets that he has not much time for his private reading. Reports that Arthur is happily installed in his [Henry's] old rooms, and is getting accustomed to Cambridge life. States that he is not strong, and will have to take care of himself.

Finds that he has left some letters in a table drawer of the room he was in in her house, and asks her to let him have them, since the Ghost story that his mother sent him was among them, and he wishes to have it with him. Reports that he has heard 'a couple of fresh ones' from an Irish friend of his, and remarks that 'Ireland appears to be a soil in which they flourish well...' States that one of his rooms is 'beautifully cosy', and he knows that it will break his heart to part with it.

Thanks her for her congratulations [on his election as a Fellow of Trinity]. Refers to '[p]oor Donne', who he met 'wandering...between the Station and the College' [a reference to Robert Donne, an unsuccessful candidate for the fellowship and master at Wellington College]; thinks that he is 'safe for the next time'. Sends his love to Edward, and reports that he read a letter of his in print the previous day. Asks her to give his love to his mother if she is there, and to tell her that he will write soon. Reports that Arthur fainted in chapel that day, but tells her not to tell their mother.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

Admits that it was his own fault that the letters were lost, and only regrets that his mother has had to write again. Reports that his spiritual discoveries 'are rather languishing at present', and that Uncle Robert has sent him a newspaper containing a story about a woman's dream which predicted the death of her son. Admits that he is getting very lazy about his German. Asks her how long she intends to stay at Rugby at Christmas. Refers to the degeneracy of his handwriting. Reports that he has a young American [William Everett] reading with him; 'a very nice fellow though somewhat odd', who has been telling him about America. Refers to the [British] press, which was full of 'those foolishly irritating articles', which he thought would bring on a French war. Mentions that he began to think of emigrating to America when they appeared. Reports that the Rifle-corps [in Cambridge] 'are in high glee because Prince Albert has taken them under this protection', and explains that they 'had been almost wet-blanketed by Lord Hardwicke (our Lord Lieutenant) who refused to grant commissions to under-graduates...' Remarks that they show their patriotism for the drill, 'for the most part at 8 o clock in the morning...' Supposes that [Charles?] Kingsley 'is strong on Riflecorps', and claims that they are all very well except at Cambridge. Sends his love to Edward.

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

Reports that Arthur told him before Easter that he would prefer to have Henry's later reminiscences [for Arthur's Life of Edward White Benson], in spite of the difficulties that they had discussed. States that he wrote them and sent them to him about ten days previously, and that the first part of them has arrived in proof that morning. Wishes her to tell him if there is anything that he has said which she does not quite like, and suggests that it might be possible to remove such parts altogether, and that it would certainly be possible to modify the work. Believes that the first part is 'disagreeably egotistical', but thought it necessary to convey 'both the point of view from which, and the conditions under which, the ideas [he wishes] to convey about Edward were formed'. States that he has told Arthur that he is quite free to modify the work as he sees fit, but reiterates that he would like to have Minnie's view before he sends the proofs back. Asks if she will come to visit him and Nora the following summer. States that they shall be in Cambridge almost all the time until the end of August, and could take them in any time during term 'except Sundays and any time after term is over.' Refers to 'the question of the House', about which Minnie is still undecided, and to her aspirations which '[ ] Thomas S[ ] does not satisfy.' Explains that the news was obtained from Edward Sidgwick. Sends Nora's love.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Edward White Benson

Blames his failure to write sooner on his 'vexed and unsatisfied feelings...about Ada's M.S.S.'. Does not think that the two stories she translated are particularly interesting, and judges their translation to be no better than average. Does not know what to do on account of being informed by [Alexander?] 'McMillan' that 'the translation from the German, even of first rate quality is enormously at a discount...', and has decided to do nothing until he has discussed the matter with Benson. Undertakes to attempt to find 'a more cheerful bookseller than Macmillan' if Benson finds Henry's opinion of the stories 'exaggeratedly unfavorable'.

Refers to his mother having given up all hopes of all the family coinciding at Christmas, as the Bensons plan to go to the seaside. Is glad that his mother proposed going to Bristol; both he and Arthur were eager to go there again. Is anxious to go to Wellington College to see his sister and Benson, and asks the latter to tell him when they leave. Explains that he cannot get away 'before the 17th' because William is coming to Cambridge for a few days at the end of term. Announces that, according to his plan, they are all to be together at Rugby for a few days. Explains that he is very busy with 'plans and pupils, friends and fellowship dinners...' Asks him to tell Minnie to write, and to give her his love.

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 Eleanor Mildred Balfour to Mary Sidgwick

Thanks her for her letter. Is unable to express her own happiness, and how much she wishes to be a good wife to Henry and a good daughter to her; looks forward to getting to know her.

Sidgwick, Eleanor Mildred (1845-1936) Principal of Newnham College Cambridge

Letter from G.O. Trevelyan to Nora Sidgwick

Greatly values Henry Sidgwick: A Memoir: it is 'exactly the right size and shape and perfectly got up in the medium between want of elegance and that sort of external and decorative pretension which alienates the true reader.' Expresses his admiration of the portraits, and calls the one of Henry's mother' a revelation of the past'. Wishes that there was one of Nora. Reports that he has read again all round the allusions to himself, and declares himself to be very proud of being there. Looks forward to a very careful reading 'with the recollection of the ships in mind.'

Trevelyan, Sir George Otto (1838-1928) 2nd Baronet, statesman and historian

Letters from Nora and Henry Sidgwick to Mary Sidgwick

Nora remarks on how sad it is that her and Henry's quiet time [in Paris on their honeymoon] is coming to an end, and how quickly the time has passed, but how long it seems since their wedding day. They go to Rouen the following day and then by Amiens to Calais, from where they will cross the channel back to England. They must be at Carlton Gardens the following Tuesday as Henry must look over some examination papers. They go to Cambridge on the following Friday for one day and return to London until the Monday following when they settle at Cambridge.

If the following day is as delightful as that day they may stay on in Paris 'till the last minute', because it 'does look lovely in the sun, with the fresh green trees, and the chestnuts just coming into flower'. They have been two or three times 'to the play, and enjoyed the excellent acting very much': last night they heard Racine's Athalie, and found it dull, but there were 'two very good little comedies afterwards'.

Henry writes that he is sorry to hear that William has been so depressed; hopes that the change will do him good, and that he will come over to Cambridge as soon as possible. Undertakes to write to him in the next couple of days. In relation to his mother's 'Munificent offer', states that Nora says that they have no breakfast service, dinner service, glass or cruet stand; they would be very grateful if she were to give them any of these. They have looked at the china shops in Paris, but prefer London pottery. Is sure that the crest sent to Arthur Balfour [see 105/9] was satisfactory. Notes on Saturday, 22 April that the morning is 'perfectly Lovely, and it is Madness to leave Paris, but Nora has an extravagant passion for church architecture, and is carrying [him] off to Rouen.' They will cross the channel on the following Monday or Tuesday, and have arranged to be at 4 Carlton Gardens on Tuesday; will write again from there.

Sidgwick, Eleanor Mildred (1845-1936) Principal of Newnham College Cambridge

Letter from Nora Sidgwick to Mary Sidgwick

Since returning to England from Paris she has been very busy with various activities, which delayed her writing to Mary. It is very pleasant being settled in their own house in Cambridge, even though it is only a temporary one. Asks Mary when she intends to come to stay with her and Henry. They have got a cook, who is coming to them on 9 May for a month's trial period. Hopes that William and Isabel have arrived and are well, and sends her and Henry's love to them. Wishes that they could both come to see them, but is glad that William can see Mary. Adds that the cruet stand they want is a stand for oil and vinegar and sauces, and on the strength of what Mary said, Nora chose one in London that cost £7 or £8. Asks if they may wait about 'the other things' like china and glass, until they move into their new house, as they have the use of the Fawcett's things in the house where they are at present living. Sends a photograph of herself [not included], and explains that Henry's have not yet come. They only came to Cambridge from London the previous morning, but visited for a day the previous week as Henry had an examiners' meeting. Thinks the decoration of the house in which they are now living would amuse Mary; describes the drawing room, which they do not much like.

Sidgwick, Eleanor Mildred (1845-1936) Principal of Newnham College Cambridge

Letter from Nora Sidgwick to Mary Sidgwick.

Reports on the progress of their [honeymoon] journey: they reached Dover 'without adventure', and had a smooth crossing [to Calais], then a pleasant, but dusty, rail journey to Amiens. They have been to see the cathedral, which is beautiful. They intend going to Paris the following afternoon, and hope to get rooms at the Hôtel Bedford, Rue de l'Arcade. Is sorry she did not see Mary nearly as much as she had hoped to the previous day, but notes that Henry says that Mary promised to come to Cambridge to see them soon. Henry sends his love, and he hopes that Mary had a satisfactory interview with Dr Andrew Clark.

Sidgwick, Eleanor Mildred (1845-1936) Principal of Newnham College Cambridge

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