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Sidgwick, Mary (d 1879) mother of Henry Sidgwick
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Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Reports that he has got her letter, and regrets that it is not more definite. Asks her to send her next one to Post Restante Göttingen. Announces that he will be in Halle until the following Thursday. States that his studies have not been as profitable as he had hoped, due in part to lack of energy, and also to the nature of the subject of German philosophy. Has 'almost determined to return to Cambridge at the end of August', because of the war. Reports that it has been very exciting in Berlin, and that its citizens are in a state of indignation, because 'they believe utterly in the justice of their cause'. Claims that their indignation 'renders them quite blind to the French view of the case, and finds vent in needlessly coarse expressions of hatred towards Louis Napoleon and his wife.' Explains that the empress is supposed to have wanted the Prince of Hohenzollern to marry a relative of hers, and to have been infuriated by his refusing to pledge himself thereto.'

Reports that there is bad feeling in Germany against England 'for "sham neutrality".' Believes the conduct of the English government to be 'shortsightedly timid: if it be true that cartridges are openly sent to France by Birmingham firms.' States that 'there is something cowardly in Granville's extreme anxiety not to offend France, and to keep the balance of praise and blame even', and remarks that Prussia 'did not do her utmost to prevent the war which France did her utmost to provoke.' Does not see why the war should stop his mother's tour, considering Switzerland's neutral status. Allows that there might be some difficulty 'in getting by the Eastern line to Bâle', but does not suppose there will be even any difficulty in getting by Dijon to Geneva or Neuchâtel. Informs her that he has a corn under his big toe, which will affect his walking.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

[Sent from Munich]:- Presumes that, since no letter was forwarded to him from Göttingen, there is a slim chance of his meeting up with his brothers in Switzerland. Asks her to let them know that he is anxious to hear of their plans. His own plans are 'an excursion to the Bavarian lakes, returning to Munich', and also a trip to Pontresina, where he intends to stay until 22 August. States that he if does not hear from Arthur and William there, he shall probably go to Zermatt and Riffelberg and 'homewards along the Rhone Valley to Geneva.' Claims that he finds it hard to leave Germany 'in this exciting time.' Reports that he could not go to Göttingen, as the lines were too much occupied with the transport of soldiers. States that he got to Nuremberg 'with some difficulty'. Claims to be very well, that he has 'left off' working and that he enjoys seeing the German towns, and hearing the talk of the people. Remarks that it is 'a grand time for Germany', in that 'the whole people is at length united in a just cause'. Reports that the bad feeling against England on account of 'sham-neutrality' is great, and does not think that it will easily be forgotten. Finds it 'rather disagreeable', especially as he sympathises with this attitude and thinks that Gladstone 'has been weak.' Considers coming to England at the end of the month. Adds that they are expecting a decisive battle. Believes that if Napoleon is beaten, 'he will make peace at once, if he can.' States that the doubt relates to whether the Germans will make peace without exacting when Napoleon cannot grant. Predicts that if Napoleon wins this battle, 'the war may last indefinitely.'

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Writes from 'a miserable inn at Friedrichshafen, on the Lake of Constance very much out of humour.' Reports that his ailment [the corn under his big toe] worsened, and prevented him from walking at all, and after 'a delightful day at Innsbruck... [he] gave up the idea of mountaineering and went to Venice, Verona and Milan'. Describes his three-day stay in Venice. From Milan he went to Bellaggio, and then over the Maloja to Pontresina, which he reached on 22 August, and found his mother's two letters, but none from William or Arthur. He then decided to 'take a taste of the Alps at Pontresina and then leave Switzerland; was unsure whether to return via Germany or France and was told at Chur that he could get through to Stuttgart in a day, but this has proved not to be the case and he finds himself detained for six hours in Friedrichshafen. Predicts that he shall 'no doubt come out at Cologne after a day or two, and then it will be comparatively plain sailing.

Asks her to thank his uncle for his kind invitation, which he would have accepted were it not for the pressures of work. Asks her to send any letters of his to Cambridge, and would like to know the names of the authors of the two letters she sent to Göttingen. Asks her to remember him to friends.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Explains why he did not write to her sooner. Intends to come to Rugby on 22 or 23 September, for about a week. Reports that he arrived in Cambridge 'after a very successful journey', which included Heidelberg, Ulm and Darmstadt. In relation to the war states that 'intense exultation swallowed up all more painful feeling in the German minds', and reports that he did not happen to see anything of the wounded. Refers to 'an exceedingly bright, genial young German' with whom he travelled between Ulm and Darmstadt, who was very eager to learn what Henry thought would be 'the action of the neutrals, and especially England.' Relates that he told the young man that any sympathy England had for France was 'quite unselfish', as they had 'no fear whatever of Germany' and that they thought 'that territorial aggrandizement of any kind would prevent an enduring peace'; thinks he appreciated this, but 'the Germans assume a kind of pedagogic air: they feel it a "Stern Duty"' to punish France. Reports that he and his friends at Cambridge, who number 'about four', are all absorbed in the war.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Explains that he has been 'too busy writing secretarial letters to write for some time', and states that 'the enclosed' [not included] will show her 'the degree of success' that their scheme [of lectures for women] has had 'so far as applications go.' Asks how she is getting on at Rugby. States that he is very busy. Reports that there is 'a great deal of zeal [in Cambridge] for woman's education, not much fanaticism and not much serious opposition.' Is hopeful that they shall get some support 'from without'. Claims that he has no time to read anything, but that he is told that 'Miss Mitford's life [The life of Mary Russell Mitford... related in a selection from her letters to her friends, edited by Rev. A. G. L'Estrange] is very good cut-and-come-again sort of reading.' Reports that he had a very pleasant visit at Clifton. Relates that Dr Symonds 'has quite given up work for the present', but that he does not look worse than the last time he saw him before he broke down.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Regrets to say that he will not see William the following week. Reports that the latter has written to say that he does not feel well enough to come to the 'Ad Eundem'. Informs her that the marmalade has arrived, 'and is very nice.' Asks her to tell Arthur that they 'lost "the whole ticket" at the elections to Council.' Does not think that it will much matter, and states that '[t]he questions which are coming to the front now in Academic affairs are not of a party character.' Regrets to see that the same state of affairs does not exist 'in the metropolis: and that the worst features of Parliamentary Elections are to be introduced into the Elections of school-boards in the Metropolis'. States that he allowed his name to be put on Miss [Garrett]'s committee for Marylebone. Has learnt that the elections are to cost about £1,000 per candidate, and Miss [Garrett], 'standing on principles of peculiar p[ ] will only spend £500.' Adds that it is 'a terrible waste of money.' Reports that Trevelyan has been there 'in a very triumphant and anti-military state.' Quotes Seeley on opposition to a reform. Asks her opinion of Myers' last poem in Macmillan['s Magazine]. Thinks it 'very fine', and remarks that Myers' ability 'to write anything so like Pope shows great versatility of style.' Adds that he is glad that she liked Catherine Symonds.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Explains that he must stay up at the end of term for an examination that begins on 16 December; wishes he had declined, but does not like to refuse requests from his College. He had intended to come to her on 24 December, but states that he shall certainly come while Mary is there. Is sorry to hear about William. Says that he sent him an invitation to come to Cambridge, but that he did not answer it. Apologises for having forgotten her birthday. In relation to the [Franco-German] war, does not believe that there will be an invasion of England just yet. Refers to the enclosed [not included], which will show her that they are alive. Reports that the Hitchin girls have come over to pass the Little-go examinations. Explains that they are not formally admitted, 'but the university has given leave to them to have the papers, and the examiners have consented to examine them.' Fears that if they pass, 'the Cambridge world will not be particularly impressed.' Declares Miss Garrett''s triumph in London to be 'remarkable', and certainly unexpected by her committee. States that he does not like the expense of the school-board elections, and remarks that he and others 'are supposed to have managed everything with as little paid service as possible, and yet [they]....have spent nearly £500.' Adds that he finds now that he can come on 20 or 21 December.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

[Sent from Dresden]:- Comments on the length of time it has been since he had a letter from her. Reports that the Swiss tour made him very ill, but that he has now recovered. Recounts that since he came to Dresden he has made a start in Arabic, read and spoken German, gone to concerts and the theatre, and spent time with his three friends [Dakyns, Green, and Rutson]. Refers also to his visits to the gallery. Had originally intended to leave Dresden on the 25th [September] and be in Rugby about the 29th [September] but has decided that he may stay a week longer and be in Rugby about 5 October. This, he calculates, will give him a fortnight at home. Has decided that he shall not go abroad again for a year or so. Announces that he has got his plan of reading 'tolerably settled', and it will absorb all his vacations. Hopes that his mother has got 'tolerably comfortable by this time', and refers Minnie's report of their mother's account of the house Remarks that Dresden is so colonised by English that 'one hardly feels in a foreign country'. States that the little church is well filled, and that the previous Sunday Dr Hook preached the worst sermon Henry has had the pleasure of hearing for a long time. Announces that he is going to join Edward and Minnie at the gallery.

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 his mother

Wwould have written before, but was expecting to hear from her about her impression of Dr Andrew Clark and of the success of his treatment. Hopes that the last arrangements of Mr Rogers are answering. Has been at Rugby with Arthur and Charlotte, and Nora has been staying there too for a week; believes that Nora gets on well with Charlotte. His and Nora's plans are still quite uncertain: they do not know whether Arthur Balfour is coming home immediately or not, but believe that he is, and until he comes Nora does not like to settle absolutely the time of their wedding.

Asks whether she has heard from William: Charlotte says he has 'quite fixed to come back to Oxford at Easter'. It has been hinted to him that some of his friends are thinking of giving him a watch and chain; mentions this because she said she was saving up his birthday presents for one. Suggests that she should 'divert them to some other object', but offers to intimate to his friends 'that Destiny has already a Watch in store for [him].' Announces that the Bishop of Exeter [Frederick Temple] is coming to dine with him that evening; he is preaching at St Mary's, and 'all the old Rugbeians are coming in afterwards to see him'.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Is sorry to hear that she has been so unwell. Explains that he has been very busy since he came back to Cambridge. Is also sorry to hear no better account of William. Refers to the Ad Eundem [Society]. Wishes that William 'would see the best possible doctor.' Of Rugby, exclaims 'Alas! Alas!', and declares that he is anxious to hear when the new Board is to be appointed. Reports that his 'ladies' lectures' are going on very well so far. Is not over-optimistic, but hopes that they 'may become a real focus of improvement in female education.' Reports that they now have three or four young women who come from abroad. Undertakes to write to Mrs Horton, and to put his name down 'for a couple of [ ]', and also to 'go into the calculations about the maintenance of Frank [in Cambridge]' as carefully as he can. Thinks that the best thing for Frank would be to go to Cambridge as a sizar, and says that he would not mind proposing to provide him with rooms and books. Does not believe that he could get his whole expense of living, including close etc., provided out of charitable funds. Asks his mother not to say anything to Mrs Horton as yet, and undertakes to make further enquiries.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Regrets to hear that she has been ill, and hopes that she is better now. Informs her that she has nearly resolved 'to make the offer with regard to F[rank] Horton', Wishes his mother to write to Mrs Horton to inform her that he is enquiring, and that he believes, 'if he [Frank] has fair abilities will work hard and practise the strictest economy', he may, with some assistance from Henry, 'get board, lodging, and teaching [ ] and all necessary academic expenses paid.' Asks her to convey that the matter is as yet uncertain, and to make it clear that he cannot expect to get more than his expenses of living at Cambridge. Asks her to see what she thinks of the prospect. Asks her to tell Arthur that he is very much obliged for his cards. Announces that he is going to write to Dr Jacob.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Thanks her for having remembered his birthday. Feels that though he has 'remained immature for too long' for various reasons, he has now grown up, and hopes that the following ten years will be different from the previous ones. Owns to be interested in what she says of Mrs Grenfell. States that he is not looking for a manager of his establishment [a house for female students] as Miss Clough has kindly consented to open their house for them. The latter cannot stay more for more than part of the year, and he may write to Mrs Grenfell about it. Suggests that his mother write to the latter to inform her that Miss Clough is coming for the present, but that they shall very likely want someone again soon. Adds that the right sort of person 'would be some one who was in a way devoted to female education, and had had experience in furthering it...' Asks her to tell Mary that she 'demoralizes' him. Reports that he is very busy with examinations, writing, and looking for a house. Relates that his friends tell him that he shall 'gain much of the experience of a Married Man before [he has] done.' Hopes to go to Rugby about the middle of July.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Remarks that he has not heard from her in a long time, and reports that lately he has been lying on his sofa 'from inflammation of the ancle [sic].' States that it is better now. Reports that he found 'a tolerable suitable house' for his young ladies [a hostel for female students]. States that he then went to stay with the [Thomas Fowell?] Buxtons on the borders of Epping Forest, and then to London, where he found 'portentous heat and equally portentous hayfever.' Claims to hate London in heat. Reports that he was introduced to Miss Octavia Hill, whom he has long wanted to meet, ever since he read an article of hers in Macmillan's on her work among the poor in the East of London. Calls her 'a very interesting woman', and vows that if he ever takes 'a vow of asceticism' and gives away all his goods 'to feed the poor', he will give them to her, 'as the person who is likely to make them do - the least harm'. He then went to see Mrs Clough, and made his final arrangements with Miss Clough for their proceedings the following term. Spent 'the suspensive day between the rejection of the Army Bill by the Lords and Gladstone's "coup d'état" [the Royal Warrant on Purchase] ' with Trevelyan. The latter 'had had notice given him privately of what the Ministry was going to do and was in proportionately good spirits.' Reports that he saw his friend Patterson, 'who was also cheerful as a translation of a Hungarian story by him is to appear in the Cornhill.' Since London he has been in Cambridge, 'trying to get a little reading done', but complains that he cannot shake off his laziness. Informs her that [his cousin] Annie 'is passed in P.E' [political economy]. Asks for her news, and whether she will be staying by herself at Rugby during any part of the vacation, as he may come down there.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Regrets to hear that she has had a bad attack of rheumatism. Explains that he would have written before, but that he has also been very busy due to the 'absence of a history lecturer', and his work linked to the women's lectures; notes that Rugby is very 'energetic... in this matter'. Is glad to hear of the election of Temple by London [Union] and of H. Smith. Asks whom do the Masters elect. Remarks that the news he receives of William is very cheering. Reports that he sees Edward now on Sundays, who tells him about Mary, who 'does an immense amount of work...and has no time for writing.' Reports that his arrangement with Frank Horton 'is turning out - if not a brilliant success, as far as the social side goes - at any rate by no means a failure.' Gives his views on Horton's personality, and states (quoting Mr Pumplechook in Dickens' Great Expectations) that 'it was Right to do it', and he would do the same again. Refers to the outcome of 'these elections to the board of trustees' as something that his mother would welcome.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Assures her that he has no prejudice against the commemoration of New Year's Day, but owns to be 'not...very susceptible to the influence of conventional divisions of time...' Glad to hear that her stay at Hastings was a success and that she has been better; all his associations with Hastings are connected with the long illness and funeral of a good friend of his [John Jermyn Cowell]. Reports that he had a delightful visit at Clifton, and believes that Symonds was 'better than usual'. Remarks, however, that Mrs Symonds 'does not look very well', but that the children 'were thiving'. Spent three days at Wellington College, and judged Mary to be 'as well as could be expected'. Refers briefly to her baby (Robert Hugh Benson). Reports that two Miss Wordsworths [probably daughters of Christopher Wordsworth, including Elizabeth Wordsworth] were there, whom he thought 'remarkably pleasant and interesting'. Observes that Edward seemed overworked, but in good form. In relation to 'the Rugby news', does not know whether to be sorry or glad, and says that 'Basil Hammond...says "glad".' With regard to Frank Horton, declares that he has fair abilities, and hopes that he will take second class honours. Observes that he is 'very well disposed and industrious', and reports that his tutor 'thinks that he ought to get a first class in the College Examination at the end of the year, which will secure him a sizarship.' Sends his love to his aunt Henrietta, and hopes that his mother enjoys her visit to Brighton.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Reports that they were very glad to see Arthur and thought he seemed in good spirits. Announces that that day 'there is the Crisis', and expects to hear the decision of the Board before long. Reports that William wrote to him and told him that 'Teapots were pouring in' [as wedding gifts], which he declares to be unlucky. Declares himself to be very well, and not very busy since his work at present is light. Confesses to be concerned about Frank Horton's prospects. Fear that he may 'just miss the first class in the College Examination upon which his sizarship depends.' Reports that his Ladies' lectures are flourishing, and has heard that 'a Benevolent Individual is thinking of giving [them] £1000...' Remarks that Mary has become quite a good correspondent.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Announces that he has to be in Cambridge from Monday to Wednesday in the week after Easter, for an examination. Asks her if she will come and stay at Miss Clough's from Saturday in Easter week until the following Wednesday. Explains that Mrs Clough will be there, and he would like them to meet. Asks her to invite Arthur to come also 'if he has nothing else to do. Declares that he shall be 'travelling about till that Saturday.'

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

His activities in London the previous day, including his attendance at a debate in the House of Lords prevented him from writing to her to say that he and Nora have fixed on 4 April for their wedding day. Asks her advice on whom he should invite: Arthur Balfour has practically left it up to Henry to decide. His own idea is to ask his uncles and aunts 'and the Edward Sidgwicks and perhaps Ellen Crofts... one or two of [his] most intimate friends and Miss Green'. Wonders whether the other first cousins may feel aggrieved at not being asked. Will write to his Aunt Henrietta himself, and asks his mother to clarify the address for him. A formal printed invitation can be sent to the others. Does not expect his relatives to come from Yorkshire. Hopes that [Dr] A[ndrew] C[lark]'s last treatment has had better success, 'and that the trouble about the teeth is over. Says he is 'still supremely happy - sometimes quite overwhelmingly so.' Does not wish to be 'singular', and states that he would like to think 'that [nearly] all mankind were as happy, at least once in their lives.'

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Announces that he shall be home by Thursday of the following week, or Friday at the latest, and will spend two weeks with her. Refers to his study of Arabic. Hopes that he will receive the letter from Lucerne before he goes. Asks her to forward the enclosure [not included] to Cambridge. Hopes to find Arthur at home, and regrets that he is gone to Wellington. Intends not to go up to Cambridge until the last moment. Declares that he has been very happy in Dresden, and that his friends [Dakyns, Green, and Rutson], who have been with him the whole summer, are all going off now. Hopes that Graham Dakyns will like his work. Expresses his satisfaction with the boarding-house in which he is staying, and states that the only 'bitter drop in the cup is an Englishman to whom [he has] an unreasonable but unconquerable antipathy'. Comments on the news from America, and the 'an interesting crisis going on in Prussia'. Declares that it is 'great fun reading the Arabian Nights in the original even though it be only at the rate of 5 lines an hour'.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Reports that he has been very busy in relation to the vacant [Knightbridge] professorship; considers becoming a candidate himself, but does not think that he has much chance of being successful, and believes that if he puts himself forward he may harm the chances of another man [J. H. Stirling] who he believes has more claim to it. Was shocked at Maurice's death. Reports that he has been travelling about a lot since the end of the previous term; has been to Bournemouth, stayed with the Pauls at Bailie, and also at Freshwater, where he 'smoked a pipe with the Laureate'. Declares that Tennyson was 'exceedingly kind', and that he and Symonds 'had a most interesting conversation with him. Adds that Miss Thackeray was also there, 'most delightful of authoresses'. Hopes to go to Rugby on the Saturday of the following week. Reports that he has just seen Robertson, who is going to Harrow, 'but with eyes halfregretful fixed on Rugby'. Asks to be remembered to the Temples.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Reports that he has been busy with the election [for the vacant Knightbridge professorship], in which he has decided to stand. States that if he is appointed it will give him a stimulus to work, but claims that he is quite happy in his 'present humble position'; if she does not mind him 'not Succeeding in Life' he is sure he does not, though it is not a virtue to have 'so little ambition', as it is a spur to industry and if he had more it may have made him 'of more use to [his] fellow-creatures'. However, it 'saves one a good deal of trouble'.

Is glad that she wrote and stopped his visit to Rugby on 27 April, and that 11 May 'will do just as well.' Announces that there is to be a meeting of the Rugby Board on 10 May, and that he would like to be with her about that time. Claims to be 'pretty well acquainted with all that has happened from various sources and think[s] that things are going on as well as could be expected.' Is very glad that William received 'the Introductions' favourably. Reports that Cambridge 'is beginning to look beautiful'. Undertakes to contact William when the professorship is decided. Hopes that she has got rid of her cold. Asks her if she has read 'My Little Lady' [by Eleanor Frances Poynter] and reports that Myers wrote to him from Windsor Castle 'that the work has the HIGHEST recommendations.'

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Informs her that the Reverend T.R. Birks has been elected Professor of Moral Philosophy. Claims not to be bothered by this development, because a professorship would entail '[m]ore dust, more dross, in comparison with Knowledge and Virtue'; because his election would have meant not great increase in income; and also because 'it would have entailed several woes', including being asked to dinner by '[s]everal more stupid people'. Tells her not to waste any sympathy on him, and to keep it all for 'H[enry] H[ayman] who...will soon want it'. Hopes to go to Rugby on 11 May. Hopes that her cough is better.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Reports that he is settled in Margate for about a fortnight, after which he intends to go to London. Does not intend to go down into the country until the middle of July at the earliest. Is eager to have news about Mary. Presumes that Edward will have made up his mind about his summer travelling before he [Henry] goes to them. Reports that he was not very well in London, but that otherwise the work [superintending the Examination for Women] was 'very pleasant'. Declares that he 'always like staying with Mrs Clough' and refers to her two daughters.

Asks his mother to send him William's address in the Tyrol. Discusses the matter of [his cousin] W.C. Crofts, of which he heard through Myers. The latter 'thinks it by no means improbably that Elliot may take [Henry's] recommendation, but cannot say for certain.' Reports that he has received a letter from his uncle, 'who seems much pleased at the prospect'. Hopes that 'he does not overrate it's [sic] advantages.' Refers to two notebooks that he may have left behind at Rugby, and asks his mother to search for them. Asks about the result of the meeting of the [Rugby School] Board on 21 June.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

[Sent from the Savile Club, London]:- Thanks her for her letter. Announces that he is going to Mary 'on the 17th', and undertakes to do all he can. Regrets to hear 'such bad accounts', but believes that it is not surprising that anyone should be listless in the present weather. Declares that he liked Margate, whose people he describes as 'vulgar, but therefore somewhat more amusing'. Feels incapable of working in London. Announces that he will be paying visits for the following ten days, and then he goes to Cambridge, unless he finds he can be of any use in facilitating Edward's arrangements.

States that he is very grateful to Arthur for his cards. Reports that [George Granville?] Bradley thinks [Edward Ashley?] Scott is sure of victory. States that he has just seen [James?] Bryce 'who says he is going to Iceland.' Gives his mother the address at which he may be reached in the immediate future, and announces that he is at present staying with Godfrey [Lushington]. Reports that he saw Miss [Mary?] Thompson and Miss Smith the previous night, and that the latter 'seemed much interested in hearing about William.' Refers to some difficulties that he had with his review of the 'Italian book' [Barzelotti's La Morale nella Filosofia Positiva, reviewed by Sidgwick in the Academy for July 1].

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

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

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

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Reports that he is very busy, as he is to examine the following week, and has lectures and other things to write. Refers to an article in the Times of the previous day, which gave an account of a meeting on university organisation in which he had taken part. Does not know what will come of it, but states that 'many people seem to think that the Government is likely to overhaul [Cambridge University] in some mode or other...and that people who are interested in the Universities and want them to fulfil their proper function ought to enunciate their ideas and be ready with their schemes.' Informs her that she may see a letter of his on the subject in the following week's Spectator. Confirms that he knows something about Rugby. Believes that 'the Crisis' will be the following Saturday. Declares that he is not without hope, but that 'if things are not settled in the way [they] want in the next meeting', he would not urge the masters to stay. Is glad that she has found a governess 'that promises well.' Wonders whom they will get at Shipton.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Thanks her for sending him 'the news' and is sorry 'that it is not more completely satisfactory.' Reports that Mr [J.F.?] Wickenden called on him on Sunday and inquired after her, Mary and Edward. Explains that Wickenden came up for Sedgwick's funeral.

Discusses Sedgwick's death: he was 'knocked up by a meeting which the Chapter of Norwich took it into their heads to come up and hold in his rooms.' Claims that his death 'is a great severance of [the college's] ties with the past', and that he is 'the last "historical character" of Trinity'; he must have been the oldest man in College 'by nearly thirty years' Reports that the Master 'was much affected in reading the service.' Tells her to tell Mary that 'she may as well send [him] a Post Card presently'. Relates that Sedgwick has reportedly 'left very little property', and that his family 'have been a sad trial to him in various ways and a great drain on his resources.'

Informs her that in relation to Rugby he can only tell her that 'there are mysterious rumours', and that '[t]hey do mean to keep the secret this time'. Is sorry to hear of Edward's rheumatism, and reports that he himself has been attacked by 'something indicating disorganisation of the M[ucous] M[embrane]', but that he is taking great care of his 'M.' Reports that he had a letter from Miss Green [their old governess?] 'with much affectionate anxiety about Mary.'

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

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

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

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

States that he has been very busy. Reports that his lectures have now come to an end. Explains that Charles [Sidgwick, his cousin?] had informed him of his uncle [John Benson Sidgwick]'s death before she had written to tell him, and says that he was 'much startled and grieved'. Refers to the last time that he saw him at the Mill; remembers all his 'childish feelings about him as the Head of the family' and is saddened by the thought that he 'shall never see his fine impressive old face again.' Mentions that one or two people in Cambridge had talked about him and the Ryddlesden family that term. Observes that Charles seems to be very popular.

Remarks that when this letter reaches his mother he shall be thirty-five, and goes on to discuss the ageing process, and the years which 'are beginning to go with Railroad Speed'. Intends to ask her to give him some of Miss Thackeray's works for his birthday. Hopes that she has 'good accounts of Isabel and the baby [Nevil]'. Reports that William was thinking of 'running over' to Cambridge, 'but somehow did not.' Announces that he is going to London to conduct an examination on 16 June, then to Margate for a fortnight, and after that he is uncertain about his plans.

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