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

Thanks his mother for her note, and asks her to write to Nora, whom he is sure she will come to love. States that she is very quiet and undemonstrative, 'but so sweet and simple and calm and helpful'. Adds that they will announce their marriage before long, but that Miss Clough is very anxious that they should keep it secret for a week or so.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Edward White Benson

Reports on the manner in which he learnt the news of his having won the Craven Scholarship. Recounts the appearance of the University Marshal in his rooms that day to announce the news, and his reaction to it. Hopes that Benson had not given his mother and those at home any hopes that he had any chance of succeeding so that they may have had 'a thorough surprise'. Announces that he intends to come down after 'the Little-go is over and come up again for the Trinity Scholarship examination', if Benson and his mother are agreeable.

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 his mother

Thanks her for sending him Mr Smith's letter. Announces that he will answer his aunt's questions soon, and observes some of some of the passages she has put down are very difficult. Attributes this difficulty to the inconsistency of their interpretation with a belief in the immortality of the soul. Advises that she consult 'some "sound" person.' Reports that he is examining for the University Scholarship. Complains about his failure to apply himself to steady study, claims that he wastes a good deal of time. Reports that William is coming to see him in a fortnight.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Invites her up [to Cambridge] for Easter Sunday. Says that he will write again from town, where he is going to stay with his friend Cowell. States that he shall be back in Cambridge by the following Wednesday or before. Reports that he has begun reading at the British Museum, and praises the facilities there. Refers to an enclosed list of questions [not included] sent to him from his aunt, which, he admits, he has neglected. Observes that some of the difficulties are theological, not critical, and believes that the writers 'had at best a very dim realization of the immortality of the soul.' Undertakes to write to his aunt also.

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 mother

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

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

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Thanks her for her letter [101/161], and regrets that her account [of her sister Elizabeth] is not more favourable. Assures her that she has done all that she could do 'in making the trial', and hopes that when she has got away from Fulford she will be able to distract her mind somewhat from his aunt's 'painful state.' Announces that he may come down to Rugby as early as Thursday the second, and certainly not later than the morning of Saturday 4 June. States that his friend Cowell will come too.

Announces that the Prince and Princess of Wales are to be in Cambridge for the 2 and 3 June, and he cannot decide whether he shall stay to help entertain them. States that [the College] is to give a grand ball in Neville's Court on 4 June, and that he considers the proposal 'unseemly', and opposed it. Since it is going ahead, would 'gladly' take part, but 'cannot think of any family with marriageable girls whom [he] could ask'. Intends to stay until the Tuesday or Wednesday of the week following. Reports that he has been 'up to town and had a glimpse of the Royal Academy [summer exhibition]' States that Arthur has not been asked to go to Rugby, and Henry believes that 'he will get much good from Cambridge for a year or two yet.'

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Thanks her for the enclosure, and reports that he has written off immediately to his uncle. Fears that he will not be able to visit her, due to his worsening hayfever. Intends to go via London to Ostend, and then to proceed to Göttingen for about six weeks, after which he may go further east, 'then perhaps south.' Hopes to study some more Arabic while he is away. Hopes that his mother is enjoying the fine weather. Reports that in London he discovered some Marsala with soda water at one shilling per bottle, and undertakes to send her six bottles. Asks her to write to him at Ostend or Gottingen. Sends greetings to Miss Hedley.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

[From Göttingen]:- Indicates his address in Göttingen, where he expects to stay until the end of August. Reports that he is staying with the family of Professor Benfey, who is a professor of Sanskrit, whom he had met three years previously at an 'assembly of philologers' in Brunswick. Reports that he has private lessons in Arabic twice a week 'from the laborious Profr. Wüstenfeld', and attends Professor Ewald's lectures. Describes the family with which he stays: the Professor, his wife, and their three daughters. The Professor says he was offered a post at Rugby 'in Dr Arnold's time'. Intends to propose a language exchange for an hour or so per day with the eldest daughter [Meta] whom he describes as 'intelligent, enthusiastic, and not ugly' and speaking English very well, because he believes that his German has suffered from want of use. Describes the town of Göttingen, Announces that both his professors are probably going away in September, and he himself intends to 'go eastward in search of Arabians, to Dresden, Halle or Leipsic [sic]. Reports that he stayed three days in Ostend, where he walked along the shore and read Arabian Nights; says it was 'not a bad place for hayfever'. Asks her if Arthur is with her, and asks her to send him 'the enclosed' [not included].

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

[From Göttingen]: - Fears that he shall have to leave Göttingen - 'this professional paradise' - sooner than he had thought. Reports that he does not think that he is in the 'very best condition for working', and believes that a week in the H[arz] or Thur[ingian] forest will do him good. Relates that he has that day been to a Lutheran service, and praises the quality of sermons in Germany. Reports that he called on Professor Ewald after the service, and conversed with him about German sermons. Relates that both his professors - Ewald and Wüstenfeld - insist on giving him lessons 'gratis'. Speaks of the latter as being 'rich for a German'. Reports that he has not got to know any of the students there, that 'they howl twice a week in a big room opposite' and that every now and then 'one hears of duelling'. Discusses the tradition of duelling in Germany. Declares Meta Benfey [daughter of Professor Benfey, in whose house he lodges] to be 'a charming girl', and wishes that he could devote more time to the improvement of his German by conversation with her. Asks if there is any word in English 'to express the f[ ] of hobbadehoy'. Declares that he has much respect for Professor Benfey, who is 'a great talker'. Asks for 'all the news about everything'.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

[Sent from Göttingen]: - Reports that his days consist of reading Arabic and speaking German, and that on Sundays he goes for long walks with a Prussian student of Sanskrit; he is 'a most amiable-looking man, and you would take him for an Englishman'. Wishes that he could introduce her to Professor Ewald, as he is sure that she would like him. Believes that Ewald lengthened his lectures half an hour for Henry's sake, and reports that he has promised to give him private lessons during September.

Expects Graham Dakyns to come to spend a few days in the Harz at the end of the week. Announces that he intends to go to a 'Philologer-assembly', like the one he went to three years ago, in Hanover in just over a month's time. States that his health is good, and expects that he shall be quite well at the end of the Long Vacation. Discusses his diet and alcohol consumption: if anyone asks her whether he is turning into a 'beer-drinking German', she can truthfully say he has 'not drunk above three glasses' since arriving here. An English visitor to his host family told them that Henry's brother [William] was a 'distinguished wit... in Oxford'.

Mentions that Arthur had told him of his acceptance of the Rugby mastership, and admits that he has taken 'a prudent, perhaps a wise course'. Is glad that his mother's stay at Rugby will be so much pleasanter and hopes that it will turn out to be 'really not Rheumatic.' Suggests that if it is, she might move for a couple of months at the worst time of the year. Declares that he was much interested by her letter, and that he shall be glad of 'any news that is going.' Asks her to remind Arthur to enquire for him the exact day they go back at Cambridge. Hopes that she will succeed in getting a house. Asks why so many people are leaving, and if it has transpired what the [ ] said to Dr Temple's report. Regrets that she has no better account of his aunt Lace.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

[Sent from Göttingen):- Explains that he cannot go home; when his three months abroad are over he must pay a visit to [Kegan] Paul at the end of the vacation. Promises that she will see lots of him when he does go home. Reports that his progress in Arabic is slower than he had hoped. Has no doubt that Arthur will be happy. Hopes that it will not take her too long to get her new house. Imagines that she will see G[raham] D[akyns] before this letter reaches her. Refers to their exploration of the Harz region. Reports that his health is generally good.

Apart from Dakyns, has not seen any other 'friend or acquaintance', which he is generally satisfied with as he 'hate[s] to carry England about with [him] everywhere'. Declares his fondness for Göttingen, and for the simplicity of German life; imagines his mother suggesting that this is 'as a change... and to add zest to the luxuries of Cambridge', and half-agrees, but says that if forced out of England it would be only a 'half-banishment' if he had Germany to go to. Does not want this, though, as he values 'the English freedom of action as high, if not higher, than the German freedom of thought' and says that in England they have more 'real liberality' than in Germany. Excludes the 'half-educated Englishman whom the daily papers are written to suit' from this, and says he sometimes thinks that kind of man 'the most conceited idiot on the face of the earth'.

Refers to his mother's request for stamps, and informs her that the youngest Miss Benfey is a stamp-collector and has given to him thirty-seven stamps of the different German states. He would like his mother to procure and send the three different kinds of envelope stamps.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

[Sent from Lille]:- Announces that he has left 'Arcadia [Göttingen]', and is spending the night 'in a country where they chatter a superficial language called French.' Discusses his liking for the German people, who, he believes, 'have attained the end of civilization i.e. intellectual and aesthetic development without the usual concommitent disadvantages of civilization i.e. luxury and ceremony'. Says Professor Ewald has devoted much of his time to him, and has refused to take any payment. Attended a meeting of philologers at Hanover, which was 'not bad fun'; spent his time with the 'Orientalist section, who are a sociable lot'. Objects however to German state dinners, which are very long drawn out because the speeches go on between the courses, and comments on the amount of wine consumed at the dinner he attended.

Reports that he has not learnt very much Arabic. States that Professor Ewald is not complimentary but consoles him by saying that he knows more than most Englishmen; his other Professor [Wüstenfeld] is much politer, 'but then he is at once good natured and shy'.. Praises the German people once again. Mentions that Professor Benfey is one of the founders of Comparative Philology.

Says that the King of Hanover would have asked to be remembered to her 'had he thought of it, as it was he only asked about the state of Hebrew learning in the English Universities'; he was 'on the whole very amiable and seemed to take a pleasure in talking English'. Gives the address of C.K. Paul in Dorsetshire, in case his mother intends to write to him before 18 October. Announces that he is bringing the [German] stamps to her, and mentions that she never sent him the envelope stamps. Remarks that stamp collections are beginning to have a mercantile value 'just like the Dutch tulips'.

Hopes that Arthur will have got his fellowship by the time this letter reaches her, and asks her to ask him what he is going to do about the Club and whether he has communicated his [ ] to W.G. Clark.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Reports that he sent off 'a solace' for her loneliness the previous day. Regrets that there is no chance of his seeing his aunt before he goes abroad. Hopes to be able to go and see her at the end of the Long [vacation]. Undertakes not to come home until he is forced, 'unless [he] can speak German properly'. Announces that he leaves Cambridge for London the following day, where he intends to meet some friends. Reports that his three weeks in Cambridge have not been spent quite as he could wish, but admits that they have been profitable. Hopes that she will like Plato, and tells her to attribute whatever she dislikes in the work to Whewell's mistranslations. Declares that he is glad to hear of her walking, and hopes that she won't overdo it. Thanks her for the ghost story [cf 101/146], and reports that he had had two at first hand by letter from a clergyman. Sends his love to William.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Writes to wish her a happy birthday. Explains that he is very busy. Regrets that she has not yet seen their home in Cambridge, and declares that he hopes that when spring come again she will 'see the trees growing leafy in Magdalene Gardens, from [their] windows'. Reports that Arthur has just been to Cambridge, and that he is looking well and is in good spirits. Remarks that Rugby 'seems to have a very serene existence on the whole'. Was very shocked to hear of [the death of] Wyndham, and reports that L[ankester] spoke a little with Nora about it.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Reports that he had 'a most delightful visit to Dorsetshire'. Tells her that she may tell Arthur 'that the mesmerizing did not come to much', as '[Charles Kegan] Paul did not succeed in getting Cowell any further than [Henry] had done, i.e. into a partial trance.' Reports that he felt his patriotism revive 'among the chalk downs and rich autumnal parks.' Remarks that he was surprised to find that Mrs Paul, 'who has written two or three tolerably popular novels is a rather quiet shy silent person - though very thoughtful and sensible when she does speak.'

Encloses the stamps [not included] of which he spoke in previous letters, and agrees with her as to the best way of getting the others. Announces that he will study the [Robert?] Browning, and that he is setting to work, although he does not feel so much inclined for reading as he should after a holiday. Asks his mother to give his love to his aunt [Elizabeth Lace], and states that he is glad that she is going to see her. Asks when William is going to be at Rugby at Christmas, and asks if he may bring a friend or two some time in the holidays. Understands that Arthur will be 'Europeanizing.' Observes that Mr Martin seems much better, although he looks ten years older. Hopes to see William in the middle of term. States that he does not like the moral and intellectual atmosphere at Cambridge any better for having been at Göttingen, or at least its effects on him; says however that 'the great lesson' he has learned in Germany is 'the necessity and duty of steady work, and one can do that anywhere'.

Reports that he is reading all kinds of books. Asks if she gets books now from a club, and if so, recommends the article on Poland in Vacation Tourists [and Notes on Travel].

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Reports that he finds that he shall be unable to come before Friday. States that he has invited Patterson. Hopes that [J. B.?] Payne will come for a few days. Mentions the idea of using [F.E.?] Kitchener's lodgings. States that he is very busy with examinations and college politics, but that he has had an idle term on the whole. Reports that they had a very pleasant dinner on Tuesday, and that Arthur's speech 'gave great satisfaction.' Refers to his mother's question about Browning; states that he doesn't particularly care for the poem in question, and is not sure that he understands all the terms of feeling in it. Undertakes to bring the book with him to show her what he thinks of it. Reports that he could not get a good photograph of Ewald, but that he made Professor Benfey promise to send him one.

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

Encloses a cheque [not included] for the amount of his debt. Explains that he has marked with a cross the items in the bill which he returns. Reports that he is getting on 'tolerably well' [in Cambridge], but has more to do for the following term than he had expected. States that he is 'getting on with' his stammering, and has been reading aloud, including Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France. Claims that the latter is the best reading aloud he knows, not excepting [ ] Macaulay. Is glad to hear that things are looking up for his mother, and remarks what a wonderful place Rugby is for changing. Asks is not Scott's house small. Reports that he heard 'all about the Butler.' Hopes that Edward 'is not much depopulated by the additional anxiety of sick masters'.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Hopes that Arthur has enjoyed Dresden. Reports that he has seen many Rugby people that term, which, he predicts, will be a long one. Relates that he has several pupils and six hours a day 'at the least', but does not feel at all hard-worked, and that he breakfasts every day at half past seven. Extols the virtues of brooding and musing, but claims that 'a certain amount of Drudgery is necessary to longevity: that idleness and creative tension alike exhaust the creative force'. Reports that Kingsley 'is preaching sensation sermons on the Psalms of David'. Intends to go to Oxford the following Saturday 'for a refreshment' [probably for the first Ad Eundem Society dinner]. Asks his mother to tell Arthur to 'beg, borrow, or steel' Emilia in England, which had 'such an effect' on Henry that he spent his 'spare cash' on [George Meredith's] other works.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

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

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his 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 mother

Reports that he had heard about Arthur [his injury on the racquet court, see 101/165] from [R. K.?] Wilson, but the latter had not conveyed to him how bad the situation was. Remarks that it is 'a frightfully narrow escape' and that Arthur 'ought to play racquets for the future with a feeling of well-earned security.' Asks if she believes in Sharp as a surgeon. Thinks that his hay fever is beginning quietly; expects it to be 'raging in June', so tells her not to expect him then. States that he may go to London, and possibly to the sea. Thinks that he shall stay in England the following long vacation, as there is a particular subject that he wants to read, and will perhaps take a short holiday in the North. Refers to Dr Temple's involvement in the 'Reform controversy'. States that his letters are 'good in themselves, but do not convey the idea of ripeness'. Expresses his delight at the triumph of the federal cause in America.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Thanks her for writing. Sends his love to Mary. Reports that he is living up [in Cambridge] 'in much peace and prosperity now the undergraduates are gone down and [his] hayfever is kept at arm's length by a careful regimen.' Asks her when she intends to go abroad, and hopes that she will enjoy the trip. Contemplates staying in England during the long vacation, and intends to 'go North' in August to see everyone who wants to see him.

Reports that a friend of his [Edwin Charles Clark] got married the previous week, and that he wishes to find out something about his wife - Miss Kitson of Leeds - as they are going to be living in Cambridge. Reports that a book of travels by Lady Duff-Gordon has been published, and a friend of his who has had it to review has recommended it. Refers to another 'interesting book': 'Palgrave's journey across Arabia' [W. G. Palgrave's Personal Narrative of a Year's Journey through Central and Eastern Arabia (1862-1863)], and also to Miss Yonge's last novel. Of the latter, he claims that he got bored with it towards the end. Declares that Miss Oliphant's present story in Blackwood['s Magazine] 'sends [him] into fits'.

Asks his mother to tell Edward [Benson] that he was sorry he could not come to examine, and that the man who is going is a friend of his.

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 mother

[Sent from Wellington College]:- Reports that he is 'revelling in idleness and hot weather and unbending [his] mind in female society'. Reports that he left Clifton the previous day. Declares that the work was 'so appallingly hard' that he had not time to call on anybody. Maintains that he enjoyed it nonetheless. Hopes to go to his uncle Robert's on the Thursday of the following week, then on to A[ ]cliffs, Biddlesden, Leeds, and 'a flying visit to Halifax.' Asks her opinion of Stone-Gappe. States that he must be in Cambridge again by the end of the month, as he has much reading to do. Announces that he will come to her when he wants to relax slightly. Knows that the atmosphere 'will be too industrious to allow [him] to do more.' Hopes that she won't be too anxious about William's improvement.

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 his mother

Refers to the fact that he ought to have acknowledged the cheque that she sent to him [see 99/59]. Reports that it is now invested in securities 'that are rapidly declining in value.' States that he has had two days in Derbyshire, which had fine scenery', but was very cold. Declares that Roche Dakyns 'is become quite an ideal Radical'. States that he wears no collar, and spends his spare time in lying on the grass reading Norse tales to the village boys, and that he 'talks eloquently of the oppression of the people who wear velvet...and the sufferings of the hard-handed sons of labour who wear fustian.' Declares that it does his heart good to see and hear him. Complains that people are getting so contented with things as they are at Cambridge. Asks her to tell Arthur to send an order to his banker to pay over to Henry's account 'certain monies which [they] agreed were probably [Henry's] by right - unless he has devoted them to charitable objects'. Explains that the banker sternly refuses to credit them to him on any other conditions.

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