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

Regrets to hear of the unfavourable circumstances under which she made her visit to London [see Mary Sidgwick's letter, ADD.MS.c/101/179]. Reports that he has made himself rather ill 'by knocking about to Oxford and London from 13th to 15th' and has been keeping very quiet in Cambridge ever since. Intends to go to London for a few days before he goes to Rugby.

Reports that he just saw the Royal Academy, referring to the work of Leighton, Millais and Brett, and declaring it on the whole to be a bad exhibition. Announces that his friend Charles Bernard and his wife are now in England, and asks his mother if she would like him to ask him 'to run down to Rugby' while Henry is there and stay for a day or so. Reports that he saw William in Oxford on 13 June, and that he seemed very well. Indicates that they may meet in Switzerland. States that he is working now, and is very well. Tells her to keep the MSS as long as she likes; does not know if they will interest her, though he finds them interesting 'as all details of one's own mental life are. One grows old in Cambridge very fast...' Comments on the fact that [Jex]-Blake has been elected principle of Cheltenham [College]. Remarks that he will prosper, and states that he does not feel quite sure that Farrar would, although he would have felt more interested in trying the experiment with Farrar.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Had been hoping to see her. Does not think that he shall be able to come until the end of term. Announces that he has written to William to say that he should be glad to stay with him at Oxford from 17 to 23 [December], when his mother is expected to be there. Intends to go to Rugby then for about a fortnight, from 23 December to 5 January. Asks if he may ask Graham Dakyns to stay with them then. Reports that he is pretty fully employed in Cambridge and is enjoying his work, but begins to 'feel the need of taking a little care of digestion etc.' Announces that he has discovered 'what to take for Lunch!', which he heralds as 'a great discovery'; a pot of Liebig's Entractum Carnis. Admits to be 'a little sad' at the way the elections there turned out. Encourages her to read Greater Britain by Dilke. Claims to read hardly any new books now. Reports that his new rooms are 'almost decent'. Asks her to tell Arthur that he consented 'in deference to people who ought to be wiser than [himself], not to bring forward [their] motions again this year: and therefore did not write for his signature'.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

[Sent from Clifton]:- Announces that he has just arrived in Bristol, having left the Pauls the previous day. Reports that Mrs Paul asked after his mother. States that he enjoyed his visit there and in London. Remarks that Paul has got very nice children. Reports that Mrs Symonds has just had a little girl [Madge], but that he has been assured that he is not in the way. Refers to his mother's last letter in which she had discussed views on religious subjects. Believes that 'English religious society is going through a great crisis...and it will probably become impossible soon to conceal from any body the extent to which rationalistic views are held, and the extent of their deviation from traditional opinion.' Refers to the fact that the Ritualists 'are determined to burn altar lights after all.' Would like the Church 'to include the ritualists'. Reports that Noel has brought out a volume of poems, which he undertakes to send to her. Asks her to tell Arthur that he has 'nearly evolved both the major and the minor premiss [sic] of [their] practical syllogism', and that 13 February is the 'Ad Eundem day', and that he is to write to Reynolds.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Claims that he has thought a good deal about what she proposed about the Hortons [see ADD.MS.c/101/180-181]. Discusses the education of the son [Fred] and the possibility of his getting a scholarship to Winchester, and of going on the University education. Believes that if he is 'only ordinarily sharp', that he should probably not go to University, and that the Sidgwicks should help the family 'in some more pressing need.' Also discusses the little girl [Rose]'s future, and agrees with his mother in relation to not taking her away from home. Asks how she liked Paracelsus [by Browning], which he thinks 'has splendid stuff', despite being 'much too difficult and obscure'. Reports that Noel has published a volume of poems, which have been reviewed in the Pall Mall Gazette. Asks after Arthur. Reports that Martineau has written 'a fine pamphlet' for the Free Christian Union.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Explains the delay in sending a copy of Roden Noel's poems [not included]- to her. Asks if she has seen his review in the Spectator, which, he claims, was written 'with a sincere effort at rigid impartiality', and therefore has not altogether pleased the poet.

Claims that he has not been able to find out anything for the advantage of Mrs Horton, and that he cannot [hear] of the school his mother mentions [see ADD.MS.c/101/181], and asks if it is Clapton. Discusses the boy [Fred Horton]'s educational future, and suggests that if he could not get a scholarship at Rugby, he probably would not be able to obtain an exhibition. Promises to talk about the situation with her when he comes to visit, which he hopes will be 'about Thursday week - if not, the Sunday following.'

Asks her to tell him by return of post what Arthur is going to do at Easter, and whether he may ask Trevelyan to come down for a day while Arthur is there. Claims that he is not over-working. Reports that he suffered from some sleeplessness at the beginning of the term, and that he does very little work in the evenings. The consequences, he claims, are that he neither wants nor can afford a holiday, and wants time to prepare his lectures for the following term. Asks her to send him William's address.

Undertakes to bring 'Lowell's new volume' with him, and remarks that 'the "commemoration ode" is, on the whole, splendid', and judges that it ought to appear in any collection of English Lyrics. With regard to the word 'English', remarks that it must now become designative of race and language, not of polity, and that they must now call themselves 'as opposed to the Americans, Britons.' Remarks that 'Mary [Benson?] has subsided into silence', and does not think she is studying either algebra or political philosophy. Reports that Mrs Kingsley asked after her the other day.

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