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Additional Manuscripts c Seeley, Sir John Robert (1834–1895) Knight, historian
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Letter from J.R. Seeley to Henry Sidgwick

Explains his reasons for not replying to Sidgwick's letter of the Spring. Claims that he had begun 'an elaborate answer' when the Christian Union meetings took place. He abandoned the letter after attending one meeting, and then hoped, but failed, to see Sidgwick in London. Refers also to his marriage, and to the fact that he had his hands full, and comments that Sidgwick's letter was one which required a full answer. Hopes that Sidgwick is not prevented from working at University reform, having given up his fellowship. Reports that Maurice writes that 'the welfare of Cambridge depends on a class of residents without College ties springing up.' Claims that 'the abuse at Cambridge is the College', and that by giving up his fellowship Sidgwick is 'more free to attack this abuse.' Expresses his hope to see him on the following Saturday or Sunday.

Seeley, Sir John Robert (1834–1895) Knight, historian

Letter from J.R. Seeley to Henry Sidgwick

Declares that he thinks that Sidgwick's frame of mind 'is a degree more rational.' Encourages him to write his essay, at which point Seeley and he 'will come to an agreement.' Believes that until such time and until they meet at Cambridge, it is not worth while pursuing the discussion further, 'because it can be carried on with much less waste of time by word of mouth.' States that the period from 1760 to 1802 will do very well for him.

Seeley, Sir John Robert (1834–1895) Knight, historian

Letter from J. R. Seeley to J. Peile.

Refers to Peile's letter, which he received the previous night, and expresses his surprise and delight at the offer contained therein. Accepts the offer, which, he says, will enable him 'to fulfil the duties of [his] professorship better and relieve [him] from the necessity of frittering away much of [his] time.' Expresses the desire to know the name of the person responsible for making the offer, and to let him know 'how seasonable his offer has come.' Explains the financial difficulties he has had, and how he has made what money he could by lecturing and writing. Claims that he has had 'no rest for three or four years, and that he has been obliged to accept new work at the Royal Institution for May and June, and had decided to take pupils in the Long Vacation.

Seeley, Sir John Robert (1834–1895) Knight, historian

Letter from J. R. Seeley to E. Enfield.

Discusses Enfield's plans for the Christian Union, which he considers insufficient. Points out the apparent inconsistency between Enfield's own principle of leaving existing religious organisations alone and placing them all under a common Christian organisation, and his proposal to aid persons 'who in different sects are struggling to widen the terms of admission'. Gives his own view on sects. Agrees with Mr Martineau 'in almost all that he says' and believes, like the latter, of the importance of having 'a symbol of the common Christianity that runs through the sects'. Refers to Enfield's plans to bring out a series of tracts as a means of spreading opinion; suggests that a magazine might be more effective. Refers to an essay that he wrote in W.L. Clay's Essays on Church Policy [1868], in which he tried to demonstrates the common aspects of all sects. Discusses Christianity and Christian morality. Maintains that Enfield's plan contain too many 'negations', and thinks that the test of it will be inducing men like Mr [F. D.?] Maurice or Mr [John Llewellyn?] Davies to sympathise with its ideas.

Seeley, Sir John Robert (1834–1895) Knight, historian

Letter from J.R. Seeley to Henry Sidgwick

Announces that he has been working on an edition of the '1st Decade' [of Livy] for two years and hopes to have it published soon. Asks Sidgwick if he does not try getting up candidates of his own. Reports that he has heard from Hepworth Dixon 'that the author is [Walword] [or some such name] Secretary to the Civil Service Commission.' Does not think that Sidgwick makes out a case for Grote, and his criticisms of Seeley's work. Asks if there is no criticism 'but of the [Strauss] and [Renan] kind'. Comments that he found them dealing too much in conjecture; that they should 'let alone' the discrepancies of the Gospel, 'and stick to that in which they agree.' Announces that he is writing a preface, which he intends to send to Sidgwick for criticisms. Of the poems, observes that they were 'good in metre and showy in style, but crude in [theory] and nothing in imagination - as E[cce] H[omo] is in spite of [Seeley's] admirers.'

Seeley, Sir John Robert (1834–1895) Knight, historian

Letter from J.R. Seeley to Henry Sidgwick

Asks Sidgwick what he wants him to lecture about that term. Expresses his determination to complete his Life [and Times] of Stein. Claims to have been hard at work during the summer, and to be looking forward to 'an easy course of lectures.' Suggests the history of Prussia and Germany in the Napoleonic age. Adds that '[i]f the ladies want some quite different subject' he had better hand it over again to Hammond or P[aschew?].

Seeley, Sir John Robert (1834–1895) Knight, historian

Letter from J.R. Seeley to Henry Sidgwick

Thanks Sidgwick for his 'kind congratulations', and admits that it was a great relief to him after his unexpected defeat at King's. Expresses his satisfaction with his new College and with the improvement that has taken place there in the previous quarter of a century. Declares that if as much improvement goes on everywhere, they 'may live to see Cambridge a pleasant place and to be proud of it.'

Seeley, Sir John Robert (1834–1895) Knight, historian

Letter from J .R. Seeley to J. Peile.

Thanks him for the cheque. Again expresses his desire to know the name of the donor and asks Peile to let him know 'how very completely his kind act has attained it end', i.e., it has enabled Seeley to take some rest.

Seeley, Sir John Robert (1834–1895) Knight, historian

Letter from J.R. Seeley to Henry Sidgwick

Claims that he does not understand what right Lightfoot can have 'to say that [they] shall all soon know.' Refers to 'Saturday's attack' on him [Seeley], and to Grote's paper, which he sends to him [not included]. Comments on Grote's criticisms of his work, in relation to moral history and the attribution to Christ of discoveries in morality. Refers to his attempt at 'a sketch of all philosophies of the [Stoic] kind.' Mentions the accusation of diffuseness made in the 'Quarterly'. Refers to Sidgwick's reference to Seneca, Epictetus and Amelius, and claims that these three 'are not in the strictest sense Stoics but original moralists thinking in a generally Stoical way'. Claims that desire must be controlled, 'but only in one way, by a stronger desire'.

Seeley, Sir John Robert (1834–1895) Knight, historian

Letter from J.R. Seeley to Henry Sidgwick

Explains that he did not mean for Sidgwick to take his comments on Grote as he did. Claims that he was very glad to see the criticism, and claims that he learnt from it. Refers to Grote's arguments from moral history, and complains of him having called Seeley a humbug in relation to his method of investigation of the Gospels. Promises to write 'on the other subjects in a day or two, particularly on that distincion between moralist and legislator', in slighting which, he claims, Sidgwick quite missed the point of the book.

Seeley, Sir John Robert (1834–1895) Knight, historian

Letter from J.R. Seeley to Henry Sidgwick

Refers to a new preface, which he sends to Sidgwick [not included], and which contains the answer to some of his objections. Asks for his criticisms, and that he send it back by the end of the week. States that he has said very little about 'the universality of [Christ]'s scheme', which Sidgwick questions, and that he has simply pointed out that the Evangelists agree about it. Asks whether Sidgwick believes that Christ actually fell below the Messianic ideal. Refers to the fact that the prophets always speak of Judaism as defined to cover the earth, and asks if he thinks that Christ [retired] from this position. Observes that the passages quoted by Sidgwick 'seem only to show that Christ intended to give the Jews a decided precedence', and claims that 'the point of that Syrophoenician story is not that Christ at first hesitated, but that he ultimately gave in. Refers to the story of the Good Samaritan, and to the Sermon on the Mount. Discusses the Evangelists' portrayal of Christ. Reports that 'Waring turns out not to be the author', and suggests that Lightfoot my have got hold of a small report. Remarks that the preface that he sends 'is in a very rough state and has a gap in the middle'.

Seeley, Sir John Robert (1834–1895) Knight, historian

Letter from J.R. Seeley to Henry Sidgwick

Promises to keep Sidgwick's secret unless he abuses him too virulently. Refers to Sidgwick's MS, which he sends back with some notes he made on it [not included], and states his intention of making more remarks on it in the present letter. Refers to Sidgwick's remarks about 'Sage and [Mythers]', and discusses the 'Messiahship' of Christ, the miracles performed by the latter, and the relationship between Messiahship and kingship. States his objection to 'the pretension of finding something in the Gospels which their authors themselves did not know to be in them'; claims that Niebuhr is always doing this in Roman history. Refers to Sidgwick's implication that St Mark claimed that 'Christ called himself Messiah only late in his career', and to Sidgwick' interpretation of the story of the SyroPhoenician woman, i.e., 'that Christ's scheme had nothing to do with the Gentiles'. Believes Sidgwick to be 'thoroughly wrong in denying philanthropy to be part of [Christ's] scheme.' Remarks on Sidgwick's opinion of the Roman publicans, who, he claims, 'simply enforce an unpopular law', and were the agents of lawlessness, and refers to their portrayal in the Gospels. Refers to Sidgwick's remarks about Seeley's 'neglect of nuances' in his book, and explains that the work is intended only as a sketch. Asks about the reform of the Classical Tripos. States that he has a very strong opinion on the matter, and asks if Sidgwick would insert his views in the pamphlet he is writing.

Seeley, Sir John Robert (1834–1895) Knight, historian

Letter from J.R. Seeley to Henry Sidgwick

Claims to like Sidgwick's scheme very much. Refers to his strong views on the existing [Tripos] system. Admits that he finds himself unable conscientiously to recommend his clever pupils to go to Cambridge. Asks Sidgwick to let him see his pamphlet before he publishes it, and offers to write a short letter of approval. Explains that he does not wish to appear independently because he has no detailed plan in relation to the matter. Suggests that the Medal Examination should not be sacrificed to Verse Composition; that there should be an examination in high philology, '- in Cober, Ritschl, M[ ] etc, and examination which would require a man to know some German.' Claims that he would make the Craven turn more exclusively on Composition than it does, 'and perhaps publish a list of about a dozen names of men that had done well in the Craven Examination', which 'would be quite encouragement enough for verses - with the Camden and Medals.' Discusses the issue of morality in relation to philosophers and non-philosophers. Refers to systems of discipline, including Christianity. Remarks that 'Christ avoids all special rules...and throws the whole weight of his authority and example and that of the Church upon the one thing that is fundamental in morality, and that cannot pass away, namely Love.' States that he has discussed this at length in E[cce] H[omo], and does not understand how Sidgwick's philosopher 'emancipated from Nomos' affects him. Believes that 'the Christian is emancipated from Nomos in precisely the same way; he is not under Law but under grace; in other words he knows that there is only one Law which is to be obeyed for itself, viz. Love', and asserts that the temporary and transitory systems of which he speaks 'are very necessary...for everybody.'

Seeley, Sir John Robert (1834–1895) Knight, historian