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Sidgwick, Mary (d 1879) mother of Henry Sidgwick
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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.

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

[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

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

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

States that he would be delighted to see her, but explains that he will be very busy with preparing and delivering lectures until 4 June. Informs her, however, that after 6 June, he shall be quite free. Sets out how he would arrange his day should she come to see him, since he is 'just not vigorous enough to be able to compress [his] work'. Tells her that if she were to come before 6 June, the week ending Tuesday 2 June would be a good time, and that there will be boat processions and 'A.D.C' [theatre productions]. Asks her to tell him of her decision as soon as possible.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Reports that his nerves have got a little depressed 'not by hard work, but by too continuous a strain'; thinks hard work is healthy 'if one can enjoy leisure', but that 'What is trying is a Care perpetually haunting one, of whatever sort it may be'. Announces that his work will end about 6 June, and hopes that she may be able to come to visit him around that time, 'or else when the interesting events (boat processions, flower shows etc...) take place'. Reports that Cambridge is 'charming' at that time, and hopes that it may continue so. Claims that his rooms 'are those of an anchorite.'

Asks her view on 'the great "Spiritual" case'. States that he is writing for the summing up. Feels that he has been very neglectful of her. Reports that he has not been very well, and fears breaking down before the end of the term. Tells her that the week of the May examinations, from Saturday 6 to Saturday 13 June would be the best for a visit from her. States however that he will be very busy, that 'Cambridge will be frightfully full and it will be difficult to find lodgings.' Confirms that there will be balls on that week, and suggests that she might bring Annie [his cousin]. Reports that Lord Russell is there, and comments that 'he looks a very inferior sort of great man.'

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Explains that his silence is due to his having 'a great number of letters to write of a semi-political character.' Is glad to hear her favourable account of his uncle [John Crofts?]. Asks her to send his greetings to everyone. Discusses Miss [Matilda?] Tootal's questions; states that the association [the board formed by Oxford and Cambridge fellows for the examination of governesses and schoolmistresses] is only voluntary and therefore may be dissolved at any moment with more ease than if it was a chartered body. Claims however that when its work is done the distinction will not be very important, and that if the scheme fails to obtain the support of those for whom it is intended, they [Sidgwick and others] 'can dissolve without the slightest trouble and with the sense of having done [their] part towards the improvement of female education.' Explains the consequences of one's name appearing on the list of the association, i.e., that that person takes some responsibility for the arrangement of the scheme of examination and for the appointment of examiners. Refers to 'the "prestige" of a university diploma', what it represents, and what theirs will represent.

States that the scheme of the University of London 'is as yet undetermined', but that if it proves to be successful 'then there will be two schemes of examination for women, just as there are now Oxford middleclass examinations and Cambridge ditto.' Warns that if they do not get enough candidates the association will dissolve. Hopes that, by their example, they will encourage 'the Universities' to follow the same line, and that they may arouse the interest of a large number of the influential members of both Universities in the cause of the higher education of women. They intend to 'meet an existing need and to continue [their] operations as long as [they] get a sufficient number of candidates, unless superseded by corporate action on the part of either Cambridge or Oxford.' Hopes to come to visit his mother for Passion Week, and asks if he may invite Seeley to come.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Reports that he 'got a little out of order' on the journey from Cannes, and resolves to take care of himself; cannot uses his 'eyes or brain' for an hour or two after dinner 'or - dyspepsia'. States that he has much work to do. Regrets that he missed seeing Arthur before he left. Declares that he enjoyed the Mediterranean air. Reports that he found out Mrs Plunkett, who asked after his mother. He travelled to Cannes with Mr Otto Goldschmidt, 'a most neat - vivacious little man', whose wife [Jenny Lind] is 'rather a swell at Cannes: but not popular' as far as he could tell. Describes the scenic delights of Mentone. Reports that Symonds is very ill, and that his wife looked 'worn and anxious.' Wonders if William will come over to Cambridge that term.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Announced that he has arrived in Cannes 'after a somewhat trying journey': the worst part being the Dover to Calais crossing which he found so rough that he was afraid to subsequently take the night train to Avignon 'for fear of being regularly knocked up'. Was glad to instead spend a morning in Paris, a town he 'love[s] above all towns', where he suffered the effects of a very cold North Wind. Refers to the tradition of selling étrennes [new year's gifts], which he does not wish to 'transplant' to Britain; it is bad enough having to give presents to friends when they marry. Reports that he spent some hours in the Louvre, and found that his feeling for Greuze had grown.

Travelled on to Avignon that night, where he encountered a snow-storm. Remarks that the Palace of the Popes 'looks much more like a great barrack which it now is than like a palace'. He stayed in Marseilles on Wednesday night, and the next morning saw the Mediterranean for the first time. Complains that it has rained every day since he arrived. Reports that Symonds 'does not look at all well, but says he is better', and has sprained an ankle. Mentions that Montagu Butler is there, and that he intends to see him soon and hopes to hear about Haileybury and A G Butler. Reports that [Roden] Noel 'left a wideawake' with them, and asks her to send it to him in London. Asks her to keep carefully any letters about his room or else [ ] belonging to him that she may find. Reports that he had 'a melancholy business at Hastings dividing the library [of his friend Cowell, who died the previous month]'; he could not take all the books and those he had taken will 'oblige him to line [his] room with bookcases'. Remarks that this 'complete break-up, extinction of a family is very sad.'

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

Expresses his delight at the news of the birth of her son [Martin, born 19 August]. Asks her to tell their mother that he shall be grateful to her if she would pay that 'bill of Warwick' for him. Admits that he has been very careless about it. Reports that he saw Mr Dale a week previously, who latter preached at a service attended by Henry and 'gave the unhappy congregation a rest from the pretentious and insolent platitudes of [their] regular man...' Claims that Dale believed that the Princess Frederic William would be present at the service for the first time after her confinement. Reports that he gave him news of Ada [Benson], whom Henry is to see in about two weeks' time.

Announces that after going to Dresden he intends to visit Brunswick with Professor H[errig], who is to introduce him to a society of philologues. States that after that he shall go walking in the Harz and on the Rhine. Reports that he is learning German. Recommends 'Tieck's Novellen' if she wishes for 'an easy and delightful German book' to amuse herself with. Recounts his amusement at the depiction of an Englishman on the Berlin stage. Regrets to hear of Arthur's renewed illness, especially as he is spending the summer at the Lakes. Claims that he has no impulse to indulge in composition at the present, but recounts a humorous story involving a hero and heroine named Edwin and Angelina, who are in love, but for whom it is impossible to declare their feelings to one another. One day they sit down to play the '[ ] duet of Beethoven together', and the music has such an effect on them that they fall into each other's arms, in which position they are found by [her] father. Claims that the foregoing 'is literally founded on fact', and is reserved in his notebook. Sends his love to his mother.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

He and Nora have been so lazy [on their honeymoon in Paris] that they have nothing to say, 'except that the days are of unclouded blue, and very balmy air - both literally and symbolically'. Nora is educating his taste 'in Plates, Cups, Crockery of all kinds, and other elements of the art of domestic ornamentation'. They intend going to the opera that night, in order that she may educate his musical susceptibility if possible; in return he claims to be directing her studies in political economy. They study architecture and painting together, and that they had a very successful day at Amiens, 'in a really charming hotel.' Hopes that the entertainment went off well, and that this mother was not too tired afterwards; asks whether she did not think Nora looked 'like an angel in her white dress and veil'. Asks her to send the family crest to Arthur Balfour, 'that he may...get it put on some spoons and forks he is giving [them]', and to let them know if she hears of a cook who can really be recommended; adds that they do not mind paying her good wages, but that she will have to do without a kitchen-maid. Remarks how wonderful it is how interested he is getting in domestic matters. Sends Nora's love.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

[Sent from Dresden]:- Reports that he has concluded his stay in Berlin. Declares that he shall return to Germany when he wants to 'learn humility and contentment'. Has 'dropped over to Dresden to see Ada [Benson] and renew [his] acquaintance with the town and pictures.' Reports that Ada seemed very well and happy, 'tho' decidedly thinner', and 'declared herself charmed with the town, with her studies, with the Hauptmann and his wife with whom she lives'. Reports that the previous day he saw Mr and Mrs Dale, whose baby is 'a fine solid little fellow'. On Tuesday he goes with Professor Herrig to a 'Versammlung of Philologs' at Brunswick.

Hopes that Minnie will soon be strong enough to write to him. Went to the theatre with Ada and her hosts 'to see the famous Emil Devrient act.' Explains that going to the theatre in Germany is 'one of the most approved methods of learning the spoken language'. Remarks that his mother has not told him of her plans for the winter, except that she does not see any chance of settling down until the spring. Does not suppose that she will stay at Wellington College until Christmas. Invites her to stay at lodgings in Cambridge for the autumn. Announces that he will not return to England until 'the 20th', as he wishes to do some travelling. Will be at Brunswick until 29 September, 'then in about a week at Frankfurt Am Main, then in about a week at Bonn.' Sends his love to Edward. Recounts a story about Lord John Russell in Berlin told to him by Professor Ranke. The latter is engaged in a work on English history, and 'spoke with great regret of Macaulay whom he admires excessively, tho' so opposed to him in opinion'.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Refers to an enclosed piece [not included], which, together with a few lines he wrote to Arthur, give his view of William. Reports that on the whole he was 'agreeable surprised with his aspect'; claims that he does not look very ill, but that he looks like someone in the first stage of convalescence. States that others who came to the same [Ad Eundem?] Club dinner in Oxford also thought him to be looking better than they expected. Reports that Digby told him that he had spoken to Mr Symonds, who attends William, about the latter's attack.

Asks her to thank Arthur on his behalf for the signatures. Announces that he sent in his thirteen propositions [for college reform] that day. Declares that 'the extent to which [he is] reforming mankind at present is quite appalling'. Reports that they have 'a fine old Conservative Institution which will resist many shocks of feeble individuals like [himself].' Claims that these Conservatives 'are too triumphant at present', and refers to Italian affairs, including the failed revolution, Victor Emmanuel and Garibaldi. Mentions that Trevelyan was present at the latter's arrest. Undertakes to tell her when anything is settled about [Roden] Noel's visit. States that he has asked him to visit some time in December, since he [Henry] intends to go abroad for about three weeks at the end of the month. Announces that he must be back in Cambridge earlier than usual after the Christmas vacation, as he 'holds the dignified post of "Father of the College"!'

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Announced that he has decided to come to Rugby the week after the following week, instead of the following Thursday, as he had originally intended. States that he wishes to dine with his editor at Harrow on the following Saturday and see his friends there. Reports that Montagu Butler has been seriously ill, but is getting better. Is very sorry to hear about Mary, and asks for a better account to be sent as soon as she can. Also regrets to read her report of William, and states that he has no time to go and see him.

Regrets that he is not able to work as hard as he should like. Declares that he should have given himself a longer complete holiday during that long vacation. Reports on the work he has done. Thought that he 'should have got further towards explaining Spiritualism, one way or another'; however, 'it gives life an additional interest having a problem of such magnitude still to solve'. Asks his mother's opinion on the Bishop's address, and remarks that he thought it was 'exceedingly well composed on the whole'. Professes to be becoming more interested in ecclesiastical matters from reading English history. Sends his love to Mary and Edward.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Presumes that Edward [Benson], whom he saw at Cambridge, will have given her an account of him. Claims to have regretted leaving there for London, where he has been working and pursuing his enquiries into Spiritualism. With the latter he claims to be disappointed, as he claims to hear extraordinary stories, but yet fail to see any proof himself. Reports that he has seen Roche Dakyns once or twice, and that the latter 'has with much unassuming self-devotion given up his one month of holidays to be with his parents.' Refers to Dakyns' father's illness. Reports that he has also seen Graham Dakyns, who had not seen Arthur, 'but had heard of him'.

Asks about her and Arthur's return to Rugby. Declares that he may pay a visit there on 3 October, and asks whether she will be there at that time. Presumes that she will stay with Mary as long as she can be of service. Refers to Edward's view that Mary 'was somewhat slow in recovering.' Announces that he expects the book to which he has contributed to be out in about a month. Reports that he has just heard from Symonds, 'who says that Arthur is with him, looking "robust fresh and happy".' Declares that he is glad to hear such news, as he himself thought he looked 'jaded when he passed thro' London.' Sends his love to Edward and Mary.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

[Sent from Gower St, London]:- Reports that he has been staying with Cowell for the last week, and is now again in lodgings, writing his essay 'and hunting up spiritualists, but has not been very successful in his enquiries. Refers to the letters from her and Arthur, and declares that he is sorry to hear of Miss [Lucy] Brown's condition [see 101/167]. Announces that he will see Arthur when he passes through. Remarks that Arthur 'seems to be going to fly about after the fashion of schoolmasters'. Hopes that William will be 'quite strong' the following term, and will recover his energy for work. Believes that his career depends upon his doing something outside his professional work.

Reports that he himself is not very well, but thinks that it is only 'a passing indisposition'. Intends to take a holiday as soon as he feels he wants one. Does not think he shall go to Wellington College at the beginning of the holidays, as he wishes to finish his essay before he leaves London. Describes his affection for London, and mentions the pleasures that it offers to him, for example, trips to the British Museum, to the Portrait Gallery, and to the Royal Academy, and also conversations with 'a member of the society of "Divine Spiritualists".' Refers to an enclosed translation of a speech from Goethe's Iphigenia [not included]. Sends his love to Mary and Edward [Benson].

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Edward White Benson

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

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

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

[Sent from Gower Street]:- Announces that he is again in London, 'intending to work and see anything that is to be seen in the way of mediums.' States that he may 'fly to Cambridge.' Remarks that there is now one there in London that he can see 'without wasting a great deal of time.' Reports that Hales is in London, but he feels that it would be premature to call on him. Declares that if he feels intolerably lonely 'after the pleasant society at Ffestiniog' he may be more inclined to go to Cambridge, but believes that he shall soon be too busy to do that. Describes the scenery of Ffestiniog, and his experiences there, including a climb up Moel Siabod.

Reports that he has not been able to pay his visit to [Charles Kegan] Paul as he did not feel that he had the time to spare. Claims that life is somewhat difficult for him at present, 'full of doubts and problems', and that solitude is good for him, 'though rather depressing'. Quotes some lines of Aubrey de Vere. Declares that he is reading English history, and is astonished to find 'what a want there is of a good history of England before the Tudors.' Claims that the best seems to be in German. Sends the letter to Wellington College, as his mother did not say in her last letter where she was going. Hopes that Mary is progressing as well as she could expect. Asks when Arthur is to return to Rugby, and when she intends to return there.

Forgets whether she has read Goldwin Smith's lectures; 'Three Statesmen or some such name.' Declares that the last lecture, which is on Pitt, seems to him better written than anything else of his. Asks after William.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Observes that he has left more than one of her letters unanswered. Reports that he has been seeing friends chiefly 'and walking to and fro in a great city.' Relates that he has been working at an essay for a volume, and suggests that an article of his may appear 'in next Macmillan['s Magazine]'. Fears that his work will hardly pay for his expenses. Reports that he has been inquiring into Spiritualism, but that it has not come to much. Declares that he can 'get to see and hear very astounding things in the dark with people [he does] not know', but can never get conditions to satisfy him.

Claims that he can never get enough time to read at the Museum, and although he feels well, he cannot get enough sleep. Is considering writing an essay for the Quarterly Review the following term, but does not know if it will be put in. Reports that he has plenty of work on his hands, as he has 'an entirely new subject to prepare' for the following term. Feels that he could write literature if only his mind was 'less chaotic'.

Remarks that London is a stimulating place, and that one meets stimulating people there, including Mazzini, whom he had met some nights before at dinner, and who 'attacked' him about Spiritualism, and 'bore down upon [him] with such a current of clear eager argument'; was 'overwhelmed', as people usually either treat it as a joke or have' nothing to say but the shallowest commonplace'.

Reports that he is staying in lodgings between two visits; has been staying with Symonds, whom he thinks his mother knows, as he has been at Rugby; describes him as 'also stimulating, though... a great invalid'. He is also going to stay with Cowell.

States that he will certainly come and see his mother at Wellington College: Edward [Benson] has asked him to come and that he has promised to do so. Cannot remember when, and asks her to find out when Edward is to go away. Remarks that he would just as soon come in the holidays as in the school-time, 'except for seeing [Henry Weston?] Eve.' Sends his love to all.

With regard to books, claims that he has not read any lately. States that the 'Cornhill of July is good: there is Matthew Arnold on culture, and an article on the Alps 'which makes one want to go there'.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

[Written in response to 101/174]:- States that he does not think Stuart so good a man as Hales, who is older and has had much more educational experience than the former. Declares that 'if they [Miss Clough and associates working to further female education] do not mind [Stuart's] age...his inexperience, and...want of any special qualification in the way of reading, - in every other respect the choice would be an admirable one.' Refers to his qualities; 'bright, eager, clever', etc.

Does not think he [Henry] shall be able to stand a speech-day and a dinner [at Rugby] on 20 June, 'much as [his] feelings are of course moved by the tercentenary', as he predicts his hay fever shall be bad. Announces his plan of spending a fortnight or so in London around that date, and plans to read at the British Museum in the day-time, and by night to 'prowl about the streets and observe human nature'. Remarks that none of Mrs Paul's novels are in the University Library. Asks her to tell Arthur that he will answer the letter he forwarded. Reports that there is a conspiracy [at Trinity College] now to call him 'A. Sidgwick', which, he remarks, 'is one of the inconveniences of having a brother better known in the world than oneself.'

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Informs her that he has been trying to procure for her a novel by Mrs Paul, but has lost his copy and cannot find a copy in the University Library. Promises to get one for her 'some way or other.' Is glad that she is enjoying herself and is amused to hear of William's decorations. Fears that he will not be able to go to Oxford that term, but hopes to see William at the end of it. Claims not to have inclination to taking much trouble with his temporary accommodation. Remarks that 'a bachelor making himself comfortable seems...an incongruous thing.' Observes that fellows of colleges have a tendency to become lazy and luxurious, and states that he does not intend to be the latter. Remarks that William 'is not lazy or luxurious'. Apologises for boring her with a 'dull and egotistical discourse'.

Declares that he enjoyed his visit to London; 'every moment was filled up with something delightful.' Remarks that 'the happiness of life does depend on intellectual sympathy' to him, and that when he gets 'a good deal of it at once', such as during a London holiday, 'one seems to live a good deal in the time'; notes that if one lived among the same people one would get less of it.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

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

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Refers to [Charles Kegan] Paul's intended visit at Easter. States that he has to go up to Cambridge on the Monday [after Easter] to examine. Intends to pay a visit during Passion Week, and shall probably join her 'either just before of just after Easter Sunday.' Declares that he lives in expectation of 'the portfolio and [ ].' Promises to write to let her know when it arrives.

Asks if she has sent off 'the "de Mirville [Pneumatologie]" to Miss Attersoll' Reports that he has been corresponding with the latter on the subject, and is 'trying to instil into her some sound views on the subject of spiritualism'. Reports on a book that has recently appeared on the English Constitution, 'which is lively enough to interest people in the subject who have not previously given much attention to politics' and is 'entirely free from party spirit': The English Constitution by W. Bagehot. Declares that the two best books he has read for years on politics, are the latter and Grant Duff's Studies in European Politics. In relation to novels, refers to The Village on the Cliff [by Anne Isabella Thackeray] which he deems 'first-rate'. Claims that he is busy at present with University business. Sends his love to all at Wellington College, and refers to the fact that 'they have got a Schol[arship] at University Coll[ege].'

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

Explains that he has been 'bothered and unsettled' since he came to Berlin, and that he is now living 'en famille' at the home of Dr Lüdde-Neurath, 1 Markgrafen St. Describes his lodgings as 'very simple and homely', and comments favourably on its cheapness, as Berlin 'is a dear town for Germany'. Reports that he has a big room to himself, with a good view, and that he gets 'boarded and instructed as well...for under £10 for 6 weeks.' Refers to his linguistic skills. Reports that Patterson, who went to Germany with him, developed 'an infinite disgust of Berlin, the Germans, their manners customs and language', and Henry could not persuade him to stay for longer than a fortnight, after which he went off to tour on his own account.

Declares himself to be 'a wretched man for seeing sights', but he went to Potsdam the other day; says that its palace is prettier and more interesting than the 'Schloss' in Berlin. Remarks on the 'intense hatred' that the Germans have for the name of Napoleon. Reports that they passed the palace where the Princess Frederic William resides. Claims that he saw the report of the 'W[ellington] C[ollege] speeches' in the Times, and remarks that he was glad to see that she was 'giving further support to the sinking literature of [their] country...'

Reports that he gained nothing from his spirit-rapping 'but experience in the lower forms of human nature.' Claims that the woman involved, who accomplished 'some very remarkable liftings of the table', 'was a complete humbug', but that the experience does not at all shake his [qualified] belief in spirit-rapping. Asks if Ada [Benson] is still in Dresden, and how long she is going to stay there. Announces that he is to spend a day or two there at the end of September, and is then going to the Riesengebirge, and thne on to Prague.

Reports that the previous day he paid a very pleasant visit to Dr Rau[ ] in the evening, but claims that his German in not yet up to scratch. Announces that he intends to call upon Dr Rau[ ]'s brother that day. Reports that he ate beer-soup that day, and describes its composition. Finds that he is in Berlin 'just at the wrong time, 'as there is no university and almost no society now.' Complains that the worst feature in Berlin 'is the abundance of ---s and ----s.' Sends his love to Edward and his mother.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

He and Nora have been very busy; otherwise he would have written sooner. Refers to her direction to him in her last letter to write to William instead of her. Is glad that everything is going well. Reports that Nora wishes her to send the marmalade, in order to stop his grumbling 'at the stuff she buys'. Assures her that Nora will write soon, but explains that she is very busy with housekeeping, visitors, dinner parties, her own mathematics, and the mathematics of Newnham Hall.

Believes that the Ad Eundem is to be in Oxford on 10 [June], and asks if she could take them in then. They would like to come and see her and William, but he fears that it will very likely be an inconvenient time.

Sidgwick, Henry (1838–1900), philosopher

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

[Sent from Berlin]:- Thanks her for her letter, but admits he was not very glad to receive it. Claims that he 'cannot the least realize [Minnie and his mother], under the new circumstances [the birth of Minnie's son Martin]'. Sends his love and congratulations to Minnie, and remarks that the news makes him feel old. Describes the family with which he lodges [the Lüdde-Neuraths] as poor since they only have one servant, and there is no wine, beer or pudding. The mother and daughters are engaged in housework all morning. Remarks, however, that they possess 'thorough unconstrained geniality; and considerable intellectual cultivation.' Explains that the son is serving as a volunteer in the Prussian army. Recounts some facts about the father, a doctor; he was a member of the Burschenshaft in 1823, when the Prussian government 'wished to crush the popular movement'. He was banished from his university and had to go to another one. Describes the theatre as his chief amusement in Berlin. Claims to like his teacher very much. Asks her to tell him when she next should write what her and Minnie's plans for the winter. States that he must pay his visits, but that he must 'go straight off to Cambridge' when he returns to England.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

[Sent from St. Leonards-on-Sea]:- Reports that he found Cambridge 'full of friends and social gatherings, in spite of it's [sic] being vacation'. Declares that his friend Cowell looked better when he saw him on the previous Thursday, but that he has since caught a cold and is lying in bed 'absolutely exhausted, unable to eat or talk.' Claims that they all have colds, and fears that the reputation of St. Leonards will be ruined by another winter like the one they are experiencing. Confirms that the wind is extremely cold, and laments the fact that due to his not having brought his skates, he is 'simply reduced to a state of dull discontent.'

Mentions that all his friends have subscribed to the Jamaica Committee, and declares that he cannot make up his mind on the issue. Reports that two or three friends of his are there, so that his visit is interesting, but declares that it is a very unfortunate time for 'poor Cowell', whom he fears he excites too much with talking. Adds that also there is Cowell's father, for whom he feels much sympathy, and who he describes as 'this poor old man'. States that he himself is suffering from a sore throat. Reports that his two philosophic friends at Cambridge have both got engaged to be married within the previous three months; the last a 'man on whom [Henry] especially relied'. Supposes that if he stays on at Cambridge he will eventually get past the time of 'these disagreeable surprises', and that in ten years most of his friends 'will be either married or happy bachelors'. Realises this is 'the language of a bear', but says it is not their fault that at Cambridge they 'are thrown... into antagonism with the great interests of human life'.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Proposes to come to visit her on 29 or 31 December, and to stay until 8 or 9 January. Asks if this suits her, and to answer him by return of post. Asks when Arthur is going. Reports that his motion [proposing the election of a Praelector for the direction of Physical Science studies and other new subjects] was lost at the College meeting. Declares that he is now reading principally philosophy, and that he has much to read. Asks her to tell him about Mary [Minnie] and Edward when she writes. Reports that there are considerable changes going on [at Trinity College], which, he claims, will affect him somewhat, but that he has 'now got so used to being unsettled' that he works 'just as well'. Asks if she wrote to Mrs Clough [see 101/172/1-2).

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

[Sent with 99/76]. Asks her to write to Mrs Clough [see 101/171/1-2] to say that he has ascertained that the best man he knows for the scheme she has in view 'is at present disengaged', and would probably be most willing to assist. State that his name is J. W. Hales; he was the fourth classic in Henry's year, 'and is extremely well read in History and English literature.' States that he took a very strong interest in female and middleclass education when in Cambridge 'and was one of the chief promoters of the girls' examination.' Describes his many qualities, which he believes would make him a good lecturer. Adds that money is of importance to him, as he intends to be married. He has friends in Liverpool, and could get very good testimonials.

Would be very glad to come and stay with her the first week in January. Asks her to tell Arthur that he shall press his motion about Natural Science praelector, and that if Arthur believes in it, he ought to come, but declares that his [Henry's] case is not so strong as he could wish.

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