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Letter from J.C. Symonds to Nora Sidgwick

Has just finished reading Henry Sidgwick: A Memoir, and thanks Nora again for giving it to her; reading it 'has been like living with old friends over again. Remarks on how Henry's 'unique character shines out of that wonderful series of letters from early days to the patient givingup of all that life means in the last dozen....' Notes also that at the end he was not tired of life; that he wanted to live, and had Nora by his side. Recalls Henry at Mentone, 'and then through the [ ] of years until that last pitiful sight of him in the nursing-home....' Suggests that the love he won from his friends was his best gift, and declares what good company he was. Has a letter he wrote to her daughter Katharine 'in the last weeks of her engagement to Charles Furse.' States that she has Katharine and her boys with her now. There is an exhibition of Charles' work at the Burlington Club Rooms in the following few weeks, and they will probably go to it.

Symonds, Janet Catherine North (1837-1913) author

Letter from Janet Catherine Symonds to Henry Sidgwick

States that she was glad to receive his letter, and also to receive one that came from H.F. Brown at the same time. Agrees that the latter 'is remarkably tolerant of criticism', and remarks on the difficulty of his task. Reports that the proofs 'have now come in up to the opening of the second volume [of the biography of John Addington Symonds compiled by Brown from his letters and papers]', and expresses her relief that Sidgwick and Mrs Green are to revise them. Agrees with Horatio 'that to Bowdlerise these letters till all colour of individuality is gone - would be untrue to the subject and unfair to the readers', and maintains that the question of suppression is one of degree. Does not agree that all allusions to ill-health should be suppressed, and hopes that the 'Harrow part' in the first volume can be amended. Refers to the bad weather that they have been experiencing of late, 'and now a change to glorious October.' Reports that her cat, [Quasjee], has knocked over her inkstand and has left a paw-print on the already addressed envelope. Has decided to send it on as it is, though admits that it is more in Francis Galton's line than Sidgwick's. Reports that [Mrs] Greg has written that she is going with Walter to stay at the Hunter's Lodge, and asks Sidgwick to make friends with her. Send her love to Sidgwick and Mrs Sidgwick, and refers to there visit to her in Davos-Platz as 'the pleasantest thing that has happened' to her that year.

Symonds, Janet Catherine North (1837-1913) author

Letter from Janet Catherine Symonds to Henry Sidgwick

Suggests that he come to visit them about 28 December for four or five days. Explains that Johnnie could not go away before that. Sympathises with him about photographing. Reports that Johnnie is better than he has been for weeks. Expresses her sympathies in relation to the 'revolution' at Rugby [the departure of the headmaster Frederick Temple?]. Sends her love to Sidgwick's mother, and asks him to tell her how sorry she is for her. Reports that they have had Mr Myers with them a good deal during the autumn. She 'cannot help wondering always if he will "last"...in Mr [Conington]'s sense of the word.' Reports that Dr Symonds is ill again, but hopes that it is just a temporary relapse.

Symonds, Janet Catherine North (1837-1913) author

Letter from Janet Catherine Symonds to Henry Sidgwick

Explains that the reply to Sidgwick's letter to Johnnie has been sent back to her in Clifton by Storke, who was afraid of directing the post to Amsteg. Reports that Johnnie has been 'rained up in [Maderaner Tal?]' all that week, and would have been glad of receiving some post. Thinks that he is content, and reports that he likes his companions. Declares that Mrs Butler was at [Mürren], as was F. Myers, and around twenty other people. Gathers that the [Lee?] Warners 'were a bore, but that he liked the [F.E?] Kitcheners very much indeed.' Johnnie says that Mrs Kitchener reminded him of Lady Sabine. Refers to Sidgwick's loss of interest in the English hills, and urges him to forget that he has seen the Alps. Maintains that comparisons are odious. States that she was at Tintern the previous week, and suggests that this has perhaps given her a new love for the quietness of the English scenery.

Symonds, Janet Catherine North (1837-1913) author

Letter from Janet Catherine Symonds to Henry Sidgwick

Sends receipt for £5 [not included]. Wishes that Sidgwick 'had come West instead of East', but predicts that he will have a good opportunity of studying the idiosyncrasy of his country-men and women in their holiday mood where is is at present. Refers to the weather and the dangers of hay fever. Recounts that 'Tom Green is reported very uncomfortable at Bolton Abbey'. Asks for more details on the crisis at Rugby. Reports that Johnnie is going to Switzerland with [Norman Moor], while the writer stays at home with her babies. Claims that she does not mind, but that she should like to see the Monte Rosa valleys again. Wonders whether Sidgwick and Johnnie will meet. Reports that Graham [Dakyns?] is also going to Switzerland.

Symonds, Janet Catherine North (1837-1913) author

Letter from Janet Catherine Symonds to Henry Sidgwick

Claims that she cannot help writing, after reading Sidgwick's last letter to H.F. B[rown]. Says that she has thought of him and Nora much since she saw them in London. Glad that they are 'able to move about among [their] fellow-men even at Margate'. Reports that the weather is persistently bad in the High Alps, and remarks that it is well that Horatio has the History of [Venice] 'to employ his mind, for his walking boots won't sit idle on the shelf on such a day as this.' Reports that her sister [in law] Charlotte - Mrs Green - is there, and that Lina Duff Gordon and 'Charles Furse's nice sister' went off to England that day. Refers to Katharine's happiness, and confesses that it is infectious, but expresses her concern as to whether it can last. Reports that Charles writes to Katharine that he has eight portraits to finish and two large decorative p[ ]s for Liverpool 'before he can possibly find time for marrying her'. States that 'Madge's letters are all agog about the prospect of Sedbergh' [her husband William may have been in the running for a position there] and that the elections are to be settled by the twentieth of the month. Declares his testimonials to be excellent, and says that she is glad that Sidgwick saw him. States that she loves him best of her sons-in-law. Sends her love to both Sidgwick and his wife.

Symonds, Janet Catherine North (1837-1913) author

Letter from Janet C. Symonds to Nora Sidgwick

Refers to Henry's letter to Katharine, which induced her to write to Nora and Henry, 'just to feel in touch with [them] both.' Declares that she loves them both dearly, and thinks about them constantly. Reports that three days previously H.F. Brown sent her Henry's letter 'to him, dictated to Graham Dakyns...' Wishes that they both could have come out to Switzerland again, 'just as in the old days!' Recounts her memories of the Sidgwicks' last visit there, when the latter were 'just fresh from [their] [Hyères] visit', and the wonders of their latest mediums, '[not yet proved fraudulent]'. Laments that now 'the last of the children will soon be gone too', and that his world in the past few years 'has been shrinking at an appaling rate'. Claims that the Sidgwicks were her favourite visitors, and refers to how 'Johnnie' [John Addington Symonds] loved the talks he had with Henry, and how he made point of keeping his letters. Hopes to see them both in the autumn, when she intends to go to England. Asks Nora who will do her work at Newnham, as she assumes that she could not stand the social strain of it now.. Reports that their house is full now, with Madge, her husband and baby, Walter Leaf, and others. Announces that Katharine is to go to England in three weeks, and in two months will be married, the idea of which, she claims, she has yet to get used to. Refers again to Henry's letter to Katharine. States that she hopes that 'C[harles] F[urse] is worthy of all the believing love of which she [Katharine] is making him the centre.' Prays for God's blessing to be upon the Sidgwicks.

Symonds, Janet Catherine North (1837-1913) author

Letter from Janet C. Symonds to Nora Sidgwick

Writes to express her sympathy with Nora on the death of Henry Sidgwick. Assures her that she is thinking of her. Declares that she is thankful that his rest has come. Claims that no one ever gave his friends so much.

Symonds, Janet Catherine North (1837-1913) author

Letter from J.C. Symonds to Nora Sidgwick

Expresses her delight that Nora is to give her a copy of Henry Sidgwick: A Memoir; Nora will miss it now, though it must be 'a comfort that the responsibility is out of [her] hands.' Remarks also on 'how infinitely pathetic' to her must have been the work of that last dictated bit of autobiography', and states that no one ever lived in his letters as Henry did. Has kept 'that last little note' which Henry wrote to her, which came to her 'at [Mary] Ewarts'. There are 'too many people still left to whom [Henry] was a real friend as well as teacher' for the book to remain unread.

Reports that Katharine is at Davos, that the latter's boys are with her [in Lyme Regis], and that they and Katharine were all at Am Hof with her 'until the last days came.' States that she and [ ] are going to live together at Y[ickley] as soon as the Leafs leave it. Does not know if the arrangement will work out or not. She intends to return to Lyme Regis the following winter. Wishes that the house were really her own. Reports that she heard from Baron von Hügel some days previously. Fears that she has been very ill. Expresses her desire to come to see 'both of them' and Nora 'one day soon'.

Symonds, Janet Catherine North (1837-1913) author