Item 113 - Letter from E. P. Arnold to Caroline Trevelyan

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Letter from E. P. Arnold to Caroline Trevelyan


  • 16 June 1882 (Creation)

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Wixenford, Eversley. - Not worth while sending the 'usual formal Report of Bobbie's work', but thinks his mother will be glad to hear about his health and progress; the school will break up on 1 August. Bobbie now 'looks in perfect health', as Mr Sellar [Alexander Craig Sellar, father of Bobbie's schoolfellow Gerard?] will testify. He did two hours a day less work than usual when he first returned, is now only missing one hour, and Arnold hopes that by next week he will be doing the same as the other boys. Cannot yet give a 'decided opinion' on Bobbie's work: he is obviously 'a remarkably sensible boy' and will be 'easy to interest in anything worth learning'; he seemed 'slow and unmethodical' at first but has been much quicker in the last couple of days and when 'completely settled' should do even better. Seems to have covered 'a good deal of ground superficially' rather than having 'accurate knowledge' of any of his work, but 'one is liable to forget the fewness of his years in contemplating the multitude of his inches' so Arnold does not yet think he has fathomed his 'mental powers yet'. He is currently behind the third class, and in Latin will have to work temporarily in the one below; will bear in mind Mr Trevelyan's wish and not keep him back 'a day longer than necessary'. He is 'remarkably docile', 'cheerful and bright' over both work and play. Discusses his work and class placement in History, Geography and Arithmetic. He enjoys cricket and 'plays heartily', but seems particularly keen on his butterflies; thinks he is happy and will soon have many friends at school.

Heard from Mr Sellar that Mr Trevelyan was looking 'tired'; sends sympathy for his 'gigantic task' [as Secretary of State for Ireland]. Notes in a postscript that Bobbie does French with him; as with other subjects, he thinks he will soon do well, but currently has 'very little accurate knowledge'. Bobbie got his letters from his parents today and sends 'special thanks' to his father for writing'.

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