Pièce 126 - Letter from E. P. Arnold to Caroline Trevelyan

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TRER/45/126

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Letter from E. P. Arnold to Caroline Trevelyan

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  • 24 Apr 1886 (Production)

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Sandford Hotel, Niton, I[sle] of Wight [using Wixenford headed notepaper]:- The Arnolds have 'just arrived' after a 'most pleasant journey'. Arnold picked up Mrs Trevelyan's 'kind letter' at the Hartley Row post office, on the way to Winchfield Station, and thanks her for all he says. He also received an 'interesting letter from Mr Bowen' which he encloses [not now present] as Trevelyan will want to see it. It has been a 'great delight... to hear of Bobbie's success [in the Harrow examination]', which has 'doubled and more than doubled' his pleasure in the holidays, particularly for the happiness it will have given Mr and Mrs Trevelyan. Thinks nothing could better 'drive away the memory of the worries of last session than the return home of two such refreshing young people as Bobbie and George'. First heard the 'good news from Mr Welldon' who said that as far as he could tell from the viva voce examination, Bobbie seems 'to be a boy of wide interests as well as considerable classical attainments'.

Arnold finds what Bowen says to be just what he expected, and considers it 'very satisfactory, though it may not sound so to everyone. Bobbie's work all through showed power and ability' and pleased the examiners, though 'his blunders almost proved fatal'. Believes that the ability will grow 'rapidly', and the 'inaccuracy will disappear before long'; this will require a 'constant effort', but he thinks that Bobbie will 'triumph'. Latin Prose is in fact Bobbie's strongest subject - thinks Mr Trevelyan will agree if he looks over the piece which Bobbie took home - but 'again and again [in class] he did what he must have done in the examination'. He 'really is a fairly sound scholar for his age', as he can almost always correct the mistakes he makes as soon as he is asked. Arnold was surprised he did so well in verse, for which he needed more time, and 'of course forgive[s] him his bad Latin Prose in return for his good verses'.

Was very glad Bobbie did a good Homer paper, which he owes 'chiefly to the work he did with his father last holidays'. His French is 'really rather good' and he could have 'made it tell' in the examination with 'very little brushing up', but Arnold spent almost all the time for this on Greek. Apologises for 'such a number of details', but offers them in support of the hope that 'if Bobbie's work was so good to place him 3rd in spite of his many blunders', they may 'soon hope to see him in the very first place'. It is obvious that Mr Bowen is interested in Bobbie, which Arnold is glad of, 'for no one can help him better'. Sends thanks to Mr Trevelyan for his letter last week, and best regards from himself and his wife. Adds a postscript saying that he should have written to Bobbie yesterday but was too busy; will write to him very soon.

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