Item 157 - Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

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TRER/45/157

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Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

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  • [Mar 1888] (Creation)

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[on headed notepaper for 8 Grosvenor Crescent; envelope postmarked 23 Mar 1888]:- Is sorry to say that he has 'very bad news' again, but that 'it is nothing to do with idleness, or inattention...' since he does not 'think there is a master who can deny' that he has 'worked really well' in the last fortnight. Last term, Robert used to help a boy called Roffey with his iambics, which is not against the rules since 'a sixth form has a right to give help' which is recognised by masters if 'in moderation'. Roffey is 'not a clever boy, but one of that large class who do as little work as they can'. Robert used to talk to Charlie about it, who did not think there was anything wrong in helping boys like that who do not want to get on as long as it does not inconvenience the helper.

This term Robert did more, and 'often did the whole exercise' for Roffey, not as well as he could but 'making mistakes purposely', so that Roffey in fact got higher marks when he did the work himself. Robert says this to prove that he did not help to make Roffey 'get his remove', which Roffey did not wish to get and often said he 'preferred remaining where he was': Roffey was 'simply lazy' and Robert 'good-natured'. Last night Bowen found Robert doing Roffey's exercizes, and saw it as the two of them 'conspiring together to cheat and overreach Mr Watson', thinking that Roffey was doing it to get his remove. Robert sees that Bowen has 'a right to be very angry, and to punish [Robert] as severely as he chooses', but that as he was not doing his best in the exercises, he will 'maintain... until the end' that he was not conspiring to cheat anyone, but just out of good nature; that he did not do it 'from compulsion', though it was hard to stop once he had begun, and it 'never interfered with work'. Does 'not think it a very disgraceful thing, but... a very foolish and weak thing to have done' so much of it; his parents and the masters have 'a right to be very angry' with him and he 'cannot complain at any punishment' he gets. Is more worried about the 'trouble and distress' it will give his parents than anything which will happen to him.

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45/225 - Letter from E. E. Bowen to Caroline Trevelyan, 24 [Mar 1888], regarding this incident.

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