Frank Leward: Memorials
Part I. Childhood and Schooldays
Part I. Childhood and Schooldays.
Frank to Mrs. Herbert
My dear Grandmamma. I hope you are quit well. We got home all right. Arthur was very frightend. It was very cold. I like it to snow Papa and Mama are quit well Mama sends her love. Pleese give my love to Aunt Jane and Kitto. I hope Kitto is quit well. When Mabel comes to see you give her my love. It is my birthday on Wenesday I shall be ten.
—Your loving grandson
P S I miss Kitto very much. I should like to have a poney It is a very wet day to day. Good bye.
Mrs. Herbert to Frank
My dear Frank,—I was very glad to receive your nice letter yesterday. I hope you will come to stay page 2with us again next Christmas. Aunt Jane sends her love. Kitto is quite well, and I think he misses you too, there is no one now to ride on his back. Mabel drove over the other day with her Mamma, she told me to send you a kiss. I also send you many kisses and something else as this is your birthday.—Your affectionate grandmother,
M. J. Herbert.1884.Wednesday, May 2, 1832.
Miss Herbert to Mrs. Leward
My dear Sister,—We hope the two boys reached you safely. We were so sorry you could not be with us this Christmas, and still more so for the cause, and we pray dear Francis' health will soon improve, and that you will both visit us later on, and bring dear little Arthur with you. The boys were very good on the whole; only of course Frank was sometimes rather noisy, Arthur always good and quiet. Do you not think Frank ought to go to a good public school soon ? It is best for boys, especially of his nature, although I know how deeply you would feel it at first; yet the separation must come sooner or later. Then I am afraid he is rather rough with Arthur. Mamma is better; she keeps up wonderfully for her age. I am sure Francis must feel this attempt of wicked men to destroy our country and Constitution. With best love to him and to you, dear sister, I am, yours very affectionately,
Jane Herbert.page 3
P.S.—We hear Mr. Wilberforce is very ill, but what a consolation to him to see his great work at last completed.
Frank to Mrs. Herbert
My dear Grandmamma I am very much obliged to you for your present I shall often use it. Papa says I must go to school now I am II. I want to go. I have no one to play with here only Bob Arthur is too small. I was sorry to leave Claydon I should like to come again. Give my best love to Aunt Jane and Mabel and Kitto.
Same to the same
Dear Grandmamma Hurrah I am going to Upton on Wednesday to school. Arthur is going in two years he is always crying if I touch him.
—Your affectionate grandson
Mrs. Leward to Mrs. Herbert
My dear Mother,—I never felt so sad since that saddest day when my dear Father died. My darling boy has gone to school, and the light and life of my life seems gone too. How we used to scold him, especially Francis, if he made too much noise and now I would page 4give worlds to hear him romping about the place it scarcely seems like home to me without him. I know it is foolish but I do so look forward to the holidays and it seems so long before they will come and he is so far away. I feel as if I must rush off and give him one kiss and come away again. When I look at the lock of his hair when he was a baby it is almost too much for me to bear. I have another curl I cut off when he was fast asleep in bed last night.
He had been so full of going away he could talk of nothing else all day long. I broke down dreadfully as the carriage drove off. Francis although suffering from a severe cold and sore throat went with him.
We hear the highest accounts of Dr. Pott Francis is much pleased with what he has heard of him, and we trust our boy will be kindly treated. But there are so many temptations for boys at school.
Good-bye, dear Mamma. It is such a relief to open my heart to you there is no one I can do so to as I can to you.
—Your ever-loving daughter, God bless my darling boy.
Frank to Mrs. Herbert
Dear Grandmamma Mamma says I may spend the Christmas holidays at Claydon I am very glad. She says Papa is ill but she will try to come to Claydon for a short time. How is Kitto. I suppose he is getting old now. Bob will come with Mamma to take care of her. I want to see Bob. I have a lot of friends here page 5now but Jones is my chief friend I like being at school now. I got a caning yesterday but it was'nt my fault. The Doctor is a beastly old ass. I like Mr. Saunders my master very much he plays football awfully well. There are more than 300 boys some quite grown up more than six feet high. Thank you for the book give my love to Aunt Jane and Mabel.
Your affectionate grandson
Mrs. Leward to Mr. Leward
My dear Husband,—Though I am away from home you are often in my thoughts, and I pray God may soon restore you quite to health again and bless us all as He has done so long. You can imagine my joy at seeing Frank again, he has grown such a fine big boy, and looks so well and strong. He likes Upton very much, though I cannot help sometimes feeling a little hurt when I see he will not be sorry to go back. My eyes I know the other day filled with tears when he talked so of going back to school. I am afraid he saw it for I noticed his face flush up, but of course it is natural for him to wish to be with his school friends.
He is most affectionate and kind and full of spirits. We have splendid walks together through the grand old woods and all the dear scenes of my childhood. Frank seems to grow more and more like my dear Father. Mamma notices it, and I often see her sit and gaze at page 6Frank. She is very well and cheerful, and very fond of Frank, although of course he makes some commotion in the old house. The servants especially Bob are very fond of him.
We hope to come home in a fortnight, and then I suppose Frank must go off to school again.
Mind you take care of yourself and Arthur. Jane has been rather unwell.—
Your very affectionate wife,
Frank to J. Jones
My dear Jonsey I'm awfully sorry I havnt answered your letter before. How are you. Its rather slow here now I shant be sorry when we get back. I want my grandmother to let you come there at Christmas we should have awful spree specially if my father isnt there. Mabel is an awfully jolly girl but you musnt tell the fellows about her. My dog Suso is a splendid dog black. Bob says she is the best in the country. Will you get me three yards 3d a yard, and 2 yards three hapence a yard elastic I will pay you when we go back. My grandmother sent me two half sovs I meant to keep them for next half only I spent most of one out with Bob our man the other day. Perhaps my father will give me some more but I dont know.—
P.S. Get some peashooters.
Frank to Mrs. Herbert
My dear Grandmamma It was very kind of you to send me the money I bought a bat with it for 15s. I spent the rest with Jones and another fellow It is an awfully good bat and drives like anything. I think I shall be in the second eleven next half and Jones. Football will soon be in now. Please tell Mabel not to write to me the fellows make such a row about it. Tell Mabel I have got the picture of her I drew in my desk but the fellows dont know only Jones and he promised not to tell on his honour.
Your affectionate grandson
P.S. May Jones come to Claydon at Christmas.
Mr. Leward to Frank.
My dear Frank,—I am exceedingly pained and annoyed at discovering quite accidentally that you had written to your grandmother, requesting her to invite one of your schoolmates to spend the Christmas holidays at Claydon. No one of any propriety of feeling could have so far transgressed the ordinary rules of politeness which are, or should be, inherent in every gentleman.
Your grandmother is exceedingly kind in inviting you to Claydon; but to venture to suggest that she should ask another, one, too, of whom we know nothing, is to impose on her kindness. Your brother Arthur, though so much page 8younger than you, would, I am convinced, never have committed so gross a breach of good taste and gentlemanly behaviour.
Pray write at once to your good grandmother and express sorrow for your fault.
With hopes and many prayers for your improvement, I am, always, your affectionate Father,
Frank to Mrs. Herbert.
My dear Grandmother I am awfully sorry I asked you to ask Jones. I suppose I musn't come now for Christmas. I only wanted him to go out skating and see Kitto. I should like to come I hope Mamma will come. I suppose Papa and Arthur wont for fear of the cold. I suppose you are awfully angry. Will you forgive me How is Mabel. I don't want Jones to know I asked for him
Your affectionate grandson
J. Jones to Frank.
Dear old Chap How are you getting on at your old granny's Why didn't you ask me down there. I hate this place. We had three days skating on the Serpentine. I suppose you don't know where that is what a duffer you are. Now its beastly wet again. Write to a chap and tell him how you are getting on. I met Finch and Black yesterday. I went down the river to Greenwich page 9and saw a lot of ships. I like the docks the best part of London I think I shall be a sailor—
Yours old fellow
Frank to J. Jones
Dear Jonsey Awfully short letter you wrote. I should like to be a sailor too. I told my mother I should but she said I couldnt she almost blubbered about it. My father's seedy and my mother's gone home. My young brothers coming to school after next half. I shant go home before I go back. Bob got me an awfully good pistol for 8 bob I shall bring it If you were here we should have awful larks.
Your affec. friend
P.S. Mabels awfully jolly dont say a word on your honour.
Mrs. Leward to Frank
My dear darling Boy,—I am alone in the drawing-room. Papa and Arthur are gone to afternoon church, and I snatch a few minutes to write to you. Oh how often I think of you, especially on Sunday and in church. I think of those two happy Sundays we spent together at the dear old Glades. It is such a short time really, but yet it seems like an age since that day I had to go away. I can still see your face peeping round the corner of the gates as I drove off. I wish you could have come home if only for a day or two. Papa is much page 10better and takes long walks with Arthur. Arthur is getting on very well with his lessons, and Papa thinks he will be clever. Dr. Pott wrote Papa a letter about Arthur going to Upton the other day. He says in it you "have good abilities, but that you will not work," and that you "might at the end of two or three years be at the head of the school if you did well, but that you seem to prefer idle companions." I know my dear boy will never really be led away by bad companions, and that he is too noble to do anything base still my dear Frank do keep a guard on yourself and try hard to get on and become a great man. I know you could if you liked. I meant when I began to write quite a scolding letter but I cannot do it you are so far away. How I wish you were here or still better at the dear old Glades if only for a day. Grandmamma is very fond of you. Mind and write to her often, she likes hearing from you and keeps all your letters. She showed me some you had written from the time you were only nine years old. Papa is dreadfully put out by what Dr. Pott said about you. I hope he will not send the letter on to grandmamma. Good-bye my own darling boy, I hear them coming back from church so I must stop. I always begin to cry when I write to you. God bless and keep you for ever.—
Your loving Mother,
Frank to Mrs. Leward.
Dear Mamma Pott is a beastly sneak to write like that. I am working awfully hard now harder than I page 11ever did. I am top of the form at least I was yesterday. I am chosen captain of the second eleven. My birthdays on Tuesday. I can still play with the old bat but its rather chipped at the bottom and its sprung it still drives well a lot of fellows borrow it especially the big fellows perhaps I can get it spliced.
Jones made 30 on Saturday second 22 against 1st 11. they beat. If Suso has puppies and one a black one keep it for me and call it nigger.
—Your affec. son
Mrs. Leward to Mrs. Herbert.
My dearest Mother,—I had such a nice letter from Mr. Saunders yesterday about the boys. He says Frank is so bright and clever and such a favourite with all the boys. If he would only work he would be at the head of the school in time, but that he works so spasmodically. Last spring he says he set to like a man and quickly beat every one in his form but that he did not keep it up. Arthur is most painstaking and plodding but not strong. How kind of you to ask Frank and his friend Jones for Christmas. I hope Jones is a nice boy Frank seems to like him so much, I think his father is a lawyer in London. I hope Francis will be well enough to come to the Glades at Christmas.
—Your loving daughter,
Frank to Mrs. Herbert
My dear Grandmother I am very sorry not to have written for such a long time. I didnt know it was such a long time till you wrote. Arthur is doing well with his lessons. He wont play football. Im in the 16. Thank you for the half sovereign. Its awfully kind of you to ask Jones for Christmas. Suso has had puppies they are going to keep one for me a black one I wanted it to be called nigger but papa wont because he says its vulgar or something.
—Your affec. grandson
J. Jones to Mrs. Leward.
Dear Mrs. Leward,—As I promised you I write now. I enjoyed my visit to Mrs. Herbert's very much. Frank had a tremendous fight to-day. A big fellow named Cheek had got a small boy's bat named Child and was knocking in the stumps with it with the blade so Frank hollowed out to him not to but he would and he made a hit at Frank with it and caught him a crack on the shoulder. Frank squared up to him and there was a ring made and they went at it like anything. They all hate Cheek. His nose bled like anything. Frank was rather hurt but he gave Cheek an awful licking. We gave three cheers for Frank and wanted to carry him in to get his face washed but we couldn't find him he got away page 13somewhere. I'm afraid Frank will get into a row. Cheek has two black eyes and so has Frank and the Doctor has found it out and Franks safe to be caned. Cheek told the Doctor that Frank began it and the Doctor always favours Cheek.
I am, yours, &c.
Arthur Leward to Mr. Leward
My dear Papa, I am sorry to have to tell you that Frank was caned again yesterday. I felt so ashamed, and knew how vexed you would be to hear about it. He would fight another boy named Cheek, and got two black eyes. I am getting on well with my Greek, and have begun Herodotus but I still like Mathematics best. Please give my love to Mamma and tell her the new flannel waistcoats came all right. We break up in a fortnight.
Your affectionate son,
Frank to Mrs. Herbert
My dear Grandmother I am always getting into it now the Doctor hates me ever since I had a fight with another fellow last half and says he will write to. Papa and very likely expel me. Its all about this. Some big fellows were awfully hungry at night and wanted to make a small beggar go for some grub for them he was in a horrid funk so I said Id go so I got the money and swarmed up the high window and dropped down outside page 14and got the grub and two bottles of beer at the Crown and what you think that little sneak Arthur went and sneaked and I swarmed up again to the high window and down the rope hand over hand and bang into the arms of old Pott and one of the bottles of beer went off and all over him. He was in a towering rage couldnt speak and I went off in a funk to my room and Ive been kept here ever since will you write to Mamma about it I dont like to. The fellows wanted to roast Arthur but I sent word to them not to.
Your affect grandson
Mr. Leward to Frank.
Dear Frank,—Deeper and deeper still into the slough of despond have you fallen. I could scarcely believe what I was reading when I received Dr. Pott's letter this morning. That a son of mine could have committed the immoral and vulgar act of surreptitiously escaping from his schoolhouse in the dead of night for the purpose of procuring beer, and by so doing assist in contaminating the manners of his school-fellows, and inducing a disgusting taste for intoxicating liquors—which if indulged in at your age must inevitably tend to brutalise the whole man hereafter—is a disgrace I can with difficulty endure. How differently has your younger brother acted. Always obedient to his preceptor's command, taking the side of right against the forces of evil, he ever steers page 15 his course toward that holy goal from which you appear to be drifting farther and farther away.
But I fear it is of little use that I should raise even a parent's voice of warning. Of course we cannot receive you at home for the coming Christmas holidays. Dr. Pott is still undecided whether you can remain at Upton, and I know not if your good grandmother, who has hitherto invited you at that season of the year, will any longer care to receive the outcast. If she does vouchsafe her forgiveness to you, I for one must decline to allow Arthur to be of the party. I am in duty bound to see that one son of mine at least shall be worthy to bear our ancient name, and hand it down untarnished by that pitch with which you have already, and I fear irremediably, defiled your hands.
—I am your sorely grieved Father,
Mrs. Leward to Mr. Saunders.
My Dear Sir,—I do not know how I can sufficiently thank you for your kind letter and all your kindness to our son. However wild, I knew Frank could not be a bad boy. You seem to have so much more sympathy with his wayward nature than some masters have. Bampton must be a very nice boy. I am going to ask Frank's grandmother to invite him to spend the Christmas holidays with him, at Claydon. I suppose Frank will not be happy without his friend Jones too, who I suppose must also have some good in him, because Frank seems so fond of him, though I must say he seemed when I page 16saw him, rather rough. Thanking you again for your letter and intercession with Dr. Pott,
I am, yours very sincerely
The Shrubbery, Wednesday.
Frank to Mrs. Herbert
My dear Grandmother It's tremendously kind of you to ask me this Christmas and Jones and Bampton. Bamptons got no father or mother to go to only an uncle. I thought I was going to be expelled or at any rate have to stay here all the holidays because of that row only Bampton went to Saunders and Saunders went to Pott and so I got off with a lot of impots and a swinging caning. You will like Bampton hes awfully clever and spouts Shakespeare and History and all sorts, will you ask him to spout its awful fun. Yesterday he did all about Caesar and Brutus awfully well before a lot of swells ladies and gentlemen and people and he played the piano splendidly. The fellows made me sing. I sang one of Dibdin's sea-songs called Tom Bowling and the fellows made me sing it over again a beastly nuisance I hate having to sing before people Im in such a funk. Then we wanted Bampton to play his fiddle which he can do awfully well but old Pott wouldnt have it because he thought we should make such a beastly row.
I did a pretty good exam in history I should like to have gone about fighting for King Charles and have page 17a go at those beastly round head brutes. I nearly got a prize for Greek. I like Homer tremendously I wish I was born then. Achilles and Ajax were fine beggars always fighting I like Ajax but I knew about him before from the Ovid we did under Saunders and he tried for the shield of Achilles. I hate Ulysses but Bampton says its very good where he goes home and gets ship wrecked. I want to go to sea so does Jones will you ask Mamma do you think she will mind much.
Good-bye were coming to-morrow mind.
Dr. Pott to Mr. Leward
My Dear Sir,—As is my usual custom, I write a few lines at this season of the year to keep you informed of the respective improvement—physical, moral, intellectual—of your sons.
Of the elder I wish sincerely for my own sake, more for your sake, but most of all for his, that I could report improvement in all these branches of human education.
Physically, undoubtedly your son Francis has improved. He is an athlete, and a leader amongst the athletes of our school. This branch of education, though not to be despised by us, any more than it was amongst the ancients, is, I need hardly point out to a gentleman, a Christian, and a scholar like yourself, a comparatively small and unimportant part of a gentleman's and a Christian's education. The Greeks ranked such training highly; I think, and always have thought, too highly.page 18
This pre-eminenee of its kind may account for the apparent κνδδo;ς which your son, I believe, receives at the hands of his compeers.
Morally, or in the sphere of ethics, I regret to have to inform you, who I know to be sincerely and profoundly anxious for your son's future, even more than for his present, welfare; more for his eternal even than for his temporal advancement, I regret, I say, deeply to have to inform you that I can see no improvement whatever. Fain would I, to spare a too-affectionate parent's feelings, draw a veil over so sad and distressing a subject.
Intellectually Francis is by no means deficient. The reports of his masters show that he has made a considerable advance in the "litteris humanioribus," or in classic knowledge, and could he abstract his mind sufficiently from vain and passing amusements to devote it more to the great models of antiquity, I have no doubt he might become a very fair scholar. But alas! though in the words of the great Stagirite the δúύναμις is there, the ένεργεια is altogether wanting.
I turn to the more hopeful and cheering picture presented by your younger son.
Physically, he is of course inferior to his elder brother. Heaven has denied to him a strong constitution or a muscular frame. That is not his fault, but is of the wise designs of an inscrutable Providence. Morally, Arthur is all I could wish; an ensample to the whole school, an ever-present monitor, a censor moralium.
Intellectually, he is progressing very creditably. Though the bent of his mind is evidently mathematic, and though page 19he excels all other boys of his age in mathematic studies, he is by no means deficient in classic attainments.
I am writing, as I am in duty bound to do, to keep you informed exactly of my opinion of the respective progress of your sons. I trust that though the former portion of my report is not favourable, you will be consoled by knowing that you have one son worthy of your name—one who strives to imitate the noble example of respectability, piety, and morality which you have ever set.
—I beg, sir, to subscribe myself your obliged and humble servant,
To Francis Leward, Esq., J.P.,The Shrubbery, Southampton.