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Document number: 1009
Date: 06 Oct 1822
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: ARNOLD Thomas Kerchever
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA22-52
Last updated: 29th January 2012

Liverpool. 5 Cornwallis Street.
Oct. 6. 1822.

Dear Talbot

Shame has long kept me silent; but as I have now something of interest to communicate, the particulars I mean of the fellowship examination, I will proceed to my tale without longer preface or apology. You will probably have seen the names of the successful candidates before this letter reaches you – Barron; and Goode; <1> – but what will be your indignation when you hear that Barron was first, and Ollivant <2> second! Goode had done well enough to deserve a fellowship and our year might probably have a number of vacancies next time the [illegible] of chances taught them to expect it with some confidence; the average was 5 in two years & in the two last there had been but three. We, the rejected candidates, could have told them that in the two years before there had been twelve, and it is clear by Johnny Brown’s <3> proverb, that as [those?] gentlemen had eaten the cake, we could not have it. G. A. Browne <4> voted for Ollivant Goode & Lyon <5> were nearly æquales, but Goode floored him two to one in Mathematics, which got him his election. I had agreed to start immediately after the decision with Worsley & Baines <6> northwards; & so impatient were they to turn their backs upon the field of action that Baines walked on and we took him up at the third milestone. This I was sorry for, as it gave me no time to hear anything of myself; Coddington <7> however met G. A. Browne in the court; & [illegible deletion] after telling him that the gross sum of Ollivant’s marks placed him second, said “I’ll tell you who is a good scholar among them, that is Arnold” moreover Hole said something of the same kind to Fursdon. <8> Talking of Fursdon – we will reserve that till we have disposed of the matter before us. Worsley was thrown out by not finishing the Plato the first morning, he has however got the travelling Bachelorship, and is now shooting in Yorkshire;<9> he intends beating up your quarters sometime this winter. I expect to hear from Cambridge that Lyon is out of his mind; at any rate ‘he will roar us like any nightingale’ hereafter.<10> Barron seemed satisfied with his own performances, but I heard no report from the authorities about him – talking of reports, I set the whole seniority at loggerheads by my letter, which it pleased them to misconstrue into a concealed satire upon that venerable body; in consequence of which I was obliged to wait upon the master, & make an affidavit of the perfect innocence of my intentions. I said that we had ‘fallen upon evil times,’ but hoped that we might escape the ‘evil tongues’ – I think I had ‘ut iniquos rumores [illegible]’, meaning rumours unfavourable to me, whereas they construed it ‘rumours iniquitously propagated by them’. Hinc illæ lachrymæ 11> – I have clearly lost my election; now to Fursdon – Hole was telling him ‘that he was sure the young man meant no harm’, & Fursdon said “Oh no! he merely alluded to reports having been circulated about the Examinations for University Scholarships” Mind I had I had [sic] positively denied any allusion to reports before the Master and in thrusts himself Fursdon to tag an absurd drivelling impotent allusion to the letter although he had had no communication whatever with me about it. He might naturally enough feel sore at Univ Scholarship reports, but why should I, who never began a sentence with δε πολεμος? <12> However, poor fellow, he is going to be married if Higman <13> does not pluck him, to a Cornish woman, who is according to his own confession ‘ugly, mannerless, ignorant’ and to whom he thinks it a great nuisance to be obliged to write 3 pages once a fortnight. To make up for these blemishes she has now 3000 per ann, and expects to have this doubled at the death of an Aunt.

Matthews is tutor to Sir H. Bunbury’s <14> children; Hustler <15> wrote to his Father to say, “that he thought it better to deal openly with Colonel Matthews, & really when he considered the few vacancies that were likely to occur, & the acquirements of [illegible deletion] his competitors, he must say that he thought his son could have no chance, unless a great mortality should occur among the fellows and the candidates”. Matthews writes me word that he fares most sumptuously, & is treated with the most scrupulous & delicate attention. Key <16> came in from Falaise a night or two before the Examinatn, and assured us that he had read no latin or greek [sic] for four years, & no mathematics for one; and I believe it was not far from the truth. He was moreover very ill, & I am afraid that he exposed himself; Barker was his only chance. The [text missing] <17> were Lyon, Goode, Barron, Baines, Worsley – Ollivant, Barnes <18>, Arnold [text missing] Kay, Barker <19>. The extreme ages, as entered in the way-bill, [text missing] Arnold 22. There are several new arrangements in Trinity. Hare <20> is Classical lecturer to Brown, and Coddington Mathematical lecturer to Hustler, who gives up lecturing. You will wonder at the place from which my letter is dated. Alas! here am I suffering for my book-debts at Cambridge – assistant, i.e. Usher, to I. B. Monk <21>, in which post I have succeeded Heathcote <22>. I can hardly bear to think of you, & the sunny plains of Italy. There is a boy under me, who is by the way my age, & training up for an Usher, who is converting Horace’s <23> odes into Hexameters; he brought me this evening 3 lines, which, I said, were the same that he brought me yesterday; but no, he had added half a line, which was this [– the ode voce formasti catus, et decora / more palestra] Formâsti / <24>formosæ consuetudine luctæ!

One of the Vice’s Questions – “When did Pythagoras <25> die? What celebrated Philosophers were his cotemporaries [sic] in Persia & China?

We had Thucydides, Plato, Persius, Aristophanes <26> [αγε σϒννομε chorus in Aves] <27> Euripides <28> [no Latin Prose Author –] English Prose for Latin, a sonnet of Shakespeare’s for any verse, Mathematics – Morals or rather Divinity, and Cram. I had no cram up which I thought cd never have happened to me again after the severe lesson of Univ-Schol. There is one thing to be said – They must show us a preference over the lower year. I add my Verses, <29> but I have not the original, & their only merit is in their being closely rendered.

Undas ut unda, quæ supervenit, tradit,
Moment[i?] vitæ sic perire festinant – ‘[to?] momentis video omnibus [illegible]’ [obit?].
Horam antecedentem altera urget a tergo,
Sequi priores, atq abire contendit.
Ut juvenis oras, [illegible], luminis [illegible],
Maturitatem deinde tardus adrepit,
Et mox iniquâ nube deficit lumen,
Idemque Tempus dona, quæ dedit, perdit.
Crudele Tempus illud illic afflatum
Decus iuventae tollit, et genis pulchris
Hinc inde [engarum?] invidos cavat sideos.
Quæ pulchræ sunt; quæ bellæ, devorat cuncta;
Quæ sunt avarâ cumque demetit falce;
At hoc manebit nostrum [carmen?] æternam,
[illegible] manebunt posteris tuæ laudes.

Don’t return art for art, but write to me soon a long letter. By the way a Liverpool adventure. I was hunting with Heathcote for a circulating library, and seeing in a shop window as I thought, “Tales of Interest” in I went, but no novel had they; I said that I had seen one in the window and pointed to the book, but great was my dismay to find my ‘Tales of Interest’ transformed in “Tables of Interest’ at 4 per cent!!!

I am, dear Talbot, Yr affectionate Friend
T. K. Arnold.

P.S. I need not say that I shall not be able to read for the Hebrew. I hear there are some men in the lower year (Airey’s) to sit, old hands. Adieu – the postman is raging, so faults go free –


1. Arthur Barron (1798–1856), lawyer, and Francis Goode (1797–1842), clergyman and missionary.

2. Alfred Ollivant (1798–1882), author & Bishop of Llandaff.

3. See Doc. No: 00946.

4. Probably George Adam Browne (d. 1843), Bursar (1802–1823).

5. Ralph Lyon (1795–1856), clergyman; won a members’ prize in 1822.

6. Rev Thomas Worsley (1797–1885), theologian & Master of Downing College, Cambridge and possibly Edward Baines (1820–1882), fellow at Christ’s College (1825–1841).

7. Rev Henry Coddington (1798-1845), natural philosopher, fellow & tutor, Trinity College, Cambridge; d. in Rome.

8. Charles Fursdon, (b. 1798), Trinity College, Cambridge, scholar.

9. The Worsleys came from Hovingham Hall, Yorkshire.

10. Midsummer Night's Dream, Act 1 Scene 2, Bottom: 'I grant you, friends, if you should fright the ladies out of their wits, they would have no more discretion but to hang us. But I will aggravate my voice so that I will roar you as gently as any sucking dove. I will roar you an ’twere any nightingale.'

11. 'Hinc illae lacrimae', hence the tears. From Terence's play Andria, repated by Horace.

12. He means ‘a war’.

13. Rev John Philips Higman (1793–1855), mathematician.

14. Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Edward Bunbury, 7th Baronet (1778–1860), military author.

15. James Devereux Hustler (1784–1844), mathematician, married Elizabeth Mansel in 1823.

16. Thomas Hewett Key (1799–1875), professor of pure mathematics at Virginia, Charlottesville, USA.

17. Text torn away under seal.

18. James Alexander Barnes (1798–1870), fellow at Trinity College.

19. Possibly Charles Barker (b. 1796).

20. Julius Charles Hare (1795–1855), assistant tutor (1822–1832), Chaplain to the Queen (1853–1855) and joint translator of Niebuhr’s History of Rome. [See Doc. No: 01608].

21. James Henry Monk (1784–1856), Regius Professor of Greek (1808–1823).

22. Rev Charles John Heathcote (1795–1874), Chaplain (1823–1826). He was taught by Heathcote's father and later married Heathcote's sister.

23. Horace (65–8 BC), lyric poet and satirist.

24. Horace 1.10 A hymn to Mercury, lines 3 and 4.

25. Pythagoras (580?–500? BC).

26. Thucydides (460?–404? BC), historian; Plato (428?–348? BC); Persius (34–62), Stoic poet; Aristophanes (448?–385? BC), writer of comedies.

27. Aristophanes, Ornithes (Birds), line 209.

28. Euripides (484?–406 BC), tragic poet.

29. A Latin version of Shakespear’s sonnet LX ‘Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore’.

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