Wednesday September 23rd

Nothing is so difficult as making a beginning and I am thankful the first evening has passed successfully.

The first arrival was about 5.30pm in the shape of a new boy called Smurthwaite. I found him in the process of re-adjusting his ideas about a Public School. At present he is delighted with everything: the School, the House, the arrangement are all that they should be in his opinion. I took him down and showed him Hall and Chiswicks and told him he would be my fag and he seemed relieved at the mildness of my aspect and appeared surprised as he had pictured himself arising at 5.30am to make me cocoa (I can see myself at that hour drinking cocoa!). I only hope that he will not have to re-adjust his ideas again and that he may find everything in the future as pleasing as he does at present.

The next arrival was a Sorley a curious contrast, poor child, he is utterly lost and miserable and not knowing whether he is on his head or his heels. I hastily altered his ‘substance‘ from John J. (!) to Little Hobson. The John’s came next with so many pennies in J. John’s hands (? to pay the cab) that he had some difficulty shaking hands.

Photographs of five boys

Then until 9.30pm there was a constant stream of arrivals. New boys with Aunts, Mothers, Grandmothers…in attendance. Mr Sedgwick, a Cambridge Professor, told father that another Professor has said that his son was going to be a philosopher rather than an exact scholar and that he read the newspapers and was quite up ‘in foreign politics as they affected Modern History’!! (shades of Jeremy Bentham!). I am alarmed at the prospect of this 14 year old philosopher…

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