July 31st, 1847 (Saturday)

July 31, 2009

My book-case having received its cornice, (a plainer one than I had at first thought of) & being stained & varnished, I put up my books, and now feel quite at home again: Deo Gratias.

While we were passing through the Hall to go to dinner in the Common Room, at the door near Mrs Burky’s room, to my amazement, I descried the figure of Tripp. I passed on & said nothing, but when in the Common Room I beckoned Sewell most anxiously into the Bursary, and told him what I had seen. He was astounded, but what was to be done? Were we to receive him? And how? He had behaved most extremely ill in going down to Ravindon to see Mr Ellis & Gabbett, after the former writing violently against the College of St Columba in the newspapers, & the latter being sent away from it on account of treasonable proceedings. To make the matter worse, Tripp had consulted me about going, & had given me a solemn promise that he would not go. Instead of this, when he left the College by way of proceeding to Oxford he went straight to the County of Carlow. Since that time I have never seen him, nor had any communication with him.

Was I then to receive such a person as if such behaviour were a mere misdemeanour, or a matter of no consequence? Sewell was of the opinion that he should be admitted into the College, and received quietly but with no more than bare civility. While he was saying this, the door opened, & in he (Tripp) walked. In my hurry I had forgotten that there were general orders to show all strangers into the Bursary; so we were forced to act on the moment. Accordingly, Sewell shook hands with him, and then I did the same, but in a manner marked by coldness. All sat down, and after a few remarks about the Oxford elections, (whither he had come to vote) Sewell said, “I know Warden, you are engaged just now”; – Tripp adding, “Oh, dinner is ready”, (or some such words), whereupon I expressed assent, got up, bowed & retired.

Sewell and he continued together till long after we had done dinner, & I was in hopes that he would have expressed contrition for his conduct; but nothing of the kind took place. Though Sewell several times spoke strongly of the way in which I had been treated, & gave him every opportunity of saying something apologetic; though he mentioned gratification at having heard of Morton’s frequently speaking affectionately of me, and that Mackarness was fully sensible of his error & very sorry for it, – yet nothing was elicited. He talked, & there were long & awkward pauses; until Sewell thought he would never go away. It was evident to Sewell that he wanted to see the place, but his hints fell fruitless. He can scarcely misconceive the nature of his reception, for he did not see me again, nor Monk, – nor was he asked in to dinner, which he knew was on the table. If he thinks for a moment, he might conclude that his seeing me at all might have been accidental, as it certainly was. He was on his way to Mackarness, & he will no doubt hear of the different manner in which we have behaved to him, after his expression of penitence.

Sewell mentioned that they were going to Rathfarnham, that the Castle required a new roof, & that the organ was to be put up in one of the rooms! How fast it is dwindling down into a mere, common School! He said that the change would cost them £1,000, – I do not see how it can be completed under twice or thrice that sum. This whole incident was very painful; I would have given any thing for one word of confession from him, that I might have been cordial & kind. It is amazing how he could have ventured to appear near Radley unless with the intention of making some amends for conduct that was nothing short of outrageous. He is so silly, that perhaps he does not think that he has done any thing wrong.

Talking of Stackallan reminds me that Sewell received a letter from Mr Hornby to say that he had received a communication from Ireland (no doubt from his brother-in-law, Mr Darby) to this effect: “The Primate thinks the true state of the case has not been disclosed. He has written a strong letter to Sewell, & laid the whole of the correspondence, statutes, bye-laws, & practices, of St Columba’s before the Bishop of Oxford. The Trustees have applied to the Primate for leave to print the whole for private circulation.” Now, we doubt whether they have sent the whole to the Primate, for we know that not long ago the first fasting statute was withheld, – why, it matters not. But whether they have or not, the Bishop does not seem to have been much influenced. Certainly, if they print they will do an imprudent act: for if they print all, they will only proclaim their own abandonment of principle, and injustice, – and if they print less than all, they will compel Sewell and me to supply their deficiency; – which will be worse. This letter of Mr Hornby’s is dated July 19th, he is in a great fidget: in fact, I think nothing will get him out of one. He was satisfied some time ago, but now seems unsettled again.

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