June 6th, 1848 (Tuesday)

June 6, 2010

Revd Messrs Patterson and Meyrick, of Trinity College, called, bringing the Marquis of Lothian with them, whose mother is in Scotland what the Marchioness of Bath is in England. He is very young, not to enter the University for 1 ½ years. Mr Meyrick thought it desirable, in cultivating in him a taste for ecclesiastical things, to let him see our Chapel. The manners of the youth require polish. Patterson and Meyrick greatly pleased, and they are judges.

Mr Willis has been giving trouble. When he came on Easter Monday, he entreated us to flog his son for idleness and untruth. I did not do so, hoping that the visit of his parents might soften him and release me from the necessity. However, he told Savory a lie, and so he was sharply whipped. After this, his father wrote again, to beg me to flog him soundly for disobedience to his positive orders. This I did – and the very next day he told at least 20 lies about his sums, so I separated him entirely from the boys, kept him away from Chapel, and gave him a very simple diet, – intending to whip him again, when his back should be recovered, – which however, I did not do, hoping that the confinement would prove sufficient. Wrote the father an account of what had occurred, and of my intentions, feeling great comfort in the thought that he would thoroughly support me in all I was doing. But I reckoned without my host, – for such a violent letter as he sent I never received in all my life; – saying that the College was ‘wreaking its vengeance upon a lad, who was only bringing forth the natural fruits of the neglect of the College’; at the same time rating me sharply for not having flogged him twice at the very moment when he called upon me to do so. Then, ‘had I set him down to the piano? Had I looked at his drawings? His son would be ruined if he were not treated differently.’ Mrs Willis, too, must fire a philippic at me. The boy was made to do work far below his talents and powers, and, in order to save himself from labour more suited to them, had recourse to deceit. No doubt I had not yet discovered his love for poetry; – and so on. To all this outrageous, and insolent, nonsense, I simply replied, that if he did not retract every word of it, and moreover, make a promise never to interfere again between me and his son, I would send him home. What made it worse was, that he absolutely enclosed me a letter just received from the boy, showing how wicked he had been, detailing my mode of managing him, and saying that he was going ‘to do his best to please the warden.’ This morning I got a letter making the amplest apology. We all think Mr Willis is mad, and Howard has written to Mr Mason to ask him if he has ever been so. His manners are certainly very odd.

A letter from Mrs Elrington this morning. [from Stackallan] She says that Mr Stevenson has made Maurice a red-hot repealer. Dr Tripp has taken away Howard Tripp in a fright, and had done his best to induce Henry Tripp (the Fellow) to leave also. Gabbett had been there, and Mrs Elrington says that she should not be at all surprised if they were to make him a Fellow.

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