12 Charleville Circus
Sep 19 1915
My dear Father
I went over to Highgate yesterday afternoon and had quite a long chat with Miss Lacey. She is quite convinced that Juliet has little real aptitude for languages; her early opportunity for acquiring conversational French probably concealed the fact for some years, but it seems pretty clear now. She puts down to that Juliet’s first failure in teaching French; she says it was a complete failure, more so than she told Juliet herself. She made no attempt to get to the root of any difficulties and clear up mistakes properly, the reason being probably that she was not clear herself. With the second attempt, in Arithmetic, it was quite different; she says Juliet tackled it well and gave some very good lessons and she wants her to go on giving classes in that subject. She believes therefore that Judy could make a competent teacher and is sorry she is not going on with that plan, partly because she wants her to make up her mind to something and go through with it. In spite of the weakness in languages, she thinks Judy could have got through Responsions next June if she had really set her mind to it. As she was very doubtful about her chances of a scholarship however, she agreed that it would not be of much value to her to do so and that it would be better now to aim at matriculation.
She does not exactly think that Judy has been idle but she does not feel that she has had her whole heart in her work latterly; I think myself she has been feeling rather discouraged and out of concert with the whole plan. Now Miss Lacey thinks it would be good for her to fix a date to aim at Matric and thinks she might try next June. If towards Xmas Miss Lacey thinks she is still not making headway she will write and say so, in which case it would probably be better to let her leave school and start work elsewhere as soon as possible; but she thinks if she really throws herself into her work, she ought to be able to get through Matric in English, French, Greek, History and Maths in a year, though the last would be a rush. I had a good talk with Judy too and I think she is much keener about this plan and ready to work hard at it. Then if she really thinks of medical work, she might begin the science for medical prelims. If not she could start work for a London Degree. As to housework, she is to start doing what has been arranged for this term and on the basis of which the term’s account has been sent to you. Should it appear too much, with the teaching also, Miss Lacey would knock off some and make the necessary adjustment on the next bill. She wants to give her rather more teaching this term and consequently I suppose rather less housework, as she thinks she is doing quite useful work in teaching. It would be in a Matric subject, probably all Arithmetic. You will hear from Betty I expect. She is evidently very glad to get it all settled.
She told me May got home all right on Thursday, not too tired after all her travelling. I was afraid she might be after that long hot day. The heat has been very trying this week, but better yesterday, and today has been a lovely day, fresh and breezy, but sunny. Jack is decidedly better but taking care of himself, going to bed early, being careful not to get chills, etc. He will have to go on doing that I think in order to get through the stretch of hard work ahead. His spirits are better which is an infallible sign. Today after dinner we changed into old things and set to work on the two lawns with shears and the old mower; by tea-time we had just finished and it certainly is an improvement. Then we had an hour’s walk to get the last of the daylight, after tea in the garden, and now are writing letters, Jack to Cyril to post to the Alexandria address which we received from you yesterday. I hope you are beginning to feel the business of the fruit a little less urgent and that the marketing of the apples will not be a great worry. Now I must write to Mary and begin to get things settled up for her evening here. She goes to Dowlais on Thursday I believe. I hope she will put in a few days at Badsey after that.
Much love to you all.
From your affectionate daughter