For some time his boys (Arthur and John
) caused (ABE
) little anxiety.
Their progress can be traced through his diary, through Greek construing and Taylor’s arithmetic and equations, to the Oedipus Tyrannus and Terence, Latin epigrams, German and Italian with every milestone marked with a paternal half-crown.
One of his favourite private pupils, Wyndham Knight, had gone from Bosworth to study German in the family of Pastor Wilisch at Cotta near Dresden, and by March 1839 Dr. Evans had persuaded him to accept Arthur and John as pupils. The anxious father took them up to London and got them passports and umbrellas and fur caps and berths on the John Bull steamer to Hamburg, treated them to visits to the British Museum, the Bank of England, Westminster Abbey and a model of Waterloo, and put them on board for the first time alone.
When they reached Hamburg, German sounded quite different from what it had done in the Upper School at Bosworth. They addressed themselves to a priest, however, who could understand Latin, and with his aid got seats in the Dresden coach. Cotta proved to be a charming place, standing very high, and approached by long white roads lined with fruit trees. All went well, and they wrote home happily enough about the new waltzes they had learned, and the shower baths they had taken, and the relics of Napoleonic battles they had found in the woods.
They visited Dresden at the time of the wool fair, went to Prague for a brief visit and found the city all aflower with peasants in red and white, and came back in October with their German, and self-confidence, much increased.
pp 49 – 50 Time and Chance
Arthur didn’t do too well at Oxford, lived the good life and was something of a spendthrift and had to go to a tutor’s to be crammed. However, by May 1844, the certificate that Arthur had passed his B.A. examination arrived, to be followed immediately by a letter to say he was seriously ill, in bed and not allowed to move, with evident threatenings of consumption. Under his mother’s care, however, he seemed to recover, took his degree, and began to look for a position. For a while he moved around and clocked up a number of debts which his father had to pay.
If he was to be a schoolmaster, he would be obliged to take Holy Orders. Various friends helped out offering assistance, and after only a term at Oxford, and the necessary attendance at lectures on pastoral Theology, was he at last M.A. and deacon.
In the next year 1848, he was ordained priest, and appointed to a curacy at Coventry (St John’s.)
All seemed going well at last.
In March 1850, Arthur was taken with a serious haemorrhage whilst on a visit to friends near Bosworth (Osbastone Hall.) The Cope family, with infinite kindness, kept him there and his mother nursed him; but on April 21 he died.
Osbastone Hall, near Market Bosworth, Leicestershire
The death of Arthur was a hard one to bear for the family. His younger brother, George
(buried in Madeira), had died recently in 1847.