Letter: from Charles John Vaughan (1816-1897), Dean of Llandaff, Head Master of Harrow (1844-1859) to Mr Renaud

Scope and Content

[This letter refers to the Momentous Controversy at Harrow]

My dear Mr Renaud, You rightly judged that your approving sympathy, expressed so kindly & so delicately, would be very valuable to me at a time of some little anxiety. It is quite impossible to explain the real state of the case to persons who will judge of a Public School, with its long train of antecedents, by crude & ____ theories of their own: I cannot even blame them, nor can I spare the time necessary for arguing a question so little likely to be understood at last. It is a great comfort to be understood by a few - & those few ( in several cases) the very persons whose approval & esteem we would most desire. It is a great comfort also - I have it - to be able to hope & to believe that the school itself was never in a more docile or orderly condition than now, when the slightest appearance of a contrary kind would be so eagerly caught at by unfriendly observers. But it is an office great & (I really think) increasing difficulty to do one's duty amidst so many open ears & eyes, & with such a readiness to fall upon one, on this side & then on that, on the slightest provocation, or really with no provocation, of parental or selfish feelings. I do not think I should have health or perhaps patience for a very long trial of the experiment. Accept my dear Sir hearty thanks for your kindness, & believe me always. Very faithfully. Charles Vaughan. PS. I fully hope to receive [name - France?] in September.