Elderfield, Otterbourne, Winchester.
Febry 12th [1874]

MS Mrs Caroline Fairclough/27

My dear Arthur
I should have written yesterday only that the Bp of Salisbury came to see a sick old farming man, and was a sight for sair een, who took up all my morning. I shall look out for the Maypole – my Sub is going to bring up the weeded Spiders this afternoon- 17 Chrysostoms! I think your Spider will have five competitors with the Aryans. I fully expect someone will take them for the heretics – as by the bye someone did by your friends the Dolomites.1

Well, I congratulate you with all my heart and hope some day I may be worthy to hear the rest of her name2

Wat Tyler had not always been a tyler but had been abroad in the service of a merchant- (Query was he the original mad hatter?) 3 So he must have learnt to ride on that expedition any way, and it was hard if he could not pick up a horse on his expeditions to London. I think I shall set that rebellion as a question to the Spiders only I can’t do it yet as one spider is gone to Bermuda, and another to Cannes, and they had their questions before hand, I must stick to what I have given them. There are about 80 in all, but happily they never answer all at once.

yours very sincerely

[the letter is unsigned, though the paper is whole]

1The questions which members of the Spider Society had to answer included 'Write the life of St. Chrysostom' (January 1874) and 'Classify the Aryan Languages' (February 1874). In the MP (April 1874) 4-6, the best answer to the latter question was printed; it is signed 'May-Pole', but perhaps on the evidence of this letter may be attributed to Arthur Butler. Butler was fond of climbing and had travelled in the Dolomites. The confusion between the Aryan heretics and the Aryan languages was the kind of joke CMY particularly enjoyed.
2Arthur Butler became engaged (8 February 1874) to Mary Caroline Humphry, whom he married on 6 April 1875.
3The biography of Wat Tyler (d.1381), leader of the Peasants' Revolt, is obscure.
Cite this letter

The Letters of Charlotte Mary Yonge(1823-1901) edited by Charlotte Mitchell, Ellen Jordan and Helen Schinske.

URL to this Letter is: https://c21ch.newcastle.edu.au/yonge/2490/to-arthur-john-butler-14

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