August 5, 1858
FR writes to say she has just lost the companionship of a young man she encountered three weeks ago. His father, an old friend of hers, had asked the son to look her up. The young man introduced himself to her in the Keswick library.
Soon after meeting, FR and the young man, a student at Oxford, "plunged into Latin and Greek, and above all, New Testament lore." FR found him "affectionately pious," and he gave all his spare hours their conversation. She compares him to Dr. William Irons and Henry Smedley in their youth, men whose scholarship she still admires.
In her late seventies, FR's love of learning is undiminished. She rejoices in the compliment her companion paid her after she gave him proofs of her Greek criticism to read. He said, "You say your mind wants modernizing, but these are up to the very latest of Oxford."
FR learned that she actually saw this young man when he was a child. Fourteen years previously his father gave him FR's story "The Starling," and told him that the lady who wrote it was to dine with them that day. She remembered seeing him and although she did not speak to him, he had never forgotten her.
As they parted, FR told him that during the three weeks of their acquaintance she had been "as happy as a schoolboy."