To William Whewell   15 May 1836

15 May 1836

My dear Whewell,

I have been thinking very much of the charge you brought against me last night, & I must confess that I cannot satisfactorily against myself of being wholly undeserving of your censure– I am afraid that I did not consider Crick's character in so true a light as I ought to have done when I voted for him– I felt perhaps too strongly that I had held out to him something like an inducement for believing that I intended to vote with my college–before I had heard of his remarks about the Library or was unaware that he had removed his name from the Phil. Soc.– two facts so strongly against his Univ y. character that I ought certainly to have felt myself justified in not voting–since I had not given him any promise– His conduct towards the Tradesmen I was well aware of–but I did violence to my own feelings in not allowing it to influence me, as I really believed that he considers it quite right & even a matter of conscience to act so–

I really feel obliged to you for the rebuke you give me now that I can see mine clearly than I did before that I have not acted in strict conformity with those principles which ought alone to guide a thorough well-wisher to the University– I also see plainly that I allowed my College feelings to prevail with me more than they ought to have done – in strengthening the other opinion which I also entertained of the propriety of not departing from what Crick might consider as an implied intention of voting for him– With respect to your charge of general inconsistency I feel regret that you entertain such an opinion of me as I value your regard as much as that of any man in Cambridge– As I did not feel conscious of having been wrong in the present instance, I may probably be ignorant of other cases where I have been equally deserving of censure–

Believe me | Very sincerely y rs | J. S. Henslow

Please cite as “HENSLOW-203,” in Ɛpsilon: The Correspondence of John Stevens Henslow accessed on 21 September 2021,