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Papers of Robert Calverley Trevelyan and Elizabeth Trevelyan Browning, Robert (1812–1889), poet
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Letter from Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven to R. C. Trevelyan

10 Prinsegracht, The Hague. - They have not yet retired to their 'Retraite Edéniencee [ie, at Ede]', as her cousin calls it; does not think they will go before early June. The Grandmonts are still where she left them at Rocca Bella [Taormina, Sicily] at the end of April; they are travelling back with an English friend, stopping only briefly at Florence and Bâle. Was sorry to leave Italy 'like that' but it could not be helped; made her all the more anxious to return another time. Wrote to her cousin [Bramine Hubrecht] and sent her Trevelyan's messages, but does not know whether she will go to England this summer; he does not seem anxious to go and she supposes 'the husband's opinion has great weight in these matters!'. She herself will not be able to; is currently here alone at home with her uncle and aunt [Paul François Hubrecht and his wife Maria] and would not like to leave them when she would have to go 'to fit in with Senior's week at St. Andrews'. Thanks Trevelyan for his letter and the trouble he took with the list of books, though she has not yet got all those he suggested, in part because the library is currently closed. Fortunately the director is a friend of the family and can be persuaded to break the rule forbidding books to be taken or sent into the country, so they sometimes get a good selection sent to Ede; however spring-cleaning is 'a holy business' in this country so she must wait. Asks if Trevelyan could possibly send some of the books he listed: something by Henry James; his father's book; [Robert] Browning's letters; she will get [William?] Morris's "Life" [by J. W. MacKail and his brother's book from the library. Has been reading [Elizabeth Barrett Browning's] "Aurora Leigh" for the first time; asks whether Trevelyan likes it. Will be curious to see Trevelyan's friend [Thomas Sturge Moore]'s poems which he sent to her cousin; wonders whether they will appreciate it; does not think Mrs Grandmont has 'specially classical tastes'. Would be very nice if Trevelyan could come to Ede this summer; unsure still of when exactly would be the best time as she knows nothing of the Grandmonts' plans; thinks probably late August or early September. Is longing to get to fresh air in the country; town seems oppressive after Taormina.

They all feel 'greatly honoured... with all these noble peace delegates' being at the Hague; the Congress was opened yesterday; one of the Dutch members told them 'what a feeble old president Baron de Staal seemed to be' and that 'the first meeting did not promise much'. Is sending some Taormina photographs; the one with Mrs C [Florence Cacciola Trevelyan?] is 'funny but too indistinct'; [Giuseppe] Bruno took the same view which better shows Mrs C. 'like some curious prehistoric Juliet on her balcony'; she has it and will show it to you, or Trevelyan could write to Bruno and ask to see the several pictures he took in her garden of her 'constructions'. Glad Trevelyan has heard some good music in London; she feels out of practice and is looking forward to playing with her sister [Abrahamina Röntgen] again. Knows her aunt is giving her the biography of Joachim by Moser for her birthday. Will also have to 'make special Vondel studies this summer'; feels she knows very little about him.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven

Hotel & Pension Palumbo, Ravello, Golfo di Salerno. - Apologises for not writing more often. Is very sorry that her aunt has been so unwell; hopes the anxious time has now passed; can quite understand how her uncle might 'develop infinite degrees of fussiness' under the strain and thus be 'the direct opposite of [Alphonse] Grandmont' as he is in many other ways. Hopes Tuttie [Maria Hubrecht] also recovers quickly. His aunt Annie [Anna Maria Philips] is a 'dear creature', but always complains he does not write to or visit her enough; he also likes her 'invalid friend [Sophie Wicksteed]... to whom she has devoted herself'. His letter [about the landslide which damaged the Hotel Cappuccini at Amalfi] appeared in the "[Manchester] Guardian" on 2 January; it has pleased the locals as it says the coast is quite safe; thinks he will 'take to journalism', which is much easier than writing verse plays'. However, he has got on well this afternoon; is 'making no end of the wife, who is no end of a heroine'; teases Bessie by saying she will not get the chance to be such a faithful wife, as he will keep a closer eye on her. Copies out 'an old fellow who wrote about you in the 17th century' [Richard Crashaw, "Wishes to his (Supposed) Mistress"].

Continues the letter next morning; has breakfasted and 'pumped [his] ideas on Latin poetry into bucket Straughn Davidson [James Leigh Strachan-Davidson?] for half an hour'. Finishes copying out the Crashaw poem; thinks it influenced Browning. Glad Bessie has heard some music. Is 'very fond of Rameau', and has 'often heard Dolmetsch play him'. They must find out where Gluck is being played and go there; he 'can't wait much longer without hearing the Iphigenia and the other great ones'; though she might think him a Wagnerian. Hopes she will hear Lamond again. Finishes the letter in early afternoon. It is cold and stormy, and he will go to 'a nook under the cliff' to work. Discusses the rumours that there are letters incriminating [Joseph] Chamberlain [in the Jameson Raid?]; the 'Parnell letters and the Henry forgeries [in the Dreyfus case]' are warnings to be careful about such things, though if genuine they should be published; if this leads to a 'basis for peace so much the better'. Hopes Bessie's housekeeping is not tiring her; he will not be 'exacting' when they are married, 'especially with Mrs Enticknap to do everything' for her

Letter from Caroline Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Welcombe, Stratford on Avon. - Booa [Mary Prestwich] got Elizabeth's letter this morning; Caroline is upset that her chilblains are still so bad. Booa will try to get something which will help her; thinks the cold has been too much for her in 'that Italian-built house'. Wishes she were here so that she and Booa could nurse her; it is very cold in the passages here but the rooms are 'comfortable enough'. Asks whether an upstairs room would be better; Sir George had the room Elizabeth is staying in and Caroline was struck by its chilliness. Hopes Meg Booth will arrive soon and cheer Elizabeth and Robert up. Asks if Robert is getting his walks on the hills. Sir George has given her the Brownings' letters this morning, they are 'very interesting & delightful' though she is not sure whether they should have been published.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven

The Mill House. - Continues the explanation of his sonnet from the last letter [9/116]; after jokingly describing the poem as 'terse, weighty, thrilling, magnificent, Dante-Baudelaire-Rossetti lines', he confesses that he does not think much of it, and wishes they [the "Speaker"] had published the translations they have returned. Is getting on 'fairly well' with the new plan of his play. Has only seen the Frys once since Sunday; he is 'very busy'. Is going to see Sanger in London on Monday before he starts [for Greece]. [George?] Moore has invited to join him, MacCarthy and another on their 'wonted Easter exhibition', this year to the Lizard in Cornwall; has been the last two years and liked it, but will decide nearer the time. Suggests that she might use the library as her study while he keeps the little room; noise does travel from the kitchen, but a baize or felt door would improve matters, and the Enticknaps are 'very quiet people'. Gussie is at school all day; he has in the past been 'a little noisy' in the evening, but is improving. Sophie has asked what books he would like [as a wedding present], suggesting an edition of Thackeray, or Browning (which he has); Thackeray would be good but perhaps he prefers Meredith. Has a Goethe and Heine; has read some "Faust" and means to do more; gets on quite well with a translation and dictionary, but very slowly.

Letter from Crompton Llewelyn Davies to R. C. Trevelyan

14, Barton Street, Westminster. - Thanks Bob for his letter; replies by quoting four lines of poetry [the last lines of Browning's "By the Fire-Side"]; his 'heart is still very full' with thoughts of Bob. Bob knows the 'wretched mood' in which Crompton 'could have said vile things about the Dutch', and will 'understand and forgive'. Crompton is 'ashamed to think' how much he has 'trespassed' on Bob's goodness and put his 'sympathy to the strain', but this is because 'the heart opens & the "true self" often reveals itself in all its beastliness & baseness' to Bob more than to most people, as he is 'kind & patient & αἰσθητός [perceptive]'. Therefore knows that 'she in whom your hope has found its gracious soul... [refers to Elizabeth by quoting from Rossetti's "Love-Lily"]... is worthy' and 'blest' in knowing Bob. Says that Bob makes 'the world a better place' by letting them share in his happiness.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

Grand Hotel, La Croix de Cavalaire, Var - France. - Thanks his mother for her letter; expects by now she will have seen Bessie, who is 'still not satisfied' about Paul's health, and may take him to the seaside if it does not improve soon. Will stay here for perhaps a fortnight, as the weather seems likely to remain fine. Hopes his parents will enjoy London. Wonders what his father will find is happening about the Cacciola property [left to Robert and George in the will of Florence Cacciola Trevelyan]; thinks he himself has 'really ceased to be interested in it by now' and expects the same is true of Withers. The Fry children are not going to come to the Shiffolds, which is perhaps good since Bessie 'will have more time, and be able to have some guests'.

Is starting on a new play, 'probably for an opera', which is 'dreadfully' serious. Strange that he has had no reviews of Sisyphus, except in the Daily Chronicle and 'the Scotch and Birmingham papers'; does not mind, as 'people who are not reviewers seem to like it well enough'. [Bernard] Berenson has just sent him Heracles, 'a portentous dramatic poem 270 pages long', by George Cabot Lodge, 'the son of the senator'; does not know, 'after labouring through it, whether there is really anything in it', whether he is a youthful and rather crude genius, or only a clever bad poet' and wishes he knew Lodge's age: if Lodge is under twenty-five, Robert would call him a genius and think he 'would turn out... the American Robert Browning', as it much reminds him of Paracelsus, though 'not as masterly in style'. Unfortunately, is expected to give his opinion to the Berensons, who will probably pass it on to the poet, who 'seems to be interested' in Robert's own poems. At least Lodge has 'very few mannerisms, and even spells labour with a u'.

Is glad his father is well.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

[On headed notepaper for Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland]:- 'All is as it should be here in every way': he and two other boys have got their removes. Likes Welldon 'well enough', but has 'only had three schools with him'. His great coat and new trousers have come and fit well.

Sanderson will not return for a week or so, and it is 'rather dull without him' since he is 'the only person [Robert] really care[s] for very much'. Has bought 'a Marseillese [sic] for him to play on the violin'. Has an essay to write on 'the sacred right of insurrection, which is a good excuse for reading again part of Carlyle's [French] Revolution'. Has ordered a Browning and a Greek Lyrics, which have not yet arrived. Is sorry Georgie is ill.

Notebook with translations from Leopardi and Propertius, draft poems and other work

Lines from "Magpies" on inside cover. List of topics, many of which correspond to essays published in "Windfalls". Dialogue between Coryat [an figure often used by Trevelyan for autobiographical pieces] and G[oldie] L[owes] D[Dickinson]. Verse about Tuscan landscape. Notes for Trevelyan's translations of Horace. Comments on 'a bathe in November' and Trevelyan's friends' surprise; other short prose notes. Draft of "Trees". Notes on Browning. Notes for "Simple Pleasures". "Maxims (and reflexions)". "Poetry and Prose". List of 'Friends wives', some marked with x; perhaps notes for autobiographical piece.. "Daydreams". Notes on characters for "Imaginary Conversations".. Draft verse, 'I am the Genius/Guardian Spirit of this sleeping man'; prose dialogue between 'Man' and genius', also tried out as a conversation between Coryat and his spirit. Draft verse, 'As I was walking through a gloom filled wood' [version of "A Dream"].

Notebook also used from other end in: inside cover has quotation from E. M. Forster about being 'rooted in the past', note of Marcella Sembrich's name and a calculation of Jane Austen's age when writing her "History [of England]", as well as a list of topics or possible essays. Translations of Leopardi 40, 55, 75 and 11. Translation of Propertius IV.7. Trevelyan's "Two Imaginary Dialogues", between Horace and Tibullus and Horace and Maecenas. Dialogue between Coryat and 'Old Man', and between Coryat and 'G. D. [Goldie Dickinson?]. Readers' notes for Trevelyan's translations of Leopardi.

Letter from Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven to R. C. Trevelyan

10 Prinsegracht, s'Gravenhage; addressed to Bob at Pension Palumbo, Ravello, presso d'Amalfi, Italia. - 'Poor Gredel [Guye]' has failed; she is 'downcast', but 'very sensible' knowing it is a very hard exam and she can try next year. She and her family seem to like Bob very much. Is not sure about Bob's correction of her Italian. Notes that her letters reach him quicker than his get to her; discusses love letters; often wishes she could find new ways of expressing her love; would be good if Bob learnt Dutch so that she could write to him in it. Asks if he knows he sometime leaves out words, about two or three a page; when he wrote 'sea-sickness would prevent [him] from coming to see [her]', meaning the contrary, she thought she would have to give him up. Glad that Ravello has inspired Bob's 'poetic vein', as she sees in his letter. Unsure why Bob is surprised she showed his mother's photographs to her uncle and aunt, especially as he knows how everything which enters the house 'is enquired after'. Spent a very happy afternoon at Leiden on Thursday, seeing her cousin Louise [Hubrecht]; wants Bob to meet her as she is so nice; told her lots about him and left his poems ["Mallow and Asphodel"]. Went skating yesterday on the ponds in the wood, for the first time this year; wonders if Bob skates and imagines skating together. Went to see the 'poor man at the Hospital' [see 9/]13 again this afternoon, and got to know him much better; he told her that there was a man in the same ward who had earned his living 'travelling round the country with a crocodile, which he had left behind at his inn now' earning about 8 guilders, almost fourteen shillings, a week. If the weather is good tomorrow, will go to Amsterdam to see her niece Amanda Röntgen and congratulate her parents; now she is going to read [Sir George Otto Trevelyan's] 'Life of Macauley'; will also re-read [Joseph Henry Shorthouse's] "John Inglesant" so as to be reading it at the same time as Bob and able to discuss it with him.

Continues the letter next morning; has put off her visit to Amsterdam, probably till Tuesday. Ambro [Hubrecht] stayed the night after 'looking after his smelly whale [see 9/14] again'; they have produced much 'precious oil' from it, though it has been hard getting kettles big enough to hold the bones; he was 'very lively' and has sent Bob a bound copy of his American speech. Discusses [General Sir Redvers Henry] Buller's defeat at Colenso, and asks if it might effect a change in public opinion. Asks whether he likes the "Manchester Guardian", and whether it reaches him quickly. Asks if he has heard from [Lina] Duff Gordon or his 'Florence friends' [the Berensons?]. She has had a 'very nice letter' from Mrs Hartmann, the Danish lady, also from Miss Dahlrup who sends kindest regards. Looks forward very much to returning to Sicily together. Has also hear from Mrs van Riemdyk about Tonina's violin; they would never sell it but would loan it to Bessie, which is 'quite unlawful'. so Bessie has replied to say she is not interested and Bob's 'sweet, kind & generous gift... must come to nothing'. Has been reading an argument between the Brownings about duelling, which she discusses, as well as the possibility of Bob losing his temper with her and vice versa; calls herself 'a hasty-tempered vixen'. Finishes off the letter next morning; likes the poetry Bob has copied out for her, especially Blake's; the beginning of his letter is 'very naughty indeed', and he will get his 'whipping one day - women's whips are their tongues'; quotes a Dutch proverb translated into English. Hopes his host is better, and that the storms have passed.

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Hotel Bristol, Rome. - Has received Robert's letter with 'the ominous date of the Deux Decembre' [a reference to Napoleon's victory at Austerlitz, and the coup by Louis Napoleon in 1851?. Letter is TRER/46/37]. Describes his view of the Piazza Barberini and its 'bad but cheerful' Triton [fountain] by Bernini; it is the scene of one of the conversations in [Browning's] "The Ring and the Book", he thinks that of the 'Tertium Quid'. Did not go by moonlight to think about the man in "The Madonna of the Future" [by Henry James; Robert asked this question in his letter of 2 Dec], but thought of him there by daylight; curses those who had [Michelangelo's] "David" moved to the Academy [Galleria dell'Accademia]. Is going to buy a panorama of 'old Rome, under the emperors' by a German, which he is told is very good. Agrees with Robert about the Armenians [the massacres by the Ottomans], about which Lord Salisbury cannot get anything done, and about 'Valima' [Robert Louis Stevenson's letters to Sidney Colvin], which he cannot read. Is reading [Ferdinand?] Gregorovius with great interest: Caroline has sent for the two last volumes and a friend has lent the second. They have both read Robert's Sismondi carefully. Was much amused by the hustings speeches at the University of Dublin. Since beginning the letter he has received the panorama, and key in German; it was actually made into a panorama and set up at Munich, he supposes 'as a sort of centre of the Suevi and Teutones'.

Letter from Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven to R. C. Trevelyan

Ede - Ma Retraite. - Delay in writing on her return due to a few days in bed; their plans now finalised, and Trevelyan would be very welcome to visit in September. Is going to see her friends the Bowmans next week and will write to Mr and Mrs [Roger?] Fry if she does visit them for a day from Joldwynds. Most of July her 'married cousin Mrs Röntgen and her boys' will be with her, then in August 'she is going to Denmark taking her sister with her'. Hope Trevelyan will be able to come 'and have a look at Holland and Dutchmen! Some say [they] are not a specifically Dutch family' but they could perhaps show him some 'more so' if he liked. Is very much enjoying the letters of [Robert] Browning and his wife, calling them 'delightful, splendid creatures' and discussing their portraits; asks whether Robert Browning was Jewish. Will be in London for two days before going to Joldwynds, but does not ask him to meet her as she does not know her address there yet and fears there will be time for nothing but shopping: a 'nightmare' for her. Perhaps they could meet at Trevelyan's friend [Roger Fry]'s house.

Letter from Peter Grant Watson to R. C. Trevelyan

Laity Water, Torrington. - Has read Bob's essays ["Windfalls"], and thinks 'this kind of communication of gentle thoughts is a useful contribution in a force-ruled world'; those on literary subjects appeal most to him. Would like to have Bob's opinion on S. V. Benét's "John Brown's Body', about the American civil war. Thinks Benét may be 'better than Browning', as he 'never wilts as Browning wilts', and that only Yeats can better him. Returns Bob's book as requested, but would 'much appreciate' a copy when the second edition comes out. His autobiography ["But to What Purpose"] will be published in the spring. Has 'two books waiting for paper', and two others due to be reprinted, so things are 'looking up'. They are trying to sell this house and buy another, which is 'tiresome'; will be very glad to have it settled. Hopes he will be staying with his cousin Mrs Donkin in the autumn, and will try to visit Bob then.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Sir George Trevelyan

The Shiffolds. - He and Bessie have just heard from Aunt Annie that his parents are both well. They are having 'very wet weather again, and the last of the snow has gone'. The Abercrombies leave on Friday; it has been a 'very pleasant visit', and it has been 'very good for Julian to be with the other children, in spite of occasional squabbles'. Robert now reads to him in bed for a while every evening; they 'get through a good deal, mostly poetry'. Julian 'listens to all with equal interest, but says he likes difficult poems best'; he certainly 'cannot understand all he hears', such as the Ancient Mariner. He likes Lucy Gray [by Wordsworth] and [Browning's] Pied Piper 'better still', as well as 'any poem about storms at sea, and people being drowned. His 'special poem', though, is Allingham's Up the airy mountain...[The Faeries], which 'is indeed a perfect bit of literature'. Julian almost knows it by heart now.

Bessie and Robert are now reading Great Expectations; it is a 'far better book than Our Mutual Friend, though the comic parts are hardly as good'. Bessie is very well. Robert saw Molly in London last week, who was 'cheerful, despite a cold'. George [her son, rather than her brother-in-law] 'seemed well, and had just had his first game of football at school'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Sir George Trevelyan

Apartado 847, Madrid, Spain. - Thanks his father for his letter [12/312] and the 'amusing enclosure', which he returns. Will much look forward to reading the correspondence [Theodore Roosevelt's, published in Scribner's Magazine] when he returns. Expects he will start back in about ten days, and 'after a few days in Paris to see friends', get home in early December. Has 'quite an interesting time here', and has done 'a good deal of work, chiefly [translating] Lucretius'. Politics are 'somewhat less stormy' here than when he arrived: the 'Barcelona lock-out seems to be settled', and the government, 'probably the best Spain has had for many years, seems likely to survive for the present'.

The weather is 'fairly cold, but otherwise perfect'. Has made some 'interesting friends', and learned some Spanish. Hopes to visit Toledo before he leaves, but 'hardly Valladolid' which he passes on the train, 'even for the sake of Browning's Corregidor [in How It Strikes a Contemporary]. Bessie 'writes cheerfully, and Julian seems to be well'. Robert sends love to his mother, and thanks for her letter.

A friend is coming soon, Don Juan Menendez y Arranz, with whom he reads Spanish poetry; in exchange he helps him read English poetry. He is 'not as big or grand as his name, but very charming, and also very well read'

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - The notes on the enclosure he returns interest him very much; is not surprised by the feeling about Swinburne they indicate; any man, even if Swinburne is not 'his' poet, as Browning is Sir George's, or Shelley Harry Knutsford's, must acknowledge him as a 'marvellous and genuine phenomenon'. Has sent a short letter with his own recollections of Swinburne to [Edmund] Gosse, to go into the "life"; Gosse much appreciates the early letters Sir George gave him; the things Sir George did not give to Gosse, he did not show him either. Looking forward very much to Robert's visit; glad they are settled with Miss Barthorp [as governess to Julian]. Has recently read "Humphry Clinker", which he thinks [Smollett's] 'most readable, and least unpleasant, book'.

Letter from Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven to R. C. Trevelyan

19 Prinsegracht, the Hague; addressed to Bob at Pension Palumbo, Ravello, presso Amalfi, Italia. - Very pleased with Bob's 'beetle letter', which arrived yesterday; unfortunately when she kissed the creature to 'snatch off' his kisses it broke up, but she has put the pieces together and will 'keep him as a beautiful unicorn'. She and her uncle feel that it would be difficult for her to go to England before the middle of February due to her aunt's illness; will write to Bob's mother soon to tell her; seems natural that he should stay longer at Ravello; whenever he comes, she will not be able to spend as much time with him as before. He will have to send her his 'first journalistic work' as the Salomonson's cannot send her old numbers [of the "Manchester Guardian"] and she does not know where to get them. Says the beetle brought her nice dreams in which Bob was kissing her. Must re-read the poem by [Richard] Crashaw which he copied out for her. Pities Straughn Davidson [James Leigh Strachan-Davidson] for having to act as Bob's 'bucket' [see 9/101] and hopes he appreciated his 'rich breakfast' [of poetry]. Very glad Bob thinks her a good letter writer. Wishes she could persuade her family to get a night nurse, as her uncle's night is disturbed and yet he is not as helpful to her aunt as a trained nurse would be. Had a note from George [Macauley Trevelyan] inviting her to come to Cambridge next month; very kind of him to write, and she hopes they will soon go, though expects she will 'feel terrified'. Likes Bob's father's book ["The Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay"] very much, as well as Crashaw's poem; agrees there are some likenesses between the latter and Browning. Quotes from Dante's "Vita Nuova [xiv]'.

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

Hotel Prinz Heinrich, Dorothea Strasse, Berlin. - He and Helen have just returned from an excellent concert: Beethoven and Mozart. Describes their stay at Ede with the family of Trevelyan's friend Elizabeth van der Hoeven [soon to become his fiancée]: they liked the 'old people' very much - the old man [Paul François Hubrecht] reminded Fry of Mr Behrens; gives his impression of Elizabeth who was 'rather shy and inaccessible'. A sister [Maria Hubrecht?] of Madame Grandmont was also there: the Frys thought her paintings (canvas painted to look like tapestry) were dreadful. M. [Alphonse] Grandmont read some of his French translation of Browning's "Pippa Passes"; thinks Trevelyan is wrong about him and that he has more artistic sensibility than his wife, whose 'Ruskinian idealism' has 'deadened her sensations' and who follows the modern trend Fry deplores of always looking for 'meanings & messages' in art. Heard the Biebers [sic: a work by Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber]: Elizabeth is 'most accomplished' but the piece was too modernized; and Handel. Came to Berlin yesterday and the art collection is splendid; comment on German taste.

Letter from George Macaulay Trevelyan to R.C. Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland. - Is going to Egypt for a few weeks first in February; will then '"come again to the land of lands" [Italy: a quote from Browning] when Bob is likely to be in the south, and will visit him there. Asks him to ask [Bernard] Berenson if George can then visit, probably towards the end of March; intends to go to Florence then in any case. Will write to them both before he leaves England. Sir George's book [the first volume of his "The American Revolution"] comes out on 11 January; George's own ["England in the Age of Wycliffe"] around Easter. Is 'profoundly interested by the coming struggle in France' [the Dreyfus affair]; if 'the man gets out' he will 'burn a bonfire in [his] heart.'

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

The Shiffolds. - Thanks her for her letter and present, a 'charming edition of the Drayton' which he will enjoy reading again, perhaps to Julian. 'Very kind' of her to send Julian the Browning and is sure he will 'appreciate it, since he has no Browning, though he knows and likes some of the poems'. He seems well, and has generally 'got on well this term, and certainly seems happy there'.

Thinks he is himself 'much better now for having been to Dr Anderson', but since he still has to go to London for two or three days a week, he does not wish to miss more of Julian's birthday than he can help; hopes therefore that she will not mind him visiting her this month, though he may later on in the spring.

Is just finishing his Aeschylus translation [the Oresteia], though it will need much revision before he can publish; it has been a 'very tough job'. Bessie has just started reading aloud [Scott's] Heart of Midlothian, which Robert has 'quite forgotten'; they read it in the first edition, which the 'Vaughan Williamses of Leith Hill Place' have lent them. Sends love to his father and to Booa [Mary Prestwich].

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Welcombe, Stratford on Avon. - Expects Robert has chosen the best way to see Spain in basing himself at Madrid; probably the best way to learn Spanish, and the country may settle down in time enabling easier travel. Browning is a 'wonderful genius': he has recently read Pattison's 'admirable' biography of [Isaac] Casaubon, and it was 'all summed up in the "Grammarian's Funeral"; cannot read Gibbon without thinking of "Protus"; and ever since Robert went to Spain he has had "How It Strikes a Contemporary" in his mind, which means more to him 'than Charles the Vth - or Cervantes'. "Scribner's [Magazine]" is publishing 'specimens' of Roosevelt's biography; supposes it is the 'biggest bibliopolic business' ever. The excerpt about Roosevelt and Sir George, illustrated with Mary's snapshots ["Scribner's Magazine", Vol. 66, No. 4, Oct 1919, pp 385-408] has had 'unanimous approbation' in America; encloses a 'racy specimen from a remote new Western State,' but the more serious papers take the same line. Has recovered from his fall, and they are settled in at Welcombe 'in the midst of the perturbed world'. They have regular satisfactory news from Elizabeth.

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Welcombe, Stratford on Avon. - Envies Robert having heard the Fairy Queen [see 46/254]; Purcell is the 'only name which really fascinates' him in music, apart from that of Mrs R. C. Trevelyan, the effect of allusion to him in Browning's Waring', and of reading about him in the 'list of composers at the beginning of the Anthem-book in Trinity Chapel' as he sat in his surplice like the four or five hundred other young men around him in 'the most impressive Church ceremony (Uncle Tom used to say) except perhaps the Beguinage at Ghent'. Thanks Robert for sending [Lucian's] Peregrinus which goes well with the Alexander Pseudomantis and the On Salaried Posts in Great Houses [whose title he gives in Greek]; considers to be 'the most human pictures of ancient society', and recommends Robert to read the other two if he has not done so. Is going to read gradually through Bergck, except for the Pindar and the fragments taken from ancient grammarians; will use Robert's letter from 1900 with the 'first sketch of a charming little poem on the "roses"'. Good to hear of Robert and Julian's bonfires; cannot remember if he saw their bonfire for the 'second jubilee of 1897' [Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee], which was the best he himself ever saw: the estate was fully staffed, and the estate workers built it forty foot high of brushwood soaked with paraffin.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Sir George Trevelyan

The Shiffolds, Holmbury St. Mary, Dorking. - Hopes his parents have had a good journey to Welcombe, and were not too tired by it; at least the weather for it was beautiful. Was very interested in the 'paper on the Dramatic Monologue' which his father sent him; most of what the writer says 'about Browning and the Victorians generally seems to be sound and sensible'. Is going to read a paper on poetry to a 'Trinity Hall Literary Society' this term, though has not yet decided on the topic; perhaps the history of blank verse, 'a dull subject, but one which interests me, which is what matters most, when one wants to interest others'.

Thamyris [or, Is there a Future for Poetry?] 'grew out of a similar paper' he read last year to the Cambridge Heretics. Has generally had good reviews, except for the piece in the Times Literary Supplement, and lots of them, though he does not yet know how the book is selling. Had a 'very kind and generous letter from Professor Murray [see 26/12/3-4]' saying he liked the book and 'entirely disagreed with the Times reviewer, which quite compensated for any annoyance' Robert might have felt'.

Bessie is well and enjoys the beautiful weather, as Robert hopes his parents also do.

Letter from Charles Roden Buxton to R. C. Trevelyan

Whingate, Peaslake. - Likes Bob's style in his "Epistles" 'increasingly, and thinks the form good; it manages to 'introduce argumentation, which is generally... a mistake in poetry'; Bob's [translation of] Lucretius had the 'same tone'. It is 'pleasant to read', though he expects it cost Bob 'toil of craftsmanship perhaps travail of soul'. Sees Bob in the epistles as 'a wise, & mature, elder brother' who sympathises with the reader's 'infirmities' since he 'feels his own'; he does not seek to force agreement on the reader (Buxton quotes Browning, "One Word More"), but is 'gently persuasive' and allows the reader to doubt when he '(perhaps)' doubts himself. Bob is no 'more sceptical' with age, nor 'less sweet and gentle and inclined to reconciliation', which Buxton appreciates as 'a (would-be) Quaker'.

All this applies to a certain extent to the two new poems as well, though they are different to the epistles and have 'vast & terrifying' subjects. Has been discussing the same question, about civilisation and books, with V. [his sister Victoria?], [his wife] Dorothy and [daughter] Eglantyne: he has been claiming that no great harm would be done if historic buildings and old master paintings were 'bombed out of existence', but that ideas must be cultivated and books kept, so the people living in Bob's 'little green settlements would not be civilised men'. Knows that he is taking Bob too seriously. The '"Piers Plowman" vision' poem is a more serious piece; remembers the theme of Bob's earlier poem; thinks he remembers Goethe saying that even the devil 'could be (or did he say would be?) redeemed in the end'; does not know what to think himself, but Bob seems to him to present the theme correctly. Would like to learn why Bob wants to '"deflate" the rhetoric of an earlier handling'; this might illuminate Milton, Goethe and Meredith's practice in their own later years; sympathises with the feeling though does not know why, as he has never succeeded in finding 'any essential difference between "Youth" and "Age", though everyone says there is'.Values Bob's 'assertion that there is [underlined] a sprig of Justice and Lovingkindness among common men, which will somehow assert itself'; doubt about this is 'the most terrible scepticism of all'. Thinks this 'declaration of faith' is the modern equivalent of the creeds of Athanasius and others.

Returns Bob's two poems with thanks [no longer present]; also includes a few chapters of his "Essay" ["Prophets of Heaven & Hell: Virgil, Dante, Milton, Goethe : an introductory essay" ?", with an outline, to show what he 'dream[s] of' writing; Bob should not trouble too much about it, but any comment from him would be 'highly valued', and there is no great rush.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline and Sir George Trevelyan

29 Beaufort St, Chelsea [on headed notepaper for the National Liberal Club, Whitehall Place S. W.]:- Thanks his parents for their 'joint letter'. The weather here has suddenly turned 'almost absolutely perfect, at least for December', and the 'nights are wonderfully lighted by this full moon'. Florence must be 'gorgeous by moonlight'; wonders if they ever go to 'the portico where the David used to be and think of the poor painter of Henry James' Madonna of the Future, who was found there by night', but expects they go to bed 'quite early'. Dined recently with the [Yates] Thompsons, and Harry 'pretended to be indignant' that the Trevelyans had not gone to a hotel he had recommended; he 'was in a familiar, you-be-damned sort of mood', since there was no-one there but the Wilberforces, Spring Rice and Robert. Dolly 'had to reprove him for swearing at table before his guests'; thinks 'the Canon was rather shocked by his way of going on'.

[Edward Ernest] Bowen has given a 'lecture to the school [Harrow] upon the American Secession & Civil War', speaking 'for nearly two hours without becoming embarrassed or stumbling over a single word'; they say that throughout 'the excitement was so intense that you could have heard a fly's buzz'. At the end 'they got up and cheered him till it was thought they would never stop. They had not realised before what he was'. [Roger] Fry has a commission to paint 'a certain Smith Barry, the brother of the notorious M.P'. He has almost finished his lectures; he set 'certain passages in Browning's Fra Lippo to be annotated', which contain 'several bad blunders as to dates etc': '[m]ost of the young ladies trip up prettily into these pitfalls, taking it for granted that Browning must be right.

Robert 'quite agree[s] about Dante's deliberate purpose of making a great literary success', though thinks this would be 'indignantly repudiated by most of his idolaters'. It is 'very dull' in England at the moment; as far as Robert can tell people talk of 'nothing but Armenians.[a reference to the massacres in the Ottoman Empire]... and the Vailima letters [written by Robert Louis Stevenson to Sidney Colvin between 1890 and 1894, and recently published]'.

Letter from Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven to R. C. Trevelyan

10 Prinsegracht, the Hague; addressed to Bob at 3 Hare Court, Inner Temple, London E.C. - Asks if Bob really had the vision he describes in his letter or whether he is just amusing her; talks about their ritual of 'kissing the wall' before sleep; sends a lock of her hair and asks for one of Bob's in return. Thanks him for his explanation of his sonnet in "The Speaker", which she now understands. Returns to the letter after some business over shares at the bank with her uncle, which they were both glad to finish. Discussion of post times. Foolish of "The Speaker" not to put Bob's translation in; asks if he is going to send the "[Lady's] Bat" or anything else to the "Spectator" or "Athenaeum". Discussion of arrangements for the house. Asks who Sophie, who has offered to give Bob a set of books, is; Bob ought to decide what he would like; asks if he has a complete set of Browning in Smith and Elder's edition; she does not like Meredith enough and the Frys have a set, but if Bob is a great admirer he should ask for that. Hope [Charles] Sanger feels better; asks about Bob's lease on the Temple rooms, and whether he is still keeping daily accounts or whether he has not opened his account book since they 'sat together in Charles' room one morning at Grosvenor Crescent'; does not like to nag but he must think about such things.

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Welcombe, Stratford on Avon. - Interested to hear Robert's 'mature, fresh judgment' of [George Eliot's] "The Mill on the Floss"; it came out when Sir George was at college and he 'never tired' of reading 'the part about the young people'. Feels Eliot's 'bad' books have 'a strange power of alienating one from her good ones'. Has not been well at all recently, but has 'settled down on a lower plane of health and habits'. Interested by the French discovery of [Robert] Browning.

Letter from Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven to R. C. Trevelyan

Ma Retraite, Ede. - Addresses Trevelyan as 'my dear Bob'; is very glad to hear from him; was just last week that she left Amsterdam and he went with Paul [Hubrecht?] 'to visit Volendam and buy Dutch cheeses' but it seems a long time ago. Paul wrote a 'rather amusing & ironical account of that day'. He must have had a bad crossing as the weather has been 'most depressing ever since'; 'poor Grandmont is shivering & probably longing to get away', but the coming of Bob's friends the [Roger] Frys will keep them longer. Will miss them very much; Bramine has 'proven to be such a friend', she has told her everything and she is 'a great help'. All her family 'have a somewhat inquisitive if not suspicious turn of mind' and have begun to have suspicions about her and Bob; not in an unkind sense but they want to know 'exactly what happened or did not happen'. Her uncle, aunt, and [cousin] Marie stayed with her sister [Abrahamina Röntgen] in Amsterdam; is sure they compared notes. Bramine is a help to 'appease their minds'; would also help if Trevelyan wrote a 'collins' to her aunt which will make it 'all look more natural'. She and Bob must continue to be quite 'sincere and truthful' with each other, and 'everything will come right in the end'; scolds him a little for leaving the house without saying goodbye to her uncle or Grandmont, though her family found his absent-midnedness comical.

Is writing in the drawing room, hearing the 'continual tinkle tinkle of the piano' as Grandmont practises some Haydn trios. They spent at the evening recently at the house of the painter [Willem?] Witsen, where Bramine works at her etching every day; played some music and even persuaded Witsen to join them with his cello, though he is 'terribly shy and modest' he plays very well. Has been practising hard herself recently, as she wants to be in good shape if she goes to have lessons from the new teacher in Amsterdam who has replaced her old teacher [Joseph] Cramer. Asks how Bob's new house is getting on; asks its name and address, and when he will move in. He will miss the Frys at first; hopes they like the Dutch cheese, and that it will not be 'like the story of the cheese in [Jerome's] "Three Men in a Boat"'. Is reading Joachim's biography [by Andreas Moser], and has given up the Brownings' letters for a while. 'Correspondence is unsatisfactory in so many ways'; wishes she could see more of Bob, though she tells him not to 'interpret this for more than [she means] it'; tells him to write as often and fully as he can. Will try to puzzle over his 'metaphysical quotation', though doubts she will understand it entirely without further explanation; wonders about the value of such questions, though she does greatly admire 'the philosophical turn of mind' as long as it does not hamper any other enquiry. Bramine sends kind regards to Bob; she and Grandmont apparently always speak of him 'by that disrespectful name', so she supposes she may also. Notes in a postscript that he did not tell her how old he is; guesses twenty-seven.


Prose narrative about Coryat's visit to the 'guest-killing mosque at Rai', which shifts to dramatic form for Coryat's encounter with a Stranger who may be Death; story of Coryat continued in pencil, describing his encounter with an old Chinese man and their discussion of will and the spirit.

Two lines of a poetic epistle to Roger [Fry] written after Fry's death; draft account of Helen Fry and her relationship with Roger, probably written to aid Virginia Woolf with her biography of Fry [published in 1940; see also 17/95, 17/96, and 17/97], this includes some unpublished details of Helen Fry's illness such as her fear of her doctor, and the effect of Hubert Crackanthorpe's suicide.

Notebook also used from the other end in: draft verse; another version of Coryat's discussion with the old Chinese man; draft of introduction to the second volume of Trevelyan's "Collected Works", his verse plays; continuation of the 'Coryat' piece, in which the young man is introduced by the Old Man to 'B.R', a 'philosopher and a sceptic' [a hardly disguised Bertrand Russell?, and then reminisces about his childhood friendship with his cousin Miranda; translation of Horace "Satires" 2.3.39-62 and 23 to the end; essay on "Solitude"; essay on Robert Browning; essay on "Juvenilia", which begins by quoting Trevelyan's childhood poem "Oh Hector, I do love thee" [see 23/121/14]; notes for "Simple Pleasures"; notes on bees; short sections of verse, some perhaps translations.

List entitled 'My Friends' on flyleaf, including 'Roger[Fry], Goldie [Lowes Dickinson] and Desmond [MacCarthy]'; list of autobiographical topics written around it and on the inside cover.

Letter from Thomas Sturge Moore to R. C. Trevelyan

40 Well Walk, Hampstead, NW. - Thought the "Annual [of New Poetry]" had been abandoned due to the publication of the new "Georgian Poetry"; asks who the contributors are. Offers his own "Micah", or some shorter pieces if that is too long; would like to keep the manuscript as long as possible to continue work. Has read much of [Bob's translation of'] "Agamemnon", comparing it with Browning's; will compare it with Paul Claudel's next time he goes to the British Museum. Bob's version 'reads very well on the whole', though there are still too many lines which 'no one writing English would pass or feel to be happy'; increasingly doubts whether Aeschylus's original is 'quite the model of style it is supposed to be'. Quotes an example of the 'interesting and poetical meanings" often found in Browning's translation but 'altogether unrepresented' in Bob's; asks whether these are different readings of doubtful passages, or whether Browning has invented them. Glad that Julian has quite recovered. Hopes that Bob is 'offering pages [in the "Annual"] to all the best people' and that it will not be 'hole-in-the-cornerish'. Adds postscript saying that Miss Bridges's book had 'some first rate things in it'; has also just read "Poems of Alban" by Emilia Stuart Lorimer, which had a few 'fine things', and thinks Bob should 'try to have one or two ladies'.

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