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Papers of Robert Calverley Trevelyan and Elizabeth Trevelyan Browning, Robert (1812–1889), poet
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Letter from John Jay Chapman to R. C. Trevelyan

Barrytown N. Y. - Has just finished reading the "Bride of Dionysus"; thinks it 'must have been good as an opera... as it is all extremely effective from the stage point of view' [it had in fact not yet been put on stage]. Finds the 'verse forms are peculiar to read', but thinks they would work well in performance, while the language is vital and fitting, sometimes beautiful. Discusses what he sees as a lack of 'unity' in the drama, but does not think this would matter on stage, and that the sudden appearance of Dionysus echoes the 'artificial solutions in Greek Tragedies' and the "Book of Job". Thinks the 'reminiscence of Browning''s "Mesmerism" which he perceives in the incantation a 'very good idea'; the evocation of the Homeric hymns and Ovid is also 'delightful'; expects there are many other references but his 'classical scholarship is nil'. Congratulates Trevelyan 'heartily'. Adds a long postscript clarifying his point about the lack of unity.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

Seatoller, Borrowdale, Keswick. - Thanks his mother for her last letter. Is glad she met [Herbert James] Craig, who is an 'excellent person', who was in Scrutton's chambers when Robert was there. [Henry Francis] Previté is a 'great friend of his' and says he is 'really a first-rate candidate'. Robert would 'like to see him again very much'.

The weather has been 'excellent', with just one stormy day. Bessie seems to be getting on very well at Rottingdean with Mrs Salomonson, and is 'probably going to bathe'. Expects Dowden's [biography of Robert] Browning 'would be dull. Chesterton's is certainly lively' though it 'annoyed [Robert] very much': thought Chesterton 'said all the wrong things it was possible to say about Browning as a man of letters, and in fact entirely showed himself up as a critic'; he was 'more interesting about Browning as a man, but even there was exaggerated and paradoxical'. Admits this may not be fair, as he 'never can stand Chesterton'.

Has a 'few scanty notices of the Chantrey bequest committee' in his newspaper; the [Royal] Academy's defence 'has certainly been a fiasco, as it was bound to be'. Hopes 'the whole gang of them will get thoroughly discredited at last', as until that happens there is 'no hope of any adequate recognition of what is really good in modern art', or reform of the mismanagement of the National Gallery. Poynter 'has just succeeded in swindling Fry out of the Slade Professorship', as he thinks he has already told her; this is 'only one instance of the fatal power for evil that his gang possesses'.

Is getting on with his own work, 'rather slowly "eppur si muove"'; his father is also getting on with his, doubtless a little faster.

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

10 Prinsegracht, The Hague; addressed to Bob at The Mill-House, Westcott, Dorking, Surrey. - They seem to be in similar circumstances this week: she has been helping to clean her uncle [Paul François Hubrecht]'s big bookcases; the charwoman who helped her 'was amusing enough' and made some 'delightfully naïve remarks' about the books. Elizabeth sometime lends books for her or her boys to read. Last Monday they moved to the Hague; the three summers they have spent at Ede seem to have passed very quickly, thinks they were 'the happiest & most interesting' parts of her life so far so she has become attached to the place and 'even to the ugly house' and is sad to think of the new 'unsympathetic' owner changing it, though he can do little to the woods and moors. Is going to spend a few days at Almelo with an old married friend whom she has not seen for some time; she is very musical and her husband seems to be a good pianist; also Marie [Hubrecht's] American friend Maud Howard is coming to stay tomorrow and she is 'not over anxious to see much of her'. Marie is then going to spend the winter in Florence though, like Maud Howard, she is a little vague about her plans.

Has changed her mind about 'forcing circumstances' and now thinks it would be good to see Bob again; suggests he comes over to the Hague next month, on the pretext of doing some work such as a translation of [Joost van] Vondel with which she could help, to make it seem less strange to her uncle and aunt; would have to ask him to stay at a hotel unless her uncle invites him to stay, and knows all this will give him trouble. He must write and tell her sincerely what he thinks. She has discussed the plan with Bramine [Hubrecht] who reassured her there was nothing wrong with it. Gives the address of her friend at Almelo, Mrs Salomonson Asser.

Has just seen a portrait of Bob's father 'on an old Financial Reform Almanack'; remarks on his 'charming eyes'. Hopes Bob is enjoying himself bringing 'dry bones' to live. Asks if he went to the concerts [given by Julius Engelbert Röntgen and Johannes Messchaert] and appreciated the singer. Is reading the Brownings' letters again, which are charming but get terribly sentimental. The [Second Boer] war is indeed horrible; asks if there are reasonable views on its duration and 'what the end can be'; asks whether there are as many 'contradictory muddling telegrams' in British newspapers as in Dutch ones; glad that there are 'so many rightly thinking English', but they are still a minority. The Grandmonts are at Florence, but unfortunately will have left by the time the Frys arrive. Very kind of Trevelyan to transcribe some of his verses for her; looks forward to reading them though she says she is a 'highly unpoetical being'. Signs herself 'Bessie'.

Letter from T. S. Omond to R. C. Trevelyan

14 Calverley Park, Tunbridge Wells. -Thanks Trevelyan for sending him his book ["The Bride of Dionysus"]; he makes 'the old legends live again'. Wonders if the opera has been performed yet, as Trevelyan says the music [by Donald Tovey] is completed; will look out for notices. Trevelyan's vers libre does not appeal to him, but 'poets have every right to try experiments', and he is right to use it if it seems most suitable to him. Is perhaps most interested by Trevelyan's 'handling of hex. metre [hexameter]' in his version of Lucretius, which seems to use six accents rather than regular feet; has doubts, which also apply to [Robert] Bridges, [Henry] Newbolt, [Lascelles] Abercrombie and others, whether speech-accent gives 'sufficient certainty'; discusses with examples. Otherwise he admires the lines as a 'scholarly exercise'. Has never understood the metre of "Attys" [Catullus 63], in the original or in other translations; amuses him to 'what different views' people seem to have. Has written a great deal about metre: this is not the sole criterion for judging poetry, but he does take it seriously, for 'is it not that alone which differentiates it from prose?'; perhaps that is why he thinks the lines from [Sophocles's] "Ajax" most successful. Remembers Trevelyan quoting the chorus [from the "Bride of Dionysus" itself] on page 13 to him. Hopes that the Trevelyans are well; he and his wife much enjoyed last summer and hope for more of the same this year. Have been at home all winter 'as usual', but now thinking of travelling, though after the Browning centenary celebration in Westminster which they hope to go to; wonders if they will see Trevelyan there. Has written little this winter apart from correspondence and a few reviews and 'letters to weeklies etc'; encloses something about hexameters from the "Modern Literary Review", which gives copies of articles instead of cash payments ["Homer's Odyssey: A Line-for-Line Translation in the Metre of the Original by H. B. Cotterill", The Modern Language Review", Vol. 7, No. 2 (Apr., 1912), pp. 257-262; no longer present]. Was glad to get [Henry Bernard] Cotterill's book for review as it is published only in an expensive edition, but was disappointed by his verse; had hoped for better from things he had written about prosody. Trevelyan's brother [George] has had a 'grand success' with his books about Garibaldi, which he himself has read with 'delight' and 'reviving of old enthusiasms', while Trevelyan's father is still writing new books and having old books republished.

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

Hotel Biscione & Bellevue, Piazza Fontana No 8 e 10, Milan. - His itinerary for the journey to Ravello, including 'the Cava of the Browning letters'. [Roger] Fry is much better, and he and his wife start tonight for England. Saw another fine private art collection this afternoon, including a fine Correggio (not usually an artist he likes), and a Titian or Giorgione of 'a lady rather like Mrs [Mary] Costelloe only finer'.

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

3 Hare Court, Inner Temple. - Apologises for using 'lubberly thick English' paper. Came to London to hear [Julius Engelbert] Röntgen on Monday, but found he was ill and the concert off; hopes it is nothing serious. Went to hear [Hans] Richter conduct Tchaikowsky's 6th Symphony instead. Fears she may not have got the letter with his poetry last week, as he thinks he addressed it wrongly. Agrees that Bessie's proposal that he should come to see her again in the Netherlands [see 9/9] is indeed bold, but is very glad she has made it. On his side, the difficulties are small: he can easily conceal his visit, or let it be known that he is calling there on the way to Italy. Feels that the excuse she suggests of them translating Vondel together is very thin; true that he would like to read some with her, and that she could teach him German or 'even Dutch', though he does not feel ready to learn both at the same time; however, her family are still likely to see through this, 'especially if they were suspicious before'. Perhaps it would be better to be more honest with them; otherwise, would be willing not to go and see her at home at all, but for them to meet privately at his hotel and talk or go for walks. Realises that she will probably think this wrong, and her feelings must be 'paramount', though see it would be difficult and perhaps 'unwise' for her to take her uncle and aunt into her confidence. Will want 'horribly' to be with her all day, as he always does. She must decide what is best; expects her uncle will think he has come to see her whatever excuse they give. Promises to be 'quite reasonable, and prudent, though very much in love'. Must not read the Brownings' letters, or he will start writing 'too sentimentally'. Has had a 'rather nasty business looking after [Roger] Fry's affairs', his publisher [Oldmeadow] is 'swindling him' and he has had to write a long letter to Fry. Will give this letter to [Charles] Sanger to post as he is going out for a post; he may wonder 'who the lady with the long foreign name is' but will not tell him.

Letter from Lady Evelyn Lister to R. C. Trevelyan

98 Grenfell Road, Maidenhead, Berks. - Knows that after the publication of Trevelyan's book ["Windfalls"] and the praise by Desmond MacCarthy in the "Sunday Times" he must be so "inundated with thanks and appreciation" that there will be scant space for her 'little poor words', but wanted to let him know of her appreciation. Lists some of her favourite pieces, including the appreciation of [Robert] Browning and childhood reminiscences. Would much appreciate a few lines from him in reply. Asks him to excuse her handwriting; after an accident a few years ago she is unable to walk. Hopes he is well in 'these so difficult days'.

Letter from Oliver Lodge to R. C. Trevelyan

Cud Hill House, Upton Saint Leonards, Glos. - Bob has given him great pleasure [by sending him his book "Windfalls"]: finds himself drawn first to the essays with personal names: Browning, Virginia Woolf, Meredith; these are all '[d]elightful', with '[s]uch sensitive discrimination in the literary criticism', combined with 'personal pictures - so vivid', such as 'Meredith's thumps with his stick in honour of the lovely Lucy Duff Gordon'; asks which of Meinhold's works Duff Gordon translated. Praises Bob's literary criticism: calls his defence of rhetoric 'timely needed & excelled'; might not have had Marlowe and the University poets 'without the Schools of Rhetoric of Oxford & Cambridge', and without Marlowe, there might have been no Shakespeare. Comments on 'how neatly' Bob 'refute[s] Edgar Poe's heresy!'. Likes what Bob says about Shelley's "Music when soft voices die": has sometimes read the last stanza as 'addressed by Shelley to himself'; cites 'Less oft is peace in Shelley's mind...' [from "To Jane: The Recollection"] as another instance of self-address. Diana [his wife] and the children are going to Sennen at Land's End on Monday; he himself is not, since he always finds South Cornwall 'too damp'; will go instead to the 'Brit[ish] Ass[ociation for the Advancement of Science]' in Broghton from 7-14 September. His eldest son [Oliver] is engaged to be married to Rosemary Phipps, a 'charming girl' living at Fairford on the upper Thames; she and Oliver have been to visit. Tom [his other son] is staying with Lodge's sister [Barbara Godlee?] near Manchester, but will join the rest of the family in Cornwall. He is 'very musical-studying'. Bob's grandson Philip is here, playing in the garden with Colin; he is a 'dear little boy'. Sends love to both Trevelyans; hope Bob's has a 'good holiday & enjoy[s] Italy'. Asks if 'the cause of Virginia Woolf's death [was] ever known'. Adds a postscript to say her heard a 'marvellous Beethoven piece' on the radio last night, the String Quartet in B flat, Op. 18 no. 6.

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

Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland. - Blames the 'heat which brings on indolence' for his delay in replying to her last letter. Saw Madame Grandmont at the Bowmans', where he spent a very pleasant evening; she has since written to say he can visit in early September, so asks Bessie to tell her that will suit him very well. Is not going to Bayreuth, so will come straight out to Holland, which he is looking forward to seeing again. Has left the heat in the South of England and come up to 'the cool and airy atmosphere of Northumberland'. Is glad she likes the Odyssey; her translation is 'quite correct and scholarly', although a little too Biblical and free with 'withals' and 'verilys'. Agrees generally with what she says about [Henry] James: he need not always be so obscure, though 'vague ideas can often only be vaguely expressed'; discusses some of the characters and scenes he admires. Supposes she will be going to Denmark now; hopes she enjoys her music there; he has heard little for weeks and fears he will not until he goes to Holland. Is glad she enjoyed "Marrow and Asparagus" [his "Mallow and Asphodel"]; but she must like [Thomas Sturge] Moore's poems better, particularly "The Vinedresser", "The Panther", and "At Bethel"; the parts of Moore's poetry he likes 'mean more to [him] than anything that has appeared in England since Browning's early and great days". Will send for [Lagerlof's] "Antichrist Miracles" as is keen to see Mrs Cacciola [Florence Trevelyan] 'glorified by fiction', even if she is depicted as 'a witch or Fiery, instead of the mild lady she really is'; has always intended to make her 'the subject of a romance' when he takes to writing novels in his old age. Bessie can keep [his father's] "American Revolution" until he comes. Asks to be remembered to the Grandmonts. His father has just bought a Madonna by [Francesco] Francia; they are all very pleased with it, though he is amused by the comments of the servants. The butler secretly prefers the not very good copy of Raphael's "Madonna della seggiola" which used to hang in the room; he says the 'lady' is pretty '(being good protestants, they won't call her the Madonna or the Virgin)', but the baby is 'rather a funny-shaped baby', and at least Raphael gave his child some clothing; says Mrs Prestwitch [sic: Mary Prestwich] (the old nurse, now housekeeper) knows more about babies than he does, and she is not sure about the baby; supposes neither he nor his brothers were 'exactly that type of infant' when they were in her nursery.

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

Roundhurst, Haslemere, Surrey. - Apologises for not writing sooner: has taken him a while to gather his thoughts on English books for her to read. Has not read Browning's letters to his wife, but her father tells him they are quite amusing; if they are as good as the one she read out to him, they should certainly be worth reading. There is also Mackail's life of William Morris, which he intends to read as Mackail knew Morris well and is a 'competent writer'; saw an excerpt which looked fun, as it should as 'Morris was a magnificent joke himself as well as a splendid person'. Has not yet read Henry James's "The Awkward Age", which is said to surpass all his earlier ones in difficulty, but recommends "In The Cage", or "Daisy Miller". Next week T[homas Sturge] Moore's book, "The Vinedresser and Other Poems" comes out, but he is sending a copy to the Grandmonts; is not sure whether they will like it, as it has 'great faults, which people with classical tastes are almost sure to dislike', but believes many of the poems are 'nearly perfect in their own queer way'. Recommends his father's book, "The American Revolution Pt I" which is 'at least readable and amusing"; his brother George's "The Age of Wycliffe" has already gone into a second edition. The middle part of the letter can be found as 13/85.

Ends by telling Bessie to get the third volume of Yeats' edition of Blake, 'read all the poetry that is not mad' and "The Book [Marriage] of Heaven and Hell", and look at the pictures. Hopes Miss [Emma?] Dahlerup is well; expects she will be going to Capri or nearby soon. Asks to be remembered to the Grandmonts.

Letter from George Macaulay Trevelyan to R.C. Trevelyan

With monogram HPC and motto 'Mens sana in corpore sano'. - Thanks Bob for his letter about the rooms [at Trinity, Cambridge]; intends to choose Whewell's Court. Hopes to see Bob soon; he need not be alarmed about the Grove, as a 'perfectly effectual reconciliation' has taken place; will tell the details of the story when they meet. Bowen is 'keeping on young Sandilands and [?] Becham for another year; George now feels 'quite comfortable about the house next term'. Bowen is being very kind to him, and helping him get his poem 'ready for the prolusiones-press'; the essay is to be printed almost exactly as sent in. Has got the "Seven Lamps [of Architecture]" and "Modern Pictures" with his prize money, which came to over twenty pounds, and has now 'got all the big [underlined] Ruskins' since he got the "Stones of Venice" last year; also bought the sixteen-volume edition of Browning with his prize money. Sandilands should get his [cricket] flannels: he and Rome did very well in the game against the Household Brigade; reminiscent of when Grove House had 'Pope bowling at one end and Rome at the other at Lords'.

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

Ma Retraite, Ede; envelope addressed to R. C. Trevelyan Esq-re, 3 Hare Court, Inner Temple, London EC - Is writing having got up very early to see the [Roger] Frys off. Curious to see which weaknesses of hers have inspired Bob to 'compile sharp satires'; does not think he has had the opportunity to get to know her faults, proved by him saying she seems to be wiser than he is and 'so sensible', though 'that is a common mistake' and her family tease her for looking like a 'wise professor'. She does not think she knows many of his weak spots, except for the very obvious ones, which are not heavy; has been very impressed by his 'excellencies & learnedness', and 'used to feel a great dunce' at Taormina though this has worn off a little. Describes the [Roger] Frys' visit: went to the Hague with Bramine to hear a concert of a cappella music conducted by [Johannes] Messchaert; returned next morning on the same train as the Frys and met at Ede station. Dreadful weather all through their visit, but they had some walks (on the second day only Mr Fry, her uncle [Paul François Hubrecht] and Elisabeth herself kept going); played them music on both nights (as Bob said, they 'liked the old music best on the whole), and yesterday morning Grandmont read them 'a great part of [Browning's] "Pippa Passes" in his translation', surprising that Mr Fry had never read it. All very sorry they had to leave so soon; the Frys promised to come again in the spring. Would very much like to get to know them better. Did not see much of what Bob says about Roger Fry's 'orthodoxy', except when he said that in music and painting, it was not possible to properly appreciate 'modern development of art' if you were not a real admirer of what has gone before; might be true of painting but she is sure it is not of music. He seemed generally to be 'a very charmingly sympathetic & very intelligent being', and she to be 'perhaps more original even, very clever certainly'; Elizabeth 'felt a dunce again'. Her uncle also liked them very much.

Last Sunday was very happy: her sister and her husband [the Röntgens] and the 'four Hubrechts from Utrecht' [Ambrosius Hubrecht and family] came for the day to say goodbye to 'Ma Retraite'; her cousin Professor Hubrecht is 'always full of fun' and it was very different from what one might imagine 'a Dutch stolid serious family party to be!' Finds it delightful to be part of such a family bond. Approves of Bob's 'plans about building public baths' but does not think the public would use them; certainly the Dutch do not wash 'their bodies as well & as often as their houses, streets, & furniture'. Tells Trevelyan how to write out a Dutch address, though there is no reason not to follow the common English custom of using English names and spelling for 'everything foreign'.

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'.

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 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

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

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