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Hubrecht, Paul François (1829-1902) lawyer and politician
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Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven

Pension Palumbo, Ravello, Golfo di Salerno. - Perfect recent weather; has done 'a fair lot of work' and thinks he is 'well started' on his new play about 'a man who comes back from the Crusades and finds his enemy in occupation of his castle'. [C.P] Scott, editor of the "Manchester Guardian", has asked him to send an account of the landslip disaster [at the Cappuccini hotel]; if Scott prints his letter he will show it her, as his 'first and perhaps... last attempt at journalism'. The accounts of the landslip in the papers are 'greatly exaggerated'; Bessie need not worry about him. Once read a review of [Kenneth Grahame's] "The Golden Age" by Swinburne, 'with more than his usual extravagance of praise'; was rather disappointed when he read some of it soon after. Fry's sister Isabel has written 'a somewhat similar book, but with no pretentions', which he thinks is worth 'twenty golden ages'; it is called "Unitiated" and he will get it for Bessie to read; Isabel Fry is very nice, and a little like Bessie in temperament. Will lend her [Stephen Philips'] "Paolo and Francesca"; does not think much of it. Is too lazy to copy out verses, as he promised. Agrees that it is wonderful to think of going out for dinner together; not that either of them do that much, but in moderation it is very good, and he has never dined out enough for the 'novelty of it to be spoilt' as it is for her uncle. Teases her about her dreams. Is sure with her uncle and Lord Reay's advice they will be able to arrange their marriage properly; they should have as few formalities as possible, and avoid being married again in England if they can; would like the date to be as soon as possible, in June, but she should decide. Notes that this is the last letter he will send dated 1899, and '1900 will look awfully odd'.

Very interested by her description of her childhood; Tuttie [Maria Hubrecht] is certainly ' not the sort of person to have understood [Bessie] at all'; he had something of the same difficulty with Charles, who however tried to be sympathetic and a good brother to him; Charles 'had a sterner and more orderly temperament' and Bob 'the more haphazard one'. George is 'a sort of cross' between the two, but with much more intellect than Charles. Encloses a letter from Mrs Cacciola [Florence Trevelyan]; knew she had taken a fancy to Bessie; 'her staccato style is admirably expressive. She does it in conversation often'. Had said in his letter that his parents might visit Sicily next winter and she might possibly see him with them and Bessie next year. Has nearly finished reading [Shorthouse's] "John Inglesant"; thinks it 'a most remarkable novel' though it does drag in places. Calls the muses her 'real rivals, my dear nine mistresses'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Paul François Hubrecht

Pensione Palumbo, Ravello, presso Amalfi, Italy. - Glad to hear Uncle Paul is 'so much better', and that the doctor is happy with his progress; hopes that any further necessary treatment will 'not cause any serious pain' and be 'quite final'. When he and Bessie, they will hope to find him well on the way to 'complete health'. Bessie has been well despite the 'dreadful weather' they have had for almost a month. Very glad he saw the house in the Prinsegracht again [before its sale?] for a few hours last October, when dining with the Grandmonts after visiting Leiden: it is there that he and Bessie began their 'Vondel studies', and that he got to know Uncle Paul and Aunt Maria properly. Is getting on well with German, with some help from Bessie: has read all Goethe's "Tasso" and half his "Iphigenie", though he cannot yet speak the language 'at all'. Bessie is also doing well with her Latin: she 'has not yet mastered all the tenses of "amo"' [I love] but 'makes pretty fair guesses' at their meaning. A 'dreadful bore' has recently arrived at the hotel; he and Bessie take it in turns to sit next to him and 'share the burden equally'; thinks Bessie can 'manage him better'. He is a retired English army officer who served in India: 'like so many Indians' he is 'crammed full of information', which is often interesting but these people 'absolutely never cease pouring it out upon you'; however, he is 'by no means a fool'. Robert and Bessie are getting on well with "Robinson Crusoe"; the end of the last part is 'so exciting' that Robert has been taking 'plenty of time over shaving these last few mornings' while Bessie reads it aloud.

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

Pension Palumbo, Ravello. - Has been out most of the day since there was some sunshine, and has written a few lines. Seems that old [Pasquale] Palumbo is 'in great danger'; has offered to move to another hotel for a week or two, but Pasquale's wife will not hear of it; she 'takes a sort of mother's care of him' and says the rooms of the Albergo Toro will be damp. Will stay for a while, but does not think he should stay if Palumbo gets worse; only Italians go to the Toro but sure he would be all right there. Has just received Stephen Philips' play about Paolo and Francesca; cannot see as much in it as 'many very clever people do'; it has 'effective theatrical scenes' and 'some rather fine poetry', and if it succeeds when acted next year it will make things easier for [Thomas Sturge] Moore and [Laurence] Binyon, and for himself, if he manages to finish a verse play, but it is still a bad play. Recommends that she read "Romeo and Juliet" and the "Merchant of Venice" if she has not already; thinks he should charge her a fee in kisses for giving her literary advice. Finishes writing for the day with a doggerel verse recommending that she wear socks in bed to keep warm.

Returns to the letter the following evening; glad she got on so well with the dentist, and 'recognises her portrait' in [Chaucer's] Merchant's Wyve. Hopes she will send her photograph soon. Found her account of 'the Russian ladies [Madame de Rhemen and Countess van Bylandt] and Tuttie [Maria Hubrecht; see 9/17]' very entertaining. Does not remember the Comtesse de Bylandt, but will ask his parents about her. Teases her for dreaming that she was married to [Bram] Eldering. Palumbo seems better today. Weather fine today, and he has got on well with his play; 'cannot get along in the rain'. Also thought of a new poem on Elijah in the desert, but might not write it now. Hopes to get over a month of work done, and not to return before the end of January; his mother has just written that she would like Bessie to stay with them at Welcombe early in February; thinks that would be the best plan, so he would probably not spend more than a few days in Holland on the way back; does not know whether it would be considered right to travel back together so she should ask her uncle and aunt.

Incomplete letter from Elizabeth Trevelyan and R. C. Trevelyan to Paul François Hubrecht

Beginning of letter missing; text starts mid sentence with Bessie referring in Dutch to financial matters and thanking her uncle. Asks if Bramine will come tomorrow [for Uncle Paul's birthday], which will be very cosy; hopes their own 'little flower' will be delivered tomorrow. Robert wants to say something now so she will let the 'eloquent poet' speak for himself.

Robert adds a note in English, though he first addressed Paul Hubrecht as 'Mijn beste Ooom'; wishes him 'every happiness' for his birthday, and wishes he could be there. Hopes that if there are speeches, 'the oratory may reach as high last year, when the dinner was made so pleasant by brilliant flashes of humour from you and Paul and Ambro' and his own 'brilliant flash of silence', which perhaps should be called his '"break-down"'. He and Bessie hope to be with the Hubrechts before Christmas; also that Jan might be able to pay them a short visit, and perhaps also visit Robert's brother George at Cambridge. Hopes that by the time they come to the Netherlands. Aunt [Maria] and [Alphonse] Grandmont will be 'much better'; they both seem to be improving, though slowly. Must be a 'great relief that Tuttie is quite well again'. Bessie has been well except for a 'nasty cough', but this is nearly gone now. They recently went to Cambridge and saw Aeschylus's "Agamemnon" acted [the Cambridge Greek Play], though they thought it was not done so 'with great success'; Bessie's 'musical conscience was offended by the badness of the chorus music'. Was kind of Uncle Paul to send 'that prophetic Strand Magazine', which Bessie says she got 'as early as '92': her 'unconscious prophetic instinct must have been working even in her schooldays'. They find their "Encyclopaedia Britannica" a 'great recourse': they will be 'very omniscient' by the time they next see Uncle Paul, particularly Bessie, though she says the article on Dutch literature is 'poor'. Perhaps this is because it 'does not do justice to the great 17th century poet [van den Vondel?], whose works form so brilliant an adornment to their bookshelves'. Best wishes to Aunt Maria and Tuttie; hopes that tomorrow [Uncle Paul's birthday?] will be a 'happy day'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Paul François Hubrecht

The Mill House, Westcott, Dorking. - Hopes Uncle Paul has the 'same delightful weather' as they do: it is 'almost too hot'. Bessie is well except for a 'cold in her throat'. Hopes Uncle Paul's rheumatism has gone. Their 'Dutch bulbs' are doing well: the hyacinths are 'splendid', and though Bessie thinks she planted the tulips too deeply, the flowers are 'very good'. The crocuses were over when they came [back from Italy]. The birds are singing: he heard 'several nightingales yesterday'. Roger and Helen Fry's son Julian is a 'very healthy looking young man, and his parents seem very happy with him'; though his 'chin and lower jaw are small and undeveloped', Bessie says that is often the case with babies, and 'Johannes Röntgen used to be even worse'. Roger and Helen Fry seem 'quite well now'. Has been reading the Hans Andersen which Uncle Paul and Aunt Maria gave him alongside a German version and thinks he will 'get on quite fast' with his German. They have put the photograph of Aunt Maria which Bessie brought back on the mantelpiece of the library, where they sit in the evening; it is the one from a couple of years ago, which resembles 'Bramine's last picture' of her; he likes having it there as it reminds him of her as he 'first knew her'. However, she did not change much for him even after she became very ill; even last winter [just before her death], her 'cheerful and kind face and expression' were 'essentially the same'. Hopes Tuttie is well. They much enjoyed their recent stay at the Hague, and were 'made very comfortable' and looked after well by Tuttie.

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

Pension Palumbo, Ravello, preso Amalfi. - Corrects Bessie's Italian for his address. Details of post times. The weather continues to be bad so he has been reading, writing letters, and finishing copying out [Thomas Sturge Moore's] "Danaë". Thanks her for sending on the "Chronicle". Has written for the "Manchester Guardian", as he agrees with it about the [Second Boer] War; its editor [C.P.] Scott was here when he arrived, and he had a long talk with him about the war. The "Guardian" is 'almost the best paper in England, being cosmopolitan'; is encouraged that Scott says he has 'kept most of his public, in spite of his attitude to the war', and that opposition to their policy led to the resignation of the "Chronicle's" editors, rather than public opinion. Hopes Bessie's visit to the dentist went well. Discussion of the lack of interest in romantic love in Sophocles and its treatment by the other ancient tragedians; contrasts this with the way 'almost all the great modern dramatis, Shakespear [sic], Racine, Molière, de Vega etc. fetch their subjects from Venus' archives'. Continues the letter later, after 'scribbling off a severe commentary on some of the obscurities in Moore's "Danaë"' and reading the first chapters of [Joseph Henry Shorthouse's] "John Inglesant", which Mrs Reid lent him this afternoon. Has told her about Bessie and she took a great interest; she is 'a dear old lady, and very kind' to him. Improvises a poem about being a black beetle crawling under Bessie's door to give her kisses.

Returns to the letter next evening; has been outside most of the day, spending the morning in Mrs Reid's garden, though not really able to work, and walking in the afternoon. Hopes to start work in a day or two on another play, not the one he showed Bessie. Has begun his commentary on Moore's "Danaë," but it will take him hours. Tells her to show the photographs his mother sent her to her uncle and aunt. Is touched by what she says about trusting him. Hopes that [Ambrose Hubrecht's] whale 'has been successfully dissected'; disappointed to hear 'he is not going to Utrecht whole, to be stuffed, or bottled.'

Continues the letter next day. Has been reading Chaucer and 'commenting on Danaë's little faults'. Perhaps exaggerated when he said 'modern art scarcely seemed to exist at all', but does feel that modern art is 'on the wrong lines', though 'men like Degas and Puvis de Chavannes and Whistler, and even often Watts and Burne Jones, have done great things'. Would be wrong to persuade himself that bad art was good, and there are times when 'circumstances have made great art difficult or impossible', such as literature in the middle ages. Does not think the Frys' attitude to art is exclusive; they may well be in music, but they know less about that.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Paul François Hubrecht

Seatoller, Keswick, Borrowdale. - Is sending a cheque for six pounds thirteen shillings [for wedding expenses], which added to the ten he has already paid is not too much 'considering the happiness which [he] could not have attained without paying it'; would have been ready to pay 'sixteen millions... if [he] had had them'. They have had a 'very pleasant time here' [on honeymoon]; though the weather has been quite bad it is now 'perfect'. Went out for a while with the 'hounds' [on the Lake Man Hunt] and saw his brother George caught in a deep valley 'two thousand feet' below his own position; chased another hare himself though he could not catch him. Bessie would have liked to come but she has been in the Netherlands too recently 'for her legs to be well enough used to these high hills', though she is 'climbing the lower one quite well now, and the mountain air has done her a lot of good'. They are going to Grasmere on Saturday but Bessie thinks it best for letters to them to be sent to the Mill House, Westcott, Dorking to be forwarded on. Will be back in Dorking by the end of next week. Very glad to hear Aunt Maria is better; sure the countryside will do her good; hopes Uncle Paul himself is keeping well. Bessie meant to write a letter which would arrive last Monday, the 'fiftieth anniversary of [Paul's] Doctor's Degree' but presumably as she has 'so many other pleasant things to think of' she forgot and only remembered today. Asks to be remembered to anyone at the Prinsegracht [the Hubrechts' home] though he supposes only Tuttie will be there.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Maria Pruys van der Hoeven

The Mill House, Westcott, Dorking. - Glad to hear Aunt Maria is generally better; hopes her health will continue to improve. Also glad that [Alphonse] Grandmont and Jan [Hubrecht] are recovering, and that Tuttie [Hubrecht] has 'come back so much stronger'. Thinks about Grandmont every morning when they eat his 'black-butter' at breakfast; they wonder why it is black since it comes from the 'juice of white apples'. Bessie is well, despite the bad weather; there has been much wind and rain and 'her violin strings squeak, for all that she can do'. She is going to have her second lesson with [Johann] Kruse next week, who was unfortunately away when they last went to London. Two of his friends, both poets, visited on Sunday; one of them [Thomas Sturge] Moore read a play yesterday ["Omphale and Heracles'; they thought it 'very good' and wished it could be put on, but 'they do not act good plays in England now, except Shakespeare, and that they usually do badly'; the actors too are 'bad'. Bessie thinks English coal fires create much 'dust and dirt even when they do not smoke badly'; admits they do in comparison to Dutch stoves, but he does like open fires; whoever invented a fireplace combining the advantages of the two styles would be a 'great benefactor to man'. Spent three 'very full days in Paris with the same two friends' [at the Paris Exhibition]; might have wished Bessie to be there too but she would not have enjoyed the 'fearful'' crowds; even they got tired. Thought the 'old French art... very fine'; the 'side-shows and sights at the Exhibition were very poor' and the 'buildings too florid and ornamental, and some of them hideous', but the 'general effect... was very splendid and brilliant'. Is interested in the Queen [Wilhelmina of the Netherlands]' marriage, and glad 'the Dutch are pleased'; Bessie was 'quite sympathetic' when [Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, the Queen's betrothed] 'had to say good-bye to her and go away to his country for a time] [as Robert had had to during their own courtship]. They have got an 'illustrated paper' about the royal couple. Next week, they are going to visit his aunt, Mrs Price, who gave them the piano, at her house in the Welsh borders; he has not been there since he was a boy, so is curious to see the place again. Bessie will write soon, but there is no time now as this has to catch the post; she sends love to all.

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 R. C. Trevelyan and Elizabeth Trevelyan to Maria Pruys van der Hoeven

Robert addresses Aunt Maria as 'Mijn beste tanteke' then continues the letter in English'; wishes her happy birthday and hopes she feels well despite the cold, which must be much greater there than he and Bessie have; it has been 'much warmer' [in Ravello] for the last couple of days, though not enough yet for the butterflies, lizards and crocuses to come out as they usually do all winter here. They are alone at the hotel except for a 'funny old gentleman' who is 'rather dull, though quite nice' and wears formal dress clothes for dinner even when alone. They have visited Mrs Reid and her friend Miss Allen, whom they like very much, and in whose garden they spend much of their time. Describes drinking half a bottle of Episcopio Spumante with Bessie yesterday evening (the hotel is the 'original bishop's palace... so the wine made at the hotel is called Episcopio') which led them into a conversation with the 'tedious old gentleman'; when they 'retired in some confusion' to their room he jokingly says they left the old man with the sense he had been with 'two persons of great mental powers'. They 'composed' themselves 'by reading some very serious moral poetry' and remembered that they had sent some of the same wine to Alphonse Grandmont last year which 'made a somewhat similar impression on his sober household'. Bessie says that she will take her thimble to measure out the wine this evening. Hopes that Uncle Paul and Tuttie [Hubrecht] are well; asks her to send them his love.

Bessie then writes two pages to her aunt, in Dutch; gives an account of their days, including her studies of Macaulay's "History of England", their walks; the other guest Mr Kershaw always sitting in the dining room. Asks her aunt to thank her uncle for [?]. Was very happy to hear that Julius [Röntgen] had had success in the Ceciliaconcert; [her sister] Mien must be happy.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Maria Pruys van der Hoeven

The Mill House, Westcott, Dorking. - Apologises for not writing sooner; never managed to write when he had so much spare time at Wallington, and now he has returned and begun work 'can easily find time'. Bessie may not yet think the house perfect, but it is 'already far more beautiful and comfortable' than he ever thought a house of his could be; she gets on very well with the housekeeper [Mrs Enticknap] and he can hear them talking at the moment; sometimes after they have had long talks there are 'such wonderful vegetables for dinner, cooked in some delightful out-landish fashions'. Even the vegetables at Wallington improved, 'especially the carrots and peas'. Bessie has been translating her "Nederlandsch Volksliederenboek" for him; some are very pretty, and he would one day like to translate them himself; he has not yet translated [Joost van den] Vondel. Hopes she, her husband, and the others will like [Thomas Love] Peacock's stories; some of the allusions to 'contemporary literary or political ideas which are now almost forgotten' may be difficult, but he thinks they will find them amusing; rememberes that the best are "Headlong Hall", "Nightmare Abbey" about Shelley, and perhaps "Maid Marian". Bessie has sent Bramine "Emma" by Jane Austen; sure she would also like that. Sorry she is not quite well, and hopes she will recover before winter. Very sad that Tuttie [Marie Hubrecht] is so unwell; hopes she will be able to get to Switzerland soon. Glad that the Grandmonts may build a house in the country; remembers the country by Doorn as being very pretty. He and Bessie went to Haslemere last Friday to visit the Joachims and some other friends and enjoyed it very much; was his first meeting with 'old Mr [Joseph] Joachim'; went for a walk with young Harold and visited his 'old haunts' like his old house Roundhurst, while Bessie stayed at home and talked. Hears that Bramine is painting Maria's portrait in the lace dress she wore at Elizabeth and Robert's wedding, which he so much liked; asks to be remembered to the family. Herbert Jones is getting married tomorrow, and they will send a telegram.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan and Elizabeth Trevelyan to Maria Pruys van der Hoeven

The Mill House, Westcott, Dorking. - Robert is glad Aunt Maria is 'on the whole better' and hopes she will continue to improve; Bessie much enjoyed getting her letter. Expects Tuttie [Hubrecht] will be with her soon., but it is 'very sad about the Grandmonts', and they hope all will soon turn out well. They have just had their first guest: Robert's Aunt Annie [Philips] who 'gave Bessie the broach [sic]', his mother's sister. She came for lunch and tea; Bessie was 'very busy' in the morning making things nice as Aunt Annie is a 'very skilful connoisseur in housekeeping'. Now Bessie is sewing rings onto the curtains for the dining room; Robert breaks off to go and look at them, and reports they look 'even better than expected...' though the seamstress has made them two inches too short. Wishes Aunt Maria could see their house; will soon send photographs of the exterior and two sitting rooms, but this will not give her a real idea; she will however see the Enticknaps and their son Gussie. Is about to put some weedkiller on the lawn, though this is an unending task. Their French roses are 'still blooming' and have been very successful. There are now frosts at night, though the weather is still 'beautiful'. Has recently been reading, with the help of translations, the old Provençal poets; some are much more beautiful than he expected, and he understands now why Dante so admired and was influenced by them; however many of the Troubadours are 'very dull and conventional'. He and Bessie read some of Dante's "Paradiso" together most mornings; they like it very much and persevere even though it is 'very difficult'. They both send best wishes to her and Uncle [Paul Hubrecht], whom he hopes is keeping well.

Bessie adds a postscript in Dutch at the bottom of the last page which she continues above Robert's writing on the first page; asks about Tuttie, describes getting the house ready for Aunt Annie. Asks about a name, 'Lucy Bane?', which she could not read. She forgot Johannes [Röntgen?]'s birthday; Aunt Maria 'thinks much more intensely about other people, just like Grandmother did'.

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

The Mill House, Westcott, Dorking, crossed through with London, 3 Hare Court written instead in red pencil. - Expects this is the last letter he will write her for a long time [as they are soon to be married]; very glad though also a little sorry that his 'correspondence with [his] intelligent young friend must come to an end at last'. Outlines his travel plans to the Hague. Went to the Dutch consul today to get his birth certificate authorised; will go with his father to the lawyers before leaving for Holland. Is writing a lot of letters to 'the clavichord people' [the friends who collectively bought Dolmetsch's clavichord, decorated by Helen Fry, as a wedding present]. Is going to [Wagner's] "Tannhauser" tonight with Smythe; unfortunately Tommy Phelps could not join them so he lunched with him in the City today 'hugely' and has scarcely recovered. Went to see [Eleonora] Duse in 'a bad play [La Gioconda] by that wretch D'Annunzio,' she 'was, of course, superb'. Will see [Milka] Ternina tonight, whom he admires as much in another way. Bought a 'swell topper [top hat]' today. Does not think it worth while to bring all his books over, as there will be little time to read at the Hague, but he may have an answer from her about this tomorrow. Wonders what she thinks now their marriage is so near; does not think she has 'any of that old fear of [him]' any more; knows she loves him deeply; she does not understand him 'altogether', though 'more than any other woman would in so short time'; he has much to understand in her also, but loves her very much and has complete faith in her. Will stop writing now as he wants to look at the libretto before going out to dine. Would be much nicer to have the [wedding] luncheon at home, and hopes her uncle will not insist on that point.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Paul François Hubrecht and Maria Pruys van der Hoeven

Hôtel de la Poste , 30-32 Rue Fossé-aux-Loups, Bruxelles. - Is sending this 'short note' along with Bessie's letter. Everything has gone very well so far; though Bessie is still rather tired, she has been less so than he expected. They start their journey again this evening. They had a quiet morning, just spending a couple of hours at the Gallery; Bessie has slept a little this afternoon and he therefor hopes she will be all right after the journey. Hopes Aunt [Maria] is no worse for yesterday [Robert and Bessie's wedding day]; is 'anxious to hear how she is'; for the newly-weds, 'the day went off in the most completely satisfactory manner'. Even though he is himself 'no lover of ceremonial days', as they know, he enjoyed it all and could see others did too; thanks them for their 'splendid foresight and arrangement'. Robert and Bessie saw Paul and Jan [Hubrecht] and Robert's brothers at the station. Bessie is a 'very good travel-companion, even when she is tired'; is sure she will also be a 'very good travel-companion through life'. Forgot to ask them about the ten guilders they gave him 'for the poor'; supposes it ought to go into his account with them and be paid out of the ten pounds. Thinks Bessie is writing about a box she may have left behind; they were wise to advise him to count the luggage, but fortunately it is not important. Hopes his mother was able to see Aunt Maria today; is sure she and his father have 'enjoyed their visit enormously'. Sends love to the Grandmonts and Tuttie [Hubrecht]. He and Bessie are going out soon for dinner at 'some neighbouring tavern'; it is 'dangerous to take Bessie into these streets', as she stops to look at the lace and 'other feminine vanities for which this town is so famous' in every other shop. A note in Bessie's hand here says that she now sees 'how dangerous it is to be married to a poet with such fantastic imagination & - exaggeration!'. Sends love to them both, and wishes them as much happiness as he and Bessie feel, 'which is saying a great deal'.

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

Hotel de la Poste, Bruxelles. - Is writing between courses at lunch after a morning at the gallery; may go to the Palais Arenburg to see the pictures, and perhaps to the Wiertz [Museum]. If the weather is fine tomorrow, may go to Waterloo and be 'as patriotic and Brittish [sic] and military' as he likes. Finds Brussels to be a nice town with much to see and much going on, so he is 'nearly compensated' for their separation; fewer 'really good pictures' than he remembered, but the Metzys was 'magnificent', as were several other Flemish paintings. Went last night to see Massenet's "Cendrillon", but was not impressed and left before the end. Will try a play tonight, then tomorrow thinks he will attend a Beethoven recital by [Frederic] Lamond; saw him as a boy but has forgotten all about him. Has not yet handed in the parcel and note from her uncle, but will do. Plans to return on Thursday. Has written to his mother 'telling her some more home-truths' about Bessie; must send her the photo when he gets back. Dreamed of Bessie last night; cannot remember details, but was glad to do so on their first separation since they 'loved one another openly'. Wishes it was possible to 'kiss at a distance', as the telephone allows one to speak at a distance; writes a poem over the part of the paper he has kissed which urges her to kiss it in her turn.

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

3 Hare Court, Inner Temple, London E.C. - Will leave on the 12th, arriving some time in the morning of the 13th; will go on to Italy afterwards; his friend [Desmond] MacCarthy may join him at the Hague around the end of November and travel with him. Bessie seems to have been 'successful and tactful' and he will try to be as well. Intends to make their Vondel 'pretext a real one'; wants her to translate some of the plays besides "Lucifer", so that he is reading good plays (useful since he is trying to write them himself) and 'laying the foundations' for an attempt to learn Dutch; will get a grammar and dictionary, and asks her to get him a cheap edition of Vondel. Asks if there is anything she would like to learn in recompense, such as Latin grammar. Asks what the 'examination [he] may have to sustain' from her uncle is likely to cover: he can give reasons for wanting to study Vondel,. Discussion of hotels. Appreciates her aunt's 'rapier thrust of irony'; will certainly accompany them on walks whenever Bessie wishes. Asks if she would like him to bring her any books. Discussion of the war: still thinks it is a 'great mistake' on the part of the British, though doubts whether it would be good 'for themselves or for any one else' if the Boers were to win, which he does not think at all likely. Is angry with the Government and the country, but does not think it right to accuse the 'nation as a whole of wickedness and hypocrisy' as is being done on the continent; thinks the Boers were not giving British subjects a 'proper government or the proper securities for justice'; negotiations were not carried out properly, but does not think most of the country, or the Government (except for Chamberlain) actually want or wanted war. Thinks Bessie is probably right about the translation of 'du vulgaire' [in Ronsard's poem]. Bessie must not think that she is keeping him from work; expects to do little until he goes to Italy 'refreshed and invigorated' after seeing her. Thinks the Frys have changed their plans, but hopes to see them in Italy for a few days wherever they are.

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

3, Hare Court, Inner Temple, London E.C. - Apologises for not replying sooner; went to Cambridge on Saturday and found 'so much to do and talk about' that there was no time to write. Is going to Dorking tomorrow as his furniture is coming; the house should have been ready a week ago. Will dine with his mother that evening, then on Thursday he is going to Harrow to play [rugby] football against the school on Founders' Day; afterwards will dine at the Headmasters' and go to a 'smoking concert'; the day after that he will dine at his father's club. Will only then really begin the solitude of his 'rural retreat' and is looking forward to 'a quiet and industrious time at last'. Glad Bessie liked the Frys and they got on well with her uncle; not surprised she found 'a certain difficulty in becoming intimate with them', since he thinks Fry's mind is very different to hers and that he is not always quick to adapt himself, while Helen Fry is not like that but is often 'rather diplomatic in conversation until she knows all about a person'; this is not insincerity, as some people think. Heard from them today [see 4/27]; they enjoyed their visit, and Fry seems to have taken 'tremendously' to her uncle and aunt. Went to Highgate last week to see Tom [Sturge] Moore the poet, who read two new poems; criticises the first line of the one about Leda and the swan; Moore is 'always charmingly good-natured when one criticises, and sometimes even will be convinced.' Spent most of yesterday talking to Tom's brother [George] the philosopher. Great excitement at Trinity as the philosopher MacTaggart [sic: John McTaggart], who used to 'disapprove of marriage on metaphysical grounds, is bringing home a New Zealand hospital nurse called Daisy Bird as his wife'; he may need consolation as on his return from his year in New Zealand he will find that Moore and another [Bertrand Russell?], 'his most promising pupils and followers, have set up an entirely new and antagonistic system of the universe'. Sat at dinner at Trinity next to a science fellow [John Newport?] Langley whom he likes very much, who knows and thinks highly of [Ambrosius?] Hubrecht; Langley asked whether "[Till] Eulenspiegel" was originally written in Flanders; perhaps Grandmont knows. Has begun to learn German; finding it easier than expected in some ways, but has not yet got far. What Bessie says about women's tendency to either conceal or be overly frank about their ages seems more or less true to him; her allusion to his having had 'the benefit of women's society and friendship' amuses him, as if she wanted to make him 'a sort of Platonic and sentimental Don Juan' which he is certainly not; before her he has known very few women well, and only in one or two cases has he known them ' rather sentimentally' at some point; does not consider himself 'at all learned in women's psychology and character'. Finishing this letter in the room of a friend who has 'studied the female character far more profoundly', but since he has never fallen in love to his knowledge, Bob looks on him as his inferior.

Menu card

Menu card with illustration of sailing boats in a harbour; dated 5 June 1900 on the back and signed by Robert C. Trevelyan, Bramine Grandmont H[ubrech]t, George Otto Trevelyan, M[aria] Hubrecht Pruys v[an] d[er] H[oeven], Am[brosius] Hubrecht, Caroline Trevelyan, P[aul] F[rancois] Hubrecht [?], Marie Hubrecht-Molewater, A[lphonse] Grandmont, P[aul] F[rançois] Hubrecht, Jan Hubrecht, Tuttie [Hubrecht], Charles Trevelyan and Elizabeth des Amorie v[an] d[er] Hoeven.

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

The Hague. - Very sweet of Bob to send the flowers, though they have not yet arrived, and the 'dear' letter about them. Hopes the high wind drops before his crossing; will sympathise if it does not and he puts off travelling, but he must wire to let her know. Her uncle received Bob and his father's letters this morning; thinks everything will come right with the papers. Wrong of Bob 'not to trust a Dutch hatter'; she finds out 'more and more what an insular mind' he has; jokes that there is still time for her to change her mind about marrying him. Thinks her uncle has decided to give the wedding luncheon at the hotel; this does seem more convenient, though 'one nasty side' remains. There has been 'an absurd though rather nasty misunderstanding about the plan again' which she will tell him about later if necessary; her aunt is on her uncle's side as ever on the matter. Mr [Henry Yates] Thompson's presents sound very nice, particularly the Cambridge book. Hopes Bob enjoys "Tannhauser"; it is her least favourite of the music by Wagner she has heard. Would like to see at least some of the poetry he has been working on, and certainly his play. Bob says he sent her "Mallow and Asphodel" last summer; in fact he gave her his book in November when he had come on their 'Vondling expedition'; remembers the 'sweet confusion & doubt' they felt then, which has now become love. Finishes off the letter later, after going with her aunt to try on the wedding dress, which is 'very gorgeous & splendid'.

Letter from Elizabeth Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

10 Prinsegracht, the Hague. - Is sending two recent photographs of herself; she wears spectacles all the time as she is 'so horribly short sighted' so that one is probably most like, though her uncle and aunt say both are good likenesses. Also is sending one taken at Taormina last spring as it shows her 'beloved & constant companion and attribute', her violin; Robert wanted to send that photograph earlier but 'it was judged to be such a poor photograph' he was not allowed, she hopes that with the others it will be acceptable. Has good news from Robert at Ravello, who seems happy to be working there again despite the bad weather. Wishes Caroline and Sir George happy Christmas and New Year; looks forward to meeting them soon.

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

10 Prinsegr[acht], the Hague. - Her uncle returned the papers yesterday with a letter to Bob's father; she expects 'the engrossing etc.' will take some time, so if Bob wants to sign them before coming over he will need to wait; he should do what he thinks best, as her 'patience is quite infinite now', but it would be good if he could come by Wednesday. Her uncle wrote that they were satisfied with the settlement and that the wedding would be organised according to Bob's father's wishes; neither he nor her aunt want the church wedding at all, so it is 'absurd' that they listened to Ambro [Hubrecht]'s scruples, and there will be no more difficulty there. Discussion of the beds and bedding. If they can call at Grosvenor Crescent to pick up the parcel which Booa has for her, that will save Bob the trouble of bringing it; trusts him not to forget the spectacles. Will order Bob's room at the Twee Steden when she knows when he is coming; she and her uncle will order the rooms for his parents at the View Doelen this afternoon; she will then go to a 'little musical séance at the piano shop', with Mr Kattendijke playing and Mr Loudon singing; she will play a Handel sonata and a Bach aria. Thinks she will send the letter to London, though Bob 'seems to have got a nice dear old postman at Westcott, who understands the human heart'. Returns to the letter later to say that her uncle has the idea of holding the wedding breakfast at the Oude Doelen hotel; this would be easier in many ways, she dislikes the idea 'intensely', as she will explain when Bob comes, but will give in if he insists.

Concluded on a separate sheet [9/66]: wonders when Bob got her letter saying he ought to write to her uncle. Tuttie [Hubrecht] is now in Florence and wants to return as soon as she can. Thinks Bob will be able to get a nice top hat here; would like to choose one with him. Thinks the white silk tie will be perfect; likes that his mother has knitted it for that occasion. Glad he got both a Carlisle and a Meredith: a 'splendid present'. Hopes the walls [at Westcott] will be ready by the time they get there; he should tell Mrs Enticknap to air the mattresses in the sun, and must remember himself to bring all the papers her uncle talked about.

Letter from Elizabeth Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

10 Prinsegracht, the Hague. - Will be glad to come to Welcombe at the time Caroline suggest; will write with a more exact date. Does not know that part of the country, but has heard 'many nice things' from a friend who visited the neighbourhood. Will cross early in February; Robert will be back by then and has promised to meet her and help her in London. Kind of Caroline to say she can spend the night at the Trevelyans' London house, but it may be best for her to travel straight on to Stratford; this can be settled later.

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

10 Prinsegracht, the Hague. - Her uncle received Bob's letter with 'all the legal papers, settlement etc.' last night. Asks if Bob read through the settlement; she tried to last night but did not understand everything, nor did her uncle, so he has sent it to his lawyer to have it explained and they will return it as soon as possible. Her uncle was surprised not to find the marriage contract enclosed; thinks he expects Bob to write saying he approves and sending the contract back. Does not now feel 'bitter' about the earlier tensions as she loves and understands her uncle too much. [Sir Henry] Howard and his wife called yesterday and left cards, so the 'bridge' is formed. Is busy with packing and clearing; tonight she will look through an interesting old collection of papers relating to her mother's life and marriage with her uncle; she will certainly want to keep her mother's own letters. Tomorrow she is lunching with her 'only Dutch co-senior of St. Andrews, a girl from Rotterdam whose mother was an old friend of Bramine [Hubrecht]'s. Likes the clavichord present all the more as she thinks of it; thinks it very nice of Bob's friends; asks if Mrs [Helen] Fry [who decorated it] is pleased, and what 'poor Dolmetsch' will do without it. Teases Bob for having 'wedding presents from nice young lady friends [Lily Hodgkin] sent over from Dresden' and keeping it secret from her; she found out from Alice Jones. Tells him not to forget the parcel Booa will give him, nor the gold spectacles; he should also bring his play and any other poems he likes.

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

10 Prinsegracht, the Hague. - Was 'utterly & completely relieved' by Bob's letter this morning; her uncle has been 'wrong & absurd in many ways', perhaps in different ways than Bob thinks, but it does not matter and they can discuss it and settle things when he comes. Her uncle is at Amsterdam and Utrecht today, so she is alone with her aunt at home. Would have been very disappointed if Bob's father had not come; says this will be her last letter on the subject; she may have been wrong in not showing Bob's mother's letter to her uncle at once, but does not think her own letter to Bob's father was wrong. Will ask her uncle where papers are sent, and if Bob can sign them here if there is a delay; would like him to come on Monday or Tuesday but can be 'magnanimously generous' if he needs to come a few days later. Would like to have seen Bob ordering the beds; asks if he found them at once, and about the mattress and pillows. Did not realise the Apostles' dinner was in London; better as it is nearer, so they can stay in a hotel for a night and go on afterwards. Is very glad to have seen and liked the clavichord at Dolmetsch's; is glad Trevelyan is pleased with the present, and it will be a 'precious thing to have', though it is rather comical that neither of them can play it. Tells Bob to bring over a 'nice hat' and 'clean overcoat', as well as his evening suit. Explains her preference for travelling to England via Flushing [Vlissingen] rather than the Hook. Is reading "Pride and Prejudice": 'how good it is, & amusing!'.

Letter from Elizabeth Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

10 Prinsegracht, the Hague. - Her uncle [Paul François Hubrecht] has read Sir George's letter to Robert, and she feels it her duty to write to Caroline to thank her for the kindness she has shown towards them; understands that in some ways Robert has acted wrongly [in not asking his parents before proposing marriage to her] but she has acted 'rather in the same way' so should say little. Describes something of how they grew closer to each other during Robert's two-week stay at Ede, her uncertainty at the end of the visit when he 'wanted to settle things more definitely, and her final decision. Robert has often spoken about Caroline, which gives her the courage to write 'so boldly and intimately'; asks her to forgive her this time.

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

Her uncle is sending off a letter to Bob's father quite different from the first one he planned; Ambro [Hubrecht] has written to say he disapproves of the first draft and enclosed one to be sent instead, which is 'a horrid hard, terrible letter... very polite but cruelly hard towards [Bessie and Bob]; does not know how Ambro can write such things. He asks if Sir George wishes to have the religious service after the wedding; hopes the reply is that Bessie and Bob should decide whether they want there to be one.

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

10 Prinsegracht, the Hague. - Things are looking 'a little brighter': if Bob is at Grosvenor Crescent he will have heard from his father about her letter to him and his response; asks whether his father or he thinks it was wrong of her to write. Sir George said she ought to tell her uncle at once about his wife's letter; was glad he seemed not to have entirely made up his mind not to come. Has had a long talk with her uncle, which resulted in him writing a draft letter to Bob's father that she thinks 'will entirely clear up the matter'; he was 'very distressed' when he realised the possible consequences. Her uncle writes that if Bob's father writes a few lines saying he would like to see [Sir Henry] Howard and his wife at the wedding, this will serve as an introduction and he will go and call on them; he also writes that in his son Ambro's view, the presence of the Howards means that the wedding should be celebrated in the English church, and Bessie was 'so astounded' she forgot to tell him the Howards are Roman Catholic so she does not think they 'care a hang'; she told him this morning. Her uncle has sent Ambro the draft letter to see what he thinks. She has felt very lonely and distressed, but now everything is all right and she is looking forward very much to Bob's arrival; feels 'incompleteness' without him, as if her '"moitié", as Grandmont always says' had been taken away. Hopes he has had a good time with [Desmond] MacCarthy and [Oswald] Sickert. Thinks the idea of going to stay near Roundhurst for a few days at the beginning of the honeymoon is 'delightful'. He seems to have had nice [wedding] presents; she is keeping a list of them. Mentions again that Alice Jones wanted to give her a book; her aunt at Hilversum has sent an antique silver clothes-brush. Tried on her wedding-dress the other day and felt 'enormously grand with a train'. Is doing her accounts for the year.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

10 Prinsegracht, The Hague. - Has received her letter this morning, and sent a telegraph to say he has already written to all [the friends and relations] she names, as well as to a few others, such as Mrs [Mary] Booth, since she had invited him to Gracedieu for New Year's Day. Wrote to [Charles] Sanger first, as he lives with him, who got the letter at Cambridge and told George there; had however written to George, and Charles, next day. Has also written to his aunts and Booa [Mary Prestwich]. Has been busy: Mr Hubrecht sent him to visit Bessie's sister Mrs Röntgen in Amsterdam on Saturday, on Sunday he received callers with the family, and on Monday he went to Ede with her and her sister-in-law [strictly, Elizabeth had no sister-in-law: Bramine Hubrecht meant?] to see about the furniture moving. Thinks his mother will have seen his and Hubrecht's letters to his father; hopes that 'little difficulty' is now resolved. Elizabeth is about five foot ten, has 'brownish yellow hair, of rather a light tint', and eyes of he thinks 'greenish grey'. Has not yet written her any poems, but 'must try in Italy'. Will try to get her a ring in Milan; [Roger] Fry may be able to help; leaves tomorrow afternoon, and will spend a few days there as he has much to discuss with Fry. Not sure when he will return: depends how his work goes. Hopes a visit by Bessie to England in the spring can be arranged.

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