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Hoeven, Maria Pruys van der (1824-1901) wife of Paul François Hubrecht
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Letter from Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven to R. C. Trevelyan

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

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

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

c/o Madame Grandmont, Villa Ma Retraite, Ede, by Arnheim, Holland:- Has been here 'several days', having 'a very pleasant time'; the weather has been 'dreadfully hot' but after several thunderstorms is now better. Will stay for a few more days, then go to Amsterdam and the Hague with Madame Grandmont before returning to England around the 14th.

The household here 'consists of M. Hubrecht and his wife', the parents of Madame Grandmont; the Grandmonts, 'a sister of Madame G [Maria Hubrecht], and a cousin of theirs who has always lived with them, the one who plays the violin [Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven]'. 'Old Hubrecht' is on the Queen's Privy Council, and 'rather a swell. He is very nice and sensible, but rather tiresome sometimes... rather funny about small matters. But he is a very typical Dutch character'. He is 'a friend of Lord Reay' and in some ways reminds Robert of 'Grandpapa Philips, though he is not so forcible'. His wife is 'a charming person, and at 76 still insists on managing her housekeeping all by herself'. Has already told his mother about the Grandmonts and their cousin.

More cousins, the Röntgens, who are musicians, are coming soon, but Robert has not yet heard much music. His hosts are 'very moderate about the Transvaal, and though they disapprove strongly of Chamberlain [Joseph Chamberlain, British minister for the Colonies] and think a war would be wrong, they are not at all pleased with the Boers'. Went to Utrecht yesterday, where he lunched with Mrs Grandmont's brother Professor Hubrecht, 'a celebrated Zoologist, who has discovered the missing link in a Javan or Sumatran monkey'. Utrecht is a 'nice old town, but there are no works of art there except the Cathedral tower'.

Hopes everyone is well, and that his father is 'getting on well with his work [on the next volume of The American Revolution]. The roads here 'are paved with brick, which makes an excellent pavement, besides being beautiful'.

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

The Mill House, Grantchester, Cambridge. - Has come to the 'flattest part of England' he could find to get used to his 'rugged fatherland' after Holland; is staying with a 'mathematical friend' [Alfred North Whitehead] in a mill house, as his own is not yet ready. [George] Moore is here discussing 'various theories about ether and molecules of matter' with Whitehead, which Bob understands little of; Moore has also played him several of Beethoven's early sonatas, which he greatly enjoyed, though music 'passes in and out of [his] head like water through a sieve or a mill-dam'. Is going to Dorking to see his house tomorrow; does not know what he would do without the Frys to help him; bought them a Dutch cheese which he left in their London rooms but has not yet seen them; Paul [Hubrecht] helped him buy it. They had a good time at Volendam and Marken, and a good meal, but his crossing back was awful; says [the British] should not be called 'bigotted islanders' since their love for foreigners is immense enough to undergo the 'horrors' of sea-sickness. Writing with the mathematician's children 'romping and screaming' round him, so expects his letter is distracted; his head is also 'in a whirl with half-understood metaphysical notions', of which he gives a sample quote. Would 'like to be philosophical; but one cannot always get what one wants'. Is writing to Mrs Hubrecht to say how pleasant his visit was. Asks to be remembered to Bramine and Gr[andmont].

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.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Mrs Hubrecht [Maria Pruys van der Hoeven]

3, Hare Court, Inner Temple. - Writes to say how much he enjoyed his visit to Ede; thinks that either the Dutch must be 'a very hospitable race' or their family must be 'exceptional', as he is sure 'foreigners do not so easily fall into... English ways' as he did into theirs. Hopes to see them before long in their new home. Had a good time at Amsterdam and a 'delightful expedition to North Holland with Paul [Hubrecht], though his crossing back to England was 'horrible'. Had a 'drive in the Jews town at Amsterdam with the Röntgens' which he will 'never forget'; it 'did one's soul good to see so many charming people enjoying existence together' with what seemed like no other 'help to pleasure' than sitting in the open air with each other. Is going to Dorking tomorrow to see if they are paining his house 'the right colour'. Asks to be remembered to her husband and to Mrs Grandmont.

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 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.

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

10 Prinsegracht, The Hague. - Is very sorry she did not know in time to tell Bob the concert last Monday was cancelled; it was not [Julius Engelbert] Röntgen but [Johannes] Messchaert who was ill; he still cannot sing so the second concert will also be put off. Very sad as they would have had a good audience, and he will have to pay the costs. Has received Bob's poems and enjoyed reading them on the way to Almelo last Monday; likes part of 'the Indian poem' very much, though it is rather vague; the 'fairy poem' is charming and she wishes she had the power to set it to music; questions his choice of interpretation in the line of his Ronsard translation.

Is very glad Bob will come to The Hague; he is right that she would not like him to come without her family knowing; she is not under such 'romantically difficult' circumstances to make that necessary and what she said about their 'suspicions' probably made a stronger impression than she intended. Bramine [Hubrecht] even encouraged her to tell them about it; it would not be 'so unwise', since she is 'in reality quite free and independent', and if she could tell her aunt and be sure she would discuss it with her uncle, she might; however, thinks she would not feel real freedom when Bob was here if they knew what had happened. She will therefore tell her aunt that Bob intends to come over and do some translation work with her, asking her aunt to trust her and help 'conquer any objections' her uncle may have though she thinks he will agree at once. Marie [Hubrecht] and her American friend Maud [Howard] leave either next Monday or Tuesday, Marie for Florence and Maud for America via Paris; all three servants are then leaving in the first week of November so the household will be unsettled, and her aunt is suffering from a bad cold, so she will write as soon as all is well. Asks if he would prefer a first-rate hotel or a moderate one.

On the whole, had a good time at Almelo though it was strange to spend so much time with her friend [Adriana Salomonson Asser] after so long but they struck up quite a friendship again; she and her husband, a Jewish manufacturer [Henrik Salomonson] are very musical; it seems they hear little violin music so she was 'the talk of the town' after playing at their soirée. Is about to read Rostand's "Cyrano de Bergerac" and "La Samaritaine"; asks whether Bob knows and likes them.

Letter from Bramine Hubrecht to R. C. Trevelyan

Florence. - She and her husband have often thought and talked about Trevelyan since he left them, wondering what the future will hold; they 'must leave that to dear Bessie'. Things will be hard for them both now: Bessie will be in 'isolation' at home, as she will not be able to discuss this matter with Bramine's parents or sister unless she is 'absolutely clear in her own mind - it would be mental torture'. The 'terrible business of the [Second Boer] war' will also make an impression on her, feeling as she already does so strongly 'the wrench which marriage with a foreigner would be'. The worst thing about the war is 'the hypocracy [sic] with which all the English statesmen seem to be saturated', preparing for six months while giving the Boers the 'illusion' that an agreement could be made; and then there are speeches like that of Balfour and 'other so called honourable and religious gentleman'. Meanwhile, Harcourt 'protests, but will vote for the money [further military funding]! Is there then no generous mind left?' Are the English so much come down since Lord Chatham?'. In Chatham's day, however, the war was 'against men of the same race' rather than 'those stupid Boers, who live according to their antiquated notions derived from the old testament'; is 'bitter, very bitter, against the wicked Government', however much she likes Trevelyan, whom she calls 'my dear fellow'. As for Queen Victoria, 'one sees how, by being a sort of machine all one's life, one becomes one really at last'; wonders why she did not appeal to the nation; also criticises the other rules who sent ambassadors to the peace conference and 'do not move an inch to help against war', it is a sign of how low the 'moral standard' everywhere seems to be. In time the world will be 'one big Exchange' with no poetry, and nothing mattering but money and greed.

Returns to the letter after several days, now in Rome; meanwhile the British Parliament, apart for a few Irish representatives, have voted funds for the war; cannot understand the Whigs. She cannot sleep at night, and having 'loved the English so', nearly hates them now; cannot write to Bessie about Trevelyan, and in her place 'could never consent to give up my birthright of Dutchwoman, to become a subject of that wicked mecreant [sic] the prince of Wales', who 'sells his soul and that of his subjects for the gold of Africa' and will not even go out to fight himself. Has just received a letter from Bessie, which says Trevelyan is going to see her; prays that if he wins her love his influence may 'widen and deepen her love for all beings and things'. Feels 'very responsible in this matter', since it was she who brought them together, and Bessie is 'half sister, half child, exceedingly dear'. Would be 'dreadful if she became tainted by what seems... the national vice of the English = selfdeceiving egotism, overbearingness, hypocrisy' which they call 'commonsense'. Begs his pardon for speaking so openly, which she does as she knows he has 'width of mind enough to shake off all chauvinistic feeling'; perhaps he does not think the opposition should have refused the funds or resigned.

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

10 Prinsegracht, The Hague. - Received Bob's letter this morning, and nerved herself to tell her uncle and aunt about his intended arrival; her aunt 'understood at once' and made no difficulties, though said her uncle may make some; she then found her uncle writing to Bramine [Hubrecht] in his study and told him, he was amazed but wanted to 'grasp at once the whole situation' and told her he saw quite through her pretext and understood everything but she begged him not to speak further about it. So they are both quite cheerful about the subject, and are probably discussing it now she has gone to bed.

Writing on the next day, she says that things were not so cheerful that morning, and her uncle took up the subject of Bob's visit again after breakfast; will not go into detail, but he does tend to 'attach enormous importance to convention' and it is hard for him to take everything in. But he does not want to make things difficult, and will leave her 'quite free' when Bob is here; he would like Bob to pay a formal visit on his first afternoon in the Hague, when the pretext for Bob's stay, 'poor old Vondel', must be mentioned; Bob will then be able to come the following morning and probably regularly to do some work. In the afternoon when the weather is fine she has to walk with her aunt, who she thinks would like Bob to join them. Thought he might stay a fortnight; if it suits him to go on early to Italy of course he must, though asks if he is sure about meeting the Frys in Siena, as she thought they were going there before Florence, which is why the G[randmont]s did not meet them and why her cousin Marie [Hubrecht] has gone first to Lugano and Milan. Is sorry to hear Bob finds it hard to settle to work. Discusses further her objection to Bob's translation of a French phrase [from Ronsard]; thanks him for his 'little grammar lesson about "shall" and "will"'.

The latest news of the [Second Boer] war must be 'very distressing' to the English; asks if Bob still feels it would be good if the English were 'well beaten'. Of course thought of the war itself is 'an intense horror'. Asks if Bob knows anyone fighting; they have heard of some 'striking losses', such as the death of a 'very beloved nephew' of their friend Dr Koster [Tuimen Hendrik Blom Coster?]. The feeling against Britain is very strong in the Netherlands; 'flags were put up in many streets when the news of Ladysmith reached' them; wonders if Bob will mind that when he comes. Suggested the 12th as the day he should come since he had mentioned a [rugby?] football game the day before; would not deprive him the chance of 'displaying [his] chief if not only vanity' and hopes he will enjoy himself. and not come over 'with a blue eye & some fractured bones'.

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 Caroline Trevelyan

10 Prinsegracht, The Hague, Holland ['Hotel' written first, and crossed out] :- Does not know whether he told her he was stopping for a few days here on his way to Italy, where he will (as she knows) spend the winter at Ravello. Thinks [Desmond] MacCarthy will join him here soon and they will travel there together. Meanwhile, he is writing something to her that she should tell his father 'and no one else at present. In fact this letter is to Papa as well'. He has told her about his 'Dutch friends, the Hubrechts and the Grandmonts', but not everything he would have liked to: would have liked to have said that he 'had made very great friends with one of them especially, Miss [Elizabeth] Van der Hoeven'. Saw a good deal of her earlier in the year at Taormina when she was staying with the Grandmonts. Says 'after thinking it over carefully from every point of view' he 'told her how fond [he] had become of her' before returning to England from his trip to Holland in September. As he expected, 'and as was only right, she did not give [him] any definite answer' but asked for things to stay as they were for a while, and 'to say nothing to anyone else', which is the 'sole reason' he has not told his parents though he 'came very near' when he last saw them in London.

However, now 'something has come of it; and she does feel quite certain in her mind now that it is the best thing', so he is writing at once to his parents. Of course it is a 'great pity' that they do not know her and her family, but he 'saw no possible way of bringing that about'. She has told her uncle and aunt, her guardians since she is an orphan; since they know him, and have heard about him from the Grandmonts, they 'have no objections, providing of course that [Robert's parents] have none'. It is 'very difficult' for him to explain everything, though he knows 'complete explanation is rather necessary': the 'most important thing perhaps' is that Robert and Miss van der Hoeven 'are both quite certain in [their] own minds' that they wish to get married, and he thinks neither of them 'are really either rash or thoughtless'; in fact they have 'thought and talked it over a great deal', and are sure they are right. She is three or four years younger than he is, and was at school at St Andrews for two years so 'can speak English, if not perfectly, at least nearly so'. It is 'no good' him trying to describe what he thinks 'are her virtues and perfections, at least not in this letter', as he needs to post it in quarter of an hour as he wants them to know as soon as possible; he is sure, however, that his parents would like both her and her relatives, of whom he has told them something. 'Neither they nor she herself are very well off, but she has a little money left her by her parents': believes her father was Dutch ambassador in China, and 'died when she was a girl'; he would therefore 'have to support her' and he is 'at present dependent [on his parents]. These are facts which must be faced' and he admits it is 'serious to marry' before he has made any money; shows the truth of his father saying he should try to 'make some at least as soon as possible'.

Meanwhile they must tell him as soon as they can what they think; knows he has not told them much, but can only say is sure that if they knew her and her family, they would think as he does 'that it would be the best possible thing for both of us'. Has a 'very high idea of her intellect and character, though she is not at all in any way brilliant or showy, except indeed her [violin] playing, which is certainly very remarkable'. George has seen her at Taormina, and will be able to tell them something about her, though Robert asks them not to do so yet, even if they 'think favourably' of the proposed marriage. They have told nobody but her uncle and aunt, who of course say that they must hear from Robert's father either directly or through him before 'anything can be settled'. Knows they must 'both be satisfied' first, and fears 'this letter is too short to do so'; he must finish it quickly to catch the post, but 'will write as soon as possible more fully'. Would be 'a great relief' if they could indicate how the matter seems to them. Does not want them to think he is acting without considering them. Gives Hubrecht's address. Wishes he had more time.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

10 Prinsegracht, The Hague, Holland [third sheet of letter headed notepaper for 'Nieuwe of Littéraire Sociëteit, 's-Gravenhage']:- Is afraid his last letter [46/72] was 'written in such a hurry for the post' that he did not have enough time to put the correct stamp on, let alone to say all he wanted 'or in the way it ought to have been said, seeing its importance'. Expects it has reached her now, 'after the payment of a few pence' and that she knows some of the 'main facts'. Is most anxious that his parents not 'misunderstand' his silence until now: wanted to tell them everything, but did not think he ought to while he was still unsure what Elizabeth thought. Could only 'guess and hope' that she would consent to marry him, and 'if it had turned out otherwise' it seems that it would have been 'a great pity' for his parents to have known. Elizabeth was 'very anxious' that neither of them should talk of it until she had decided, and had asked Robert to 'tell no one'. The present situation regarding the engagement is that they both are 'quite decided that it is right', her family also think it would be a 'good thing', so he must now 'convince' his parents, as is 'most necessary'.

Has 'more than once' heard from them that they thought 'there would be no objection' to his marriage, and indeed that it 'would be a good thing, provided of course' he chose wisely; he has chosen, but 'the circumstances make it very difficult to prove' that his choice is a wise one, since they can 'scarcely come to Holland to judge, or she to Wallington to be judged'. Much therefore must depend on their 'faith' in Robert's own judgement. They might talk to George, especially since he has met her cousins the Grandmonts, through whom Robert got to know her at Taormina. As Robert has said, her uncle and aunt the Hubrechts are 'very nice people, not rich, but of some standing in Holland' as M. Hubrecht is a member of the Privy Council; 'Lord Reay (?), who knows him quite well could tell you more about him'. Elizabeth's father died when she was young, and her mother, Hubrecht's sister, when she was seven; Hubrecht then took Elizabeth and her elder sister (now Mrs Röntgen) into his house and has 'brought them up very well, taking a lot of trouble about their education'. The Frys stayed with the Hubrechts a month ago and 'took to them both very much'. Robert's family need not 'be afraid of unpleasant relations', as in his experience they are 'all quite nice people': Professor Hubrecht, 'old H's son [is] a remarkable man of science, and now... quite celebrated', Robert believes; the Röntgens are also 'delightful', and the Grandmonts have been 'great friends... for four or five years'.

Acknowledges that 'the essential matter is Miss v. d. Hoeven herself', and does not think he has made a mistake; his judgement has not been led astray 'for she is not beautiful or fascinating in any obvious way'; doubts her excellent violin playing has influenced him, though he is glad of it. They 'belong to different countries', but Robert does not consider this a 'fatal objection', since it is not the case that she has 'never lived in England, or spoke English badly, or had no English friends already. Far more serious' he thinks, is his 'being still dependent, and not having made any money'. Considers that his marriage would be a 'great help' in his work, and would like his parents to look at it that way.

There is no need for them to give a 'definite answer' immediately, since he is going to Italy to work this winter, but he would much like to know as soon as possible if they have 'any grave objections', for Elizabeth's sake and that of her relatives, who having decided that the marriage is a good thing, would 'naturally' like it to be settled as soon as possible. Even if his parents were pleased and had no objections, the marriage itself would not be before next summer, mainly since it is 'so serious an event' for Elizabeth to 'leave her country altogether, and her old uncle and aunt who are very fond of her'. Knows he has said little about her, but it it is 'almost impossible to give a true impression of anyone by letter'; is sure his parents would like her very much if they got to know her. Feels he is 'sending these letters into the dark', meaning he has little idea of what effect they will have on his parents' minds. Sees nothing wrong in them writing to her uncle if they want to know more than he has told them. Will stay on in the Hague at the Hôtel d'Angleterre till he hears from them and then go on to Italy.

Is 'quite serious', and not allowing his judgement to be 'carried away' by his feelings, and neither is Elizabeth. 'Still, we do feel, and deeply, only we have thought too'. Neither of them are 'expensive' and Elizabeth has 'a little money of her own', enough to live on for herself it that was what she wanted; Robert has 'succeeded in living within [his] £400' so 'whatever increased allowance were necessary would not amount very much'.

Elizabeth says she used to know well 'the old people at St Andrews who are such friends' of his parents and whom they wanted him to visit when he was there; can't remember their names, perhaps Nicholson [see 13/56, in fact the Donaldsons, perhaps the family of James Donaldson]. Elizabeth also knows 'the Croppers of El[l]ergreen' and has stayed with them once, though 'she is not at all like any of the Croppers, in fact she is very different'. Sends love to every one, and hopes 'this will turn out well for us all'.

Letter from Caroline Trevelyan to Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven

Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland. - Glad to receive Elizabeth's letter; the Trevelyans are 'quite ready to forgive [her] and Robert for the little want of confidence'; tells her to ask 'quite frankly' about anything she thinks Caroline can help with. Wants to feel her 'a daughter in reality and not in name only'; she and her husband will welcome Elizabeth into the family; thinks she will find them 'very quiet people, easy to live with'. Hopes it will not be long before they meet. Glad Elizabeth is 'such a good English scholar' as Caroline knows no Dutch and has forgotten all the German she once knew. Is sure she will take an interest in Robert's work; he has seemed 'so lonely in his Surrey lodging'. Has not seen the house he has taken, but thinks it must be pretty. Glad Elizabeth took her time to decide on marriage. Sends regards to her aunt and uncle; looks forward to meeting them.

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to Paul François Hubrecht

Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland. - He and his wife appreciate the feelings Hubrecht and his wife have about the future of Miss [Elizabeth] van der Hoeven, who has written to his wife. Hopes and believes that the marriage will make both young people happy, and will reward the Hubrechts for their 'kindness and affection towards [their] niece'. Looks forward to meeting them. Has himself five times been to the Netherlands as a tourist, visited the scene of William [the Silent?]'s death at Delft, and 'read the whole of [John] Motley's "Dutch Republic' on Dutch soil'. Glad that the proposals satisfy Hubrecht; brings up the point of what Robert's position would be after his and Caroline's death, when he will be 'independent and at ease'; suggests that as well as the settlement on Robert's wife and children already discussed, he and Caroline should covenant to pay him personally eight hundred pounds a year until then. Regarding the settlement itself, expects Hubrecht knows what an 'exceptional institution... the Equitable Mutual is" Would be glad to know what Miss van der Hoeven's 'personal circumstances' are. Asks in a postscript if the Hubrechts consider the marriage 'sufficiently fixed' to make it known; on their side it is so.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

Hotel de la Poste, Bruxelles - Does not know how to thank her for her 'extraordinarily kind letter' which arrived yesterday. She will have seen his last letter to his father, acknowledging that he did wrong in not consulting them before proposing [to Elizabeth]; thinks though that everything will be for the best. Is here for two days, as he and Elizabeth's uncle agreed it would be good for him to go away for a little while after 'this last somewhat eventful and in some ways anxious week'; will return to the Hague on Thursday, and there is plenty to see. Thinks Elizabeth's uncle sanctions the engagement; unlikely the wedding could take place before the summer, as Elizabeth wants to spend more time with the Hubrechts; she also wants the Grandmonts to be there, and they do not generally return from Sicily till May or June. Expects he will soon go on to Italy. Will send a photo of Elizabeth when he returns to the Hague; his mother 'must not expect a beauty', though he finds her looks 'anything but disagreeable'. Thinks she will be able to 'look after [him] properly' as she is 'prudent and orderly, and in many ways thoroughly Dutch'; glad that her intellect is 'neither particularly poetical, nor romantic' and she has 'quite enough imagination and insight to understand anything' he might want; she has good taste for art, literature, and other things 'for a woman', and tends to be 'reflective and critical, rather than positive or creative'; she is of course 'a Protestant, at least not a Catholic'. Thinks he wrote that she knows the Nicholsons, 'by which I meant the Donaldsons of St Andrews' [James Donaldson and family?]. Has told no-one apart from the Frys [Roger and Helen] about his engagement, and will not do so until everything is settled between his father and Mr Hubrecht.

Letter from Paul François Hubrecht to Sir George Trevelyan

Prinsegracht 10, 's Gravenhage:- Acknowledges the receipt of Sir George's letter of the day before yesterday [13/40]; is happy to say that on their side they 'consider the matter [of Robert and Elizabeth's engagement] sufficiently fixed to make it known on both sides of the family'; the 'young people' are very happy at Robert's parents' 'goodness'.

Outlines Elizabeth's personal circumstances: her property may be estimated at a 'hundred thousand dutch florins'. a third invested in 'landed property' a third 'in mortgage' and a third in 'shares and public funds'. She intends once married to 'manage her financial business herself', as she has done since she came of age, giving then [?] a 'hundred pounds a year to her husband for sustaining the household'; in this she is following the precedent set by her sister on her marriage three years ago.

As the "exceptional institution.... the Equitable Mutual" [with whom the insurance on Elizabeth and any children will be settled] is unknown to him, will be happy to have, at Sir George's 'convenience, some printed report of it'

He and his wife are glad that they 'are not completely strangers for one another', as proved by Sir George having come to Holland before, and his 'profound knowledge of Dutch history'. Apologises for 'writing bad English', as he is not at all used to corresponding in it, and is 'very grateful for [Sir George's] present and future indulgence'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

10 Prinsegracht, The Hague. - Is writing to the relations and friends his mother mentions, and to some others; cannot therefore write for long to her, as he has to participate in some formal calls by Bessies's friends and relations this afternoon. Encloses the photograph of Bessie, which is not a good one but the best they have at the moment. All is well, which owes much to her and his father's 'extreme kindness'. Must leave for Milan next Thursday to catch the Frys [Roger and Helen] there. Kind suggestion that Bessie should visit England in the Spring; wonders if his parents will be in London or Welcombe around March, or she could come to Wallington; her uncle and aunt would certainly not object. His mother said he might find her advice 'a bore'; in fact he thought it 'very good', and will try to keep to it. Asks if she could send photographs of herself and his father to the Hubrechts; they will send theirs soon. Paid a visit to Amsterdam yesterday and saw Bessie's sister Mrs Röntgen, who is 'much pleased' with the engagement; they are very nice and he expects his mother will meet them at some point. Sends thanks to his father for his letter in a postscript; will reply soon; Bessie liked his mother's to her very much. Postscript in pencil adds that the photograph of Bessie is not good enough so they will not send it, she may perhaps get a new one done.

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

10 Prinsegracht, The Hague. - Addresses Bob as 'Dearest'. Has been re-reading the Plato they read this morning and now understands it much more; wishes he were here to discuss it; seems very strange him not being here for dinner yet when he was here continually it seemed 'so unreal'. Hopes he will have a good time in Brussels. Has been out for a walk in the rain with her aunt, spent a 'tedious hour at the dressmaker'. Sets the letter aside for dinner, but returns to send Bob 'a most spiritual kiss', telling him to dream of her. Continues the letter the following day, saying she has forwarded a postcard to him, and looked for a 'suitable frame' for his portrait; the shopkeeper admired the portrait greatly, being 'particularly struck' by Bob's eyes. Has had her hair washed and it is now drying; soon 'the wonderful Lorelei' will sit on her rock (the little stool by the fire) and comb her hair, thinking of how just seven days ago she and Bob declared their love to each other. Teases him by saying that since he has gone to seek 'distractions in foreign countries... poor Loreley is left to pull out her hair in despair... [and] is approaching baldness'. Returns to finish the letter in the evening; asks if Bob has written to his mother or if he is waiting till he hears again. Her 'abilities as a housekeeper' would have impressed him if he had seen her folding the clean sheets with the new housemaid; this is one of the 'very few things' she can do in that line.

Letter from Paul François Hubrecht to Sir George Trevelyan

Prinsegracht 10, 's Gravenhage:- In an 'important passage' of Hubrecht's last letter [46/76], it seems that Sir George has 'read the word "then" as if it were "three"'; Hubrecht regrets this, and expects it was caused by his missing out 'the word "a" before hundred'. He was 'unfamiliar with the English idiom', but Robert saw the mistake on viewing Hubrecht's proof copy. Hopes this 'elucidation will satisfy' Sir George, and that the mistake will not change his or his wife's 'favourable intentions of [Elizabeth's] intentions to her share in the household'.

He and his family are grateful for Sir George's 'kind note about the Equitable [and Mutual Insurance Company, either 13/41 or 13/43]; he and his wife send 'warmest regards to Lady Trevelyan thanking her for her most benevolent and highly appreciated lines to Elizabeth'. Last Sunday they had a reception for a 'good many' of their and Elizabeth's friends to 'congratulate the happy pair'; Robert made a 'charming impression' on them all. He has decided to leave them this week for Italy; they 'may not interfere', though if he had stayed longer it would have been 'very welcome to [them] all'.

Letter from Paul François Hubrecht to Sir George Trevelyan

Prinsegracht 10, 's Gravenhage:- Thanks Sir George for his recent 'kind lines'. If Elizabeth's marriage [to Robert] takes place here, and so is 'regulated by Dutch law', her children will be 'inevitably the proprietors of half of her capital if she leaves one [child]', two thirds if two, and three quarters if three or more. Dutch civil law' 'forbids disposing of her capital during her life or by will in any other way'; a surviving husband is generally 'appointed by will to be usager for his lifetime' of the remainder of the capital, which remains the property of the children. When Elizabeth's sister married she 'also settled the matter in this way', so it may be supposed Elizabeth will do the same.

Is now studying what needs to be done to make a 'marriage in Holland perfectly legal in England too'; finds the Married Woman's Property's Act of 1884 does 'not in the least object to the settlements' upon which he and Sir George agree; it 'might be judged necessary to repeat the Dutch wedding at the British legation here', but is not sure on this point. They have enough time to get information on this, so does not 'fear any difficulty in clearing it completely' with Sir George's 'own kindest support'. Would be very good to meet, but acknowledges the possibility is 'so far off for the present!'. Asks for his wife, Elizabeth and himself to be remembered 'with kindest regards to Lady Trevelyan'.

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

Hotel Biscione, Piazza Fontana, Milano. - Bessie will have received his letter apologising for not writing on his arrival. Has had a 'wonderful' day, seeing several churches, Leonardo's "Last Supper", then the castle which has only recently been opened and was new to [the Frys]; it is 'the most overwhelming building' in Italy, at least in size and often in beauty; much of it is by Bramante and there are fine sculptures and remnants of frescos to be seen; helps one see why Leonardo came to Milan, which otherwise seems 'rather a dull place'. They then went to a private collection of good pictures in 'splendid condition', cleaned by Cavenaghi; is now convinced he likes Italian art most of all, though he does like some Dutch painters; feels modern art 'scarcely exists at all'. Will see 'the more celebrated things' at the Brera tomorrow. Now feels that Luini is 'very third rate', and a 'watered down' Leonardo. Staying in Milan till the Frys go on Monday or Tuesday. She [Helen Fry] has not been well, except at Siena, but he has had a good time with them, and talked to them a lot about Bessie; if Bessie comes to England in the spring, as he hopes she will, the Frys want her to spend a few days at Dorking with them, from which she could see the Mill House. They will not be able to come to Holland on the way back; they have a fixed date to return by and 'she is not really well enough for visiting'. Confesses that he likes Italy more than northern countries, at least at this time of year. Will write to her aunt tomorrow. Has had a letter from his aunt [Viscountess] Knutsford and from [Frank?] Dugdale, which are pleasant but not worth quoting.

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

Hotel Biscione, Piazza Fontana, Milano. - Very sorry that she has suffered as she has; it is true that she does not have 'new scenes' and 'interesting and exciting work' as he has, but she must not be made unhappy by their separation; his feeling towards her will not lessen, though he supposes he may love her 'intellectual or rather... spiritual nature more' when they are apart, rather than her 'immediate physical or even psychological personality'; says she must try and let him 'haunt [her] pleasantly'. Is touched that she cried for him; there is no shame in doing so. The Frys are sending some rings to Ravello for him to choose from, and he will send her one; they are leaving tomorrow if Fry is well enough, as he is in bed with a cold. Went to the Brera yesterday and saw many wonderful things; again was unimpressed with the Luinis; then they saw two other private collections, one of which included a Bellini Madonna. Fry has seen his 'Indian poem and the play about Antioch' and was encouraging about the play; thought the poem 'very good in places, but not real enough, psychologically' as [Thomas Sturge?] Moore also said. Thinks they are probably right; will be glad to get working again. The Frys wanted to find a name for Bessie; as her name includes 'des Amorie' they tried 'Amoretti or Amoretta', but now Mrs Fry has invented 'Amica', short for 'Amica di Trevi', in the same way as they and 'other connoisseurs [primarily Bernard Berenson]' have identified a painter they call 'Amico di Sandro [Botticelli]'. Asks how she likes it; he will continue to call her 'Bessie'. Wrote to her aunt this morning. Had a 'charming letter from [John] MacTaggart' which he will forward after replying. Encloses a letter [perhaps 17/134] from his cousins the Booths, 'very nice people, cousins of the Fletchers'. His friends have all been very kind, as he thinks hers have too; glad she has Jeanne Salomonson to keep her company, who is a 'sweet creature'. Thoughts on 'human misery' occasioned by her visit to the hospital.

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

10 Prinsegracht, The Hague; addressed to Bob at Pension Palumbo, Ravello, preso d'Amalfi, Italia. - Was glad to get Bob's two letters and hear he had arrived safely at Milan. Forwarded some letters to Ravello on Sunday which Bob's mother had sent her, with 'a very kind note' [originally enclosed]; Bob is a 'naughty son' not to give her his Ravello address in time, and she will send it to her tomorrow. Thinks she would like Bob's mother to call her Elizabeth, as she asks; her English friends do, and then she will reserve 'Bessie' for 'more intimate purposes'. Also encloses a letter from [Alphonse] Grandmont which might entertain him, as might 'the bad poem in the beginning'. Is glad Dr [Empedocle?] Gaglio is being so helpful; shows he 'has regained his common sense' after quarrelling with Mademoiselle Thomley and getting 'away from under her influence', now he is 'much with the Dahlerups'. Hopes this letter will greet Bob on his arrival at Ravello, and that he enjoys 'all the good, beautiful things of life' there and gets some good work done. Asks if he remembered to give his letter to Mrs [Helen] Fry, and to buy himself some 'foreign paper' and a razor strop. If not she will have to think of him as 'a shaggy Robinson Crusoe-like poet' writing 'poems and love-letters on odd ends of paper... used by the peasants to wrap up their fruit'; has been enjoying seeing her own paper sent back 'bedabbled' with Bob's dear but 'very untidy and cook-like writing'. Had her photograph taken this morning; it happened so quickly that she did not have time to think 'what kind of simpering smile' would suit her best; will send Bob one. People keep asking to see Bob's photograph and are surprised when she does not have one.

Jeanne Salomonson stayed till Sunday morning. On Friday night Bessie's aunt [Maria Pruys van der Hoeven]'s two sisters [Alida and Agatha] came to visit with a girl who is living with them for a while, 'a most horribly uninteresting dull & unartistic kind of being' who yet had the 'pretence of being very musical'. playing the piano abominably but trying 'the most difficult & beautiful things'; felt 'rubbed up the wrong way' when she went to bed, 'horribly sarcastic & terribly sour'. Mr Kattendijke came on Saturday to accompany Jeanne and they did some 'wonderful Brahms songs'; on Sunday they went to a piano recital by Harold Bauer which was partly quite good, but at the end he played 'such horrid firework things' that it nearly spoilt everything else and made him think less of him. Has had a nice letter from Madame Goriany, the Austrian lady Bob met at Roccabella [Taormina, Sicily]. Is working hard on the translation for Ambro [Hubrecht] about 'the absorption of fatty matter into the intestine'. Their cousins, the van Deldens, and their daughter are coming tonight; soon they are going south and then perhaps to the Dutch colonies. Has written to Tonina [van Riemsdijk]'s mother about the violin, and is curious to know the answer.

Continues the letter next day: is going to spend the day in Leiden, first calling on a 'dear cousin' [Louise Hubrecht] who has known her since childhood and lunching with Jeanne [Salomonson Asser] at her mother's. Ambro [Ambrosius Hubrecht] appeared suddenly at dinner; an enormous whale was stranded on the coast two days ago, and he has secured it for his university [Utrecht]; she has been able to give back her translation as the usual man is well again; he says he has sent his 'American speech' to Ravello. A pity the Frys cannot visit [on the way back from Italy]; hopes to see them soon.

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

10 Prinsegracht, The Hague; addressed to Bob at Pension Palumbo, Ravello, preso d'Amalfi, Italia. - Seems Bob may be staying longer in Milan; is sorry for the Frys as Roger Fry is suffering from a bald cold. Has received a parcel from Bob's mother with photographs of his parents and brothers and is very glad to have them. Is glad Bob is enjoying himself at Milan and seeing many beautiful things; curious he has never been before; she remembers the "Cenacolo" [Leonardo's "Last Supper"] 'above all others', and many beautiful things at the Brera, though she and Bramine [Hubrecht] were there during a thunderstorm when it was very dark; looks forward to going again. Bob must not be 'too anxious' about her: she has got over her initial misery at their parting and now he is 'haunting [her] only pleasantly', as he says; she could not be made miserable by thoughts of him as she loves him too much; also trusts him completely.

Returns to the letter in the evening; has been out in the rain to see the dentist and 'arrange a torture hour with him', though less needs to be done than she feared; tonight is Ambro [Ambrosius Hubrecht]'s third lecture, and Paul [his son] has come to see the whale [see 8/14] and will probably go to the lecture on her ticket. Her aunt [Maria Pruys van der Hoeven] has had a letter from Bramine, with an 'enthusiastic account' of how they [the Grandmonts?] are looking after the eye patients [at Taormina] and how helpful Dr [Empedocle?] Gaglio is now. Returns the next day to scold Bob for saying that 'modern art scarcely seems to exist' in Italy; says this is too sweeping a statement and fears 'Fry's dogmas' have been influencing him after all; hopes he will always 'be as inclusive as possible'. Went to Ambro's lecture after all; Paul stayed at home and worked, and this morning has gone to keep an eye on the work of cutting off the fat and baring the skeleton of the whale; he sends many greetings to Bob. The Frys' name for her sounds 'very splendid indeed' and is certainly better than 'Amoretta' which reminds her of 'amourette', a pet hate of hers; she would still like him to call her Bessie or Bess. Very good of him to send her a ring; she will always wear it on the fourth finger of her left hand; a shame he will not be able to put it on her finger and he will have to wear it somehow first.

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

10 Prinsegracht, The Hague; addressed to Bob at Pension Palumbo, Ravello, preso d'Amalfi, Italia. - Has had the happy news that the Röntgens have had a little girl and all is well; charming that 'a little maiden is added to the family of boys' and her sister will be very happy; the girl will be called after Rontgen's first wife, Amanda [Maier]; hopes to go and see them in a few days. Wonders what she will be like; she is bound to grow up musical. Writes in the evening that she has had had Bob's letter from Cava; teases him for the 'biting jealousy with which [he] looked upon... two innocent German spooners in the train'. Had a pleasant walk with her aunt [Maria Pruys de Hoeven], who bought her some handkerchiefs as a present; went to the dentist but felt faint so has to go again on Tuesday; her mother was equally sensitive to such pain but 'was the bravest woman & had such splendid self control in all her sufferings". Encloses a letter from Bob's brother Charles which she received this morning, and thanks Bob for sending [Jack] McTaggart's letter; hopes and trusts their experience will be the same as his.

Writes the next day that she looked up Cava, Corpo di Cava, and Ravello recently, finding plenty of 'useful and dry Baedeker information'; can now imagine what it must be like and hopes Bob has a very happy time. There are wonderful things in [Plato's] Symposium; would like to ask Bob many things about it; asks what she should read now. The following day, she writes she is going to the library to see what of Bob's 'family literature' she can get to 'study hard' before going over to England; remarks that they will not see each other again 'till next century'. Had a good practice on her violin yesterday; must be prepared to have some lessons with Mr [Bram] Eldering at Amsterdam. Her aunt wrote to Bob yesterday; was very pleased with his letter.

A small photograph of Bessie is attached to the letter.

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 Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven

Pension Palumbo, Ravello, presso Amalfi. - Filthy weather, as it has generally been since he arrived; has sent off his 'interminable commentary' on [Thomas Sturge Moore's] "Danaë", and has been reading Byron's play "Cain"; finds it 'surprisingly fine', though there are great faults, as in all of Byron; does not agree with Goethe's claim that Byron 'is a child the moment he begins to think'. Always pleased when he finds good things in Byron, as he is much criticised nowadays; people do not really read him, or 'only his inferior early things, e.g. Childe Harold'. Teases Bessie, pretending that 'an unconscionable young lady' keeps 'tormenting him with a stupid school-girl correspondence' and there is no telling where her reading of Plato may lead her. Is sorry that Bessie is having so bad a time with the dentist; best to go through with it in the end. Dined at Mrs Reid's last night, hearing 'local tales about brigands etc' and drinking good wine. They have 'some wonderful cats, the most beautiful [he] has ever seen'; would like to get 'one of the family some day'. Delighted to hear about [the birth of Bessie's niece] Amanda Röntgen; Bessie's aunt told him first, sends thanks for her letter. Copies out poems by Vaughn [sic: Henry Vaughan, "The Retreat"], and Blake ["Infant Joy"]. Will finish this letter and 'per-haps, as Grandmont says' send it by the early post. Is glad to have Bessie's photograph but wants the bigger one when she gets them.

Finishes the letter next day. Bad weather again; is not in good spirits as his host Palumbo is dangerously ill; Palumbo has suffered from the same paralysis before and may recover; he is a 'very good fellow' and Bob will be sorry if he dies; pities his wife and daughter. Has just read the news of the great British losses at Ladysmith; does not know whether this means the town has fallen, but it looks as though Methuen was not strong enough to relieve it; if Redvers Buller does not do better than Methuen, expects Ladysmith will fall in a few weeks and would wish that if it would lead to the reopening of peace negotiations, but this seems unlikely. Says Bessie 'deserve[s] a whipping' for interpreting his jealousy of the lovers in his carriage as a desire to hug his female fellow-travellers. Is very glad she likes the "Symposium" so much; discusses it briefly and suggests other dialogues by Plato she could read. Copies out Blake's "Infant Sorrow" and "Cradle Song". [His brother] Charlie's letter was very nice; is sure she will like him, and he 'evidently means to like [her]'. Reminds her that the new century does not begin until 1901. Glad her practising is going well.

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