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Bridges, Robert Seymour (1844-1930), Poet Laureate
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Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Roger Fry

c/o Professor Utrecht [sic: Ambrosius Hubrecht], 2 Janskerkhof, Utrecht, Holland. - Has received six copies of his "Polyphemus" and hopes J. [Johnson] has sent Fry the same number. Fry's illustrations look very well, though expects he will not be happy with the printing; has found a mistake in the "Ode to Dionysus". Is sending a copy to [Robert] Bridges but not [George] Meredith. Asks Fry to let him know how it sells. Going to spend some time with B.B. [Bernard Berenson] on their way; his wife says he is 'rather out of sorts'. May stop at Verona on the way.

Letter from Hasan Shahid Suhrawardy to R. C. Trevelyan

28, Rue de la Tourelle, Boulogne sur Seine. - Has been at Nice with an attack of bronchitis after his father's departure for India. Thanks Trevelyan very much for inviting him to be his guest in Italy: would like this very much, but he has too much work to do, and he could not leave Reksusha [the dog] again so soon as the old Russian princess who took him last time, and her one servant who is 85, are terrified of him. He could come in the third week of January for about ten days if Trevelyan were still there then, as Professor Kalitinsky will be there. Very happy to hear of the success of "Meleager": performances are usually better than dress rehearsals. [Robert] Bridges has not sent his book, as he promised; asks Trevelyan to write with his impressions of it. Likes the title ["The Testament of Beauty"]: there 'is something sad & wise in it'.

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

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

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

12 Pembroke Gardens, Kensington, W. - Thanks Bob for the books [Bob's "Mallow and Asphodel"?]; had already seen Oswald Sickert's copy ; agrees that black [covers?] would have been better, but 'some day we will elaborate together an edition de luxe'. Will send on [Robert] Bridges's copy though he is 'rather angry' with him at the moment, will tell Bob why when they see each other. Dined with [Bernard] Berenson last night, who is 'interesting & he admires Goldie [Dickinson] immensely' so Fry will like him. He may take Bob's book when he goes to see Helen on Saturday, an experiment he 'half long[s] for and half dread[s]'; will write to Bob or Goldie about the visit but fears it will not have any effect.

Letter from Lascelles Abercrombie to R. C. Trevelyan

The University, Leeds. - Will look forward to reading Trevelyan's translations of "Antigone" and Theocritus; jokes about one day bringing out an edition of Theocritus under a German name which in fact includes no poems at all. Even more anxious to see Trevelyan's 'Babylonian and Meleagrian' poems ["The Deluge" and "Meleager"?]. He himself is not writing much, except for a work based on lectures given in Cambridge and Bangor, "The Idea of Great Poetry", which he will send when it is out. Very interested to hear of Bridges' new poem. Will look out for 'your philosophical mayor of Scarborough".

Letter from Lascelles Abercrombie to R. C. Trevelyan

37 Weetwood Lane, Far Headingley, Leeds. - Jokingly calls Trevelyan 'unreasonable' for coming to Leeds in August, when he will not be there himself; tries to persuade him to make it a different time, or to visit them in Anglesey there instead. There is a rural district there named after Goronwy Owain (they could discuss whether he could be as great a poet as Milton), and the Eisteddfod is to be held this year at Holyhead. Is helping to judge Masefield's Oxford Recitations next week; they might meet there. 'Aghast' to think of Trevelyan and Bessie listening to his wireless talks; tends to think wireless a great imposition 'except for the Cup Final and jazz'. Would love to hear Trevelyan's translation of "Prometheus". Has not yet seen 'R.B.'s [Bridges?] new poem, but has heard much of it. Offers to show Trevelyan Fountains Abbey and Shandy Hall if he comes in the autumn.

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

Church Ho[use]. - Has shown his black and white work to various publishers including Grant Richards, who publishes Rothenstein's lithographs; at Richards' invitation said he would like to illustrate a translation by Trevelyan of Ovid's "Metamorphoses". Asks Trevelyan to translate a sample page or two to which he will add a head picture. Richards is also interested in seeing Trevelyan's original work: he's 'rather a nice chap for a publisher'. Fry is going on to [Robert] Bridges: gives address.

Letter from Logan Pearsall Smith to R. C. Trevelyan

High Buildings, Haslemere. - Mrs Berenson says she has written to tell Trevelyan about the house to let at Fernhurst; urges him and his wife to come and see it, as it might suit them for a year or two until they get Blackdown Cottage; they could stay with him. Ought to have thanked Trevelyan for his play ["The Birth of Parsifal"], which he likes very much; is glad he tried prose and tells him to carry on. Asks him if he has read [Robert] Bridges "Hexameters", and what he thinks. Is swamped in 'pedantry & MS.': wants to prove he can 'be as dull & dry as B.B. [Berenson] or Bertie [Russell]'.

Card from Robert Bridges to R. C. Trevelyan

Chilswell, near Oxford. - Thanks Trevelyan for sending "The New Parsifal": has not yet had time to read it properly, and was putting off writing until he had; the review in the last "Times Literary Supplement" ["An Operatic Fable," The "Times Literary Supplement", 12 Mar. 1914, p. 127] reminded him of his 'neglect' so sends this as an apology for not writing sooner. Adds a postscript saying that he does not have Trevelyan's current address, so will send this via [Goldsworthy Lowes] Dickinson

Letter from Robert Bridges to R. C. Trevelyan

Chilswell, Oxford. - Read "Sisyphus" last night and much enjoyed it; thinks it 'very successful, the farce quite Aristophanic', and found the 'unrhymed method' very pleasing. Was too involved with the drama and humour to pay attention to the metre, so will have to re-read. Thinks Trevelyan has 'got on the right tack', and that the 'sorry foolishness & emptiness' of rhyme would have taken 'the edge of the real fun'; discusses this further. Thinks the farce would 'act well', though he has 'enormous respect' for Aphrodite - adds a footnote quoting in Latin from Lucretius's invocation of Venus in "De Rerum Natura" - and could not put her in a farce on the state. [Logan] Pearsall Smith, who was here yesterday, said how much he had enjoyed "Sisyphus". Bridges thinks it could be 'acted with success at the Universities'.

Letter from Thomas Sturge Moore to R. C. Trevelyan

40 Well Walk, Hampstead, NW. - Is 'pleased and honoured' that Bob, [Gordon] Bottomley, [Lascelles] Abercrombie and [Wilfrid] Gibson want to include him in their scheme for a Poetry Annual; thinks such a publication is 'needed' and would be glad to contribute. However, does not understand some of the suggestions, and has 'doubts about the wisdom of others': thinks it would not be possible to have a 'non-poet editor' who can hold a poem over for the next year, as the same poem is unlikely to be available in two successive years; also asks if contributors would be restricted to publishing in the "Annual", as he thinks this would be impossible'. Thinks [Marsh's] "Georgian Poetry" did better than "New Numbers" as it was more catholic; would like the Annual to be 'even more so'. Thinks they should form a committee of between three and five poets to decide the price and size of the Annual on financial grounds then offer an equal number of pages to, say: [John] Masefield, [W. B.] Yeats, [Laurence] Binyon, Abercrombie, [W. H.] Davies, [Walter] de la Mare, [Ralph] Hodgson, Gibson, Bottomley, himself, Trevelyan, and another. For the next number, the committee should be the only ones with a right to a place. Any untaken pages should be offered to 'people like [Robert] Bridges and H.D. the best of the Imagists for opposite reasons'; discusses how extra pages should be allocated. Thinks it important to invite 'all well known men' like [Henry] Newbolt, Rudyard Kipling, [Thomas] Hardy and [Maurice] Hewlett, 'whatever one thinks of their work' though not every year; some would refuse but 'that is their fault'. Should also invite 'as many as possible from enemy cliques' and those who have been well reviewed. Profits should be shared out by page. The committee should not 'judge of merit', except in choice of contributors, which would 'insure much more variety and a wider circulation'. The book must not seem bulky, so recommends using the 'very beautiful thin papers' available now used for bibles and the classics. Would like to 'rule out [Robert] Frost from the first list as not being a British subject'; thinks he and other Americans could be allocated a few pages but 'never be on the committee'. Discusses possible role of the publisher.

Asks Bob if in March, April or May there is 'any quantity of fallen leaves under Olive trees', and what the correct adjective formed from 'Medusa' would be. Sends love to the Trevelyans. Offers in a postscript to take responsibility for the 'physical appearance' of the Annual for no payment. Twelve may be too large a number for the 'inner list' but well-known names outside their set should be included; Yeats would be 'safe' as he would never want much space; dividing profits by number of pages would give Abercrombie & Gibson and others 'with a tendancy to metrical diarrhea [sic]' a chance of getting as much money as by the other plan. Expects to be here on the 22nd and 23rd and will be glad to see Bob; cannot invite him to the house yet as the children are ill and they have 'servant troubles to boot'.

Letter from Robert Bridges to R. C. Trevelyan

Chilswell, Oxford. - Has not yet read "Sisyphus", as he has been 'dreadfully busy', but his wife has found it 'very entertaining'. Has just sent his "Memoir" of R. W. Dixon to the publishers; this has taken him a long time and involved much correspondence. Thanks Trevelyan for the book and the letter; is answering the latter at once to say he is 'not Edmund Gosse' so Trevelyan should not imagine he sits 'in a seat [of judgment?]'. Thinks 'any experiment in quantitative verse shd do good in calling attention to the fact that accent & quantity are different'; recently had a conversation with a university professor of Latin who was unaware of rules about accents in that language. Lent his essay on Virgilian rhythm to Desmond MacCarthy a couple of months ago, who wanted to see whether it could be printed in the "New Quarterly"; has not heard from him further and will ask for it to be returned. Hopes "Sisyphus" will be successful.

Letter from Lascelles Abercrombie to R. C. Trevelyan

The Gallows, Ryton, Dymock, Gloucester. - Returns Moore's letter: is glad he has "come round so handsomely" regarding "The Sale[of St. Thomas]. Has not heard yet from Bridges. Thinks of writing on the railway strike, but is not sure yet sure on which side. Effects of the drought and strike workers' hunger evident in local cottages.

Letter from Oswald Valentine Sickert to R. C. Trevelyan

Apartado 847, Madrid. - Thanks Trevelyan for his letter [in response to 6/45]: is writing to Birrell and Garnett for Ormond, "Milton's Prosody" [by Robert Bridges] and Bradley; asks Trevelyan to check if they received the order if he is there before he goes to Florence. Tells him not to stop writing verse but do his work on metre as well. Finds his age [fifty] which Trevelyan is approaching is 'difficult and depressing', and asks what is to be done about it; their upbringing requires them to 'grin and bear it', but 'since this idiotic Freud one suspects that is no solution'. Not in Sevilla yet but waiting for a second proof from the printer; does not know what they will think of Sevilla, having been there for a week; supposes it is all right if you live there and fall in love 'with a girl behind a reja [grid]' like Michel Bréal, but 'for a contemplative person... [it] is not different enough, not a sufficient spectacle to remain outside'. Japan 'the only fit place of exile'.

Menéndez has given up his post at Toulouse; he says the French and French literature are too 'middle class'. Duran 'the most amusing & capable person, & lovable too', he ought to be doing something more with his gifts, though Sickert suspects his dreams of revolution will not come true. His wife sees Mrs Jimenez sometimes, who has a second baby. Much enjoyed a conference of Cossio's on some pictures going to the Casa del Greco in Toledo, which reminded him of 'a perfectly rounded little effort of Ruskin's'. Ocaña still consul in Lille [?], spending weekends in Paris. Has been into the little palace at Mancha, which Trevelyan might remember; they are making it into a museum; he loved it. Had a lovely month when Argentina was at the Romea [theatre]; is sorry Trevelyan never saw her, as he thinks she is the best dancer of any kind he has seen. Describes her at length. They went backstage and 'worshipped' twice; 'then she is like a very intelligent Jewish pianist'.

Thinks Trevelyan has not heard any canto flamenco; La Niña de los Peines has been on, in better form than last time. In contrast to the views of the 'stupid critics' who write on 'difficult composers', canto flamenco is popular but 'much too subtle & difficult for the educated young people who... could take such a thing as Parsifal like milk'. Arthur [Waley?] is right that records are needed to 'cope with such music', but records have a different and unpleasant timbre so it is necessary to know the music already. Wishes he got on better with the words, but they are hard to catch and understand; they are not poetical. Is very interested in the prospect of [Lascelles] Abercrombie's book; remembers how good he was when discussing the article for a children's encyclopædia they were going to publish, but wonders if Abercrombie is right to select a scene from Shakespeare. His love for Don Quixote.

No-one has talked about anything but the 'Morocco tragedy' [during the Rif War] since July; 'self-deprecation all-round. Spaniards are the least chauvin [sic] people in the world.' Don Julio [Álvarez del Vayo] flew back from Berlin, gave a talk on Russian literature which Sickert could not attend, and returned at once. Posters out about the revival of "España". Bagaria the caricaturist has 'outdone himself' in "El Sol". The theatres are very dull: younger people may criticise Benevente, but since he stopped writing plays there is nothing worth going to see, and Catalina Barcena is having a baby so there is no good acting.

Could not find a house during their week in Sevilla so his wife returned to try again, once more in vain; she wants a house belonging to 'the mad Marques de la Vega Inclán', who wants 2000 pesetas per month; their rent in Madrid is 550 pesetas. The Marques owns the Casa del Greco in Toledo, which Trevelyan may remember is a 'duck of a place', and has 'invented' what seems to be an equally charming Casa de Cervantes in Valladolid. Remembers the 'jolly lunch' the day he left. Goldie [Dickinson] was 'a dear'.

Letter from Cyril Bailey to R. C. Trevelyan

The King's Mound, Mansfield Road, Oxford. - Thanks Trevelyan for his 'kind and generous letter'; glad that his criticism [in a review of Trevelyan's translation of Lucretius for the TLS, see 21/43] did not seem 'unjust'. Was sure Trevelyan must have felt the 'disadvantage... of blank verse' far more than he himself did as a reader; agrees that it has compensations, and does not think there is really an alternative; discusses possibilities, particularly verse forms used by [Robert] Bridges; Bridge's hexameters 'irritated' Bailey. Asks Trevelyan to let him know if he ever comes to Oxford, to make sure of meeting; could almost always give him somewhere to sleep if needed. Both Trevelyan's brother's are 'such old friends' of Bailey's wife, and indeed of Bailey himself.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Julian Trevelyan

Glad that Julian is having a good time at Hamburg; envies him 'the chance of learning German properly' and seeing Wagner 'performed properly'. The Viennese opera company recently performed the "Ring" in London; the singing was very good, but the 'Covent Garden scenery and stage-resources' were 'miserable... it was a national disgrace'. Can send a German libretto with English translation for the "Ring" or "Tristan and Isolde" if Julian wants. Dorothy [Archibald?] 'has measles quite badly' but is now recovering. He and Elizabeth are going to Welcombe for a few days next week, then to Oxford to visit [Robert] Bridges 'the Poet Laureate, a few leaves from whose wreath I hope to steal'. The Sangers and Goldie [Lowes Dickinson] visited at Whitsun; Goldie may return when Dorothy is well. Saw George Moore in London this week, who recommended that Julian read Bertrand Russell's last book "An Outline of Philosophy"; thought he had it but can't find it, and is writing to ask if he has lent it to Goldie. Moore also thought that Julian might 'find some of the books dull reading them alone', but it would be much more interesting to go to lectures and discuss the ideas with others. The Welcombe Mabuse [Gossaert] was sold last week at Christies, and fetched more than any other picture except 'a fine early Rubens portrait'. Charles was there, and got a Canaletto of Venice for uncle George for Hallington. Asks to be remembered to Professor [Albrecht?] Mendelssohn [Bartholdy?], who visited some years ago; hopes he will visit again one day.

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

29 Beaufort St., Chelsea, S.W. - Asks when Bob is going to return from 'the fields of Enna' [Sicily] and sing 'songs of Persephone to fit my picture'. Jokingly objects to Bob's 'monstrous insinuations about the girls school' [see 13/1] and says he has been 'practicing fencing every day' to avenge the insult and get exercise. Fences with Hubert Crackanthorpe who has moved in nearby; has decorated the house 'with infinite care' but the way Crackanthorpe has furnished it has 'destroy[ed] all my schemes of colour'. Has a pupil three mornings a week: [Charles] Lacoste is 'quite ignorant but with much talent for a queer type of imaginative design'; thinks he has illustrated Baudelaire very well. Has therefore done little painting himself, only 'drawing with the pupil'; thinks this is good for him and is getting keener than ever on it. Asks how Bob's poetry is going; hopes he 'won't write one in 22 thousand lines like the Indian'. Has been thinking about metre; tells Bob to 'keep [his] hair on', as he begins to see why he is 'so furious about [Robert] Bridges'; tells him not to stay away 'for fear of having to talk about this'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

1, Wellington Place, Tunbridge Wells:- Thanks his mother for her letter, which arrived yesterday. Is staying the night at Tunbridge Wells; his hosts [his aunt Anna Maria Philips and Sophie Wicksteed] are 'both in good spirits, and Sophie certainly not ill'. Is going for a few days next week to Failand near Bristol, the 'country house of Roger [Fry]'s family'. Will then go on to Welcombe, he thinks taking the places of the Webbs [Sidney and Beatrice, friends of his brother Charles?], 'for we have to wait our turn like aspirants for office'. Will be glad to get away from London, where he has been leading 'a miserable bus-riding rattle-of-bus-fretted existence since September'.

Thinks it will become a 'downright cruel winter' soon, as it is quickly getting colder 'after a long merciful delay'; if it does, London will be 'uninhabitable for a season, at least to work in', and he does not expect he will return. Will not come to his parents in Rome, as it 'would be absurd' not to see the sights which she 'describe[s] so temptingly' on his first visit, and this would 'not fall in with' his intention to work. Believes [Edward] Marsh is in Rome, or 'will be soon', since Robert 'just missed him in London'.

Will send the Pageant [magazine recently published by Ricketts and Shannon, see 46/38] if she likes, 'though there is much bad in it'. For him, its 'chief value' is that it has 'several old [D. G.] Rossettis and Mi[l]ais', as well as Rickett's Oedipus. Shannon's drawings have 'both been badly reproduced, and are by no means his best work'; in fact several contributors, such as Swinburne, Bridges, and Robert's friend [T.S.] Moore 'have not done themselves justice'. Does not know if his mother has 'ever tasted of Maeterlinck's strange vintage before'; he himself 'neither scoff[s] nor adore[s]' but the play in the Pageant is 'fairly typical' of him; thinks his poem, as well as Verlaine's, good. The Pageant should 'amuse [her] as decadent in an extreme though not particularly offensive form'.

The 'American affair is deplorable': fears it 'may lead to real trouble', though the general view in England, both among individuals and newspapers is that 'Jonathan will begin to see in a few days that he is making an exhibition of himself ['Uncle' is written before 'Jonathan' then crossed out: perhaps Robert Trevelyan confused 'Brother Jonathan', a representative figure of New England sometimes used to stand for the entire United States, with Uncle Sam - or was about to use the latter term then changed his mind]'. Glad she finds Italian politics interesting; he 'used to read the political articles in the Sera and Tribuna' to 'pick up a little of what was going on'.

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

29 Beaufort St, Chelsea:- Has just returned from Harrow, where he goes to 'get a game [of football] once a week' to keep himself 'very fit in body and mind'. Bowen had got up a 'team of masters and old boys' against the boys of his house, 'which is very good this year'. Robert's team were 'Somehow' beaten 6-0, but Bowen 'covered himself with glory, playing better than he has done for years'; he also told Robert he 'played like a hero'.

Met Charlie in the morning at the B[ritish] M[useum] Library, 'getting up the question of State Railways'; he is 'much interested in a scheme for a progressive periodical [the Progressive Review] which [William] Clarke, late of the Chronicle, and a young Socialist, [Ramsay?] MacDonald, are going to start next year. It is to be to these dregs of times what the Edinburgh Review was to be to those other dark days'. It 'promises to do well', and Robert wishes it 'God-speed', though they say it 'has as yet no Brougham, much less its Sidney Smith'. Bernard Shaw, whom Robert saw recently in a restaurant, told him 'with his usual superb egotism', that if they had wanted the paper to succeed, they ought to have asked him to 'write a series of articles, as he knew the secret of making a splash and drawing the gaze of the public'. However, 'Clarke cant stand G.B.S., calling him an anarchist and a Jacobin', and Shaw is a 'little piqued at being out of it'.

[Roger] Fry has a cold today and has taken to his bed 'as he always does at the slightest alarm'; this is sensible as 'his colds are both more sudden and more formidable than other people's'. He is doing well otherwise, and has 'just finished some theatrical scenery for a friend [a pencil note suggests this is 'Badley - [at] Bedales']' - the wood in Midsummer Night's Dream] - which is as good as anything Robert has seen by him, 'though you can't get very rich colour effects in tempera'. Their next door neighbours, Ricket[t]s and Shannon, have 'just brought out a magazine... a single Christmas number [The Pageant]' for which they have obtained contributions from 'all the great names in the literary and artistic word' such as Swinburne, Bridges, Maeterlinck, Verlaine, Burne Jones and Watts. There is 'some fine work in it, and some very queer'; Robert's friend [Thomas Sturge] Moore has two short poems included, though Robert does not think them his best. Will show his parents the magazine when they return. Shannon and Ricketts are 'taking to publishing poetry'; he believes they 'make a great success', and hopes that knowing them 'might be useful in the future'.

Is putting this letter into an envelope he finds 'on C[harles]'s table' with his parents' name on it but not yet their address. Expects they will soon be in Rome. Is going to see Aunt Annie [Philips] next week' does not plan to go abroad as he is 'very well, and do not feel the cold'. He will go to Welcombe for a few days, but otherwise stay in London unless 'the frost gives [him] colds'. Is glad their travelling is going so well, and that they like Gregorovius: it is 'always pleasant work welcoming a new historical star', though he doubts this one is 'of the first magnitude'.

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

Rodwell House, Baylham, Nr. Ipswich. - Thanks Bob for sending a copy of his book ["Rimeless Numbers?"]; will pass on the copy he has already bought. Praises Bob's use of hexameter; thinks he has 'perfected [Robert] Bridges's notion and made it a possible vehicle for a discursive kind of eloquence', though he warns against 'run[ning] on rather aimlessly', using 'very banal phrases' and 'the conventional poetic'. Thinks that 'all distinctively poetical language ought to be banned'. Finds some of the other unrhymed metres difficult, probably as he is 'not so familiar with the classic types they come from'. Asks if Bob has read Peter Quennell's book on Japan; thinks it is very good.

Letter from Lascelles Abercrombie to R. C. Trevelyan

Monk's Walk Cottage, Much Marcle, Dymock, Gloucester. - Hopes to see Trevelyan in October. Thinks he may have been too hard on Leaf's version of Hafiz [see 1/33]. Thanks for ordering more copies of "Mary [and the Bramble]". Advises Trevelyan to try self-publishing: perhaps ["The Foolishness of] Solomon". Has not sent a copy to Moore or Binyon, but has to Bottomley, for whom he expresses his admiration. Is going to Bridges on 22 October; wishes Trevelyan could come too as it would make for "a better symposium on metre", and he dislikes staying with strangers. Asks if Trevelyan could loan him some of Bridges' longer work, and also his own "Attis".

Letter from Lascelles Abercrombie to R. C. Trevelyan

Monk's Walk Cottage, Much Marcle, Dymock, Gloucester. - Thanks Trevelyan for ordering numerous copies of his "Mary and the Bramble" to distribute, and also for offering to circulate leaflets; he encloses six. "Mary.." doing well financially, and he has also received a few favourable opinions. Sent a copy to Bridges, who has asked him to stay. Thanks for the loan of the Rumi and Hafiz, which he is enjoying; is not sure whether Leaf's versions of Hafiz are quite successful as poetry in themselves. Asks how "Solomon" ["The Foolishness of Solomon"?] is getting on, and is glad to hear of "Ariadne" ["The Bride of Dionysus"].

Letter from Edward Marsh to R. C. Trevelyan

Grimsby Farm, Long Lane, Coldash, Newbury. - Since, 'like Alice [in Wonderland]' he always takes 'a great interest in questions of eating and drinking', he is worried that Trevy is under-eating, unless risotto is 'very comprehensive and satisfying', like the dish described [in Aristophanes' "Ecclesiazusae/Assemblywomen" in a long compound word of which he quotes the beginning. Other than that Trevy seems to be having a 'perfect time', much better than he is himself. Wants very much to see Trevy's work; tells him to 'leave Paul as he is' [see 15/274] or just change the name so he will not recognise him; expects the book will be 'uncommon good'. Oswald [Sickert] nearly finished his book at Christmas, but did nothing more between then and Easter, as he was too busy with "Beautiful B[retain": published by the Werner Company]; he says a great deal work needs still to be done on it. [Stanley] Makower's book ["The Mirror of Music"] should be out soon after Easter. The 'great literary event' has been [Arthur] Verrall's "Euripides the Rationalist"; does not think he has ever read 'anything so clever'; will not say anything about it as it would spoil it, and it seems 'perfectly convincing'. Has been 'getting on very well with [Robert] Bridges': went with him to Oxford for a day last week; he seems 'the biggest man I've ever known anything of, perhaps equal with [William Gunion?] Rutherford'; cannot think of anyone else so 'thoroughly serious, thoroughly humorous, and thoroughly consistent', except perhaps Sickert who does not seem to be 'exactly "great" at present', though may be at forty. Bridges is bringing out an edition of Keats soon which will, for example see 'plain "Endymion" as an allegory". They went to the Bodleian, which is 'a delightful place'; Lady Shelley has recently given them 'a fine collection of Shelley MSS etc'. Roger [Fry] is coming to Yattendon soon after Easter, but unfortunately Marsh will have left by then. The 'great thing about Maeterlinck is the sound'; "L'Intruse" was a 'complete failure on the stage'; "Pelléas et Mélisande" 'delightful to listen to'; afraid the 'beautiful M. Lugné Poë' 'is gone for good, and won't come back, the theatre was so dreadfully empty' though the 'decent critics' were all in favour has not seen [William] Archer's articles, but Shaw 'praised the company highly' who has been in Fiesole, will soon go 'for a sail down the Adriatic', and return to England at the end of April. Asks if Trevy has seen the reports of Russell's brother [Frank]'s case; believes it will be settled on Tuesday week; thinks [Russell's wife] 'the Countess and her mother exposed themselves pretty fully'.

Heard from 'dear [Arthur] Shipley this morning, he's in solitary splendour at Cambridge'. Asks if Shipley is Trevy's 'idea of Horace', as he is Marsh's own, both physically and in character. Has also had a 'very gay letter from T. T. [Phelps?], furious' with Trevy for writing twice to Marsh and not to him. Has heard from 'the Seatollerites': George [Trevelyan] and [George] Moore both wrote last Sunday and the party seems to have been a success up to then. Has been 'working very hard' himself, but does not think he is getting on and worries about his Tripos [examinations]; the only reading he is doing apart from revision is de Quincey, of whom he is becoming 'very fond'. Thought the murder Trevy told him about at Wallington, '[William] Winter's murder [i.e., that committed by Winter]' was in "Murder as a Fine Art [de Quincey's "Murder Considered as one of the Fine Arts"]', but read that this morning and there is nothing about it there; asks where Trevy 'got all the details'.

Letter from Edward Marsh to R. C. Trevelyan

Grimsby Farm, Long Lane, Coldash, Newbury. - Hopes Trevy has received the letter he wrote to Naples, otherwise he will think Marsh 'rather a beast'. Glad Corpo di Cava was not snowed under, since it has turned out to be 'so delightful'; he himself would have 'preferred Capri for the sake of Tiberius' [see 15/318]. Has just got away from London and finished his first day of work here; his 'flesh crept to such a degree' when he woke on Monday night and started to think about his tripos [examinations] that it 'must have moved on about an inch all round'. Stayed in London a little longer than he should have done because of a 'superior French company' who performed [Ibsen's] "Rosmersholm" and "Master Builder" and a play by Maeterlinck under the direction of M. [Aurélien-François-Marie] Lugné -Poé who 'seems to be a descendant of Edgar Poe'. He is 'a very beautiful man with a pale face & black hair', and reminds Marsh of a 'portrait of some poet', perhaps Poe himself; he 'acts very respectably' and played the Master Builder as 'an American with a straggling beard & a drunken complexion' and 'quite revolutionized' Marsh's idea of the part, since 'the rather vulgar arrogant manner he put on in certain parts' made the character seem more consistent than 'the suavity of Lewis Waller'. Asks if Trevy has ever read Maeterlinck, as it is 'useless to try and explain what he's like' if not; in the 'mixture of great simplicity with an entire rejection of realism' he thinks it goes back to 'the Burne Jones & Morris kind of thing'. Sat next to William Archer, who was 'very nice' to him. Saw many friends at the Ibsen plays: [Erskine] Childers, Crompton [Llewelyn Davies], Gerald Duckworth, J[ohn] Waldegrave, 'the Babe' [William Haynes Smith?] etc. Thinks the Independent Theatre must be 'the worst managed concern in the world': the performances usually begin late 'after the curtain has gone up two or three times, to encourage the audience. You're never safe from the irruption of a cat in the most moving scenes', the actors miss their cues, or the curtain does not go down at the end of the act. The man who is called the Acting Manager [Charles Hoppe] is 'the greatest crook [he] ever met with in a responsible position', who seems unable to sell tickets without asking for assistance and did not even know how many acts there were in "Rosmersholm". Marsh took the Verralls to that play; comments on Arthur Verrall's reaction to theatre: 'he never is, or lays himself out to be, in the least moved by a play' but responds to 'the cleverness or stupidity with which it is written'.

Very glad that George [Trevelyan] got his scholarship, though there was no doubt he and Buxton would; 'very hard luck on [Ralph] Wedgwood. Went to see [Charles] Sanger yesterday in his new rooms at Hare Court. No-one has heard 'anything of [Bertrand] Russell for some time'. Only saw Oswald [Sickert], who had influenza, not serious, once; he has just got 'free from the Werner Company, which has used up the Beauties of Britain, & gone on to Paris [ie, finished publishing "Beautiful Britain]'; hopes he will have time for his novel now. [Maurice] Baring took Marsh to supper with Edmund Gosse on Sunday: a 'most amusing man', whose conversation is 'described in Stevenson's essay on conversation ["Talk and Talkers"] under the name of Purcell. He was in the teakettle mood'. Met [Henry] Harland, the editor of the "Yellow Book" there; thought him 'an awful little man', but 'on getting accustomed to his manner' next day he thought him 'like-able on the whole'. Hopes to go to supper next Sunday with 'the even more distinguished [Robert] Bridges', though he has not read his recent works so 'feels rather ill-equipped'. Met John Davidson briefly recently; he 'seemed a genial and light hearted little man, with a nice Scotch accent'.

Letter from Edward Marsh to R. C. Trevelyan

86 Walton St, S.W.3. - Thanks Bob for his "Translations [from Latin Poetry]"; thinks Bob's "Michael Angelo" is 'very fine', as is "The Setting of the Moon'; thinks he likes the Propertius best of the translations, and 'Ovid comes off very well'. Remembers Bob's 'retraction' in Eddie's favour of his 'dictum that the Odes were untranslatable', and wishes he could say Bob had changed his own mind about Catullus; afraid he still thinks him 'quite uncapturable', though Bob's "Sirmio" [Catullus 31] is 'charming'. Is 'rather baffled' by Bob's Lucretian hexameters: he seems to 'have coquetted rather half-heartedly with [Robert] Bridges' "Quantities"'. Tiberianus must be an 'enchanting poet'; had never heard of him before. Is sending Bob a 'little book' he 'brought out under duress' the year before last ["Minima", see 15/316], which is 'beautifully produced, but far too expensive'; has just 'salvaged a few copies of the huge "remainder" to give away'. Is proud of his Milton imitations, but the 'rest are nugatory'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Edward Marsh

Originally enclosing a copy of the petition for [Thomas] Sturge Moore. They have got [Gilbert] Murray to sign, and he thinks also [H.A.L.?] Fisher; they are trying to get [Arthur?] Balfour. Bob would like to get [Robert] Bridges, [Edmund] Gosse and [Thomas] Hardy; this copy would do for Gosse too if there is a chance of him signing. Thinks [Laurence] Binyon or [Henry] Newbolt is approaching Bridges. Thinks Eddie said [Siegfried] Sassoon knew Hardy well; has another copy of the petition if he thinks it is worthwhile asking Sassoon to try. They now have letters from [John] Masefield, [George Bernard] Shaw, Lascelles [Abercrombie], [John] Drinkwater and Gordon [Bottomley], and [William Butler] Yeats is sure to send one too. Sorry that he could not come to Eddie's prize-giving; it seems 'a very good choice'. Has told the Shoves to send Eddie Fredegond's latest poems. Sees that a number of Civil List Pensions have just been announce, and fears this may make it more difficult to get one for Sturge Moore.

Letter from Louise MacCarthy to R. C. Trevelyan

8 Cheyne Gardens, Chelsea, S.W. - Is very sorry Desmond has kept Trevelyan waiting so long for an answer; wishes he would let her be his secretary, as she could have done everything with no trouble and real pleasure. Expects Desmond has done some if not all. Longs to read Trevelyan's "Polyphemus". Thinks she can answer about the cheque with a 'yes', Desmond got it, and will have got all the copies together. Mr [Robert] Bridges received his copy, and Trevelyan's 'other friend' another, but Desmond may well have put off sending the rest; when he returns on Saturday she will help him to get everything done. Will have the first copy bought for Mr Sturge Moore if he has not sent it. Desmond's lecture was 'good & clever' and went well. Is angry with the 'bad behaviour' of the Germans in England and does not even want to read Goethe; is glad Trevelyan is reading Tasso. Would very much like Mrs Trevelyan to visit so that she can get to know her; will try to get Donald Tovey. Has been to visit the Lakes; found them very beautiful. Trevelyan must not be too angry with Desmond.

Letter from Marie Busch to R. C. Trevelyan

147 Willifield Way, Golders Green, N.W.11. - [Irene] Cooper Willis has sent her the cuttings [about the death of Helena 'Nellie' Swanwick]; she has read them to their 'old friend' Henry Swadling [former manservant to the Sickert family] and now returns them. He could not find the last letter which Nellie [Swanwick] wrote to him, but will send it to her when he does. Has read [Robert Bridges'] "Testament of Beauty", which she only partly understands but likes what she can grasp of it; for the first time in her life she is 'getting closer to Shakespeare', and she is re-reading ["The Tale of"] Genji with pleasure.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Edward Marsh

Hotel Scapolatielli, Corpo di Cava (written on printed notepaper for the Hôtel de Londres, Gênes - crossed out). - Marsh's letter gave Bob much pleasure, since the 'stupid people at Naples' have not yet sent his first on; his address 'hints fascinating suggestions of rustic English scenery, and milk drunk and mild-maids beflirted in dairies'. Asks if Marsh is alone, or whether this letter is '"solus ad solum", as Flaubert used to write to Maxime Ducamp'. Read [William?] Archer's review of the plays produced by the Independent Theatre [Society] in the "Pall Mall Budget", and supposes it was 'in some slight degree inspired by' Marsh's; hopes this 'wonderful pale-faced black-haired [man: Lugné-Poe, see 15/322]' will still be in London when he returns at the end of the month; asks if it was Titian's portrait of Ariosto Marsh was reminded of. Has read Maeterlinck's "Intruse"; did not feel anything strongly for the writer, but would not like to have written the play: did not think the 'poetical or romantic element to which realism was totally sacrificed... was not quite good enough', that Maeterlink was 'not the right man to do it well, but that he could imaging 'a real poet doing something very wonderful in that line'. Glad Oswald [Sickert] 'has seen the last of those Beautiful Englanders' ["Beautiful Britain", published by the Werner Company]; remembers Marsh talking about Sickert's second novel a while ago and thought he had said it was finished, so asks whether this is a third. Asks whether [Stanley] Makower's book is out yet.

Marsh seems 'to have been going the round of our distinguished men pretty thoroughly'; makes Bob 'writhe with envy to read your account; would particularly like to see [Robert] Bridges, and means to make Roger [Fry], Bridges' nephew, take him one day. Has a book of Bridges' verse with him here, which is 'very readable and at times very beautiful'; Fry is 'enthusiastic' about him, and reads Bob passages aloud from "Prometheus [the Firegiver]"; Bob thinks 'a calmness and gentleness of tone and harmony about him... seems to make him a sort of painters poet'; hopes Marsh was 'not badly shown up' for his 'neglect' of Bridges' recent books. A man called [Henry Charles] Beeching lives with Bridges [he in the Rectory at Yattendon, Bridges in the manor house there; Beeching married Bridge's niece] and 'has just published a volume of milky poetry for which Roger has done a frontispiece' ["In a Garden and Other Poems"]; Roger says they quarrel with each other 'off and on in a mild chronic sort of way'. Asks whether Marsh saw Beeching.

Is living an 'ideal sort of life here'; describes his daily routine of exercise, study and meals; he eats omelettes, risotto, 'some wonderful things they call fritelli', for which he gives instructions and states his intention to continue making them in England. His work is 'just as mysterious' to himself as it is to Marsh; does not have the 'faintest idea what it is going to turn out' as; the plot is a 'puzzle' to him, the style is he knows 'vicious and unnatural as a rule' though he hopes it is good sometimes, and the important thing is to get it finished. Has the greatest difficulty finding names for his characters; his hero is called Benedict, 'an awfull name... which mercifully shortens into Bendy'. Badly wants a name for 'a sort of Jim Stephen who has not gone mad' but has achieved nothing due to 'an incorrigible laziness and want of enterprise'; he is in danger of losing his wife to the hero. Bob was just creating a character called Paul who was turning out 'without my intending it, uncommonly like you'; Marsh's letter has made him realise with 'horror' what he was doing and he may have to take Paul out. The character is engaged to a very charming girl who is like someone Bob knows. Hopes to be back in England in about three weeks; intends to 'plunge into an incredible carreer of gluttony [sic] and Pantegruelizing'.

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