Mill House, Westcott, Dorking. - He and Bessie send many thanks to his father for the 'duck and hare': they did not realise until they received his mother's letter [11/109] that he had shot the hare himself. They had it for dinner yesterday: George and Janet were visiting, and have just left, both seemed 'very well and cheerful'. George 'seems relieved to get the history [his England under the Stuarts] off his mind'; has been reading the chapter on Queen Anne and it 'seems very good', though George is dissatisfied and thinks it 'too sketchy'. He can always 'treat the subject more elaborately someday' if he wishes. Thinks the book should be successful.
Last time they were at the [new] house, ten days ago, the roof was being finished, almost a fortnight earlier than expected. They have been making arrangements for some of the work on the garden to be done this winter: a 'trained lady-gardener... is to be responsible for the work'. The house looks good and has been 'well built'; since no alterations to the plans have been needed so far, there ought not to be any extra expense.
The 'Sunday Tramps, led by George' came for tea yesterday: 'young [Thoby] Stephen, and J. Pollock, and [George?] Barger, a Dutchman, and [Sydney] Waterlow, and R. Mayor'. All but Mayor are tall, and in their 'rather low rooms they seemed to Bessie like giants; they have never had 'so many and tall people' in the house together. Encloses two Chinese poems; the 'longer one, by a kind of Chinese Horace' was suggested to Robert by his father shooting ducks, but he sees from 'Professor Giles' translations' that it is actually geese; the rest of that poem 'scarcely applies' to his father, but the shorter, 'one Retirement', may. Understands that the translations are 'fairly literal, though the metres of the originals are quite different'. He and Bessie both send love, and Bessie thanks Caroline for her letter. Robert's book [The Birth of Parsival] has already been printed, though probably will not come out till February.
Separate sheet on which two poems [from Giles' Chinese Poetry in English Verse] are copied out: Discontent by Han Yü [title not copied out] and In Retirement by Li Chia-yu.