Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland. - Good to hear from Elizabeth [about Ravello]; sure 'the two elderly gentlemen' will be pleased to have them at meals; hopes she does not walk alone in 'very wild parts' because of 'wild dogs and uncultivated natives'. George has had his friend Robertson to stay and has just 'walked him off to Reedsmouth' in a downpour to meet his bag and go on to Carlisle. Has been busy with last arrangements and interviews; they leave by the early train on Thursday. Booa [Mary Prestwich] has left for Welcombe today. Sir George has been well recently but has just got a cold. Glad Elizabeth is going on with the translation, and looks forward to reading it; always thinks it 'foolish to spend time in translating french books, as everyone can read french', but very few people read Dutch. '[V]ery cheerful that the Liberals have 'won the Newmarket [by]election most triumphantly' [candidate Charles Rose]. Charles has not yet returned from Scotland; seems to be having a good time. Asks to be remembered to Mrs Reid and Madame Palumbo; asks if 'the old man at the Capucini at Amalfi' is still alive.
Irish Office, Gt. Queen St, S.W. [headed notepaper] - Sends this 'by way of a Valentine'; glad Bob was first in his Latin class.
On headed notepaper for Trinity College, Cambridge:- Had a 'very good journey', and is here with all his belongings. Is well, but has 'not got into [his] work thoroughly yet'. Everybody is now here, but there is no real news. Is 'probably coming to town on Monday', but will not stay the night. Hopes his father is well, and 'that the councils of the nation are prospering'. Is 'glad that Mr Gladstone has put his foot down on Pharaoh, so that even the Tories have to applaud'. Leaburn[?] is well, and [Eddie] Marsh will go to him next term. Will write a 'longer and more respectable letter next Sunday'.
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.
Informs her that they have posts there [in Keswick] occasionally, if she wishes to write. Writes a list of 'pros and cons' in relation to their accommodation. Concludes that on the whole 'it is the best situation in Borrowdale: and therefore in the English Lakes: and therefore, for short mountain walks, in the World'. Admits to not liking the scenery as much as he did three years previously, and thinks that neither does William, but concedes that the scenery is beautiful.
Reports that they have met Edmund Fisher and his wife, 'who is nice and prettyish'. Announces that he reviewed a poem called Ludibria Lunae in the Spectator. It is a satire on the efforts to emancipate women from their subjection, and he claims to have tried to be as stinging as he could, without showing that he had lost his temper. Announces that they expect [G. O.] Trevelyan soon, and that he is to be married on 24 September. Reports that William 'does not seem unwell particularly', but his sleeping has not improved as much as they had hoped. Sends his love to Edward and the children. Asks if she heard that F[rederic] Fisher was engaged to his Bishop's daughter [Agnes, daughter of the Bishop of London, John Jackson].
Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - Julian is well; he says Wallington is 'a nice warm little house' whereas the Shiffolds is cold. He has gone to Cambo this morning; Charlie arrived yesterday and Mary, who was staying at Wallington, has gone home with him. Hopes Elizabeth's guests [Catherine Abercrombie and her baby?] are well and do not give her trouble. Asks if Robert is returning soon; he will find it dreary where he is if it rains. Sir George is well and very busy; good that his book is done. Graham has made Julian a 'little besom to sweep the leaves with'. Thinks Mrs Evans is good with him, but 'she is a talker'.
Trin[ity College] Cam[bridge - on college notepaper]:- Should have written before to thank his father for the wine, which 'will last... some time' and is 'better than most of the wine which people have here'. Georgie 'enjoyed his visit very much'; they 'went down to see the boats [race?] in the afternoon', and to 'hear the end of the competition for the [Winchester] reading prize', just won by O'Rorke.
Thinks the 'new Cambridge paper' is 'not good enough, and... pretty sure to fail'; is very glad that he is 'only nominally connected with it'. Saw [Dorothy crossed through] Mrs Stanley at the Myers' and is 'going to call on them [the Stanleys?] next Sunday. Lendrum is coaching him again this term, and wants him to go to Germany in the summer to learn the language, which he says is 'indispensable for being a scholar'; this will 'want thinking about, to say the least'. Hears things are 'not as they should be in some of the Northumberland states': would be a 'great pity' if they [the Liberals] lose any of them. As far as he can tell from the newspapers, politics 'seem very stupid now'.
Welcombe, Stratford upon Avon. - Amused by Elizabeth's letter, and glad Robert is returning so soon. Both Lord Welby and Lord Davey are 'very good talkers', and Lady Davey is 'charming' so their visit has been very pleasant; she tells Caroline that there is a house to be let at Fernhurst called "Ropes"; just built, by a Miss Coats, who now thinks there is 'not enough view & is going to build another'. Lady Davey also says that Blackdown Cottage is very damp and has no foundations; Mrs Frederic Harrison [Ethel Harrison] was 'very ill there with Rheumatic gout' and two people died in the house while they lived there. Likes to think of Elizabeth and Robert both at home again, 'with the good Enticknaps'. S[idney?] Colvin is not coming; she is glad as the 'row in Stratford seems to be growing, & he is in it' while they wish to keep out of it. Was very good to have Elizabeth to visit them; Sir George sends his love, and 'much appreciated' the letter from Robert.
Translations of Virgil's "Aeneid" Book 6 and Homer's "Odyssey" book 9. Notes [of possible topics for autobiography] on first page, for example 'G[eorge] O[tto] T[revelyan] and Palgrave - Keats. G.O.T. and Churchill'.
[headed notepaper] Secretary for Scotland, Dover House, Whitehall. - Robert's letter interested him very much and pleased him and Caroline. No need to settle anything until he hears from Mr Verrall, but is anxious only 'to do what is best for [Robert's] happiness and usefulness' and is not 'wedded to any plan' which his heart is not in; thinks people who have proved their right should have a choice in their own careers, and Robert has stated his case very well. Charles has been elected unanimously to Brooks's, which is 'the most formidable ordeal of the sort in London'; the Unionists were 'very kind and friendly about it'. A postscript notes that Sir George has sent the forty pounds and eleven shillings to Mortlocks [bank].
Brieg [Brig-Glis]. - The [Italian] lakes did not suit Sir George and his rheumatism was bad for a few days; they had good weather at Menaggio and Baveno; Friday was wet, but they went to Domodossola. Had a 'splendid' day yesterday driving over the Simplon [Pass]; they stop at Brig today then tomorrow go to Zermatt as the hotels at Saas Fee, where they had intended to go, are not yet open. Booa 'enjoyed herself immensely' yesterday, and is 'rejoicing' to be back in Switzerland. Hopes that Elizabeth and Robert will be able to show her the foundations [of their new house] if she comes to visit them. Will not be away later than 26 June. Good of Robert to look through the proofs of George's book ["England Under The Stuarts"]; looks forward to seeing his article soon. Odd to be away from letters and papers for a while. Asks if Elizabeth has had any music since Whitsun. Does not think the northern Italians sing much, but there was some 'pretty, gay, playing' in the evenings at Basseno. Has been sketching a little and feels idle. Would like to 'bring home' some of the Swiss cows which 'look so clean and clever', and come to drink in the fountain in the square twice a day. Elizabeth must tell Gussie [Enticknap] that if he were a Swiss boy he would have to mind the goats on the hillside and 'do all his school-going in the winter'. Asks if they have had any other visitors or 'gaieties'.
Mill House, Westcott, Dorking. - Thanks his father for his letter [12/77] and for sending the second five hundred pounds: his and Caroline's 'kindness will have been of great importance', as without it he and Elizabeth would 'not at all have been able to build the house as [they] wanted'. The weather remains good, which is favourable 'as the roof ought to be begun in a week or two'.
They are going to spend tonight with Mr [Ernest Penrose] Arnold, who has lately retired to Godalming; has not seen him 'for years' except very briefly this year, and will be glad to see him and his wife again. Bessie is 'playing the viol d'amore in two pieces at a Dolmetsch concert here next Wednesday'. She is not going abroad at the end of the week: she did not think it worthwhile, since 'the Grandmonts are leaving Holland on the first of October'. They are disappointed that Bessie's friend Miss Halbertsma cannot come abroad with them this winter; maybe it will be possible another time, as she would have liked to if she had been able.
Has just received his mother's letter; sends thanks. Is glad 'little Cacciola [presumably a relative of Salvatore Cacciola, husband of Florence Trevelyan; perhaps Cesare Acrosso?] enjoyed his visit at Wallington'; they 'like him better than his uncle, though no doubt he is not such a character'. The eruption of Vesuvius seems 'very bad': if the cone falls in, as is feared, there 'may be some great catastrophe, as it will block up the crater, and have to be blown out again somehow or other, and nobody knows what might happen then'.
Hears his parents had a 'large dinner party' recently; is 'sorry to have missed [Herbert] Craig', whom he used to know 'quite well'; hopes he will win his seat, which he thinks is Sir George's old one, as he 'ought to be a very good Member of Parliament'. Supposes George's book [England under the Stuarts] will be out soon; looks forward to reading the 'last half'. Sends love to his mother, and will write to her soon.
Cadenabbia. - Got engaged this morning to Janet Ward. Everyone 'who is most nearly concerned is very pleased', and when they meet her Elizabeth and Robert will be no exception. The wedding will not be until next spring, and the news will be a secret for a month or so; they can, however, ask his parents and Charles more about it and about Janet since he himself must be away for the next three weeks. His housemates Hilton Young and Robin Mayor also know about it, as do 'dear Theo [Llewelyn Davies] and Booa [Mary Prestwich]'. He and Janet are very much in love.
Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - Sorry that Elizabeth is having so much trouble with Julian; expects he 'likes his old nurse best', and resembles Robert in not being able to 'bear a change'; unlucky that he is also unwell. Elizabeth need not worry about deciding whether they should visit Wallington yet. It is very cold, but the house is warm and comfortable; perhaps the doctor should be asked if the change of air would be good. Hopes C[harles] and M[ary] will cheer her up - they will be 'excited about politics' - and that Elizabeth will be able to keep Nurse Catt a while longer so that things can settle. Sir George is anxious that she should not feel 'bound' to come to Wallington. Sees that '[Bessie's] old Judge is ill, & his old Report coming out!'.
Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland. - Has looked through three volumes of the "Yellow Book" and agrees with Robert that there is 'a certain collective energy and enthusiasm' which makes all the contributors 'do more vigourously [sic], or at any rate more oddly, what they regard as their ideal'; [Henry] James's two stories are very strong; [Walter] Sickert's illustrations 'most curious - in a way better than Beardsley's. The Charles Adamses, 'a pleasant couple', are staying; he is enthusiastic about going on to Flodden; he is seventy one, and his great grandfather [John Adams] was 'deeply interested in the world' up till the age of ninety. Charles Adams has seen bigger battles than Flodden, and was 'asleep in his saddle during Pickins's [sic: Pickett's Charge] at Gettysburg'. The 'Cambo folk' [Charles and Mary] are coming for lunch, with the [Malcolm?] Macnaghtens and 'all the babies'. In a postscript, notes that he has had another letter from [Theodore] Roosevelt, with 'three new spellings'.
Mill House, Westcott, Dorking. - Hopes his parents had a good time at Welcombe. He and Bessie were 'very glad' to see his mother in London: they had a 'pleasant evening with her, and at George's the next day'. They are going to London again tomorrow, and Robert will 'arrange about the publishing of [his] new play [The Birth of Parsival]'; in the afternoon, they will see Marlowe's Faustus, performed by the Elizabethan Stage Society. Bessie is well, and they are enjoying the weather and countryside, 'which is very beautiful this autumn'.
The situation with Russia [the Dogger Bank incident] 'seems very bad, especially this morning'; however, he thinks the two governments [Russian and British] will find a way to 'settle the matter, especially as the French government seems very anxious for peace'. Thanks his father for returning Dmitri Roudine, and is glad he found it interesting; perhaps it is 'not a perfect novel', but Robert thinks he likes it 'almost as much as any of Turgeneff's'.
They went last week to stay for two nights with Aunt Meg [Price] at Pen Moel, and had a 'very pleasant visit'; Robin was there 'and seemed much improved, though still very shy'. A 'young Trinity man' is there as his tutor, whom they liked. Also staying was 'Lady Macdonald, the wife of the Canadian "Dizzy" [Sir John Macdonald]'; she was 'rather amusing for a little, but not for long, as she is really very vulgar, though quite a kind good-natured person'. Reminded him of 'characters in Dizzy's novels. Perhaps she modelled upon them'.
Bertie Russell has been staying for two days and was 'very cheerful, as he is getting on now quite well with his work which is to revolutionize mathematics'; he 'got stuck' for almost a year and 'could not get on at all, which together with the Fiscal controversy depressed his spirits very much'. Sends love from both himself and Bessie to both his parents; Bessie thanks his mother for her letter.
Zermatt. - Thanks Elizabeth for her note and telegram; Caroline had written to 'the poor lady'. Glad the concert went well, and hopes next week will be good; Dolmetsch must appreciate Elizabeth playing. Zermatt suits Sir George very well and he is taking 'quite long walks'; they are staying an extra day, going to Martigny on Wednesday, then driving over the Tête Noire to Chamonix. They will spend three days there before travelling home, arriving in London on 25 June. Sir George is going up to Wallington; Caroline asks if she could visit Elizabeth and Robert on the way to Welcombe, bringing Pantlin, who could stay in the village. Glad Elizabeth is comfortable at Gr[osvenor] C[rescent]; hears Mrs Cooper [the cook] is back so hopes Elizabeth will take all her meals at home; she should also use the carriage, as Mary and Janet do. There are quite a few people here, but it must be 'horrible' in season.
Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland. - Agrees with Robert's view of Euripides, although he reads so much of him; discusses Macaulay's view of the "Iphigenia in Tauris". Has just finished [Aristophanes's] "Batrachoi" ["The Frogs"] with 'intense delight'. Has finished the 'American part' of his book [a volume of "The American Revolution"] and has one concluding chapter left to write. Will send Bessy a hare if he can get one. Would like to make [Goldsworthy Lowes] Dickinson a 'Special Commissioner of Road Traffic'].
Thanks his mother for her letter. Thinks Georgie has nearly recovered from his cold. Has received a letter from 'Grandpapa Philips', and will write to him today. There was meant to have been a [cricket] match with Bracknell last Thursday but it rained so they did not come; it also rained on Friday, so the match will now be next Monday. Robert is in the eleven, at square leg. Has not got a cover for his bat, but can 'easily' get one by sending the measurements. Does not think Georgie wants any paper, as Robert 'can rule the un-ruled paper' for him; Robert would like a few stamps, as he has not got many. Hopes 'Papa is nearly well, and will be able to come'.
Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - Glad they can hope to see Elizabeth; thinks it is the best thing, especially as she is keeping Nurse Catt, which is very good news; the other nurse cannot have been very clever or she would have made friends with [Julian]. Charlie calls him 'a superb little chap'; he and Mary will be glad it is settled. Asks Elizabeth to tell Nurse Catt how glad she is she is staying, and that the north country air will do her good. Asks her to let Maria know when to expect them [at Grosvenor Crescent]; discusses travel arrangements. Sir Charles Dalrymple and his daughter [Alice?] are visiting on the 24th, and some neighbours are coming to dinner, but otherwise they will be quiet. Geordie [George Lowthian Trevelyan] has recovered from chickenpox and the girls show no sign of it yet; they have not been to Wallington so Julian will be safe. Politics is very exciting; was 'very glad the Conference failed'. Elizabeth's Dutch paper has begun to arrive. Sure she has done the best thing about the nurse, even if Mrs Catt only stays a few months. Good for the Liberal party to have the R[ussell] Reas at Tannhurst [sic: Tanhurst]; fears Elizabeth cannot fight the seat this time. Asks Elizabeth in a postscript to send a telegraph with their arrival day, as she may want to go to Newcastle.
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, 'on 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.
Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - News of Julian, who 'evidently thought that it was an innovation [sic] not to find [Elizabeth] in the library', and Sir George, who is slightly unwell; thinks 'the excitement of the election' has over-tired him. Tomorrow it is the Rothley treat, and the Cambo treat is on Thursday. Hopes Elizabeth is having a good time at Rounton [Grange, home of the Bells]; misses her and loved having her for such a long stay.
Thanks his mother for her letter. Gave Mr A[rnold] the 'photograph of G[eorgie?], and he 'liked it very much. Mr Arnold says that it will be 'very convenient' for her to come on Saturday the 30th [May?]. Hopes that 'Papa will soon get well, and Grandpapa [Sir Charles Trevelyan?] too'. Georgie is very well, but 'has a slight cold'. Asks his mother when Molly is coming. There was a thunderstorm this afternoon. Has 'hardly seen a single butterfly yet'. There is going to be a [cricket] match against Bracknell on Thursday, and soon one against Mortimer; has got a new bat, which is 'a beauty'; it 'drives like anything, and is very light'.
Sketch under the signature, showing two people standing opposite each other, perhaps fencing [?].
Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland. - Weather also 'vile' here; hopes it will clear before the shoot on Saturday. When the shooting party leaves, will get his book ["The American Revolution"] finished. Also thinks that the Lords will try to pass the Education Bill and the Trades Disputes Bill (which will be harder), and 'throw out the Plural Voting Bill' which will make a row. Doubts whether the Unionist leaders can prevent their men from voting against the government. Will be pleased to see Robert's poem. Macaulay thinks the "Rhesus" to be older than Euripides.
Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - Sorry that the journey to Rounton was 'so agitating'. Mary has written to say the wedding went well; Elizabeth's account is amusing. Expects she misses Julian, but they are glad to have him for a little longer at Wallington; he has been playing with his toys then was happy for Hearne [the butler] to carry him upstairs. Hopes Elizabeth and Robert have a good Christmas Day; asks to be remembered to the Enticknaps; hopes Gussie got home safely. Will be nice if Elizabeth comes to fetch Julian on Thursday. Sir George says there is a good review of Mrs [Janet] Ross in the "Nation"; she hopes Robert will lend her the book ["Lives of the early Medici as told in their correspondence"]
Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland. - Much obliged for the 'Bird book' ["The Bird in Song", edited by Robert Sickert"], which is a 'delightful collection'; has read Robert's poem ["The Lady's Bat"] with 'very great' pleasure, as well as the piece of Courthope's ["The Paradise of Birds"], Logan's "Cuckoo". Feels that 'Keats's unrhymed sonnet' is an omission; agrees that the letter to [John Hamilton] Reynolds is a 'charming effusion"; brief discussion of Keats. They have [E. V. Lucas and C. L. Graves's] "Signs of the Times" and have read it aloud; it is 'capital fun'. Likes to think of Bessie's sister being with her, and that Caroline is coming to visit. His recent work on the last two chapters of his book ["The American Revolution"] has been 'like beginning a new book', but he has 'got into it now'.
Mill House, Westcott, Dorking. - Thanks his mother and father for their letters; will reply to his father from abroad. The Chinese poems [see 46/102] were by Professor Giles, not him; one day he will bring the book [Giles' Chinese Poetry in English Verse] to Wallington, as some of its poems are 'very amusing, and others quite pretty'. Copies out one he might send to George, An Agnostic, by an anonymous poet, 'a contemporary of Voltaire'.
Thought George's article 'a little over-emphatic in places', but essentially agreed with it, and thought it 'much better written' than his previous articles in the Nineteenth Century, Heart of the Empire etc; is glad to see his book [England under the Stuarts] is getting good reviews. He himself plans to write 'a comedy... or else a comic prose story', although he may change his mind when he reaches Italy; he does not want to write 'any long serious poem or play'. They are glad Meg Booth can come out to Italy later; thinks she will 'prove an excellent companion'.
The [new] house is getting on well, and is now 'quite roofed'; they have been 'arranging for a more satisfactory approach by making the drive longer', which will cost more but 'be better in the end'. Will not decide finally until they have estimates. The Vaughan Williamses are not putting 'difficulties in the way' of their new plan, which is good. Bessie has made arrangements for some work to be done in the garden while they are away in Italy; she will write to Caroline as soon as they get there; their address will be care of Bernard Berenson at I Tatti. Bessie also thanks Booa [Mary Prestwich] for her letter, but is too busy packing now to reply; will write from Italy.
Thanks his mother for her letter. Gives the scores for a school cricket match against Mortimer yesterday, in which they were beaten; most of the Wixenford boys 'were ill during the last innings', and were all ill on the journey home and most during the night, though he and G[eorgie] are all right now. There is a match at Wixenford on the 24th against Hartley Row. Comments on the 'very good photograph of Spider'. Has received a letter from Archie, who has been unwell but has just gone back to Charterhouse. Bathing is beginning now. Is very glad that Molly has come back. 'Account all right'. Adds a postscript noting how hot the weather is; is 'glad Papa likes it, and is quite well'; the beginning of a request for his mother to send something is crossed through.
I Tatti, Settignano, Florence. - He and Bessie are just starting for Ravello, and will arrive tomorrow evening. The last few days' weather has been 'perfect', and they have had a 'very pleasant time with the Berensons'. They do not see much of Florence, since the house is some miles outside, but 'go in sometimes in the morning', and they see 'a good deal of amusing people, English, American, or Italian', who live in or near Florence. One day a 'future Henry James would find an excellent subject in a life of Berenson, after the memoirs of Story's life [a reference to James' William Wetmore Story and His Friends].
Has recently been reading Butler's Way of All Flesh, which might interest his father; perhaps it is 'rather depressing reading', but the 'satire on clergymen etc... is at times masterly. Butler was apt to be perverse and cranky', which comes out in the book, but it is 'very sincere' and has for Robert 'the fascination of a pyschologist's autobiography' as he imagines the book is 'autobiographical to a great extent', though expects 'the incidents... are mostly invented'.
Their [new] house seems to be getting on well; plans are now being made for the stables, which will be 'quite small'. Wonders whether his father's farmers 'will get a visit from the Tyneside wolf'; does not 'quite understand where his haunts are', but he supposes nearer Hexham than his father's lands. He and Bessie are both well, and looking forward to Ravello; mentions the sighting of a wolf by a friend walking in the mountains near there, which 'made off as fast as it could'. The few wolves left 'never seem to do any harm, at least they don't attack people'.
Asks his father to tell his mother that he took Fry's drawing of him to Hampstead, and that Fry 'will see what can be done for it. Mrs Fry seems very well again now'. The other day they went to see Mrs Ross, who 'sang some Tuscan songs on her guitar, with great vivacity and still with a good deal of voice left'. She always asks after his father. He and Bessie 'find her amusing, and rather like her, in spite of her being rather coarse and often very absurd'. They both send love, also to C[harles] and M[olly] if they are still at Wallington.