Has just got Bessie's letter: as Mr Orchard says this is 'the best solution', and Julian agrees, it had 'better be done as soon as possible'. Has been 'rather poorly' but is now much better, and is hoping to go to Cambridge on 15 or 16 February. Mr McEvoy seems pretty well, but is going back to hospital next week. Bob's book ["Translations from Greek Poetry"] is out; he has sent copies to Dora Sanger, Mary Fletcher, and the Bluths. Hopes Bessie is getting better.
Addressed to Bessie at 36 Brunswick Gardens, London W.8. - Very glad that Bessie is 'going along well'; hopes it will now get less cold. Mr MacEvoy is home for a few days break between treatment. Has not been too well himself, and has stayed in during the bad weather, but is much better today. Ursula [Wood or Mommens?] came to tea yesterday; Dilston [Radclyffe?] has just been to lunch.
Has not written for a few days, but has not had much news; all 'pretty well in spite of the cold'; hopes Bessie has been able to continue her 'short walks'. Went to Leith Hill Place yesterday and had a 'delightful talk' with [Leslie] Hotson, the 'scholar who has so many documents about Shakespeare and Marlow and their contemporaries'; used to know him in the Quakers Mission in France during the First World War, and he was also an old friend of Lascelles and Catherine [Abercrombie]. The Times Lit[erary] Supplement is sending him a book of translations from Greek poetry by F. L. Lucas for review ["Greek Poetry for Everyman"]; 'sure to be interesting', and much of it probably good; will keep him occupied for 'some time'. Thinks he has told Bessie about the dinner the [Apostles'] Society are giving in honour of him, George and Desmond [MacCarthy]; they have promised not to make Bob give a speech, so he can enjoy his dinner. May be his last visit to [George and Janet] at the Lodge [since George's time as Master of Trinity is nearly over]. Will see Humphry and G.E. M[oore]. Hopes to visit Bessie again soon when it is 'not quite so cold'. Wrote to Bertie [Russell] recently. Asks to be remembered to K.T. B[luth] and Theo.
41 Queen's Road, Richmond, Surrey. - Is very sorry, but does not have time [to visit] at present: has a 'spate of articles' for America, as well as some BBC broadcasts. Very much enjoyed his visit, and wishes he could come again.
Hopes Bessie is settled in to her new room, and feeling better; hopes to visit on Thursday or Friday next week, weather permitting. Simmonds came this morning; he has a new spare part and will 'put the pelapone [sic?] engine right as soon as possible'; hopes it then will run for two or three more years; is anxious they should buy the temporary engine to have in reserve and will write to Bessie about it.
Okewood Hill House, Ockley, Surrey; addressed to Elizabeth at 34 Brunswick Gardens, London, W.8. - Thanks Elizabeth for the letter he received from her yesterday. Is glad to hear of the improvement in her health, which he thought 'inevitable' if she could 'only have the complete rest and change' gained from a London nursing home. Has not had a further medical report on McEvoy and does not expect to get one until his current course of treatment is finished; does not think however that he will be fit to do full time work as the Trevelyan's gardener again. Will not mention to Mrs McEvoy that Elizabeth has written to him, and will explain to her that her husband is unlikely to be able to do further serious work. Has seen Robert Trevelyan on a few occasions since Elizabeth went away, and thinks he is generally keeping well, though he is 'of course rather forgetful and apt to worry over trifles'.
Thanks for Bessie's letter and 'all the enclosures'; will keep some and burn others. Has heard nothing about Joan [Allen], who hoped to visit before she returned to France on 11 Jan, but the telephones here and at Hurtwood House have been out of order; perhaps she may still ring up. Hopes the Brunswick Gardens [nursing] Home will be comfortable, the staff nice, and the room quite. Thanks Bessie for sending back Desmond [MacCarthy's] review and the other letters; Desmond should not have reviewed Bob's Leopardi pamphlet since it was privately printed and not for sale; asks Bessie not to show the book to friends for a few days. All quite well here; Mr Symonds has 'put [them] right for light and heat for the present' and will write soon to Bessie. Will visit when she is settled in the new home. Mr McEvoy seems better after his Christmas holiday. So glad Bessie is recovering, and does not feel the cold too much. Puts Joan's address into a postscript, but does not think Bessie would find her there.
Very glad to hear that all is well; hopes Mrs Fenwick Jones is better and able to come to Bessie. All 'pretty well' here, except Mr MacEvoy, who is 'at any rate cheerful'. Is going this afternoon 'with Valery to the Leith Hill Place party'. Has heard that Joan [Allen] is back home; she will come on Tuesday for tea. Will come to London by car to see Bessie and then pick up Catherine [Abercrombie]; thinks he should get to the nursing home before lunch.
Hopes that all is well, and that Mrs J. Fenwick's cold is better. Has been talking to Miss Goddard; they think Bob should go in the car to London next Thursday to bring back Catherine [Abercrombie]; he could read the Leopardi to Bessie. Would bring up Miss Goddard, who could look after Bessie if Miss Jones still had her cold. Does not know how this would fit in with Bessie's own arrangements for visits from friends or medical treatments, but hopes it would suit. He would take Miss Goddard to the nursing home, talk to Bessie, and leave Miss Goddard there while he perhaps visited Lady Daniel; would then come in the car with Catherine to pick up Miss Goddard. Is 'so much looking forward' to seeing Bessie again. All 'well and harmonious here'; encloses a letter from G[eorge] M[acaulay] T[revelyan] and some others; is keeping most cards and letters in a box. His 'Greek book' ["Translations from Greek Poetry"] is 'out at last'; will bring Bessie a copy.
Gorringes, Downe, Kent. - He and his wife thank Bob and Bessie for the 'charming' poems [this year's "From the Shiffolds"]: 'so regular & pleasant a part of Christmas'. Afraid he knew nothing beforehand of Leopardi, but now thinks him a 'very fine fellow', unless 'all the goodness' in truth comes from Bob. Philip [Bob's grandson] is here for Christmas 'very big & jolly with... [an] accent of the most bucolic character'. Thinks he is going to see his father [Julian] after Christmas. Philip is 'longing' for it to snow, a desire Bernard does not share.
Very glad that Bessie is 'comfortable and doing well'. Mr MacEvoy went yesterday; 'he seemed cheerful, and so did she'; admires 'their way of taking it very much'. They [Catherine Abercrombie and Bob] came back from Leith Hill Place this morning; he is quite well, and sleeps through the night. Will be good to see Bessie again; could come up to town and visit next week, on 14 or 15 December; asks what time would be best to call. Julian and Mary came on Sunday, and seemed 'quite cheerful and happy'.
Metelliano. - Has been unable to write to Trevelyan, who has been to Wallington, sooner due to travel and congresses. Was a pleasure to spend time at the Shiffolds with him and Bessie, and to find him better than expected; also enjoyed his time in Edinburgh and Holland, though nothing about his three days in Belgium pleased him. Was summoned home due to a sudden deterioration in Ebe's sight; is afraid she is going blind. Going to stay with B.B. [Berenson] at Vallombrosa, where he will see Kenneth Clark, then will go to Rome. Has read Gathorne Hardy's book on Logan [Pearsall Smith]; thought it interesting and probably truthful, but that Gathorne Hardy did not come across very well, and that there was 'something peevish and not quite crystalline' in his attitude.
The White Gates, Dorking, Surrey. - Had 'not seen anything about the proposed closing down of the [BBC] Third Programme'. Thinks it must 'improve a lot' before they make 'serious efforts' to save it; finds almost as much music he wants to listen to on the Home Service, and even sometimes on the Light [Programme]. The 'Third Programme people are much too fond of dreary 17th and 18th century music' which may interest 'the antiquarian and the musicologist but has no real artistic value', while their speakers need to 'learn the elements of English elocution': they should 'take lessons from Desmond McCarthy [sic] or Gilbert Murray'. Very interested to know that Bessy also used to play Raff's "Cavatina" when young.
Wallington. - Is staying in the 'Blackett' room next to Molly and Charles; Catherine [Abercrombie] is in his old bedroom over the library. Went to the Gibbet yesterday. On Friday they are going to tea with Geoffrey [Young]; unfortunately Len will not be there. Had tea with Edith Bulmer yesterday. Glad Ada is 'well and cheerful'. Has written to [Wilfrid] Gibson about 'Gibson [sic: a slip of the pen for 'Geraldine'] - rather a difficult letter to write'.
Wallington. - Very sorry to hear about Geraldine Gibson; '[Wilfrid] was so dependent on her. Who will look after him now?'. Has had a letter from Down, Scott and Down which he encloses and asks Bessie to keep for him; is writing to ask them to pay the money to him rather than her, since it is due to him and he has an overdraft at Drummonds. Elsa Richmond is staying; she is 'very deaf now' and he finds her 'difficult to talk to'. Hopes to see Edith B[ulmer] today or tomorrow, as well as Geoffrey and Len [Winthrop Young].
Wallington. - The [Cambo] Exhibition went quite well, with only a couple of short rain-storms; watched the sheep-dog trials, and went through the tent which was full of exhibits. Today is wet, but not cold; he is well 'with less tickles [from eczema]'. Catherine [Abercrombie] also seems all right, and is sleeping well. Has not yet seen Edith Bulmer, but has arranged to visit her tomorrow. Geoffrey Young and Len had to go south to see a very ill friend, but they will probably return tomorrow. Geoffrey Trevelyan is here with his child and Gillian; likes 'him a lot, her rather less so'. Liked Clough W. Ellis very much; he 'drew out Charles to talk, and did something to cheer up George'. Sorry to miss Julian and Mary; hopes they will come again soon;; sad about Hogarth. Does not think his spectacles are ready, but Catherine has heard from Odell's about hers; they will pick them up on their way home through London.
Wallington. - Went to Hallington yesterday for tea; afraid Janet was 'no better, in fact noticeably less well' than when he saw her last, though she tried to be cheerful; she was 'very nervouse [sic] with her hands in a way that was new, and told me the same thing over again'. Clough Williams Ellis was 'very agreeable' and cheered George up a little, he also got Charles to talk; sorry he has gone this morning. The house is not noisy, considering there are 'three or four children in it at present'. Hopes all well at the Shiffolds; asks when the Bluths are coming and whether they are still at Cambridge. No reading aloud here at the moment, so he and Catherine [Abercrombie] sometimes read "Pride and Prejudice". Charles is 'much more affable than he used to be'. It is the Cambo Exhibition, which may involve 'a lot of tiring standing about'. Very glad Ada is at the Shiffolds. Hopes Bessie could make out [Gaetano] Salvemini's address; she should ring up Alys Russell, who will know it, if not; he knows it is 'Miss Massie', but not her initials so cannot look her up.
Wallington. - Bessie will have got his postcard saying they [he and Catherine Abercrombie] had a good journey; they are now 'having a pleasant time' despite bad weather. Going to Hallington this afternoon. Clough Williams Ellis and his wife came yesterday; they are both 'good company'; there are 'no other grown ups' except Gillian Trevelyan, with her baby. She is 'quite nice, and gets on with everybody'. The children are sometimes noisy, but there are not many of them. The Deed of Conveyance came this morning, which he will sign and send back to Down, Scott and Down today or tomorrow. Will be good to see [Gaetano] Salvemini again; thinks Thursday 31st will be a good day to do so. Glad Ada is with Bessie, and 'in better health'; sends his love to her. Will write tomorrow after seeing George and Janet [at Hallington]. Charles is 'cheerful'; they have played chess, and Bob won. Catherine has not suffered from the journey, but feels the cold; they have a fire all day in the library. Is quite well, 'in spite of tickles [from eczema]'.
1, Route de Canigou, Prades. - The Prades Bach Festival was very moving: the atmosphere and the perfect collaboration of all his colleagues gave him great joy. Is happy to hear about the Röntgen family.
Hotel Prince de Galles, Avenue George V, Paris. - Sorry that Bob is unwell and unable to travel as far as Florence; comments on old age. His stay in Paris is an experiment: if he stands it well, he may try visiting London in spring or autumn next year. So far his stay is going wonderfully, with several exhibitions to attend.
Ffestiniog, N Wales. - Wishes he had written in time for the Trevelyans' golden wedding anniversary. Remembers her coming to see them in Downing during the Boer War; she and Bob are about his only old friends 'who still survive and are still my friends'. Wishes he could have visited before going to Australia, but there is no time; will not have anyone with him there so it will be laborious. Feels like 'the man who beat his head repeatedly against the wall, because it was such a pleasure to stop'.
Penralltgoch, Llan Ffestiniog, Merioneth. - Will come to the Shiffolds as soon as he can, but probably only for a day. Is going to Australia soon and is busy preparing lectures. Is sorry about Bob, and that she says nothing of herself; cannot bear to think of Bob 'hardly ever laughing - it is a challenge! I will make him'.
Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - They have written to Dr McKenna to see if he can see Bob on Thursday afternoon; would start home from there around 5 pm if so. Will let Bessie know as soon as possible; meanwhile the eczema seems 'a good deal better'. Kitty has gone hiking with a friend, leaving the children here. Molly's laryngitis is 'very much better'. Went to tea [with the Winthrop Youngs] at the Two Queens, which was 'very pleasant'. Charles is 'cheerful and active', and is reading "Middlemarch" to them in the evenings, which he does very well. They have seen Edith Bulmer sever times; she is worried about her boy, Martin, who 'is always getting bad colds and coughs'; she sends Bessie her love. Hopes the Bluths are well; sends his love. Hopes that Mrs MacEvoy is well, and sends 'kind remembrances' to her, Miss Goddard, and Mrs Young.
Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland. - Cold weather here, with some rain and hail, but the house is 'kept fairly warm'. Kitty left this morning; her children stay here. Marjorie's children are 'nice but noisy, talk the whole time, but are charming and amusing'. Going to tea tomorrow to say goodbye to the Youngs. Catherine [Abercrombie] was driven by a friend to Edinburgh, and stayed a night with [her son] David. [Claude] Colleer Abbott is coming on 18 April for the night. Molly's laryngitis is better, but she needs to be careful not to talk too much. Very glad the Bluths are better; asks Bessie to give them his love. Is better himself in general, 'but it is a slow business'; the 'lotion bottle' and parcel arrived all right.
The Shiffolds [this is an error for Wallington]. - Very glad to hear from Bessie's letter that her 'oily difficulties are solved'. His legs are much better, but there is still some eczema on the thighs and arms. Very glad that Morgan Forster is recovering, if slowly. Does not know if he can find a quotation for him [for the libretto of "Billy Budd", see 3/83], but when he returns home to his books he will try; agrees it should not matter whether it is a real quotation. The paper Bessie sent was not an income tax receipt, but a tithe receipt. Went to tea at the Two Queens' yesterday; Geoffrey and Len [Winthrop Young] were both very pleasant, and they hope to see them again. Catherine [Abercrombie] is going by bus to Edinburgh to stay the night with [her son] David one day next week. Kitty's Elizabeth and Catharine arrived this morning, and he thinks Kitty and Erika come on Monday. Things 'seem to go smoothly here'; Charles is 'cheerful'; Molly's laryngitis is much better; Catherine sends love to Bessie. Hopes the Bluths will be able to come; later on if he [Karl] is not better.
Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland. - Bessie's 'long letter' came this morning. All well here; his eczema is better. Hopes Bessie's 'oily and pipy troubles are over'. Not much news in Hank [Röntgen]'s letter, except that they have moved to a house in Scheveningen they like better than the old one; she and Frantz have got Bessie's letters, and she will write soon. [Claude] Colleer Abbott will probably come to Wallington for a night on 17 or 18 Apr. They [Bob and Catherine Abercrombie] are coming back on the 10 o clock Newcastle train; asks if Charman's car can meet them.
4 Crabbe Street, Aldeburgh. - Convalescence [after a prostate operation] has been slow, but he is now improving. Asks for suggestions of a classical author whom Vere could read and refer to in the "Billy Budd" libretto. The opera goes on well. Sends love to Bessie, who visited him in the nursing home. Stayed for a time at the Buckinghams, then Ben Britten drove him and May Buckingham to Aldeburgh. May has now returned.