The Mill House, Westcott, Dorking. - Is glad that Bessie thinks their plan [to meet] so easy and that he 'overrated the difficulties' on her side; still thinks it may be better for him to go on to Italy after seeing her, saving the expense and 'beastliness' of two crossings and making him more likely to catch the Frys at Siena. Has always been able to work at Ravello, and doubts he will do much until he goes abroad. She must decide when he should come, and for how long; would like not to start before 11 November as he has promised to play [rugby] football then, but 'even the Sacred Olympian Games must give way , if necessary'. Says that he hates 'romance, at least in real life', and would not like her to be a 'Juliett, even if it were possible'; discusses Rostand's play "Les Romanesques", in which two lovers are not satisfied until their fathers fake a Romeo and Juliet style quarrel; thinks it more perfect than "Cyrano [de Bergerac]". Has not read "La Samaritaine"; thinks he would not care for it, as "[w]hen a Frenchman gets hold of J[esus] C[hrist] he usually makes him ridiculous", though it is 'bound to be clever and amusing'; Sanger saw 'Sally B [Sarah Bernhardt]' in it. Of Rostand's tragedies, has only read "La Princesse Lontaine"; thinks it a better play than "Cyrano". General thoughts about Rostand's plays and characters; he is 'a very charming person, and though dreadfully French [not] offensively so'. Glad Bessie liked his poem 'about Nothing at all' [see 9/80]; questions her objection to his translation of a line in the Ronsard poem, since she knows French much better than he does. The 'Indian poem' is part of a long one of which he has written the beginning and the fragment he sent; is not satisfied with it at all. Explains the correct English use of "shall" and "will". Has just seen an evening paper with an account of the disaster at Ladysmith [during the Second Boer War]; thinks it is the worst reverse the British army have had this century; resembles 'certain events in the War of American Independence' and this war is 'nearly as foolish and unnecessary'. Discusses possible results. Bessie is right that his father has fine eyes; thinks she would like him; he is very like Bob, 'only with more virtues and common sense, and fewer absurdities'.
Hotel & Pension Palumbo, Ravello, Golfo di Salerno. - Sets out his revised plans due to Bessie's aunt's continued illness again; 'very sad for her to be ill during the last few months [Bessie] will be with her', though the marriage could be put off if necessary. Even if the physical side of his feelings for her were not there, believes he would want to have her as a constant companion, which he cannot say even for 'his dearest friends such as Sanger and Fry and [Thomas Sturge] Moore'. Perhaps he should not separate these two aspects of his feelings; consideration of the way her personality seems to be 'always changing' slightly. Cuts off these 'lover's speculations', saying he should return to Mr Mudge [?]. Thinks that Mrs [Mary] Costelloe will not be back when he stays with [Bernard] Berenson, though he could not change his plans now, and does not want to have a breach with her. Has not done well with his play recently, but 'modified the plot somewhat' yesterday and thinks he will get on better now; will be able to read up on medieval manners and costumes on his return to England. Expects he will have to go to Welcombe even if Bessie does not come, and there is 'a fine French book on Medieval customs in the library'. Glad she was pleased by the beetle he sent her; likes 'little everything' as an endearment; knows the feeling that a dream is still real after waking. Hopes they have a nurse for her aunt now. Copies out his translation of the Swallow Song of Rhodes; it is not quite right yet and he needs a dictionary to check some of the words.
The Bri[tish] Mus[eum] Lib[rary]. - Is staying at Hare Court till Wednesday, when [Charles] Sanger starts for Greece; he is no better yet. Wrote to Aunt M[eg Price] about the piano suggesting 'delicately' that they might make an exchange [of an upright for a grand] one day; thinks it will be all right. Went on his bicycle to Dorking to see the Frys, and saw Laurence Binyon and another friend, with whom he went up Leith Hill. Has got on quite well with his play recently. Would like to see Bessie in her 'new spectacles, like a professor'; Curry & Paxton say Ambro [Hubrecht]'s spectacles are ready, asks whether he is to send them or bring them over. Thinks "Wuthering Heights" 'altogether more wonderful' than anything Charlotte [Bronte] wrote, though he does not 'depreciate Villette etc'. Forgot to take the measurements of the table but will as soon as he returns. Teases Bessie about her old fondness for 'the Sweedish [sic] Inst. doctor' [see 9/37]
3 Hare Court, Inner Temple, London E.C. - It is very good of her to see the matter [his father's wish that Sir Henry Howard and his wife be invited to the wedding] the way she does; not possible for 'these sort of things' to be ideal; does not think the Howards will really spoil much, and hopes the Grandmonts will not be 'unreasonable' and come too. Had to tell his father of the Grandmonts' objections or he would been angry when he called on Sir Henry at the Hague and found he had not been invited. His father does not know Sir Henry well, but his aunt [Alice] Dugdale does, and in general his family 'are on very good terms with the Howards of Corby, though not very closely related'. His relations would very likely be offended if Sir Henry were not invited; does not particularly care about Aunt Alice, but his father does, and he does care for his Aunt Margaret and does not know how she would react. Sanger is engaged, and therefore quite recovered. True that she [Dora Pease] 'behaved so badly to him' and there is a doubt whether she is really in love with him, but Bob is optimistic; [Goldsworthy Lowes] Dickinson knows more and is reassuring; Bob has not yet seen Roger. Expects Sanger's wedding will be in July or August; wonders whether Bessie will like Dora, as people often do not and she has plenty of faults; yet she is not heartless. Splendid that Sanger is 'so miraculously cured'. Thinks he will go to Dorking on Thursday; MacCarthy and Sickert are coming to visit. Will write more later of what he did in Cambridge. Curious about Lily H[odgkin]; did know she was there [Dresden] and had just written to thank her for returning a book he lent her two years ago. Is glad to have her new photos, though does not think them very good.
3, Hare Court, Inner Temple. - Is glad that matters are resolving themselves, even if not in an ideal way; does not think her uncle 'had any right' to speak of them as he did, but since he has thereby found a way out of the difficulty, they must not mind, though it was he who caused the difficulty and did not write directly to Bob's father about his objections [to inviting the Howards to the wedding]. Thinks Bessie should not have written to his father instead of showing the letter to her family at once, but it was an understandable mistake. His mother was very sympathetic and wise about everything this morning. A shame Ambro [Hubrecht] altered the letter, but he might have been the one to 'bring him to reason'. He and his family do not want the religious marriage, neither does she, so there is no need for it; 'absurd' to suggest that Sir H[enry Howard] cares; his father will probably 'settle that difficulty in his letter'. There was a small delay with the legal papers, which are being sent today; would perhaps be best for him to stay in England until they are signed. Will probably go to Roundhurst with the Frys for a night on Friday. Must not take her uncle being hard on them too much to heart; he is wrong, so she can laugh at him privately; 'it is a great thing to laugh at people; it is much better than being bitter'. His father is very relieved and now wants to come to the wedding very much. Had a good time with MacCarthy and [Oswald?] Sickert, though he was anxious about Bessie. Is glad she likes the idea of going to Haslemere first. Thinks he told her that the [Apostles'] dinner is in London, not Cambridge, and they might stay the night there before going North. Berenson and some of his other friends have got together to buy the clavichord painted by Mrs Fry. He likes it very much 'as a work of art', as he likes almost all of her work; also as an instrument, though not as much as the Frys and Dolmetsch do. Will send her the list of contributors soon. The Holman Hunts have sent a 'charming piece of old Japanese print'. Will bring over his frock coat, new blue suit and new country suit; does not think he needs his London clothes, which are 'very old and shabby'. Needs a new topper [top hat]. Asks whether he should cross to Flushing or the Hoek.
Adds a postscript saying that he has been to a 'very amusing farce with [Henry Francis?] Previté', with 'lots of very good things in it about falling in love' which interested him more than would have been the case in 'the old days'. It was by [George] Bernard Shaw ["You Never Can Tell"?], whom Bessie may not have heard of. Will write tonight to Berenson and some of his 'clavichord friends'; his letter to the servants apparently pleased them very much. Sanger is 'at this moment writing to Dora on the same table'.
The Mill House, Westcott, Dorking. - Hopes his flowers reach her; his first since last summer, when he sent 'some Asphodel and some Mallow' ["Mallow and Asphodel", his first book of poetry]; they are mainly wild flowers. Explains the symbolism of all the flowers he has chosen, including ivy 'as the sacred plant of Bacchus' whom he worships 'in no vulgar sense, but as he was worshipped in the true esoteric mysteries'. Asks whether he should bring his poetry over to Holland or leave it in London. His father has written [to the lawyers] to say the papers must be ready to sign on Wednesday afternoon. Is going to London tomorrow; his parents will not return from Welcombe until Tuesday. The Enticknaps have given him a pair of brass candlesticks, which they could have in the dining room 'for ordinary use' or for reading in his room. [Charles] Sanger and [Robin] Mayor may cycle over for lunch or tea. Has had a 'delightful walk' and 'devised a new way of doing a mediaeval prose story' he has wanted to write for a long time. Has not done much German recently; will bring Wagner's librettos, which he thinks are 'damned fine poems'.
Harnham, Monument Green, Weybridge; addressed to Trevelyan at Pensione Palumba, Ravello. - Has seen Miss Vaughan Williams, who has received a letter from Elizabeth Trevelyan. Writes to hear all the news from Italy. Is lecturing in Guildford next term, and possibly Cornwall. Has been to see Sanger, who was attacking the Pragmatists such as William James. Is working on a ghost story, "The Purple Envelope", which he intends for "Temple Bar". Has been to "The Confederacy" twice, and to "The Maid's Tragedy". If Trevelyan goes to Pesto [Paestum], asks to be remembered to the station master Amilcare Sabbattini. His 'largest' cousin has married 'a man with a crest', which he attaches.
Beacon Hill School, Harting, Petersfield. - Thanks Bessie for her kind letter; the Russells are now over their anxiety about [their daughter] Kate who has now completely recovered. The operation was late in the evening of the 23rd so Kate had 'a pretty miserable Christmas', but enjoyed her birthday on the 29th. Dora got sciatica from getting out of bed on cold nights to look after her, and is now in London having it dealt with. According to the surgeons there has been an 'epidemic of mastoids as a consequence of influenza', and there has been another case at the school, but that is also no longer serious. They all remember the Christmas they spent at the Shiffolds; John will never forget Julian's electric train. They often hear of the Trevelyans through Charlie Sanger; invites them to visit, as it is a very easy car journey and he thinks they would enjoy seeing the children.
The Shiffolds. - Returned yesterday after a 'very wet hunt [the Lake Hunt], though they had a 'good day on Monday, and plenty of fun', which partly made up for the wet weekend. They went out on Saturday despite the rain, but it was 'rather poor sport'; they stayed at home on Sunday, and walked to Lodore after tea. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, but it was 'disappointing only to have one good day'.
Bessie seems very well; the Sangers and 'Mrs Clifford Allen with the baby', are here till Sunday, and the weather is fine but cold. Julian writes 'quite cheerfully'. Remembers liking James's The American Scene, 'especially the chapter about Richmond. They have heard of 'two promising couples, that may do as successors to Alice and Bert [Elms], but nothing is yet settled. Thought Charles and Molly 'both very well, and in good spirits'. Has been translating much of Theocritus' poetry, and hopes to bring it out in a book this autumn or next spring; perhaps also a book of new poems, but he 'must try to write a few more this summer'.
Includes list of Wranglers; some names such as [Charles] Sanger and [Bertrand] Russell underlined. Cutting also comments on the 'High Places Obtained By Women', such as A. M. Johnson of Newnham, bracketed between the male students placed 5th and 6th.
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'.
Few pages draft of Trevelyan's "Sulla", here entitled "Sulla & Satyr". Notebook used from other end in for translation of Aeschylus' "Prometheus Bound" a draft speech to the Cambridge Apostles [presumably the annual dinner]; in praise of air and fire in response to a speech by E. M. Forster praising the other two elements, and spinning a tale of a philosophical society among the Greek gods in defiance of Sanger's hope that Trevelyan would avoid 'poetical quotations and classical myths'. Also translation of Lucretius, "De Rerum Natura", book 2 line 398ff [marked with scrap of paper].
1, Garden Court, Temple, E. C. - Originally enclosing [Warre?] Cornish's article; asks Bob to acknowledge receipt if he does not send it back at once; if Bob could give his opinion this might help them [the editors of the "Independent Review?"] to form their judgment. Sends love to Bessie. Postscript on back of the letter informs Bob that Crompton [Llewelyn Davies] has gone to France with [Bertrand] Russell; he seemed 'much better [emphasized] before he left' [referring to Crompton having recently lost his brother Theodore]. The Sangers are expecting the birth of a baby in around October.
Trinity College, Cambridge. - Has just heard from [Charles] Sanger about Bob's 'great news [his engagement]'. he and his wife, 'after three and a half weeks experience, have agreed that marriage is even nicer than we had expected'; trusts that Bob will find the same as the '[Apostles] Society doesn't make mistakes in its marriages'. Did not catch Bob's fiancée's name, but asks him to tell her that 'many people will be eager to welcome her to Cambridge'; his wife also 'takes on herself' to send congratulations, since 'if your brother's wife is not your sister, she is at least not an alien'.
10 Prinsegracht, The Hague. - Has received her letter this morning, and sent a telegraph to say he has already written to all [the friends and relations] she names, as well as to a few others, such as Mrs [Mary] Booth, since she had invited him to Gracedieu for New Year's Day. Wrote to [Charles] Sanger first, as he lives with him, who got the letter at Cambridge and told George there; had however written to George, and Charles, next day. Has also written to his aunts and Booa [Mary Prestwich]. Has been busy: Mr Hubrecht sent him to visit Bessie's sister Mrs Röntgen in Amsterdam on Saturday, on Sunday he received callers with the family, and on Monday he went to Ede with her and her sister-in-law [strictly, Elizabeth had no sister-in-law: Bramine Hubrecht meant?] to see about the furniture moving. Thinks his mother will have seen his and Hubrecht's letters to his father; hopes that 'little difficulty' is now resolved. Elizabeth is about five foot ten, has 'brownish yellow hair, of rather a light tint', and eyes of he thinks 'greenish grey'. Has not yet written her any poems, but 'must try in Italy'. Will try to get her a ring in Milan; [Roger] Fry may be able to help; leaves tomorrow afternoon, and will spend a few days there as he has much to discuss with Fry. Not sure when he will return: depends how his work goes. Hopes a visit by Bessie to England in the spring can be arranged.
58 Oakley Street, Chelsea, S.W. - Booksellers are 'disposed to deny all knowledge' of Bob's book ["Sisyphus"] and say it is 'not on Longman's list: Bob should 'stir up' his publishers. Has managed to get hold of it and thinks it 'much the best thing' Bob has done, though the 'queer metres & methods of scansion', which he supposes are influenced by [Robert] Bridges, are sometimes puzzling. Doubts however whether 'bigamy had been made a felony in the time of Sisyphus'. Hopes that Bessie and Paul are well.
10 Prinsegracht, Hague'; addressed to Bob at The Mill House, Westcott, Dorking, Surrey. - Thinks Bob's arrangements about the piano 'quite perfect & quite the nicest we could have' and trusts the 'professional friend' to choose the upright one. Would like to write and thank Bob's aunt [Margaret Price] for her present, so asks for her address. Thanks Bob for sending the table measurements, as well as the lock of his hair, which she will keep in his "Pilgrim's Progress". Describes a dream she had about him, and another about Dr [Empedocle?] Gaglio - probably as Bramine [Hubrecht] had mentioned him in a letter. Sorry that Sanger is still unwell and the likely cause [love]; he is 'the last person who ought to be treated like that'; asks if 'the lady in question is Miss D. P. [Dorothea Pease]'.
Confesses Bob's jokes about regretting not being able to go to Greece with his friends any more made her cry; she has often been anxious that he will lose a great deal of freedom when he marries; surely he will be able to talk as freely with his friends after they marry; she would like to go to Greece with him. Glad Bargman gave good advice [about the house]; hopes 'dear little Gussie [Enticknap]' will not make too much noise. Her uncle's lawyer has not yet heard from the 'Paris oracle Mr Barclay' about the marriage. The Grandmonts likely to be there; so now thinks they should fix the wedding for Whit week and will write to Bob's mother if her agrees; asks if he has a preference about the day; suggests not Wednesday as then 'all the servants are married together & there usually is a great rush'. Interrupted by a visit from her friend Anna de Ravity [?], with whom she had a good talk; Anna 'talked most sensibly about the [Second Boer] war' and is 'disgusted' by the general wild anti-British sentiment here. Is going to see her sister Marie in Rotterdam tomorrow. Tells Bob not to leave his books and manuscripts around, or 'the wood nymphs' might steal them; would write a poem on the subject if she could; wishes they lived in the time of the "Arabian Nights" so she could use a magic carpet or flying trunk to come to see him.
The Hague. - Does not think Bob ought to wait longer than Wednesday night to come, even if the papers are not yet ready; will meet him at the station on Thursday morning and they can have a quiet day to themselves, their 'private marriage day'. On Friday morning she will be busy with people who are moving her belongings; they will have to go to the Town House [Stadhuis] that day to declare their intention to marry so that the 'publication' [ondertrouw] can take place on the next two Sundays. Has her last lesson [with Eldering] at Amsterdam on Saturday, and wants to go to the Röntgens for the last time with Bob and stay the night, if he does not mind staying in a hotel; on Sunday they must take the 'alto violin' to Mrs Asser, who has moved from Leiden to Haarlem, and can show them her Japanese prints on silk. Has been tearing up her old school exercise books, but has kept some. This afternoon, is going to say goodbye at the Children's Hospital where she used to teach. The Salomonsons are staying at the Hotel Cecil; Jeanne would be 'immensely pleased' if Bob could call on them briefly. Asks Bob to give [Charles Percy] Sanger her 'warmest congratulations'; he is a very good friend to follow Bob's example so soon [in getting engaged to Dora Pease].
The Mill House, Westcot, Dorking. - Tells her about a discussion with Bargman, the man who did the house for him, about damp, the possibility of putting in a baize door as Gussie [Enticknap] can be 'a little obstreperous' after tea; and burglars. Thinks perhaps he should have the library, as first decided. [His aunt Meg Price] says she will pay the extra when they want a grand piano if she is still alive, which is 'very generous'; he has suggested she gets them a Broadwood £40 upright, but her 'professional friend' will know best what will suit a small room. They must go and visit as soon as they can; she rather reproached Bob for not visiting. Gives the measurements for the table. Sends her a curl from his head; is wearing hers next to his heart. Thinks he will send "The [Lady's] Bat" and "Dryope", and perhaps some others, to the "Speaker"; Hammond, an editor he knows, thinks they may put them in. Can break off his tenancy of the Temple rooms whenever he likes, but should like to keep them for the summer; Sanger will probably find another tenant in the summer, though he may still marry, which Bob and Fry think would probably be best although his friend [Dora Pease] has treated him badly. Sanger is in financial difficulty, which Bob does not want to worsen. Thinks he will probably go to the Lizard for a few days at Easter. Has not yet written to the Borrowdale people [the Peppers] about the honeymoon, nor to her uncle, which he should do this evening. Does not anticipate that there will be any difficulties regarding the wedding, but he should check; will leave the precise date of the ceremony for her and her relations to choose. Asks if she has heard from the Grandmonts. Had a scare yesterday when his Shakespeare, two Greek books, and the manuscript of his play, which he had hidden in the woods then 'wandered off meditating' were taken home by a passing labourer; was in despair but the gamekeeper suggested where they might be. The [Second Boer] war is 'getting to a very unpleasant state': the 'war party are very brutal, breaking up meetings, rioting etc'. Thinks the Government has behaved 'shockingly' for not suppressing them, there has been much indignation against them which may do good in the end.
Penmenner House, The Lizard, Cornwall. - Likes the sketch of Bessie's wedding costume; quite Watteau-esque as she says. He is 'no judge of silks' but the piece she sends looks good; encloses samples of cloth for his trousers and for a tweed suit and asks her opinion. Will probably stay in Cornwall till next Wednesday; [George] Moore and MacCarthy are the only others there at the moment; [G.H.?] Hardy left yesterday, and he hopes both 'Llewelyn Davieses' [Crompton and Theodore?] are coming tomorrow. Describes the place; Moore 'played a lot and sang yesterday after tea', then they played cards and talked. Is reading James's "Daisy Miller", which is 'charming'. Discussion of the music box; has written to his mother to suggest having the partitions taken out; it is from both George and Charles. Expects it would be best to invite the consul [Henry Turing, at Rotterdam, to the wedding celebration]; he may not come. Did not mean that Sir Henry [Howard] would arrange all the legal marriage business, but he offered to arrange the ceremony and invitation of the consul; expects he could do this most easily but it would not matter if they or her uncle should arrange it. Will write to Sir Henry or Turing when he hears from her uncle, though is not sure what to say. Would prefer to invite Sir Henry to the wedding, especially as Bob's father and mother are coming, feels he should ask his parents what they think. Sir Henry is a relation, and has 'shown great good-will and readiness'.
Does not see why Bessie should cut herself off completely from her Dutch musical friends; she will 'often be in Holland', and will 'surely stay at Mein's [sic: Mien Rontgen's] in Amsterdam'; in England, she will of course have 'complete freedom to make her own friends' and must keep up and develop her own talents as much as she can; he will enjoy hearing her play, but also going to hear others and getting to know her friends, but that does not mean she should not have independence of interests and friendships. Thinks that women 'have not enough respect for their own intellectual lives' and give it up too easily on marriage, through their husband's fault or their own; she should 'quite seriously consider going to settle in Berlin for 5 or 6 months' for her music. Mrs [Helen] Fry's marriage has made her more of a painter. Her pleurisy is better now; thinks Bessie exaggerates the importance of her cigarette smoking, and that any ill effects it does have are balanced by the help it gives her to create art. Has never 'been in danger of being in love' with Helen Fry, but always found her 'more interesting and amusing than any woman [he] ever met... with a completely original personality', and would not think of criticising such a person's habits but would assume they are 'best suited to their temperament'; in the same way, Moore probably 'drinks more whisky than is good for his health, and smokes too much too', but he would not criticise him. Bessie is also 'an original person' with a 'personal genius of [her] own', but in addition he loves her; has never felt the same about any other woman.
Continues the letter next day. Has finished "Daisy Miller"; and is doing some German, getting on better than he thought he would. Part of the reason for saying he would 'never learn German' was an 'exaggerated idea of the difficulty', but more because he thought, and still thinks, it will be less of a 'literary education' than other languages; is chiefly learning it for Goethe, though being able to read German scholarship will be useful. Has read Coleridge's translation of "Wallenstein", which Schiller himself claimed was as good as the original; thinks English and [Ancient] Greek lyric poetry is better than the German he has read. Very sorry about Lula [Julius Röntgen]; asks if it [his illness] will do more than postpone him going to Berlin. Has heard from Daniel that Sanger is 'getting on quite well'; hopes he will return from Greece 'quite himself again'. Will be nice for Bessie to see the Joneses [Herbert and Alice] again; he has 'become a little parsonic perhaps' but very nice; has seen little of him for the last few years. Bessie should certainly get [Stevenson's] "Suicide Club" for Jan [Hubrecht]; will pay half towards it. Will certainly come before Tuttie [Maria Hubrecht] returns. Has grown 'such a beard, finer than Moore's and McCarthy's, though they have grown their's for weeks'. Describes their daily routine. Is encouraged that Moore likes several recent poems he himself was doubtful about; is copying out the play and will show him today or tomorrow. The Davieses are coming this afternoon. Signs off with a doggerel verse.
The Mill House, Westcott, Dorking. - Is sure things will improve and she must not worry; as his mother says, 'it is really rather... a storm in a teacup'; it is nothing to compare to the happiness that will soon be theirs. Though he often fails 'through weakness and idleness', his life 'has been passionately devoted... to the best and most beautiful things which [his] imagination can attain to' and hers will be as well; lists all that will be good in their lives. Will write again to the consul [Henry Turing] if he does not hear from him today, since they need to know whether he can come on the 7th [June]; has also not heard from Sir Henry Howard, through whom he sent the letter; will send the second letter direct to Turing. There has been some delay at the lawyers about the settlements; has written to tell them to speed up. Bessie should tell him if he need do anything else regarding the marriage conditions her uncle sent. Thinks he may come over on 12 or 13 June. Meta Smith, his aunt Margaret's daughter, has sent a silver inkstand, and Mrs Holman Hunt a piece of Japanese silk. Had a good time at Cambridge: saw Mrs McTaggart, a 'nice quiet sort of person'; Tom Moore read his play and thinks it should come out well though he has pointed out 'some serious faults and suggested alterations'; Moore is going to give him a lot of his woodcuts, and has begun an Epithalamium for them, though since he has not got on with it says they should defer the wedding for a month. Asks what he should do about the Apostles' dinner; it will be 'quite exceptional this year', Harcourt is president and everyone will come; would very much like to go but will not break their honeymoon if she does not wish it. Very keen to go to the lakes eventually, but they could spend a few days before the dinner at Blackdown among his 'old haunts'; Mrs Enticknap's aunt lives in a farmhouse a mile from Roundhurst, which would be perfect. Hopes [Alice and Herbert] Jones' visit has been a success. [Desmond] MacCarthy is coming tomorrow for a few days and [Oswald?] Sickert on Sunday for the day. Will see [the Frys] this evening and discuss colours for the walls. Thinks [Charles] Sanger is very happy; is not entirely sure [about the marriage], since 'Dora has behaved so strangely', but everything seems to be coming right. Has ben reading Emerson on poetry and imagination and thinks it 'amazingly fine and right'. Most people think "Pères et enfants [Fathers and Sons]" is Turgenev's best book; he himself does not like the ending but finds the book charming; has heard the French translation, the only one he has read, is better than the German or English one - Sickert says so and he is half-German. Has ordered the trousers, and found the catalogue so will order the beds and so on next week. Glad Bessie got on with her socialist sister [Theodora]. has just had a note from Sir Henry Howard saying 7 June will suit Turing; she should let her uncle know. Does not think there will be further delay with the legal papers.
Welcombe, Stratford on Avon. - Happy to go with Elizabeth to see the doctor; says she should make the appointment herself and gives Mrs Scharlieb's Harley Street address. Will be back in London on Monday. Glad Elizabeth is going; believes the doctor is 'very able in all such matters. A real pity the dress will not fit. Sir George is recovered from his [rheumatic] 'feverishness' now. Aunt Margaret [Holland] cannot have them on the 13th, and Sir George will not go in Ascot week, so thinks their visit will fall through; asks if they could still visit Elizabeth and Robert for a day as Sir George 'seems anxious for it'. Will 'ask the Sangers &c' but fears she is now 'getting too full'.
Written on Trinity College, Cambridge, headed notepaper. - [Charles] Sanger told him about [Robert's engagement] last night. Saw [Elizabeth] in Sicily long ago, and remembers 'she is strikingly intellectual, and also very sensible and with a look of character'; she has been 'brought up severely well' and he is sure 'she knows what she is about'. Thinks it likely that 'it is quite an exceptional chance for the peculiarities required'; does not know how much Robert is in love as has not yet heard from him, but 'think[s] it is all right'.
Union Society, Cambridge. - Is sending the books. They talk here of 'nothing but the School board now': McT[aggart] is 'Rileyite of course', but Sanger and Dickinson are opposed to him. Is going to the [Harrow] 'Old Boy's' on 1 December, and asks if Bob will also be there; also asks what there will be to see in London around the 12th, and whether Bob will be at Wallington at all this vacation. Is appreciating Wordsworth for the first time, in Matthew Arnold's selection, the only way he has found so far of 'getting at him through the mass of rubbish with which he surrounded his throne'.
Roundhurst, Haslemere. - If Edward has "Aphrodite" [possibly the book by Pierre Louÿs?] he could bring it when he comes, or perhaps try and get it for Bob. Also asks if he could get him a little hand-bell, not too ugly; he only has an ugly one which does not make enough noise to reach his ''αιδοιη ταμιη [revered housekeeper, Homeric]"; so if Edward brings one which 'will speak out loud enough when shaken, [he] will get his lunch and dinner more speedily'. Has now got two subscriptions for Dolmetsch's concerts on 5 and 9 November, and 3 December; asks Edward to decide whether he will come to the one 'next Friday week, 5 Nov' so Bob can ask [Charles] Sanger or someone else if necessary; he need not yet worry about the later ones.
c/o Messrs Fs & W, New Bank Building, 31 Old Jewry, EC; addressed to Trevelyan c/o C. P. Sanger Esq., 3 Hare Court, Temple EC. - Is going to Gracedieu [home of Charles James Booth] next Saturday; asks if Trevelyan is coming.
14 Barton St. - Is anxious to hear whether Trevelyan has secured the Swan at Fittleworth, and whether there will be room for the whole party (see also 2/32 and 2/34). As well as the names mentioned by Trevelyan, Henry Dakyns will come, and Sanger is encouraging Dakyns' father and [brother] Arthur to come; Sanger has also encouraged Davies to invite Whitehead, and North [Whitehead] may come too. Davies has invited Vaughan Williams to join them as well.
K[ing's] C[ollege] C[ambridge]. - Asks if Bessie could come for lunch on Wednesday: the Cornfords may be coming for tea and he would prefer to see her alone. Charlie [Sanger's] death is 'a blow'. Asks her to tell Bob 'I never had his Blue Trowers, either the book or the real object'.
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. - He and his mother were ‘so sorry’ not to see Bessie today; hopes the message, ‘this time via Bone [the Forsters' gardener] and Lucy [?] Harrison - arrived in an intelligible form’. Alice, Charlie Sanger’s sister is here. Is ‘getting on’, and hopes soon to get to the village and telephone her. A ‘cousin will be rather haunting the place during the next few days’.
London. - Heard the 'good news' [of Bob's engagement] today. Needs not 'wish him joy', as Bob knows he does so, and as he has 'got it without [Crompton's] wishing'. Calls him 'Dear friend and brother [as a fellow Apostle]'; is 'so glad'.