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Fox, Charles James (1749-1806) statesman
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Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

Hôtel Floresta, Taormina [headed notepaper]:- Since he last wrote, has been to Syracuse for two days, and visited ‘the chief sites with the Hodgkins’: was good to travel in their carriages, since ‘the distances are great’. Escaped ‘the malaria, of which there is none now except in the Autumn’, and only then on the Anapo [river], as they have ‘drained the whole district’ recently, leaving little ‘either for the malaria or snipe-hunter’. Found Syracuse ‘the most enchanting place’ he has ever visited, but admits that since he ‘only stayed two days, and departed unsatisfied’ he perhaps cannot ‘judge dispassionately’. The ‘view of the harbour and the Anapus’ valley from Epipolae is one of the most fascinating [struck-through] beyond words’. Did not have time to see ‘the best of the quarries’, but saw one of them. The ‘Syracusan Epipolae is not so abrupt and sheer as the Northumbrian [Greenleighton: see 46/41] and is not so much a quarry as a kind of steep staircase shattered into ruins’. His parents should come next time they visit Italy: there is an ‘excellent hotel’.

Is glad she likes G[raham] Wallas: made ‘great friends with him at Welcombe’. They [Graham and his wife Ada?] have sent him a ‘choice of seats for the Philharmonic Concerts’: if his mother has not yet bought tickets and wishes to have seats, encourages her to choose, as she is ‘on the spot’; he will miss the first concert, but hopes to go to the second with her; advises her to choose the couple in the Grand Circle. Asks her to tell ‘the people at Chappells’ that he is not corresponding with them; Roger [Fry] must have forgotten to send it out to him, since ‘it seems to have been waiting more than a month’. Is well and enjoying the weather.

He and Roger have ‘entered into a partnership - he paints fans, chiefly on classical subjects’, and Robert supplies ‘sonnets to inscribe on them, treating the myth more or less frivolously’. Their ‘first venture is Jupiter and Io’; Robert’s sonnet pleased Roger, so he hopes that they will ‘continue [their] trade’. Tells his mother that ‘A fan… is to a painter, what a sonnet is to a writer… short and not a great undertaking, and yet… a finished piece of work, and not turned out slovenly’, therefore ‘useful for keeping one’s hand in’. Cannot find his rough copy, or would send it to her. Has been ‘indulging in a debauch of Balzac. Whatever his position among writers may be, he is certainly the most stimulating’. Hopes his father is ‘prospering with his [Charles James] Fox’, and ‘not troubling too much about our miserable fin-de-siecle politics’.

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - Thanks Robert for his letter of the 9th [46/275]; that is 'rather good for the British Postal Service nowadays', and Caroline received a letter from Aunt Anna dated the 9th this morning. Sees that Harrow have lost [the cricket match against Eton at Lords] again; there have been several long reports in the Times recently about 'Harrow festivities and anniversaries', quoting a number of speeches which mentioned nothing but cricket; one would think nothing else was taught and yet Harrow has not won a match for more than fifteen years. In his own day, they talked and cared about plenty of things, yet won nine matches in ten years against Eton; is 'rather ashamed of the whole business'. Will read [Jonson's] Volpone again soon; recently read [Plautus's] Mostellaria, and the Alchemist must be 'good indeed' to better it, while the Silent Womanis a 'rare good play'. Has just had the 'most remarkable literary contrast' in his reading today: between some 'glorious chapters' in [Cicero's] De Natura Deorum, II.37-40, and the 'olla podrida of conceit and self-laudation in the following few; wonders that they could have been written 'by a man of 60' - and such a man as Cicero; imagine Burke, Charles Fox, Canning or Macaulay doing such a thing. Will be a 'most marvellous, and indeed, miraculous thing' if the 'Irish effort' [truce talks] comes off.

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland. - Hopes Robert has forgiven them for keeping Elizabeth and Paul for another half-week; will miss Paul's voice about the place very much. A shooting party today with John [Spencer?] Trevelyan, Ralph Spencer, Sir Arthur's 'very pleasant' nephew Lambert Middleton, and Buddell Atkinson [sic: Frank Buddle Atkinson] the master of the hunt. Agrees with Robert about 'spending great sums on sensational masterpieces'; includes the Velasquez among these, but did not like the Van Dycks much and the Hals even less. Looks forward to seeing Robert's "Sisyphus". Supposes Taft is elected [as President of the United States]. Is sorry that Roosevelt is 'descending into private life'. Glad Bessie liked his "Fox" [ from the final volume of Sir Georges' "American Revolution"]; the last part of the chapter should be 'lively' and Fox was indeed 'a unique being'.

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Welcombe, Stratford on Avon. - Appreciates Robert's letter very much; its analysis of the article in the "Daily News" [about Sir George's "American Revolution", see 12/189] 'went very much home': the writer was 'thinking of himself, and not of the book' since it is obvious that Sir George is most grateful to Fox for having 'suffered for, and almost invented, the democratic idea'. Sends some other articles; the Tory reviews are 'particularly jolly and friendly', and 'seem to like [Sir George] better for being a good party-man'. Discussion of minor misprints. Glad to have 'continuous good accounts of Elizabeth'; 'used to think a sentence in Jane Austen's "The Watsons," - about a suburban villa and a front drive - thoroughly characteristic of her'.

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

8, Grosvenor Crescent. - Glad that Robert agrees Elizabeth is getting stronger; glad that Robert approves of Arnold Bennett's play ["Milestones"] and is curious to see himself what 'so very remarkable a writer' makes of the drama. Spent some time yesterday writing letters to replace those which have probably gone down with the Titanic; hopes the disaster will 'put a stop to the idle, vulgar, foolish luxury of travel'; a ship should be 'well-found, neat, and scrupulously clean' but he suppose 'vulgar people' travel, by sea as they do on land, 'to get a sort of luxury which they cannot afford at home'; they have spoiled hotels and ship life.