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Fry, Roger Eliot (1866-1934), art historian, critic, and painter
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Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Edward Marsh

5 Barton St (on headed notepaper for National Liberal Club, Whitehall Place, S.W.). - Called on Edward's mother this afternoon since he has been ordered to go abroad by his doctor; when he said that he was probably going to a village 'in the hills near Paestum to spend a month or two by himself', Mrs Marsh 'immediately decided' that Edward should go with him; says he said it was a long journey to take for a stay of three weeks, and that if Edward had wanted to go he would have proposed it himself; did not mention that a long stay alone 'with an individual who has theories on the state of the English language which... are tedious when repeated overmuch' would be tedious for him. Does say, though that he could 'conceive [of] nothing more delightful' than for Edward to come; he would be working much of the time, and hopes his temper would be better; would not go to see places except for Pompeii and Paestum which are near, but that would not stop Edward 'playing the giddy dog at Naples or Rome or M[onte] Carlo' as much as he liked. Is going to a village called Corpo di Cava recommended by Roger Fry, who has spent time painting there. Leaving on Tuesday; Mrs Marsh says that Edward could not leave until Wednesday, and he could wait till then or meet him in Paris, but cannot wait longer as he wants 'to get out of this damned fog'; tells Marsh to telegraph if he wants to come. Will 'accept any reasonable modification of place' but it must be 'hot and quiet'. Found Marsh's sister playing children's games with the Sunday school children; she was 'quite exhausted, and the canary was carried into the drawing room in a fit'. Tells Edward that if he saw Bob's last letter to his brother, he should read ' [John Frederick?] Dobson' for 'Drummond'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Edward Marsh

Mons Martius, Corpo di Cava. - Starts this letter on top of 'an extinct volcano' he has named 'Mons Martius' in Marsh's honour; had meant to finish it here, but the mountain is 'at such an unclimable angle' and there are 'such interesting insects' in the trees that he will have to finish it in the valley. Has given the mountain Marsh's name as some consolation for him 'being unable to come to a place which is without exaggeration the most perfect place in the world'. Describes a local monastery [La Trinità della Cava] with 'a very valuable library', a school for young Italian aristocrats, a 'fair picture gallery' and a church with an organ 'said to be one of the best in Italy'. Bob goes to the abbey, takes out a 'huge Dante' from the library, and is given a cell 'overlooking a precipice, with a waterfall' in which to work, though he usually employs the Dante as a 'mask' to do his own work. Some days he works or reads outdoors; the hills, all volcanic craters, take 'about half an hours easy climbing', and give 'splendid' views from the top. He finds the monks 'very pleasant' though conversation 'in the hash of Italian Latin and French' which they have to use is 'rather difficult'. The pension where he currently the only guest is 'enormous'; the people are nice, but cannot speak French, except for the waiter Celafino. Fortunate that he is 'a good sort, and quite well educated', as he is 'the only person' with whom Bob can have anything like a conversation; he is a protestant, 'converted by an evangelical English household at Naples', so Bob 'pretend[s] to be a zealous churchman' and they both 'laugh at the priests and their fooleries'.

Supposes Marsh is in London now; asks him to write and say if there is anything new 'in the way of theatres, books etc'. When he left, everyone was reading Max Nordau's "Degeneracy", though 'swearing at him' as they read it; they 'recognise most of the moods and symptoms as parts of their own personality and like to see their minds disected [sic] and analysed though they quarrel with him when he tells them that they are hopeless cases'. He himself thinks the book is 'supremely absurd, though fascinatingly interesting, and cleverly written'. 'Poor Roger Fry has been quite conquered by it' and is persuaded he is 'a mattoid and a circulair and a hundred other things'; Marsh should go to see Fry's latest portraits, especially the one of 'Miss [Sybil] Palgrave which is in a new and more ambitious style'. Has heard that [Robert?] Kitson was in Rome, and has written to invite him for a few days, but does not know if he is still there and only has poste restante to write to. Asks Marsh, if he knows Kitson's address, to drop him a line. Feels that he should 'not be living alone in such an Eden without someone else to share'; would end up praying to God 'as Adam di, for a help meet, and would willingly sacrifice a rib or two' to have a 'sufficiently charming Eve' to talk English to. Hopes Marsh and family are well. Postscript with address: Hotel Scapolatielli, Corpo di Cava, Italia.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Edward Marsh

Hotel Scapolatielli, Corpo di Cava (written on printed notepaper for the Hôtel de Londres, Gênes - crossed out). - Marsh's letter gave Bob much pleasure, since the 'stupid people at Naples' have not yet sent his first on; his address 'hints fascinating suggestions of rustic English scenery, and milk drunk and mild-maids beflirted in dairies'. Asks if Marsh is alone, or whether this letter is '"solus ad solum", as Flaubert used to write to Maxime Ducamp'. Read [William?] Archer's review of the plays produced by the Independent Theatre [Society] in the "Pall Mall Budget", and supposes it was 'in some slight degree inspired by' Marsh's; hopes this 'wonderful pale-faced black-haired [man: Lugné-Poe, see 15/322]' will still be in London when he returns at the end of the month; asks if it was Titian's portrait of Ariosto Marsh was reminded of. Has read Maeterlinck's "Intruse"; did not feel anything strongly for the writer, but would not like to have written the play: did not think the 'poetical or romantic element to which realism was totally sacrificed... was not quite good enough', that Maeterlink was 'not the right man to do it well, but that he could imaging 'a real poet doing something very wonderful in that line'. Glad Oswald [Sickert] 'has seen the last of those Beautiful Englanders' ["Beautiful Britain", published by the Werner Company]; remembers Marsh talking about Sickert's second novel a while ago and thought he had said it was finished, so asks whether this is a third. Asks whether [Stanley] Makower's book is out yet.

Marsh seems 'to have been going the round of our distinguished men pretty thoroughly'; makes Bob 'writhe with envy to read your account; would particularly like to see [Robert] Bridges, and means to make Roger [Fry], Bridges' nephew, take him one day. Has a book of Bridges' verse with him here, which is 'very readable and at times very beautiful'; Fry is 'enthusiastic' about him, and reads Bob passages aloud from "Prometheus [the Firegiver]"; Bob thinks 'a calmness and gentleness of tone and harmony about him... seems to make him a sort of painters poet'; hopes Marsh was 'not badly shown up' for his 'neglect' of Bridges' recent books. A man called [Henry Charles] Beeching lives with Bridges [he in the Rectory at Yattendon, Bridges in the manor house there; Beeching married Bridge's niece] and 'has just published a volume of milky poetry for which Roger has done a frontispiece' ["In a Garden and Other Poems"]; Roger says they quarrel with each other 'off and on in a mild chronic sort of way'. Asks whether Marsh saw Beeching.

Is living an 'ideal sort of life here'; describes his daily routine of exercise, study and meals; he eats omelettes, risotto, 'some wonderful things they call fritelli', for which he gives instructions and states his intention to continue making them in England. His work is 'just as mysterious' to himself as it is to Marsh; does not have the 'faintest idea what it is going to turn out' as; the plot is a 'puzzle' to him, the style is he knows 'vicious and unnatural as a rule' though he hopes it is good sometimes, and the important thing is to get it finished. Has the greatest difficulty finding names for his characters; his hero is called Benedict, 'an awfull name... which mercifully shortens into Bendy'. Badly wants a name for 'a sort of Jim Stephen who has not gone mad' but has achieved nothing due to 'an incorrigible laziness and want of enterprise'; he is in danger of losing his wife to the hero. Bob was just creating a character called Paul who was turning out 'without my intending it, uncommonly like you'; Marsh's letter has made him realise with 'horror' what he was doing and he may have to take Paul out. The character is engaged to a very charming girl who is like someone Bob knows. Hopes to be back in England in about three weeks; intends to 'plunge into an incredible carreer of gluttony [sic] and Pantegruelizing'.

Letter from Edward Marsh to R. C. Trevelyan

Grimsby Farm, Long Lane, Coldash, Newbury. - Since, 'like Alice [in Wonderland]' he always takes 'a great interest in questions of eating and drinking', he is worried that Trevy is under-eating, unless risotto is 'very comprehensive and satisfying', like the dish described [in Aristophanes' "Ecclesiazusae/Assemblywomen" in a long compound word of which he quotes the beginning. Other than that Trevy seems to be having a 'perfect time', much better than he is himself. Wants very much to see Trevy's work; tells him to 'leave Paul as he is' [see 15/274] or just change the name so he will not recognise him; expects the book will be 'uncommon good'. Oswald [Sickert] nearly finished his book at Christmas, but did nothing more between then and Easter, as he was too busy with "Beautiful B[retain": published by the Werner Company]; he says a great deal work needs still to be done on it. [Stanley] Makower's book ["The Mirror of Music"] should be out soon after Easter. The 'great literary event' has been [Arthur] Verrall's "Euripides the Rationalist"; does not think he has ever read 'anything so clever'; will not say anything about it as it would spoil it, and it seems 'perfectly convincing'. Has been 'getting on very well with [Robert] Bridges': went with him to Oxford for a day last week; he seems 'the biggest man I've ever known anything of, perhaps equal with [William Gunion?] Rutherford'; cannot think of anyone else so 'thoroughly serious, thoroughly humorous, and thoroughly consistent', except perhaps Sickert who does not seem to be 'exactly "great" at present', though may be at forty. Bridges is bringing out an edition of Keats soon which will, for example see 'plain "Endymion" as an allegory". They went to the Bodleian, which is 'a delightful place'; Lady Shelley has recently given them 'a fine collection of Shelley MSS etc'. Roger [Fry] is coming to Yattendon soon after Easter, but unfortunately Marsh will have left by then. The 'great thing about Maeterlinck is the sound'; "L'Intruse" was a 'complete failure on the stage'; "Pelléas et Mélisande" 'delightful to listen to'; afraid the 'beautiful M. Lugné Poë' 'is gone for good, and won't come back, the theatre was so dreadfully empty' though the 'decent critics' were all in favour has not seen [William] Archer's articles, but Shaw 'praised the company highly' who has been in Fiesole, will soon go 'for a sail down the Adriatic', and return to England at the end of April. Asks if Trevy has seen the reports of Russell's brother [Frank]'s case; believes it will be settled on Tuesday week; thinks [Russell's wife] 'the Countess and her mother exposed themselves pretty fully'.

Heard from 'dear [Arthur] Shipley this morning, he's in solitary splendour at Cambridge'. Asks if Shipley is Trevy's 'idea of Horace', as he is Marsh's own, both physically and in character. Has also had a 'very gay letter from T. T. [Phelps?], furious' with Trevy for writing twice to Marsh and not to him. Has heard from 'the Seatollerites': George [Trevelyan] and [George] Moore both wrote last Sunday and the party seems to have been a success up to then. Has been 'working very hard' himself, but does not think he is getting on and worries about his Tripos [examinations]; the only reading he is doing apart from revision is de Quincey, of whom he is becoming 'very fond'. Thought the murder Trevy told him about at Wallington, '[William] Winter's murder [i.e., that committed by Winter]' was in "Murder as a Fine Art [de Quincey's "Murder Considered as one of the Fine Arts"]', but read that this morning and there is nothing about it there; asks where Trevy 'got all the details'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Edward Marsh

5 Barton St. - Bob's 'old woman' [housekeeper] told him when he returned [from Italy?] that a 'young man in a cab with a portmanteau' called when he was away; seems that Edward 'appeared at no 14 [home of Crompton and Theodore Llewelyn Davies] hunting for a lunch'; hopes he found 'a friend or restaurant in time' as he knows his friend needs 'constant supplies... to stave off dissolution', like moles which cannot go without worms for more than twelve hors. Went round to Bruton Street yesterday, but found that Edward had gone back on Sunday; this means he missed meeting 'a rose of Shiraz, the direct descendant of the one which intoxicated Hafiz... You would have had this rose, had you been here' but instead Bob 'took it round to [Roger] Fry, who fell violently in love with it, and fell to painting it' [this appears to refer to the first meeting between Fry and his future wife Helen Coombe]. Supposes Edward is caught up in 'the last act' of his academical careers [final exams]; he should not be 'despondent and doubtful'. Tells Edward to excuse his 'sermons', but not his spelling, as he swears 'never to look at or correct' a letter to him again, 'after the outrageous fables' Edward circulated about his 'beautiful and chaste letters from Italy'.

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

Hotel de la Plage, S. Pierre en Port, Sassetot le Mauconduit, Seine Inférieure. - Is still here 'imbibing good food, bad tobacco & French idioms', owes the last to the enthusiasm of Miss [Jane] Harrison, whom he should call 'Dr' since she has been made 'L..L.D.' [by Aberdeen University]. Has left La Roche Guyon, and joined [Dugald] MacColl, his sister [Elizabeth?] and Dr Harrison. Wishes Bob had been with him at La Roche; was alone for three weeks and reached 'a low kind' of Nirvana based on sun, wine, black coffee & two bathes in the Seine per day, as well as getting a lot of work done. Made friends with a peasant living in a chalk cave, 'a freemason atheist radical & general mauvais sujet'. Has now 'descended to civilization & villadom', though Miss Harrison mitigates these; she has 'a very masculine mind and is quite apostolic'. Finds that MacColl, however, is 'touched with Oxford & journalism'. Expects to return about the same time as Bob. Adds a postscript to say he is sorry Bob has been 'bad again', and hopes to be 'able to take care of [him] in time'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

29 Beaufort St, Chelsea:- Thanks his mother for her letter and the MS; is glad she likes it. Hopes to finish it when he is 'next in the country [Italy?] where alone it can or ought to be finished'. Roger [Fry] has had a bad cold 'at a most unfortunate moment', having gone to Ipswich to lecture 'against [Robert's] advice, which of course made him worse' and has had to keep to his room for two days. Roger must send in his pictures to the New English Art Club tomorrow, and 'will not have time to do all he would like', though he is well enough to work today.

Is 'getting on well with [his] Jacobean reading'; has now got the play he told her about [Cecilia Gonzaga] 'into final shape' in his mind, and has written a 'good deal of Act I', but it will need 'recasting' as he has 'altered the whole idea and proportion of the plan to some extent'. His own cold has been entirely gone for several days: the walk he took 'so unwittingly' with her was the 'prelude to its departure'.

'Hungry Bumpus shall be fed': asks his mother to thank Bo[o]a [Mary Prestwich] for the butter she sent. Is 'wearing the thick vests now' and 'hopes to keep colds at a distance' now the weather is much warmer. Has just had a 'cheerful letter' from George, but has not seen Charles since his mother left; expected he 'would be at the Booths' [Charles and Mary?]' at their 'Sunday evening meeting yesterday', but was not; must 'look in at G[rosvenor] C[rescent] to see how he is faring'.

Adds in a postscript that he will be 'glad to go with Papa to the play when he comes, either Pinero [The Benefit of the Doubt?] or the Mikado'; hopes his father is well.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

29 Beaufort St, Chelsea:- Has seen his mother's letter to Charlie; is glad to hear the journey 'has been so far so delightful'. Wonders if they will go on to Ravenna; since the weather is fine, he hopes they will. Once had 'an hour' in Bologna, 'chiefly a flying visit to the gallery'; thought that it 'with its collonades [sic] and fascinating though somewhat ugly towers seemed quite unlike any other town in Italy', and would have liked to see more of it.

Hopes to see Charles today: has not seen him for a long time. Bernard Shaw came to dinner with them [Robert and Roger Fry] recently: they had 'the greatest difficult in getting him to eat or drink anything', and he would 'scarcely eat' a risotto they had 'specially prepared for him, because he detected a flavour of animal gravy in it'. Shaw 'made up for his fastidiousness by talking the whole evening', and Robert 'was very glad to listen'; has written a one act play about Napoleon [The Man of Destiny, first performed in Nov 1897], and has been 'studying military history for some time'. Robert thinks he ought to 'turn out something original in the Napoleonics'.

Roger has 'practically finished his portrait of Mrs W[iddrington?]', having 'considerably altered the face' since Robert's mother saw it, 'when it was very unsatisfactory'; Robert now thinks it 'very good'. To Roger's 'great amusement', the 'O. B. [Oscar Browning]' has commissioned a portrait from him.

Saw the Holman Hunts last Sunday; they were 'charmed' by the flowers his mother sent them. The 'old boy is painting a picture which promises to be the ugliest he has yet done. It has great merit in many ways, but in his old age he he seems to have lost all idea of what combinations of colours are beautiful'. Is going this evening to a 'Mottle concert [one conducted by Felix Mottl?]': has not heard except the Mikado for a 'dangerously long time*. Hopes his father is 'enjoying himself, and is reading his Dante regularly'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline and Sir George Trevelyan

29 Beaufort St, Chelsea [on headed notepaper for the National Liberal Club, Whitehall Place S. W.]:- Thanks his parents for their 'joint letter'. The weather here has suddenly turned 'almost absolutely perfect, at least for December', and the 'nights are wonderfully lighted by this full moon'. Florence must be 'gorgeous by moonlight'; wonders if they ever go to 'the portico where the David used to be and think of the poor painter of Henry James' Madonna of the Future, who was found there by night', but expects they go to bed 'quite early'. Dined recently with the [Yates] Thompsons, and Harry 'pretended to be indignant' that the Trevelyans had not gone to a hotel he had recommended; he 'was in a familiar, you-be-damned sort of mood', since there was no-one there but the Wilberforces, Spring Rice and Robert. Dolly 'had to reprove him for swearing at table before his guests'; thinks 'the Canon was rather shocked by his way of going on'.

[Edward Ernest] Bowen has given a 'lecture to the school [Harrow] upon the American Secession & Civil War', speaking 'for nearly two hours without becoming embarrassed or stumbling over a single word'; they say that throughout 'the excitement was so intense that you could have heard a fly's buzz'. At the end 'they got up and cheered him till it was thought they would never stop. They had not realised before what he was'. [Roger] Fry has a commission to paint 'a certain Smith Barry, the brother of the notorious M.P'. He has almost finished his lectures; he set 'certain passages in Browning's Fra Lippo to be annotated', which contain 'several bad blunders as to dates etc': '[m]ost of the young ladies trip up prettily into these pitfalls, taking it for granted that Browning must be right.

Robert 'quite agree[s] about Dante's deliberate purpose of making a great literary success', though thinks this would be 'indignantly repudiated by most of his idolaters'. It is 'very dull' in England at the moment; as far as Robert can tell people talk of 'nothing but Armenians.[a reference to the massacres in the Ottoman Empire]... and the Vailima letters [written by Robert Louis Stevenson to Sidney Colvin between 1890 and 1894, and recently published]'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Sir George and Caroline Trevelyan

29 Beaufort St, Chelsea:- Has just returned from Harrow, where he goes to 'get a game [of football] once a week' to keep himself 'very fit in body and mind'. Bowen had got up a 'team of masters and old boys' against the boys of his house, 'which is very good this year'. Robert's team were 'Somehow' beaten 6-0, but Bowen 'covered himself with glory, playing better than he has done for years'; he also told Robert he 'played like a hero'.

Met Charlie in the morning at the B[ritish] M[useum] Library, 'getting up the question of State Railways'; he is 'much interested in a scheme for a progressive periodical [the Progressive Review] which [William] Clarke, late of the Chronicle, and a young Socialist, [Ramsay?] MacDonald, are going to start next year. It is to be to these dregs of times what the Edinburgh Review was to be to those other dark days'. It 'promises to do well', and Robert wishes it 'God-speed', though they say it 'has as yet no Brougham, much less its Sidney Smith'. Bernard Shaw, whom Robert saw recently in a restaurant, told him 'with his usual superb egotism', that if they had wanted the paper to succeed, they ought to have asked him to 'write a series of articles, as he knew the secret of making a splash and drawing the gaze of the public'. However, 'Clarke cant stand G.B.S., calling him an anarchist and a Jacobin', and Shaw is a 'little piqued at being out of it'.

[Roger] Fry has a cold today and has taken to his bed 'as he always does at the slightest alarm'; this is sensible as 'his colds are both more sudden and more formidable than other people's'. He is doing well otherwise, and has 'just finished some theatrical scenery for a friend [a pencil note suggests this is 'Badley - [at] Bedales']' - the wood in Midsummer Night's Dream] - which is as good as anything Robert has seen by him, 'though you can't get very rich colour effects in tempera'. Their next door neighbours, Ricket[t]s and Shannon, have 'just brought out a magazine... a single Christmas number [The Pageant]' for which they have obtained contributions from 'all the great names in the literary and artistic word' such as Swinburne, Bridges, Maeterlinck, Verlaine, Burne Jones and Watts. There is 'some fine work in it, and some very queer'; Robert's friend [Thomas Sturge] Moore has two short poems included, though Robert does not think them his best. Will show his parents the magazine when they return. Shannon and Ricketts are 'taking to publishing poetry'; he believes they 'make a great success', and hopes that knowing them 'might be useful in the future'.

Is putting this letter into an envelope he finds 'on C[harles]'s table' with his parents' name on it but not yet their address. Expects they will soon be in Rome. Is going to see Aunt Annie [Philips] next week' does not plan to go abroad as he is 'very well, and do not feel the cold'. He will go to Welcombe for a few days, but otherwise stay in London unless 'the frost gives [him] colds'. Is glad their travelling is going so well, and that they like Gregorovius: it is 'always pleasant work welcoming a new historical star', though he doubts this one is 'of the first magnitude'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

1, Wellington Place, Tunbridge Wells:- Thanks his mother for her letter, which arrived yesterday. Is staying the night at Tunbridge Wells; his hosts [his aunt Anna Maria Philips and Sophie Wicksteed] are 'both in good spirits, and Sophie certainly not ill'. Is going for a few days next week to Failand near Bristol, the 'country house of Roger [Fry]'s family'. Will then go on to Welcombe, he thinks taking the places of the Webbs [Sidney and Beatrice, friends of his brother Charles?], 'for we have to wait our turn like aspirants for office'. Will be glad to get away from London, where he has been leading 'a miserable bus-riding rattle-of-bus-fretted existence since September'.

Thinks it will become a 'downright cruel winter' soon, as it is quickly getting colder 'after a long merciful delay'; if it does, London will be 'uninhabitable for a season, at least to work in', and he does not expect he will return. Will not come to his parents in Rome, as it 'would be absurd' not to see the sights which she 'describe[s] so temptingly' on his first visit, and this would 'not fall in with' his intention to work. Believes [Edward] Marsh is in Rome, or 'will be soon', since Robert 'just missed him in London'.

Will send the Pageant [magazine recently published by Ricketts and Shannon, see 46/38] if she likes, 'though there is much bad in it'. For him, its 'chief value' is that it has 'several old [D. G.] Rossettis and Mi[l]ais', as well as Rickett's Oedipus. Shannon's drawings have 'both been badly reproduced, and are by no means his best work'; in fact several contributors, such as Swinburne, Bridges, and Robert's friend [T.S.] Moore 'have not done themselves justice'. Does not know if his mother has 'ever tasted of Maeterlinck's strange vintage before'; he himself 'neither scoff[s] nor adore[s]' but the play in the Pageant is 'fairly typical' of him; thinks his poem, as well as Verlaine's, good. The Pageant should 'amuse [her] as decadent in an extreme though not particularly offensive form'.

The 'American affair is deplorable': fears it 'may lead to real trouble', though the general view in England, both among individuals and newspapers is that 'Jonathan will begin to see in a few days that he is making an exhibition of himself ['Uncle' is written before 'Jonathan' then crossed out: perhaps Robert Trevelyan confused 'Brother Jonathan', a representative figure of New England sometimes used to stand for the entire United States, with Uncle Sam - or was about to use the latter term then changed his mind]'. Glad she finds Italian politics interesting; he 'used to read the political articles in the Sera and Tribuna' to 'pick up a little of what was going on'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

Welcombe, Stratford on Avon [on headed notepaper]:- Has arranged for a copy of the Pageant to be sent to her: thinks it will arrive before his parents leave Rome, though he forgot to have it sent 'till rather late'. Would have written before, but was waiting to receive her letter to answer it. They are 'all at Welcombe now': Miss Martin [his old governess] has just left, and [Maurice?] Amos arrives today. He himself came on Saturday and leaves on Friday. Crompton Ll[ewelyn] Davies and his sister [Margaret] have been; now staying are [G. L.] Dickinson, [G. E.] Moore and 'Gr Wallace [Graham Wallas?]'. They have had two fine warm days, but wintry weather is now returning; there is a 'fire in the drawing room, and Moore and Dickinson play the piano or sing'. The piano is a 'marvel[l]ously beautiful one'. There is currently general conversation about 'Bobbie Philimore's sudden marriage': wonders if his mother knows Philimore's new wife, 'who was Miss Fitz-Patrick, alias Sister Lucy'; it is 'a regular Shelley business, though in this case the parents have been brought round to approve'.

Intends to go abroad immediately after Welcombe, as he has a cold which he 'can't quite get rid of, and which would probably become bad in a frost'. Thought of going to the South of France, though 'Several friends have strongly advised Tangiers' for the greater likelihood of warmth and cheapness, though he does not think it much matters; wants only 'to be warm, and alone so that [he] may write'.

Had a few days at Failand 'keeping Xmas in the bosom of the Fry family': they 'read Hamlet aloud in the evening, each taking the Prince for an act. George [Trevelyan] makes a most excellent garrulous Polonius, while [Robert? - 'I?' supplied in pencil] shine as ghost and the ranting player'. They all concluded that 'Hamlet's character has no mystery', except for doubting 'how far, if at all, he loved Ophelia'.

The company at Welcombe are 'just off to Chalcote [Charlecote], to walk off a New Year's day plum pudding and Turkey'.

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

29 Beaufort Street, Chelsea SW. - Jokes that his treatment of Bob has been 'shameful', especially after the 'splendid sonnet' which he compares to 'a piece of very neat cabinet work, not the highest praise perhaps but just what [he] wanted for an occasional thing like this'. Has been ill since he left Bob at Bristol but is now recovering. Has begun his Brighton lectures [for the Cambridge Extension Movement], with a 'large & enthusiastic audience of elderly ladies who palpitate with emotion'; sometimes stays with his sister [Isabel?] and feels it shows 'great nerve to stay at a girls school [Miss Lawrence's School, later Roedean] & have meals in the common room'. Wishes he were with Bob in the sun though agrees Taormina is not the 'best possible' place in Sicily to stay; warns him not to copy his relative [Florence Trevelyan, who married a Taorminan doctor] and marry the innkeeper's daughter. Remembers coming round a hill onto a terrace by the sea and seeing 'the monster' Etna for the first time. Syracuse is nice but he supposes not convenient to stay at. [Dugald] MacColl has just come for dinner.

Returns to the letter after two days. Went to the Fletchers' last night and heard some good music; [Hercules] Brabazon was there, and 'rather pathetic': has been too much for him to 'become at the age of 70 a great artist & consequently an authority on art has been too much for him'. Some good pictures at the Old Masters [exhibition at the Royal Academy], especially a Tintoretto. Has begun the "Odyssey" with the help of Bob's translation. Has 'some manuscript poems of Gerald Hopkins' [sic: Gerard Manley Hopkins] which would make Bob 'tear his hair'; quotes three lines [the opening of "The Windhover"], but won't disturb Bob's 'Sicilian vespers with the clash of footed metres'.

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 Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

29 Beaufort St., Chelsea, S.W. - Asks when Bob is going to return from 'the fields of Enna' [Sicily] and sing 'songs of Persephone to fit my picture'. Jokingly objects to Bob's 'monstrous insinuations about the girls school' [see 13/1] and says he has been 'practicing fencing every day' to avenge the insult and get exercise. Fences with Hubert Crackanthorpe who has moved in nearby; has decorated the house 'with infinite care' but the way Crackanthorpe has furnished it has 'destroy[ed] all my schemes of colour'. Has a pupil three mornings a week: [Charles] Lacoste is 'quite ignorant but with much talent for a queer type of imaginative design'; thinks he has illustrated Baudelaire very well. Has therefore done little painting himself, only 'drawing with the pupil'; thinks this is good for him and is getting keener than ever on it. Asks how Bob's poetry is going; hopes he 'won't write one in 22 thousand lines like the Indian'. Has been thinking about metre; tells Bob to 'keep [his] hair on', as he begins to see why he is 'so furious about [Robert] Bridges'; tells him not to stay away 'for fear of having to talk about this'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

Hôtel Floresta, Taormina [headed notepaper]:- Will start back towards England next Wednesday or Thursday, stopping perhaps for a few days at Rome; wants to be back by the end of the month. The weather has been ‘delicious for a while now’, but he is ‘a little tired of the place’, probably as he is now accustomed to the ‘strange sights that one sees in such a Southern climate’ and ‘no more moved by a cactus’ than he would be ‘by an oak tree in England’ - for which he is beginning ‘to feel a bit of a longing’.

The ‘priest element is still predominant’ at his hotel: a ‘high-church Anglican has arrived’, and he can ‘hear [Edward Sheridan] Purcell’s Manning being discussed on the terrace’ as he writes. Miss [Lena] Milman, ‘from the tower of London [her father was Major there]’ is also staying here; she was ‘deafened by the explosion in the Tower, and is spoken to and speaks in a loud voice’. One of the two Roman Catholic priests [see 46/45] is her cousin, and they ‘converse during meals with the voice of John Burns addressing an open-air meeting’: since they ‘discuss most topics, and pretty freely, the sober visitors are much diverted or else shocked’. Her cousin is ‘in an indirect manner’ rather like ‘the hero of a late story of George Moore, *John Norton’ - or ‘something like him, for the hero is an odious person, and the story too for that matter’. Miss Milman is a ‘friend and disciple of George Moore’s’ and once told him about her ‘priestly cousin, whom G. M. promptly transmogrified into the most detestable portrait… in his not over-choice gallery of characters’.

When he returns to England, Robert will ‘have had enough scrambling over the globe for some time’; will not go to Greece in July with Fry, Dickinson, and Wedd as he had hoped. Hopes Georgie will be ‘fit for his tripos when he returns’.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Edward Marsh

29 Beaufort Str[eet], Chelsea. - Hears that Marsh has done well [in his civil service exams] but not 'what particular function' - colonial, military, or financial, he will choose; hopes he is 'satisfied and happy'. Sorry that Marsh could not come to Wallington, and hopes he has good hunting and fishing in Scotland. Asks what he thinks of the Czar; would like to meet 'a live deer-stalking tyrant'. Has taken Copse Cottage, near Friday's Hill [home of the Pearsall Smiths]; Bertie and Alys [Russell] left for America today, and Logan is soon leaving for Italy, so Bob will be glad of occasional company. Intends to hire a piano for Marsh and [G.E.] Moore; has four bedrooms, three sitting rooms and four sculleries. Tells Marsh to return from Scotland 'not too religious, and... without loosing [sic] your artistic instinct' as he is 'required as a patron and lover of young art to guarantee a guinea of the... fund for Roger [Fry's] exhibition at Cambridge, which will include works by Conder, Ricket[t]s, Shannon, Steer, W[alter] Sickert, Rothenstein, Maccoll, Savage, Houseman and Tonks [emphasised]. Also wants Marsh to get [Desmond] MacCarthy and [? Francis] Balfour, for whom he himself does not have addeses, to contribute; promises to do so should be sent to A[rthur] E[verett] Shipley at Christs [College Cambridge]. Has been writing letters all morning, imagining what he will look like in the new frock-coat which he is having made for the wedding of Roger [Fry] and Helen [Coombe], at which he is to be best man.

Postcard from George Macaulay Trevelyan to R.C. Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland; addressed to Bob at 29 Beaufort Street, Chelsea, and forwarded to the National Liberal Club. - Is glad the show [an art exhibition organised by Roger Fry] is coming to Cambridge; has only even seen prints and engravings; has written to [Arthur] Shipley. Bob won the battle [of toy soldiers]. Had 'two splendid days' stalking and driving grouse with Howey and Shade.

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

Chelsea. - Dated 'Sunday'. Apologises for not sending the books earlier; was very busy with the lectures and with arranging for his parents visiting to see Helen [Coombe]; Goldie [Lowes Dickinson] and 'a sister' have also been staying. Has filled the box up with clothes which Mrs Smith [their landlady] thought Bob 'ought to want'. Says 'I told you so' about Bob being in Italy: it is better than 'going Jonkopping in Sweden [visiting Jönköping?]' and he might get some work done; suggests going to Fiesole or Prato, though that might be too hot. Asks if Bob intends to stay till winter; if so they will arrange to meet. Everything now settled: he and Helen hope to marry early in November and come out to Italy. Has had 'rather an awful time with his parents': very sorry for his father and his disappointment in him and so 'made a huge effort to get through the misunderstanding' but only gave him and his mother pain. This has made him 'awfully depressed'; found it hard to 'pull himself together for the lectures' but thinks they were the best he has done; pleased that both Goldie and [Thomas Sturge?] Moore liked them. Has been bicycling with Goldie, who is 'getting more reconciled about Helen'; thinks he 'begins to see that it can't make any real difference between [them]'. They went to Woodbridge and tried but failed to find [Edward] Fitzgerald's grave, then to Dedham 'which is the only [piece of French country in England and explains Constable'. Helen's harpsichord [which she is decorating for Arnold Dolmetsch] is 'going to be a great success'; she is 'quite decided' that Bob must either come back for the wedding or meet them in Italy.

Letter from George Macaulay Trevelyan to R.C. Trevelyan

Trin[ity College, Cambridge]. - Was sent an invitation for Bob from [Charles?] Pope to play in the '[Harrow] Old Boy's match' on 21 October by mistake, and 'by an even greater mistake' has torn it up. Hears occasional news of Bob and his 'ménage'; asks when he is coming for a visit. The exhibition is 'a great success', with 'all the mode[s]t virtues and staring faults of the impressionists well-represented'; [Roger] Fry's pictures 'are among the most generally liked'. Some of the paintings 'are very good, and all interesting'; George went to an 'advertisement debate' about them yesterday at Wallstein's [sic: Charles Waldstein], for the Walpole Society.

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

Bob's sonnet is 'delightful'. Suggests an alteration to the last line which makes it 'as topical, sublime, mysterious, & has the egoism proper to a great poet'; but seriously he 'must do something big' since this shows so 'complete a mastery of technique'. He and Helen will be at [a concert given by Charles?] Lamoureux on Friday and says they must meet up afterwards and dine at Gambrinus [Ye Olde Gambrinus, a restaurant/beer hall on Regent St] or something'. His wedding [to Helen Coombe] is on 3 December at 2 pm. Invites Bob to come and sit for his portrait and stay a night or two, not for long as 'everything is topsy turvy' and Mrs Smith [the housekeeper] getting progressively more worried; on second thoughts Bob had better not come as she has to 'clear all the things out and send them to Howard [?]'. The "Daphnis & Chloe" [a copy of the work by Longus?] has come and is 'splendid'; asks Robert to 'write a little epithalamium' and put it at the beginning; they are both very grateful.

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

29 Beaufort Street, Chelsea SW. - He and Goldie [Dickinson] start tomorrow to bicycle to Failand: asks whether Trevelyan will be at Welcombe and able to put them up on Saturday night. If Trevelyan is not staying on at Welcombe, asks him to keep away from town for a day or two to give Mrs Smith a holiday, since they have 'played such a Box & Cox game that she hasn't had any as yet'

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

Hotel du Luxembourg, Avignon. - There is still time for Trevelyan to send his letters of introduction to Marseilles, as Fry and his wife have 'loafed about a great deal' on the journey south on their honeymoon. Impressions of Avignon. Has begun to draw 'in a lazy sort of way'. Encloses a cheque for wedding costs, and expresses gratitude; it was good of Trevelyan to see them off: unorthodox, but emblematic of the fact that they don't intend to isolate themselves in marriage. Has been reading Theocritus, mostly in translation; would be 'absolutely happy' if he knew Greek and Latin well, but he never will. Trevelyan should not scoff: he does not know what a drunken man's liver looks like and Fry does.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

Hôtel Timeo, Taormina:- Has ‘found fine weather and comfort at last here’, and will stay for the rest of his time abroad. Has got to work already on his first day here; the weather is ‘perfect, and rather cold’. Came straight here from St. Raphael, stopping a day at Naples to see if going to ‘Corpo di’ Cava, but thought he would have been ‘washed out’: was not till he got past Messina that it stopped raining. Most of Italy has been ‘flooded this winter’, though it has not been very cold; Taormina ‘seems to have escaped’. The hotel is very quiet, and only half-full.

The Cacciolas are ‘very glad to see’ Robert; their house is quieter since the ‘lunatic German governess’ has left. Cacciola suspects she took opium, if not her behaviour was ‘almost inexplicable’. Floresta, the ‘padrone’, has had a letter from [Roger] Fry saying that he and his wife are coming soon. Robert hopes they will stay for a while; believes they are currently at Tunis but has not heard from them recently. Hopes his family are all well. Hears the Russells [Bertrand and Alys] have returned from America; hopes he will ‘find them settled at Fernhurst’ when he returns. Does not think he will stay longer than a month. It is an ‘almost perfect place’ for his work, with the Cacciola’s garden and books; expects he will get ‘much more done’, as last spring he ‘was more uncertain as to what [he] wanted to do’.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

Hôtel Timeo, Taormina:- Was ‘very glad’ to get his mother’s letter: what she says about his father [resigning his seat in Parliament for private life?] is what he has been ‘expecting and hoping to hear for some time’, for both his father’s sake and that of his book. Would however like to talk to her about this when he returns, ‘some time about the beginning of next month’. Has been fine weather since he arrived, though it was very cold for several days which amounted ‘almost to a disgrace to Taormina, which is nothing if not a warm place’; now however it is as hot as may be wished, ‘far hotter than Wallington in midsummer’. A ‘rather… rowdy lot’ have been staying at the hotel, ‘chiefly Germans and a banjo-twanging marine from Malta’, who have been ‘playing bad danse [sic] music on a vile piano, dancing and singing (the Homeric μολπη) till eleven at night, much to the annoyance of the quieter guests’. Floresta was ‘very angry, as such a thing is unheard of in his hotel’; Robert thinks the worst of them have gone now, and Floresta would stop further noise.

Has been listening to all of Florence [Cacciola Trevelyan]’s ‘woes’ this morning; last year he used to give about a morning a week to this, and ‘then administer such advice and consolation’ as he thought fit. Her garden is ‘much nicer this year, and the flowers earlier and more abundant’. Has not heard anything of the Frys yet, though believes they are coming here before long. Returns ‘the card of Σ with profit and thanks’; is very sorry that he has ‘nearly torn it in half’ - asks if she could put some ‘paper with paste or gum at the back to hold it together’ before she gives it back to his father, and tell him Robert is ‘very sorry for the accident’.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

Hotel des Palmes, Palermo [on headed notepaper for the Grand Hôtel Central, Palermo:- Has come to Palermo for a few days to meet the Frys, who have ‘just come over here from Tunis’; thinks they are coming to Taormina later. Has just found them, after ‘a search of some time’, and is writing this in their hotel on ‘their royal sized paper’; his own hotel is the Hotel des Palmes, but she need not write there as he will soon be back in Taormina. The ‘pens of the Grand Hotel are as execrable as their paper is glorious’.

Was very pleased with the Daily News article [on his father?], which he has given to the Cacciolas. The Doctor [Salvatore Cacciola] has ‘always had an admiration of Papa… now strengthened by the sketch of his life’; he is a ‘great admirer of the English character, and rises at 3 or 4 in the morning to study Smiles’ Self Help and so improve his English’; he is currently ‘Syndic and autocrat of Taormina though he has bitter enemies, and even dangerous ones’ . Cacciola's father, ‘the avocat’, was ‘murdered by some offended client’, but Robert reassures his mother that ‘Taormina is not a place where murders are frequent'. Has been satisfied with his work, and ‘even rather grudge[s] this expedition to Palermo’, though ‘it is a wonderful town, and Fry is just the person to show it one’.

Thinks he will return around the end of the month, when ‘England ought to have become habitable’. There have been ‘no interesting guests ‘this year at the Timeo, and the only friends he has besides the Cacciolas are the Gramonts [Grandmonts], an ‘old Belgian savant and his Dutch wife who paints’, the ‘old man is very musical, and he and an Italian play violin and piano duets twice a week… They read Mozarts and Beethovens sonatas without having always played them before, and certainly perform excellently’.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

Hôtel Timeo, Taormina:- Returned here on Sunday, and is expecting the Frys back from Palermo this evening; he himself did not want to stay there more than two or three days, so left them. They went to see Monreale, which is ‘even finer’ than he remembered, only to be compared with Ravenna. As far as he can tell, the Frys are ‘going along as well as any one could wish’, though they ‘seem to think… that they are very poor’ and are starting to cut down travelling expenses as much as possible. Expects ‘they will stay in Italy most of this year’, since they do not yet have a London house. The weather has been beautiful; today it is ‘quite perfect’. Is keeping well, and ‘getting along’ with his work; hopes to start back before long. Is glad Aunt Margaret [Holland?] is coming to Welcombe to ‘see the plays’; would also like to do so, ‘if it is convenient’. Wonders what she thinks of ‘the Cretan business’; does ‘not quite understand why we can’t let Greece have the place’ , but supposes it is ‘the emperor of the Scythian barbarians who seems to be chief man in Europe now. Napoleon said that in a hundred years Europe would either be Republican or Cossack’. Hopes his father is well.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

Hotel Timeo, Taormina:- The Frys have been here a week now, and Robert will stay ‘a little longer’ than he had intended, though he hopes to start back ‘some time next week’. Most of the time the weather has been ‘very fine’; in fact, ‘rather too dry’. Today they are going, in the boat of ‘the Cacciolas’ fisherman’, to see ‘the grottoes under the cliffs, which are very wonderful, something like the Capri grottoes’. They will then spend the rest of the day on ‘the Cacciolas’ island [Isola Bella] which contains everything, from rabbits and a ruined chapel to corals and Leonardo “Madonna of the rocks” sort of places’. Roger Fry is painting ‘a picture of the theatre and Aetna’, but Robert does not think ‘the place inspires him much for painting, though they both enjoy staying here very much’. They ‘looked in at an Italian carnival dance yesterday evening’; the Frys ‘danced a polka’ and Robert watched.

There is ‘great indignation here about the bombardment of the Greeks [in the conflict with the Ottomans over Crete]’; expects there also is in London, as ‘Public feeling seems to be entirely with the Greeks in England, France, and here [Italy]’. Sees Colonel Hay is the new ambassador [of the US in London?]. Will try and get Il Capello del Prete [by Emilio De Marchi] for her on the way back. Is not yet certain about coming down [to Welcombe] for the ‘Shakespearean week’, so she should not get him tickets; would most like to see As You Like It. Does not think [Frank] Benson ‘would do the Tempest very well’: his Midsummer Night’s Dream was ‘not altogether good’. Is glad Fairweather is ‘strong again’. Supposes his mother will be in London when he returns. Will go to Haslemere and ‘get settled there as soon as [he] can’; thinks the Russells are there now. Hopes his father is ‘still well’.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Edward Hodgkin

Roundhurst, Haslemere. - Expects he will be at Wallington on 12 [April]; Edward could come then, or earlier in the week; there will be a 'mob of people' he hardly knows such as the Spence Watsons early on but 'the coast will be cleared' after Tuesday; he will get there on Wednesday or Thursday next week. Asks Edward to send Kitty's address [Kitson added in pencil]; they could 'do something to rag him' such as sending a letter 'enclosing a beautiful epithalamium'. 'Here is a fan for Roger [Fry] to paint, which 'may be used to support whichever side of the temperance question you may choose'; includes the text of Bob's poem "For a Fan", with a reference to the Homeric Hymn to Pan.

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