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’.
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'.
3 Hare Court, Inner Temple. - Apologises for using 'lubberly thick English' paper. Came to London to hear [Julius Engelbert] Röntgen on Monday, but found he was ill and the concert off; hopes it is nothing serious. Went to hear [Hans] Richter conduct Tchaikowsky's 6th Symphony instead. Fears she may not have got the letter with his poetry last week, as he thinks he addressed it wrongly. Agrees that Bessie's proposal that he should come to see her again in the Netherlands [see 9/9] is indeed bold, but is very glad she has made it. On his side, the difficulties are small: he can easily conceal his visit, or let it be known that he is calling there on the way to Italy. Feels that the excuse she suggests of them translating Vondel together is very thin; true that he would like to read some with her, and that she could teach him German or 'even Dutch', though he does not feel ready to learn both at the same time; however, her family are still likely to see through this, 'especially if they were suspicious before'. Perhaps it would be better to be more honest with them; otherwise, would be willing not to go and see her at home at all, but for them to meet privately at his hotel and talk or go for walks. Realises that she will probably think this wrong, and her feelings must be 'paramount', though see it would be difficult and perhaps 'unwise' for her to take her uncle and aunt into her confidence. Will want 'horribly' to be with her all day, as he always does. She must decide what is best; expects her uncle will think he has come to see her whatever excuse they give. Promises to be 'quite reasonable, and prudent, though very much in love'. Must not read the Brownings' letters, or he will start writing 'too sentimentally'. Has had a 'rather nasty business looking after [Roger] Fry's affairs', his publisher [Oldmeadow] is 'swindling him' and he has had to write a long letter to Fry. Will give this letter to [Charles] Sanger to post as he is going out for a post; he may wonder 'who the lady with the long foreign name is' but will not tell him.
3, Hare Court, Inner Temple. - Begins the letter in the National Liberal Club near Trafalgar Square, where he will soon go to an 'anti-jingo' meeting. Expects this will not be a big affair, as 'pacific people are only too few'; the 'self-satisfied Anglo-Saxon conceit gets worse and worse every year', and 'Kipling, Fashoda, Mr [Joseph] Chamberlain, and even the Dreyfus case' have contributed to it; wishes there was a 'good chance of a fiasco in the Transvaal, not so much for the sake of the Boers' but for the British; has never felt less of a patriot. Is working at the British Museum while his house is being decorated, for which [Roger] Fry has a free hand; expects the result will be 'most charming'. Glad the Frys are going to Ede; he is 'very interesting and full of ideas', though he always wants 'an orthodoxy to comfort him', not necessarily that 'of the multitude', and 'wonderfully sympathetic and imaginative'; she is 'delightful... in quite a different way to him'. Was not there when they cut into the cheese and did not send instructions, so it is now 'as dry as pumice' though they say they like it. Going to see a Japanese melodrama with them tomorrow; expects it will be 'pretty bad' but has heard the 'scenery and costumes are first rate'. Envies the Frys their trip to Holland, wishes that he could go there again so soon, and that Bessie were in the room with him now looking as he writes things he 'scarcely could put into articulate words, things which [he] dare not write now'. She would be safe, as [Charles] Sanger is away; otherwise he would be shocked, 'so mistrustful of ladies as he is wont to be'. His feelings have not changed, as he feared they may when he was away from her, and he now believes that they will not; will say no more, as he is 'not supposed to be writing [her] a love-letter', though he would if she gave him leave. Wishes they could see each other again soon; will come whenever or wherever she might say she wishes. Apologises for sending her that quote from [George] Moore [see 9/75]; meant to show her it was foolish of 'so muddle-brained a creature' as he is to try and understand such things; finds it easier to understand Moore when he talks than when he writes, as in writing he 'compresses his thought so small that it almost becomes invisible'; most philosophers 'sin' the other way. Says he sees nothing wrong in 'trying to think properly, which is all philosophy tries to do'; does not think it does imagination any harm. Could never agree with Neitsche [sic] that 'speculation is a kind of mental disease'. Quotes from Balzac ["Les Secrets de la princesse de Cadignan"] in French. Will send Bessie more books when she wants them.
Finishes the letter the day after the anti-war demonstration, which 'turned out to be antiboer', as the 'great majority of the crowd was for war'; they 'looked picturesque enough' but the meeting was dull since there was too much noise for the speakers to be heard and 'not even a decent fight'. Glad she is going to make some music with [Willem?] Witsen; asks when she starts her lessons with her new teacher in Amsterdam [Bram Eldering]. Is sorry he forgot to say goodbye [to her uncle]; they will think him vague and absent-minded, which is perhaps right. Hopes she is not worried by their suspicions; is glad Bramine [Hubrecht] is kind to her and that Bessie has taken her into her confidence. Fears there is 'only one way' [marriage] of things coming right for him. She guessed his age correctly: he turned 27 on 28 June. Guesses she is 24 or 25, but he is a bad guesser, and if she were '30 or even 40' he would not mind much, 'except that then [she] would not have as many years in this curious world'. Invites her to call him 'Bob', like his family and most intimate friends; is known in general as 'Trevy'. Now going to the British Museum to read Diodorus Siculus; he could make out he was 'very learnèd' in revenge for his confusion on saying 'something stupid about music'. Asks to be remembered to Bramine; is going to give one of her sketches to his mother. His mind is made up as to what he wants, but he can be patient 'for some time at least'.
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].
10 Prinsegracht, the Hague. - Received the letter Bob wrote on Friday this morning, which did her 'a great deal of good': she needs to be told that it is not worth getting depressed over little things on the 'frontier of [their] promised land'; will try to stay calm and wait to hear from his parents in response to her letter to his father. Last night she talked the matter [whether to invite Sir Henry Howard to the wedding] over with her uncle again; he still has objections but did not come to any firm conclusion, and they agreed it would be best to wait until Bob's arrival. Sir George's letter, though, may 'upset all', as she would have to explain to her uncle and aunt about his decision [not to come to the wedding] if he does not change his mind. Does not think Bob realises that it would then look as if his father was 'mortally offended & angry', and her uncle would be sure to take it that way, which might lead to a 'brouille [quarrel]' between them. She has seen the misery of quarrels often in her life and would be very sorry if anything of the kind took place. Tells Bob he ought not to miss the [Cambridge] Apostles' dinner on 13 June; they could perhaps go to Blackdown for a while so he could go to Cambridge for it; will be 'a great thing' for him to be there 'so soon after [he has] obtained the dignity of a married man'. Is glad about [Charles] Sanger but wants to hear more.
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.
10 Prinsegracht, the Hague; addressed to Bob at 3 Hare Court, Inner Temple, London E.C. - Asks if Bob really had the vision he describes in his letter or whether he is just amusing her; talks about their ritual of 'kissing the wall' before sleep; sends a lock of her hair and asks for one of Bob's in return. Thanks him for his explanation of his sonnet in "The Speaker", which she now understands. Returns to the letter after some business over shares at the bank with her uncle, which they were both glad to finish. Discussion of post times. Foolish of "The Speaker" not to put Bob's translation in; asks if he is going to send the "[Lady's] Bat" or anything else to the "Spectator" or "Athenaeum". Discussion of arrangements for the house. Asks who Sophie, who has offered to give Bob a set of books, is; Bob ought to decide what he would like; asks if he has a complete set of Browning in Smith and Elder's edition; she does not like Meredith enough and the Frys have a set, but if Bob is a great admirer he should ask for that. Hope [Charles] Sanger feels better; asks about Bob's lease on the Temple rooms, and whether he is still keeping daily accounts or whether he has not opened his account book since they 'sat together in Charles' room one morning at Grosvenor Crescent'; does not like to nag but he must think about such things.
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'.
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'.
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. - 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.
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, London E.C. - Glad to hear that [Joseph] Joachim was so nice to her; hopes she also enjoyed her evening with the Piersons. Has talked to his father, who has convinced him that they should invite Sir Henry Howard to the wedding, as a relative; admits that it would be strange not to do so in England. Told his father it may cause difficulties with the Grandmonts; but he replied that politics should not enter into the matter. In a way it would be a slight to his father, since he wishes it, not to invite them; he would in that case not come over. Thinks that the Howards would not be 'much in the way' at the wedding, especially as his brothers and parents will be there; does not think him 'a bad fellow, and she, though dull, was quite harmless'; will not deny it would be pleasanter if they did not come. More serious if the Grandmonts really object; understands their feelings, though thinks them 'wrong and unreasonable'; they are among Bessie's best friends and good friends of his too, and it is through them that he and Bessie know each other; would be a great pity if they did not come. Does not think the fact her uncle, who will send the invitations, does not know the Howards is 'essential'. She will have to explain the situation to him; then the Grandmonts should probably be told as soon as possible so that they can make a decision. He or his father could write to her uncle to explain if she prefers.
The marriage conditions are all right; both he and his father will write to her uncle about them. Is going to Cambridge tomorrow and will see Tom Moore; wants to read him the two finished acts of the play. Will probably 'take wings' on Saturday evening: become an 'angel' and 'cease to be an active member of the Society of Apostles'. [Oswald?] Sickert is probably coming to Dorking the Sunday after; has worked well recently, and a few visitors will not make much difference. Sanger is back and seems well again, from the little Bob has seen of him. Has been to the tailors and it is hard to find material of the kind she wants; sends some more patterns, which he thinks will look lighter when made up and were lighter than the ones he wore for Roger [Fry's] wedding. The travelling clock which the servants have given them is very good; there was a note with it in Booa [Mary Prestwich]'s handwriting, which he copies out. Wants to write them a thank-you note, but is unsure how to address it; had better ask his mother.
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, Westcot, Dorking. - Discusses post times. The weather has been 'absolutely beastly' and he has a cold, which gave him a nose-bleed this morning. Took a day off yesterday and lunched with the Frys; [Roger] Fry is very busy, having had to give an extra lecture last week, so Bob conveys his advice on house decoration. Need good painters, as [George?] Moore had trouble when he was having his Cambridge rooms done, due to the 'stupidity of the workmen'. Gives his aunt Meg Price's address. Thinks he is becoming 'more romantic' about her; wishes he had been with her to 'caress... and explain away [his] last cruel letter' in which he thoughtlessly exaggerated his 'regret at [his] fading days of singleness' [9/119]. She will certainly not come between him and his friends, as she has 'quite enough of their own intellectual qualities to be their friend in the same way' he is. Has usually gone abroad alone and not allowed his 'sensations to be interfered with by those of others'; will probably enjoy going to Greece more with her than with 'people like Daniel and Mayor'. Attempts to explain his feelings in detail. Will be able to talk freely to his friends after his marriage, though 'it is true that men do talk more obscenely, and more blasphemously, than they ever quite dare to talk before women' and he thinks that this difference is right. Should not have written 'so carelessly' and caused her pain. Has written to her uncle saying he and she should fix the date. Crompton [Llewelyn] Davies came for tea last Sunday; he is probably going to the Lizard at Easter; he said his brother [Arthur?] and his wife went to Land's End for his honeymoon which was 'very satisfactory', but that Savernake near Salisbury plain was the 'best place conceivable', with 'every kind of scenery' only an hour from London. He says it has a good inn; Bob may look on his way to Cornwall. Seatoller [in Borrowdale] is very nice too, but much further away. Has not yet heard from Daniel how Sanger is; will tell Bessie [about Sanger's unhappy love affair] when he sees her; she guessed correctly that the woman was Dora. He and Fry still think it would have been best for them to marry, but that now seems unlikely; her treatment of him is 'not through heartlessness exactly... but owing to circumstances, and also to her rather unusual temperament'. Has done some work, and has been re-reading Flaubert's letters; feels more in sympathy with him than any other modern writer. His mother says Charles and George are thinking of giving Bessie a 'very pretty sort of box to keep music in'; wishes they would give them the flying trunk or carpet Bessie mentioned. They will have to content themselves with meeting in dreams, though it seems [Empedocle] Gaglio has a dream-carpet which will take him into Bessie's brain; still, he does not have a lock of her hair so Bob has a start.
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.
The Mill House, Westcot, Dorking. - Hopes to decide today whether the second post reaches its destination at the same time as the first. Had a busy time in London, spending much time with Sanger before he left for Greece, as well as dining out, going to Fry's lecture, and to see "Richard II" with [Thomas Sturge?] Moore and Binyon. Returned on Wednesday and has done some work; saw Fry and they discussed Sanger's illness; he is 'desparately in love with someone who is behaving very cruelly to him [Dora Pease]' and he does not know what she feels for him. Will tell Bessie more when he sees her. Certainly good for him to go to Greece with Dickinson, Daniel, Wedd and Mayor. Saw them off at the station and 'felt desperately incline to go off with them'; they were so cheerful, even Sanger, and he has always dreamed of going to Greece, which they know so well; regrets that after his marriage he will not be able to go with them 'with who one can talk as freely as one chooses, as blasphemously, as obscenely, as wittily, as learnedly, as jovially as any of the old Greeks themselves did'. Feels he should have 'made hay more assiduously' during his bachelor days, instead of living 'mewed up' alone in the countryside. Knows Bessie will compensate him for all he is to lose; she must come to Greece before long or she will find him 'running off' without her. Praises "Richard II"; it was well acted, though he thought the Richard [Frank Benson?] "vulgar". Has written to his Aunt Meg [Price]; she seems happy to get them a 'cottage piano' which will later be exchanged; asks if Bessie wants the final choice of the instrument or whether she trusts his aunt's 'professional friend' to do this. Sophie is 'Miss Wickstead [sic: see 9/117]], not some young lady friend' he has not told her about.
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]
British Museum. - Encloses Luzac's receipt, which she may give to her uncle. Spent yesterday afternoon at Highgate listening to [Thomas Sturge] Moore's new poetry, which was 'very refreshing'; Moore liked his bat ["The Lady's Bat"], though suggested some alterations; did not show him his play but hopes to do so soon. Has just seen [Laurence] Binyon has shown him a 'new ode of Tristram and Iseult' ["Tristram's End"] which is 'quite good but perhaps not first class'. Is taking Moore's play "Mariamne" to Dorking to read again and hopes to be 'in train' to do something himself. Will not order the beds until nearer the time he goes to Holland, but will talk to [Roger] Fry about the bedroom; she shall see and approve the colour before he distempers the walls. Tends to agree with her that they should economise on furnishing, to leave 'a good margin' for things such as foreign travel; he still also wants her to have a new violin. Is dining this evening with [Charles] Sanger, [Goldsworthy Lowes] Dickinson and [Desmond] MacCarthy; Sanger is 'not at all well'; hopes his Greek journey will put him right. Copies out some lines from Binyon's Tristram poem. Very glad that Bessie's aunt was so much better on her return; wonders if the Luzacs have called; the Sickerts know a Hague painter called [Dirk] Jansen, whom they like but do not care much for his painting.
3 Hare Court, Inner Temple. - Apologises for not saying goodbye properly on the boat; hopes the stewardess looked after her, that she had a good crossing, and found everyone well at home. Asks her to thank Louisa [Hubrecht, who was staying with her uncle and aunt]. His hotel was very comfortable; had a good journey to London, reading more of "Arne" [by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson?]. Is glad to return to his 'studious habits', but even more so to think that soon she will share them with him. Has enjoyed his day at the British Museum. Had supper with the Sickerts and a 'long talk with Oswald', one of the 'nicest' of his friends whom he thinks she will like very much. Will probably go to Highgate to see [Thomas Sturge] Moore tomorrow, then to Dorking next day. Has not yet seen [Charles] Sanger, who must be out for the evening. Has been to Curry & Paxton, who will have them [spectacles for Ambro Hubrecht?] ready in about a week. Is paying Luzac [?]. Saw his parents this morning; his father has almost recovered. Read the Gospel of Nicodemus and some [Matteo?] Bandello stories at the British Museum. Expects she will soon be discussing their marriage date with her uncle and explaining his parents' plans to travel over. Will write to Sir Henry Howard [the British ambassador to the Netherlands] when the date is settled. Sanger has just been telling the story of his friend Robertson's love affair with an American girl who has just died; Sanger is going to Greece, and has not had 'his bad headaches' recently. Was sent a guinea by the "Manchester Guardian" [for his letter on the Amalfi landslip]. Frank Holland has sent a letter [17/145] promising him a set of Anatole France [as a wedding present]; Bob thinks what he has read of France 'very good'.
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.
Postmarked London W.; addressed to Trevelyan at Welcombe, Stratford on Avon. - Delighted to get Trevelyan's letter; apologises for taking it for granted that Trevelyan as 'a member of the coffee club' would not object to an undertaking [the "Cambridge Observer", see 5/32] decided upon in his absence. Wishes Tansley, Russell, and Sanger were in London to discuss the business side of the paper.
12 Pembroke Gardens, Kensington, W. - Has been wanting to ask Trevelyan's opinion about starting a weekly magazine [the "Cambridge Observer"]; hears from [Eddie] Marsh that he is optimistic. Wishes he had been in [Arthur?] Tansley's room on the last day of term, when there was an 'air of keenness'. The plan is for a serious magazine, with 'no conventional fun about proginses & bedders & Newhamites"; admires Carr B. very much but thinks he is well represented already while 'more serious people' are not. Problem with finding a good editor; feels a committee would solve this problem, though he knows Trevelyan does not agree; discusses how it might work. The paper would consist of: remarks on events; reviews; poetry or a story; a political or philosophical essay; 'an article on the Town by a Townee'; Oxford correspondence; athletics; Newnham & Girton. The town correspondent is to be Mrs Rye, a 'very hard-working clever Liberal' and a member of the Board of Guardians, whom Trevelyan's brother knows. Hoping to get [Cyril Mowbray?] Wells to write on athletics. Is sending a prospectus to Tansley, [Bertrand] Russell and [Charles] Sanger, who are very keen, and hopes to distribute this (with their corrections) on the first day of term with the paper following the week after. Thinks Palmer will do the printing.
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.
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.
The Shiffolds. - Very kind of his mother to send him the [birthday] present of three pounds; will 'spend it chiefly on books' and tell her what he gets. May 'spend part on trouser-stretchers, which Bessie is very anxious [he] should have'. His hand is getting better [after a fall on the Lake Hunt, see 46/316], but 'still bandaged, so writing is a little difficult'. They have several guests: Mrs and Mrs Sanger; their daughter, who 'has just left Bedales; and Dickinson, 'who is here still'.
Also here is Rodker, who will publish Robert's Theocritus translation this autumn. This autumn, or next spring, the Hogarth Press will publish 'a small book of new poems' by Robert [Poems and Fables]. Knows little as yet about the performance of his Aeschylus translation by Oxford undergraduates [the Balliol Players]; they performed it 'much in the same way last year', but he never himself saw it. Will try to see a performance this time, maybe the Winchester one; doubts they do it well, from what he hears, 'still it may be an interesting experiment'. Has had nothing to do with it beyond letting them use the translation. Met 'the young man who plays Agamemnon at Athens this year. He seemed a nice fellow', but Robert does not know whether he can act. They use his '1922 edition... not the condensed version... for the Cambridge performance'. Will write to his father when he returns from London; goes there on Thursday for the [Apostles] Dinner. Sends thanks to him for his letter [12/365].
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'.
Agglestone House, Studland, Wareham, Dorset.- Is here for a few days with [Bertrand] Russell, [Charles] Sanger, [Ralph] Hawtrey 'and another [Gerald Shove: see 23/85]'; will return home on Wednesday or Thursday. Bessie was very well when he left, and writes that 'she and baby [Julian]' remain so. She has much enjoyed the Röntgens' visit to the Shiffolds; Robert spent the day with them in London on Wednesday.
This is 'quite a nice place, with an interesting coast'; has never been to Dorset, so is '"enlarging my geognosis", as Bertie says'. Hopes his father is well and that his parents are having good weather 'at last'.
Trinity College, Cambridge. - Is leaving Cambridge today so is glad Trevelyan is not coming. Cannot come to stay but thinks he can visit for the day. The world has been very kind to him recently so he will be good company. Hears Trevelyan's tragedy, which he expects was the one he was working on at Blackgang Chine ["Cecilia Gonzaga"?] is finished. Has spent the whole week in Cambridge, talking, and is looking forward to an evening alone; feels his desired ratio of company to solitude is that of 'whisky to water'. Is waiting for Sanger. Moore is very well and 'has defined metaphysics as the science of what doesn't exist'. Went to a ball last night, with plenty of young ladies and ice creams; got 'practically engaged'.