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McTaggart, John McTaggart Ellis (1866-1925) philosopher
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Notebook with draft of "The New Parsifal" by R. C. Trevelyan

Also contains notes for Trevelyan's toast to 'Absent Brothers' [at the annual dinner of the Cambridge Apostles], in which he explains that [his brother] George is 'in the Balkans, visiting battlefields' [during the Second Balkan War]; Brooke is in America, and Dickinson in China. Trevelyan suggests that Brooke should instead go to India as '9th reincarnation of Vishnu', play the flute and be followed by 'troops of adoring Gopi maidens. He would make a wonderful God'. If this new religion should prove a nuisance to the government, McTaggart, Russell and Moore should be 'at hand to check and expose him'; they would also find helpful roles in India, as would Fry, Lytton Strachey, George Trevelyan, and Mayor.

Letter from J. Ellis McTaggart to R. C. Trevelyan

Trinity College, Cambridge. - Has just heard from [Charles] Sanger about Bob's 'great news [his engagement]'. he and his wife, 'after three and a half weeks experience, have agreed that marriage is even nicer than we had expected'; trusts that Bob will find the same as the '[Apostles] Society doesn't make mistakes in its marriages'. Did not catch Bob's fiancée's name, but asks him to tell her that 'many people will be eager to welcome her to Cambridge'; his wife also 'takes on herself' to send congratulations, since 'if your brother's wife is not your sister, she is at least not an alien'.

Letter from Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven to R. C. Trevelyan

10 Prinsegracht, The Hague; addressed to Bob at Pension Palumbo, Ravello, preso d'Amalfi, Italia. - Has had the happy news that the Röntgens have had a little girl and all is well; charming that 'a little maiden is added to the family of boys' and her sister will be very happy; the girl will be called after Rontgen's first wife, Amanda [Maier]; hopes to go and see them in a few days. Wonders what she will be like; she is bound to grow up musical. Writes in the evening that she has had had Bob's letter from Cava; teases him for the 'biting jealousy with which [he] looked upon... two innocent German spooners in the train'. Had a pleasant walk with her aunt [Maria Pruys de Hoeven], who bought her some handkerchiefs as a present; went to the dentist but felt faint so has to go again on Tuesday; her mother was equally sensitive to such pain but 'was the bravest woman & had such splendid self control in all her sufferings". Encloses a letter from Bob's brother Charles which she received this morning, and thanks Bob for sending [Jack] McTaggart's letter; hopes and trusts their experience will be the same as his.

Writes the next day that she looked up Cava, Corpo di Cava, and Ravello recently, finding plenty of 'useful and dry Baedeker information'; can now imagine what it must be like and hopes Bob has a very happy time. There are wonderful things in [Plato's] Symposium; would like to ask Bob many things about it; asks what she should read now. The following day, she writes she is going to the library to see what of Bob's 'family literature' she can get to 'study hard' before going over to England; remarks that they will not see each other again 'till next century'. Had a good practice on her violin yesterday; must be prepared to have some lessons with Mr [Bram] Eldering at Amsterdam. Her aunt wrote to Bob yesterday; was very pleased with his letter.

A small photograph of Bessie is attached to the letter.

Letter from C. P. Sanger to R. C. Trevelyan

3, Hare Court, Inner Temple. - Thinks Bob cannot be 'in love a bit' - he is 'so disgustingly reasonable'; why is he thinking about 'acting wisely' when he should be feeling that he does not 'care a damn whether [he is] or not'. George has only seen [Elizabeth] once, and still gave him a 'much more favourable description' than Bob had managed with his '"tolerably accomplished for a young lady" and all that sort of thing'. Cannot ever remember being really pleased before that one of his friends was going to be married; hopes it will make Bob 'work properly which will be a splendid thing'. Asks him to send 'accurate details as to intellect & views of life of Miss van [der] Hoeven'. Expects it's 'still a secret'; announced it at the [Apostles] Society, and also told Goldie [Lowes Dickinson] on Sunday, who 'said "Good God!"' but Sanger supposes he will have 'sufficiently recovered from his astonishment' by now to write. All 'fog & rain & general damnation' here, with the 'climax of [Sanger's] miseries' being the party his mother is going to give, to which she will invite his friends and they will accept; asks if Bob agrees with his own loathing of parties, and hopes that 'there won't be many in hell'. Has not yet seen McT[aggart]'s wife, but reports of her are so 'rediculously [sic] favourable' that he is bound to be disappointed when he does. Has reclaimed something [illegible] for Bob, having 'meekly paid the money' as he 'felt too lazy to make a fuss'. Sends love to Roger and regards to Mrs Fry.

Letter from Jonathan Sturges to R. C. Trevelyan

Long's Hotel, New Bond Street, London, W. - Bob's fiancée's name [des Amorie van der Hoeven] is a 'mouthful but... a delicious one'; likes 'those old French Dutch names in all their romantic associations', and tells Bob not to 'swallow it completely but just add to it [his] own charming patronymic'. Has always liked Dutch women, and has known two 'beautiful in body & soul in a very special way'; one married an Englishman and died five years ago in Java, the other he loved 'as a boy at Heidelberg' but has heard nothing of for many years; they 'stand in [his] memory as beautiful shades', so Bob has 'nothing to "overcome"' in him, and he also has 'faith' in him. Looks forward to meeting Bob's fiancée and trying to 'make her "see" [him] -"J.S." - a poor thing but his own'. All the more pleased at the news as Bob has been for some months 'blown upon by many rumours' about his 'dark purposes' from friends whom he will not name; is glad their 'tips' did not come off and that he was right to keep 'putting [his] money' on Bob's connections in Holland. Also distrusts the same friends' reports of 'McTaggart & his Daisy Bird' that on arriving in England, McTaggart sent his wife to stay with his aunt at Guildford and went himself to Cambridge, where he 'plunged into a prolonged debauch of philosophical conversation' and showed no sign of wanting to 'resume his conjugal duties'. Alys Russell was so sorry for Daisy that she went to see her and told her that 'if she had the slightest spirit she would return to her profession as a nurse'; Mrs Whitehead then invited her to stay with them at Grantchester, where 'McT was induced occasionally to come out and dine', though he said it was too far to come to sleep; it seems he is also reluctant to take a house but wants to keep his college rooms. Even if this is not true it is 'very comic': as is Constance Fletcher's new play, which he went to see recently with Henry James. 'Mrs Pat [rick Campbell]' played the heroine 'admirably'; they were in the front row and 'H.J. fairly blushed at the languorous glances she cast upon him!'; the play is very funny, but since it has 'no art in the great sense, cracks of course in its solution, which is only arrived at by turning it into farce'.

Has not read St[ephen Phillips's play ["Paolo and Francesca"], and is unlikely to, being put off by the 'too unanimous' praise and having read the extracts. But the 'B[ritish] P[ublic] must have a poet, and since W[illiam] Watson's correct attitudes in the Dreyfus case... could not make them forget his wickedness in the Armenian business', S. Philips seems likely to fill the bill'; he is also prolific. The [Second Boer] war sickens him: though if England got into a 'really tight place' he would turn about and become 'violently pro-British', he cannot help looking at the Boers as 'antique heroes'. Hears that Frank Costelloe is dying of cancer and has left a 'perfectly hateful will'; knows the details but has promised to keep them secret. Sees John Waldegrave a great deal, and becomes fond of him; was sorry to miss [Desmond] MacCarthy when he came to see him. Waldegrave wants him to visit his father's after the New Year, but he thinks that if he is able to leave Town his best Christmas proposal is from the Thorolds at Torquay.

His own 'poor old father' has written imploring him to spend the winter with him at St. Augustine in Florida; there is a 'Turgeneffian melancholy in the thought' that he cannot really explain to his father why it would 'kill' him. Bob has chosen the 'only true solutions... of our vital problems' and he is sure that in the 'limited & human sense of the word' Bob will be happy as it is unlikely he himself 'ever shall be'. The '"man of feeling", the man with an ear for life, can only find the rhythm of it in Love or in the Church; for Art, which busies itself (in spite of Logan [Pearsall Smith]) with life so directly' cannot take its 'acolyte far enough away from joy & sorry to make him self-sufficing'. Apologises for growing 'platitudinal'. John Waldegrave tells him his 'preference for memoirs to works of fiction is as certain a sign of old bachelordom as [his] cry of "Cras amet"!'

Letter from George Macaulay Trevelyan to R.C. Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland. - Has just read 'our dear brother's novel' ["Gerald Eversley's Friendship" by Welldon, their fellow Apostle], which is 'not so bad as [he] expected': the 'commonplaceness of the story and the setting is so bold and unconventionally conventional' that it is not laughable. About half the book is set at Harrow, and this is 'good, that is true to life'; he 'knows more of boys' than George thought. Versions of Van [A. G. Watson, known as 'Vanity'] and [Charles] Searle appear. The two main characters are a 'young barbarian' and a 'swot' who make friends; the swot's 'religious doubt' is the subject of the last half of the book, and must be respected as written by 'one of the last of the old style [emphasised] of Xtian brethren', as he takes Welldon to be. The morals of this part seem to be that 'religion may be false but it is necessary to happiness and conduct', and that a young man should 'go to Trinity, not Baliol [sic]': the swot goes to Balliol, 'finds people making epigrams instead of talking apostolically', suffers religious doubts which are not taken seriously and attempts suicide; clear that Welldon views the swot's 'reversion to Xtianity rather a poor job'; George thinks Balliol people 'will be very angry'.

Glad that Robert is coming back soon; thinks that their mother is inviting 'McT' [Jack McTaggart?], to whom their father is eager to show the Macaulay books, but she will not do so before Bob returns. Is getting 'very fond of the West Wood', and wishes there were such a place to walk in Cambridge: the Backs are 'too academical and not solitary or secluded enough'. Is 'beginning to find imagination of unreal company or circumstances very refreshing for a few minutes each day'. Describes how the battle [involving toy soldiers] is going in detail, with suggestions as to how it should proceed; sketches out a map for this.

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

Chelsea. - Originally enclosing an account for housekeeping expenses: Trevelyan should take off the rent if he did in fact pay up to Lady Day. Explains how he has reckoned coal and wine. Had a good time on the river: Jack [McTaggart] 'delighted with his own absurdities and limitations'. Is going to Heathfield [Heathfield Park, home of William Cleverly Alexander?] again to paint.

Notebook with poems from "Mallow and Asphodel" and "Polyphemus", and translations of Theocritus, by R. C. Trevelyan

Verse about Meleager. Draft of version of "Comatas and the Bees" - published in "Polyphemus and other poems", but numbered 'III' and with a reference to a lady with a fan omitted from the published version, suggested it was originally intended to form part of the the next draft "For a Fan", published in "Mallow and Asphodel". "Archilochus, serving as a hireling spearman, remembers Neoboule...". Draft of reply given by Trevelyan at a meeting [a dinner?] of the Cambridge Apostles on the subject of 'Exclusiveness': mentions Lytton [Strachey], who to 'the vulgar journalistic world' that does not understand him and his work has 'no doubt become a kind of type or symbol of fastidious exclusiveness', to [John] McTaggart and to James Strachey. Draft of part of "The Sumerian Deluge".

Notebook also used from other end in: draft verse by Trevelyan, first line 'Holding a myrtle branch and rosebud fair...'. Translation of Theocritus's "Idylls" 4, 10, 11, 14, 29; Sophocles's "Antigone" 988-992; Lucretius's "De Rerum Natura" 1.988 on.

Two book references in French on inside cover, along with addresses of shops where these books can be obtained [probably not in Trevelyan's hand, perhaps from his time in France in 1918-1919?]. Also list of topics [for verse?]: 'Septimius & Acme. (Meleager). Orpheus. Gilgamesh.' etc.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Alfred Benn

The Shiffolds, Holmbury St Mary, Dorking. - Thanks Benn for sending his book ["History of English Rationalism in the Nineteenth Century"; read enough to be sure it was 'even better' than his high expectations, and sent it on to George to tempt it to review it. George 'took the bait very readily' and sent for his own copy from the "Speaker" so he could review it there. Robert is a 'slow reader' and very busy so will not finish it for some time, but is sure he will enjoy it and will write when he has finished; it must be very satisfying to complete 'so great an undertaking' successfully. A shame McTaggart's book on dogma ["Some Dogmas of Religion"] did not come out a little sooner so Benn could have 'included a notice'. [Bertrand] Russell has 'shut himself up for a month or two in a farm-house at Clovelly' to 'solve logical problems in complete isolation from the actual world'; his wife is coming tomorrow to stay with the Trevelyans for a few days.

Letters from J. Ellis McTaggart

Letters dated Mar. - Apr. 1908. Accompanied by two cuttings, one an obituary notice for McTaggart from The Times of 19 Jan. 1925, and another from The Sunday Times of 20 Dec. 1931, a review of G. Lowes Dickinson's McTaggart by Desmond MacCarthy.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Edward Marsh

5 Barton St (on headed notepaper for National Liberal Club, Whitehall Place, S.W.). - T. T. [Thomas Tettrell Phelps?] says that he is getting tickets for Bob and Marsh to see "His Excellency" [comic opera with libretto by W. S. Gilbert] if he can, otherwise they must trust to the 'tender mercies of his dramatic judgment'. Bob went last night to the Empire with the Sandilands [Harold and James?], saw 'Ivette' [Yvette Guilbert], and 'was enrolled among her vassals and servitors'. T.T. was 'not quite sufficiently magnetised', claiming 'ignorance of the language', but the rest of them could also 'not understand much of it'. [Oswald?] Sickert talked about 'buying the Empire for his friends next Saturday' for the matinee; advises Marsh to go if he can; he would himself but will have to play [rugby] football that afternoon. Has exams next Monday until Thursday, 'unlike false Sextus' [he quotes Macauley] he is in 'an agony of apprehension' that they should 'fail to be the last'. Saw MacT [Jack McTaggart] last Sunday, who thought Marsh's 'critique splendid'; Bob hopes Marsh has 'not made an enemy of Iphigeneia after all', who was not mentioned in [William?] Archer's piece in the "Pall Mall" at all.

Letter from Edward Marsh to R. C. Trevelyan

Trinity College, Cambridge. - Apologises for not replying sooner to Bob's letter; blames the weather, which 'has brought germs of indolence'; has done no work for a fortnight except reading Euripides' "Medea" and "Electra". Stops writing as his 'hands were dripping with heat'; continues on Monday morning when it is cooler. Has been to breakfast with [Jack?] MacT[aggart], who sold him Dal[housie] Young's "Defence of Oscar Wilde"; this 'makes the mistake of imitating Oscar's style' so readers will 'say that the good sense of it is discounted because it is obvious that the writer was under Oscar's influence'. Says he will not talk about the [General] elections; asks if Charley minds; was very sorry [that Charley was not elected], though he did not want Lord Rosebery to be in again just yet, and expects 'the enormous majority will bring the Tories to grief sooner'. Wonders if Bob is still at Wallington; hopes he was not 'awfully tired' by their trip to Shap. He himself had a 'pleasant journey' reading "Lord Ormont [and his Arminta]"; does not think he has ever read anything 'so exclusively spiritual... nothing of what George Moore calls exteriority, & scarcely any action'; could call it 'the revolt from naturalism' except that [George] Meredith has never been in that movement. Enjoyed their time in the Lakes very much; shame 'we & the weather weren't in better form', but they saw some 'beautiful things'. In London, saw Duse in her 'finest part, Magda' [in Sudermann's "Magda"]. They have been "very frivolous" in Cambridge, and '"Gerald Eversley's Friendship" has been a great delight' and has been read aloud; is afraid their 'brother [in the Cambridge Apostles] Welldon has done for himself.' Is reading "Don Quixote", and finding 'delicious things every now & then, but much dulness [sic]; has a 'wretched old translation', whose only recommendations are that Swift was one of the subscribers, and there are 'some funny old pictures which open out like maps'. Is leaving today; will spend tomorrow night with the Russells and start for Germany on Thursday evening; gives his address for the next month in Hildesheim. Gives a limerick beginning 'There was a young man of Madrid...'

Letter from George Macaulay Trevelyan to R.C. Trevelyan

Trinity. - Thanks Bob for the letter; thinks the music box [his and Charles's wedding present to Bob and Bessie] is a good find. The McT[aggart]s are 'delighted with their china'. Too busy to come to see Bob before going to Holland for the weather, but would be happy to see him in Cambridge, or may see him by chance when he is in London 'on various businesses' on Monday and Tuesday. Has taken to heart much of what Bob said to him about writing last summer, and tries to employ 'slow careful and thoughtful work at style' for his longer essays at least. Tom Moore is coming to Cambridge on Sunday; tells Bob to come as well if he can.

Letter from George Macaulay Trevelyan to R.C. Trevelyan

Emmanuel College, Cambridge [Headed notepaper; address underlined and exclamation marks added]. - Glad Bob's '"Experience as a lawyer"' will allow him to visit next Sunday. Everyone is cheerful, 'flourishing on [their] old lines', but they 'expect "a sop"' such as Bob to be thrown them once a week: 'this week's sops were [Bertrand] Russell and his brother [Frank]'. Saw [Nathaniel] Wedd this morning for breakfast and a walk, who was 'quite all [George] had hoped or expected'. Has decided not to speak again at the Union, which is 'an inexpressible relief'. 'Great revolutions' here this term: there was 'a lady at MacT[aggart]'s "Wednesday evening" last week', and an exhibition [scholarship] has been started for history at Trinity; this is important as previously there have only been third year scholarships, which do not attract the best students; in the exams last May everyone in both years got thirds; the college have received a gift of two thousand pounds from Lord Derby. Inberg{??] has come up and is "flourishing"; [Frank?] Elliott is 'developing into the most delightful of fellows". Notes in postscript that he has 'found the kettle holder'; gives an account of the battle [of toy soldiers]; lists 'our table' as consisting of [Edward?] Marsh, [Maurice] Amos. [Ralph] Wedgwood, [Ralph] V[aughan]-Williams, [George] Moore, [Henry Graham] Dakyns, [Harry] Watkins, George himself, and his Harrow friend [Charles] Buxton.

Letter from George Macaulay Trevelyan to R.C. Trevelyan

Union Society, Cambridge. - Is sending the books. They talk here of 'nothing but the School board now': McT[aggart] is 'Rileyite of course', but Sanger and Dickinson are opposed to him. Is going to the [Harrow] 'Old Boy's' on 1 December, and asks if Bob will also be there; also asks what there will be to see in London around the 12th, and whether Bob will be at Wallington at all this vacation. Is appreciating Wordsworth for the first time, in Matthew Arnold's selection, the only way he has found so far of 'getting at him through the mass of rubbish with which he surrounded his throne'.

Letter from George Macaulay Trevelyan to R.C. Trevelyan

Union Society, Cambridge. - Spent all day yesterday [the beginning of term?] 'seeing people and getting [his] pictures and books in'. Has put Bob's books, 'mostly school classics', in the gyp room. Likes his rooms very much: the two places he is 'fondest of in the world are the old court and the cloisters'. [Maurice] Amos is in [Bertrand] Russell's rooms, [George] Gooch the rooms opposite Collins's, and [Henry Graham] Dakyns in the 'tower by the carriage entrance'; these are 'historical stairs', since Horace Walpole visited a friend in Dakyns' new rooms. MacT[aggart]'s lectures will be attended by 'Amos, Gooch, a lady, and Dickinson and Wedd probably'. Has acquired two statuettes of Assyrian kings, copied from originals in the British Museum, which he thinks are 'very fine' and 'almost as original' as Bob's 'Hindoo god was'. Came by the late train, so had no evening in London to go to the theatre. Amos has heart trouble, 'having overworked himself', and may even be unfit to study this year: MacT[aggart] says he is well ahead with his reading and could do his tripos with not much more work if the worst came; his mother is here and George took tea with her and Maurice yesterday. Asks if Bob has any 'gossip or scandal' from [Harrow] Founder's Day. Notes in a postscript that the 'two fellows who live opposite you [ie Theodore and Crompton Llewelyn Davies]' were here recently 'both in great force', Theodore bathed 'on a raw morning with Moore as usual'.

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

22 Willow Road, Hampstead, N.W. - Delighted to hear the news from Helen about the birth of the Trevelyans' son Paul; is not sure he will fit into "Ariadne" ["The Bride of Dionysus"] but perhaps Bessie won't allow his use in poetry: he had 'to behave very well to be allowed to draw Julian'. Possible arrangements for meeting; has to go to Munich for a day but otherwise is free. Jokes about all babies' resemblance to McTaggart. Asks Trevelyan to get tickets for the concert on February 11th.

Letter from Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven to R. C. Trevelyan

Ede; addressed to Bob at 3 Hare Court, Inner Temple, London EC - Bob has still not given her his address in Dorking; supposes this letter will reach him in London; hopes he has a good time at Harrow, 'beat them all hollow' and not suffer any broken bones. Asks if he has given Bramine [Hubrecht]'s sketch to his mother and whether she likes it. A shame the Frys did not see the current glorious weather; she is going for long farewell walks to her favourite places in Ede; the Grandmonts are leaving on Friday, hates goodbyes. The Frys wrote a nice letter; he seems to have felt as Bob does that the Dutch 'ways of thinking & looking at things' are not so different from the British; she thought so too, and expects she could soon get to know them well; felt a little constraint when talking of Bob as she was unsure how much they knew. Asks Bob what new doctrine 'the philosopher [George] Moore' has been convincing him of; his account of 'the newly married philosopher' [J E M MacTaggart] made her laugh and would make a good subject for a story; she has often wished she could 'write a huge "life"-novel' but finds it impossible. Asked Grandmont about "[Till] Eulenspiegel", who also thought it was originally written in Flanders, but the Germans have very old manuscripts too, and it is rather like old works like "Reineke Fuchs [Reynard the Fox]" which also has an uncertain origin. Is very glad Bob is learning German. Reminds him that he said she could read some more of his "Mahabarata" [sic: "Mahabharata"] poem and some others. Bob's lost umbrella has been found and passed on to Paul [Hubrecht] as promised. They have given up the house at Doorn, "Citio", due to difficulties with the proprietor, so must search again; she, her uncle [Paul François Hubrecht], and Grandmont looked at an old country house near Haarlem on Monday, but it was too gloomy and damp.

Letter from George Macaulay Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

G[ran]d Hotel Trinacria, Palermo. - Was fortunate that he received a telegram saying the baby [Julian] had recovered before any letter on the subject; is very sorry that Bessie and Bob had such anxiety, and hopes that all is well now. Arrived here last night, and likes it as much as he hates Naples. is reading [George Meredith's] "Rhoda Fleming" again, and now agrees with Bob about its 'inferiority', and that it is 'melodramatic' and beneath the writer; feels that the 'alleged "illegitimate-son-of-Ld-Lytton element"' which gives 'a necessary spice' to most of Meredith's works here completely takes over. It is 'no use writing or even talking' about politics; hopes 'God will inspire our leaders to retrieve the situation that some insane Devil has induced them to throw away'. Necessary to be loyal, so 'the less said the better'. Can 'imagine Bertie [Russell] talking on the subject of Sir E[dward] Grey!!'. Met a 'very nice Oxford, Balliol Don' at Naples, not A.L. [Arthur Lionel] but J.A. [John Alexander] Smith; George thought him a good philosopher and a 'very good man'. He admired Bertie [Russell], and discussed [Henry] Sidgwick and McTaggart 'excellently and critically. George expects 'there are good things about Oxford': there are 'a few great philosophers' at Cambridge, while at Oxford 'the young men are taught a little philosophy', this is 'perhaps not a bad division of labour'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven

3, Hare Court, Inner Temple, London E.C. - Apologises for not replying sooner; went to Cambridge on Saturday and found 'so much to do and talk about' that there was no time to write. Is going to Dorking tomorrow as his furniture is coming; the house should have been ready a week ago. Will dine with his mother that evening, then on Thursday he is going to Harrow to play [rugby] football against the school on Founders' Day; afterwards will dine at the Headmasters' and go to a 'smoking concert'; the day after that he will dine at his father's club. Will only then really begin the solitude of his 'rural retreat' and is looking forward to 'a quiet and industrious time at last'. Glad Bessie liked the Frys and they got on well with her uncle; not surprised she found 'a certain difficulty in becoming intimate with them', since he thinks Fry's mind is very different to hers and that he is not always quick to adapt himself, while Helen Fry is not like that but is often 'rather diplomatic in conversation until she knows all about a person'; this is not insincerity, as some people think. Heard from them today [see 4/27]; they enjoyed their visit, and Fry seems to have taken 'tremendously' to her uncle and aunt. Went to Highgate last week to see Tom [Sturge] Moore the poet, who read two new poems; criticises the first line of the one about Leda and the swan; Moore is 'always charmingly good-natured when one criticises, and sometimes even will be convinced.' Spent most of yesterday talking to Tom's brother [George] the philosopher. Great excitement at Trinity as the philosopher MacTaggart [sic: John McTaggart], who used to 'disapprove of marriage on metaphysical grounds, is bringing home a New Zealand hospital nurse called Daisy Bird as his wife'; he may need consolation as on his return from his year in New Zealand he will find that Moore and another [Bertrand Russell?], 'his most promising pupils and followers, have set up an entirely new and antagonistic system of the universe'. Sat at dinner at Trinity next to a science fellow [John Newport?] Langley whom he likes very much, who knows and thinks highly of [Ambrosius?] Hubrecht; Langley asked whether "[Till] Eulenspiegel" was originally written in Flanders; perhaps Grandmont knows. Has begun to learn German; finding it easier than expected in some ways, but has not yet got far. What Bessie says about women's tendency to either conceal or be overly frank about their ages seems more or less true to him; her allusion to his having had 'the benefit of women's society and friendship' amuses him, as if she wanted to make him 'a sort of Platonic and sentimental Don Juan' which he is certainly not; before her he has known very few women well, and only in one or two cases has he known them ' rather sentimentally' at some point; does not consider himself 'at all learned in women's psychology and character'. Finishing this letter in the room of a friend who has 'studied the female character far more profoundly', but since he has never fallen in love to his knowledge, Bob looks on him as his inferior.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven

The Mill House, Westcott, Dorking - Begins the letter on his first night at the Mill House, an 'event of some importance'; describes the 'confusion' in the house, with most of his books still packed in their cases; has just undone two parcels of books from the Bohn library, a recent bargain purchase: sixty Bohns for seven pounds; puns on Ezekiel 37 and the 'valley of dry bones', though the books are not really too dry, and there are translations of Pushkin's tales and Hoffmann's "Serapion" which are quite new to him. Is going for a long walk of exploration this afternoon; hopes to reach the top of Leith Hill; must go and call on the [Paget?] Bowmans some day. Had an excellent game at Harrow last Thursday, just beating the School; [rugby] football is his 'chief... vanity'; they then forgot their injuries 'over the Headmaster's champagne', and he saw many old friends. A couple of days later, saw his greatest school-friend, just back from three years in India as a civil servant, 'a bit fat, but otherwise... not changed much'; does not believe 'nice people' do change much, at least until they 'begin to get senile'. George Moore believes most people 'soon begin to deteriorate', but he is a pessimist. Promises to send her some of his poetry next time. A pity the house at Doorn came to nothing; sympathises with Grandmont's exasperation at a wasted trip around the country. Has written to thank Paul [Hubrecht], who need not have returned his umbrella. Thinks he will get on well with his German when he begins in earnest. Thanks for the information from Grandmont about "Eulenspiegel", which he will share with Langley when they next meet. McTaggart is certainly 'a very interesting and original being, and perhaps the wittiest in Cambridge", though Bob does not think his philosophy sound; has not yet seen his Daisy. Understands her difficulty in talking with the Frys about their 'common friend, that wretched poet', but Fry said nice things about them all and Bessie in particular. Sorry to think of her 'wandering sadly round the country, like Jephthah's daughter' saying goodbye to all the places she knew; will try and write again soon since she is unhappy. Had no chance to show Bramine's sketches to his mother but will do this later; the war is a 'beastly business' but he is glad that 'more sensible people' than he at first though consider that it could have been avoided.

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