- 6 Feb 189[6?]
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'.