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Röntgen, Amanda (1899-1904) daughter of Julius Engelbert Röntgen
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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 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. - Bob's first letter from Ravello arrived yesterday; it arrived just as she was going to the dentist and gave her strength to stand all the treatment; at the end she 'nearly hugged the doctor'. Bob's quotation from Chaucer is 'charming'; hopes he will never need complain of his 'wyve's cussedness'. She got the proofs for her photos yesterday and is quite pleased with them: 'the one without the eye glasses is almost pretty'; will send them to Bob's mother and Bob himself. Writes on the 14th to say that she went to hear a rehearsal the day before 'more worth than last time'; heard an ouverture by Chabrier, 'an empty French piece of music', then Beethoven's second symphony to her 'great delight'. Then she heard Bob's 'friend [Frederic?] Lamond' play the Tchaikowsky piano concerto, and admired his playing but did not care much for the piece. Was sitting with a Russian lady, Madame de Rhemen, who is married to a Dutch Baron and 'a great swell... and a would-be patroniser and enthusiast for musical life at the Hague', 'very clever & intellectual.... though narrow-minded and hard in her opinions'. She 'fascinated Tuttie [Maria Hubrecht] at one time' until 'the tables were turned' and Tuttie became rather tired of her, and 'taken up with her American friend [Maud Howard]', it was 'such a comedy'; now Bessie thinks the feelings on both sides have 'fallen rather flat'. Her husband is 'a dry stolid old Dutchman', and the marriage not happy. Had not seen her since the summer; she wanted to hear all about Bob; is going to dine with her on Saturday then go to a music recital. Another old Russian lady, the Comtesse de Bylandt, came to sit with them; told Bessie she had lived twenty years in England, knows Bob's parents, and knew his grandfather very well. Returned home and took down some 'dull' dictation for her uncle [Paul François Hubrecht]. [Her brother-in-law Julius Engelbert] Röntgen writes that the family are all pleased with their new sister, except Johannes 'who began to howl when the baby was shown to him'. Is very cross that a letter from her sister [Abrahamina] inviting her to come to hear a chamber concert on Saturday only reached her yesterday; she could have played to [Bram] Eldering and got some preliminary advice, as he is too busy to start her lessons before January.

Gredel Guye is coming again on Friday, as her oral examination is on Saturday; remembers the day of her last visit, which was when Bob had his interview with her uncle. Had a strange dream last night in which 'some curious law' forced her to marry someone else, she thinks Mr Eldering, and woke with great relief. Got Bob's father's "Life of Macauley" from the library recently (they only have that, his "American Revolution", and Bob's brother George's book ["England in the Age of Wycliffe, 1368–1520"]. Macauley's life looks 'very interesting'; has glanced through and seen a letter of his to his sister Margaret about his other sister [Hannah]'s marriage to Bob's grandfather, speaking very highly of him. Agrees that she must read [Theodor] Mommsen, as Bob said at Taormina, to see whether he can inspire with 'the true love of history' she has never possessed. Happy thoughts about her feelings for Bob and their marriage. Now going to stay with her cousin Louise Hubrecht again at Leiden; is taking her [Bob's] "Mallow and Asphodel" as she asked to see it.

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

10 Prinsegracht, s'Gravenhage; addressed to Bob at Pension Palumbo, Ravello, presso d'Amalfi, Italia. - 'Poor Gredel [Guye]' has failed; she is 'downcast', but 'very sensible' knowing it is a very hard exam and she can try next year. She and her family seem to like Bob very much. Is not sure about Bob's correction of her Italian. Notes that her letters reach him quicker than his get to her; discusses love letters; often wishes she could find new ways of expressing her love; would be good if Bob learnt Dutch so that she could write to him in it. Asks if he knows he sometime leaves out words, about two or three a page; when he wrote 'sea-sickness would prevent [him] from coming to see [her]', meaning the contrary, she thought she would have to give him up. Glad that Ravello has inspired Bob's 'poetic vein', as she sees in his letter. Unsure why Bob is surprised she showed his mother's photographs to her uncle and aunt, especially as he knows how everything which enters the house 'is enquired after'. Spent a very happy afternoon at Leiden on Thursday, seeing her cousin Louise [Hubrecht]; wants Bob to meet her as she is so nice; told her lots about him and left his poems ["Mallow and Asphodel"]. Went skating yesterday on the ponds in the wood, for the first time this year; wonders if Bob skates and imagines skating together. Went to see the 'poor man at the Hospital' [see 9/]13 again this afternoon, and got to know him much better; he told her that there was a man in the same ward who had earned his living 'travelling round the country with a crocodile, which he had left behind at his inn now' earning about 8 guilders, almost fourteen shillings, a week. If the weather is good tomorrow, will go to Amsterdam to see her niece Amanda Röntgen and congratulate her parents; now she is going to read [Sir George Otto Trevelyan's] 'Life of Macauley'; will also re-read [Joseph Henry Shorthouse's] "John Inglesant" so as to be reading it at the same time as Bob and able to discuss it with him.

Continues the letter next morning; has put off her visit to Amsterdam, probably till Tuesday. Ambro [Hubrecht] stayed the night after 'looking after his smelly whale [see 9/14] again'; they have produced much 'precious oil' from it, though it has been hard getting kettles big enough to hold the bones; he was 'very lively' and has sent Bob a bound copy of his American speech. Discusses [General Sir Redvers Henry] Buller's defeat at Colenso, and asks if it might effect a change in public opinion. Asks whether he likes the "Manchester Guardian", and whether it reaches him quickly. Asks if he has heard from [Lina] Duff Gordon or his 'Florence friends' [the Berensons?]. She has had a 'very nice letter' from Mrs Hartmann, the Danish lady, also from Miss Dahlrup who sends kindest regards. Looks forward very much to returning to Sicily together. Has also hear from Mrs van Riemdyk about Tonina's violin; they would never sell it but would loan it to Bessie, which is 'quite unlawful'. so Bessie has replied to say she is not interested and Bob's 'sweet, kind & generous gift... must come to nothing'. Has been reading an argument between the Brownings about duelling, which she discusses, as well as the possibility of Bob losing his temper with her and vice versa; calls herself 'a hasty-tempered vixen'. Finishes off the letter next morning; likes the poetry Bob has copied out for her, especially Blake's; the beginning of his letter is 'very naughty indeed', and he will get his 'whipping one day - women's whips are their tongues'; quotes a Dutch proverb translated into English. Hopes his host is better, and that the storms have passed.

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

The Hague; addressed to Bob at Pension Palumbo, Ravello, presso Amalfi, Italia. - Teases Bob by suggesting his poetry is a fraud, and for his 'untidy, would-be genius look'. Hopes the weather has improved; asks if Ravello is a rainy place, as she remembers it being wet when he was there with George, and whether he cannot work well unless he is outside. Glad Mrs [Sophia] Reid is so kind to him. Hopes [Pasquale] Palumbo is better; asks if his wife and daughter would keep up the pension if he died, about Bob's room, and whether he is now the only guest. Has got a new hat; her family say it suits her, and her uncle [Paul François Hubrecht] teases her by saying 'Varello', his new name for Bob, would like to see it. Reads from Bob's letters to her uncle and aunt as they are 'so interested to hear anything'; was annoyed that her aunt seemed to have the idea that her feelings about the [Second Boer] war were 'gradually changing' but this is all resolved. Later, writes that she has just returned with her uncle from a rehearsal of Haydn's "Schöpfung (Creation)" which she much enjoyed.

Writes on Thursday morning that she has received Bob's letter with his plans for returning towards the end of January; has been discussing them with her uncle and aunt. There are no real objections to it on her part, though she does feel it 'rather a pity' for her visit to England to be so much sooner; worries about leaving her uncle and aunt alone in the winter since Tuttie [her cousin Marie] will not have returned; also thinks it is a shame for Bob to leave Ravello so much earlier than planned, though she is delighted that she might see him in a month; Bob's parents have first say in the matter. Since he will only be in Holland for a short time, she thinks he should return later in spring when she is back from England, to be introduced to some friends and relations. Feels it would probably be better if she travelled to England by herself, though he knows her opinion that sensitivities on the subject are 'absurd & silly'; asks him to tell her what his mother thinks. Very glad [Pasquale] Palumbo is better, for his wife and daughter's sake and because now Bob will not have to move to a 'damp hotel'; begs him never to do this, and asks if Mrs Reid could take him in; if Mrs Palumbo is 'so fond' of him he can have fewer scruples about staying. Jokes about the fee in kisses which Bob asks for his literary advice; has read "Romeo and Juliet", but not yet "The Merchant of Venice". Had a happy day yesterday in Amsterdam seeing the baby [Amanda Röntgen]; her sister [Abrahamina Röntgen] 'asked at once how many letters from Ravello' she had in her pocket, and she read some of the latest one to her with the Vaughan and Blake poems. Went in the evening to hear the whole of the oratorio ["The Creation"] which delighted her, as Haydn's music always does. Is sending Bob the three photographs of her; likes the one without spectacles best, which reminds her somewhat of her mother's face; will also send them to his mother. Describes a dream she had with him in last night. He must not be anxious about her feet; is managing keep them warmer with 'footbags, gaiters etc etc' and a hot brick, thought she does have chilblains at the moment. Calls Bob her 'dearest dearest diddle-diddle-darling (as Jos Sedley said in Vanity Fair when he was drunk!'

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

10 Prinsegr[acht]; addressed to Bob at the Mill House, Westcott, Dorking, Surrey. - Thanks Bob for his letter. Is afraid her aunt is not as well as she first thought on her return. Has had several morning callers, including 'the old lady who used to have the snow in her head'. whose daughter would very much like to come and be their maid, and a little girl for whom Bessie once arranged a stay in the country when she was ill, bringing a wedding present she had made. The farmer from Leiden also came; her uncle is advising her to sell all her landed property before she becomes 'a foreigner' on her marriage, or she will have to pay a heavy tax to do so. Her husband has suggested that the money she gets for it should be invested in the house which her sister wants to buy. Asks if Bob has finished "Arne" [by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson?]; she has not, as she is finishing [Charlotte Bronte's] "Villette" which 'however silly & absurd in parts interests [her] immensely'. Had some bad dreams last night 'about bombs & suicides & fires in a great hall', after reading about the bombs and the fire at the Théatre Français in Paris, and the fire at the theatre in "Villette". Glad Bob saw [Thomas Sturge] Moore and had a good talk, and that he feels up to more work; he should tell her how he gets on and if her gets any more German done. Discussions of furniture and decoration for their house; asks Bob to send a sample of the green colour [Roger] Fry recommends for the drawing room. Thinks they must give up the idea of buying a new violin for the moment until she knows she can practise and get some lessons; she can always sell some shares if a valuable instrument becomes available as it would be a kind of investment, and probably more than their yearly allowance.

Her uncle and aunt have no objection to them marrying Whit week, and agree 'wonderfully' on most things about the wedding. She and Bob need two male witnesses of age settled in the Netherlands: she can have her uncle and [Julius Engelbert] Röntgen and Bob can have Ambro [Hubrecht], but she cannot think of another near kinsman she would like to be present so they may need to ask [Abraham?] Bredius or another neutral. To the wedding breakfast, would like to invite on her side her uncle and aunt, the Grandmonts, Tuttie [Maria Hubrecht], all the Röntgens, the four Hubrechts [Ambro's family], Louise, and her eldest sister Marie. Asks whether any of Bob's friends would like to come, perhaps combining it with a 'little tour through Holland'. Has been cycling in the woods every afternoon, enjoying the sun but getting stiff legs; is reading a few pages of Bob's "Pilgrim's Progress" every night before going to sleep. Knows the painter [Dirk?] Jansen by name, a good teacher at the Hague Academy but she does not care for his paintings either. The Luzacs called to see her uncle and aunt when she was out; he seemed to like Bob. Likes the letter from Frank Holland which Bob sends and the present he is going to give them, as well as the lines by [Laurence] Binyon.

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

Pension Palumbo, Ravello, presso Amalfi. - Filthy weather, as it has generally been since he arrived; has sent off his 'interminable commentary' on [Thomas Sturge Moore's] "Danaë", and has been reading Byron's play "Cain"; finds it 'surprisingly fine', though there are great faults, as in all of Byron; does not agree with Goethe's claim that Byron 'is a child the moment he begins to think'. Always pleased when he finds good things in Byron, as he is much criticised nowadays; people do not really read him, or 'only his inferior early things, e.g. Childe Harold'. Teases Bessie, pretending that 'an unconscionable young lady' keeps 'tormenting him with a stupid school-girl correspondence' and there is no telling where her reading of Plato may lead her. Is sorry that Bessie is having so bad a time with the dentist; best to go through with it in the end. Dined at Mrs Reid's last night, hearing 'local tales about brigands etc' and drinking good wine. They have 'some wonderful cats, the most beautiful [he] has ever seen'; would like to get 'one of the family some day'. Delighted to hear about [the birth of Bessie's niece] Amanda Röntgen; Bessie's aunt told him first, sends thanks for her letter. Copies out poems by Vaughn [sic: Henry Vaughan, "The Retreat"], and Blake ["Infant Joy"]. Will finish this letter and 'per-haps, as Grandmont says' send it by the early post. Is glad to have Bessie's photograph but wants the bigger one when she gets them.

Finishes the letter next day. Bad weather again; is not in good spirits as his host Palumbo is dangerously ill; Palumbo has suffered from the same paralysis before and may recover; he is a 'very good fellow' and Bob will be sorry if he dies; pities his wife and daughter. Has just read the news of the great British losses at Ladysmith; does not know whether this means the town has fallen, but it looks as though Methuen was not strong enough to relieve it; if Redvers Buller does not do better than Methuen, expects Ladysmith will fall in a few weeks and would wish that if it would lead to the reopening of peace negotiations, but this seems unlikely. Says Bessie 'deserve[s] a whipping' for interpreting his jealousy of the lovers in his carriage as a desire to hug his female fellow-travellers. Is very glad she likes the "Symposium" so much; discusses it briefly and suggests other dialogues by Plato she could read. Copies out Blake's "Infant Sorrow" and "Cradle Song". [His brother] Charlie's letter was very nice; is sure she will like him, and he 'evidently means to like [her]'. Reminds her that the new century does not begin until 1901. Glad her practising is going well.

Letter from Caroline Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Welcombe, Stratford on Avon. - She and Sir George are disappointed that Elizabeth is not coming, but she is right to go to her sister; hopes it will cheer Mien [after the death of her daughter Amanda], and sends her sympathy. Must arrange to meet on Elizabeth's return; she and Sir George go to London on 11 April, and go abroad in five weeks. Is planning an afternoon party for young people, both married and unmarried, and asks if Elizabeth could help with some music. Has had a letter from Madame Grandmont [Bramine Hubrecht], who does not think La Croix suited Elizabeth as well as Ravello; hopes she is well. Wonders where Robert and his friends [on G. E. Moore's reading party?] have gone; G[eorge] and J[anet] are walking in Cornwall until Tuesday; they then come to London and go at once abroad. Aunt Margaret has had influenza; Caroline and Sir George are pretty well.