- 5 Apr 1900
The Mill House, Westcott, Dorking. - Bessie should not mind her feeling [that a recent musical occasion would not have felt the same with Bob there]; he would not want her to be at [an Apostle's] Society discussion, as she would be 'a little out of her element', and he will likewise never be musically minded' however many concerts he go to; though he will want to 'know and try to sympathise with' her musical friends as she will 'to a far greater extent and more easily' with his friends. She is ''"Apostolic" in... intellect and Nature', though she cannot become a brother, whereas he could never be thought of as an 'Embryo' in music, however much trouble she took with him. However, does enjoy music, such as the Isaye [sic: Ysaÿe] concert last Monday, who played Schubert and Beethoven, and the song recital by [Blanche] Marchesi on Tuesday; she sang some melancholy songs by [Adolf] Jensen, and part of César Franck's "Ruth". Has been reading Heine's songs with a translation, and likes them, but not as much as those by Goethe, which seem as great, and in the same sort of way' as those by Shakespeare and Sappho. Mrs [Helen] Fry is still not well; has lent her 'lots of novels, which she reads very fast'; she sends Bessie her love. Still thinks the Lakes will be best for their honeymoon; asks advice on the trousers he should get for the wedding day. Lists some books he owns; Sophie [Wicksteed] is giving them a complete Carlyle; Bessie should keep any book that has meaning for her. The Insleys told him the correct spelling of his address was 'Westcot', but supposes he should follow modern fashion. Has read some more of the new poems [Thomas Sturge] Moore lent to Binyon; one 'about the dead Don Juan' is very original. Has not done much work recently; hopes to get the first two acts finished before going abroad. Is going to stay with the Holman Hunts before going to Cornwall; Hunt's 'painting is now no good' but he is charming and 'full of reminiscences of Rossetti, Millais and the rest'. Asks if she knows of the Dutch poet Piet Paaltjens. Read a poem of Heine in which he compared his wife to 'Schlangen' [snakes] and himself to Laocoon; wishes Bessie 'would come swimming over the sea, like the snakes in Virgil'. Fears he cannot get her [magic] carpet at 'Cardinal and Harvards; it is too oriental even for them'.