5 Keats Grove, Hampstead, NW3 / Tillies Cottage, Forest Green, Dorking. - Thanks Bob for the 'delightful poems' [this year's "From the Shiffolds"]: the first poem beautifully 'mingles the landscape with the mythology' and makes her see the 'steep hill up to the Shiffolds in summer. Petronius 8 makes her think of her 'little house covered with Horsham stone'; cries to think she will never bake scones on the fire there as the cottage has been sold. If she manages to shake off her influenza, she will go next week to see 'Hoad the carter dismantling it & carrying everything away', but thinks she will probably leave it to chance. There has been an 'evil spell on the Lynds for the last two years'. Addresses Bob as 'dear poet' as she bids him goodbye and asks him to visit. Hopes the Lynds will 'come & look at Forest Green again'. Robert seems 'better at last' and has begun treatment with a masseur.
Passages from Livy and Petronius, with their translation into English.
c/o Mrs Wilson, Myers Farm, Silverdale, near Carnforth. - Thanks his father for his letter, and for enclosing Dr Jackson's letter, which Robert returns; it is 'altogether... very interesting and delightful', and he is interested to see Jackson 'classes Housman with Porson and Munro'. Has seen some of Housman's work on Aeschylus, which is 'very brilliant, perhaps almost too bold'; Housman later gave up Greek scholarship completely, and 'probably is now the greatest living English Latin scholar', though Robert is 'unfamiliar with his work, except his preface to Manilius, which is very amusing at the expense of his predecessors'. The text of Manilius, however, does not attract Robert enough for him to work at it. Housman is 'an agreeable person to meet at the Trinity High-table'. It is 'remarkable that a really great scholar should be himself an English poetical classic, a small one, no doubt, but very complete and genuine so far as he goes'.
Dr. Jackson's 'remarks on the future of English scholarship are very interesting'; fears they may be true, though past scholarship 'will have rendered the classics far more accessible in future for those who go to them for their own sake', and these may be 'almost as many as in the old days of universal compulsory classics'. A 'certain type of higher-brained scholarship will also probably be kept alive by the constant discoveries of papyri in Egypt and elsewhere'; recently saw a papyrus of 'a great part of Theocritus, containing many new readings', which he does not think has been edited yet. This should be 'of great interest, since Theocritus is an old battle-ground for emendators, so a really early MS might have a lot of amusing surprises'.
Has 'always thought Petronius a little over-rated', but as far as he remembers, the banquet of Trimalchio is 'far the best part'. Generally, he used to much prefer Apuleius' Golden Ass; could 'never read the Greek novels, except Longus [his Daphnis and Chloe], which is not a novel but a prose pastoral', the loveliest he knows 'in any language'.
Is very glad that his mother will be well enough to go to Welcombe on Friday. Leaves here on Friday; the Shiffolds will be his address, though he will not actually be back there for a few days. Has to be in London on Thursday, 'trying to hurry up the printing' of the Annual [of New Poetry]
Welcombe, Stratford on Avon. - Glad to hear [see 46/255] about Robert's visit from Aunt Annie [Philips], and that he has read [Lucian's] "Alexander [Pseudomantis]" and "De Mercede conductis [On Salaried Posts in Great Houses: see 12/314]"; the latter seems to throw more light on the Roman banquet than Petronius, Horace, or Juvenal. Encloses a review which must be read carefully 'to bring out the full asininity of the author who is the subject of it [whose] book passed in folly and conceit anything conceivable'. Asks for the review to be returned, along with Rosebery's letter; does not think any man, even Edward Grey, has been 'more cruelly tried and bereaved'.
'as from' Conduit Head, Madingley Road, Cambridge. - Receiving "From the Shiffolds" was one of the best things about Christmas this year; thanks Trevelyan, and apologises for not doing so earlier due to her son Christopher's leave, 'influenza in the house & no domestic help all happening at one'. Thinks the end of the poem to Ursula Wood about Virgil touches her most, as well as "Dream Truth", whose 'finality & clear, sure shape' she praises. Trevelyan will probably guess that she is 'deeply interested to read translations - being [herself] a translation addict'; she is a 'good subject to try the Petronius on', as she knows no Latin - which she believes to be 'an almost hopeless handicap for any writer of English'. Thinks she gets a 'fresh & firsthand sense of the originals', which must be 'enchanting'. Makes the 'tentative criticism' that sometimes Trevelyan uses word order 'which is just too foreign'; has noticed the same 'almost stilted inversions' in Trevelyans own verse, mixed with others that have a more modern tone, and is not sure whether the content of the lines justifies the difference. Asks whether Trevelyan is 'developing a new & more intimate manner of writing' and this is 'a transition period'.
Notes on inside cover, 'D. Adamson / 1832' and 'Tait [?] Rm 560 / May 15 / 1840'
End House, Chiltern Road, Chesham Bois. - The Goodens were very pleased to have Trevelyan's 'book of translations' [this year's "From the Shiffolds"?]; thinks it an 'admirable idea for a Christmas card'. Enjoyed reading "Moretum" and found it 'full of life'; the part about Sisyphus getting his garlicky breakfast was 'very entertaining'. The translation of "Ave atque vale" [Catullus 101] is also 'beautiful'; likes the Petronius. Lovely having Lucy and Sam [Luce-Clausen?] over; they were very brave to 'face such abominable travelling conditions'. Sends best wishes for 1947.