Item 27 - Letter from Arthur Waley to R. C. Trevelyan

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Letter from Arthur Waley to R. C. Trevelyan


  • 1 Nov 1918 (Creation)

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13, Hanover Terrace, Ladbroke Grove, W. - Very sorry that Bob has been 'having such a bad time with this disease', and is sending 'an inhaling apparatus which is an infallible preventative' [see 17/35]; hopes it will reach him in time. Has given the "Summons to the Soul" and the "Pitcher" exclusively to [J.C.] Squire for the "New Statesman"; has only his Po translations and cannot 'stain the pages of "Reconstruction" with such bilge'; would send anything he had gladly, and perhaps by next month will have some more Po Chu-I poems. His elder brother [Sigismund] is getting married on Tuesday 'with oriental pomp'; Hubert is at home with a cold, having a 'very good rest'. Saw Goldie [Lowes Dickinson] at the [1917?] Club on Tuesday, in 'great spirits'; also sees [Eric?] Maclagan sometimes, who is 'still rather washed out'. Asks Bob about a line of poetry, "And my young wife walks up the path alone", which he had thought came from the 'Chinese poems' in [Robert] Bridge's [anthology] "Spirit of Man". Has found a Li Po poem which he thinks is the original of the English line; it ends 'young wife alone mounts tower'.

Sees that [Laurence] Binyon has another volume of poetry out ["The New World: Poems"]; he is currently 'lecturing to soldiers in France on the Civilization of China', and Bob may see him in Paris. [Campbell] Dodgson, the Keeper of Prints [at the British Museum] has received an Order of the British Empire [CBE], but 'did not seem unduly elated'. Must be 'great fun being translated into French'; hopes 'Vildrac will soon get going' on him, and that 'poets are demobilized early in France'; 'Makers of "India rubber Medical appliances" came first on the list in England. Sir Auckland [Geddes] is evidently afraid of an undue increase in the birth-rate'. Sends his love to Francis [Birrell], and asks Bob to tell him Waley has lost his letter about where to get a 'copy of Foy [?]'. Wonders if [his translation of] the letter from Wang Wei to a friend could do for "Reconstruction" and encloses a copy [no longer present], but will not mind if it is no use. Thinks the "Summons" will be in the "New Statesman" and will send Bob a copy (possibly one for B.B. [Berenson] as well); will also send the second number of the Bulletin [of the School of Oriental and African Studies, in which further translations by Waley of Po Chu-'s works appear] when it comes out. Understands that [Thomas] Sturge Moore will continue to come to London [after a move to the countryside], and has organised 'a "poetry reading" for a proximate date'; would be 'harrowing if he were absolutely banished'. W.H. Davies has 'been in a tremendous flutter' due to sitting for a portrait by Augustus John; he has 'a passion for being painted by swells'; afraid that Davies' new poems are not selling well; does not think Fifield are good publishers.

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