Item 4 - Letter from Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven to R. C. Trevelyan

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TRER/9/4

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

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  • 22 Sept 1899 (Creation)

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Ma Retraite, Ede. - Addresses Trevelyan as 'my dear Bob'; is very glad to hear from him; was just last week that she left Amsterdam and he went with Paul [Hubrecht?] 'to visit Volendam and buy Dutch cheeses' but it seems a long time ago. Paul wrote a 'rather amusing & ironical account of that day'. He must have had a bad crossing as the weather has been 'most depressing ever since'; 'poor Grandmont is shivering & probably longing to get away', but the coming of Bob's friends the [Roger] Frys will keep them longer. Will miss them very much; Bramine has 'proven to be such a friend', she has told her everything and she is 'a great help'. All her family 'have a somewhat inquisitive if not suspicious turn of mind' and have begun to have suspicions about her and Bob; not in an unkind sense but they want to know 'exactly what happened or did not happen'. Her uncle, aunt, and [cousin] Marie stayed with her sister [Abrahamina Röntgen] in Amsterdam; is sure they compared notes. Bramine is a help to 'appease their minds'; would also help if Trevelyan wrote a 'collins' to her aunt which will make it 'all look more natural'. She and Bob must continue to be quite 'sincere and truthful' with each other, and 'everything will come right in the end'; scolds him a little for leaving the house without saying goodbye to her uncle or Grandmont, though her family found his absent-midnedness comical.

Is writing in the drawing room, hearing the 'continual tinkle tinkle of the piano' as Grandmont practises some Haydn trios. They spent at the evening recently at the house of the painter [Willem?] Witsen, where Bramine works at her etching every day; played some music and even persuaded Witsen to join them with his cello, though he is 'terribly shy and modest' he plays very well. Has been practising hard herself recently, as she wants to be in good shape if she goes to have lessons from the new teacher in Amsterdam who has replaced her old teacher [Joseph] Cramer. Asks how Bob's new house is getting on; asks its name and address, and when he will move in. He will miss the Frys at first; hopes they like the Dutch cheese, and that it will not be 'like the story of the cheese in [Jerome's] "Three Men in a Boat"'. Is reading Joachim's biography [by Andreas Moser], and has given up the Brownings' letters for a while. 'Correspondence is unsatisfactory in so many ways'; wishes she could see more of Bob, though she tells him not to 'interpret this for more than [she means] it'; tells him to write as often and fully as he can. Will try to puzzle over his 'metaphysical quotation', though doubts she will understand it entirely without further explanation; wonders about the value of such questions, though she does greatly admire 'the philosophical turn of mind' as long as it does not hamper any other enquiry. Bramine sends kind regards to Bob; she and Grandmont apparently always speak of him 'by that disrespectful name', so she supposes she may also. Notes in a postscript that he did not tell her how old he is; guesses twenty-seven.

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