Item 19 - Letter from Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven to R. C. Trevelyan

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TRER/9/19

Title

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

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  • 16 Dec - 18 Dec 1899 (Creation)

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1 item: letter with envelope

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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.

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