Item 14 - Letter from Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven to R. C. Trevelyan

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TRER/9/14

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

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  • 4 Dec - 5 Dec 1899 (Creation)

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1 item: letter with envelope.

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10 Prinsegracht, The Hague; addressed to Bob at Pension Palumbo, Ravello, preso d'Amalfi, Italia. - Was glad to get Bob's two letters and hear he had arrived safely at Milan. Forwarded some letters to Ravello on Sunday which Bob's mother had sent her, with 'a very kind note' [originally enclosed]; Bob is a 'naughty son' not to give her his Ravello address in time, and she will send it to her tomorrow. Thinks she would like Bob's mother to call her Elizabeth, as she asks; her English friends do, and then she will reserve 'Bessie' for 'more intimate purposes'. Also encloses a letter from [Alphonse] Grandmont which might entertain him, as might 'the bad poem in the beginning'. Is glad Dr [Empedocle?] Gaglio is being so helpful; shows he 'has regained his common sense' after quarrelling with Mademoiselle Thomley and getting 'away from under her influence', now he is 'much with the Dahlerups'. Hopes this letter will greet Bob on his arrival at Ravello, and that he enjoys 'all the good, beautiful things of life' there and gets some good work done. Asks if he remembered to give his letter to Mrs [Helen] Fry, and to buy himself some 'foreign paper' and a razor strop. If not she will have to think of him as 'a shaggy Robinson Crusoe-like poet' writing 'poems and love-letters on odd ends of paper... used by the peasants to wrap up their fruit'; has been enjoying seeing her own paper sent back 'bedabbled' with Bob's dear but 'very untidy and cook-like writing'. Had her photograph taken this morning; it happened so quickly that she did not have time to think 'what kind of simpering smile' would suit her best; will send Bob one. People keep asking to see Bob's photograph and are surprised when she does not have one.

Jeanne Salomonson stayed till Sunday morning. On Friday night Bessie's aunt [Maria Pruys van der Hoeven]'s two sisters [Alida and Agatha] came to visit with a girl who is living with them for a while, 'a most horribly uninteresting dull & unartistic kind of being' who yet had the 'pretence of being very musical'. playing the piano abominably but trying 'the most difficult & beautiful things'; felt 'rubbed up the wrong way' when she went to bed, 'horribly sarcastic & terribly sour'. Mr Kattendijke came on Saturday to accompany Jeanne and they did some 'wonderful Brahms songs'; on Sunday they went to a piano recital by Harold Bauer which was partly quite good, but at the end he played 'such horrid firework things' that it nearly spoilt everything else and made him think less of him. Has had a nice letter from Madame Goriany, the Austrian lady Bob met at Roccabella [Taormina, Sicily]. Is working hard on the translation for Ambro [Hubrecht] about 'the absorption of fatty matter into the intestine'. Their cousins, the van Deldens, and their daughter are coming tonight; soon they are going south and then perhaps to the Dutch colonies. Has written to Tonina [van Riemsdijk]'s mother about the violin, and is curious to know the answer.

Continues the letter next day: is going to spend the day in Leiden, first calling on a 'dear cousin' [Louise Hubrecht] who has known her since childhood and lunching with Jeanne [Salomonson Asser] at her mother's. Ambro [Ambrosius Hubrecht] appeared suddenly at dinner; an enormous whale was stranded on the coast two days ago, and he has secured it for his university [Utrecht]; she has been able to give back her translation as the usual man is well again; he says he has sent his 'American speech' to Ravello. A pity the Frys cannot visit [on the way back from Italy]; hopes to see them soon.

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