Scope and content
Hôtel Timeo, Taormina:- Was ‘very glad’ to get his mother’s letter: what she says about his father [resigning his seat in Parliament for private life?] is what he has been ‘expecting and hoping to hear for some time’, for both his father’s sake and that of his book. Would however like to talk to her about this when he returns, ‘some time about the beginning of next month’. Has been fine weather since he arrived, though it was very cold for several days which amounted ‘almost to a disgrace to Taormina, which is nothing if not a warm place’; now however it is as hot as may be wished, ‘far hotter than Wallington in midsummer’. A ‘rather… rowdy lot’ have been staying at the hotel, ‘chiefly Germans and a banjo-twanging marine from Malta’, who have been ‘playing bad danse [sic] music on a vile piano, dancing and singing (the Homeric μολπη) till eleven at night, much to the annoyance of the quieter guests’. Floresta was ‘very angry, as such a thing is unheard of in his hotel’; Robert thinks the worst of them have gone now, and Floresta would stop further noise.
Has been listening to all of Florence [Cacciola Trevelyan]’s ‘woes’ this morning; last year he used to give about a morning a week to this, and ‘then administer such advice and consolation’ as he thought fit. Her garden is ‘much nicer this year, and the flowers earlier and more abundant’. Has not heard anything of the Frys yet, though believes they are coming here before long. Returns ‘the card of Σ with profit and thanks’; is very sorry that he has ‘nearly torn it in half’ - asks if she could put some ‘paper with paste or gum at the back to hold it together’ before she gives it back to his father, and tell him Robert is ‘very sorry for the accident’.