Item 77 - Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven

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


  • 1 Oct 1899 (Creation)

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3, Hare Court, Inner Temple, London E.C. - Apologises for 'the fatness and grossness of [his] interminable epistles', written on English paper and thus costing her extra in postage; liked her pun on the 'value' of his letters. She has been more punctual in writing; warns her that if she delays writing, a 'poet may at any moment turn Satirist'; he knows enough about her to be 'dangerous' and could write about her 'behaviour in a thunderstorm perhaps'. She would have her revenge, as he is sure she has 'discovered far more follies and weak spots' in him; she always seems much wiser and sensible than him. Had tea and dinner today with the Frys; she is finishing 'a lovely clavichord' she has been painting for [Arnold] Dolmetsch; has not painted anything for two years, but this is as good if not better than anything she did before. Elodie Dolmetsch, whom they call 'Melodie', played them some Scarlatti and Purcell on the harpsichord; liked it much better than on the piano, and would have liked to see what Bessie thought. Does not necessarily prefer antique music and instruments to modern, as Fry seems to now; he is 'never happy untill [sic] he has got his orthodoxy'. Hopes that Bessie will play to the Frys; she should play Bibers [Biber] for them; they were worried that it might be too stormy to cross, but he does not think that is lightly. Does not matter that Bramine forgot to give him their letter. Glad Bessie thinks she will like "Citio" [the prospective new summer house at Doorn]; a good beginning, since he thinks she disliked Ede at the beginning, and in general takes a while to find out how much she likes something. Is still in London as his house is taking a while to be ready; a bore, since he wants to work and cannot here; the 'dreary' British Museum Library is always 'either too stuffy or too draughty'. Refreshed himself today with a Turkish bath which is 'bliss indeed'; if he were a millionaire, would spend no money on art, but would build 'magnificent baths' like those of Diocletian at Rome; Bramine and Mrs Fry would decorate the ladies' baths. Went to a music hall last night and saw a wonderful Spanish dancer. The account Bessie read of the Trafalgar Square meting was 'certainly exaggerated'. Discusses the [Second Boer] war; the 'Cape journalists and fire-eaters' got 'that idiot [Alfred] Milner into their hands' and between them have let the government into 'this awful mess'. Is going to say goodbye to Haslemere tomorrow.

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