Item 78 - Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven

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TRER/9/78

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

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  • 9 Oct 1899 (Creation)

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3, Hare Court, Inner Temple, London E.C. - Apologises for not replying sooner; went to Cambridge on Saturday and found 'so much to do and talk about' that there was no time to write. Is going to Dorking tomorrow as his furniture is coming; the house should have been ready a week ago. Will dine with his mother that evening, then on Thursday he is going to Harrow to play [rugby] football against the school on Founders' Day; afterwards will dine at the Headmasters' and go to a 'smoking concert'; the day after that he will dine at his father's club. Will only then really begin the solitude of his 'rural retreat' and is looking forward to 'a quiet and industrious time at last'. Glad Bessie liked the Frys and they got on well with her uncle; not surprised she found 'a certain difficulty in becoming intimate with them', since he thinks Fry's mind is very different to hers and that he is not always quick to adapt himself, while Helen Fry is not like that but is often 'rather diplomatic in conversation until she knows all about a person'; this is not insincerity, as some people think. Heard from them today [see 4/27]; they enjoyed their visit, and Fry seems to have taken 'tremendously' to her uncle and aunt. Went to Highgate last week to see Tom [Sturge] Moore the poet, who read two new poems; criticises the first line of the one about Leda and the swan; Moore is 'always charmingly good-natured when one criticises, and sometimes even will be convinced.' Spent most of yesterday talking to Tom's brother [George] the philosopher. Great excitement at Trinity as the philosopher MacTaggart [sic: John McTaggart], who used to 'disapprove of marriage on metaphysical grounds, is bringing home a New Zealand hospital nurse called Daisy Bird as his wife'; he may need consolation as on his return from his year in New Zealand he will find that Moore and another [Bertrand Russell?], 'his most promising pupils and followers, have set up an entirely new and antagonistic system of the universe'. Sat at dinner at Trinity next to a science fellow [John Newport?] Langley whom he likes very much, who knows and thinks highly of [Ambrosius?] Hubrecht; Langley asked whether "[Till] Eulenspiegel" was originally written in Flanders; perhaps Grandmont knows. Has begun to learn German; finding it easier than expected in some ways, but has not yet got far. What Bessie says about women's tendency to either conceal or be overly frank about their ages seems more or less true to him; her allusion to his having had 'the benefit of women's society and friendship' amuses him, as if she wanted to make him 'a sort of Platonic and sentimental Don Juan' which he is certainly not; before her he has known very few women well, and only in one or two cases has he known them ' rather sentimentally' at some point; does not consider himself 'at all learned in women's psychology and character'. Finishing this letter in the room of a friend who has 'studied the female character far more profoundly', but since he has never fallen in love to his knowledge, Bob looks on him as his inferior.

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