Item 90 - Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Maria Pruys van der Hoeven

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Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Maria Pruys van der Hoeven


  • 5 Nov 1900 (Creation)

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The Mill House, Westcott, Dorking. - Glad to hear Aunt Maria is generally better; hopes her health will continue to improve. Also glad that [Alphonse] Grandmont and Jan [Hubrecht] are recovering, and that Tuttie [Hubrecht] has 'come back so much stronger'. Thinks about Grandmont every morning when they eat his 'black-butter' at breakfast; they wonder why it is black since it comes from the 'juice of white apples'. Bessie is well, despite the bad weather; there has been much wind and rain and 'her violin strings squeak, for all that she can do'. She is going to have her second lesson with [Johann] Kruse next week, who was unfortunately away when they last went to London. Two of his friends, both poets, visited on Sunday; one of them [Thomas Sturge] Moore read a play yesterday ["Omphale and Heracles'; they thought it 'very good' and wished it could be put on, but 'they do not act good plays in England now, except Shakespeare, and that they usually do badly'; the actors too are 'bad'. Bessie thinks English coal fires create much 'dust and dirt even when they do not smoke badly'; admits they do in comparison to Dutch stoves, but he does like open fires; whoever invented a fireplace combining the advantages of the two styles would be a 'great benefactor to man'. Spent three 'very full days in Paris with the same two friends' [at the Paris Exhibition]; might have wished Bessie to be there too but she would not have enjoyed the 'fearful'' crowds; even they got tired. Thought the 'old French art... very fine'; the 'side-shows and sights at the Exhibition were very poor' and the 'buildings too florid and ornamental, and some of them hideous', but the 'general effect... was very splendid and brilliant'. Is interested in the Queen [Wilhelmina of the Netherlands]' marriage, and glad 'the Dutch are pleased'; Bessie was 'quite sympathetic' when [Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, the Queen's betrothed] 'had to say good-bye to her and go away to his country for a time] [as Robert had had to during their own courtship]. They have got an 'illustrated paper' about the royal couple. Next week, they are going to visit his aunt, Mrs Price, who gave them the piano, at her house in the Welsh borders; he has not been there since he was a boy, so is curious to see the place again. Bessie will write soon, but there is no time now as this has to catch the post; she sends love to all.

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