Has just returned from a week in the Apennines. Spent two days in Pompeii and is enjoying the Pompeiian collection at the Naples Museum, also the beautiful Bay of Naples. The classical world seems close at hand. Has regained enough Latin to read Tacitus and Suetonius. Remembers seeing a picture of the bust of Caesar in a textbook when Mr. Goudy was her teacher, and now has seen it at the museum. Farmers working their fields just as in Virgil's Georgics. Goes on to Rome next week. Willa [Stout #137]
Glad to be included in their list of best novels. Willa Cather [Stout #817]
[included with letter are: 1) newspaper clipping announcing that Jervis Bay in New Brunswick has been chosen as the location for a memorial to Capt. Fogarty Fegen, 2) typed copy of Oliver Wendell Holmes's July 25, 1930, letter to Ferris Greenslet about Cather's work, 3) typed copy of Oliver Wendell Holmes's March 24, 1931, letter to Willa Cather] Is sending a review of the Holmes-Pollock letters from the New York Times [Henry Steele Commager, "Justice Holmes in his Letters," New York Times, March 23, 1941, p. BR1, BR30], and suggests Roseboro' read them. Is reading the volumes herself, and is enjoying the exchange between the two towering figures. Was thankful to be mentioned in the letters, and will send her a facsimile of the letter written to Ferris Greenslet regarding the book Roseboro' heroically supported. Is also including the text of the note he sent to Cather when he was ninety years old, though it cannot represent the beauty of his penmanship. Justice Holmes's secretary was the cousin of a San Francisco friend [May Willard?], and told the friend he read Shadows on the Rock to Holmes. Wants to tell her about the terrific joy she has gotten out of delighting old men who thrilled her years ago, like Thomas Hardy and James M. Barrie. Thinks Roseboro', someone who helped her when she was a foolish young person, would appreciate these fruits of her labor. P.S.: Hand is still useless. W.S.C.
Saw Cape St. Vincent, Portugal, this afternoon, a place sacred to all with ties to England, and soon will see Trafalgar Bay, the site of Nelson's victory over Napoleon's navy. The sea floor here is covered with the skeletons of French, Spanish, and Italian sailors, thanks to Nelson. A British captain onboard commented that he thinks of Nelson's victory every time he passes this place. Is thinking of Nelson atop the column in Trafalgar Square, London, and his letter to Lady Hamilton [Nelson's mistress] in the British Museum, written the night before he died. "If Blood be the price of admiralty" [line from Rudyard Kipling's "Song of the Dead"]. Enjoys thinking of Nelson and the dead on the sea floor and the glory of the English navy and of his statue in Trafalgar Square protected by Landseer's lions, and the people's affection for Lady Hamilton. Wishes Roscoe could see these things with her.