Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ralph Wedgwood

Letter No.: 
VWL261
[May 1899]

5, Cowley Street,
Westminster.

Dear Randolph

I feel a beast - I never write to you - but then you never write to me - I always mean to write to you but I don’t - and I never see you and we are becoming perfect strangers - and you mustn’t think that because I’m married I don’t hate not seeing you just as much - it makes it worse because there are now two of us who want you and never have you.
All this splenetic outburst means in plain language that I’m jealous of Trevy - he came here today - ate a large tea and then announced with the utmost satisfaction that he was going to see you at West H’Pool1 - I almost pulled his nose off.
Why don’t we ever go to you or why don’t you ever come to us - of course opulent freelances like Trevy can go off any minute like a pop-gun.
Is it any good trying for Whitsun week2 - we’ve thought of going to Holland with my mother but we’d give up this if you’d come (only we decide  tomorrow) - well enough of this - only do come as soon as you can - you know I’m tied by the leg to my work here - not that I have to work hard but I have to be here. I’m afraid we chivied you rather too much your last visit but we won’t do that again - do try and give us a chance of cutting out Trevy.
(I am scolding Ralph for writing like a spoilt child - he is now going to ask a question wh interests me very much - A)3
Has your report  gone off yet - as you promised - and has it made you a name as you said it would - and what name has it made you?
I have become an ‘Associate of the Royal College of Music’ in two subjects Theory and composition and “am allowed to affix to my name the letters A.R.C.M.”. Also my name appeared yesterday on a programme - in an obscure corner of a programme of a second rate performance of a first rate play might be seen - The orchestra will perform the following selection - and then among numerous other things
Scenes-de Ballet  ......... Williams4

That’s all - but its just a crumb to keep me going.

Thursday
I think Whitsun week is no good because we may have to take my mother to Holland which will be very good for her and and5 there may be no-one else to do it. But do come - and we will bicycle about the city all night and all sorts of things. How about the week after Whitsun?

Have you heard from Amos lately? I forget whether I wrote to him last or he to me.6
Yours affecntely

R. Vaughan Williams

Adeline sends her love.


1. G.M. Trevelyan, a friend from Cambridge, had visited West Hartlepool, where Ralph Wedgwood was concerned with the Docks of the North Eastern Railway.
2. Whit Sunday was on 21st May in 1899.
3. This sentence in AVW's handwriting.
4. Possibly the student composition Tunes 'for a ballet' (Catalogue of Works, 1891/3).
5. sic.
6. Maurice Amos, working in Egypt as a judge at this time.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 1714/1/1, ff.117-121
General notes: 

Printed in part in Kennedy, Works of Vaughan Williams, p.397. This letter clearly precedes VWL263.

Format: 
Letter
Citation: 
Cobbe 17; Kennedy, Works of Vaughan Williams, p.397.
Original database number: 
9805xe