Letter of condolence from Anthony Hope Hawkins to Sylvia, 23 April 1907
[No original available]
23rd April ’07.
41 Bedford Square, W.C.
Dear Mrs Davies,
I am just back from the service – where I saw so many old friends of Arthur’s and of my own, and was carried back in memory – so sadly and yet not unwillingly – to the very old days when he and I first met at Marlborough about 30 years ago. Ever since then we have been friends; sometimes it so chanced that we didn’t meet for a longish while – but when the meeting came again, I always received from him just the same warm and intimate greeting and friendship, so that the absences seemed nothing, and the old footing always held good. We were in the Sixth together, and in the XV together, and so many hours do I remember. A man hasn’t many long friendships like that, and the break in this one, all too soon, is a sore wrench. To you I can say nothing save – in my wife’s name as in my own – a word of deepest sympathy in your great sorrow brought about by a stroke of fate so cruel, so hard to accept. With many cares he leaves you, too, many sources of happiness – and even in this moment it must be much to you to have the knowledge that his home gave him so many years of such happiness as, I think, falls to the lot of very few men. He will live in all our memories not only as one of the ablest, but as one of the most true and loyal men we have known.
Very truly yours,
Anthony H. Hawkins.
[AB: No comments from Peter. Sir Anthony Hope Hawkins (1863-1933) was the English novelist and playwright chiefly remembered for "The Prisoner of Zenda" (1894) and its sequel "Rupert of Hentzau" (1898). After seeing the first production of Peter Pan in 1904, Hope famously moaned, "Oh, for an hour of Herod!" He was to reappear in this story when he stayed with Barrie and the Davies boys at Ammhuinsuidh Castle in the summer of 1912, bringing his young and very fetching wife Betty with him... ]
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