04 November

4 November 1920

Villa Isola Bella Menton, France

Thursday. I had about 1 inch of mouse's tail from you today but it was the gay and wavy end so it didn't matter. Twas writ on Monday. Good morning, my darling. Theres a debonaire wind blowing today and a very pale, faint, jonquil sun. I send you Hugh Walpole's letter. He seems to me most awfully nice and it is in reply to one which I sent him telling him what I really DID think of his book - I mean as man to man. I said: "Just for once Ill be dead frank" & you know what that means. But I felt nobody else ever would & it was an opportunity. Besides his letter somehow called for ones deep sincerity. And instead of sending mine back with ‘this is outrageous' - he replies - so gently. Won't you see him? I feel (what a volte face!) hes almost a friend of ours.
Schiff wrote yesterday too - touched ones heart. Violet has been very ill. Shes had an operation and so on - & poor old Schiff is shattered -a kind of wrecked Luft-Schiff. His letter has actually "by the grace of God" and "D.V." in it! What old Death can't shake out of us! But its very touching to know how frail is ones hold on Picture Galleries and Editions de luxe.
If the Last Trump ever did sound - would it frighten us? I don't think it would in the least. If God didn't take us both into Heaven Id rather be in Hell and out of sight of anyone so stupid. (I told poor old L.M. yesterday that after I died to PROVE there was no immortality I would send her a coffin worm in a matchbox. She was gravely puzzled.)
I must write my review. Goodbye my precious. The sun has gone in again - he'll have to do better than this at Christmas.
Wig. [Letter to J. M. Murry in Collected Letters]

Dear Hugh Walpole
Please do not praise me. But - let me say how I look forward to that talk, one of these days. The fact that you care about writing as you do, that ‘you are working' is such happiness that all my good wishes & my sympathy cannot repay you for letting me know.
Your from-this-time-forth ‘constant reader'
Katherine Mansfield. [Letter to Hugh Walpole in Collected Letters]