08 December 1920

8 December 1920

Villa Isola Bella, Menton, France

It is with the most extreme reluctance that I am writing to tell you K.M. cant go on. The fact is she ought to have given up months ago but money was so urgent that she dared not. I know you suggested a months holiday - but a months holiday doesn't fit the case. She wont be well in a month. The strain will begin all over again, and I think she has told you fairly often what a strain it is.
She would not, however, have taken this step if Doctor Bouchage had not made her realise it was absolutely necessary. He has. It is not that her health is worse than it was in London. But its no better. She has good days she didn't have then; but she has BAD ones she didn't, either. And she is not improving, as they say.
In two words - & plain ones: its a question of shortening her life, to keep on. And that she cant do.
But you must realise how deeply she ‘appreciates' the awkwardness of this for you. She knows it all: feels it all.
One thing must be perfectly clear. She wants NO money from you and no sacrifice. She hates even discussing money affairs with you. She knows you have paid debts of hers; she hopes they are the last you'll ever pay. This is final. You may smile at this and say: ‘I haven't any money to give her, at any rate' - Right-o. But she just had to tell you.
And now Ill be personal, darling. Look here you ought to have sent me that Corona! You really ought to have. Can't you possibly imagine what all this writing out has been to a person as weak as I damnably am?

[To J. M. Murry in Collected Letters]