10 July 1922

Hotel Chateau Belle Vue, Sierre, Switzerland

Don't change, Mr Gerhardi. Go on writing like that. I mean with that freshness and warmth and suppleness, with that warm emotional tone and not that dreadful glaze of ‘intellectuality' which is like a curse upon so many English writers . . .And there's another thing. You sound so free in your writing . Perhaps that is as important as anything. I don't know why so many of our poor authors should be in chains, but there it is - a dreadful clanking sounds through their books, and they never can run away, never take a leap, never risk anything. . . In fact its high time we took up our pens and struck a blow for freedom. To begin with - what about Walpole? He is a ripe, fat victim. I agree with every word you say about him, his smugness is unbearable, his "Oh my Friends let us have Adventures" is simply the worst possible pretence. You see the truth is he hasn't a word to say. It is a tremendous adventure to him if the dog gets into the kitchen & licks a saucepan. Perhaps it is the Biggest Adventure of all to breathe ‘Good Night, dear Lady' as the Daughter of the County hands him his solid silver bedroom candlestick. All is show, all is made up, all is rooted in vanity. I am ashamed of going to the same school with him - but there you are. And he's Top Boy with over £7000 a year and America bowing to the earth to him. . . Its very painful. [To William Gerhardi, 10 July1922.]