11 December 1920

11 December 1920

Villa Isola Bella, Menton, France

Doctor B. has just gone. We talked over the affair again. He was quite definite. I shall now tell you exactly so that you know where you are. I have injured my heart for the moment by overwork - but not permanently. If I had persisted I should have endangered my life. It is difficult to explain to anyone as wise as you the gigantic strain of one weekly article - to a person as ‘weakly' (as Pa would say) as I am. It sounds fantastic. It hung over me like a cloud. [. . .] At present, too, both my lungs are inflammés as a result of a chill. Its not serious or urgent but if I tried to exert myself it would be. My heart is however the "trouble" at the moment. It needs rest. So I have to lie low and rest the little fiend. It will then get better.
However I am not forlorn. Je suis si bien ici. J'ai ma petite villa, ma bonne, un fer d'enfer flamme dans la cheminée - & lying here I can do my own work when Im not too tired. I can take it up & put it down à mon aise.
There. I only tell you all this because youre such a bad wicked Boge to worry. Stop! Ill tell you when to worry. Oh darling - take a long breath - now. Are you afraid of anything. I solemnly assure you I am afraid of NOTHING. I mean that. I do not want to die because Ive done nothing to justify having lived yet. But if I had done my work Id even go so far as to die. I mean to jolly well keep alive with the flag flying until there is a modest shelf of books with K.M. backs

[To J. M. Murry in Collected Letters c. 10 December 1920]