11 March 1922

Victoria Palace Hotel, Paris

Dearest Brett
   I was v. glad to hear from you though you sounded rather ‘distracted'. Who is Valentine? And if she interferes with your painting why is she there? And why should not intellectuals love? What a queer idea! Whose is it? As for the Bloomsburys I never give them a thought. Do they still exist. They are rather pathetic in their way, but bad people to think about or consider - a bad influence. And what have I to guard against? It sounds very frightening. As to my being humble - oh dear. Thats between me and my God. I should retire behind 500 fans if anyone ever told me to be humble! You don't imagine that reviews and letters and requests for photographs and so on make me proud - do you? Its a deep deep joy to know one gives pleasure to others but to be told that increases ones store of love not pride. Also what has it got to do with ones work? I know what I have done and what I must do, nothing and nobody can change that.
   A whiff of London came from the last pages of your letter - a whiff of years and years ago, a kind of ashy feeling. Oh, I shall never go back to England again except en passant. Anywhere anywhere but England! As I write theres a sound of sweet scolding from the pigeons outside. Now it rains, now its sunny. The March lion is chasing the March lamb but not very seriously - the lamb doesn't mind much. They have an understanding. I was reading La Fontaine's Fables in bed early. Do you know them? They are fearfully nice - too nice for words. What a character the ant is - a little drop of bitterness and fury and slamming her door in everyone's face; and the frog - I am so sorry for him. He had a sister, too, she should have warned him. Instead she stood by and gloated. La Fontaine must have been an adorable man - a kind of Fabre, very distrait very amorous. He didn't even know his own children. He forgot their faces and passed them by in the street. I don't expect they cared. [To Dorothy Brett, 9 March 1922.]

About the clothes. I am afraid my bundle would not do for a jumble sale. Old combinations, knickers etc could never be displayed before the curate. You cant have a jumble sale without a curate. If the A. [Aylesbury] girls really do want a large unwieldy parcel about the size of a large pillow they are thrice welcome. But warn them - really warn them! And wouldn't they perhaps bring that blue slip & post it in Paris? It would get here more quickly. My shawl mustn't go through the post unless necessary. Its too valuable. Perhaps later on someone whom you know would deliver ithere. . . The slip is just what I want, thank you. I wear it outside with my blue serge marine coat and skirt.
Tell me: Does E. still want her character? I must send it. Is she happy? Do you need money? Please reply to these questions.
   Yes, I sent you a card the day before I wrote to you last about the keys of I my boxes. I suppose it went astray. I feel letters must have gone astray from that end, too. But perhaps not.
   This letter which I send from J. speaks for itself. I had a terrific adventure with her dipilatory. It certainly does remove hair. It would remove anything - I think it is gunpowder. However I shall try again. I had an afternoon when I thought I was disfigured for life and should have to paint my whole face navy blue to match my upper lip. Its awful stuff to get off What a curious, secret life one does lead to be sure! [To Ida Baker, 11 March 1922.]