16 December 1922

La Prieuré, Fontainebleau, Avon

   I am glad you are working. I don't at this moment feel near painting, though I had a long talk about it the other evening with a man who once had a collection of Gaugins in Moscow. But his point was what is the use of painting unless one knows the laws of art. How can it have any compelling, real value if it is just dans le vague. You have to know not only the effect this painting has on you, but the principle underlying that effect. And so with music and so with literature. We play with the arts and produce something good by accident.
   We have a great deal of music here, but its eastern not western. Quite another world. The dances too are often ancient Assyrian dances, or Arabian or Dervish Dances. I feel as though I have lived years in the East. There are between 50 and 60 of us here all occupied in different ways. One lives in the centre of such a various active world - no, not in the centre - one is part of it. It is very different from my life of the last few years.
   I cannot today write of your last but one letter, dearest Brett. I rejoice for you.
   Goodbye for now.
                          Ever your loving
The tea is marvellously good. How did you know I was longing for some good tea of my own? It was one of your happiest flukes. [To Dorothy Brett, 15 December 1922.]