2 August 1922

Hotel Chateau Belle Vue, Sierre, Switzerland

Perhaps you will be seeing Brett in a few days? She goes back to England tomorrow. I feel awfully inclined to Campbell about her for a little. But it would take a whole book to say all that one feels. She is a terrible proof of the influence ones childhood has upon one. And there has been nothing stronger in her life to counteract that influence. I do not think she will ever be an adult being. She is weak; she is a vine; she longs to cling. She cannot nourish herself from the earth; she must feed on the sap of another. How can these natures ever be happy? By happy I mean at peace with themselves? She is seeking someone who will make her forget that early neglect, that bullying and contempt. But the person who would satisfy her would have to dedicate himself to curing all the results of her unhappiness - her distrust, for instance, her suspicions, her fears. He would have to take every single picture and paint it with her, just as a singer, by singing with his pupil can make that weak voice strong & confident. . . But even then, she would not be cured.
   I believe one can cure nobody, one can change nobody fundamentally. The born slave cannot become a free man. He can only become free-er. I have refused to believe that for years, and yet I am certain it is true - it is even a law of life. But it is equally true that hidden in the slave there are the makings of the free man. And these makings are very nice in Brett, very sensitive and generous. I love her for them. They make me want to help her as much as I can.  [To S.S. Koteliansky, 2 August 1922.]