21 August 1922

6 Pond Street, Hampstead, London

Its strange to be here again. London is empty, cool, rather shadowy - extraordinarily unlike Paris. I feel sentimental about it. Only the people Ive seen so far seem fatigue fatigue beyond words! One feels that they have come to an agreement not to grow any more, to stay just so - all clipped and pruned and tight. As for taking risks, making mistakes, changing their opinions, being in the wrong, committing themselves, losing themselves, being human beings in fact - no, a thousand times! "Let us sit down and have a nice chat about minor eighteenth century poetry" - I never want to sit down & have that chat as long as I live.
   But it doesn't matter. They can't alter the fact that Life is wonderful. Its wonderful enough to sit here writing to you, dear precious friends, & to lean back & think about you. The past lets nothing be. Even our meetings in Paris are changed almost beyond recognition. One sees them, linked together now, and one realises the immense importance of the hero of them whom I never saw & never shall see.
   But I could write to you for ever today. And instead Im going out to lunch with Massingham pere. Could one possibly shake him up - lean across the table & say quietly . . . what? [To Violet Schiff, 21 August 1922.]