23 Dec 1921

23 December 1921

Chalet des Sapins, Montana-sur-Sierre, Switzerland

   But listen - Brett! This is very serious. You may depend on my sympathy. You may say whatever you like to me - and its safe. I mean that. But don't for Heavens sake paint something for me to show you can do it, ma chere. What earthly use would it be if you don't care to do it? Ill send you a story called ‘A Tear in the Eye of a Violet' by Katherine Florence Barclay Mansfield as a small return if you do.
   Im very interested by what you say about ‘Vera'. Wasn't the end extraordinarily good. It would have been so easy to miss it; she carried it right through. I admired the end most, I think. Have you ever known a Wemyss? Oh my dear, they are very plentiful! Few men are without a touch. And I certainly believe that husbands & wives talk like that. Lord yes. You are so very superior, Miss, in saying half an hour would be sufficient. But how is one to escape? And also, though it may be "drivel" in cold blood, it IS incredible the follies and foolishness we can bear if we think we are in love. Not that I can stand the Wemyss ‘brand'. No. But I can perfectly comprehend Lucy standing it. I dont think I agree about Lucy, either. She could not understand her father's intellect but she had a sense of humour (except where her beloved was concerned). She certainly had her own opinions and the aunt was very sodden at the funeral because of the ghastly effect of funerals! They make the hardest of us melt and gush. But all the same I think your criticism is awfully good of the Aunt, of the whole book in fact. Only one thing, my hand on my heart, I would swear to. Never could Elizabeth be influenced by me. If you knew how she would scorn the notion, how impossible it would be for her. There is a kind of turn in our sentences which is alike but that is because we are worms of the same family. But that is all. [To Dorothy Brett, 22 December 1921.]

I heard from M. today. A good letter - very. As soon as I am well enough to get up I shall go to Paris. He says the treatment takes 15 weeks if one is not much advanced. But no matter. It is fearfully exciting to have heard!
[To S. S. Koteliansky, 23 December 1921.]


  How did you spend the summer? Did you get much work done? But I musn't begin asking questions. Its a bother having to answer them. But chere I shall be in Paris, I hope, from May on this year. Will you by any chance be there? I am going on a preliminary visit almost at once to see a specialist there - a Russian & to have some teeth pulled out and pulled in again. Then I come back here to save pennies for my flight in May. I believe this Russian cures people with my complaint. He sounds wonderful. I
  Its so long since I have heard of any of the old set. Where are they? New friends are not - never can be the same, and all mine seem to be people I know as a writer not as a common garden human being. Whether they care passionately for the smell of tangerines or not I haven't the least idea. I cant really care for people who are cut off at the head. I like them to exist as far as their hearts au mains! Dont ever come to Switzerland Anne. Its all scenery. One [can] get the same in a Mountain Railway at 6d a go and get off after the last bumping. But the Swiss!! The size of their ankles!! Their passion for pigs and for cutting down trees. They are always cutting down trees and as the tree falls the house frau rushes out of the kitchen to see waving a pig knife and shouting a joyful voi! I believe they are full of virtue, but virtue is a bad boisson to be full of.
 [To Anne Drey, 24 December 1921.]