25 February 1922

Victoria Palace Hotel, Paris

I have broken open this letter to say after two mornings spent at the Post Office we have managed to get second parcel & found it contained l belt, l pr stockings. If it wasn't comic it would be too much of a good thing. Its a sight to make the evings themselves look down. There was a letter from you, too. I don't believe in your shivering & shaking because of my barks. That is fantastic. If you don't yet know the dog I keep you never will - -
   Glad to know - very glad – about the birds. Why should it be extravagance. Buy another coconut if you like. I shall look at the bills & reply in the next letter. I am ‘off' bills for today. My boxes - mythical, tantalising boxes, I ‘note' are packed to perfection. But oh - why don't they come. You torment me - show them to me, & whip them away again. I freeze, I burn for my kimono, my Anne coat. Tell Wingley to wriggle & stamp until you take them to the post.
   Roger sounds very nice. All the more reason you should knit him something. I don't care for John. I feel he was ill on purpose too, to get his parents attention away from R. That is natural enough, however.
   I don't want your old money if you do keep a pension. The whole point is - it should pay for the house & E. and then pay you.
   Thats enough of letter writing. My hand shakes because I have been writing very fast. Its not paralysis or the family wasting.
   The Lord be with you.
  [To Ida Baker, 24 February 1922.]

About painting. I agree. Good as Gertler is I shall never forget seeing a ballet dancer of his - it was the last thing I saw of his – at his studio. A ballet dancer. A big ugly nasty female dressed in a cauliflower! I don't mean to be horrid; but I do not and cannot understand how he can paint such pictures. They are so dull they make one groan. Hang it all Brett - a picture must have c h a r m - or why look at it? Its the quality I call tenderness in writing: its the tone one gets in a really first chop musician. Without it you can be as solid as a bull & I don't see whats the good. As to Ethel Sands - (isn't her name a master piece, wouldn't it be Ethel) her painting is a kind of ‘dainty' affair which it doesn't do to think about. You feel that ultimately where, of all places, she ought to be a woman she is only a very charming satin bow. Forgive my coarseness but there it is! Talking about feeling. I had a shock yesterday. I thought my new book would enrage people because it has too much feeling - & there comes a big review talking of the ‘merciless analysis of the man of science'. It's a mystery. If you do see my book read a story called The Voyage will you? Keep it if you like it. . .
   See Elliot has been to your Thursdays. Yes he is an attractive creature; he is pathetic. He suffers from his feelings of powerlessness, He knows it. He feels weak. Its all disguise. That slow manner, that hesitation, side long glances and so on are painful. And the pity is he is too serious about himself even a little bit absurd. But its natural; it's the fault of London, that. He wants kindly laughing at and setting free.  [To Dorothy Brett, 26 February 1922.]