25 January 1922

Chalet des Sapins, Montana-sur-Sierre, Switzerland

   I haven't seen Aldous book and I do not want to. The idea bores me so terribly that I wont waste time on it. The only reviewer who really realised its dullness was Rebecca West. She said just what was right - she shuddered at the silliness of it. But everybody else seems to puff him up. It gets very awkward if young men are forced to feed out of their friends inkpots in this way. In fact I confess it downright disgusts me -
   But oh, Ottoline I must ask you if you have read Congreve lately. I have just finished ‘The Way of The World'. Do read it! For the sake of the character Mrs Millamant. I think she is so exquisitely done when she first appears "full sail" and tells the others how she curls her hair. The maid is marvellous in that little scene too, and the other scene is where [she] decides finally to have Mirabel. That little conversation between the two seems to me really ravishing in its own way3 Its so delicate - so gay - But its much best read aloud. What a brilliant strange creature Congreve was - so anxious not to be considered a writer, but only a plain gentleman. And Voltaire's shrewd reply "If you had been only a gentleman I would not have come to see you. . . " I love reading good plays, and so does M. We have such fun talking them over afterwards. In fact the pleasure of all reading is doubled when one lives with another who shares the same books. It is one of the many pleasures of our solitary life. Pleasures we have - ever increasing. [To Ottoline Morrell, c.24 January 1922.]