30 January 1922

Chalet des Sapins, Montana-sur-Sierre, Switzerland

Thank you, dear Elizabeth, for your beautiful letter. It was happiness to receive it. I feel that it has put a blessing on my journey. We are solitary creatures au fonds. It happens so rarely that one feels another understands. But when one does feel it, it’s not only a joy; it is help and comfort in dark moments.
For I have far less courage than you grant me, Elizabeth. I faint by the way (although I manage to do my fainting privately.) It is bitter to be ill. And the idea of being well — haunts me. Ever since I have realised this possibility I dream of it at night — dream I am alone — crossing streams or climbing hills or just walking. To be alone again. That is what health means to me; that is freedom. To be invisible, not to be offered chairs or given arms! I plan, I dream, yet I hardly dare to give way to these delights . . . (Tho’ of course one does) But, if I should become an odious bouncing female with a broad smile tell me at once, Elizabeth, and I’ll flee to some desert place and smile unseen.
Bill Shakespeare is really past a joke. It’s a terrible giveaway for poor Clemence Dane. I’d like to write a potted version with a real great thumping bunch of watercress come hurtling through the window when the Queen throws down her penny. But it’s so cheap, so vulgar and ‘stagey’. Dean with one foot on chair roaring out song, wanton sitting on table (it’s always a table) swinging her foot, voices in the distance, she dotes on voices in the distance, and Shakespeare with arms outstretched against the wintry sky!! As to the love passages, they are written by your french pear, your withered pear, your true virgin. It smells of the ‘performance’ I even hear ‘chocolates – chocolates’ at the fall of each curtain and after Act II almost feel myself passing one of those maddening tea-trays with fingers of ancient plumcake on it and a penny under the saucer. [To Elizabeth Russell, late January 1922.]