7 February 1921

7 February 1921

Villa Isola Bella, Menton, France

Dear Orage

This letter has been on the tip of my pen for many months.

I want to tell you how sensible I am of your wonderful unfailing kindness to me in the "old days." And to thank you for all you let me learn from you. I am still - more shame to me - very low down in the school. But you taught me to write, you taught me to think; you showed me what there was to be done and what not to do.

My dear Orage, I cannot tell you how often I call to mind your conversation or how often, in writing, I remember my master. Does that sound impertinent? Forgive me if it does.

But let me thank you, Orage - Thank you for everything. If only one day I might write a  book of stories good enough to "offer" you . . . If I don't succeed in keeping the coffin from the door you will know this was my ambition.

                          Yours in admiration and gratitude

                                                               Katherine Mansfield

I haven't said a bit of what I wanted to say. This letter sounds as if it was written by a screw driver, and I wanted it to sound like an admiring, respectful, but warm piping beneath your windows. I'd like to send my love, too, if I wasn't so frightened. K.M.

[Letter to A. R. Orage in Collected Letters, 9 February 1921.]