'Katherine Mansfield Today' Blog

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What was KM thinking and writing 90 years ago today? The ‘KM blog’ posts daily extracts of her letters and notebooks written almost 90 years ago...
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31 August 1922

6 Pond Street, Hampstead, London

Dearest Father,
   Very many thanks for your letter. It is dear of you to ask me to tea so soon after your arrival in London, but would any other afternoon next week suit you equally well? On Tuesday evening we have a long-standing engagement to dine with the Literary Editor of the Times. Business and pleasure combined, don't you know. And just at present I don't feel up to afternoon and dinner engagements on the same day. Do not trouble to reply to this dearest. If one of the girls would ‘phone me here on Tuesday, we might, if agreeable to you, fix up something then. I think I'll dine alone this time and keep our pow-wow "en famille". We shall be delighted to lunch with you at Bath's Hotel on Thursday, September 4, at one o'clock. I have made a note of the date.
   Another dull March morning. I heard from Elizabeth, who is basking in radiance from dawn to dark. But I have noticed people take rather a delight in gloating over the kind of weather one is not enjoying here! Its a pity we cannot all settle in Florida and found a little Sunshine Colony.
   With very much love, in which Jack joins me,
             Ever your devoted child,
                                           Kass [To Harold Beauchamp, 29 August 1922.]

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30 August 1922

6 Pond Street, Hampstead, London

Your letter made me feel angry with myself & very ungracious at having refused your so kind invitation. Please forgive me! I look forward more than I can say to seeing you and Violet in London. By the time you come I hope to be settled in my new rooms (they are at this address). I already dream of no end of a talk before my fire. [. . .]
   About Lawrence. Yes, I agree there is much triviality, much that is neither here nor there. And a great waste of energy that ought to be well spent. But I did feel there was growth in Aaron's Rod - there was no desire to please or placate the public. I did feel that Lorenzo was profoundly moved. Because of this perhaps I forgive him too much his faults.
   Its vile weather here - real fog. I am alone in the house - 10.30 p.m. Murry & Brett are both at parties. Footsteps pass and repass. That is a marvellous sound - and the low voices - talking on - dying away. It takes me back years, to the agony of waiting for one's love . . . I am lunching with Orage on Wednesday. What happiness! Goodnight dear friend. I press your hand. [To Sydney Schiff, 28 August 1922.]

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29 August 1922

6 Pond Street, Hampstead, London

Dearest Ottoline,
   I would simply love to meet you at Taylor's whenever you ask me to come. Or if y0u would rather I met y0u anywhere else - I shall be there. I can't walk yet - absurd as it sounds - only a few puffing paces - a most humiliating & pug-like performance. But once I get my legs back or rather once my heart is stronger I shall not be dependent on Taxis. I live in them since I have come to London. I have got Fat. Wyndham Lewis I hear is also fat, May Sinclair has waxed enormous, Anne Rice can't be supported by her ankles alone. I try to comfort myself with many examples. But I don't really care - its awful how little one cares. Anything - rather than illness - rather than the Sofa, and that awful dependence on others!
   I wish you were better. I feel a heartless wretch to run on so glibly. . . But never never shall I forget for an instant what it means.
   I rather look forward to these three months in London, once I have got out of my boxes and into a real corner of my own. I dream of brand-new friends - not the dreadfully solemn ‘intensive' ones - not the mind probers. But young ones who aren't ashamed to be interested. Dear little Gerhardi who wrote Futility is one - he sounds awfully nice. And theres another I met in Switzerland - so attractive! I don't think I care very much for the real intelligentsia, Ottoline dearest. And they seem to be so uneasy, so determined not to be caught out! Who wants to catch them? [To Ottoline Morrell, 28 August 1922.]

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28 August 1922

6 Pond Street, Hampstead, London

Anne darling,
   I am going to ask you to put off our T Party until you return from Dieppe. All is too unsettled, too ugly here. By the time you are back I shall be in my own rooms with my own cups and saucers and able to receive David as he ought to be received - the lamb! If he came here on Wednesday my head would be knocked off at once and pricking with a needle would be too good for me. Its not a bit nice or private. But at the end of this week I am moving into my own rooms and lll be settled soon after. I shall just simply love to see David and his Mummy then.
   I can't tell you what a joy it was to see you yesterday, dear and très très belle amie. How I loved looking at you again! And hearing you. And seeing your home - everything. I so look forward to our meeting after this autumn. I do hope we may. Jack Murry sends his love. Hes just had a new suit made & is standing in front of me.
J.M.: "Are the trousers full enough?
K.M.: Quite full enough!
J.M.: You're sure?
K.M.: Certain!
J.M.: They're not too full?
K.M.: Not in the least!
J.M.: You're sure?
K.M.: Certain!"
   I must run and get a Bible and swear on it. "Those trousers are PERFECT!!" Men are funny - aren't they? But very nice, too. All my love darling. I hope your holiday is a great success.
                  Ever your devouée.
                          Katherine [To Anne Drey, 28 August 1922.]

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27 August 1922

6 Pond Street, Hampstead, London

Dearest Father,
   I cannot understand why you have not received my book. I gave it Ida to post days ago. As far as I can make out, she seems to sit on the book and parcels I give her rather like old Amina (of Pelorus Sounds fame) used to sit on the peaches to ripen 'em.
   I meant to draw your attention, if I may, to one little sketch, "The Voyage", which I wrote with dear little Grandma Beauchamp in mind. It is not in any way a likeness of her, but there are, it seems to me, traces of a resemblance.
   Here we are tasting a good old fashioned London fog: it's very nearly dark (11.30 a.m.) I am thankful to be in Hampstead and not down in London proper.
   I wonder where little Jeanne will settle down finally? I suppose intensive bulb and mushroom growing or any novel form of farming of that kind, to be practised in England, would be too tame for her. I feel there is more money to be made out of new ideas on a small scale nowadays (especially when followed up by some one with little J's brains) than in large and more risky schemes. Poultry, according to Ida, is fascinating, especially if blended with the illusive runner duck. But I expect nothing smaller than a full-sized gee-gee will satisfy her. I am all for concentrating on brains rather than physique if brains are the strong point. But its no business of mine, as the little dear would no doubt tell me, gently. [To Harold Beauchamp, 28 August 1922.]

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26 August 1922

6 Pond Street, Hampstead, London

No, dear Mr Gerhardi,
   I don't always feel I have offended you - I only felt it once when the pause was so long. But now its hard to write to you when I know you are laughing at my poor little ‘y's and ‘g's and ‘d's. They feel so awkward; they refuse to skip any more. The little ‘g' especially is shy, with his tail in his mouth like an embarrassed whiting.
  I am very very sorry you are ill. I hope you will soon be better. I shall send you a little packet of tea on Monday. Please have a special little pot made and drink it with un peu de citron - if you like citron. It tastes so good when one is in bed - this tea, I mean. It always makes me feel even a little bit drunk - well, perhaps drunk is not quite the word. But the idea, even, of the short story after a cup or two seems almost too good to be true, and I pledge it in a third cup as one pledges ones love - - [To William Gerhardi, 26 August 1922.]

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25 August 1922

6 Pond Street, Hampstead, London

Dear Koteliansky
   I have been sitting in the empty house, thinking, since you left, chiefly about Murry and Lawrence's review. I do not see that he was to blame. How could he, being himself act otherwise? The first book he hated and said so. (The manner of saying it was wrong.) The second book he immensely admired and said so. He praised it because he thought it was a good powerful book. I dont see what personal motive or interest he could have had in such a change of front. On the contrary. Surely he risked being called a turn coat. . .
   You know I am deeply sorry for Murry he is like a man under a curse. That is not melodrama. That is why I am determined to remain his friend and to make him free of his own will. Special cases need special methods. There is no general treatment for all.
   But, dear precious friend, I must not speak against him to you. I feel we both know too much for that to be necessary. It is better to be silent about him. In these last months away from all his associates here I think he has got much more like he used to be. I can't help wishing, for the sake of the people you know in common, that you could just accept him - knowing him as you do.
   Now that I am no longer in a false position with Murry, now that I am, in the true sense of the word ‘free' I look at him differently. His situation is very serious. But who am I to say anyone is beyond hope - to withdraw my hand if there is even the smallest chance of helping them.
   Will you think this all very wrong - I wonder?  [To S. S. Koteliansky, 23 August 1922.]

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24 August 1922

6 Pond Street, Hampstead, London

We have seen my Papa. He will live for hundreds of years, growing redder and firmer and fatter for ever. As to his "fund of humorous stories" it doesn't bear thinking about. I felt I must creep under the table during lunch. I said to my sisters while we powdered our noses together "Dont you find his stories a little tiring". And they cried (they always say the same) "Oh but the old dear does so enjoy telling them and he really is most amusing!" The only reply was to cross oneself.
   I saw Sydney last night who delivered a formal apology for the way he has spoken and written about John. But he regards me with a very mistrustful eye. He expects to find a pin in every crumb one offers, this is not very exhilarating. Bother these solemn, intellectual, superior old mind-probers. I wish I had warm hearted simple friends who had never heard of Einstein. [To Elizabeth, Countess Russell, 23 August 1922.]

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23 August 1922

6 Pond Street, Hampstead, London

My dear Elizabeth 
   Its so strange to be writing to you from London! I feel half here, half in one of those green chairs in the Belle Vue garden, overlooking the valley. Yet events seem to have moved at lightning speed since I saw you and your lovely crocus, columbine, hyacinth, lilac hat - early Italian wild violet hat, too.
   John's little grand tour died at Sierre while he was telling me the name of his hotel in Verona. "Why shouldn't I come to London with you? (Pause) Dash it all I will come. (Pause) Ill toss for it. Heads London tails Italy. (Pause) Its tails. That settles it. I go to London tomorrow." But his journey is only postponed. I have decided to stay here for the next three months. There is a man who understands the Manoukhin treatment and is willing to take me. So I shant have to go back to odious Paris and hotel dusters. I have ‘taken' Brett's first floor; and John has arranged to live in a small flat next door. Brett has swept away her other lodgers, who must regard me as the cuckoo in the sparrow's nest. But its fun to think of three months in London and oh, such a relief to be private, not to be a number. John's small flat is extremely romantic but so high that I shall never be able to go to tea. He will dine here in the evenings. It seems to me a much better arrangement than setting up house together. [To Elizabeth, Countess Russell, 23 August 1922.]

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22 August 1922

6 Pond Street, Hampstead, London

Dearest Father
   Just a note to say how very very happy I was to see you yesterday and how much I enjoyed our lunch and talk! I only hope you feel as young as you look and that your bout of ill health is a thing of the past. The girls looked so well and charming, too. Wee Jeannie though looks almost too young to have a real live husband. She ought to be married in a daisy chain with the Wedding Service read from a Seed Catalogue, as it used to be when we were children.
   It is a sad pity that New Zealand is so far, dearest Papa. How nice if we could all foregather more often. By this same post I am sending you a copy of my book. With fondest love
                    Ever your devoted child
                                             Kass. [To Harold Beauchamp, 22 August 1922.]

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21 August 1922

6 Pond Street, Hampstead, London

Its strange to be here again. London is empty, cool, rather shadowy - extraordinarily unlike Paris. I feel sentimental about it. Only the people Ive seen so far seem fatigue fatigue beyond words! One feels that they have come to an agreement not to grow any more, to stay just so - all clipped and pruned and tight. As for taking risks, making mistakes, changing their opinions, being in the wrong, committing themselves, losing themselves, being human beings in fact - no, a thousand times! "Let us sit down and have a nice chat about minor eighteenth century poetry" - I never want to sit down & have that chat as long as I live.
   But it doesn't matter. They can't alter the fact that Life is wonderful. Its wonderful enough to sit here writing to you, dear precious friends, & to lean back & think about you. The past lets nothing be. Even our meetings in Paris are changed almost beyond recognition. One sees them, linked together now, and one realises the immense importance of the hero of them whom I never saw & never shall see.
   But I could write to you for ever today. And instead Im going out to lunch with Massingham pere. Could one possibly shake him up - lean across the table & say quietly . . . what? [To Violet Schiff, 21 August 1922.]

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20 August 1922

6 Pond Street, Hampstead, London

Dear Richard,
   If you do come up from Brighton it will be my ‘shout'. Then when you are richangreat you can take me to Brighton to pay back.
   If it won't disturb your holiday too much it would be a very great pleasure to see you. Jack is here, too. We came over together.
   Supposing we wait for you here on Friday. Then we can go off & have lunch together. But I think it would be more satisfactory to meet & have a smoke & talk here first. Its less disturbing than public grottos.
   I have just seen Charlie in The Kid. How old fashioned that must sound to you - as though Id seen my first airyplane. He is a marvellous artist. Its a pity he is tied to the public, even the little he is. I mean its a pity he considers them at all. 
   Until we meet
           Ever 
           Katherine.
If Friday doesn't suit you suggest a day that does & I'll keep it free. [To Richard Murry, c.20 August 1922.]

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19 August 1922

6 Pond Street, Hampstead, London

I saw Doctor Sorapure this morning and went over the battlefield with him. As far as one could say from a first view, it was not at all unsatisfactory. He says my heart is not diseased in any way. He believes its condition is due to my left lung, and its tied up with the lung in some way for the present. It’s all rather complicated. But the result of the interview was that there is nothing to be feared from its behaviour. I mean its tricks are more playful than fierce. And the more exercise I take in the way of walking and moving about the better. It may stretch it. Sounds rather rum, doesn’t it. But the point is, darling, Jack and I can meet you any where in London, any time. This house is rather hard to find. Its a queer nice little place, but on the Bohemian side i.e. I would trust its teas only - not its lunches or dinners. I am not in the least an invalid in my appearance or my ways and require no special consideration. If the girls would put us up for a night, would you like to see us at Wood Hay — you see I propose this sans fasons as one of the family. But except for another appointment with Sorapure on Monday afternoon, I am free as yet. And free I shall endeavour to remain until I hear from you.
   Sorapure thought I looked amazingly better, of course. Everybody does. One feels a great fraud to have a well built outside and such an annoying interior. [To Harold Beauchamp, 18 August 1922.]

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18 August 1922

6 Pond Street, Hampstead, London

My dearest Father,
   Upon my arrival here yesterday, I was more than glad to receive your dear letter. Many, many thanks for it. I still feel guilty at having so disarranged your plans. My only consolation is that travelling on the Continent, at this moment, is very poor fun. Even when one has reserved seats on all the trains and so on the immense crowds intrude. First class carriages are full of third class passengers, and the boat absolutely swarmed with ladies and babies all in an advanced state of mal de mer!
   However, travelling never tires me as it does most people. I even enjoy it, discomforts and all. And we arrived here to find all kinds of thoughtful preparations, down to the good old fashioned Bath Bun with sugar on the top - an old favourite of mine. It made me feel I was anchored in England again.  [To Harold Beauchamp, 18 August 1922.]

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17 August 1922

Hotel Chateau Belle Vue, Sierre, Switzerland

My dear Richard,
   I did a thing today which it has been in my mind to do for a long time. I made a will, signed it & got it duly witnessed. In it, I left you my large pearl ring. My idea in leaving it to you was that you should give it - if you care to - to your woman whoever she may be. I hope you won't think this ghoulish. But Jack gave me the ring and I feel it would be nice to keep it in the family.
   This doesn't mean, of course, that I am not as large as life and twice as natural. But just in case I was ‘taken sudden' Id like you to know why the ring is yours.
   With love, Richard dear
                               Yours ever
                                      Katherine.
I shall be in London on Thursday staying with Brett. Will there be any chance of seeing you?  [To Richard Murry, 14 August 1922.]

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16 August 1922

Hotel Chateau Belle Vue, Sierre, Switzerland

Dearest
   I wired you today. This is just to say how glad I shall be if you can put me up on Wednesday. I have been horribly ill since you left; I must see Sorapure with as little delay as possible. Please don't tell anyone I am coming not even Koteliansky. And could you possibly, if you have the time, find out by any means an address for Ida? Any boarding house or hotel in Belsize Park? Id be most fearfully grateful. Dont make preparations for me - will you? What would be perfect would be to feel you just let me in without giving me a moment's thought. You know what I mean? Everything will be nice, darling. Theres only one thing. If you can put me into a bedroom rather than the sitting-room . . . No, I take that back. Thats nonsense. If you knew how those orange flowery curtains are waving in my mind at this moment! Will you really be at your door on Wednesday?Or is it a fairy tale?
          Ever your loving
              Tig. [To Dorothy Brett, 10 August 1922.]

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15 August 1922

Hotel Chateau Belle Vue, Sierre, Switzerland

Dearest Elizabeth
   I want so much to give you a little present before I leave here. . . And I have been casting about and Ive nothing except this brand new little jacquette which is the colour of zinnias and reminds me of them. Would you like it? May it hang behind your door or where such things hang in well regulated bedrooms.
   Our little tour is my dream. I hope it won't always remain a dream. And if I was frightfully dull at lunch the other day - don't judge me by that, dearest! Ive been out of company for so long that I feel beyond words . . . shy.
          With my devoted love
           Katherine. [To Elizabeth, Countess Russell, c. 10 August 1922.]

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14 August 1922

Hotel Chateau Belle Vue, Sierre, Switzerland

I have spent the summer down here at work on a kind of short novel. Jack has been up the mountain side chez Elizabeth. I cannot breathe so high, I can only gasp. So they come down to me from time to time instead. He has been very happy with her, and I have loved it here. Sierre is such a fascinating small valley town, full of orchards & vineyards & funny little mountains that skip like young sheep. This hotel has a farm attached to it, too, and one can wander at will among the beasts and birds. I love farms - do you? Sometimes I wish Jack was a farmer & I was a farmers wife & wore a big apron & cut bread and butter for the children. There must be very solid joys in that.
   By the way this has been a marvellous year for dahlias. Do they grow well in Canada? We have saffron yellow, big spiked red ones, white ones and a little round bright orange kind - most lovely. As for the antirrhynms they are superb. I think I ought to have called them snap-dragons though. I'm sure that spelling is wrong. And do you grow zinnias? I wish I could see your garden. Dear little Jeanne seems to be a very fierce, successful gardener. We all as a family seem to inherit the tastes of our First Parents. [To Vera McIntosh Bell, 10 August 1922.]

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13 August 1922

Hotel Chateau Belle Vue, Sierre, Switzerland

My dearest V.
   Forgive me, if you can, for delaying so long in answering your card & the photograph of my little neffys & the Cook Book for Ida. You see I put them in order of precedence but I was delighted to receive the first two, especially, and more especially, the second. Andrew & John have grown into such big boys now Eliza that there is no recognising them at all. John is the image of you, isn't he. Do you remember a photograph of yourself taken with Guy Tonks? If John only had curls he would be you as a child over again. Andrew looks extremely like Mack. Is he? The expression even seems to me to be his Father's. They are darling little boys & you must be tremendously proud of them. I wish I could think I might see them sometime in the near future. Id so like to hear them and watch them, don't you know? Jack was very interested in the photograph, too. Supposing I was critical . . . Is Andrew in a school uniform? Is that why he wears a linen collar? With that kind of suit English children of his age and ‘station' wear cricket shirts with soft turn-down collars. But I feel rather like Grandma B. [Beauchamp] commenting on what is no doubt a Canadian fashion. Don't be cross with me, darling! [To Vera McIntosh Bell, 10 August 1922.]

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12 August 1922

Hotel Chateau Belle Vue, Sierre, Switzerland

I hope this trouble is something that can be corrected easily. I feel sure it is. But until I know just what it is there is always the feeling I may be doing the very thing that will send me on my last journey before my work is anything like finished here below! That's what I have been feeling all this week.
   I should not dream of worrying you with all this, my dearest, if it wasn't that we had arranged to meet in Paris, and that I have upset your plans. Do believe me it costs me a great deal to have to do so. Nothing short of necessity would induce me to.
I shall go straight to my good friend, Miss Brett, on arrival. My address, therefore, will be: -
C/- Hon. Dorothy Brett,
  6, Pond Street,
    HAMPSTEAD.
   I shall try and see Sorapure on Thursday. If you are in London, would you telephone me, or let me know where I may write or telephone you. If you are at Wood Hay, perhaps it would be best if I write you a report of proceedings after my interview with Sorapure. Please don't be cross with me for being such a bothersome child. I feel it with my whole heart, even though it's a "sickly" one. In any case, darling, I will communicate with you on arrival, and we can, I hope, arrange to meet then. Will the girls forgive me, too?
   With my fondest love,
            Ever your devoted child
                       Kass [To Harold Beauchamp, 10 August 1922.]

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11 August 1922

Hotel Chateau Belle Vue, Sierre, Switzerland

My dearest Father,
   I have delayed answering your letter - which I was most happy to receive - because I felt there was a possibility that I might be forced, for reasons of health only, to make a little change in my plans. I hoped this would not be necessary, but it is. To "come straight to the horses" - my heart has been playing up so badly this last week that I realise it is imperative for me to see Doctor Sorapure before I go on with my Paris treatment. As I am due to begin this Paris treatment on September lst, I have decided that my best plan is to come straight to London next Tuesday, arriving Wednesday, 16th. Until I have had an opinion on the present condition of my heart I am really a thoroughly unsatisfactory companion. I could neither go about with you and the dear girls, nor add to your enjoyment in any way. And to sit with me in the bedroom of a foreign hotel would be extremely small beer indeed! And I could not forgive myself if my disquieting symptoms became aggravated in Paris and caused you uneasiness. You know what a heart is like! [To Harold Beauchamp, 10 August 1922.]

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10 August 1922

Hotel Chateau Belle Vue, Sierre, Switzerland

Have you read Aarons Rod - Lawrence's latest book? There seems to me something very fine in it - so vigorous - so full of growth. I had a long miserable disgusted look at Rebecca Wests Judge. Ugh! How dreadful! I felt horribly ashamed of it.
   Yes, wasn't the Times shameful about Proust. The coarseness of the mind that could write so! But never has English criticism been at such a low ebb as at this moment. Nobody has anything to say. As for the Nation it is as dead as mutton.
   A storm rages while I write this dull letter. It sounds so splendid, I wish I were out in it.
   Murry has spent the summer in the mountains. At present he is with Elizabeth - the real one, of course. He looks forward, I know, to seeing you next month. I go to Paris in about a fortnight. But my plans are very vague. I hope to spend the winter in Italy. Murry sent me Sydney's letter about his novel. I envied him such a letter with all my heart. Goodbye, dearest Violet. The time I spent with you & Sydney in Paris is so vivid. I love to think of it. With much love to you both.
               Ever yours
                       K.M. [To Violet Schiff, 9 August 1922.]

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9 August 1922

Hotel Chateau Belle Vue, Sierre, Switzerland

Dearest Violet,
   Forgive me for not answering your dear letter sooner. I wanted to & I could not. Do you know the mood when one really cant write a letter? It sounds absurd, but if anyone will understand it - you will. . .
   I am constantly thinking of you and Sydney. I wonder when we shall meet again? I only stayed a week or two in the mountains, then I telegraphed Jones to join me and we came down here where we've been ever since. Its a relief to have Jones again. I have almost made her swear never to leave me even if I drive her away. I have been working here after a fashion but Ive had trouble with my heart & again I can't walk & Ive fever - die alter geschichte which doesn't bleib imrner treu to anyone. However, there it is. Perhaps one ought to learn to accept it as one's destiny and not fight against it. Who knows? Its hard to decide.
   The author of Futility is only known to me through letters. I call him in my mind my little undergraduate. He wrote to me, from Oxford last summer, and later sent me the MSS of his novel. I helped him with it a little & suggested a publisher. Since then we have kept in touch. He sounds a very delightful, impulsive, young man. Full of enthusiasm. But what I like him for is I think he has real feeling. His letters breathe. Perhaps you will meet him one day. Curiously enough, I have often felt you would. I hope success will not spoil him.[To Violet Schiff, 9 August 1922.]

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8 August 1922

Hotel Chateau Belle Vue, Sierre, Switzerland

Later Your second letter has just come about Paris. But blow Paris for the moment. Don't think, my dear little precious artist, that because I am dumb until Wednesday week that I am changed a jot. For I am NOT! I loved your letter. Fancy old Sullivan in his cap with Sylvia? . . .They made such a funny drawing as you described them! I laughed as we laughed here together. Many many thanks for the hotel. Its too dear though. Its only for the Rich Bugs not for the Poor ones. But wait! I may have a small surprise for you on Wednesday week.
   What a bad man Murry is to put that tombstone in your parcel, and how just like him! Its surprising he did not ask you to take the oak chest back with you filled with books. He is having a very good time. The big lady sings something beautiful, Miss - Russian & French songs & they are very gay.
   Goodbye for now
                    Tig. [To Dorothy Brett, 7 August 1922.]

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7 August 1922

Hotel Chateau Belle Vue, Sierre, Switzerland

Dearest
   lf you don't hear from me until Wednesday week - don't mind! I can only reply to your letter by silence, & by clasping your hand. The reason is that my plans are all in the air and I am horribly tired & I must somehow finish this story. So I must retire into my shell, & be silent until Wednesday week. Then I shall send you a budget. But wait for me till then!
   All is just the same in every way. I can only do this because I know and trust you and I believe you know & trust me. Im a fearfully imperfect friend, at present. But once I get out of my silly prison I will be nicer in every way - please God. In the meantime, tho' I don't write I think about you and am as ever
              Your
               Tig [To Dorothy Brett, 7 August 1922.]

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6 August 1922

Hotel Chateau Belle Vue, Sierre, Switzerland

Dearest Bogey
   I have been on the point of writing this letter for days. My heart has been behaving in such a curious fashion that I cant imagine it means nothing. So, as I should hate to leave you unprepared, I'll just try & jot down what comes into my mind. All my manuscripts I leave entirely to you to do what you like with. Go through them one day, dear love, and destroy all you do not use. Please destroy all letters you do not wish to keep & all papers. You know my love of tidiness. Have a clean sweep, Bogey, and leave all fair - will you?
   Books are yours ofcourse, & so are my personal possessions. L.M. had better distribute my clothes. Give your Mother my fur coat, will you? Chaddie & Jeanne must choose what they want & I suppose Vera would like something. My small pearl ring - the ‘daisy' one I should like to wear. The other, give to Richard's love when you know her - if you approve ofthe idea.
   I seem, after all, to have nothing to leave and nobody to leave things to. Dela Mare I should like to remember and Richard. But you will give a book or some small thing to whoever wishes . . . Monies, of course, are all yours. In fact, my dearest dear, I leave everything to you - to the secret you whose lips I kissed this morning. In spite of everything - how happy we have been! I feel no other lovers have walked the earth together more joyfully - in spite of all.
   Farewell, my precious love.
   I am for ever and ever
                        Your
                         WIG. [To J. M. Murry, 7 August 1922.]

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5 August 1922

Hotel Chateau Belle Vue, Sierre, Switzerland

Later Edition. D.B. darling, I have just got your Lawrence review & note. You didn't send the Pope, love . . . But Ill get L.M. to ask for the two receipts and will print the address in a fair white linen hand. About your review - I think you are absolutely right in every word of it - every word. I think you occasionally use more words of praise than are necessary, it sounds too effusive & will raise suspicion. Shall I tone it down a bit on my typewriter or send as it is? I'll phone you & ask. Gerhardi comes off with a nice little pat. But can't be helped. Oh, I long for a paper this morning!! I have been "making up" a paper ever since I read your review. I shall start one, too, jolly soon. For three years only. But what years! Dont you think it might be a good idea if this week you came on Sunday instead of Saturday? Give us a longer week. That is if you are at all presséor inclined to the notion. (No! See below). Otherwise you wont mind will you dear, if I do a bit of work on Saturday while you are in the garden. H'm yes. After my spartan suggestion has been written I take it back. I say instead what I have said about working. . . & hope Ill be able to look out of [the] window & see your summer feltie below. Yes, indeed, come Saturday unless you don't want to, or think that the female will is determined to drag you here. Its not, my dear darling. [To J. M. Murry, early August 1922.]

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4 August 1922

Hotel Chateau Belle Vue, Sierre, Switzerland

Early Edition.
D.B.
   I think Amos Barton is awful & there is nothing to say for it. In the first place poor George Eliot's Hymn to the Cream Jug makes me feel quite quesy (no wonder she harps on biliousness & begins her description of a feast ‘should one not be bilious there is no pleasanter sight' etc.). In the second place the idea of lovely, gentle, fastidious, Madonna-like Mrs Barton having 8 children in 9 years by that pockmarked poor ‘mongrel' (her own words) with the blackened stumps for teeth is simply disgusting! If I thought the poor little pamphlet was designed to put in a word in favour of Birth Control I could bear it. But far from it. Each chubby chubby with a red little fist & TEN BLACK NAILS (how is that for charm?) rouses a kind of female cannibalism in G.E. She gloats over the fat of babies.
   I have always heard Amos Barton was one of her best stories. You know its very very bad that we haven't sincerer critics. Having spread my peacock tail to that extent I had better depart. Not before saying what a truly frightful need England hath of thee.
                 Yours ever & ever
                    Wig. [To J. M. Murry, early August 1922.]

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3 August 1922

Hotel Chateau Belle Vue, Sierre, Switzerland

Dear Elizabeth
   Many many thanks once more.
   I am so sorry to hear of your misfortunes .... My story isn't a bit wonderful; I wish to God it were. But I'm panting for new scenes, new blood - everything brand new! In fact, you've lent that £100 to a fearfully desperate character.
   Ever, dear Elizabeth,
                    Yours lovingly,
                     Katherine.
[To Elizabeth, Countess Russell, 3 August 1922.]

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2 August 1922

Hotel Chateau Belle Vue, Sierre, Switzerland

Perhaps you will be seeing Brett in a few days? She goes back to England tomorrow. I feel awfully inclined to Campbell about her for a little. But it would take a whole book to say all that one feels. She is a terrible proof of the influence ones childhood has upon one. And there has been nothing stronger in her life to counteract that influence. I do not think she will ever be an adult being. She is weak; she is a vine; she longs to cling. She cannot nourish herself from the earth; she must feed on the sap of another. How can these natures ever be happy? By happy I mean at peace with themselves? She is seeking someone who will make her forget that early neglect, that bullying and contempt. But the person who would satisfy her would have to dedicate himself to curing all the results of her unhappiness - her distrust, for instance, her suspicions, her fears. He would have to take every single picture and paint it with her, just as a singer, by singing with his pupil can make that weak voice strong & confident. . . But even then, she would not be cured.
   I believe one can cure nobody, one can change nobody fundamentally. The born slave cannot become a free man. He can only become free-er. I have refused to believe that for years, and yet I am certain it is true - it is even a law of life. But it is equally true that hidden in the slave there are the makings of the free man. And these makings are very nice in Brett, very sensitive and generous. I love her for them. They make me want to help her as much as I can.  [To S.S. Koteliansky, 2 August 1922.]

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1 August 1922

Hotel Chateau Belle Vue, Sierre, Switzerland

My dear Koteliansky,
   I hope you are better. If you need a doctor Sorapure is a good man - intelligent and quiet. He does not discuss Lloyd George with one, either. This is a great relief. All the other English doctors that I know have just finished reading The Daily Mail by the time they reach me. It is a pity that Lawrence is driven so far. I am sure Western Australia will not help. The desire to travel is a great, real temptation. But does it do any good? It seems to me to correspond to the feelings of a sick man who thinks always ‘if only I can get away from here I shall be better.' However - there is nothing to be done. One must go through with it. No one can stop that sick man, either, from moving on and on. His craving is stronger than he. But Lawrence, I am sure, will get well. [To S.S. Koteliansky, 2 August 1922.]

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