Sunday, 13 January 2013

13th January 1933 - Mary to Terrick

Christchurch Road
East Sheen

Friday 11.45 a.m.

Dear Fitz

- You can have the banker’s daughter – personally I couldn’t stand anybody who cast voluptuous eyes at me. – so I’m letting you know by return of post that you’re a silly ass.  You don’t make me feel good to the extent of concentrating on you and not getting the full enjoyment to be got out of multitudes of others. – but you – so far – are the first person I’ve wanted very badly to come over on to my side so that we can laugh at things together.

- Oh – but I don’t suppose you can understand yet - & I’m so bad at explaining.  I’m young - & consequently just learning the exultant feeling that comes when someone (naturally male) makes a bee-line for me out of hosts of other girls who I was quite certain I shouldn’t stand a chance with – its a glorious – rampant – sparkling feeling & means nothing at all – except that one day (miles ahead) I shall get fed up with numbers and enjoy myself far more in the singular – but so far I dodge seriousness like the plague – remember how young I am and how little people mean of all they say & thank God I wasn’t born with a squint!

- you’re old – I make you feel good to the extent of cutting out the others.  I’m honoured – most frightfully honoured - & honestly – old thing – I’m not worthy of it – But I have consolation in knowing that I’ve told you just what a beastly little brat I am - & that, while you’re still interested enough in me.  There’s not a single thing I wouldn’t tell you – that the only reason I told you all about Frances Lederer’s cousin etc. – so you needn’t be so damnably self-righteous about it - & if you think I’m letting you down on your resolution I should retaliate - & if you don’t feel it any more than I do, your conscience can be quite clear – only it always comes harder on the male – especially one like you - & anyway I should hate it – because, you see, you have no reason whatsoever to doubt me when I flirt with other people – whereas I should (quite justifiably) think a lot of things about you - & if not exactly break my heart (I have got one – only I don’t show it to strangers!) – probably pine away at the thought of your shattered resolution

- Well – I don’t suppose even after all that you can feel all I want you to – but one day I’ll tell you what I mean – only , just for now, please believe I’m not quite such a dirty little underhand rotter as you might think I was – and that I’m most terrifically bucked in your taken any notice of me at all - & I don’t consider you in the same street with anybody I’ve ever met before – except perhaps Norah – because to you I offer friendship – whereas to all my “conquests” I only give a little bright repartee & the “glad eye”!

- So now – that being over (much to my detriment) – Thank you very much indeed for the letter.  I’m out of bed now, but have lost my voice & have nothing to do.  I finished Jane Austen on Wednesday with quite a feeling of regret.  But Norah arrived in the afternoon & cheered me up tremendously – her bedside manner is unimpeacable – I wanted to put my arms round her & hug her all the time! (effects of the flu again!) – she’s, by far the nicer of the two – much more steady & understanding – you should have a go a her & all! Shes the most satisfying person I know - & - above all – knows exactly how to treat me!  Just the right mixture of contempt at my stupidity, encouragement for my ambitions, snubs for my forwardness & sympathy for my feelings!

I didn’t go to the dance last night – mainly because it didn’t interest me.  So I’m afraid, Mr FitzHugh, I cannot oblige with one of my usual interesting account – anyway Mummy has just informed me that Reggie is coming to tea on Sunday, so I’ll get particulars from him – poor lad – weeds are so unecessary & he does try so hard.

Flip & I are at present sitting alone in front of the fire.  Mummy's out at Bridge & Jill’s gone to a dance at Norah’s – I’ve got a beastly cough which hurts horribly & makes me feel I shall soon be dead.  But I’ve just bought some wool to knit a jumper with so  I mustn’t die for at least a year until its finished. & also I’m looking forward to the 21st most frightfully – chiefly because I didn’t realise how much you were until now

- You get back on Thursday – do you? What time? The Blue Light's coming back to the Rialto – I hope to go next week.

- I’m just drinking your letter in again – its gorgeous – you add just the right bits in the right places – thats what makes you seem old! – I put down just what comes & dont think what the recipient will make of it – but you, oh ancient & experienced one, just worm yourself into being liked by saying exactly the right things to the people you want to. - & whats and “innuendo”? - & whats the “something more important” you’re going to fill pages with after Easter?  I do hope I shall like it as much – because at present, I’d hate a change. & whats “persiflage”?

I’ve only got one thing I bargained for in your case – oh- thats a hellish lie! – I, honestly, didn’t bargain for anything – I just said that to sound grown-up – why, must I have a conscience when I’m telling you things?

- I’m just going to send Mitchell out to post this – as I should hate to see groves in the floor next time I go to F.W. & think what had caused them  who was the Prisoner of Chillon?

- you won’t like this letter - & I’m jolly glad because bits of yours were abominable - & made me want to say – “well, whatever did he want to have anything to do with me for, if he thinks I’m as beastly as all this – he can jolly well go & stew his head for all I care” - & I don’t angle - & I’m not an “aspiring Cleopatra” – all my letters were going to be from the same person – so there – you cattish old perturber (?) of women – you’re only a very B.F after all. _ & even all those “thinly veiled” compliments didn’t have any lasting effect because I know they were just put there to ease things over. – so now you may call me “Little Beast” over rice-pudding because I deserve it - & I shouldn’t take any more notice of me if I were you – so you’d better start saving thoses kisses for the banker’s daughter.

- Mary Pleasant

P.S. I had this all done up ready to go – but have to add: ‘Kindly inform me again about the “confirmed flirt” clause – I fear I have no means of referring to your ‘last letter but one’.

What does “voluptuous” mean? – I must practise!

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