Sunday, 31 March 2013

After 28th March 1933 - Terrick to Mary

Again - only a small part of this letter remains

... I used to delight in being alone with her in the moonlight and listening to myself talking in the coolest of tones about impersonal subjects.  After a bit her efforts became more determined and I thought it rather rotten of me to waste her time, so I told her first that I had resolved to chuck flirting, and when that didn't have the desired effect, that all my attention was concentrated elsewhere.  That discouraged her a bit, but before she went she told me that she considered she had been very slow to let me get away with it.

When I said that before she arrived I was ?? I don't mean that I was afraid my thoughts would change [says me, trying, as per your last letter, to express it impersonally] but I thought that, the flesh being weak, I might drop into a flirtation just for amusement.

I didn't tell you about it in the letter just after they arrived because I didn't want you to be wondering every day if the resolution was still intact; and although I knew the resolution was safe, I didn't tell you in my next letter because I thought, or rather hoped, that you might ----- no, the rest you might consider personal.

I wouldn't even come near being personal but the whole story is about my resolution which has a "personal" origin.  And you know you made me promise to tell you about my temptations.

When such a big one as that has turned out such an utter flop, I feel absolutely safe as houses.  All the vamps in Europe in a combined effort would get nothing better than a scornful laugh out of me.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

28th March 1933 - Mary to Terrick

Tuesday 7.0

Dear Terrick

- This is such a horrid place to write in as such a lot of interesting things are going on all round me - I'm just having a cup of coffee before going off to Sadler's Wells to see the ballet (they're doing Coppelia - & I love the music) - but not having anybody I really want to go with (bar Norah - & I go out with her tomorrow) I'm going to sit on a hard little 9d seat all by myself - unless I don't have anything to eat & then I might run to the comparative luxury - but equal hardness - of a 1/6 seat.  I wish you were coming too - or do you hate dancing?

At the moment at the next table I believe is an honest to goodness proposal going on - at least he's just got to the stage of saying he'll make her happy - (she doesn't look worth it) so I suppose it is. - How exciting - I've never listened to one before! Poor dears!

- Dear me, how off the point.

Thank you so much for letter which arrived nearly 72 hours late!! - I'd really come to the conclusion that I was supposed to satisfy myself with postcard for this week!

- It was such a very enjoyable letter to read - but just here & there I wanted to frown at you - please don't come over my line will you? - you'd be such a difficult person to manage.

- Can't you see that at the present period of my young life I only exult in being said nice things to because it flatters my vanity? - I don't think I really care two hoots who says them - & therefore it's so bad for me ( & you, for that matter) to have them said at all.

- They may all be true & you quite probably mean them in all seriousness (I know you do) - But please, old thing, keep them inside - so that I can like you tremendously as someone just living in the same world as me - & not the someone I could so easily shut up in gilt cage of emotionalism simply because he plays on things inside me where I don't really want him to go.  Do you see? - or do you think I'm making a mountain out of a molehill? 

-But I'm honestly not - you see, I know myself much better than you know me!

-Oh, for heaven's sake girl - shut up!

- Are you really coming back at the end of the week? - & do you think you'll be able to squash in a weekend with us? - 

Menton sounds ideal - but I suppose you won't be there now will you? - Could we get away from the crowd there though? - Norah & me I mean. - or is it crammed with people everywhere?

The weather here is simply marvellous - we're thinking of going back to the bungalow for Easter - I'm getting my cotton frocks down out of the loft - I bet it rains when I do!  All the trees are bursting into leaves & things - in fact my morning bus ride is fast becoming enchanted with fresh miracles of greeness every hundred yards.

- Well, they're beginning to eye me with slight disfavour, so I'll hie me hence to Sadler's Wells and continue there - if you'll excuse me a moment.

*   *   *   *   

- Heavens, how we mortals can be fooled.  Am now in tube train 10.30pm. having stood for whole performance for ruinous price of 2/6 !!!!!  Consequently my feet are like slabs of raw beef. ( I should love to see your face!)  Still it was worth it - oh how I'd love to be really really thin & beautiful - you know - just so's I could dance to music that fitted in.  I used to when I was small - to myself in front of a mirror!

My audition went of some-what badly yesterday - the rest were miles more grown up & experienced than me I - my "Dear Brutus" went down one of the best (it's catching!) - but I was rotten in the scene they gave me to read - a touching love scene with some strange man of 50 - who dropped his H's and lost his place!!

- So I'm afraid it'll have to be the Thespians after all - dash it.  What unlimited exultancy one can get from being one up on one's ordinary neighbour!

- Did you get your handkerchiefs? (The woman I bought the card from wanted to sell me a wedding one with bells all over it!)

- I'm sorry it was such an ordinary present - you see I had intended for months to get you a new scarf - as near as poss. to the one, I believe, you lost - or have you found it? - altogether I went into 12 shops & each one tried to get one for me - but my description was too poor or they wanted a sample or something - so my good intention didn't come off - & I got so sick of explaining my brown cheques (sic) & emerald green stripes - that I just thought of the first thing I could really enjoy myself choosing - I think they were lovely.

- Well I've just got home - washed - done my hair - wished I was thinner & got into bed + apple.

Walking up the road was gorgeous - cold & starry, with a smell of bonfire and my feet going clack-clack along the pavement - do you remember coming home after Richard of Bordeaux? - I was a little ass - that was one of the first times I showed you what I was really like underneath - heavens, what a fool.

- The chief thrill of this week is my frock - Mr Hodson says I look "devastating"!! - It's frightfully "Voguey" with big sleeves and high neck - I'm simply longing to show it to you.

- Have you heard from Eileen yet? - I wish I understood politics - perhaps I should know a bit more if I read the paper - the only one I ever do is Sunday's 'Observer' & that for the books & plays - I'm thought, by Miss Phillips (Office!) most terribly illiterate - she reads her Daily Mirror & Evening News every day of her life! - & I also wish I knew London - today it took Phillips ½ an hour to tell me how to get to the Guild Hall - Newgate Street. - Old Bailey - Post Office - Cheapside - Aldsgate Street are simply names to me - I never know where the Tower of London is.  Oh, Norah's got a job - temporary I think - Swedish business - she hates it because no one talks English!

- Well, old thing, must stop, my eyelids simply dropping with sleep - when shall I see you?

- Thank you for the snaps.


Mary P.

P.S. I don't think you're a nit-wit - every female is provided with some protection against the male.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

24th March 1933 - Mary to Terrick

Shop.  6.15

- Pray Heaven this is the right address.

Many happy returns etc. & I hope this arrives on the right day - In my long letter I'll tell you the long story of "your Birthday Present" - (you owe me something for shoe leather) - I'm sorry this is so unoriginal (but just look who chose it!)

Anyway I've had a lovely time choosing all of them with the shop-man - so don't screw up your nose at my colour schemes!  I think they're gorgeous, only have them washed before you use them.

- Love


Monday, 18 March 2013

18th March 1933 - Mary to Terrick


Saturday 2.0 pm

Dear Terrick - I'm afraid you need never have any real fear that I shall stop my weekly "out-pour" - unless, of course, you don't give me anything to "pour" about - because I thought to myself last week:- - "now I jolly well won't be such a blimey fool as to answer his next letter by return - for one thing it is very silly to make it a habit until it almost becomes a physical necessity - and for another letters written in the heat of the moment often catch your weak moments & I shall probably say things that'll make him think I like him better than I do" - (last reason somewhat unfounded I think - but we're both turning into rather cautious people aren't we? - in different ways). - But anyway it was no good - I got your letter last night when we arrived in from Romen & Juliet - & deep into the night (for just about the 6½ minutes I managed to keep awake) I was thinking of things to put in this :- so perhaps this means it's habit already.

But I revel in it (even without considering my recipient at all) - so here goes:-

- Thank you ever so much for intermittent post-cards - they always come at the right moments - & I'm generally greeted on the doorstep at 7.0 pm by "family" with "post-card from Fitz - having topping weather - only two clients & he's looking forward to your next letter"! or something equivalent - families are like that - aren't they?  Jack & I nearly sent you one of High Holborn with "We stood and played at this marvellous spot for 30 minutes today - gorgeous weather - we are just thinking of experimenting a drive in one of these quaint red vehicles, but the office calls" - but Jack thought you'd probably miss the point - so we didn't.

Norah & I were so broke this Wednesday that we just went home & she gave me a horribly stiff hour of shorthand (shear spite egging us both on!) - she's frightfully strict & persevering - & most scathing when I put "cake" instead of "coke" - but it's jolly interesting. (so far).  Thursday was the dress rehearsal of our Health & Beauty Display next Thursday.  I'm in one of the choruses (chorii?) - with a short bright blue skirt & big blue bows on my shoes! - Oh it's gorgeous! - I think I'm going to join their "national dance" class - I love rhythm - don't you? - folk-dances & tunes make me exult.

- On Thursday I had a most exciting surprising letter from the Loc H Drama League - asking me to attend an audition on March 27th to read a scene from a play - & do a selection of my own!!  I was frightfully bucked - although I expect thousands will stand a better chance than me - & I'll let you know if I get in - if not I'll have to join Richmond Dramatic - it'll be a bit of a come-down - but I must try something.

- What did you mean by - I must help with the book or I'll have "lived, died & given nothing"? - you wait.

I was frightfully interested in your picturesque fluence about the Idea of the Book - you transplanted the theme most ably - I think I got just what you felt.  The only small doubt I had was "Do you think - however much better & more interesting - other people would still want to read about Robin Hood?"  Such a frightful lot has already been written - I know he's just righ tofr the sort of thing you want to portray - but he's had such a varied & long life already. - anyhow we'll have to leave that till we can "talk" it - I probably missed a lot of what you were thinking so it needs explaining a bit.

- I laughed at the '(optomist)' after your suggestion that "Edwy" might provide the necessary cash - I wondered if it would have been there if it had come in your first letter to me - but perhaps you don't see the point & it's really neither here nor there - it only made me chuckle in my head!

I see what you're driving at with the "improvement scheme" - but you don't know what a sacrifice it would be for me to try  & stop posing in front of everybody - I'm so frightened they'd find me dull - but we'll see - & don't forget to be scathing - no - perhaps I'd like you cross better - where you catch me being "cheap" - will you?

- While I was making the beds this morning (another fun Saturday!) - I was trying to sum up all your "nasty bits" - but you see I'm afraid I can't tell you what I mean because - not counting (1) Losing train tickets etc. & (2) unbounded cockiness - they're just small things here & there which are probably only annoying to me personally, - & are not really "nasty" at all - and anywayI couldn't explain what they are to you - because they're a bit too personal & I'm afraid I don't know you well enough, Mr. FitzHugh! - but, as you see, there can't be much - so I wouldn't worry to much - you know you can trust me to tell you anything bit - (smug!) - but with our combined improvements you'll probably ? to mockery & I shall either become a salvation-armyist (the hat & red bow suits me so well!) or be caught up to Heaven clad in righteousness - (if there's enough to cover me decently).

- Have you actually bathed yet? - oh heaven - you lucky dog - we've had sheets of rain this week - but it's fine today - Romeo & Juliet was excellent - far more than I'd imagined .  Shakespeare was a clever old thing you know, a bit coarse at times, but he gauged his audience wonderfully.

- Do you really think you'll be coming back about 30th? - don't you have to stay out there over Easter? - will you have to go straight up to FW? - mouldy -

I'm simply inundated with Poly Literature - would I like to travel by Air? - Go for a Motor Tour? - A Cruise? British or Foreigh Holiday?  - Mums says the only one I haven't got is the specially conducted trip to the Ocean Bed - guaranteed perfect rest & privacy for a month or longer - money refunded for one drop of rain!

Immediately after I'd posted your letter last time Reggie phoned to ask me to a dance next Wednesday - only a Hospital Dance at Finchley - but it was rather a coincidence after telling you I'd never been to one with him - wasn't it?

- Anyhow it'll probably be quite fun as I shall know most of the people there - all school people, you know.  - For future reference I'll tell you that Norah & Gray is distinctly off - he must be a bit of a young pig because he's giving a party - inviting all N's friends who she'd introduced him to - including me - & not inviting her! - I think it's a bit the limit so (much to N's annoyance) I wrote & told him so - horribly rude - but still it was just like I felt & shan't see him again.  But mum's the word! - Norah would flay me if she know I'd told you.

I knew I was barking up a false tree about Mr Bernays - but you see I don't exactly know how you look upon clergymen & I took a chance - one has to now and again.

- Why must you be so drastically different from anything I've ever met before? - I think perhaps you're a bit too self-opinionated - I expect you think that's a good point - I know you can see both sides of a thing fairly well - but you're rather inclined to sniff at the opposite camp - I don't know what we can do about it, because you're quite convinced you're in the right & I'm not - so perhaps it would be  best left. - only I hate other people to think you "odd" - so it's really quite a selfish adversness on my part.

- Crowd of people swarming into front garden - will finish later.

*  *  *  *  
- All gone - Lingwoods, Mums, Jill & Flip to flicks.  Mitchell also to flicks.  Jack & friend from Cambridge up to town in car (just had rather deadlock argue on Evolution with friend from C!) - so, as last Saturday when I wrote to you, I am absolutely par seul (?) - my only fear being that a burgular (sic) will walk in - I'm just trying to plan what it would be best to do if he did.

- Heaven, I'd give such a lot for you to be sitting in the empty chair opposite in a talkie mood, so I could knit and listen.

- Gadzooks, I must stop - do you ever get as far as Bordighera from Nice? - or is it millions of miles?  Because one of my best friends has been living at the H├┤tel Prince de Galles for some months - she's a Phillipine - with a Scotch father - one of the best - Helen Dick.  I was at school with her for 8 years.

- I'm just writing to her that's what reminded me of her.

- Well, I'm looking forward ever so much to "Edwy".

- Couldn't you wangle a week-end in London & spend it with us?

- Can't dance music have futile words? - I often make up ones of my own - don't you?

- Love

Mary Pleasant xxx

P.S. What's the matter with the dentist's eyes?

P.P.S. What is the logical proof that Man is the highest evolved creature?

P.P.S. I'm so sentimental sometimes that it hurts. 

(Sorry this isn't as nice as the last one)

Friday, 15 March 2013

15th March 1933 - Terrick to Mary

Hotel Brice

Dear Mary Pleasant, 

Pages 1-4

Your last letter was the nicest you have written so fay.  Chiefly I think because it showed, when you talked about what you think, that you are more exactly "my sort" than anyone, I thought, ever could be.

Life is just living, giving and dying [loving and giving are the same thing, if it is proper love); seed-time, summer, and harvest.  Birth going on all over the world at the same time as death: births of men, animals, insects, trees, flowers and ideas.  At this infinitesimal moment in eternity it is our won turn.

The simplicity of it is lost sight of in the infinite vanity of complication into which the human mind dissects it: things like Hedonism and Salvation.  The more intellectual people get, the less they can see the wood for the trees; but you who are still young can see one tree and we know that it stands for all the wood. [Too like G.K. Chesterton]

Also, I found from your letter that I shall have to get you to collaborate with me in a future book that is in my mind.  I might write it myself, but it wants the person who can write things like "Me lying on my tummy in the orchard reading a book and eating an apple".  I'll supply the complications and you'll supply the marvellous simplicity, and in a thousand years time people will still know that Mary Ormiston was different from all other women (in spite of trying to be).

You must help me with this book or you will simply have lived and died, and given nothing.

I got the idea for it when I was in Belgium two years ago and read a book by the Flemish classic writer, Charles de Coster, called "The Legend of Till Eulenspiegel".  Till was a traditional figure in the Low Countries, about whom all sorts of stries were told, and who might have really lived or might not.  (I think Til only has one l)

Pages 13-16

Good Lord! My thirteenth page, and I haven't started writing the letter proper!

I yelled at the picture of you behind the aspidistra.

My dear old thing, when you cease to be "Simple and interested" it will be because you have become "complex and interesting"

So glad to hear that you didn't have to endure agonies at the dentist.  It must have been my absent treatment.

My two clients are getting a bit fed up with me.  I neglected them entirely lsat night to write letters and "Edwy the Fair", and again this morning to do some more Edwy, and now this afternoon they are sitting in the hotel garden under the palm trees expecting me out any minute.  They are a mother and daughter.

"Edwy" is getting on.  I have revised and written out up to about a fifth of the way through Act II Scene II.  I go at it pretty steadily.  It is slow work as I examine every sentence before putting it down.  And sometimes I catch myself altering one to make it read better while it makes it act worse.  If "Edwy" does get acted I shall have more experience for my second play as regards knowing what will act well and what won't.  When I have finished "Edwy" - in about a fortnight's time - I'll send it to be typed and then to you.

So the dentist chucked you under the chin, did he!  Damn his eyes!

Poor wretched, Miss Phillips.  Life must be a queer sort of thing to her.

Oh yes! Something I meant to start off with :-

I was not sniffing at Mr Bernays! I said he sounded the sort of man a clergyman should be, which is more praiseworthy than being a clergyman.  I meant that he is the kind that Catholic priests are in theory: people you can confess to, receive advice from and feel your heart unburdened.

Monday, 11 March 2013

11th March 1933 - Mary to Terrick

Thank you so much for all the post-cards - they cheer me on until "the" letter arrives on Fridays.

The Garden
Saturday Morning 10.00

- Oh, Terrick, what a beastly blow - and damn, damn, damn too! - That's what comes of counting one's chickens.  I had planned the most wonderful picnics to share again when I should really have someone to talk to - and now it'll mean just going with the others without anybody! - But still, I got the looking forward until you do come back.

Thank you so much for the letter which I read in bed this morning - I've got the morning off because of ?? & dance last night - and now I've helped Jill with the beds and am sitting on the wooden seat in the garden in the most glorious sunshine.  The trees run parallel in three lines from where I'm sitting, and with their white trunks, black branches just aching to burst into bud - blue-hazy-spring-morning sky & green grass in between - everything is quite perfect. - oh you must come back in the real spring to see our apple-blossom - & me lying on my tummy in the orchard reading a book & eating an apple - heavens - how I ramble - but you see I'm full - perfectly, gloriously & completely full with realization and imagination of beauty behind everything and god everywhere - the grass in its wetness, the birds kicking up an awful fuss on 6 square inches of water - crocuses opening - and the sound of the Hoover from Jill doing the bedrooms!

- Here's Mums back from shopping - must go - as we're just oging up to town to buy a new coat & hat.  Will be back soon - when perhaps this will grow a little more circumspect!

*   *   *   *   

Drawing Room 7.45pm

Now I'm feeling much more practical.  Everybody has gone off to see Harold Lloyd in "Movie Crazy" - + Lingwoods - but as I unfortunately prefer a arm-chair - the fire - and writing to you, I've stayed behind.  I have done heaps of interesting things today.  My new coat is grey (very ordinary - big collar & belt) - new hat grey - brim lined with blue - new shoes - court - black patent - and I've bought dress lengths for 3 summer frocks - & a piece of black & white check tweed for a skirt - I do hope they'll asll look as nice when finished as I think they're going to!  This afternoon we went to see the crocuses at Hampton Court. - It's "Crocus Sunday" tomorrow.  The sun simply blazed down and brought everybody out of doors in the new Spring hats they'd bought in the Sales and meant to keep until Easter.  Babies - perambulators - cameras & colour parading up and down the gravel walks - the blaze of crocuses was indescribable - and I couldn't help wondering what old Wolsey would have thought of it all - specially "the maze" which, on the outside, sounded like a glorified swimming bath!  The imperturbility (?) & gracious longevity of trees always strides me in historical places - they always make me feel (just as crowds of people do) the amazing simplicity of life taken generally - just living, loving, & dying - with beauty & comfort - why have we added such a lot of unnecessary hummings? But I expect it would be horribly dull without them!

- Gracious that page was quite as bad a as first!

The dance last night was rather a first - 99% due to appalling cock-sureness (the unfounded kind) of partner - he'd hired a car because he hated me driving etc. - so all the way home I talked about everything under the sun - he must have thought I was going silly! Poor lad - I do despise him so - Mervyn was all right - but kept on arguing with Roger, with me in the middle! - But I did remember to thank Roger for taking me - anyway - only never again.  Reggie has never taken me to a dance - so Roger was the second - & perhaps when I've been able to enumerate 88 people who have done so, I'll make up my mind to settle down behind my aspidistra, + cat & knitting, to reflect on the amazing similarity of the male sex!

The "simple but interested" was quite my own - one day I shall only be "simple" - you know - go about with a vacant expression & my tongue hanging out.

- On Thursday I crawled, like the miserable coward I can be, to the dentist's chair - ready for anything. - He tugged & pinched & scraped here & there for 2 minutes - chucked me under the chin & said "Perfect - come again in June" - I sat in the chair for 2 more minutes stunned with reaction - & then leapt down steps and positively danced along Richmond High Street to hairdressers where I spent 5/6 on hair (I thought it would be looking so nice for you coming back! Irony!) and went home in high spirits.  Lo you won't be nauseated just yet with me toothless on my way to bathroom next time you come to stay.

-I've done my best for Scheme - but mostly I'm afraid N.B.G. - everybody's too poor to spend 5/- and risk other people being too poor. - I think the places where it'd go best would be on the counters of small doubtful shops - or public bars - places where you find gossips who'd all persuade each other - But I was thinking the other day - I wish you could find something really proper (not infra dig I mean) to start - & then you could have me as your secretary - or Norah - because I've just started shorthand - N's teaching me 0 & I might be good by the time you could afford me!  Miss Phillips (office) dissolved me into tears last Wednesday (first time for months) - I knew she'd hate me starting shorthand because she's so frightened I shall take her place - so for ¾ of an hour she went at me soundly telling me I would soon get fed up - I could never learn without proper tuition  I should always be going out instead of working at it as all we girls were flighty & flirty & talked of nothing but "Boys" all the time & never thought of anything but spending money & going to pictures etc: etc: - & I should have left school 2 years earlier & gone to Pitmans if I had wanted to get on! - oh the pig - I hate her- she's only 34, but horribly soured - & like a fool I simply sit there without opening my mouth, because I don't know what to say & know I should blush if I did! - oh, I am a coward - but thank heavens it was Norah's evening 0 she was a great help - & I simply must get on with shorthand - just to spite her!!

Parts of your letter were beastly - & made me squirm inside - probably with a guilty conscience - perhaps my head's getting rather turned - I know I'm just the sort of person to whom flattery is fatal!  Lots of things I say, or write, I wish I hadn't afterwards & I always think of myself first.  I'm afraid I like to ticking me off because it makes me feel wormish (which is so good for me) & adds ten times to my looking up to you - & the people one looks up to one always likes best. - so stay there, won't you?  Do you play tennis well?

There's not need to sniff at Mr Bernays like that - he's a far better man than you will ever be - & will probably die leaving much more good in the world than you've ever attempted.  He's not a clergyman - he's a bit of God - which is a much more praiseworthy ting - & I talk to him just like I would to you - so now I don't mind what you make of him as long as you don't think of him as a "clergyman" - because he happens to be one of my friends - & I'm afraid the fact that your father is marrying you makes no difference to the one that Mr Bernays is marrying me - I'm going to have several marriage services in fact, because he tells me that's the only time I shall be able to choose my own hymns - & I've always longed to do that.

(you knew I would snatch at this point in your letter didn't you? - I believe you only put it in just to see if I would rise to the bait - about Mr Bernays - I mean - I am a fool).

Mr Hodson has told me what Hedonism means - I must be frightfully "Hedonish" - so really I'm a bit of a hypocrite to preach Salvation - ain't I? - But don't try to improve too much , because now when I think of you I can only remember the nice bits - distance & time lend enchantment - you know - & you interest me in so many ways that I'd forgive you most of the things I don't like in you! - It's funny now much closer you are when you're miles away - you see I just let my imagination fun away with me - that's why I have to pinch myself sometimes & remember all the nasty things - otherwise my thoughts would be dreadfully bad for me. - I'm so easily co-erced from the practical & sensible things in my life.

I don't know what you'll think of me when you've waded through all this - or perhaps you're used to being disappointed in my stupidity - but please remember while you're trying to improve on other things (are you?) I'm trying to stop myself being "cheap" in longing to be original & being a "poseur" as a means to an end - but I shall only try with you - because nobody else minds - or perhaps they never notice it.  So please pull me up when I err - won't you?  Because I admire sincerity so much in other people that perhaps there's still hope for me.

Sometimes I feel you're so grown-up that I'm too young ever to understand your way of looking at things - which is perhaps just as well.

My book is still in my brain - but it looks worse & worse every time I think of it - I'm afraid It'll never reach paper, I'm too lazy & have no faith in myself.

- Please when can I see "Edwy"?

This week I'm going to see "Romeo & Juliet" - have you ever seen it?  I've always wanted to.

- Don't you think you'll be back till September now? - heavens - I shall leave off writing all together - I loathe this "one-a week" business - it's so unsatisfying - & when you do come back I shall have forgotten what you're really like!

- Your sister looks topping - there's a family likeness - I should have loved to meet her.  Is she tolerant of the young?

- Poor old Paul - I think he needs you to look after him - how queer.

Please excuse this paper - it's my book from school - but it was what I had most of!

-The family are not back yet but my conscience is pricking for the inane length of this - but I have enjoyed it - I do wish you wouldn't keep them, though.  You've no ideas what pangs of anxiety I get from the thought of them all congregated in their unnecessary numbers - containing such a load of rubbish - why do you?  They're no earthly use - 

I wish I had a soul above the pettynesses of this life - and a mind that was wholly sincere - does everybody put obstacles in their own way?


Mary Pleasant xxx

P.S. Are you sentimental?

P.P.S. How does one get pneumonia?

Friday, 8 March 2013

After 5th March - Terrick to Mary

Again, only a small part of this letter remains

Pages 9-12

What interests me is your outlook.  You would probably make a good school-mistress or mother.

Salvation versus Hedonism - there is a play in that somewhere.

Since you ask me, I'll tick you off about something else:  this craving to be out of the ordinary.  It is rather cheap, I think.  True originality comes from acting entirely on your convictions regardless of what other people think of you (origo = a beginning).  For example: to go about wearing your hair standing straight up on end because nobody else wears it like that is Pose.  To wear it so because you are convinced that it is the most healthy (or most beautiful, or most practical) way, is orginality.

You are a little poseur. 

I should like to meet Mr Bernays.  He sounds like the sound of man a clergyman should be.  Why wouldn't your conversation have been good for me?  If he is the perfect man and wouldn't think much of me I should say that his conversation would be very good for me.

He can't perform your marriage ceremony because my father, being a close relation, has a prior right to perform mine.  Still, he can put in a word here and there.

Is "simple, but interested" your own?  It sounds too good, even for you.  I am "simple but interested" too, but I get so interested that I want to try everything out.  That makes things more interesting still.

You needn't be afraid of being "final", because you "can't let me down" - except by going an doing something that isn't you.  (You won't understand this, because you don't understand what I mean by "final".  Anyway, leave it there for the moment.)

Don't say: "you can't possibly know".  Because that is just what I always used to think; and I can tell you that it is fallacious; Thank Heaven!  Fancy what life would be like if that could not be certain!

Suppose we change the subject.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

5th March 1933 - Mary to Terrick

Christchurch Road
East Sheen

Dear Terrick

- You may be glad to hear that your 23 page composition considerably brightened one of the wetter days we've had this winter.  I perused it in the bus with the rain streaming down the windows which were hot & steamy with the evaporation & mixed breathing of the mass. - It was a lovely letter - I chuckled & simpered and roared one after the other (even at the bits that you didn't mean to be humourous) until Jack gave me a subduing glance.

I simply shook at the "neater, sweeter, maiden" - wherever did it come from? - it's lovely - only at first I read it as "neater, cleaner, maiden" - which would, perhaps, have been equally appropriate - I showed it to Jack - so now he quotes it on every occasion!

First of all I'll begin with the general news - personal always comes better at the end - you escape quickly after it.

All this week it has poured & poured - floods are up everywhere - but this afternoon has been lovely - just like the one Norah took us out in the car - do you remember?  Last Wednesday we saw Children in Uniform - the play - very goo indeed - & it's really wonderful the way the girl repeats the samd peak of emotion at each performance - as she must do - but (perhaps because they only had to express themselves once) the German acting gets inside you more - their faces and the whole atmosphere portrays more feeling in the film - & of course, I missed the German language.  I don't think all that's meant can be said in English.

This Wednesday we want to see "The White Flame" at the Rialto - it's directed by the sam girl as The Blue Light - & contains some marvellous ski-ing photography.

Just after I'd posted your letter last Saturday Jack bashed the car into the back of a G.W.R. lorry - completely bashed the radiator in and smashed off a headlamp - so it's in dry dock for the week being repaired - & will leave a stain on our characters with the insurance people!  So we didn't get to Cambridge after all.  My evening with Roger wasn't as dusty as Mervyn Spraig was there - he's horribly rude & egotistical - but a decided improvement on Roger - who, however, I'm going to dance with next Friday at the same place as the 29th one - it'll be the second dance in my life that my partner's paid for my ticket - I'm getting on! - We've got a party on Easter Saturday - but I suppose you're sure to be away - aren't you?  Our play for the Church has been dropped through at the moment - for lack of male characters - am most disappointed.

Norah asked after you on Wednesday - she's quite OK again & is easily the nicest person I know - I wonder if I shall ever find anyone who will mean such a tremendous lot to me - she's always been my one great driving force - & has thus caused much controversy & discussion amongst my "never-understanding-but-all-for-the-orthodox" relations.

At the moment we're listening to the inauguration of Rosevelt - relayed from America + + + +

I've had my summer programme - heaven only knows where the money's coming from - but I've started saving anyway.  Norah says it's too early to decide yet.

I've finished my jumper & am starting another - navy & white.  I'm going to have a new summer coat (I hope you're interested in all this) - either plain grey or black & white flecked - I'm afraid the latter would make me look a bit too much of "a fine upstanding woman"!! - anyway I shall have to have a new hat - whoopee!

I'm sorry about my "effect" remarks - but it only goes to show what a certain part of me is really like - doesn't it? - Because I do do some things for effect - it's a horrible habit - but, you see, I should be so horribly dull if I didn't -& it wears off considerably as I get to know a person better - anyhow I'll try & remember not to mentally bring you down to my level again - please forgive me - & go on getting cross with me over little things like that - won't you?  It's so good for me - & it makes me think such a lot more of you - & you simply can't like a person unless you respect them - so treat me exactly how you feel my extreme youth should be treated - won't you?  even if I jib?

All this week I've been most annoyingly content - it's not a resigned content - but more a feeling of rightness & fullness of life in general.

Perhaps Mr Bernays did it for me.  I spent a most satisfying day with him last Sunday - oh - you would like him - although he probably wouldn't think much of you.  He's the most perfect man I know (what a funny couple he & I make!).  We discussed everything - specially things I'd wanted to ask a sensible person for ages - such as God & shorthand & men & religion & Capitalism & flat-roofed houses - he was really most helpful in everything, the conversation would have amused you tremendously! but I don't think it would have been very good for you!

He's especially keen on my getting married! - In fact he thinks it's the most likely thing to save my soul - mostly because I think he so badly wants to perform the actual ceremony - but I told him I didn't think the reason was worth the effect.

- Let me see - I really had heaps more things much more interesting to tell you - I'm sorry this is so scrappy & "me-y".

- I do hope you'll be coming back soon - it's so much nicer being able to talk isn't it? - specially about things like "forces of nature" & Capitalism - because, you see, I'm not particularly intelligent - in fact the other day I summed myself up rather aptly as "simple, but interested" - I can listen to people for ages - & it's the thing I like doing best with you - probably because it's the thing you do best! - & I don't agree with half you say - but - oh - I don't know - perhaps I'm weakly opinionated.

- But I msut stop running on like this although paper is such a beastly temptation.

- You're not to send my photographs to the family - just because "they wouldn't think it out of the ordinary" - you gave me the very reason I wanted! - & please, please don't treat me as "final" - you can't possibly know - & I should never forgive myself if I let you down - & you make it so difficult for me when you say things like that - but thank you, all the same, for thinking of me as you do.

- Write again one day - unless you choose to arrive in person instead!!

- My love to your "human decaying vegetation" at the hotel!

Mary Pleasant xxx

P.S. Don't take me too seriously & remember I'm hopelessly young & inexperienced!  Poor old thing - I'm rather inconsistent - ain't I?

P.P.S.  I'm going to have a tooth out - 1st molar - top jaw - right section - next Thursday at 5.30pm - think of me!  I'm such a beastly coward when it comes to someone else hurting me!