Friday, 3 May 2013

3rd May 1933 - Terrick to Mary

Hotel Brice

3rd May 1933

Dearest Mary

I got your second letter this morning.  Sorry you are depressed, but glad that you thought of writing to me about it.  Things are not so bad as I thought - though I am afraid they are worse than you think.

I expected your letter last Friday.  When it did not come in the evening, nor on Saturday, nor on Sunday (we have Sunday posts) and nor on Monday, I told myself that temporarily I had lost, that one letter left unanswered for days might be due to anything, but when the same thing happened again soon after, it marked the beginning of the end (temporarily).  I thought to myslef: Laddie, you made an impression, of some sort, strong enough to last two and a half months, but now it's out.  Epitaph: "the correspondence wavered and became desultory".

(I should have warned you.  This letter will be very personal)

My spirits fortunately are marvelously resilient.  When they do fall it is in order to bounce.  But on Monday they were falling like a stone.

In my murky past, if I thought that number so-and-so was cooling quicker than I was (the poor thing had to be a record-beater to manage that) I used to say to myself sour-grapily: "Well, you don't care tuppence for her" and all was well, but I had found already after New Year's Eve when Paul gave me his false impression of you, that the old sour-grape formula no longer applied.  And on Monday my symptoms recalled this depressing lack of independence [See Shakespeare, Sonnet CXVI] I found that I did not alter, when I alteration found.  But I thought "Now you needn't be so damn careful not to flirt.  She is only interested in it academically". And, fed up, invited her out, and saw her home, Number 89.

Next morning I got your first letter and felt confirmed in my worst anticipations.  I was not a bit sorry about the night before, but my spirits had bounced, and before I had finished reading your depressing letter for the second time, I was full of ideas and optimism.

For a person whom other people consider cynical, my approach so far has been the rankest sentimentalism.  Sitting on a bench in a square with your letter on my lap I revised my plans to fit with the facts of life and the teachings of experience !!!!

I admit that, as you say in your letter, you are sure one day to "go completely batty and lose your memory".  You will do it several times.  You will fall in love anything up to, say, half a dozen times, and each time you will climb out again, shake yourself and be the better for it.  And you will "be able to discuss them with" me "without first wondering what I am thinking", because I can tell you now in advance what I shall be thinking.  To summarize, I shall be thinking, "Go ahead; this happens to everybody.  Think what a horror the World's married life would be if everyone had rashly married the first person they fell in love with.  Every bit of experience you are getting is bringing you imperceptibly perhaps, but surely nearer to me".  This is not colossal conceit, it is the result of my experience.

And this morning your second letter came.

And now I don't care if it is as a sentimentalist or as a cynic, by impetuousness or prudence, I am going to win you soon or late, and if late, still as soon as possible.

And I am sorry now I acted so quickly about the French girl, because my resolution was, and is now again, as safe as the Bank of England.

I have a good deal of spare time on my hands just now and I am employing it, not in writing "Edwy the Fair" but in studying the intricate idioms of French.  It is an opportunity I shall never have again, and once I am fluent at French I shall have extracted from the Polytechnic all the experience they have to give me, and I shall start looking for something better in London.  In any case this looks like being another bad tourist season, so I may expect the sack at the end of the summer.  Paul thinks we shall get it.  he was down here again on Sunday and left on Monday afternoon.

So far neither he nor I have heard anything about my coming back.  Probably it will be a week before Whitsun when Fort William will start getting busy.  Try to remember enough to recognise me by when I do arrive.

Cheer up, and wrote soon.

Love Terrick  xxx

Tell me, do you leave out the beginnings of your letters in order to be "different"?

T.V.H. FH.

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