Friday, 26 July 2013

26th July 1933 - Terrick to Mary

Hotel Bellevue & D'Italie

Menton (A.M.)

26th July 1933

Dear Mary Pleasant,

What a lot of changes!  this will alter everything for you.  Don't you feel life working out, coming true?  It was always obvious that you weren't meant to work in any office.  That was just a start.  People, like water, always find their own level, even if it seems at the time that it is just luck and not their own doing.

Even if in your three years training you find that you don't really want to teach, you will also have the best opportunity possible to find the thing you really do want to do.  Studying for such an object will shove, necessarily, so many interests under your attention that it will be surprising if one doesn't take hold of you.

Now some questions:

Inter and Finals of What Precisely?

If you are starting on 21st Sept. what about the 2-berth cabin you have reserved?

Did the bath you chose have H and C both coming out of the same tap?

There are so many things in your letter that want answering I must work through it.

First; don't ask me to destroy your letters. You need not fear that I shall bring them up against you, because I never read them.  If you knew what a difference it made to me a thousand miles from London, farther still from home, to have a box of your letters in my room you wouldn't ask me to scarp them.  They are far more you than your photographs are.  In the good old days men, cash permitting, used to express the value they put upon such letters by keeping them in a golden casket studded with gems and wear the key on a chain round their neck.  If they had suddenly had to scarp the letters what would they have done with the casket?  And I, who express their value by surrounding them with thoughts of the finest mental metal studding with precious dreams - if I turned the letters into the waste-paper basket to what purpose would be all the memories and imaginings.

And anyhow, my dear, I could no more bring myself to tear up one of them than to beat a baby.  If they are ever to be torn up someone to whom they mean less will have to do it.

the next item is re my settling down to the exhilarating existence of married life while you are busy swotting.  this gives me a peg on which to hang a grievance that I was going to air in any case.  You have made my repping life so boring.  From the experience of the back-slidings from my resolution that I have already told you of I have found that nobody can "exhilarate" me but you.  In previous summers, when bored with the job I always amuse myself by flirting whether with the Poly girls or with the local ones, but now there is not even any need of the resolution.  If any vamp tried to tempt me I should yawn in her face.  It makes repping very dull.

With the certain prospect of a life-time of ennui, it is not likely that I should go and marry anyone but you.

Re your not writing me any really nice letters after you start studying, I remember saying the same to you when I went away to rep.

I do hope "Edwy the Fair" is a financial success because I don't want to stay in the Poly and be on the continent during the only times you are free, except at Christmas, when for a week of your time I shall be in Yorkshire.

A lucky chance has held up the finishing of Edwy, though I am now more than half-way through the last scene.  I started reading Bulwer Lytton's "Harold" from the hotel library, and I found from it that both Harold and the Duke of Normandy were under the same matrimonial difficulties as Edwy; and I picked up several tips on the situation that will improve the play a lot.  So now I am reading right through "Harold" (about 700 pages) before I go any farther.  I have now only a little over a hundred pages to go, and the alterations that I am going to make will not take long, so Edwy will not be much delayed except that the next two weeks are the heaviest of the season and I probably shan't have any time to go on writing until they are over.  I am sorry I annoyed you by unnecessarily telling you to criticize.

You are rather like me.  I always think that I am "so old already".  I think that is the best way to stay always young.  It makes you want to "start now", doesn't it?  While a laziness in one makes us put it off.


27.7.33  I started to make a list of the qualities I would require in a woman.  It is rather long so I will put it on the next page:

  1. Idealistic
  2. Understanding
  3. Cheerful
  4. Sympathetically critical
  5. Brave
  6. Active (calmly not restlessly)
  7. Good taste
  8. Clean and neat
  9. Interested in the important things beyond her own personal sphere
  10. Love of country life
  11. Plenty of general knowledge
  12. Sense of humour
  13. As much money as I have so that she need never feel dependent or under obligation

Some of them seem minor points but I think they are all important.

Your new house sounds lovely.  Does it take long to get to from town?  You bet I'll come and stay with you.

Perhaps you are right about 9 people out of 10 of your age having the same conception of love.  As one gets older one gets more earthy.  It is finer to have ideals at 29 than at 19.  But I always think of you as so much older than you are.

My ideas on your not "walking off with someone else" were not bluff.

I should like to have seen "Anna Anna"; so nice and cynical.

This week I have got the nicest party I have had this year, including a woman I know from Fort William.  They are all leaving at the end of this week except two Scottish women from Glasgow.

How thrilling for Jack! I should love to go to Hungary.  Don't keep rubbing in about Norah's 21st, I am terribly envious.

The loveliest dance place in the world is the Monte Carlo Casino d'Eté.  You have dinner and dance on a wide balcony overlooking the Mediterranean.  The floor is glass illuminated with different coloured lights from beneath.  And on a kind of stage in the sea are the most beautiful fountains one can imagine.

They change their shapes every five minutes or so and the filling water is lighted up with lovely colours.  You can see the lights of Monte Carlo and the stars, and perhaps of a big liner anchored off the harbour.  The dresses of the women are marvellous and the dinner-jackets of the men are wonderfully cut.  It has become one of my minor ambitions to give you dinner at a table between the dance floor and the fountains, and the stars and the sea.  And you shall look lovely and be incomparably dressed and all the made-up women shall stare at you for being beautiful without make-up, and their escorts shall wonder, to themselves, if you are staying long in Monte Carlo.  But you won't be, because a second time there could never be so wonderful.  You will be a vision vouchsafed them for one evening and then on next day in a long, low, quietly purring tourer over the Route des Alpes to the Lake of Geneva!

When I think of this part of my ambitions I want "Edwy the Fair" to be a financial success almost as much as I want it to be an artistic one.

I am going to work hard for three years too.  I am going to write "Robin Hood" in that time and start another.  And when you come out of bondage I'll meet you at the school gates with an Isotta Freschini car and another chapter in life will commence.

Goodbye, write soon.

Lots of love to you, and the family.



Friday, 19 July 2013

19th July 1933 - Mary to Terrick



- you are a pig of a boy - aren't you?  I knew my love of letter-writing would lead me into something one day - and here I come with the 37th Healthy Bud - When will you destroy them? - Will you just before you come back to England?  Please will you? - Just because you know how I'd hate them to be still in existence - and because you can look at things a bit from my point of view! you've got all you're going to get out of them, so what on earth's the good of them? - & if you ever dared bring up something out of them I should never speak - or write - to you again - so there - & please please be kind & get rid of them all.  I loved writing them all - but they are a constant source of worry now - when I think of all the stupid things I put in them. - So will you?

- Anyway you won't get any more really nice ones for three years from Sept 21st 1933 - & by the end of that time you'll have forgotten every-thing about me, and have settled down to the exhilarating existence of married life- probably in a flat at St John's Wood.

You see, I've decided to work for Inter & Finals at Kings College - evening classes.  During the day I shall reside at Elleker College - a topping school on Richmond Hill - where I shall "help" with the smaller children - boarding there all the week, and the staff will help me with my work and I get every other week-end off to go home in.

Of course - it will mean slogging at work to begin with because I'm so appallingly rusty - & it'll be an awful blow having no evenings free for dances & theatres etc: - but I get the ordinary school holidays (4 weeks at Christmas!) which ought to make up for it - and I always have enjoyed school routine and the experience ought to help me tremendously for getting a good post in 3 years time - if I pass finals.  At the moment I feel as if I were going int a nunnery! - not quite certain whether I shall stay in the right frame of mine - or if I'm biting off more than I can chew.  (Hard work & concentration never laid upon me kindly!)  - But once I start, there's no going back so I suppose I shall be all right. - One half of me is frightfully thrilled & keen about it all - but there's a small other half that is entirely devoid of confidence and somewhat sceptical - you see, three years is a long time (specially not to be earning anything in!) - & I feel so old all ready!

- What do you think? (Say something nice!)

- Another thing - it will mean absolutely cutting out 'all my admirers'!!! - But that ought to be fairly simple - where letter-writing's concerned anyhow! - Only I shall miss them all so - much more than they'll miss me! - Isn't it hard? - Just as I was making such good progress !!

- Reggie needed kicking in the pants as far as females were concerned - &, there being no-one else handy - I did it (metaphorically) myself - therefore I am dust in his eyes - or rather - 'under his feet' would perhaps fit in better!

 - Mervyn, I'm fond of simply because he gives me a nice time entirely impersonally - & is bossy and fairly intelligent - only he doesn't like me particularly.

 - I can think of 2 more, but their feelings are not worth recording, because I made them interested before giving them a chance to be interested of their own accord! (Blighted woman!) (They would be cross!)

 - in fact you might say 'I'm one of their admirers' & you'd be nearer the mark. 

But I think it must be easier to do in writing because you're easily my 'piece de resistance'! - no one else can hold a candle to you for saying - or rather writing - 

We've bought a new house - bigger than this and much older.  We've let this. It's down at Walton-on-Thames and it's got a lovely old sloping lawn running right down to the river with an old old chestnut tree in the centre.  At one side you go up steps onto another lawn looking over the river, with two old bay trees and masses of honeysuckle climbing up the walls.

The drawing-room has a big bay window on a slant, giving straight out to the garden and the bedrooms are lovely and airy.  There's no front garden.  The front door is about 2 yards from the main road - but there's a high wall in front with ivy all over it, and the staircase goes up in a spiral - I think you'll like it - specially the way the drawing-room gives out onto the garden and river.  - will you come & stay with me? - (One of my 'off-duty' weekends from school!) - & we'll have a house-warming & dance in the drawing-room (it's quite big enough - & we shan't have any furniture to fill it!) and have a moon-light bathing party ( a bit chilly in October perhaps!) We move in on Aug 14th - so are spending hectic lives buying carpets (60 yds!) - beds (7!!) Curtains (Bales!) - and today I chose the bath & basin (horribly expensive things) But we're much too poor to buy all the necessary furniture yet - so it'll be rather like living in an institution at first! - But won't it be fun? - The address will be - (in case you find it necessary to drop me a line!)

Dunally Lodge
Walton Lane

- I'll let you know the telephone number (so useful) later.



Heavens this letter has been on hand 3 days - But, as I explained, we are all very busy.

 - I said the 'last post-card but one' - & it was exactly the same.  

- You'll find that nine people out of ten (of approx my age) have exactly the same conception of love as I have - but perhaps they don't all shout it to the four winds in the somewhat vulgar manner that I always find hard to curb.

- I can't come to a conclusion yet as to your ideas on my 'walking off with someone else' - I'm not quite certain whether you're sue sure I won't, because you're afraid I will (and auto-suggestion always sweeps down my barriers completely - so don't) - or because you actually have something more to go on than I have - which I don't think is possible.

- I'm looking forward to "Edwy" tremendously - but if you honestly thought I should write back and say 'jolly good' after reading it - you can keep it - I should have thought you just knew me well enough to be certain on a point like that. - I only want it, so that I can criticize it - so you needn't worry about my being too flattering! (am I ever?).

- I hate women with Eton crops - they're always so self-asserting, and I shouldn't really gnash my teeth - I was an ass to say so. - But when I'm so prompt in replying, I like you to keep to your side of the bargain - seeing as how I always find time in spite of being booked up with "all" my "admirers"!!

- Ballet 1933 was gorgeous - we went on Friday.  I think perhaps I liked Anna-Anna the best of the three - because (owing to the enclosed leaflet) it was easy to follow - and understand (If I understood it!) - the Basso profundo family mad me scream with laughter - all sitting behind the aspidistra as t'were.  Tilly Losch is wonderfully fragile and beautiful - I liked her tremendously in the last one - Les Fastes - is it? about the feast of Lupercal.

- The singing in Anna-Anna was perfect - crooned in a haunting melody by the practical Anna.  It was very clever - and difficult to do, I should imagine.

- I enjoy Ballet very much - but I feel it's a little too primitive for good entertainment - it leaves you sitting on a seat in the upper circle just admiring - rather than lifting you out of yourself into the world of the people you're watching - which, I consider, perfect enjoyment.

 - Mummy showed me some poetry she wrote to Daddy when they were engaged.  It was so good I was amazed - & don't think I shall try again.

- Jack & I are going to Norah's 21st on Sept 2nd.  I'll let you know how it goes off.  Jack leaves for Hungary at 10.30 from Victoria next Thursday - he's nearly off his head with excitement!

We turned out the loft the other day & found my suit-case with Fort William labels all over it - It gave me such a nice feeling.

Must stop. 2.0pm - (Katie away all next week!).  Have just had cherries for lunch & the stones come to 'Never' - so that settles it!

My love to the haunting female - and Jill sends hers to you - 

Mary Pleasant  xxx

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

16th July 1933 - Terrick to Mary

Hotel Bellevue & D'Italie

Menton (A.M.)

Dear Mary Pleasant, 

Your threat would have caused great difficulties because I shouldn't have torn up a single letter.  Thirty-six birds in the hand!  And then perhaps after writing the thirty-seventh you would have 'walked off with somebody else'.

I am positive the last postcard was not a repetition.  The other one I sent you of the garden showed the drive and part of the hotel.  Or do you mean the one before the last, the general view of Montone?  I thought the other one I sent you was taken from lower down.

Thanks very much for the Woolworth paper idea.  But I do get this paper free - though it is not so nice as the Woolworth kind - and, chief reason, Notepaper hasn't been budgeted for in my 2½ Month Saving Plan.

I am saving £15 because I always have to put aside as much as possible in the summer in order to get through the winter, when my board and lodging has to be paid for, in comfort.  Until 1st July when I started the scheme I had not been able to save a penny because of the rate of exchange being against me and the winter and spring prices on the Riviera being so outrageous (Did I tell you that a shop in Cannes asked 65 francs [15/6 to English people now; 11/6 at par] for a beret!) And also I had an income tax demand for two years to pay off.  One I have paid.  The other will be saved up for by the end of this month.

At the end of my second week I am level as per budget.

I am glad to hear you are accomplishing your ambition of leaving the office.  You are too good for office work. I hope you find out what you are really keen on.  You ought to try writing; you would be jolly good. I will bring down from Yorkshire a book I have there called "The Art of Versification and Technicalities of Poetry". It explains all the things about metre, stress, pause, rhyme, rhythm etc.

Now do deal with your reasons for thinking you are not my sort.  First "Energetic" is not the opposite of "lazy". "Industrious" is the word.  I am too apt to employ my energy both physical and mental on amusing myself.  I am really incorrigibly lazy.  So there's one point in my favour.  "Fond of towers, steps and gables" is a mixture of "Heart of heart conservative" and "Grossly sentimental".  Just as my "partiality for flat roofs" (I understand you use this a a symbol for a trend of opinion) is the outcome of my orange-box and "knobs of sense" (!).

So that leaves only four points to consider.  Of these Conservative and sentimental is what I was at your age.  You'll change.

To say that Independent and Dependent do not fit in is "bunkum".

Your taste is Plebeian, Question Mark!  I think you have a taste decidedly above the average in brows.  Assuming for the sake of argument that my taste is higher in the brow than yours, it is far higher now than it was when I was nineteen.  Then I could still enjoy detective stories, dance music when I was not dancing, and even, I think, the pictures on chocolate boxes.

With the quality of mind that you have got you will soon have a higherbrow taste than I.  Some of your discriminations amaze me.

It is because your mind is the kind of which highbrows are made that I think you ought to try and write.

First, though, I define a highbrow as a person whose intelligence and culture enables him to appreciate the first products of the various arts.

And a low-brow as a person whose mental energy is not sufficient to enable him to try to understand any example of any art, that is not immediately obvious and who therefore only likes those things that are turned out by the million for the million.

The low-brow manifestations of love are the maudlin and even the romantic.  Anyone with your conception of love is no low-brow.

So that seems to dispose of your objections.  All except the high brow one were surface objections.  As long as our minds communicate on the same level of thought, a certain difference of opinion is rather a good thing than otherwise.

Re this kiss business, you didn't quite get what I meant.  I didn't say anything about whether you knew, or did not know, that I was going to kiss you.  I said that if, as I understood from your letter, you did not know that you were going to let me, the I was up on you, because I knew it.  You do not understand yet that you are not going to walk off with somebody else.  I am unperturbed, because I know it.

I am simply dying to see you again.  It is just five months that I have been away.  When I left, although I knew it was possible I should be away all season, I never really thought I should be for more than three weeks.  I am glad I thought that.

Before I got your letter I had intended to start this one with the words: "Edwy the Fair will be finished before I write again!"  But being still rather low-brow and maudlin forgot all about it and everything else except the contents of your letter.

I have been progressing like wild-fire with it.  Al I have left to do now is Act III Scene II and the first half of Act I which I revised so many years ago that it needs doing again in the light of the experience in play-writing that I have gained by writing the other acts.

One conversation in Act III Scene I was so bad that it wouldn't be revised.  So I shut it up and re-wrote it.  Then I compared the two versions and found that although the second was much the better, there were several points in the first that ought to be brought out.  But I couldn't see how to insert them into the other, so I got a large sheet of paper, drew a line down the middle and wrote all the parallel passages side by side.  By cancelling out one against the other I eventually got everything right.  Altogether I wrote out that conversation six times.

When it is all ready I will send it to an agency to be typed in the conventional form, and then I will send it to you to read.  You are to criticise it.  Unless you promise not to just say: "jolly good."  You can't have it.  Even if it is jolly good you must be able to find something to criticize (sic).  And don't say it is good if you don't think so, but if you don't think so, please say where you think it could be improved.

Personally I don't know if it is good or not!  I am as much inside it as I am inside myself.

Did I tell you that Mr Ashe stayed here for about ten days?  He came into the office as I was writing Edwy and I think he saw that I shut the books up rather deliberately. 

My father will get about £250 a year out of what his aunt left, but I don't know whether that includes the bit he knew about or not.  He also gets a third of the pictures, furniture and china.  My mother is going to the division on Friday.  I do hope she gets the family portraits; and there is a picture of one of the Kemble girls by Lawrence, that was left to my great-great-grandmother by her best friend, the girl's mother, the great Sarah Siddons.  They'll all want that.

I must go now and meet three new clients.  I hope they will give me time this week to finish Edwy.


Two have arrived, a woman and a man, the latter very dirty.  Another man is arriving by a later train as he had a sleeper.

The haunting female is not bad looking.  She is dark, intelligent-looking and has an eton-crop.  I'll write to you all right while she is here.  She is staying for a fortnight; she was going to stay at Dinard for three weeks but can't afford it down here, so I am spared something

Why should you gnash your teeth, when you are liable to walk off at any moment, you inconsistent feminine creature?

Just now as I was driving back to the hotel with the clients I met an M.G. Midget with a couple in it.  It was a sudden, unpleasant reminder and I nearly threw a hat-box at them.

How did you like Ballets 1933? The costumes for "Les Songes" were rather weird, weren't they?  I have seen pictures of some of Derain's drawings for them.  I should like to have seen "Anna-Anna".  It was a change from most ballet because it had singing in it.  I think that a decided improvement though I believe some people objected strongly.  Did you like it?

I should like to see a show consisting of the most perfect dancing to the most perfect music with the best singing of the finest poetry, in the most beautiful stage decor and costumes.  I think that that would be the perfect combination of all the arts.

Did you understand "Anna-Anna"? I believe it is meant to express Prof. Freud's psychological theories.

Your letter was headed Thursday, but posted on Friday so I don't know when you meant you were going to the Ballet.  If you went on Saturday you had "Errante" instead of "Les Songes". The stage decor is supposed to be the best part of that.

I am glad you have got my money order safely.  Thanks very much for your offer re other things.  There is nothing that I want at the moment.

Do send me some more poetry soon.  Don't think "Despair" awful.  It only wants to be made consecutive and it should be jolly good.

How are all your admirers? I haven't heard of Reggie lately.

I am a bit handicapped, having to do my admiring by correspondence.  Still, they had better make hay while the sun shines, because winter is coming and I with it.

Bother, I shan't be able to get on with Edwy today because the conductor who brought the party out is staying here till to-morrow instead of at Nice.  Still I'll have a good go at getting through with it before I write again.

Write soon.

       Love   Terrick xxx

Saturday, 13 July 2013

13th July 1933 - Mary to Terrick



- Well, I suppose I must have had approx: 35 letters from you too - (only I have no means of confirming it) - & that's certainly more than any of the family have ever written me - but I've probably had about the same number from two other people - only spaced over about 3 years - not 6 months!!! - I do so wish you wouldn't keep all mine - I had thought of saying I wouldn't write you the 37th until you had torn up as far as the 20th anyway! - But my pen mis-gave me.

- Why is it with some people's letters one simply has to sit down and reply immediately - & yet others (how ever much you like the writer) fall on absolutely stony ground?

- They forwarded yours on to Norah's for me (it should have arrived at least by Monday - 'correspondence wavered'? or are you frightfully busy?) - So I read it coming up in the Golders Green train - I was just about on page 8 at Belisze Park & smiled soulfully to myself. - I get out at Tottenham Court Rd now & find it much quicker.

- I miss all the post-cards - but last but one was a repetition - & I think it will look so odd in my album, two both the same, but I must put it in for numbers!

- I'm glad (I - I - I !) the book & mag were O.K. - you didn't run me short a bit - & I loved doing it - so don't be an ass & be so apologetic - & it's a jolly good way of saving - so ask me again another time - won't you?

- Are you allowed to use the Hotel notepaper free?  If not I'll send you half a dozen 6d pads from Woolworths! - wouldn't it be a good idea to have pads like lavatory paper rolls & just write on and on  without turning over & posting it in a wrapper? - Shall we put it on the market?  The Fitzton Scroll! - 100yds for 6d - plus 1 packet wrappers 3d extra! - Oh - I am an ass!          - To proceed with equanimity:

- Today it is just teaming with rain & has done all the week - fancy rain in July - all my summer frocks rotting in bottom drawer! - & I wanted to play tennis this evening too - dash it!

- I'm leaving the office - at least, I think so - but nothing else is arranged yet - Mums wants me to go to college for teaching - but 3 years seems such an age - and I'm not too young as it is - But thank heaven there will come a time when I shall lick my last stamp & wash up Katies' cocoa cup for last time - Whoppee! - oh - how I hate it all - even when I consider how lucky I am I hate it!

- Now what ever has put into your bug-house brain that I am 'your sort' - I can't fathom your reasoning at all - because in the majority of things we're entirely at loggerheads.

                     ME                                                    YOU





LAZY                                                     ENERGETIC

GROSSLEY SENTIMENTAL                         COMMON SENSE STICKING OUT IN                                                                                                                                  
                                                            KNOBS (?)

- In fact the only thing in which we're alike is that we both have a damn good opinion of ourselves - and that's on the wrong side, anyway! - & if you tell me all those things in me fit in with all those in you - I should just say 'bumkum'. - So how do you mean I'm 'your sort'?

- I didn't know you were going to kiss me, through inexperience - I can't say the same would apply in 'walking off with someone else'!

- How thrilling about Sept 29th - oh but I bet it'll be changed umpteen million times before then & in the end you won't get home until December or something! - only I should love to hear you giving 'fatherly advice'! - How sweet! - Can you?  - Strangely enough I met someone else who's doing exactly the same trip, so I'll pump her when she comes back (she starts next week) - But fancy having just all you for about 60 minutes before going again! - but perhaps it's just as well really, because I shall probably be most horribly tongue-tied! (Is it possible?) - & I bet you'll lose your ticket or something! -and then when we come back we'll do something really nice - shall we? - & just get to know each other!

My 'fodder for jerry-builder' was quite my own - it took me a long time to get hold of 'fodder'

Thanks for remarks on poems - I thought you'd like 'When' best - cutting remark had great effect - now I think it's dreadful & before I thought it was quite good! - I've got some more but they're more 'schooly' - I'll write you another, one day.

- Sept 1st is going to be simply spifflicating! - I'm longing to buy my new frock for it, only it'll have to be my evening frock all the winter as well!

- Swimming is from 12.30pm onwards. - gorgeous! - only I'm afraid no one could call me graceful!

Poor old Paul - he must have got it badly - it's a pity he can't be with you because you'd probably do him no end of good.  It's when one gets maudlin in love that it becomes the thing people write about and a doubtful blessing.  The 'Real' Thing (to resort to platitude) is not nearly as common as is generally supposed.  I don't think it properly come until after one's married - and then it's something so high-up and clean and 'just-between-two-people' that no-one knows how to put it on paper and it's far too God-like to put to music even.  I don't know what it is, nor do you - but I shall always believe it's there - and if I don't find it, it'll be because my mind's too little and my soul is too dirty - but if one does - it means the most magnificent peace that anybody ever finds, for ever & ever.

What are you being economical for? - Just to save £15? - or for something special? - I roared at you wearing an un-ironed shirt! - How appalling! I bet it was just as dirty after you'd worn it 5 minutes.

- The haunting female is nothing if not 'importunate' (is that the right word?) - Is she pretty? - Don't forget to write to me the weeks she's there, will you?  I shall be gnashing my teeth at home if nothing arrives.

- I had a lovely time last Saturday - we spent the day up at Henley Regatta.  Mervyn took me in his M.G. - but afterwards when we arrived back to an empty house and no food at 8.0 - he offered to take me out somewhere to dinner.  So we washed & changed and drove over to the Dlift (?) Bridge Hotel at Ewell & had the most wonderful dinner - 8 ate (!) for 2 hours! & then drove all over the south Downs & home through Reigate & Dorking getting in at 12.0! - Coming home we went 75 m.p.h.!! - It was horrid! - Oh I did love it - it's one of the things I've always wanted to do.

- Well, I must stop & go & have my bath.  tomorrow Mums is taking me to the Ballet 1933 at the Savoy.  It ought to be gorgeous.

Your money order has just arrived - thank you very much.  Isn't there anything else you want?


       Mary Pleasant


(on reading this through I feel as if I ought to be out of breath at the end - I do hop about rather in choice of subjects, don't I?)

Monday, 1 July 2013

1st July 1933 - Mary to Terrick

In bed!



Dear Old Thing

This is really rather a momentous occasion - so please excuse the pencil.

All this week (while Katie has been away with absyss (sic) on head) I've had a beastly, bloody boil coming on my chin. - So I've been doing double work - also getting & washing up tea for 6 every day as we have the auditors in - with a face twice its normal size and the ache of a thousand devils bearing at my lower jaw! - This morning was dreadful - & this afternoon I had to go over & play in a tennis tournament at school.  I got back at 8.0, had a bath had started to bathe chin.  Had to stop three times to put my head between my knees & drink neat brandy out of tooth-glass proffered by Flip!  - & in the end prostrated myself at full length with my head on the seat & everything went black!  Thank heaven Jill arrived in from tennis at the right moment - got me into bed & administered water & aspirin & hot fomentataions etc!! - But, do you know, that's the first time I've really fainted except once in church! - It was a ghastly feeling & my chin feels hellish - so I feel just like writing to somebody nice - & I hope sympathetic.  It doesn't really matter if your arn't - because it's so beautifully easy for me to imagine all the nice things you might have said & done - & by the time your letter comes back I shan't need any!

Katie has been able to come in for 2 hours every afternoon - during which time she has described in full details the lancing of her absyss, which has left a hole as big as her thumb & has to be 'plugged' (beastly word) - & if it had been a bit further up the doctor says it would have been fatal!  Just imagine it! & she's so glad my boil isn't as bad as it might have been! - you may certainly come & call for me (or was it 'her'?) at the office one day - only she looks quite nice - & it would be dreadful if you fell!

- Thank you ever & ever so much for the letter (I'm afraid this will grow more effusive than usual owing to strangely sentimental ache in throat! - take no notice) - when your reply seems ages coming I always conjure up pictures of somebody nice that you've found - which is really rather selfish, because you won't let me be a dog in the manger & spoil any decent chance of a matrimonial alliance, will you? - It would be silly if you did, because it woudl rather leave you in the lurch if I suddenly walked off with someone else - wouldn't it?  One never knows.

- Have you received the book yet? - the shop said they'd send it off today - did you find the p.c? - & are they what you meant? - I would rather have liked to have skipped through them myself - but I thought the opportunity of getting all the duty work done for you, was too good to miss.  It came to 5/- all together - incl. postage - there's no hurry - when you come home will do - it was lucky your catching me on a Friday! - I shouldn't have had a bean any other day.

Thank you for the snap - it looks a lovely place - I don't think you could have got Norah & me up there - could you? - even if we 'put your foot where your hand is' all the way? -& the postcard - I must count them & see how many I have all together - quite a collection! - & I'll put all the "lures" in one packet - to gaze at when old & grey & think how badly someone (I forget his name) once wanted me to go to Dinard!

- Oh - & by the way - there is something in your letter which must be instantly refuted & settled between us once & for all - about this momentous embracement in dining-room.  I HONESTLY, TRUTHFULLY AND HEREBY SWEAR THAT THE EMBARASSING THOUGHT THAT YOU WERE GOING TO KISS ME HAD NEVER FOR ONE MOMENT DURING HOMEWARD JOURNEY ENTERED MY HEAD - so there, Mr FitzHugh, if you find it impossible to believe I can only say that I must be a little different from your usual line in females. - which is, perhaps, happy for both of us.

- Since last I wrote we've altered our holiday again.  The latest bulletin reads:-

On Friday July 28th I go down to Norah at bungalow which we have entirely to ourselves to do as we like until following Thursday - semi-camping.  On the Thursday I go down by train to Huish in S. Devon to family for weekend - returning Monday evening.  Then on Sept 29 we board the Yomaki Mam (or similar N.Y.K) at Tilbury Docks at 10 p.m. go to Antwerp - Rotterdam & then down Elbe to Hamburg, where we spend 3 days going excursions - but as we've decided to go 1st - & have booked gorgeous 2 berth cabin on promenade deck - we shan't be able to afford any excursions - except a 2/9 one for an "aerial" (!!) flight over Hamburg - that's really what wer're going for! - & coming back we stop at Heligoland - which looks rather nice & barren - we get back Sunday Oct 8th docking at Tilbury about 6 pm - What do you think it will be like?  I don't mind what it's like as long as I go on a ship somewhere I've never been before.  We have to sign a paper saying we 'do not uphold the annihilation of governmental bodies'! - Norah told Mr George Lunn she would do her best to suppress her friends' feelings that way!

Thank you also for discourse on German politics - I said 'lady likely' - I'm not quite up in such things as 'psuedo-socialist' or 'ultra-conservative' - but don't bother!

The Tennis party this afternoon was so dating - practically everybody was engaged - 2 are being married in September - 1 has just had a baby - & 1 got engaged this afternoon before turning up - & she was in my form too - & is only about 6 months older than me! - these young things! - I really don't see how they can know their own minds - I think it's stupid - they just act as more fodder for the jerry-builder & his diabolical beauty-destroying constructions - Listen to grannie!! - I'm waiting for Jill to get married so I can be a bridesmaid!

Do you know, I thought perhaps you would think I had written that poem - that's why I folded it up small - because then I thought you would be sure to read the letter first.  It's just how I should like to write one - but I'll put in 2 of mine just for you to see how dreadful they sound beside it - The "When" one was written at school aged 15 - & went into mag.  The other, as seems natural, was written since school about 4 months ago - it's rotten as a poem - but one Sunday evening I really thought I was feeling like it & it just came.  I don't suppose you'll be albe to get as much out of it as I put there.

It is now 7.30 on Sunday morning - a perfect morning.  The sky is mottled with little white clouds on blue.  The sun is dazzling everything and making shady patterns on the cupboard door & Jill - who is still asleep.  Buds are just giving their morning yawns & the garden (which I've just got up to look at) just lies, a blaze of colour, and soaks it all in.

My chin is a horrid mess, I must bathe it again as soon as possible.

Last Sunday down at the tennis club I unfortunately ran into Roger Harding (for first time) & of course he must needs cling on all the afternoon - tea & all - & he talks such a frightful lot of rubbish that everybody else in the club avoids him steadily - which is most horribly awkward! - anyway his mother (whom Mummy has loathed for about 20 years) asked us all to tea - especially me - nobody would go - so I had to write & say I always had tea at the club over the weekends - which I hope wasn't too rude - but quite final - so let's pray Roger isn't there today!

- What month do you finish "repping"? - I'd give an awful lot for you to be here on Sept 1st - but I suppose it's imposs.  You see it's Norah's 21st - & they're giving a dinner & dance for 50 at Great Fosters - a scrumptious Elizabethan hotel at Egham - with most heavenly old gardens & a floodlit swimming pool - so we're all going to bathe at the end! - Oh, won't it be too too galumtious - & I'm having a new frock for it - only I haven't got anybody to go with.  If you were here everything would be topping but I'm afraid it'll have to be Jack now! Couldn't you get transferred to Brighton - or somewhere near ?

Am now just sitting in the garden in the sun waiting for breakfast - scrambled eggs!

On Sept 23rd we're having an American Tea at school - I always sell tea tickets - will you come to that? - & let me see - about Oct 12th we're giving a few scenes from the Rivals - & some Shakespeare at school - will you come to that?  - oh & heaps & heaps of things that you keep on missing - but I expect you're having a much nicer time where you are - I'm most frightfully envious.

- & it's quite time this letter was finished


         Mary P.  

P.S. Don't be too scathing about my poems, will you?  - I know how stupid they are!  & I loathe being laughed at.


At sunrise, when the woods are green
And mottled with a million hues, 
I like to run between their leaves
Through sparkling grass, without my shoes,

At noonday, when the sun is high
And filters through a haze of heat,
I like to lie beside a stream
And splash up rainbows with my feet

At sunset, when a radiant glow
Has lightened up the dying sky,
I love to stand upon a hill
And thank my God that I am I.



Desperate despair - 
A blinding, groping search
Of empty shells.
A frozen aching void - 
A thousand Hells
Rising before a brain
With Disillusion.

Defiant dawn - 
A youthful world of Hope
Raised on a radiant hill.
A splendid shining sword
Cast of a will,
Perfect product of God,
And out of Faith

Dupe of a destiny,
Common, embittered wretch - 
Rudderrless, - lost,
Staked all on a future - 
A life as the cost.
Crawling Despair flung down
Upon the Waste-heap of the World.
Desperate despair of Death.