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.



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