Saturday, 12 April 2014

12th April 1934 - Mary to Terrick

My very dearest Ticky - from this you may correctly deduce that i am ailing!  Does everybody's state of health affect their emotions?

All last night - right on and on and on from stars to back clouds and then morning - the thought of getting a letter from you in the morning made me just able to bear everything without waking the family up!  I'm not very ill, but my face looks like this:-

The drawing has been cut out

The biggest sight you ever saw - I daren't look into a mirror because I can't recognise myself - and all from the tiniest little boil on the side of my nose!  I just keep praying & praying it'll be better by the time you come down - you couldn't possibly like anything that looks like I do now!  The doctor gave me an injection yesterday which hurts nearly as much as the place itself.  I spend all day with lint, lint, lint (oh, vile pink lint!) and hot water - which keeps hot just as long as I can keep my tears of anguish from avalanching into the basin and cooling it off!!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

5th April 1934 - Mary to Terrick

Sitting in the sun on the steps by the river

Thursday 10.45 am

Jill - Flip - Andrew - and I are keeping house this morning, and everything flows smoothly.

I've finished everything there is to do and am now sitting at sublime ease - perfect, save for a potent smell of pigs effervescing over the wall at me!

Thank you for your letter - I have just read it through for the second time.  I can't get over your making copies of your long F.W. letters! - Of course, they were excellent - and I'm not saying that they don't account for 50% of the results - but, gosh!, fancy troubling to copy them over twice!  You must have been inordinately proud of your style!  But, I must say, it's only reading them through at one sitting that I noticed the difference.

It's only natural that the letters we write after we've seen each other, fall a bit short of ones with hundreds of miles between us.

A really good letter must always contain a certain adventurous element - putting a feeling foot forward on uncharted land where there is always the hope of retaliation.

But when you really get to know a person too well and intimately - when most of the uncharted land has been explored and mapped out - then mere "blue-black" becomes superfluous - and - as you say - you save everything up until it can be delivered verbally - because it's become a real, live thing with a cause and effect instead of something invented in one's own head for self-satisfaction and the hope of effect.

There is something to be instilled in "love letters" though - because I've read some of Daddy's - but we're a bit too new.  We're in the stage when our "sub-human" and "human" have developed amazingly - and are proving reliable and engrossing (hence letters being inadequate) - But the greatest side of all - the "super-human" is naturally a very embryo of embryos.  Here I feel horribly handicapped by ignorance - but I've always had my own special "belief" - that all these hundreds and hundreds of people who make a hash of things - all the unsuitable nagging little couples who started with such high hopes and just the good intentions I've got - set sail for the greatest thing in life before making sure they'd got a complete cargo.  They didn't mean to - because they didn't know enough about the "high seas" to realize all the cargo they would ultimately need - they'd made a careful list of food and clothing - and friends - and perambulators - but were relying for always on a fair wind and had missed out the "petrol" which would have just been there - however far down in the bottom of the ship - in case of accidents and for when everything else failed.  I feel that we, - me and the person I love - must set out and find our own petrol (however far a garage is) while we're still on terra firma - and build up the rest of our cargo all round it.  So that a perfect peace of mind and fathomless understanding could always be ours whatever happened to the food - friends and perambulators.

This allegory won't bear with much probing but the surface work rings true - my idea of "petrol" at the moment is a divine cord connecting the minds, wills and lives of two people - and raising them above this human world into some spiritual unity - greater and cleaner and immeasurably finer than they could possibly be as humans.

But I don't think one can set out in a bee-line for it.  The super-human is the only one of the three that can't consciously be developed.  It has to be born and grow practically unconsciously and when it reaches perfection (without worry, or littleness or striving) it's just there for ever and ever - and is the absolute, final, and noblest gift ever given to man - because, in essence it is divine - and therefore immortal.

- But what worries me is, that if so many people never find it at all - shall we?  I suppose determination and belief will help - but I'm so overflowing with sins that I get seized with most dreadful pangs of conscience!

*       *        *       *  

 Whiskey has just fallen clean into the river - his front paws on land and his back ones in the boat and he just divided!  Consequently I am saturated as he has shaken himself all over me - but he's quite recovered after a rub down in front of the fire.  He was terrified when I fished him out.

I love your idea of the first step towards making money! - Knowing what to do with it when you've got it - and how easy is it going to be?

Flip's just caught a fish and thrown it back - but I'm afraid it'll die because he threw it back so hard.

The sun is simply boiling on my back - I've rolled my sleeves up and feel like going to sleep.  Oh, this time last week! - and that wonderful perfect weekend.

Thank heaven I shall see you on Saturday - and I'm sorry that I appear so "fussy" about you - but you'll allow me that it's a natural feeling - won't you?  However _ I'll curb it when I remember - I suppose it must be rather embarrassing!

The "achey" feeling is wearing off, through lack of stimulant - but I'm still rather unsafe in the "self-control" line.

If possible, I should come down from Waterloo on Saturday (to Richmond) and get a cheap day return.  Because we'll go up to the Old Vic by train after tea.  There won't be enough room in the car to come back in afterwards - so I said we'd come down by train as long as they all contribute to the fare!

I must stop this letter now - I feel quite "last-summerish" going on and on.  I don't know if it's all sense - but it's all "me" anyway (without a copy!)

We're going to see "Jack Ahoy" this evening - it'll make me think of the last time I saw it - and therefore I shall feel a bit incomplete.

Be extra specially kind to me, old thing,


Mary P

P.S. If I ever give you the feeling that my affection is on the wane - just take no notice of me - be severely indifferent for a specified time - and you can be sure of good results.

P.P.S. - I thought you might find this old reference list of yours useful - to tick off as I improve.


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


Friday, 4 April 2014

4th April 1934 - Terrick to Mary


4th April 1934

My Darling Mary,

I expect this letter will cross one from you.  I do feel the need of you to talk to.  Business is fairly quiet, which is lucky because these last two days I haven't felt a bit like working.

Last night I went out to dinner with three Polyites who were at Mentone.  We dined at the Chanticler in Frith St and then went and sat in the Palm Lounge at the Regent Palace till about 10.15.

This evening after dinner I am getting down again to an attack on Edwy.  I hope to have it finished before I come to stay with you.


After Dinner

Wash out that last sentence.  It won't be finished before this Saturday.

I have gone and promised you a good letter, and my heart is so full of things to say that they will all come out scrambling together and incoherent.  I can't find something sensible to start off with -, except "I love you" which you know already.   Still, if I start with that the other thoughts may follow naturally from it.

I love you.

I have never loved anyone but you.

In the days when I used to write poetry, I could never write about something when actually with it.  My verses on the Scottish Lowlands were written when I had not been near them for about six years.  the ones in praise of Rhinish wine were made a month before I actually went to the Rhine.  For me writing, I think, must always entail a certain amount of invention, even when I am most sincere.  To put down just what I am feeling at the moment is too much for me.

"Macbeth" is the play of Shakespeare's that I want to see most of all.  I have read it tons of times.  It is very good of Mrs Ormo to have me - and for the weekend.  Have you room for me in the house, with A. Pears there?

It would be far too much for you to have me down every week-end.  You have been passing on my mother's and father's molly coddling remarks about my not getting enough to eat at "Ventnor".  I don't mean to look a gift-horse in the mouth, but I don't want to impose on Mrs Ormo's good nature on the strength of the remarks of my dear old parents for whom, as far as their children are concerned, time has stood still since we were in our 'teens.

I am looking forward to Saturday.  If it is raining at about midday, I'll ring you up and we'll find a substitute for a walk.

Two young people here in the digs have got engaged over the Easter week-end.  The girl is very bucked with her diamond ring.  They are a nice couple.

I could have gone to Bruges this week-end with a party.  Being a pal of the Chief Conductor's I can get given that job whenever I like.  I shall wait till I can be surer of a good crossing.

Fancy you thinking that I should arrange to see you next on Saturday week! It is all I can do to wait till this Saturday.

After you had rung up I went back to my pudding and could hardly eat it, my throat being more in tune for singing.

Several people in the Poly have been suddenly reminded, a propos apparently of some piece of serious business, that it is a great life.  However, most of them are getting used to me by now.  They class me as a harmless optomisniac (if there were such a thing) who hasn't lived long enough to find that life is real, life is earnest, and damn serious.

I have switched my intellect onto the question of making a fortune and I think it will prove easier than I had previously imagined.  At any rate I have solved the problem of what I shall do with it when I have got it; which is the first important step.

We were lucky with our week-end.  Besides Walter Lamb falling ill, Paul as stricken with a rash on his wrists and ankles.  hew went to a doctor who said there was not much wrong with him, but he still feels a bit shaky.

He too is considering the money-making problem.  I suppose the wire trade doesn't want two live wires?

Last time we walked in Richmond Park, I heard you your part in "Dangerous Corner", and we had tea in a very nice little tea shop.  Shall we go there again?It is now half past nine and it doesn't look as though I shall get much of "Edwy" done tonight.

I will now confess that my first letters to you were written twice, first in the rough and then a fair copy.  I used to take a pride in them as compositions, and you were a female to show off to.  I stopped that about a year ago and now write as unpremeditatedly as I speak to you.  The result is a falling off in the style; but you see the first letters were written when I was at Fort William in the winter with nothing to do all day.  Now, I should never have the time to write a letter of this length twice.

When I was talking to you over the phone no one could hear me from the dining-room, but various people who had just finished dinner went out through the hall, which was cramping to the style when I knew I had a smirk all over my face that I couldn't take off.

Did you read all the forty-two letters?  I should like to see them again some time.  Perhaps I shall be as surprised at them as you were at yours.  What I am interested to see is what bits you kept as being the nicest.  I expect they will be much as I thought them when I was writing, because I was consciously trying to achieve my effects, whereas you got yours unconsciously.

Another thing that is spoiling my letter-writing is that now when I think of something particularly important or nice to say, I decide to tell you when I see you rather than write it in crude blue-black; whereas before I wasn't intimate enough with you to say a lot of the things that I dared write.

You have changed me very much in one way.  Until I fell in love with you I had so many interests that if one could not be satisfied at any time, I could always turn to the others and be quite happy, but now I can never be happy without you.  I am anchored, - and  incidentally an anchor is a steadying influence.  I can now for the first time see myself abandoning a lot of my time-wasting hobbies to fix my attention on a limited number of important things that will help me gain my objective.  You won't need to keep me up to it.  You won't be able to help it.

A rich and varied horizon of interests is a very good thing for people who have not got to make an effort in any one direction, but for people who have, it is better to wear blinkers that keep their eyes to the road that they have to push along.

A Guiding Star serves the same purpose of blinkers.  Only instead of not being able to take your eyes from the road, you don't want to

You just await developments!

In the meantime love me as much as I love you - if you can.

All my heart is yours.

             xxxxxxxx ad lib.