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[The letter page with unknown date.]<br />
…of “Great Expectations”, or indeed any expectations, is entirely missing!<br />
So all is well, except that we are so hard up that I can’t do everything to amuse the boys in their holidays and we have got to leave our pleasant home near Eton for something cheaper. <br />
Nico keeps well and cheerful, thank goodness— he is the best possible medicine for my innate and circumstantial gloom. <br />
My rich and famous cousin Daphne is having lunch with me to-day. She has just written a novel about our naughty great-great- grandmother Mary Anne Clarke. I will send it to you if you like, but I don’t at all recommend it. It is very<br />
[Forgot to put the dates for each letter! The date of the first letter is 28 April 1954. The second letter is 21 June 1954.]
My dear Mary,<br />
I hope I am right in sending this to Morecambe, and that you are happily installed there. I am very glad to have the photographs and letters you can’t part with. One was quite unfamiliar to me, namely of self, Michael and Nico which I think must have been taken outside the ? window at Roy and Crescent in the Easter holidays, 1907? <br />
Strange to think of the eldest and youngest of the three being Directors of a business together now. Stranger still, perhaps, to reflect that through all the strains and stresses, which have been severe, we have never quarrelled. <br />
Much love to you dear Mary<br />
? I try to bring my sons up as unlike their father as possible. In one thing at least I have succeeded so far: The youngest is now older than I was when my parents died. On the other hand they are all quite as untidy in their habits as we were— and alas, no Mary to look after them.
[Apologies as I couldn’t see and transcribe all of the first page. Also, there is a page of a letter that doesn’t go with the letters of either dates shown here and I don’t know the date of that page, but I am still including it here.]<br />
My dear Mary, <br />
How are things with you, I wonder? Nico (who isn’t here to-day) tells me you are thinking of going to live with your mother at Morecambe, which sounds a good plan.<br />
The enclosed photographs, taken last half at Eton, of George and Peter<br />
…which is rather a pity, though it doesn’t matter as much as if they were in the same house. He too is healthy and merry enough, but bites and tears his nails has horribly as I did. Anyway, once more there is a G. LL. Davies major Oppidan and P. LL. Davies minor Colleger in The School List, as in 1910, and I hope it isn’t too much of an omen! But my sons are not of the brand of which Pops are made.<br />
Rivvy (21 next month) finished his National Service last autumn and is now in a job which I was lucky enough to find him. He works in London, in surroundings which I think and hope are congenial to him; lives in a Chelsea lodging-house during the week and comes home for week ends. If he sticks to the job, there are good prospects ahead of him in the long run, and the demoralizing influence had (though I have told her I think it wonderful), distorts the little truth that is known about the hussy, and abounds on coarseness and vulgarity. The coarseness is perhaps inherent in the subject, but where she gets her vulgarity from I really don’t know— surely not from either of her parents? <br />
With much love dear Mary <br />