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Letter from Sylvia to Arthur's sister Margaret, 14 June 1906
Thursday [14 June 1906]
They think dear Arthur a little better today. He has been up again for a little but his face is more uncomfortable when up – this, the nurse says, happens at first – will get right later.
Oh, my M – it’s so difficult to be brave sometimes. I am so so glad you are staying & I know you will settle things beautifully with Mary [Hodgson] & Miss May.
I am well, dear one, do not think of me – I am so strong.
Tell Jack & Michael I was so glad of the letters & Arthur was delighted with the photographs of beloved Nicholas. You will try & tell my George of the poor face – before he sees it, but he is a brave & loving son.
A. thinks it would be best if you & Fil came in the middle of July – he wrote this down – he gave no reasons – you will know what to do, & everything you do for us is dear – so dear.
Lovingly your Sylvia.
[Added across the top of the letter as a P.S. but not transcribed by Peter: "My dear dear sons - I long so to see them.
Jimmy is perhaps going to Berk[hamste]d Friday (tomorrow) night but this is not certain. To sleep I mean."]
Fil = father-in-law [i.e. John LD].
In a letter to me the other day, Daphne du M. says she remembers hearing, when very young, of Sylvia, after the operation (and presumably after the removal of the bandages), crying on Gerald’s shoulder and saying “they’ve spoiled my darling’s face.“
From Lady Ponsonby’s diary:
"Went to see Arthur Davies in a Nursing Home. It was very sad, but they are both so remarkable. He looked very altered but with his usual determination insisted upon speaking in spite of having no roof to his mouth, or teeth, both of which he will have later. In spite of this I understood nearly everything he said. He tried to smile & made a remark as I left about my being beautiful in his old, dry, chaffy way; it was so pathetic. But to see Sylvia tending this poor maimed creature was something I shall never forget. She seemed a living emblem of love & tenderness & sorrow. Stroking his hair & his hand, & looking unutterable love at him & so beautiful — it seemed to have completed her. She broke down a little outside, & we talked about it, but she is brave, so brave — it was wonderful to see her."
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