Paris-Manchester 1918
Conservatoires in time of war

22nd January 1918 (Frank Merrick)

Frank describes his response to Hope Squire’s recent visit, asks about his students and writes about the cause of Pacifism, which has resulted in his imprisonment over Christmas.

Credit: University of Bristol Library, Special Collections (DM2103)

My own sweetheart, the tremendous joy of seeing you on the 5th, and the great pleasure of seeing Horace and Penelope, and the excitement of having a talk, and the confusing which of many subjects in my brain clamouring for simultaneous discussion (!), caused me to omit some things I wanted to say. Worst of all, I did not find out how you are… I will always write unless you previously intimate that you want the next ‘visit’ to be a visit (so to speak). This you can do in the letter preceeding the said ‘visit’, or if it is too late for that you can write to the Governor asking him to give me the message. I was so pleased the students got on so well last summer at exams and concerts, tell them to ‘keep it up. Was the Dohnanyi Concertstück performed? Am I right in supposing that Nellie and Edith Mary are both going in for diplomas next summer? If so, I greatly hope all the works can be learned this term, so that next term can be spent in evolution rather than involution (if I may so use a Max Heindl’s expression). You will smile to hear that I have now read the Bible through from cover to cover…

By being exiled from each other for such a far-reaching Cause as Pacifism, we have the proud thought of having spent a very worthy Christmas, one which though far from happiest may prove to have been the most appropriate (in some senses) of our united lives, have we not? How clumsily I have put it!