Paris-Manchester 1918
Conservatoires in time of war

29th May 1918 (Frank Merrick)

Frank expresses concern over Hope’s recent influenza.  

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

My own true love, I am so sorry that you had such a severe attack of influenza, though it is comforting to know you were in such kind hands, to whom I am exceedingly grateful.  Do answer this as soon as you possibly can, partly because I am anxious to know how the recover proceeds (at the best I expect you’re much pulled down) and partly because although I shall be entitled to write a “visit letter” as soon as next Saturday, I expect you will agree with me that it will be preferable if I wait till I hear from you – even tho’ the days so lost affect that dates of my subsequent visit letters.  On May 4th (just about the time your high temperature started, and also 27 years and 4 days after my first piano lesson!!) I became intensely occupied with an idea that for days amounted almost to a physical oppression (no doubt because I could not “get it off my chest”).  I was closely connected with the words “last thy bread upon the waters”, [check writing] and I feel that we must neither of us mention it to anyone until we have been able to talk it out freely and completely.   

The idea that any Tribunal should rescue total exemption to a man who a year ago stood up before the world as a Peace Candidate is physically nauseating to me – for vulgar arrogance it seems quite on a level with that ill-famed scamp Judge Jeffreys.]