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The Letters of Katherine Mansfield: Volume I

Saturday — November 29, 1919

November 29, 1919

We had a severe earthquake last night at 11 o'clock. The little Casetta gave a creak and then silently shook. page 305 And to-day it is dead calm, airless, real earthquake weather….

I couldn't get to sleep last night. When I shut my eyes gardens drifted by—the most incredible sort of tropical gardens with glimpses of palaces through the rich green. Trees I've never seen or imagined—trees like feathers and silver trees and others quite white with huge transparent leaves passed and passed. My heart just fluttered. I scarcely had to breathe at all. It was like a vision brought about by drugs. I couldn't stop it and yet it frightened me; but it was too beautiful to stop. One is almost in a state of coma—very strange. I've often got near this condition before, but never like last night. Perhaps if one gives way to it and gives way to it one may even be able to get there…. Oh, I don't know, but it was a vision, not a memory. I am going to San Remo to-day to try to get some tea plates for you. Those two items don't hang together.

No sign of the scarf yet. Did I tell you I'd paid 8 francs for a box for my letters so as to have them secure. Now L. M. tells me it's 8 francs par mois!!! I thought it was for the season, for after all they won't deliver here: they refuse. Another robbery, alors, and I dare not quarrel with les gens de la poste. On the contrary L. M. takes the little box-faced girl bouquets of roses from Madame. If she'd like me to burn candles I'm only too willing. But, they do make one pay.