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The Letters of Katherine Mansfield: Volume I

Wednesday — January 1, 1919 —

January 1, 1919

To the Hon. Dorothy Brett

We had a superb Xmas—stockings—a tree, decorations, crackers, pudding, drink—most potent and plentiful—parcels pouring in and out. Murry seemed to wear a paper hat (a large red and yellow butterfly) from Xmas page 222 Eve until after Boxing Day—We gradually, under the influence of wine and chinese mottoes gave a party—Charades—Kot, Gertler, Campbell, etc. Oh, I did love it so—loved everybody. They were all fluttering and twinkling like candles in the darkest, most mysterious Tree of all—I wanted to say to everybody—Let us stay forever just as we are—Don't let us ever wake up and find it is all over.

It made me realise all over again how thrilling and enchanting life can be, and that we are not old—the blood still flows in our veins. We still laugh. The red chairs became a pirate ship. Koteliansky wore a muff on his head and Campbell a doormat tied under the chin—can't this happen more often? Ought not Life to be divided into work and Play—real play? We ought not to have to sit in corners when our work is over. I feel that I have a thirst for Happiness, that never will be quenched again.

My prison doors have been opened at last—I'm allowed to go out—I have found a man who is going to cure me. But he says I must not go to Switzerland but to a tropical climate in the Spring—like Majorca or Corsica. So when I am surer than ever that I shall be able to tempt you to come and visit me in a little house with a fig and a date by the door—Hurrah for Life! But this isn't a letter. It is a hail—and so do let us spend a part of a Very New Year indeed together.