The Letters of Katherine Mansfield: Volume I
June 10, 1919 —
To the Hon. Dorothy Brett
About what you said—it depends so awfully what effect company has on your work. Perhaps it stimulates you; then I think you are ever so right to do it. It does the opposite to me. I have to keep as solitary as I can, to have nobody depending and to depend as little as I can. Even if I had footballs for lungs I wouldn't go out often, for instance—couldn't. But then my particular Graces are very jealous and very shy and I have to humble myself and sit ready for their knock. Well, it's no hardship—There could never be a choice between them and the present ‘world.’ But I am no criterion—I want my page 232 ‘flings’ to-day to be oh! such delicate flings and if a drunken C. blundered in I could not bear it. I can't help it, I do feel so increasingly fastidious and frightened of rudeness and roughness—Life to-day is such an affair that I don't feel one can afford to rub shoulders with the world that goes to Parties. You will think me a sad old frump—but of course, like everybody else I don't think I am. Gossip—tittle tattle—spreading the news—all that fills me with horror—Were I perfectly sincere I'd have to confess that I was always acting a part in my old palmy days. And now I've thrown the palm away….