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Journal of Katherine Mansfield



The two brothers were on one side of the room, I on the other. R. sat on the floor inclined towards J. J. lay on the stickle-back, very idly.

“If you could have your wish, where would you be?”

First he thought a café in some foreign town … in Spain … no, in Grenoble, perhaps … sitting listening to music and watching the people. We are just passing through… There is a lake page 108 and a river near…. But then, no. A farmhouse in Sussex—some good old furniture—knocking about in the garden—rolling the lawn, perhaps—yes, rolling the lawn. An infant—two good servants. And then, when it grew dark—to go in, have some milk, then I go to my study and you to yours and work for about an hour and a half and then trundle off to bed. I would like to earn my living, but not by writing. I feel that my talent as a writer isn't a great one—I'll have to be careful of it…. Yes, that's what I'd like. No new places—no new things. I don't want them. Would you like that?

I felt his brother was with him, the brother inclined towards him, understanding and sharing that life—the homestead on the Downs—his English country—the sober quiet….

“Would you like that?”

No, I don't want that. No, I don't want England. England is of no use to me. What do I mean by that? I mean there never has been—never will be—any rapprochement between us, never…. The lack of its appeal—that is what I chiefly hate. I would not care if I never saw the English country again. Even in its flowering I feel deeply antagonistic to it, and I will never change.