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MSS.4.875

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4 pages

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117 Woodstock Rd, Oxford,

Dec. 14, 1911.

Dear Professor Palmer:

You will probably be at Boxford when this reaches you, but Christmas and the New Year will have no ill setting there, and there let me greet you! I think of you often. Jan., 1912 sees me under a new roof: Longwall Cottage, Longwall, almost under the shadow of Magdalen College tower. It is a dear little Cistercian cell. I get on tolerably, but not as you would have me! The only procrastination of my days lies still heavy on my conscience, and old H.V. is still glimmering ahead like the mirage of the oasis where I would be. His Fund is safely laid up; he

has all my unabated interest and affection; I can imagine no more blessed hour than the hour when I shall again cross the threshold of my far, far distant Bodleian. But, Professor Palmer Dear, what can I do? I am trying to keep house (I have to!) for the first time in my life; and my girl Grace Guiney, dear to me, and perfectly compatible, has to be watched like a pickpocket, lest she develop tuberculosis (she is much, much stronger over here than at home); and the potboilers come in, and can't be set by, all things considered, even in part; and interruptions, Oh, interruptions! Take today, when I certainly did my

best to get free of them: two people came whom I had to see, both in great distress of mind. They will come like that; they always have come; the Powers Above know I don't ask them! And thus another precious afternoon is gone.. There is a range of high hills between me and H.V., and I would give my thumbs that there were not. One thing you [deletion: do] may do: trust me for a perfectly honest and well-meaning being. Outer circumstance only, not fickleness, or any failure of will, does keep me definitely from taking up the loved work I might have put through in Cornwall last year, save for my luckless illness. I could tell you more, to prove it just that; but I won't bother you. I consider myself accountable to you more than to any-

body, because your encouragement was, and is, so precious. I will take the chance the moment I can, legitimately: indeed I will! but that is all I can say of Vaughan. Even the incomparable Herbert wouldn't have got on very fast if you had had to buy your onions and mend your stockings and write 235 letters or so a month (not friends' letters) as you went along: nichts? And meanwhile, I say sometimes to myself, we are not getting any younger. . . I wish you would remember me sometime to Dr. French. It is pretty cold here, but some comely pink chrysanthemums are going it, under the window. Good night, at the end of a letter chock-full of "ce 'moi' haissable" - which please forgive and bury, as not after all, much in my line! Better news next time, I hope.

Yours always, L. I. Guiney.

Letter from Louise Imogen Guiney, Oxford, to George Herbert Palmer, 1911 December 14

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