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[personal profile] oneroom
16 February, 1820

Dear Lady Georgiana,

... Nobody has suffered more from low spirits than I have done - so I feel for you. 1st. Live as well as you dare. 2nd. Go into the shower-bath with a small quantity of water at a temperature low enough to give you a slight sensation of cold, 75 or 80 degrees. 3rd. Amusing books. 4th. Short views of human life - not further than dinner or tea. 5th. Be as busy as you can. 6th. See as much as you can of those friends who respect and like you. 7th. And of those acquantances who amuse you. 8th. Make no secret of low spirits to your friends, but talk of them freely - they are always worse for dignified concealment. 9th. Attend to the effects tea and coffee produce upon you. 10th. Compare your lot with that of other people. 11th. Don't expect too much from human life - a sorry business at the best. 12th. Avoid peotry, dramatic representations (except comedy), music, serious novels, melancholy sentimental people, and everything likely to excite feeling or emotion not ending in active benevolence. 13th. Do good, and endeavour to please everybody of every degree. 14th. Be as much as you can in the open air without fatigue. 15th. Make the room where you commonly sit, gay and pleasant. 16th. Struggle by little and little against idleness. 17th. Don't be too severe upon yourself, or underrate yourself, but do yourself justice. 18th. Keep good blazing fires. 19th. Be firm and constant in the exercise of rational religion. 20th. Believe me, dear Lady Georgiana,

Very truly yours,
Sydney Smith

Date: 2006-10-08 09:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] purejuice.livejournal.com
21.
Go, Syd.

Date: 2006-10-09 04:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oneroom.livejournal.com
This (http://www.amazon.com/Oxford-Book-Letters-Frank-Kermode/dp/0192825224) may be one of the greatest books ever. Mark Twain's letters to William Dean Howells are a kick in the pants. Alice James's letter the day before her death is utterly lovely. James Thurber's letters make me miss my hometown AND make me love him even more than I already did. I wish I'd been around to get letters from Edward Lear.

Katherine Mansfield "did not object to the affair" Princess Bibesco was having with her husband - just to the letters the princess was sending:

"Dear Princess Bibesco,

I am afraid you must stop writing these little love letters to my husband while he and I live together. It is one of the things which is not done in our world.

You are very young. Won't you ask your husband to explain to you the impossibility of such a situation.

Please do not make me have to write to you again. I do not like scolding people and I simply hate having to teach them manners.

Yours sincerely,
Katherine Mansfield"

And in the end, Elinor Wylie decided she loved her first husband more than her second. In a letter, four years after she left him, she explained to the first husband, "But I loved you first, I loved you more, I loved him afterwards, but now, that I love you both, I love you best. Surely you must, in some way, be glad to know this."

I could go on.

Date: 2006-10-09 10:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] purejuice.livejournal.com
yum yum.
the princess is known, in the diaries of virginia woolf, as libby bebby.

Date: 2006-12-22 03:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mr-orgue.livejournal.com
Googling for the Lady Morpeth letter brought me here - but the Katherine Mansfield letter has made my day.

Thank you, internet stranger!

Date: 2006-12-22 03:22 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
You're welcome. And thanks to you for letting me know that someone in the world is googling Lady Morpeth. It's good news all around. :)

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