[No surviving envelope]

T. S.Eliot
B-11 Eliot House
6 March ’33

To-dayJames, HenryThe Aspern Papers;b3taught in English 26;a2 IJames, HenryThe Turn of the Screw;b5taught in English 26;a2 have been busy – mostlyConrad, JosephThe Heart of Darkness;a1 with The Aspern Papers and with The Turn of the Screw and Conrad’s Heart of Darkness; to try to give a good lecture tomorrow morning. The Aspern Papers is not so difficult; thoughJames, HenryThe Aspern Papers;b3and 'Burbank with a Baedeker';a3 I can’t expect these boys to get the intensity that I get and have got (I'Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar'and The Aspern Papers;a1 shall try to explain how, as a mathematical problem, Burbank with a Baedeker issues out of the Aspern Papers in its way): this quite apart from the personal and private significance which The Aspern Papers has come to have for me: but I was fascinated by it long before that. ThePrichard, MatthewTSE's formative experience with;a3 collocation of Heart of Darkness andJames, HenryThe Turn of the Screw;b5reminds TSE of Prichard;a1 The Turn of the Screw set me pondering on Matt Prichard again. I don’t think I have ever quite told you about Matt Prichard. IFranceParis;b7TSE's 1910–11 year in;a1 came across him at a most susceptible period: when I went to Paris in 1910. He was perhaps the only Evil influence that I have ever known; though I have known quite enough of Bad: I have known others, of both sexes, who wanted my body, and that is vile enough <when, I might add, they are people towards whom one feels spiritual aversion. The only shameful thing is that all this left me still so terribly, tragically (for I can regard it as if another person) immature.>;1 but I don’t think I have ever known anybody who wanted my Soul like Matt Prichard. He was, I believe, a restrained and almost ascetic pervert: he had conquered the body, but not the soul. He wanted to dominate, to possess, a young man as no one I have ever known has wanted to possess a young man’s soul. AndChristianityhell;b8TSE's 1910 vision of;a1 then there were, I estimate, about twenty seconds when I was alone in my room in a Paris boarding house, when I just was sure that I had gone over the edge: and I had a vision of hell which I must believe few people ever get: I just hung on, but thinking that I was completely gone, blown to pieces. It was going back about fifty thousand years in evolution, and down into the uttermost abyss. AndFrancethe South;b9Limoges in 1910;a2 the odd thing is that after that, at Christmas 1910, I went with this man for a fortnight’s tour of southern France; and I didn’t mind; it was all over, the struggle, for me; something had won. I think that he got his revelation during the tour: one night in Limoges, when I heard him moving about in the next room.2 The reality, the absurdity, of the expedition, was provided by his brother who accompanied us: the brother was a most conventional Colonel, who became a General later, a typical British Army Officer, good as gold. TheyGardner, Isabella Stewartfriend to Matt Prichard;a3 were an excellent county family in Wales. And Matt had been Director of the Boston Art Museum and a friend of Mrs. Jack Gardner; and the drawings he made of romanesque details of architecture in southern France and Italy were wonderful. He was a great man, in his way, and I have never seen him since Munich 1911.

ISpencer, TheodoreTSE shares homosexual experiences with;b5 don’t know however why I should have told Theodore Spencer about this, this morning; without mentioning names, to be sure. Perhaps, it was because I remembered a man who had meant so much to me in my youth; and I thought, here is a young man who is terribly susceptible to my influence and perhaps slightly more homosexual than the ‘normal’, but with a wife and child; and damn it when you have somebody under your influence that person is at least as much under your bad and good influence – you can affect them quite as easily through vanity, snobism [sc. snobbism] and bad motives as through good: and that frightful responsibility I have taken upon myself, and there’s his wife and son too. But do you, I wonder, grasp the compliment of my drivelling on to you in this way instead of talking sense? That is perhaps the one thing that matters. The compliment, if it be a compliment, and not merely an impertinence, is deserved.3

1.Insert written by hand in the margin.


In depraved May, dogwood and chestnut, flowering judas,

To be eaten, to be divided, to be drunk

Among whispers; by Mr Silvero

With caressing hands, at Limoges

Who walked all night in the next room …

3.Sentence added by hand.

'Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar', and The Aspern Papers,
Christianity, and human isolation, and modern economics, Ada on TSE's personal piety, scheme for 'Pro Fide' bookshop, among the Eliot family, and beauty, its sects like different clubs, Anglo-Catholicism, TSE's conversion to, which he dates to Eccleston Square meeting, Anglican Missal sought for EH, but unfortunately out of print, discussed at Boston Theological School, and the Petrine Claims, apostolic succession, over Roman Catholicism, as refuge from VHE, and the Reformation, asceticism, discipline, rigour, the necessity for, and TSE's daily exhortation, making and breaking habits, mastering emotions and passions, as salubrious, only remedy for a prurient culture, confession and communion, more possible during Harvard year, the case for unattainable ideals, in time of war, gets TSE up before 7 o'clock, hereditary with TSE, belief, and good poetry, faced with Second World War, and conversion, antidote to TSE's skepticism, Christendom, TSE ponders the decline of, TSE on his prominence within, its ruin, the Church Visible and Invisible, and TSE's war work, the Malabar Church, prospect of total reunion within, confession, helps to objectify sin, more dreaded than dentist, harder in the morning, death and afterlife, the struggle to prepare for, consoles TSE in life, and cremation, Requiem Mass, gives meaning to life, and what makes a desirable burial place, the nature of eternal life, divorce, unrecognised by Anglo-Catholic Church, which TSE regrets, in church law, would separate TSE from Church, evil, TSE's belief in, and moral percipience, guilt, and the New England conscience, hell, TSE's 1910 vision of, and damnation, according to TSE, liturgy, TSE's weekly minimum, Mass of the Pre-sanctified, Requiem Mass versus Mass of Good Friday, and whether to serve at Mass, Imposition of Ashes, at Christmas, High Mass over Mattins, aversion to Low Church Mattins, Roman service in Wayland, Tenebrae, in country parish church, as guest at Kelham, remarkable sermon, over Christmas, Tenebrae and Family Reunion, during Holy Week, Mass of Charles King and Martyr, love, loving one's neighbour, marriage, TSE's need for privacy within, mysticism and transcendence, interpenetration of souls, intimations of life's 'pattern', 'doubleness', arrived at through reconciliation, orthodoxy, only remedy for contemporary culture, and pagans, sets TSE at odds with modernity, necessarily trinitarian, 'Christian' defined, iniquities of liberal theology, and creed, authority, Transubstantiation, TSE disclaims 'self-centredness' in maintaining, politics, the Church and social change, how denomination maps onto, need for working-class priests, church leaders against totalitarianism and Nazism, Christianity versus Fascism and Communism, Papal Encyclical against Nazi Germany, the 'Dividend morality', Presbyterianism, TSE quips on the meanness of, Quakerism, resignation, reconciliation, peace, TSE's love allows for, 'peace that passeth all understanding', the struggle to maintain, following separation from VHE, retreat and solitude, EH at Senexet, the need for, a need increasing with age, and TSE's mother, Roman Catholicism, TSE's counter-factual denomination, Rome, sacraments, Holy Communion, marriage, sainthood, TSE's idea of, the paradoxes of, susceptible of different sins, sins, vices, faults, how to invigilate, the sense of sin, the sinner's condition, bound up with the virtues, as a way to virtue, TSE's self-appraisal, when humility shades into, when unselfishness shades into, among saints, proportionate to spiritual progress, daydreaming, despair, lust, pride, perfection-seeking pride, spiritual progress and direction, TSE's crisis of 1910–11, EH's crisis, versus automatism, TSE's sense of, towards self-knowledge, in EH's case, as personal regeneration, temptation, to action/busyness, the Church Year, Advent, Christmas, dreaded, happily over, TSE rebuked for bah-humbugging, church trumps family during, season of irreligion, thoughts of EH during, unsettling, fatiguing, in wartime, Easter preferred to, Ash Wednesday, Lent, season for meditation and reading, prompts thoughts of EH, Lady Day, Holy Week, its intensity, arduous, preserved from public engagements, exhausting but refreshing, excitingly austere, Easter, better observed than Christmas, missed through illness, Unitarianism, the Eliots' as against EH's, the prospect of spiritual revival within, as personified by TSE's grandfather, regards the Bible as literature, as against Catholicism, divides EH from TSE, and whether Jesus believed himself divine, according to Dr Perkins, in England as against America, over-dependent on preachers' personality, TSE's wish that EH convert from, outside TSE's definition of 'Christian', the issue of communion, baptism, impossibly various, virtues heavenly and capital, bound up with the vices, better reached by way of sin, charity, towards others, in Bubu, TSE's intentness on, delusions of, as against tolerance, chastity, celibacy, beneath humility, TSE lacks vocation for, faith, and doubt, hope, a duty, TSE's struggle for, humility, distinguished from humiliation, comes as relief, greatest of the virtues, propinquitous to humour, not an Eliot virtue, opposed to timidity, danger of pride in, is endless, TSE criticised for overdoing, theatre a lesson in, most difficult of the virtues, possessed by EH, possessed by EH to a fault, TSE compares himself to EH in, the paradox of, distinguished from inferiority, self-discovery teaches, possessed by Dr Perkins, patience, recommended to EH, its foundations, possessed by Uncle John, purity, distinguished from purification, temperance, with alcohol, beneath humility,
Conrad, Joseph, The Heart of Darkness,
France, TSE's Francophilia shared by Whibley, TSE dreams of travelling in, synonymous, for TSE, with civilisation, the Franco-Italian entente, over Portugal, TSE awarded Légion d’honneur, subsequently elevated from chevalier to officier, TSE describes a typical French reception, Switzerland now favoured over, French cuisine, French culture, Exhibition of French Art 1200–1900, French painting, compared to English culture, French language, tires TSE to speak, TSE hears himself speaking, TSE dreads speaking in public, and TSE's false teeth, French politics, French street protest, England's natural ally, post-Versailles, post-war Anglo-French relations, French theatre, the French, more blunt than Americans, as compared to various other races, Paris, TSE's 1910–11 year in, EH pictured in, its society larger than Boston's, TSE's guide to, Anglo-French society, strikes, TSE dreads visiting, post-war, the Riviera, TSE's guide to, the South, fond 1919 memories of walking in, Limoges in 1910, Bordeaux,
Gardner, Isabella Stewart, her society, her art collection, friend to Matt Prichard,

9.IsabellaGardner, Isabella Stewart Stewart Gardner (1840–1924), socialite, art collector, philanthropist; friend of artists and writers including John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler and Henry James; wife of John Lowell Gardner II (1837–98), businessman and patron of the arts. Founder of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston (modelled after a Venetian palazzo), which opened in 1903. TSE came to know her well enough to exchange a few letters with her, written from England in 1915–17: see Letters 1, 100–3.

James, Henry, TSE on, TSE's personal James canon, on Charles Eliot Norton, too wealthy to understand England, subject of TSE's lectures, EH working way through, invoked as labyrinthine, appears in Mary Anderson's memoirs, parodied, The Aspern Papers, praised, taught in English 26, and 'Burbank with a Baedeker', The Sense of the Past, The Turn of the Screw, reminds TSE of Prichard, taught in English 26, Washington Square,
Prichard, Matthew, his influence on TSE, 'Mr Silvero' in 'Gerontion', TSE's formative experience with,

1.MatthewPrichard, Matthew Prichard (1865–1936), charismatic English aesthete who had served as Assistant Director of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, 1904–7, where he met the collector Isabella Stewart Gardner, the artist and curator Okakura Kakuzo (1862–1913), and the critic Roger Fry (who was then working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). A devotee of Henri Bergson, Prichard advocated a non-representational theory of aesthetics; and while living in Paris in 1908–14 introduced Henri Matisse to Byzantine art. TSE fell under the influence of Prichard after being introduced to him by his brother Henry. From 1918 until his death on 15 Oct. 1936, Prichard lived in London, where he attracted a group of staunch admirers at the Gargoyle Club (including John Pope-Hennessy and the club’s owner).

Spencer, Theodore, offers TSE suite in Eliot House, looks after TSE, shares whisky and conversation with TSE, talks poetry till late, appears deaf during first Norton lecture, hosts TSE after the first Norton lecture, and English 26, learns to tie tie from TSE, and Matthiessen co-direct Dekker, TSE shares homosexual experiences with, hails Burnt Norton, worth discussing American politics with, speaks with EH, and TSE's honorary Harvard degree, dies of heart attack,
see also Spencers, the

2.TheodoreSpencer, Theodore Spencer (1902–48), writer, poet and critic, taught at Harvard, 1927–49: see Biographical Register.