[c/o Mrs John Carroll Perkins, 90 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston]

T. S.Eliot
24 Russell Square
Letter 12? my diary is in
my suitcase at the club.
[Postmarked 4 September 1942]

I was very glad to get your cable yesterday, though it brought no great relief to my feelings. I wish that I did not have to wait so long: I gather that there is some delay before the hospital observation is possible, and of course you cannot tell how long that will take. I am sure that you will cable again, or have me cabled, as soon as there is anything definite to report. Meanwhile you tell me to write to Boston, so I presume that you are staying at 90 Commonwealth Avenue; and as you will be thinking more about your aunt and uncle than about yourself, that will not provide just the restful environment that you ought to have at this moment. I wish that you could go to Wood’s Holl [sic] meanwhile – and afterwards, I imagine that part of the prescription will be a prolonged rest and convalescence in the country somewhere. And I wish I could be sure that you had adequate funds at your disposal for having the very best of everything. (IElsmith, Dorothy Olcott;a5 have just written to Dorothy Elsmith, by the way: I had been wondering what her boys are doing and whether either of them is already on active service).1

I have had no letter from you this week: not that I shall expect more than a short letter under these conditions, and I find it hard to write at any length myself. I am just waiting in the doldrums: andLittle Giddingredrafting finished;b7 now that the first elation of simply having finished another draft of my poem has subsided, I begin to have graver doubts of its value, and in any case it doesn’t seem to matter – a thing like that can help to support one in public anxieties and troubles, not in private ones like when there is nothing whatever that I can do about it myself.

Your loving

1.TSE to Dorothy Elsmith, 4 Sept. 1942: ‘I have often thought of you and Mr. Elsmith and your family; and especially this year, when I fear that beyond the other anxieties of life your mind is probably burdened with the thought of the future of your sons. I should much like to have news of the directions in which the war may have taken them.

‘I appreciate, if I may say so, all that your kindness – especially recently – has meant to Emily. Being, like myself, a homeless person, with the complication of her having as her nearest relatives two elderly people who, though good, are not always especially wise, and who have perhaps been more dependent upon her than they were aware of, she is able to know and to prize the best gifts of friendship. The news as I have heard it, both from her and from the Perkins’s, is alarming enough; and there is no possibility of a reassuring diagnosis for at least two weeks. It is also a case in which the causes must remain obscure until we know just what the ailment is. Needless to say, it is very hard to be so cut off, with no possibility of a visit, at a time like this – when already the ordinary public and private anxieties of this time seemed about all that one could manage!’ (Houghton bMS Am 1691.3)

Elsmith, Dorothy Olcott, issues invitation to Woods Hole, TSE and EH to stay with, now living in Boston, invites TSE again to Woods Hole, thanked for hospitality, on TSE as nurse, attends Kind Lady, reports on Kind Lady, in New Zealand, taken to dinner at Garrick, EH in Grand Manan with, EH visits during Christmas holidays, present when EH learns of TSE's death,
see also Elsmiths, the

4.TSEElsmiths, theseminal Woods Hole stay with;a1Elsmith, Dorothy OlcottElsmiths, the andAmericaWoods Hole, Falmouth, Massachusetts;i2TSE and EH's holiday in recalled;a2St. LouisAmericaBostonAmericaCaliforniaAmericaCambridge, MassachusettsAmericaHollywoodAmericaNew EnglandAmericaNew YorkAmerica EHElsmith, Dorothy Olcott were going to visit a friend of EH’s named Dorothy Olcott Elsmith (a graduate of Smith College), who lived with her family in a white clapboard house by the seaside at Woods Hole, Falmouth, Mass.: see Biographical Register.

Little Gidding, things 'done to others' harm', and TSE's St. Kevin's cave excursion, TSE's pilgrimage to the eponymous, and John Inglesant, in the Four Quartets scheme, as TSE's war work, latent within TSE, being drafted, first draft finished, suspended, to be taken up again, partly redrafted at Buckler's Hard, further redrafting, seven lines from completion, redrafting finished, in which JDH proved indispensable, NEW version sent to EH, published, sales, ends hopefully,