Item 158 - Letter from Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence to F. W. Pethick-Lawrence

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PETH/7/158

Title

Letter from Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence to F. W. Pethick-Lawrence

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  • [9] Nov. 1904 (Creation)

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2 sheets

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Mena House Hotel (Cairo).—Describes her first few days in Egypt.

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Transcript

Mena House Hotel. Nov. 10. Wednesday evening {1}.

Beloved. I scarcely know how to sit down & write to you tonight. My heart is too full. I could sit still for hours wrapt in a garment of joy. Every sense satisfied to the uttermost—one’s whole being steeped in sensation. Nothing has ever been the least bit like it—light & colour & wonder. I don’t think I have ever felt so splendidly well, so vitalized, so filled with life. Your dear dear letter coming as the last touch of completeness to the day’s glory! My love for you & the possession of your great love is the glow behind the sunset—the glow that never fades. Bye & bye I shall sit down calmly & write something consecutive. But at this moment that is impossible. Still, I will tell you that we had a delightful 4 hours in Port Said {2}. Our boat arrived about 2 P.M. & the train left at 6.45. We strolled into the town & drank coffee on the arcade of the Hotel Continental, where we were infinitely amused by the street sellers who laid their wares before us. Hetty chaffed & chaffed with them all. We went round the shops too. Then—but oh, you darling I simply can’t write anything but my love to you & again & again tell you how happy I am—how happy we all are! I never saw Marie look like she looks now, her eyes shining with radiant happiness & excitement. She says she sends you ever so much love, & I am to tell you she will write, but not now, & to say—she simply does not know where she is, & can only walk round & smile! She & Hetty have made great plans about getting work here, & running a dahabehah together & I do believe something or other will open up to them. Hetty & Marie & I are speaking of you constantly & longing to have you here too. Freddy, I don’t want work to suffer, as you know, but if it is feasible do arrange to lengthen your stay as much as possible. I am sure you will want to stay.

Mena House is perfect—you will love the style of the place, I never saw anything to please me more—architecture, space—every detail. The curtains are just cotton, but perfectly charming—& the atmosphere of place & people is most harmonious: we have separate bedrooms & we pay 12/6 a day.

Freddy, I am absolutely ashamed of this letter—utterly ashamed of it: I have so much to say that I can’t say it. But tomorrow out in the desert—there I will write to you & tell you all. And I will send this to catch the mail. But I can only tell you this—there is something here that is quite different from anything I have ever known, though it is something I have guessed at—dreamed of—there is something here that fills up one’s mind with light & glory—& calls new things into being. Oh Freddy, if I were a man I should bring the woman I loved here—out of the Shadow into the light, out of the cold into the heart of the sun—where day lights its burning torches heralding the night.

I did not think, I hardly dared to this it would really be like this—that one’s flights of imagination could really be fulfilled. It’s just absolutely different from Europe—you might be one another planet.

Well Freddy. Goodbye now. Goodbye dear. And God bless you. Your very happy Woman.

Hetty is splendid—we could not possibly be more lucky in our little drago-woman. I would far rather have her from quite a business point of view than any courier, however good. She is in her element here & is a capital little manager & organizer. As we all three have exactly the same preferences, there could not possibly be a more mutually satisfied little party.

I will just add that we stayed at Shepheard’s Hotel last night, did a good deal of business in Cairo & had a fascinating time in the Bazaars & came out here at sunset. More anon.

Hetty asks me to enclose this letter.

This rambling incoherent letter of mine is for you alone of course—no one else. I shall write up my general letter tomorrow {3}. I hope you got my telegram sent off this morning. I thought “The Echo. London.” would find you. Did you think me reckless extravagant? I had to—& if it had cost 10 times as much would have been worth it!

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A few alterations have been made to the punctuation of the original.

{1} The day of the month is incorrect. The 10th was a Thursday.

{2} On Tuesday, the 8th.

{3} PETH 7/148.

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