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Letter from Thomas MacGreevy to George Yeats. 3 July 1926.

[p.1 recto]

15 Cheyne Gds.
3rd July 1926.

My dear George

It would be a relief to write not a proper letter but a note, for I have spent my good Sunday writing "a William and Mary commode 5 ft 4 in wide produced "£682.10s at Christies". And what do I care about the price (or the width) of the commodes of William and Mary! Yes London has helped in some ways and I am not sorry to have made a halt here. But I don't think it ought to be for good, and I don't honestly believe I've written any better from for being here. Eliot (as an editor) is more my line than Russell and that is all. So far as rhymes go Red Hugh is the only one written here that is as good as three or four of those I did before I left Ireland. I'm not writing anything recently. Since Grundy went to America (he came back last week) I've had too long and too exhausting a day every day, and I had to try and keep up the Nation,MacGreevy began writing art reviews for The Nation and Athenaeum in June 1925, after he was introduced to Leonard Woolf, the literary editor, through T S Eliot. He would go on to write for the magazine until 1927.note Litt. Sup.MacGreevy regularly contributed to The Times Literary Supplement through 1926.note &c in the evenings and over the week ends. I have notes for three or four things, and I worked over some of the old ones and thats all. Besides I'm very tired in my brain and get headaches.

About Lennox I hope its true though I don't pine to hear of his engagement to say Miss Moran.Probably a member of the United Arts Club.note Only Hester is really able for him. Domestically they are both impossible and there is real freemasonary in them about some things. He sent her a playThe Big House. See MacGreevy's letter of 16 August 1926 and Yeats's letter of 19 September 1926 for more discussion of the play.note to read the other day as empty and bad as some of Corneille's later plays are said to be, and though she might have been grudging if she'd felt it to be good, she was simply mad because it was ineffectual. One reason I'd[p.1 verso]be glad to leave London is that I think he ought to be here and here he feels that I am (like her and everybody who is really Irish) in the his way. ?? He is so fearfully English now (with his tea on the lawn with two maiden ladies at whatever country house he was at, and with Mrs. Alcock in the play pining for England) that I incline to think his work would probably get good again if he came here. To let the house for a year and give the land he loves a trial would do no harm and might do him a lot of good. Undoubtedly he would be a loss to Dublin, but it would be no harm to let Dublin realise that and of course he would be a loss to you and W.B. and even to Augusta, however much she might hate to acknowledge it. Here he'd be happy if he had a place of his own and could dance round a bit with his Hazel, & his May and condescend to look in on his Hester and his Violet and his ElizabethMacGreevy is probably referring here to Violet Bonham-Carter and Elizabeth Bowennote once in a way. I urged him to become a dramatic critic here for a year but what would be much more in his line would be to do a causerie on plays for some fashionable periodical, like Aldingtons on literature in 'Vogue' &c. He is a rotten critic but a charming causeur. Besides in London his passion for Plunkingreferring to the projects of Sir Horace Plunkettnote so to speak, for ?? giving himself the feeling that he is improving things could be fitted in between the coolings of his tea which is where he likes to fit' it. I fear however it isn't much use in my urging things, or you either probably. W.B. wants him, so he'll stay, and because W.B. has rediscovered Anglo Ireland write footling plays about with Anglo Ireland as the stainless heroine in the snow (or the fire). I thought it, except for an odd amusing remark and one or two of the curtains a sadly indifferent business that play. What do you think? I thought is as bad as the Blackbird was good. Its touch and go what I do next. They don't want me much longer at the Connoisseur,Founded in 1903,The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs was the leading monthly art periodical, covering the history and criticism of the visual arts with special attention to current developments in all aspects of the fine and decorative arts. MacGreevy's contribution to The Connoisseur can not be ascertained as most of his articles were unsigned and none of the magazine's records seem to have been preserved.note and I am trying to make up my mind as to whether I should go LunningMacGreevy worked off and on as a tour guide for Lunn's Travel Agency. Begun by Sir Henry Simpson Lunn after the end of his career as a minister, Lunn's Travel Agency arranged tours to Europe, especially Switzerland and Italy, and Israel. These tours introduced large areas of Switzerland to the English public, increasing the popularity of winter sports. Sir Henry formed the Hellenic Travellers' Club, Alpine Sports Limited, the Church Travellers' Club, and the Free Church Touring Guild. In addition, Lunn's conducted cultural cruises, combining travel with lectures by well-known speakers. His firm has survived into the twenty-first century as Lunn-Poly.note or stay and stay abroad, or stay here till about the end of August when I think they the Connoisseur won't have anything left for me to do. I don't much want to go Lunning (since Touraine has not caught on it would[p.2 recto] have to be Belgium) but I do want a change. My head aches four days in the seven at least.

'Erb walked much further than Whitehall—the Custom House is three miles at least further on. Drake setting out for the Spanish Main so to speak! I haven't seen him for a good while now. I met Rummel in the street and he begged me to make sure & let him know if that Lennox was about if he ?? in town any time, but never said you're in town yourself! Not that I minded much. I'm sure I'd feel like Ezra Pound about him if I saw anything much of him. Yet without wanting to spend any time with him I like him and would go and hear him play any time. Queer. I hear spasmodically from Eliot, always the pet in his complicated way. He was back for a few days and rang me up about something and now I think is back again. I never see him. He writes a solemn letter but giggles a little on the phone and is very intriguing and mysterious. I hope he's writing but of course he's bound to be. I forget whether I asked you if you had read to make sureMrs. Dalloway .Virginia Woolf's fourth novel, Mrs. Dalloway, was published in 1925.note I think you might like it very much. Let me send it if you haven't read it. 'Twould be admirable in BallyleeThoor Ballylee, the Norman tower near Lady Gregory's Coole demesne in County Galway and renovated under George Yeats's direction, had been the Yeats's retreat since 1918.note and in between doses of Spengler. You didn't say whether you'd found any pleasure in Eupalinos. It doesn't matter about the Leonardo , but I would scarcely take it on for any English publisher. Here tradition is very strong in matters of art, in Ireland it isn't. So it might stir one or two potential talents in Ireland. Here also anyone who is likely to care for it will probably be able to read it in French and there they wouldn't often. So probably I shall leave it unless I find someone to bring it out in Ireland. Yet I'd like to try it. I read nothing—yesterday one poem by Mallarmé (Triste est la chair et j'ai lu 'tous les livres)MacGreevy is quoting the first line of Stephane Mallarme's poem "Brise Marine".note the day before I dug in the garden! The day before that read Matthew Arnold's essay on Shelley, how like Phibbs Shelley was! attacking Edward Dowden,Arnold's Essays in Criticism. Second Series published in 1888 included an essay on Percy Bysshe Shelley among other poetsnote the day[p.2 verso] before that saw "Petroushka"Dighilev's Ballet Russe produced Petroushka with choreography by Fokine and music by Stravinski.note

The note has become a bad long crossish letter. Forgive it. I'm glad of an excuse to write. I approve of what you did about the Stuarts. Sure It doesn't matter whether he owns racehorses or not. His writing is of no consequence to anyone nor ever will be , amen. My friend Mrs. Carswell has been seeing Maurice Greiffenhagen (who for eight years was her loverCatherine Carswell neé MacFarlane and Maurice Greiffenhagen met in Glasgow. Though Carswell was unmarried at the time, Greiffenhagen was. Carswell would marry and divorce her first husband Herbert Jackson in 1908 and marry her second husband, the painter Donald Carswell, in 1915. Some critics believe that the character of Louis Pender in her novel Open the Door! is modeled after Greifenhagen.note) after not seeing him for over a dozen years and is so pleased to find herself liking him & he her that even her husband scarcely resents the past. Wonderful business this love. They had only one conversation, in the street and they stopped to look at each other every twenty yards while they talked, the way you'd see oldish people, priests, &c in Ireland. The memories and everything have so transfigured her that she's like a thing in some very vivid and blessed sort of dream. I'm astounded. His wife however was always very resentful (naturally) so they're not going to try and be friends all together husbands, wives & all I mean. Seems such a pity when all that is over and only the understanding and liking left. She and her husband have trotted off to the Academy to see Greiffenhagens portraits this afternoon (Monday). Isn't is amusing and pleasing.

What of Anne and Michael?

My love to all.

Tom MacGreevy.