2 December 2003
CHURCHILL, Sir W.L.S. Autograph letter signed ('W') to Pamela, Countess of Lytton, [Thame], 23 May 1907, including a sketch of two cats, one startled, by the signature, 5 pages, 8° (short vertical tears to upper and lower margins of all 3 leaves).
'THERE IS ONLY ONE STAR IN THE GLOOM'. Churchill cannot accept an invitation from Pamela for 1 June -- 'hence no more to be called (since it prevents my coming to you) the "glorious first of June". The world is vry evil: & tonight my heart is sorrowful to think how little I see of you, & what gulfs & cliffs & dusty deserts separate true friends'. He has had Mrs Lloyd George dining with him, and she has been exclaiming at Pamela's photographs -- '"What a wonderful woman! Who is she? Who has she married?' - to which Churchill's rejoinder is a dry, perhaps rueful, 'Yes indeed'. Churchill's situation in Thame finds him 'in a tent in extreme discomfort'; he has been 'stirring up the animals with a long pole at Edinburgh'. A further missed opportunity to see Pamela, because someone has 'had the ineffable effrontery to invite me to dinner ... six weeks ahead', stirs up another mock outburst, 'Alas the vanity of life ... It is a squalid world. There is only one star in the gloom; & that rises & sets on different horizons as the globe revolves'.
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