Seated in a beautiful rose garden, surrounded by many floral scents, facing a great view of sea & islands & headlands, I turn to you on this day, my husbands birthday, to speak with my souls friend.
I got your Christmas greeting & your quaint [illegible] cards [page 2] but only such a little scribble-ubble letter that I was quite grateful when Mr Mallon sent me the one you had written to him. That showed you were at work, & well, & caring for the big entangled world as well as one small efforts to straighten things out.
I often think of you, & wish you wld enter my name among the subscribers to any magazine, or pamphlets which tells of your doings, intentions & thoughts. Will you please?
I will gladly pay whatever is due, for why should one [page 3] pay the baker for the bread for the body, & not pay the printer for the bread of the soul.
For 4 months I have been poorly, much worried over a few wrong-notioned people who got onto my large staff -- & so tired that every action was an effort. Two doctors say that I have no sort of organic trouble, but 73 & more work than 43 ought to do results in nerve exhaustion; so when poor Fanny was well on the road to her [page 4] recovery, I just shipped down to Southampton, & got on board one of the Royal Mails, & after 5 days slow steaming over an oily sea, reached here on Wednesday.
A very little seed of kindness down in a waiter's mind last year has brought us a harvest of good things, as he met us at the Ship, & brought us to a tiny 500 feet high new hotel [which] just suits my very tired self -- & I am hoping to get better. Marion is with me & sends you her love. She is quite well, & has been down to town today gaining impressions & scattering smiles.
Now you will be bored by my letter. I do not know whether we shall return [page 5] the beginning or the end of March, but H. M. the Queen is coming to open my Institute's New Wing in May, & I must give time to prepare for Her.
We are all interested in various ways in the Labour government. I am full of hope, though I think they have chosen their 2 ancestral Peers badly -- Lord Parmoor I think a wind bag & too conceited to learn, & Lord Chelmsford is just wooden & hide bound by officialism -- but Lord Haldane is of course a gem, & one of the new ones Sydney Arnold ↑is↓ both my good [neighbor], & real friend. We shall see -- but as the Labour Party [page 6] have put education for all, as among their chief intentions. I am cheered and comforted.
Please dear write & say really how you are. You can but ill imagine what suffering your illness cost me, & I wld like to know facts.
My deep, true, discerning, ever growing love is for you.
H. O. Barnett
I am contemplating writing a new book "People I have Known" [which] wld mean their work & ideals. You wld come in. Do you mind?