Two letters from Walter.
The first is mentioned in the entry April 7th
Letter from Walter von Poellnitz to Wynne, Munich, March 30th, 1921
My dearest Wynn
Your kind parcel arrived yesterday afternoon. I really cannot find the words that are needed to thank for so much kindess and for such careful choice of things to build up an invalid. Every item is precious and I sat and gloated over the contents of the box which I had spread out before me. Of course I am awfully pulled down but with all these good things I will pick up strength soon enough and have you to thank for it. I may go and sit in the sunshine for a few hours every day. The only available place is a square about a stone’s throw from my flat, a square without any green or shrubs, a few trees, a good deal of dust, but benches to sit and sun. In the forenoon I am surrounded by hordes of street urchins, rabble, who play at marbles and crowd me, as the present generation have not the slightest regard for hoary old age. In the afternoon I generally have the society of mothers of the low and lowest classes with no end of children in prams and in arms just leaving a wee space on the bench for poor me. Also I am forced much against my will to be eyewitness of the most intimate procedures of the treatment of infants! I will be quite an authority in time!
No doubt you have read about the unrest and revolts in Central Germany. I am very glad that up to now we in Bavaria have been spared. Everything is quiet here, kept in check by the organisation of the inhabitants. No military, not even a militia organisation, no uniforms or badges except a blue and white armlet. No drill, no marching – only the duty to turn out and meet to oppose plunder, arson and destruction.
The Doctor, although no occulist, has pulled out or rather torn out my eyelashes so I can read which is a comfort, and Shakespeare still holds the day but he requires a lot of study and in spite of that sometimes remains obscure, at least to me. Have you ever heard of a theory that the true author was a Duke of Rutland who made a boon companion of S? A rather clever man called Blubtren, an author living in Zurich, wrote a book about it. I met him in Baden where I went for the cure and had long talks with him where he managed to make his theory very plausible. Perhaps I have written all this before. If so excuse and pardon the invalid who owing to his seclusion is suffering from a diminishment of ideas! No end of thanks again and best of love to yourself and Herbert, from your most affectionate Hamster.
Letter from Walter von Poellnitz to Wynne, April 8th, 1921
My dearest Wynn
Just got your letter for which many thanks. It is so nice to feel that one’s ailments meet with sympathy and interest and the words that you write are balm to my soul.
I fight rather shy of the newspapers as their perusal at present is most decidedly not exhilarating. You are quite right: the world seems to have gone made. The constant and progressive demand for higher wages must produce at state of affairs which forces the producer, manufacturers and pit owner to raise the prices to heights that must impede their saleability.
Now I have begun my letter with a long rigmarole instead of with a hymn of thanksgiving and a report on the good things you so kindly send me. The Horlicks I like very much and the Calf’s Foot Jelly is delicious. The Oxo is grand for my soups, the beef tea – but I may as well say, everything is delicious! Prices they are rising in quite an alarming fashion. I paid £5 for my monthly gas and electricity which is a good deal but I have been kindly informed the next will be about a quarter more. It all comes from the town officials demanding and getting higher salaries. All of them red Radicals, in fact Communists whose interest is to shove the cost for the maintenance of the business of the town onto the commons. We are printing such a lot of paper that the currency has no or very little cash value.
I stopped writing to observe the eclipse. You must have had the same view of it. It was very interesting. I once had the opportunity of seeing an eclipse of the moon. It was in 1902 when on board the Bayern between Colombo and Aden, or rather between Aden and Suez. The moon looked like a big opal and I don’t recollect having seen anything more strange and unusual. The year before while on the Duca di Galliera I had seen Enke’s Comet. We were coasting between Rio de Janeiro and Montevideo. Funny that I should have visited three towns that were partially destroyed by fire or earthquakes some years later, viz; Valparaiso, Kingstown in Jamaica and San Francisco. It was lucky to have the opportunity of making that trip – now it would be impossible for various reasons.
I have just received a bundle of American papers and it will be interesting to see the American view of the present state of affairs. The paper that I have had the sole reading of owing to my incarceration is very fair in giving extracts from the foreign papers. It is the Münchner Neueste Nachrichten and was recently acquired by a very good man who put a first rate staff in action. I am still limited to this paper alone as I cannot yet manage to get to the Cllub. I have to be careful going out when it is windy, and even when not. I don’t care to go to far abroad being still rather tottery. I am glad my food is well prepared, very tasty. My house keeper is really a treasure. She has been with me now for 13 years, entering my service at 16, so is completely trained to my ways. Eggs are procurable at 1/2 each, milk 2/6 a quart but thankful for that so you see what we get here and what your great kindness supplies me with i am not to be pitied and will soon be able to say “Richard’s himself again”.
How is your Mother and Thurie, I have not heard from them, and how are you both. I had a nice letter from Quadt asking me down to his place in the summer, to which visit I am looking forward to with greatest pleasure. I only hope and trust nothing may come between but who is to say in these unsettled times. Well, we will hope for the best and with no end of love to you both I am ever and always your loving old Hamster.