Letter from Florence Henniker to Thomas Hardy, 31 March 1915

[Page 1]

The Little Orchard



My dear friend

Thank you so much for sending me the enclosed. I feel very strongly as to "The Pity of it", regarding the war. For there can be no doubt that we & Germany have much more in common than we & France, or we & Russia. Had we been fighting either of them, how these detestable newspapers wd. have screamed about past ^French^ atrocities during the Commune &c & about [Page 2] Russian "Pogroms". – I wonder, – do the journalists remember the favourite poetic effusion about the Russians not getting Constantino­ple etc. –

I should very much like to hear Lord Morley & John Burns give their views, privately. Both are men of much greater honesty & finer character than many other members of this Cabinet. I suppose they would say that it is a [Page 3] case of choosing the least of two evils, & that it was morally worse to cause such misery to their country than to shirk helping France? – It is a curious point of view, no doubt – but no doubt sincere, & in John Burns' case it is almost heroic to give up power and influence – (wh. must mean so much to him,) as well as money. –

Ought you not to have put "er soll" and "Du bist" in the poem – or is your spelling intentional – & as the Dorset people literally pronounce? –

I can't tell you how [Page 4] charming I think your "Lyonesse" lyric. I must learn it by heart one of these days. –

I am so sorry that dear Florence has been suffering from sciatica. I had it once for a long time, & then quite got rid of it, owing to treatment by an electric battery on the nerve – Please give my best love to her – I hope she has seen some nice & rare birds in your garden. I look eagerly for them here. –

To return to the War – did you not think it injudicious of Sir John F. to speak with such

[Page 5]

a confident & sanguine tone to reporters?

I wonder when you think of coming to London? I wish you wd. both come & spend a long day here in the orchard?

Ev yr affec. friend

F. H