George Bernard Shaw to Ellen Terry

Do you read these jogged scrawls, I wonder. I think of your poor eyes, and resolve to tear what I have written up: then I look out at the ghostly country and the beautiful night, and I cannot bring myself to read a miserable book…Yes, as you guess, Ellen, I am having a bad attack of you just at present. I am restless; and a man’s restlessness always means a woman; and my restlessness means Ellen. And your conduct is often shocking. Today I was wandering somewhere…when I glanced at a shop window; and there you were–oh disgraceful and abandoned–in your third Act Sans Gene dress–a mere waistband–laughing wickedly, and saying maliciously: “Look have restless one, at your pillow, at what you are really thinking about.” How can you look Window and Grove’s camera in the face with such thoughts in your head and almost nothing on…

Oh fie, fie, let me get away from this stuff, which you have been listening to all your life, & despise–though indeed, dearest Ellen, these silly longings stir up great waves of tenderness in which there is no guile.

I shall find a letter from you when I get back to Lotus, shall I not? Reigate we are at now; and it’s a quarter to one. In ten minutes, Dorking station; in seventeen minutes thereafter, Lotus, and a letter. Only a letter, perhaps not even that. O Ellen, what will you say when the Recording Angel asks you why one of your sins have my name to them?

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