Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Fritz Hart

Letter No.: 
Oct 2nd [1943]

The White Gates,

Dear Fritz

I owe you 2 letters now so double this one and take away the number you first thought of and the answer is a lemon. (Forgive this incoherence - I am just  in the last ½ hour of my fire watch).
Yes I have perpetrated a new Symphony - all very quiet and sedate (like Milton's nun pensive chaste and demure (query can a woman be chaste and demure).1
I hope you will have a good holiday.
My love to Marvel


P.S.  I can never read those two mysterious letters on the end of your address - I read it as T.H. - but probably it will go to Eire or Alaska.

1. The Fifth symphony, Catalogue of Works 1943/2, which had been given its first performance the previous June. The Milton reference is to Il penseroso, ll.31-2:
Come, pensive nun, devout and pure,
Sober, steadfast, and demure.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS 703/9/29
General notes: 

Presented to the National Libray of Australia by Emily Scott who added this note to the original: ‘This is an autograph letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Fritz Hart, who sent it to me, as a sample of writing worse than his own, and as “the autograph of a considerable man”’.

Original database number: