Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to René Gatty

Letter No.: 
VWL116
[1904?]

10 Barton St
Westminster

My Dear R.G.

You must get well by hook or by crook.1  Now I consider that between friends and especially between musicians there is a kind of freemasonry which binds us all together like a happy family and makes it the duty of each one of the ‘bund’ not to stand aloof from the rest when he may give them the opportunity of showing him the value of your their friendship.  Remember that it’s not only for yourself that you’ve got to get well and not even only for your family but it’s for all your friends; you owe it them as a proof of any affection you have for them to neglect no opportunity of making yourself putting them out of anxiety.  You owe it them not to disappoint the expectations we have all formed of your doing something big some day.
Therefore please do not despise the little we can do but just receive it and so prove the strength of our friendship.  You know that we’d all make you well ourselves if we could - but we can’t so we must do it by proxy.
For Heaven’s sake do go away from the cheap, incompetent, dishonest quack who has been doing his best to keep you in his clutches; and go to the best doctor in Berlin and stick to him - please use what the postman will bring for that purpose.
Yours always

R.V.W.

P.S.  I’ve just had your letter and the poem.  Thank you so much for both - but do come home for your holiday.  I’m sure it will set you right.


 1.  The nature of René Gatty's illness is not clear.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS135

Location of copy:

Shelfmark of copy: 
MS Mus. 1714/1/2, ff.18-19
General notes: 

The year assumed as the VWs moved to Cheyne Walk in 1905.

Format: 
Letter
Citation: 
Cobbe 33
Original database number: 
04xxxb