Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Gustav Holst

Letter No.: 
[June 1916]

[Sutton Veney]

Dear V.

We are on the eve - all packed & ready - I can't say more - write to me occasionally, my wife will give you the address.1
Your letter about Thaxted was splendid2 - I sometimes feel that the future of musical England rests with you - because every Paulina3 who goes out, & for the matter of that every Morleyite will infect 10 others & they in their turn will infect 10 others - I will leave you to make the necessary calculation.
Good luck to you - I feel that perhaps after the war England will be a better place for music than before - largely because we shan't be able to buy expensive performers etc. like we did.  I wish I cd have been there - perhaps next Whits: - who knows? 
I read your letter over & over again, it was so inspiriting - we don't take music as part of our every day life half enough - I often wish we could all migrate to some small town where there could really be a musical community - London is impossible from that point of view.
Goodbye & good luck


1. VW's army unit embarked for service in France on 22 June; see R.V.W. : a biography, p.120.
2. See Short, Gustav Holst: The Man and his Music, p.138. From this year it became usual for a group of Holst's pupils at Morley College and St Paul's to come to Thaxted, where the Holsts had a cottage, for a Whitsuntide festival. This year Whitsunday weekend was 10-12 June.
3. i.e. ex-pupil of St Paul's School for Girls where Holst was Director of Music.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 158, ff.58-59
Cobbe 96; Heirs and Rebels, Letter XVIII; The Musician's World: letters of the great composers, edited by Hans Gal, p.425.
Original database number: