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February 3rd 1916 - Letter from Arthur Sladden to his sister, Juliet Sladden

3rd February 1916
Correspondence From
Arthur Sladden
Correspondence To
Juliet Sladden, The Grove School, Highgate
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter


My dear Betty

We all get rather like that at times, and certainly work, in the school sense of the word, doesn’t then entirely meet the case, manual labour is more useful, diggin’ for instance! Or a vigorous game and no time to focus one’s thoughts inwards. I often think the medieval habit of meditation and self-examination, “tds” as we say on prescriptions, must have been very bad for most people – you can’t get away from yourself but you can at least with luck think of something or somebody else, or even, with great luck, of nothing at all. That is the most useful thing of all, but outside sleep it isn’t often managed, and when it is you come back to earth with a jerk, or else someone offers you the customary penny for your thoughts, and so you get something for nothing for once in a way.

If you’ve got till June for the matric, don’t force the pace too much now, a bit of a spurt after a real if short holiday at Easter, and then quietly over the last few weeks; a clear head unfagged, with a few less facts packed into it, is worth much more in an exam, than a cranium simply bulging with information so that when the lid is raised, as it were, everything tumbles all over the floor and you can’t get at the right thing.

You’ll manage the matric all right and being the daughter of your parents you’re not likely to fail through slacking, it isn’t done at Seward House, we’re all desperate folk for sticking at it.

You’re “Mondayish” just now, but the later Days of the week are coming along all right and a few spring days make you feel less bored if that’s your state at times.

I have a terrible lot of work just now, and live in the lab with my tame germs all sitting around. I just live for my next leave, whenever, if ever that comes. This war changes many of one’s modes of thinking – there is less complete certainty about plans and futures, and less worry about money and ways and means. Each one of us is worth less to himself and more to the country – or should be.

Of course, English-like, no one talks like this, but that’s how men’s thoughts tend to run these days.

Well, I have a very important letter to write now; you may guess who it is for. Perhaps I’ll see you if I am on leave and in London for any time.

With love.

Your affectionate brother

Letter Images
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 4 sheets of notepaper
Location of Document
Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service
Record Office Reference