Letter to David Donaldson from Peter E Dart



Letter to David Donaldson from Peter E Dart


Letter to David Donaldson from a former school friend who wrote from Germany relating some of his experiences. Additional information about this item was kindly provided by the donor.




Temporal Coverage




Four page handwritten letter


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Private, and least conscientious.
Freiburf i.B.,
Bussstrasse 5,
May 3, 1933.
Whereas we heretofore for four years and more – Gaw, it is a bore writing like that. Anyhow Cheerirup. Are you in France yet? and if so, what is the title and registered number of the wine you are going to tread? Because I must before I drink any, become a registered reader of the Dyly [sic] Myle [sic]. So. I have been in Germany about ten days, but I spent the first week in a hotel with my father as a holiday, and only started here on Sunday. It is a colossal strain with German all the time, though sometimes one relapses with the other two English fellows here into King's English. As a matter of fact I don't sleep in the house, but opposite. The landlady knows no English; she is a priceless specimen, and her back view is something like this: [pen caricature of a fat lady with 4ft measured across the hem of her skirt] if you follow. There is a really remarkable geyser for the bath; and a couple of days ago the gas went out while I was running the bath. I didn't worry about it,
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but that evening I met the good Frau who was in an awful state and wanted to know what I had done with the gas that morning. It so appeared that both she and her sister had heard two explosions, thought it was the gas and had turned it off at the main. I couldn't suggest anything, especially as I didn't know the German for”whoopee-cushion” or anything [underlined] like [/underlined] that. So now I am not trusted and have to use two geysers to get a bath [inserted] – one human [/inserted]. The sister, by the way, has a back view something like this: [pen caricature of a fat lady similar to the first, but with 3' 11 1/2” across the hem of her skirt]. The pair reminds me of the man who went to a dance, and [deleted] he [\deleted] couldn't think of anything to say to one of his partners. At last she said something, and he answered “It's easy to see you are Scottish”. She said “Yes, I am. But how did you know?”He said “You rrol yourr 'r's so prettily.” She said: ”But it's the high heels on my shoes that make me do that!” If you can't see it, say it aloud when you're alone! Also, have you seen the marvellous picture of a King, a Queen and all the Gents-&-Ladies-in-Waiting in the Royal Box at a theatre; with the Queen, Gents and Ladies
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etc. all looking horribly shocked and the King absolutely shitting with laughter. grand.
Monday was the day of “National Work” all over Germany, so all the shops, banks, p. offices [*] etc were shut, and there was a grand procession of all the male population of each town through the streets. I watched some of it, and was very puzzled to know how it is possible to wear a hat with a chin-strap when your beard is more than four-and-a-half inches long? Everyone possible was in uniform, and the sight of the gaffers was priceless – just like Ryde. And those who were not in uniform [word deleted] carried their umbrellas at the slope (as it wasn't actually raining) and took of [sic] their hats to friends in the crowd; and all, of course, deadly serious.
The Freiburg females are a disgraceful lot. I have looked twice [deleted] and [/deleted] [inserted] at [/inserted] three faces in ten days, and looked away again from two of them.
I have bought a German bicycle;
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N.B. In line 5 [*], for p. offices, read post-offices. (But not lamp-post).
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the saddle was made for someone with a super-pseudo-pneumatic 'r's. It is quite impossible for me – or does mine appear large?
Well excuse the apparent vulgarity of parts of this letter – I picked up the habit from a fellow at school whose head was big enough for him to have known better.
Jack [word deleted] [inserted] 1st Pedant of Hodgsonites



P E Dart, “Letter to David Donaldson from Peter E Dart,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed February 25, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/11970.

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