1) Order in a lot of fruit that goes bad 2) Order in flowers you have no time to arrange 3) Buy handsome presents and have them put down 4) Give a big Dance when you can only afford a Games Evening 5) Economise on heating, and give everyone ‘flu ( see Doctors’, Nurses’ bills) 6) Economise on lighting ( and let people trip over stairs and break their ankles etc) 7) Give rubbishy presents and make lifelong enemies. 8) Overdo yourself and have to go into a Nursing Home.
Extract from The Perfect Christmas (1933) by Rose Henniker Heaton.
Begging letters from debtors don’t usually survive, although there are at least three reasons why they might. Perhaps the writer was a well known person who at the time was down on his luck and counted on a friend or person of means to help him out. Alternatively, the writer could later have become famous or even notorious and the letter would be regarded as a souvenir or talking point. Of course, the writer could have been neither famous nor notorious, and the retention of a begging letter was a means of recording a favour that one man owed to another.
This particular letter is from someone who signs himself M. Eurius Beaubrier, and is addressed to a Henry Clarke. Although preliminary research has revealed nothing of the writer, who may have been French, the handwriting is that of an educated man and the tone is rather pathetic. The letter suggests that both he and Clarke, who is also hard to identify, had dealings before.