Ethel Bridge, at Pittsfield, USA, to Marjorie Fass, 26-8 September 1923
Sunrise Cottage, Pittsfield, which provided accommodation for Mrs. Coolidge's guests at her festivals
The performance of the 6tet [at the Festival] wasn't as good as it ought to have been and so far, I call the programme not 1st rate ... [Frank's] reception was most cordial, but the crowd only follows where its told to, because if they liked it yesterday what would they say if they heard the E.S.Q. [English String Quartet] do it! There's no quartet here as good as the old E.S.Q. who at any rate give one the music and yet Franco says, 'Not another day will I play viola if I can help', but I see nothing ahead of us but his doing so and teaching and conducting amateur orchestras. I feel I almost want him to miss doing the ACO [Audrey Chapman Orchestra] concerts on 15 and 16th of Dec. as it seems a shame to only have that to go back to doesn't it! I can see us shutting up or letting No. 4 [Bedford Gardens] and living at Fripon [Friston] so that he need do nothing but try to write.
Frank Bridge, on board the Olympic bound from New York to Southampton, to Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, 7 December 1923
All this meandering is like running in a circle preparatory to making a jump for the centre. Such words as kindness and generosity are hopelessly meagre when I consider how much your gift of material freedom means to me. We are all such queer creatures. On one day we are afraid of being scorched and on another we put our hands on to red hot coals. There seems to be no apparent reason for a good many of our decisions, but at this moment I see only your decision to help me out of the rut of my grey-haired professional existence, and because you wanted to do this for me. If I say only 'thank you', you will know how much this really means. Perhaps sometime in the future you may find yourself surprised at having done this, but I hope never regretfully. The stupendous surprise of my life is that my views should change so fundamentally in the space of three months and that I should accept the very gift from you that I had so firmly refused. How you must laugh at me! I didn't think you were going to win this battle, although you always said you would.