[ Arthur Davenport, librettist. ] Typed Letter Signed to composer Herman Finck regarding his appeal to the Musicias' Benevolent Fund, his career, and two books sent to E. V. Lucas of Methuen & Co.

Arthur Davenport, librettist with H. G. Pellissier (1874-1913) and Charles Wibrow, playwright on BBC 'Children's Hour' [ Herman Finck [ Hermann Van Der Vinck ] (1872-1939), composer; E. V. Lucas ]
Publication details: 
11 Primrose Hill Road, N.W.3. [ London ] 9 April 1931.
SKU: 19627

1p., 4to. On aged and worn paper. Thirty-eight lines of text. Written with the forced Wodehousian bonhommie of a desperate man. He has had an operation at a nursing home, so the beginning of the letter needs to be taken metaphorically: 'My dear Finck, | This is a nice kettle of Fish and no mistake! | Came out of jail day before yesterday, but only on ticket-of-leave. Strict police supervision for two years - finger-prints - strawberry-marks - nothing kept secret! | However, they say they can make a job of it and my tail, such as it is, remains vertical. The only thing is, that it's thrown me back a bit as regards work and the outlook is somewhat obscured. This makes one apt to clutch at straws, hence the telephone call this morning. But don't think I am referring to you as a man of straw, for such is far from my intention.' Following the intervention of 'Some good Samaritan (heaven knows who!)' Frank Thistleton of the Musicians' Benevolent Fund has informed him that he comes 'within the scope' of the Fund. 'I wrote in reply from the nursing home saying, in my simple way, that I could hardly understand how this could be, my musical output being limited to a couple of score of trivial songs that must have given your friend Miss Euterpe the fantods, but they seem to possess some secret information anent my musical abilities that has not yet come to my ears.' He quotes four lines of a song, before asking Finck to write him a reference 'It goes rather against the grain to have to ask for assistance at this time of day, having got through so far without ever having borrowed a penny from any member of the profession since I first went on the stage at the age of nineteen or ever having applied to any fund; but needs must when the devil's on the box-seat, and I shall only ask them for a loan.' He has 'completed two little books that have been broadcast and your friend E. V. Lucas has them at the present moment (only he's had a bad attack of lumbago - which came on before he'd read them) and of these I have some hopes. I got them finished just before my operation, thank goodness, and have a belief that they will help matters through'.