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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

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Thursday, 31 January 2013

A weak spirit

Sunday, January 31st, Menton.

Having nothing to do yesterday afternoon, and Eden being at work, and two others being out, and the day being wet, I could not resist going over to Monte Carlo in the tram.

I lost money at the tables and came home depressed. In the evening I played billiards, practically for the first time, Eden teaching me.
Today, bad weather again. I wrote an excellent T.P. article on Monte Carlo.
But at present my interest in this journal is not what it was. Monte Carlo and other things have disturbed it.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013


Wednesday, January 30th., London.

Tonight sheets of rain, strong wind. I put on overshoes and mackintosh to go to the corner of the street to the post. Several times lately, about 10 p.m., I have noticed a couple that stand under the big tree at the corner next to the pillar box, shielded by the tree-trunk from the lamplight. They stand motionless, with hands nearly meeting around each other's backs, tightly clasped. They were there tonight. The man was holding an umbrella over them. Can't see what sort of people they are. In the first place I don't like to intrude and in the second place the shade is so dark. One day I will include this scene in a novel.

Me by David Low, National Portrait Gallery

Like most professional humourists, I rarely laugh, even at what I think is funny. There are two sorts of humour, the sort that makes you laugh audibly, and the sort that makes you laugh subterraneanly and noiselessly somewhere down in your solar plexus. Some people hold that the second is better than the first. I am not of this opinion. I would give the two sorts equal marks. And the first or loud sort holds a clear advantage over the second in that it has a positive ameliorating influence on the bodily health. I can testify to this from my dyspeptic days when a supreme raconteur (Frederick Norton) had me laughing out loud all through a supper of lobster, steak and kidney pudding and beer. No ill effects the next day. So, I maintain that a man who can by speech or writing make you laugh in this fashion is a doctor in addition to being a humourist. he is a benefactor of mankind.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Strolling in Paris

Monday, January 29th., Paris.

After having written my T.P's W. article today I went out for a stroll through Paris, meaning to reach a bookshop on the Quai de Grands Augustins.

I went down the Rue Notre Dame de Lorette, which I think is the street that pleases me most in Paris - and I bought Arsene Houssaye's "Souvenirs de Jeunesse" which I have been reading tonight.

In the Passage Jouffray where I frequently find a book, I found nothing, and when I got to the Grands Augustins the etalage of the shop was already taken inside, it being 6.30.

I do enjoy these slow walks through Paris on fine winter afternoons: crowded pavements, little curiosity shops, and the continual interest of women. I walked back to the Chatelet station of the Metro. and went to the Concorde and thence walked to the Place de l'Opera, stopping at the Trois Quartier shop, where there are some very nice things.

Then I went to the Standard office, and Raphael came out and dined with me. I got home at 10. I have had several days of regular unhurried work lately, interspersed with such strolls. I have come to the conclusion that this is as near a regular happiness as I am ever likely to get.

Yesterday I finished the first instalment of "The Sinews of War", as the T.P's Weekly serial is to be called, and thought it very good.

Launched on 14 November 1902, T.P.'s Weekly was the latest publishing venture of Radical M.P. 
T. P. O'Connor, founder of London's halfpenny The Star and the penny weekly M.A.P. (Mainly About People) (1898) and Weekly Sun (1891). Priced one penny, T.P.'s Weekly promised "to bring to many thousands a love of letters", securing to this end contributions from a distinguished array of writers: George Bernard Shaw, Arnold Bennett, H. G. Wells, and G. K. Chesterton. In practice, O'Connor delegated most of the running of the magazine to Wilfred Whitten (whose byline "John O'London" supplied the title of another contemporary literary magazine, John O'London's Weekly). Whitten was succeeded in 1914 by Holbrook Jackson, under whose editorship the journal changed name in 1916 to To-Day. Shortly after the journal folded in January 1917, it was succeeded by another, unrelated magazine bearing the same name, which continued until 1924.

Monday, 28 January 2013

On the power of women

Saturday, January 28th., Fulham Park Gardens, London.

The hypnotised audience, crowded tier above tier of the dark theatre, held itself strained and intent in its anxiety not to miss one gyration, one least movement, of the great dancer Adeline Genee - that dancer who had enslaved not only New York and St. Petersburg but Paris itself. Swaying incorporeal, as it were within a fluent dazzling envelope of endless drapery, she revealed to them new and more disturbing visions of beauty in the union of colour and motion. She hid herself in a labyrinth of curves which was also a tremor of strange tints, a tantalising veil, a mist of iridescent light. Gradually her form emerged from the riddle, triumphant, provocative, and for an instant she rested like an incredible living jewel in the deep gloom of the stage. Then she was blotted out, and the defeated eye sought in vain to penetrate the blackness where but now she had been ...

Dame Adeline Genée DBE (1878 – 1970) was a Danish/British ballet dancer.  Born Kirstina Margarete Petra Jensen in Århus, Denmark, her uncle, Alexandre Genée, gave her dancing lessons from the age of three. When she was eight, Alexandre and his wife adopted her. As well as changing her last name to Genée, she changed her first name to Adeline in honour of the Italian opera star Adelina Patti. Genée's debut was with her uncle's touring company at the age of ten in Oslo (at that time called Christiania). In 1895, she became the principal dancer at the Royal Opera House in Copenhagen. Subsequently, in 1896, she danced with the Berlin Court Opera Ballet and the Munich Opera Ballet. In 1897, she accepted a booking for six weeks in England. She gained such success that she stayed for ten years. While dancing with the Ballet of the Empire Theatre in London, she was so admired for her classical style that she was offered the position of Prima Ballerina at the same theatre. She performed in The Press, Les Papillons and the British premiere (1906) of Coppélia. The Edwardian period probably represents the lowest point in the history of English ballet. It consisted of short dances in variety programs. Genée did much to raise the status of ballet by reviving earlier productions and creating an audience for more elaborate works. She was versatile enough to dance light musical hall roles and in more severe classical roles. Slender and elegant, she was often described as like "Dresden china". In one respect she was very backward-looking, preferring a style of costume that belonged to the 1830s.

It was a marvellous and enchanting performance. Even the glare of the electric clusters and the gross plush of the descending curtain could not rob us all at once of the sense of far-off immaterial things which it had evoked in our hearts. We applauded with fury, with frenzy; we besieged the floor with sticks and heels, and clapped till our arms ached .... At length she came before the footlights, and bowed and smiled and kissed her hands. We could see she was a woman of thirty or more, rather short, not beautiful. But what dominion in the face, what assurance of supreme power! It was the face of one surfeited with adoration, cloyed with praise.

While she was humouring us with her fatigued imperial smiles, I happened to look at a glazed door separating the auditorium from the corridor. There, pressed against the glass, was another face, the face of a barmaid, who, drawn from her counter by the rumour of this wonderful novelty, had crept down to get a glimpse of the star's triumph.

Of course I was struck by the obvious contrast between these two creatures. In a moment the barmaid had departed, but the wistfulness of her gaze remained with me as I listened to the legends of the dancer - her whims, her diamonds, her extravagances, her tyrannies, her wealth. I could not banish that pale face; I could not withhold from it my sentimental pity.

The Empire Theatre opened on 17 April 1884 as a West End variety theatre on Leicester Square, as well as a ballet venue. Its capacity was about 2,000 seats. In 1887, the theatre reopened as a popular music hall named the Empire Theatre of Varieties. From 1887 to 1915, the designer C. Wilhelm created both scenery and costumes for (and sometimes produced) numerous ballets at the theatre, which established a fashion for stage design and were much imitated. George Edwardes managed the theatre around the start of the 20th century. The dancer Adeline Genée and the theatre's ballet company, working under composer-director Leopold Wenzel, did much to revive the moribund art of ballet in Britain, which had declined in the 19th century. In March 1896, the Empire Theatre played host to the first commercial theatrical performances of a projected film to a UK audience by Auguste and Louis Lumière. The film programme ran for 18 months. Over the next few years the theatre began to offer a programme of live performances with short film shows.

Later, I went up into the immense gold refectory. Entrenched behind a magnificent counter of carved cedar flanked on either side by mirrors and the neat apparatus of bottles and bon bons, the barmaid stood negligently at her ease, her cheek resting in the palm of one small hand as she leaned on the counter. I noticed that she had the feeble prettiness, the voluptuous figure, the tight black bodice inexorably demanded of barmaids. In front of her were three rakish youths whom I guessed to be on the fringe of journalism and the stage. They talked low to her as they sipped their liqueurs, frankly admiring, frankly enjoying this brief intimacy. As for her, confident of her charms, she was distantly gracious; she offered a smile with a full sense of its value; she permitted; she endured. These youths were to understand that such adulation was to her an everyday affair.

In the accustomed exercise of assured power her face had lost its wistfulness, it was the satiated face of the dancer over again, and so I ventured quietly to withdraw my sentimental pity.

Nicholson, "Barmaid - any bar"
THE girls who serve behind the bars of restaurants and buffets, also behind the bars of theatres, hotels, and railway stations, consider themselves a step above ordinary barmaids namely, the girls who serve in public-houses. They are all young ladies of course, but the former are designated "the young ladies at the bar," while the latter are "young ladies in the public line of business." They work in shifts, coming on early in the morning, and working with stated intervals until midnight. One Sunday in the month is considered ample time for recreation. Yet the girls prefer this life to domestic service. They think it more "genteel" to be a barmaid than a servant. They are seldom allowed to sit down, and they say if they might only have sliding seats to draw back from the bar-rather high, so that they could rest without appearing to sit-they would be less often on the doctor's books. But their employers, with a few exceptions, will not hear of this. It is impossible for any manageress, be she (as the girls say) "ever so much of a cat," to watch all that goes on at the bar. So the girls cheat the customers if they dare not cheat their employers ; and many an innocent customer swallows "waste" while the barmaid drinks his order for spirits. "Waste" is whatever is left in the glasses. This is, by order of the employers, put into the glass measures behind the bar. Each measure has a colour white for brandy, blue for gin, green for whisky, and red for rum. The " waste" is kept in the measures and served to the customers, for, as the girls say, "We wouldn't touch that muck." So the customers swallow "waste" and the girls drink their orders for spirits. Barmaids have other ways of getting more than their legitimate ten-pennyworth; but they dare not water the spirits, for if they did, it would certainly be found out. Barmaids are obliged to put up with a great deal, for if they call in a policeman they are generally bound to charge some one, and this brings disgrace on the business. So they wink at many things, and try to keep their customers in good humour, merely making a few slight objections when a man jumps across the bar to give them a kiss, or wishes to act as an amateur hairdresser. Among barmaids there are of course many fast girls, as there are everywhere else; but all who know them well are aware that a large number of them are quiet, modest women, who work hard, who neither flirt nor drink. But they must make themselves agreeable, or they are dismissed, and sometimes at a moment's notice. Many managers will only have girls who flirt. Again and again we have heard of girls turned away because they arc too steady; and of others who are dismissed because managers think it well to exhibit new faces. "Men get tired of always seeing the same women at the bar," and managers wish to please their customers. It is not the same everywhere, but in the greater number of places fast girls are preferred, and no questions are asked about what they do when away from the bar - where they get their smart clothes and jewellery. Drinking is the fatal sin of barmaids. They are surrounded by temptations; their hours are long, and their food is bad. It is difficult for them to resist spirits. "We are most of us half-seas over when we go to bed," said a barmaid who lives in a well-known restaurant. Employers do not seem to have any conscience about barmaids. The public ignore them altogether, if we except the hangers-on, who pester them with inane compliments, and the fast men, who decoy them to their ruin.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

A practical philosopher

Friday, January 27th., Fulham Park Gardens, London.

A few nights ago - we had been to the Empire, Sharpe, Mother, Sep and I - there was a gale. In the usual midnight altercation at Piccadilly Circus for the inside seats of omnibuses we had suffered defeat; we sat on the inclement top of the vehicle, a disconsolate row of four, cowering behind the waterproof aprons (which were not waterproof), and exchanging fragments of pessimistic philosophy.

Piccadilly Circus

We knew we were taking cold; at first we were annoyed, but with increasing numbness came resignation. We grew calm enough to take an interest in the imperturbable driver, who nonchalantly and with perfect technique steered his dogged horses through the tortuous mazes of traffic, never speaking, never stirring, only answering like an automaton to the conductor's bell.

Fifty-thousand horses were required to keep Victorian London's public transport running. According to one writer of the time, these horses ate their way through a quarter of a million acres of foodstuff per year, and deposited 1000 tonnes of dung on the roads every day. The disposal of large quantities of horse droppings was a major problem. Dung could make the roads hazardous and unpleasant when wet. Crossing sweepers made meagre earnings clearing a path for pedestrians to cross and dung carts collected and deposited droppings on vast dung heaps in the poorer parts of town each day. To keep a single bus or tram on the road for 12 hours each day a team of 12 horses was required, each one harnessed for 3 to 4 hours and travelling about 15 miles. The horses needed to be fed, watered, stabled and groomed, and tended by blacksmiths and vets. Caring for the horses represented up to 55% of operating costs and was even greater if feed prices rose (such as following a poor harvest). The LGOC spent about £20,000 each year on horseshoes alone.

Some drivers will gossip, but this one had apparently his own preoccupations. We could see only his hat, some grey hairs, his rotund cape, and his enormous gloved hands, and perhaps we began to wonder what sort of man he was. For mile after mile he drove forward in a Trappist silence till we were verging upon Putney, and the rain-washed thoroughfares reflected only the gas lights and the forbidding facades of the houses. Then at last, he suddenly joined the conversation.
"I've been out in worse," he said. "Yes, we gets used to it. But we gets so that we has to live out of doors. If I got a indoor job I should die. I have to go out for a walk afore I can eat my breakfast."
A pause, and then:
"I've driven these roads for eight-and-twenty year, and the only pal I've found is Cod Liver Oil. From September to March I takes it, and I never has rheumatism and I never has colds nor nothing o' that sort. I give it to my children ever since they was born, and now I'm blest if they don't cry for it."
He finished; he had imparted his wisdom, delivered his message, and with the fine instinct denied to so many literary artists, he knew when to be silent. We asked him to stop, and he did so without a word. "Good night," we said; but he had done with speech for that evening, and gave us no reply. We alighted. The bus rolled away into the mirror-like vista of the street.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Last of the big gamblers

Tuesday, January 26th., Menton.

The first visit to Monte Carlo must be a sort of an event in the life of anyone with imagination. I went there yesterday afternoon from Menton by tram. The ride is very diversified, and here and there fine views are obtained.

Monte Carlo (literally "Mount Charles") is situated on a prominent escarpment at the base of the Maritime Alps along the French Riviera. The eastern part of the quarter includes the community of Larvotto with Monaco's only public beach. At its eastern border one crosses into the French town of Beausoleil (sometimes referred to as Monte-Carlo-Supérieur), and just 5 miles (8 km) further east is the western border of Italy. Monaco, the smallest state in Europe, having an area of eight square miles, is an Italian principality in southeast France in the department of Alpes Maritimes, on the shore of the Mediterranean. The state has a population of about 15,000 represented almost wholly by the three towns of Condamine (6218) Monaco (3292) and Monte Carlo (3794). The government is very old, dating from 968 A.D. Monte Carlo is notorious as the greatest gambling resort in the world. The revenues of the state and of the ruling prince are derived from the farming out of the gambling to a joint stock company which is given a monopoly of the business until 1947. For this privilege the company paid the prince in 1899, $2,000,000 and will pay in 1913 $3,000,000 more. In addition to this an annual payment is made of $350,000 which will increase to $500,000 in 1937.

The Casino, 1900

On the whole I was disappointed by the exterior aspects of the town. It lacks spaciousness, and since it is in the absolute control of one autocratic authority, spaciousness is what it ought not to have lacked. Some of the villas, however, with their white paint and general air of being toys, are excessivement chic. The casino is all right in its florid, heavy way - but what a chance for an architect, on that site over the sea! The whole town had an air of being Parisian, but not quite Parisian enough.

Inside the gaming saloons (4 o'clock) I found a large crowd and many tables in full work. The crowd not so distinguished in appearance as I had (foolishly) expected. I saw few signs at the tables of  suppressed or expressed excitement, though quite a large proportion of the people seemed to be gambling seriously. I had no intention of betting, but after I had watched several tables and grasped the details of roulette (30 and 40 I didn't attempt to grasp) I remained at one table, as if hypnotised; without knowing it I began to finger a 5-franc piece in my pocket, and then I became aware that I was going to bet. I knew I should bet some seconds before I formally decided to. I staked a 5-franc piece on an even chance and won. Like a provincial up from the country, who has heard tales of metropolitan rascality, I stood close to a croupier and kept a careful eye on my coin, and picked up the winnings without an instant's delay. I kept on playing, carefully, and always on even chances, for some time, and stopped when I had made a little money and went and had some tea. I didn't play again.

From a contemporary postcard - The Casino, the beautiful palace where the gaming tables are, has a commanding position on a headland overlooking the sea, and surrounded by a superb park, with palms and exotic trees and fountains. The Casino has a theatre and reading room, and many beautiful halls with chairs and tables for the players. The game is running every day from noon till midnight. The players are men, women and children, whose losings furnish the dividends to the company. The inevitable losses of fortune drive many to despair, and tragedy broods over the place, the suicides averaging over one a week.

The idea of gambling quite absorbed all my thoughts; obsessed me; and I had schemes - such that it would be experientially worthwhile to go there with say 5000 francs, and deliberately become a regular system-using gambler for a time. There is no doubt that the human spectacle of the gaming saloons is tremendous; unequalled; the interest of it could not easily fail for an observer. To a stranger, of course, one of the most curious things is the sight of large sums of money in notes and gold being flung about the tables. I am told that the Casino employs 1,800 people altogether. The croupiers work 6 hours a day each, so I estimate there must be about 200 croupiers altogether.

I just missed a tram in coming home and had half an hour to wait; all that time I thought of gaming, gaming. I look forward to going again on Friday.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Winter holiday

Tuesday, January 25th., Hotel Savoy, Cortina.

Magnificent morning yesterday. Pinkish, salmonish Dolomite peaks, grey rocks, white snow, blue sky, strong sunshine. The air is undoubtedly very tonic at this height, 4,200 ft.

Huxleys, 1927 by Lady Otteline Morrell
The Aldous Huxleys called on us. We talked with them for some time and then they took us to their house for tea, where several other people arrived.
Today the first full, empty day of the holiday. We met Aldous and Maria Huxley, who had been ski-ing. I stood about till I could risk the cold no longer, and then went for a walk, breaking often into a run. By this time (4p.pm.) all the tracks around here were in shadow. The Aldous Huxleys came for dinner and stayed till 11.55.

Thursday, 24 January 2013


Sunday, January 24th., Vevey, Switzerland.

Thursday - goose. Friday evening bilious attack. But it did not stop me from working. Yesterday I finished the first third of "Denry the Audacious". And ideas still coming freely! Today it occurred to me to utilise my Jacob Tonson column in the New Age for the material of a book on the subject of the modern novel, its future, its moral etc. etc. After arranging all my ideas for the next chapter this morning, I arranged ideas for first chapter of this book on the novel this afternoon.

Published in London every Thursday morning, the modernist magazine The New Age was a boundless source of ideas during its heyday from 1907 to 1922. The New Age was “the Bible for our generation,” recalled British author Storm Jameson. “We would rather go hungry than not buy it. We quoted it, argued with it, and formed ourselves on it.” The New Age informed its readers about the new field of psychoanalysis, debated different versions of socialism, published translations of Chekhov's plays, popularized the novels of Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy, and explored post-impressionism and abstract art. Its pages included some of Katherine Mansfield's first stories, regular contributions by the cartoonist Tom Titt, more than a hundred reviews of music and art by Ezra Pound, and a defence of homosexuality by Havelock Ellis. Instead of following one editorial line, The New Age was known for its medley of perspectives. Each issue featured essays, reviews, and articles on politics, economics, literature, the arts—and just about any other subject that caught the interest of its editor, Alfred Richard Orage. The New Age “contributors have always been searched for zealously and indefatigably,” reported columnist Arnold Bennett, who wrote under the pen name Jacob Tonson. “They have been compelled to come in—sometimes with a lasso, sometimes with a revolver, sometimes with a lure of flattery; but they have been captured.” At one time or another, Orage's editorial lasso pulled in George Bernard Shaw, G. K. Chesterton, Hilaire Belloc, H. G. Wells, Upton Sinclair, John Galsworthy, E. Nesbit, and Siegfried Sassoon.

Arranged with Tauchnitz to abridge the "Old Wives Tale" so that he can get it into two volumes. A damned nuisance, yet I secretly consider myself fortunate to get it in. I had begun to think the thing was off.

Letter from Waugh today to say that the book still selling, and their town traveller anxious that no new book should appear till this has run its course. All very healthy. A fourth edition is now quite possible. I had not in the least hoped for this success. It alters the value of all my future books. yet I was depressed all afternoon because I could not make a sketch. Another proof that public success is no guarantee whatever of happiness or even content. I think it makes no difference.

In becoming acquainted with people you uncover layer after layer. Using the word in my sense, one person may be the most distinguished of a crowd on the first layer, another on the second, and so on. Until after uncovering several layers, you may ultimately come to a person who, down below, is the most distinguished of all - on that layer. The final result may be quite unexpected. I suppose that the inmost layer is the most important, but each has its importance.
I think that I am a very layered person, and am likely to become more so as I get older. I don't think anyone has penetrated far below my surface and, if I am honest, I have no wish that they should.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Other forms of vanity

Tuesday, January 23rd., Hotel Californie, Cannes.

Le Californie was completed in 1876 by the same architect as built the famous Carlton Hotel at the centre of the Croisette, one of the most famous hotel facades in the world today. During the war it was taken over by the Germans and used as their base and residence for senior officers, and then between the years 1949 - 51 it was sold off as apartments to individuals. The façade and gardens are today “classees” or “listed” - protected by law.

The other day a vendeuse and an essayeuse came up from the Maison de Blanc, with a robe d'interieur for Marguerite and another for Mrs. Selwyn. A porter of the Maison Blanc carried the box. The general tableau; - the two employees, young and agreeable, but certainly not vierges, with soft liquid persuasive voices, speaking chiefly English; the frothy garments lying all about on chairs and in the box, Selwyn, Alcock and me lounging on chairs, and M. and Mrs. S. playing the mannequin, and the porter waiting outside in the dark corridor - this tableau produced a great effect on me. Expensive garments rather, - and I felt that for my own personal tastes, I would as soon earn money in order to have such a tableau at my disposition, as for a lot of other seemingly more important and amusing purposes. A fine sensuality about it. There was something in the spectacle of the two employees waiting passive and silent for a few moments from time to time while we talked.

I made a good beginning on Friday on the construction of the sequel to "The Card" and continued each day.

Weather still very bad indeed. Heavy rain stopped a projected drive this afternoon. We did, however, yesterday make our auto-canot excursion to Les Iles Lerins without getting wet.

The Lérins Islands (in French: les Îles de Lérins) are a group of four Mediterranean islands off the French Riviera, near Cannes. The two largest islands in this group are the Île Sainte-Marguerite and the Île Saint-Honorat. The smaller Îlot Saint-Ferréol and Îlot de la Tradelière are uninhabited. Administratively, the islands belong to the commune of Cannes. The islands are first known to have been inhabited during Roman times.

Sea-ward tower on Ile St. Honorat quite striking. On grass by this was an old shepherd tending brown sheep. one of these sheep had 3 tufts of old wool left on the back, making her look like a kind of miniature triple dromedary. Marguerite asked the shepherd what it a was for. He replied: "Oh, madame, c'est seulement un peu de vanite." He was quite simple, and answered simply, but he was evidently a bit of a character.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Feeling reflective

Sunday, January 22nd., Cadogan Square, London.

I read more of "Faust" and spent a lot of time in loose reflection - vaguely on a play and on my next Evening Standard article. I went for a walk right down over Chelsea Bridge and along Battersea Park Road, and home by Albert Bridge Road, and King's Road home. Then I filled up the time in writing to Phillpotts about Hardy's funeral.

Battersea Bridge - Norman Garstin
Battersea is a different world. I saw on a Sunday Express poster: "Hardy's last novel, by Sir Edmund Gosse." It seemed terribly absurd there. How many people in Battersea Bridge had heard of Hardy, or of Gosse, or could get up any interest whatever in a last novel though it were written by God himself?
It is a gloomy drab street, with most repulsive tenements, a big technical institute, an open gramophone shop (with a machine grinding out a tune and a song) and an open "Fun Fair" sort of place (a shop with the front taken out) and a few small boys therein amusing themselves with penny-in-the-slot machines.
We dined at Mrs. Patrick Campbell's, across the Square.
I don't know if it is my age, the state of my liver, or the weather (there has been snow on the ground for the best part of a week now) which is causing me to feel more gloomy than usual. Walking does me good, and I like the stillness of a snowy landscape, as well as the magical transformation from a place well-known to somewhere rather mysterious. We are all more or less at the mercy of our body chemistry when it comes to mood, and I am consoled by the thought that Spring will come again.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Yachting and yarning

Saturday, January 21st., Yacht Amaryllis, Cannes.

I began the 4th and last part of "Lilian" yesterday and wrote 1,600 words.
Old Cecil Quinton the yacht-racer and original owner of the Cicely (now Lamorna), came to lunch with his wife. He said that the Cicely once did 17 knots with two patent logs - "and they didn't help her much".

Westward and Cicely off Cowes, 1905
Only four of the 14 entries started in the Over 20 tons class at the 1900 Olympics and British yachts occupied the first two places. Selwin Calverley’s 153-tonner Brynhild took the line honors but Cecil Quentin’s 96-ton Cicely won on time adjustment. Designed by William Fife as a fast cruising yacht for Cecil Quentin, "Cicely" was built by Fay & Co. of Southampton in 1902. At 263 tons and 114 ft overall, she set 10,000 sq. ft of sail and was universally admired for her classic sheerline and beautiful appearance. Unable to resist the challenge of competition, her owner raced her against the finest opposition of the day, winning countless encounters against such fine yachts as "Meteor III", "Clara", "Nordwest", "Germania", "Adela" and "Susanne". In fact, in her first year afloat she won every race she entered against the big schooners of Germany and Britain. A long-lived yacht, she was renamed "Lamorna" in 1911. During her lifetime she had her sternpost and part of her deadwood renewed. Her bottom flanking was renewed in teak in 1922, and her decks, also in teak, in 1933. Post World War II, she had a black hull and sailed until 1951 when she was driven ashore near Christchurch Ledge in a gale, under the ownership of a party who were reputedly hunting for Captain Kidd's treasure. As a friend and one-time business partner of Cecil Rhodes, Cecil Quentin was, in his early days, one of the country’s most prominent financiers and as a yachtsman his most notable achievement was to captain Cicely to three successive victories over the German Emperor’s yacht, Meteor III. 

He also told tales of an old illiterate captain whom he took ashore to watch over a flat in Buckingham Street and who in a storm would 'stow' all the crockery etc. affirming that the house was rolling. Also he sat in his room with only a small blue jet of gas-light. Asked why he didn't have it higher, he said because he had noticed that when he blew out the gas at full there was much more smell than when he blew it out from a little point. He had been blowing out the gas nightly for weeks. Old Quinton is 70 odd and was racing in the eighteen-seventies.

On Wednesday night and last night Laura Aitken came down to dance with me. Last night Bonar Law came and joined us for a few minutes, showing all his usual extraordinary charm. He said that for 12 months he had been perfectly happy to be idle, but during the last month idleness had begun to bore him. Half an hour later he made the mistake of introducing me to Lady Z. Quelle femme!

Andrew Bonar Law (1858 – 1923) was a British Conservative Party statesman and Prime Minister. Born in the colony of New Brunswick (now in Canada), he is the only British Prime Minister to have been born outside the British Isles. He was also the shortest-serving Prime Minister of the 20th century, spending 211 days in office. He had a much longer tenure as Conservative Party leader, November 1911 to March 1921 and October 1922 to May 1923, where he used his business background to good advantage in promoting better organisation and efficiency. His lack of aristocratic family connections helped him broaden the base of the party to include more businessmen.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

A family business

Saturday, January 20th., 3 rue d'Aumale, Paris.

After having dined with Raphael on Thursday night, I called at the bureau de tabac opposite the Opera under the Grand Hotel to buy cigars and cigarettes. The patronne, a stoutish powdered agreeable woman of 50 or so was in charge, with a young girl, apparently her daughter. There is also a patron; quite a family affair. "J'aime beaucoup mes clients," said the patronne, and one could see that she did love not only her regular clients but the whole business. I told her that I called in nearly every night to buy a Mexican cigar, and yet she had not recognised me. "That's because I am not here at the time you call," she said, which was true. "But I'll come down earlier to see you. I shall know you in future." There was a charming air of intimateness about the whole place, despite its extremely central position and fluctuating cosmopolitan clientele, and this air I noticed for the first time.
I also noticed for the first time the immense variety of stock which the French Government offers to its customers. It appears that the manufacture of the flat Jupiter matches had recommenced, and I bought some for my flat matchbox. "We have ordered ten thousand," said the patronne.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

From my balcony

Tuesday, January 9th., Menton.

Breakfast on the balcony again yesterday, while the fishing boats went out one by one straight into the dazzle of the sun, with an extraordinary sentimental effect. A highly dandiacal yacht, with fittings all brass and mahogany apparently, had been at anchor since we came; she was moored by two ropes to the jetty, and by two anchors from the stern. I noticed a detail of actualness which might be brought into a scene with great effect. The yacht swung from side to side on the jetty ropes, lifting first the starboard and then the port rope clear of the water, and as each rope came clear of the still water, the drops from it fell into the water in hundreds for a few seconds making a wonderful pretty pattering sound. On first catching this sound I did not perceive how it was caused.

Sailing boats at Menton
I finished reading "Jekyll and Hyde" before breakfast today. It is not bad. I thought less than ever of the writing, which is never more than dignified. As regards the scientific part, after Wells it comes feeble. No future novelist will be able to 'fudge' science now that Wells had shown how it can be done without fudging. Perhaps I am somewhat lacking in objectivity about this because Wells is of course a good friend of mine. All the potion business in Jekyll's final document is childish and unconvincing, and mars what is otherwise the strongest part of the book. The psychology of the last chapter is indeed really good and subtle.

A contemporary poster
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the original title of a novella written by the famous Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson that was first published in 1886. It is about a London lawyer named Gabriel John Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde. The work is commonly associated with the rare mental condition often spuriously called "split personality", referred to in psychiatry as dissociative identity disorder, where within the same body there exists more than one distinct personality. In this case, there are two personalities within Dr Jekyll, one apparently good and the other evil; completely opposite levels of morality. The novella's impact is such that it has become a part of the language, with the very phrase "Jekyll and Hyde" coming to mean a person who is vastly different in moral character from one situation to the next.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Getting things in perspective

Friday, January 18th., Trinity Hall Farm, Hockliffe, Bedfordshire.

Trinity Hall Farmhouse - Author Arnold Bennett lived at Trinity Hall Farm on the Watling Street
at the turn of the century. His only attempt at popular detective fiction (Teresa of Watling Street)
featured the strange intrigues of those who lived there and in the nearby village of Hockliffe.
Last night I read, and re-read, a lot of Dr. John Brown's "Horae Subsecivae", and was much impressed by it.

John Brown FRSE FRCPE (22 September 1810 – 11 May 1882) was a Scottish physician and essayist. He was the son of the clergyman John Brown (1784–1858), and was born in Biggar, Scotland. He was the friend of many contemporaries, including Thackeray; his reputation is based on the two volumes of essays, Horae Subsecivae (Leisure Hours) (1858, 1861), John Leech and Other Papers (1882), Rab and His Friends (1859), and Marjorie Fleming: a Sketch (1863). His first writing was in response to a request for contributions to the notices of paintings exhibited by the Royal Scottish Academy. The editor of the Scotsman newspaper then asked him to write regularly for the paper. He was 48 years old when he published Rab and His Friends. His writings were philosophical, classical, artistic, medical, of rural life, theJacobite Rebellion, notable characters, humble folk and canine friends. These were published as a collection in 1858 as Horæ Subsecivæ, which ran to many editions.

The pictures of Scottish character give one to see why the Scots prevail everywhere; and what a number of great men there are in the world who never achieve wide fame. The "Letter to Dr. Cairns" is one of the best biographical sketches I have ever read; the records in it of fine scholarship in humble places are amazing, and humiliating to one who has been forced into the habit of taking seriously the facile reputations of literary London. Dr. Brown himself was a passably big man, but his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle and great-uncle were at least as big if not bigger. He is the best known of all the family, by reason of these essays and sketches which have been popular for 30 or 40 years, but perhaps he marks the beginning of the decline of a great family; he was a light litterateur, an amuser and diverter.
What a difference between that and his father's immense and erudite work "On Civil Disobedience" - of which I had never heard before!

With the history of the Brown's fresh in my mind this morning, I was able to estimate at its proper unimportance the circular which the Graphic people have issued about my serial "The Grand Babylon Hotel", to appear in the Golden Penny, which they sent me this morning, and which in a whirl of adjectives describes the thing as "the most original, amusing, and thrilling" serial written this decade - the best thing of the sort since "The Mystery of a Hansom Cab". Fancy writing a story as good as "The Mystery of a Hansom Cab"!

The Mystery of a Hansom Cab is a mystery fiction novel by English writer Fergus Hume. The book was first published in Australia in 1886. Set in Melbourne, the story focuses on the investigation of a homicide involving a body discovered in a hansom cab, as well as an exploration into the social class divide in the city. The book was successful in Australia selling 100,000 copies in the first two print runs. It was then published in Britain and the United States and went on to sell over 500,000 copies worldwide.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Rehearsal blues

Friday, January 17th., London.

Another rehearsal of "Cupid and Commonsense" at Terry's Theatre.

Terry's Theatre was a West End theatre on the Strand, in the City of Westminster, London. Built in 1887, it became a cinema in 1910 before being demolished in 1923. Edward O'Connor Terry, as owner-manager, opened the theatre on 17 October 1887, with the farce The Churchwarden, followed by The Woman Hater. Terry had been the leading comedian of the Royal Strand Theatre and then starred in John Hollingshead's company at the Gaiety before entering theatre management.

I saw all the play. It exhausted and depressed me very much. nothing seemed to get over the footlights. The players now played too quickly instead of too slowly. Local accent all wrong, and certainly incurable. But the other people seemed to be quite cheerful and optimistic. All the surroundings - the manufactory of amusement repelled me. Women cleaning and whispering, etc. Cold. Oil lamps to warm. Smallness of theatre. (See also 'Cupid and Commonsense', August 30th., and 'Authorial Anxieties', Sept. 22nd.)
Proceeding regularly with the "Case of Leek". Today I rewrote what I wrote yesterday. Tomorrow I shall have finished a quarter of the whole. I am deliberately losing sight of the serial, and writing it solely as a book.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Death and burial

Monday, January 16th., London.

Last Wednesday, the 11th., the Daily News rang up to say that Hardy was dead, and would I say something. I wouldn't, but I decided to write a Standard article and I finished it the next day. It was published on the 12th. - "The True Greatness of Thomas Hardy".
In it I referred to the last time we met (see 'Wartime Interlude' and 'Writing for Victory'), and reiterated how much I liked Hardy; there was no nonsense about him, no pose.
I pointed out that whilst there is crude and sentimental melodrama in his novels, what interests us with Hardy, as with Shakespeare, is not his defects but his positive qualities.
There were times when he showed a sustained power which has not, in my opinion, been surpassed by anybody anywhere.
I am inclined to think that how great a writer he was, some of us yet but imperfectly comprehend.

Today I had lunch early in order to go to Hardy's funeral at Westminster Abbey. It was all done very smoothly and calmly. Music good. South transept not full. John Galsworthy as a pall-bearer made a magnificent figure.

In the morning I had written a letter to the Daily Express animadverting upon the distribution of tickets for this affair. My concern was that all invitations, other than those sent privately by family, were absolutely in the hands of Hardy's publishers, Macmillan & Co. They had seen fit to issue only two tickets to the Society of Authors, of which, incidentally, Thomas Hardy was President. Thus many authors who would have wished to be present at the funeral, and who had a moral right to be present, could not be present. I also pointed out in my letter that not a single member of the Royal Family was present at the funeral. One of the main functions of the Royal Family (apparently) is to represent and symbolise the feeling of the country. As a rule it fulfils that function. But in this instance a telegram from the King, though a suitable and sympathetic gesture, was not enough. Hardy was a citizen of the very highest importance. Had the funeral been a military funeral of similar importance, half the male members of the Royal Family (in uniform) would have attended as a matter of course.

According to my information Hardy had a pretty good idea that he might have to be buried in the Abbey, even if he did not want to. As to the excision of the heart, I regard that as merely outrageous.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Looking for Elsie

Tuesday, January 15th., London.

Yesterday afternoon I suddenly decided that I couldn't proceed with my story about Elsie until I had been up to Clerkenwell again. So at 4.50 I got a taxi and went up Myddleton Square.

Myddelton Square is the largest square in Clerkenwell. Its amplitude and its plain stylistic cohesiveness provide a stately precinct for a substantial church, forming the principal set piece of the New River estate's developments of the 1820s. Some post-war and other rebuilding has not significantly compromised these qualities, but the impression of uniformity proves on closer examination to be deceptive. Centrally approached from the east, where there are re-entrant corners, the square is more irregular on the west side, with a kink in the building line to the southwest. There is what Ian Nairn called a 'cheerful stumble uphill' on the east and west sides, and considerable variety in the elevational details of the square's 75 houses, erected over twenty-one years by thirteen different builders.

Just before turning to the left into this Square I saw a blaze of light with the sacred name of Lyons at the top in fire, far higher than anything else; also a cinema sign etc., making a glaring centre of pleasure. I said, surely that can't be the Angel, Islington, and I hoped that it might be some centre that I had never heard of or didn't know of. Certainly its sudden appearance over roofs was very dramatic. However, the old chauffeur said of course it was Islington. Rather a disappointment.

Myddleton Sq. with its Norman windows of its
4-storey houses, and church nearly in the middle, with clock damnably striking the quarters, was very romantic. I had to correct several of my memories of the architecture. I walked round the Square gazing, and going up to front doors and examining door-plates and making notes under gas lamps (very damp and chilly) while the taxi followed me slowly in the mud.

Then I drove up to the Angel and saw that it had been truly conquered and annexed by the Lyons ideals. Still, it was doing good up in Islington, much good.

Compare its brightness and space to the old Angel's dark stuffiness. Then I drove to Dr. Griffin's to get information about the organisation of the life of panel doctors. I got home at 6.30 and I had been in other worlds, though less than two hours away in all.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Heading south

Thursday, January 14th., Menton.

I left the rue de Calais yesterday, depressed, at 5 p.m. after having lunched with C. The drive to the Gare de Lyon along the interminable length of the rue de Rivoli got on my nerves. And I was decidedly excited and 'wrought-up' when the train de grande luxe came up and I saw Philpotts. Much talking and mutual satisfaction. (I have a sore throat now) The train left sharp at 6 p.m. and arrived here at Menton sharp at 9.56 a.m. this morning. On the whole a really good sound train. It would be almost perfect if it had a drawing-room car, as it certainly ought to have.

The Calais-Mediterranée Express was a luxury French night express train which operated from 1886. It gained international fame as the preferred train of wealthy and famous passengers between Calais and the French Riviera. It was colloquially referred to as Le Train Bleu in French (which became its formal name after World War II) and the Blue Train in English because of its dark blue sleeping cars. The height of the season for "le train bleu" was between November and April, when many travellers escaped the British winter to spend time on the French Riviera. Its terminus was at the Gare Maritime in Calais, where it picked up British passengers from the ferries across the English Channel. It departed at 1:00 in the afternoon and stopped at the Gare du Nord in Paris, then travelled around Paris by the Grande Ceinture line to the Gare de Lyon, where it picked up additional passengers and coaches. 

It departed Paris early in the evening, and made stops at Dijon, Châlons, and Lyon, before reaching Marseilles early the next morning. It then made further stops at all the major resort towns of the French Riviera, or Côte d'Azur, before reaching its final destination, Menton, near the Italian border. The sleeping cars had only ten sleeping compartments each, with one attendant assigned to each sleeping car. Early passengers included the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII), Charlie Chaplin, designer Coco Chanel, Winston Churchill and writers F. Scott Fitzgerald, Evelyn WaughSomerset Maugham, and Arnold Bennett.

 The ceaseless noise and jolting did not noticeably affect me much. I took a sedative and slept very well, though mostly conscious of the action and the din. Coming along the coast I had my first glimpse of Monte Carlo and the salons thereof. I was duly impressed by the beauty of the coast, and of Menton in particular.
Menton 1904
But my thoughts were chiefly occupied with the idea of the train, that luxurious complete entity - running through a country and ignoring it. I seldom had the least idea where the train was. Space, as a notion, had vanished for me. I might have been in the void.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Scrupulously clean

Sunday, January 13th., Comarques, Thorpe-le-Soken

I outlined in the bath this morning an idea of a play about a man being offered a title and his wife insisting on his accepting it against his will. Spender told me that such a man had once asked him for advice in just such a problem, and he had advised the man to suppress his scruples and accept the title. Ross said that this would be a good idea for a play, and it is.

Arnold Bennett’s 1918 play The Title is very much a play of the War years, but is not a play about the War. Written at the time when Bennett had an important role at the Ministry of Information, as Director of Propaganda for France, I see the play as one of the ways in which Bennett asserted a measure of independence and distanced himself from his political masters, since it is about the abuse of the honours system. Lloyd George is never mentioned, but the finger is obviously pointing in his direction. Bennett was treading close to significant sensitivities when writing this play. The fact that it survived uncut shows, I think, that he had a very nicely tuned sense of how far it was possible to go without incurring official displeasure.It’s a good play, despite some wild but jolly improbabilities in the last act.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Wartime privations

Friday, January 11th., Comarques, Thorpe-le-Soken.

Marguerite bought a pig at the end of the year. It was a small one, but we have been eating this damned animal ever since, in all forms except ham which has not yet arrived. Brawn every morning for breakfast. Yesterday I struck at pig's feet for lunch, and had mutton instead. They are neither satisfying nor digestible, and one of the biggest frauds that ever came out of kitchens. All this a war measure, and justifiable.
I now no longer care whether I have sugar in my tea or not. We each have our receptacle containing the week's sugar, and use it how we like. It follows us about, wherever we happen to be taking anything that is likely to need sugar. My natural prudence makes me more sparing of mine than I need to be.

The impact of the German U-boat campaign made food shortages a serious problem by 1918. Malnutrition was seen in poor communities and as a result the government introduced rationing in 1918. Food products were added to the list as the year progressed. In January 1918, sugar was rationed and by the end of April meat, butter, cheese and margarine were added to the list of rationed food. Ration cards were issued and everyone had to register with a butcher and grocer. Rationing was a clear indication to the British public that all was not well, but it did work. The malnutrition that had been identified in the poorer communities disappeared and as in World War Two, no one actually starved in Britain during the war.

Another effect of the war is that there is difficulty in getting stamped envelopes at the P.O. The other day the postmaster by a great effort and as a proof of his goodwill, got me £1 worth, which won't go far.
It occurred to me how the war must affect men of 70, who have nothing to look forward to. The war has ruined their ends, and they cannot have much hope.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

A man of opinion

Monday, January 10th., London.

Moore by Manet

Today I lunched with George Moore at 121 Ebury Street. Nice London house, with fine pictures. A marvellous Claude Monet and ditto Constable. I said "So you have two Manet's." He said "I am the only man in London who has two Manet's." Not true of course. The house was very neat and well kept; but in the nicely furnished embrasure on the half-landing, I saw a collection of hat boxes etc. hidden in a corner.

Moore's novel "The Mummer's Wife" (1885) was an inspiration to me, set as it is in the Potteries and in realistic style. It was regarded as unsuitable by Mudie's, and W H Smith refused to stock it on their news-stalls. Despite this, during its first year of publication the book was in its fourteenth edition mainly due to the publicity garnered by its opponents. His next novel, A Drama in Muslin, was also banned by Mudie's and Smith's. In response Moore declared war on the circulating libraries by publishing two provocative pamphlets; Literature at Nurse and Circulating Morals. In these, he complained that the libraries profit from salacious popular fiction while refusing to stock serious literary fiction.

Moore said that even I used French words sometimes in writing, and that he objected to it. I said I never did. He cited the word "flair". I told him it had become English. He wouldn't have that. He was curious about the financial side of letters. Like other people, he could not believe I can't get my plays produced.

He said that when Bernstein had a play on the stocks he went to a manager and said to the manager: "The play will be finished on such a date. You will pay me so much. I shall have so much for scenery etc. I shall be allowed to engage artistes up to so much weekly. I shall conduct the rehearsals. You will be permitted to come to the last three rehearsals." He assured me this was true, and that the manager would (at any rate officially) know nothing about the play until the end.

Bernstein, Henri (1876-1953). French dramatist who dominated the Parisian stage between 1900 and 1917 and continued to enjoy success until his death with his portraits of a grasping, materialist society. His heroes are treacherous and his heroines equally immoral. A Dreyfus supporter and himself a Jew, he treated the problem of Jewishness in Israël (1908) and Judith (1922).

Moore had no use for Hardy or Conrad. He spoke of "Hardy the Villager, Conrad the Sailor," etc.

Moore in 1921

George Augustus Moore (1852 – 1933) was an Irish novelist, short-story writer, poet, art critic, memoirist and dramatist. Moore came from a Roman Catholic landed family who lived at Moore Hall in Carra, County Mayo. He originally wanted to be a painter, and studied art in Paris during the 1870s. There, he befriended many of the leading French artists and writers of the day. As a naturalistic writer, he was amongst the first English-language authors to absorb the lessons of the French realists, and was particularly influenced by the works of Émile Zola. His writings influenced James Joyce, according to the literary critic and biographer Richard Ellmann, and, although Moore's work is sometimes seen as outside the mainstream of both Irish and British literature, he is as often regarded as the first great modern Irish novelist.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

A picturesque survival

Monday, January 9th., London.

The "beach" (for it is not a wharf) on the Surrey side of the Thames at Putney Bridge presents one of the most genuinely picturesque sights in London. Moored side by side in rows are a number of barges with their immense brown main-sails furled on the masts. Their rigging, seen as I see it against the panorama of a sunset sky, makes a forest of cordage, above which the little coloured pennants flutter. At all states of the tide the barges are being busily unloaded of their cargoes of yellow bricks and road metal. Shovelfuls of stones and little cubes of brick pass ceaselessly from the enormous holds into the, by comparison, tiny carts, and as each cart is filled a tip-horse attaches itself to it, and with cracking of whips the animals dash up the steep incline to the street.

This seems to go on all day and every day. At high tides the water is over the hubs of the wheels and washing against the chests of the motionless horses ... It is a scene of rapid and healthy activity, and the blue smoke from the cabins of the sailing barges suggests other activities than those seen from the bridge.

In time no doubt all this building and road material will reach Putney by railway or by steamer; at any rate a wharf will be built and served by steam crane; and then this singular survival of an old activity will pass away in its turn, and we shall tell young people that we remember it.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Scottish singing

Monday, January 7th., Comarques, Thorpe-le-Soken.

2,000 words of "The Pretty Lady" on Saturday. 2,000 word article for Daily News yesterday, and a bad night in between.

Sundry officers, including Saunders, Jacob and Cummings, dined on Saturday night, and the delight of these two last in singing more or less at sight good and bad songs from the "Scottish Students' Song Book", to my bad accompaniment, was most extraordinary.

The Scottish Students' Song Book Committee was set up in December 1889 with the aim of producing a collection of songs for use by students. The lack of such a collection had long been felt in Scotland. The Scottish Students' Song Book went on sale in March 1891 and was an immediate success, selling out in three weeks. Later editions appeared in 1892 and 1897. The great success of the book made it necessary to form a limited company in 1891 which produced several editions of the Song Book and its companion The British Students' Song Book (1912). Since 1891, some 400,000 copies had been sold. Published by Bayley & Ferguson - 1892 3rd edition 200+ songs set to tablature. Measures 10.75 inches x 8 inches. Hardback book with gilt and pictorial front board

Last night Richard was talking about being set to learn 40 lines of "L'Allegro" in 45 minutes prep, and to write essays in ten minutes. What a fool of a master.

I couldn't find my Milton, but on offering a reward of 6d., Richard found it. I re-read some of "Paradise Lost", and thought it very fine and interesting. The remarks of Adam and the Angel about the relations of man and wife have not yet been beaten for sense.

Adam explains to the angel Raphael that he is overcome with love and desire for Eve because of her physical beauty. He knows that Eve is less close to God than he, but he feels literally weakened by her attractiveness. Raphael takes issue with Adam, explaining that Eve has been created as his inferior. She is outwardly beautiful, but on the interior, spiritually, she is not Adam's equal. Raphael adds that Adam's love for Eve must rise above mere sexual desire. While once again admitting his physical attraction to Eve, Adam says that he loves her for more than the fulfillment of sexual passion. He says that his real love for Eve comes from their spiritual and intellectual companionship. Eve's attitude toward the conversation between Adam and Raphael is frequently misunderstood. She walks away as a discussion of planetary motion begins, and some readers have assumed that the subject is beyond her female understanding. However, Milton says directly that such is not the case. Rather, Eve prefers to hear the explanation privately and directly from Adam. This explanation is consistent with Milton's attitude toward Eve and women in general throughout the work. Women are intellectually inferior to men but not significantly. Eve is interested in the subject, but will both enjoy the explanation more and understand it better if Adam explains it to her. This attitude also establishes the role of Eve and women as helpmates to their husbands. The husband's role is in the world; the wife's at home. But, within the privacy of the home, the two may operate on equal footing as the anticipated conversation between Adam and Eve would prove.