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

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Thursday, 7 March 2013

Rural idyll

Saturday, March 7th., Fontainbleau.

Je me plais infiniment dans ce pays. A walk yesterday afternoon, 5 miles in the rain in the forest, after a day spent in writing a feeble forcible article on Wells's "New Worlds for Old" for the New Age. A superb book this.
Six miles this morning in the forest, in fitful sunshine. When I looked about me in the forest I wondered that I could have endured three months in a city. Large spaces of sky. River rapid, and in flood, isolating many trees. Excellent food; attentive, simple-minded cook. Grocer's wife had a baby. Local youths drawing their conscription numbers. News of a Freemasons banquet, and of failure of a girls' school. Such are the events. I have time to think of writing another poem - subject in my head for just a year. I resume the piano, read papers more leisurely, and get excited about posts and about the sins of omission of local tradesmen.
And yet ...? Am I not really a townsman at bottom? I tried living in Bedfordshire for a year, and it was good, but I was drawn back to Paris and to London. How long will the present rural idyll last I wonder? The main thing is to be able to walk and to think, to get ideas, and then to write. The rest is gloss!

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