Last night. Gluck's "Iphigenie en Tauride" at the Opera Comique, with Rose Caron as Iphegenie. A beautiful performance; a crowded and brilliant house; in fact I have never seen an audience that I liked better. The whole thing was stupendous.
I worked all yesterday and my Empire furniture arrived. Mrs. Stapley had hunted up an Empire secretaire for me, in fact several. After tea we went to view them. The best one had a mirror at the back, above the small drawers. I said to the shopwoman that I objected to the mirror. "Ah!" she said. "But when Madame leans over your shoulder while you are writing .........!" I bought the secretaire and also a clock for 140 francs. Such is my susceptibility to French suggestion!
In response to a telegram I went to lunch with Aleister Crowley and his wife (Kelly's sister) today at Paillard's. he had been made a 'Khan' in the East, and was wearing a heavily jewelled red waistcoat, and the largest ring I ever saw on a human hand. I rather liked him. He said some brain specialist had told him that what made a great brain was not the number of facts or ideas known, but the number of facts or ideas co-ordinated or co-related. I said: "Of course."
It occurred to me at Paillard's that the difference between the most excessively chic restaurant and an ordinary good one is very slight. Paillard's has the reputation of being the best, or one of the three best in Paris, and therefore in the world. Yet it is small, and not in the least luxurious, and the waiting is no better than it is elsewhere. The monde has no special appearance of smartness. The food was very good and so was the wine. But scarcely appreciably better than at Sylvain's, Maire's, or Noel and Peters. And the prices were about 25 percent dearer than at those other places - not more. In the evening, at a Boulant, I had for 6d. a bifteck and souffle potatoes better than which could not possibly be obtained anywhere, at no matter what price. When you have thoroughly good, well-flavoured, tender meat, perfectly cooked, - you cannot surpass that.