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Monday, 15 April 2013

Parisian evenings

Friday, April 15th., Rue de Calais, Paris.

Last week Moreno sent me an urgent note to go and dine with them. Schwob dined in his bed and we dined at a table at the foot thereof, while the chinaman waited; a singular arrangement!
See also 'Parisian Life' - September 28th. http://earnoldbennett.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/parisian-life.html
Herz the impresario, had asked Moreno and Coquelin Cadet to do a season in London together, but he wanted a short play, half in French and half in English, to begin the bill, and he wanted it written specially for her and C.C. She asked me whether I would write it if Herz arranged terms with me. I said I would. Both Moreno and Schwob, with their curious sanguine temperaments, seemed to regard the affair as an absolute certainty, but I think it is far from that. Herz hasn't even got a theatre in London yet.

A couple of days later I took Moreno and her precious 'griffon belge', Flip, in a cab to the Gaite Theatre where we saw Henri Herz, and discussed the proposed play. The matter seemed to be arranged subject to Herz getting a London theatre. I liked Herz. He seemed straight and rather English in affairs of business.

Today I dined at the Schwobs again. Moreno expressed her entire satisfaction with the scenario of the play. Schwob was talking a lot about his voyage in the South Seas, on Captain Crawshay's steamer. He said Crawshay was a terrific swearer, with very conventional and proper ideas, and he could only read one author - Washington Irving. He could not understand the craze for R. L. Stevenson. He admitted Stevenson was a man of parts, but stated that his books were impossible.

I spent the afternoon in the Bois, searching for ideas for the book, and I really did find some which contented me.

The Bois de Boulogne is a large public park located along the western edge of the 16th arrondissement of Paris, near the suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt and Neuilly-sur-Seine It was created between 1852 and 1858 during the reign of the Emperor Louis Napoleon.

It was beautifully warm, indeed hot; but close and oppressive towards evening. Paris is at its best on these oppressive evenings, when all the cafes are full of crowded languor. I thoroughly enjoyed the journey by bus and steamer to Schwobs. The voyage from the Quai Voltaire to the Ile St. Louis, just before seven o'clock, was extremely impressive. It seemed to me as good as the Thames at its best.

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