Welcome to our blog!
It's better than a bat in the eye with a burnt stick!
This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.
And make sure to visit The Arnold Bennett Society for expert information and comment on all aspects of the life and work of AB.
Saturday, 6 April 2013
Trouble and strife
My wife is deceiving me.
At the end of March Marguerite went off to Frascati, ostensibly for a holiday, ostensibly alone. Then I discover from her letters that she has 'by chance' met Legros there, 'with his mistress'. She must think me a simpleton! We were introduced to Legros in 1920 by Robert Nichols, the poet. Legros is French and has lectured in French at Bedford College, where Marguerite gave a recital. He is also the tenant of Marguerite's flat in Thackeray Mansions. He is 16 years younger than Marguerite but she has clearly become infatuated with him.
Today I have written to her in these terms:
" ... I notice that you give me no further information about how it has happened that Legros & his mistress are meeting you in Rome or in Frascati. The old policy of secrecy is apparently being followed. In my last letter I referred to Legros, but you know that you also are to blame about this affair. Supposing that I had been behaving as you have: seeing other women nearly every day for months; not telling you where I was; demanding a long holiday alone and insisting that I must be alone; arranging in fact not to be alone. What would you have thought? You would have thought either that I deliberately intended to annoy or insult you; or, alternatively, that I was a perfect fool. You often call yourself a child & a fool. Your action proves that you are not far wrong in doing so. It is inevitable that I should treat you according to your action. I most certainly shall not tolerate such action. No husband who was not an idiot would tolerate it. I expect to receive full apologies from Legros and an expression of regret from you. Otherwise my relations with Legros will be completely changed, and if you take any more holidays 'alone' you will pay for them yourself. No wife could be more free than you are but I object to being kept in the dark and treated as if I did not exist. Do not imagine that I am taking this affair tragically, or that I have ceased to be absurdly fond of you. No! The end of the world has not yet come. You have acted as if I did not count. My intention is to show you that I do count."
I do not know where this will all end.