Hind, returned from his European tour, dined with me last night at the Hippodrome. He said that he had not talked to anyone since he saw me last, and that when the tour was about two-thirds through he felt very stale. He had stopped in eighteen towns, and was very much struck with Buda Pesth, as I expected.
Afterwards we went to the Moulin de la Galette (see also, 'Parisian views' - October 4th., http://earnoldbennett.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/parisian-views.html), and made observations to each other about Youth, Desire and so on. Nearly all Hind's ideas are sentimental and wrong, and his judgements on literature are quite impossible nearly every time; but he has charm. Perhaps it is his naivete - a rare enough quality.
Another instance of the sans-gene of Montmartre. On Thursday last, at the Restaurant Boulant, a young cocotte came in with two young men and her 'bonne a tout faire'. The bonne was not neat or clean and was in her working dress. They dined all together and laughed and talked much. Perhaps it was because the domestic cuisine had gone wrong. But more probably the cocotte had only just arrived at the dignity of a bonne and wanted to show her off.
I had a letter from M. Berquand asking me to go and see him at the Hotel Terminus. His room was No. 465. I found it with the aid of a boy. M. Berquand is getting old. He struck me as a man of sincere character, and trustworthy. He said he had been mute till the age of 8, and then to the age of 26 had stammered so badly that he was practically incapable of speech, and entirely incapable of earning a living. He had to be kept by his family. He then studied all the systems, maintained a strict silence for 6 months and cured himself in a year. He has travelled all over Europe on tours of curing and has 'orders' from most European sovereigns. I arranged to go to Aberdeen on 1st of August. He asked me a lot of questions, and said he was quite certain of success in a month or five weeks. In spite of the interview with him I felt rather depressed than otherwise. This is my second concerted attempt to tackle my stammer. See also, 'Triumph of hope over reason' - March 12th., http://earnoldbennett.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/triumph-of-hope-over-reason.html
|Corner of the Boulevard Montparnasse |
by G.F. Kelly
Sir Gerald Festus Kelly (1879-1972) Painter in oil of portraits and landscapes. Born in London, he was educated at Cambridge University, later living and studying art in Paris. Whistler was an early influence. Kelly was an enthusiastic traveler, visiting among other countries Spain, America, South Africa and Burma, where he painted some of his most characteristic and charming figure studies. He became known as a sound academic painter of attractive children and elegant women. His sitters included Somerset Maugham, whom he painted several times. He was elected RA in 1930, was the Academy's keeper 1943-45 and President, 1949-54, and was knighted in 1945. Between 1909 and 1970 Kelly exhibited over 300 works at the RA. During his lifetime his work became well known through popular prints. Since his death however - and in spite of his technical brilliance and colourful, wide-ranging subject matter - his reputation has stagnated.
Stanlaws, the "creator" of the 'Stanlaws girl', was there, a terrible American, and also a girl I had previously seen at Kelly's. The girl and Stanlaws, and the man who was the girl's host, threw bread at each other, and sang American songs very loudly. It was terrible at times. I could not stand such manners and customs for long. It is these things which spoil Montparnasse. We finished up at the Cafe de Versailles.