I got one or two really admirable ideas for "Hugo" yesterday, just as I was recovering from another attack of liver.
Miss Thomasson came in the afternoon. She had been here on Sunday to paint a still-life of some corner of this room for me to give to my mother. She talked more than painted, but made a good start. She did more painting this time and, by arrangement, I left her here alone for a couple of hours. I went into the Parc Monceau to write, and was much preoccupied by the spectacle of two English governesses (or nursery-governesses) with two small French children, who were both doing everything that ought not to be done in the management of a child. Still, I expect most children of that class have to struggle through the same stupidities and lack of imagination. It is chiefly lack of imagination that makes governesses worse than futile.
Miss Thomasson is a small, slim, dark, effective woman, with large bright eyes and dark eyebrows in striking contrast to a tower of prematurely silver hair. On Sunday, after dinner, we took coffee in the Place Blanche, and talked there till just eleven o'clock, me getting worse and worse. However, I talked all the time, explaining at great length my ideas on women, sometimes making her laugh at what she considered my naive absurdities and then making her suspect that perhaps my absurdities were not so absurd after all. I recently said to Miss Ruck, a very young art student friend of Miss Thomasson's: "Women, my dear girl? I know women inside and outside. I know women as well as I know my own pocket." I wonder what they think of me?
Last evening Miss Thomasson and I went to drive in the Bois, and then we dined at Lavenue's, Montparnasse. A mediocre good restaurant. At her studio, later, two Americans came in, waistcoatless, and talking very Americanish, "bully-time" and so on. I thought "What terrible people these young American painters are!" It is a pity that the American accent is absolutely ugly, and not merely strange to our ears.