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Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Bachelor arrangements

Friday, December 4th., Rue de Calais, Paris.

Last night "Pelleas et Melisande", at the Opera Comique. This time I thought Debussy's music very good. Sometimes really powerful.

The Opéra Comique was founded in 1714 under the reign of Louis XIV. It is among the oldest French dramatic and musical institutions. Its history was alternately turbulent and prestigious until it was listed on the register of national theaters in 2005. Since then a new era has begun renewing with its history, it set itself the task of spreading its unique repertoire and securing the production and dissemination of operatic works to the widest audience.

The day before yesterday or a bit earlier two children were born in the streets of Paris the same day. Chichi explained to me that the thing occurred not infrequently. Accouchement in a 'maison' was an expensive affair, comparatively. hence women, at the very last moment, went to the poste de police and demanded the assistance that the law binds itself to give.

It is extraordinary how the leading cafes of Montmartre are absolutely crammed at midnight. Till a day or two ago I had scarcely known of the existence of the Cafe Graff. I was in there last night and at 12.15 there was not a seat empty. I came home and found my stove gone out. I lighted it at 1 p.m. but it would not 'take'. This trifling thing annoyed me wonderfully. It got on my nerves. I could not sleep and was extremely depressed about everything. The cold continues, and this morning it is even more severe.

Yesterday afternoon I very suddenly decided to alter the entire arrangement of the flat, making the bedroom the study, the study the cabinette de toilette, and the cabinette de toilette the bedroom. I called in the concierge to assist, and also the carpenter's young son to shave pieces off the bottoms of the doors. It took over two hours, and the young son received 75 centimes and the concierge 2 francs' worth of coke which I had no use for, as my infernal new stove doesn't burn coke. I can now work in the same room as the stove.

Yesterday I tackled the Phillpotts play for about 4 hours and got into it considerably.

Additionally for December 4th., see 'A patriotic concert' -

Patriotic concert last night in the village schoolroom. Full. All the toffs of the village were there. Rev. Mathews and family dined with us before it. Most of the programme was given by soldiers, except one pro. It was far more amusing than one could have expected. Corporal Snell, with a really superb bass voice, sang two very patriotic, sentimental songs, sound in sentiment but extremely bad in expression. They would have been excruciating in an ordinary voice; but he was thrilling in them.

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