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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

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Wednesday, 18 December 2013


Sunday, December 18th., Rue de Calais, Paris.

I finished the last act of "An Angel Unawares" this morning. 

Tea at Mrs. Devereux's on Friday to go on to a concert with Mesdames Debraux and Cornillier. The former looked more beautiful then ever I have seen her. It was a concert given by a music mistress in a rez-de-chausee; full of women and girls; too hot with a salamandre in full blast. Not bad as a concert but too long. 

Madame Cornillier took me to meet Madame Debraux two weeks ago, right at the other end of Paris. Immediately she began to talk I saw how wonderful she was. There was a young poet there who was pessimistic and disillusioned to the point of being rude, but a good fellow fundamentally. Madame Debraux wiped the floor with him in argument.

I asked Mme Debraux to dine with us on Sunday night, but she had another engagement. However, she said she would try to break that. I called on her yesterday afternoon to know what she would do, and after we had talked half an hour on books and music, she said: "Eh, bien, je vous donnerai la reponse - Oui." I should have been desolated if she had said No. I went to Laperouse on Friday night and dined there and ordered the dinner for Sunday.

On Friday Raphael came to lunch with me. He is the Paris correspondent of the Referee and the Sketch. He has a profoundly Jewish face. Very pleasant and polite. I first met him at Schwob's on Thursday, when we went in Moreno's car to the Bouffes to see du Bois's "Rabelais". Afterwards, we sat in a cafe in the Place Blanche till 12.30 talking about London journalism and serialising. He did the reporting of the Dreyfus case at Rennes for the Daily Mail, while G. W. Steevens did the descriptive stuff. He astounded me by saying that Steevens, after arriving at Rennes with a perfectly open mind, came at length firmly to believe that Dreyfus was guilty.

Additionally for December 18th., see 'Fine young men' -

To lunch at the Reform Club, where I joined Robert Ross who had two young poets, Robert Graves and Philip ---- (I forget his name and am not even sure if he is a poet). I was very pleased with both these youths. Lately I am more and more struck by the certainty, strength, and unconscious self-confidence of young men, so different from my middle-aged uncertainty and also my lack of physical confidence in my own body.

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