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Friday, 17 January 2014

Bad grammar

Tuesday, January 17th., Cadogan Square, London.

Formerly in my life I was always pre-occupied by my insomnia and my digestion. I only rarely think about my digestion now - it is so good - but I am still terribly pre-occupied with my sleeping.

I walked to the Metropole for the Dramatists' Club lunch. Pinero in the chair. Quite a muster of members because Pinero had been ill. Coward and Malleson appeared for the first time - new members. Coward said to me: "Don't leave me, Arnold. I feel so strange here. I'm on the verge of hysteria among all these people." He sat on Pinero's right with Barrie next to him. When Barth was reading the minutes at the end, I said: "Bad grammar, I regret to say." The sin was "None .... were." But Barth couldn't see it, and others couldn't. I think only Barrie saw it. Yet all were authors.

Sir Arthur Wing Pinero (1855 – 1934) was an English actor and later an important dramatist and stage director. In honour of his seventy third birthday he was entertained to luncheon at the Hotel Metropole by the Dramatists' Club, of which he is President. there were no speeches but Sir James Barrie, the Vice President, in proposing Sir Arthur's health said: "Pinero was our leader when we started writing; he is our leader still." Sir Arthur with his immaculate dress and courteous manner is a typical Edwardian. He inhabits the Albany and his quarters are as tidy as his person.

Families. One must make the best of them in spite of their shortcomings. Many people must think, as I do, that only loyalty based on ties of blood can bring them to have anything to do with a person who they find offensive. And if there is no blood tie, then that is the end of the matter. It is my nature to be patient but not tolerant, and once I set my face against someone there is little prospect of reconciliation. This may be a fault. It probably is, but it is a fault that I have come to terms with. In any case, how bland we would be if we had no faults.

Additionally for January 17th., see 'Rehearsal blues' -

I saw all the play. It exhausted and depressed me very much. nothing seemed to get over the footlights. The players now played too quickly instead of too slowly. Local accent all wrong, and certainly incurable. But the other people seemed to be quite cheerful and optimistic. All the surroundings - the manufactory of amusement repelled me. Women cleaning and whispering, etc. Cold. Oil lamps to warm. Smallness of theatre. 

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