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

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Tuesday, 21 January 2014


Saturday, January 21st., Cadogan Square, London.

I walked to South Kensington Museum, and had a look at the British Water Colours, which I had not examined before as a whole. Well, I think that Cotman is the best of them, easily. Peter de Wint I like less than I did. He gets pretty and his colour is often not ageeable. Brabazon, clumsy and groping, is still the most interesting of the moderns. Indeed I couldn't see anybody else who aroused any emotion in me.

After dinner I read a lot of the sixth series of H. L. Mencken's "Prejudices". This fellow is getting better. He has a general basis of common sense, and really writes very well for a journalist. 

To the Trocadero Grill for the Cabaret show, as the guest of Charles Cochran. Doris Zinkeisen (Mrs. Johnson) and husband, and Tilly Losch (formerly premiere danseuse at the Vienna Opera House) and Mrs. C. B. C. were there. Tilly Losch was very simple and sound and very pretty.She is doing the dances for C. B.'s new Revue. The cabaret show was extremely lively. I had gone specially to see Hayes, the juggler, of whom I had heard fine accounts. He was very skilled, imaginative, and comic; but his turn was too short.

Ottilie Ethel Leopoldine "Tilly" Losch (1903 – 1975) was an Austrian-born dancer, choreographer, actress and painter who lived and worked for most of her life in the United States and United Kingdom. Losch made her London debut in 1928 in Cochran's production of Noël Coward's musical review The Year of Grace, and over the course of the next few years, worked in London and New York as both a dancer and choreographer. In New York she danced in The Band Wagon with Fred and Adele Astaire in 1931. 

Slept for five hours without a break. It is years since I did this great feat!

Like the majority of people I know no Greek. Unlike the majority of people I am continually annoyed and engloomed by my ignorance of Greek. Starting with a prejudice against classical education, due perhaps to the public antics of pedagogic persons whom a classical education had obviously left narrow minded and therefore uncivilised, I gradually came to understand that Greek literature had not been overpraised. And this in spite of obstacles put in my way by translators. Yes, to this day, the Greeks have never been beaten, and very rarely equalled. And I can conceive that if I knew Greek as well as I know French I should be as puffed up about it as any pundit, and as disdainful of literatures and civilisations other than the Greek.

Additionally for January 21st., see 'Yachting and yarning' -

He also told tales of an old illiterate captain whom he took ashore to watch over a flat in Buckingham Street and who in a storm would 'stow' all the crockery etc. affirming that the house was rolling. Also he sat in his room with only a small blue jet of gas-light. Asked why he didn't have it higher, he said because he had noticed that when he blew out the gas at full there was much more smell than when he blew it out from a little point. He had been blowing out the gas nightly for weeks. Old Quinton is 70 odd and was racing in the eighteen-seventies.

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