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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.
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Friday, 6 June 2014
Back to work
I finished my Evening Standard article. It was only sixteen days since I had written anything; yet I felt as if I had not written for a long time, and I was strangely satisfied to have written something again. I then read 'in' various poetries and novels.
Maurice Brown was in the drawing-room practising "Don Juan" scenes with Dorothy. By arrangement they came into my study for tea, and we discussed a change at the end of the play. I then drove off to visit Jane Wells. H. G. opened the door himself. Jane was lying on a broad sofa in the drawing-room. She looked ill, but not so ill as I had expected. Enlarged eyes. A sort of exhausted but determined wild cheerfulness in her. H. G. kept going in and out.
For more on H. G. and Jane Wells see 'Talking to H. G.'
Additionally for June 6th., see 'French characters'
This was her holiday. On Sundays, after she has washed up after lunch, she is free until it is time to come in and prepare dinner. At all other times she is at our disposal. She rises at 6 - I hear her - and comes down at 7. She goes to bed about 9. never reads. I doubt if she ever has a bath. She enjoys going out on errands, even to the post. Age 18. Plain. Mal ficelee. Can't get her apron right. very quiet. Doesn't seem to want pleasure. Cow-like and contented to work mildly all the time. When I say she ought to go out more, Marguerite gets excited and says that she has nowhere to go to, and that it would spoil her; that it is against the custom of the country. She is just an ignorant passive slave, earning 35 frs. a month, and her keep and her bed. In two months time she is to have 40 frs. She is not a fool and learns her work pretty quickly, and having learnt it does not forget it. Her mother comes twice a week to do rough work; a horrible-looking creature, very ugly, coarse, and without any remains of charm of any kind. There is a little hunchback brother toscalgique or tuberculeux, who for months could do nothing but sit by the fire and shiver. He has been sent to Bercke and is now a little better. The father is a carman with his own cart and either one or two horses.